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2024 NFL Schedule Release Winners & Losers (Fantasy Football)

2024 NFL Schedule Release Winners & Losers (Fantasy Football)

The NFL just released the 2024 schedule, sparking a flurry of speculation and analysis among fans and fantasy football enthusiasts alike. With this release, it’s the perfect time to take a deep dive and analyze the implications of this new schedule from a fantasy football perspective. Our featured experts are here to examine which players have been handed the easiest schedules and are poised for increased production, which ones face an uphill climb due to challenging stretches, and which players are worth targeting and avoiding based on their fantasy playoffs (Weeks 15-17) schedule.

2024 NFL Schedule Release: Every Team’s Schedule & Bye Week

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2024 NFL Schedule Release Winners and Losers

Which notable player has favorable matchups in 2024 and should see a boost in value?

Caleb Williams (QB – CHI)

“There is already so much hype surrounding Caleb Williams, and his schedule will not make that hype die down. Williams and the Bears take on the AFC South, with each team in that division having some sort of defensive shortcomings, along with matchups against the Panthers and Patriots, two teams that project to be bottom ten defenses in 2024. Looking at the division slate, each project to be high-scoring affairs, including twice in the fantasy playoffs (at Vikings Week 15 and vs. Lions Week 16).”
Ed Birdsall (Talking Points Sports)

“It’s wheels up for Caleb Williams in the first half of the season. We know that the Bears already have a high-functioning offense in place for Williams to step right in and produce. We know he’s set to be the Week 1 starter per the announcement this week by Head Coach Matt Eberflus. Now, we know that Williams will also face one of the easiest schedules in the NFL. It couldn’t have been a better draw for the #1 overall NFL Draft pick. With the Titans, Texans, Colts, Rams, Panthers and Jaguars as opponents in his first six NFL starts, Williams has the opportunity to learn, grow and produce right out of the gate. And the rest of the Bears schedule ain’t too shabby as well.”
Jeremy Shulman (Fantasy Football Universe)

Bijan Robinson (RB – ATL)

Bijan Robinson should see a boost in fantasy value in 2024. The Falcons have the second easiest schedule, playing in the easiest division in the NFC South. Robinson steps into a new offense, led by Sean McVay disciple Zac Robinson, and plays in a division that had only one rush defense graded inside the top half of the league in 2023, per PFF (Carolina Panthers: 13th). Bijan had the sixth-most fantasy points per touch among starting RBs (0.92) and could see increased touch volume with fantasy football’s foe, Arthur Smith, no longer calling the plays.”
Chew Russell (Going For 2)

“The Falcons have the easiest schedule in the league based on projected win totals, according to Sharp Football Analysis. In Weeks 1-17, Atlanta faces six opponents who ranked in the bottom 10 in defensive DVOA last season. It’s a nice setup for Bijan Robinson, Drake London and various other Falcons.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

Bijan Robinson and the Falcons have the easiest schedule, according to some early strength of scheduled data. Bijan is already in for a huge 2024 season, but couple his easy schedule with the fact that the Falcons’ QB room is near invincible, and I predict that Bijan is on his way to having quite possibly the best 2024 season in total yards, receiving yards (for an RB), and total touchdowns (for an RB). Don’t be shocked if he has 2,000 total yards, 15+ total TDs, and 70+ receptions.”
Smitty (TheFantasyFootballShow)

Keon Coleman (WR – BUF)

“QB Caleb Williams and WR Keon Coleman – For a limited time, Ringo is offering his May Fantasy Football Special- buy one player with favorable matchups in 2024, get the second one free. Chicago has one of the easiest schedules in the league, with good matchups against Arizona, Minnesota (twice), Jacksonville, Tennessee, New England, Washington, Carolina, and Detroit (twice). That’s pretty good for Caleb, whose current Consensus Ranking is QB 13. Meanwhile, Buffalo has good matchups against Miami (twice), New England (twice), Jacksonville, Detroit, Tennessee, Arizona, and L.A. Rams. Keon Coleman’s current consensus ranking is WR 50, which is nuts considering both Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs are gone, and the Bills’ offense should roll with that schedule. If Keon Coleman hits, like I think he could, Coleman is a potential league winner!”
Mark Ringo (Sleepers and Busts)

Kyler Murray (QB – ARI)

I love the first-half schedule for Kyler Murray and company. The Bills, Rams, Lions, Commanders, 49ers, Packers, Chargers, Dolphins, Bears and Jets before a Week 10 bye week. Six home games for the Arizona Cardinals. Keep in mind that Arizona was perfect toward the betting “over” at home last season. Points are coming for Murray – a full offseason removed from his ACL injury.”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL)

“On paper, Kyle Pitts will get a boost from his upcoming schedule. Not only does Atlanta have the easiest projected schedule this season (per Sharp Football Analysis), but it’s particularly advantageous for the tight end position. Pitts has eight games this season against defenses that finished in the bottom 12 in DVOA against the tight end position (per FTN). Pitts was already a player I projected to rise throughout the offseason, so this will only help that case.”
Derek Brown (FantasyPros)

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Who is a player facing a difficult schedule that fantasy managers should be aware of?

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN)

“What is already a difficult situation in Denver could become messy for Courtland Sutton in 2024. Questions about QB play aside, the schedule for Sutton remains difficult. In Sutton’s first six weeks of 2024, he faces the AFC North and their stout defenses, only to then face the NFC South and their stout defenses in the second half of 2024. Sutton has always been a fade for me, given how Sean Payton wants to rid almost every player involved in the last regime from Denver, and his schedule for 2024 does him no favors.”
Ed Birdsall (Talking Points Sports)

Russell Wilson (QB – PIT)

Russell Wilson was fortunate to leave what seemed to be a tumultuous situation in Denver but now joins a Steelers’ team with the third-hardest schedule in 2024. Despite starting the season with two easier games versus the Falcons and Broncos, Wilson faces two top defenses prior to the Week 9 Bye in the Cowboys and the Jets. Further, Wilson’s final eight games are against division rivals, as well as juggernauts in the Eagles and Chiefs. Wilson will be learning a new offense behind a rebuilding offensive line in one of the NFL’s toughest divisions. Wilson’s fantasy prospects are like the results of Jim Halpert’s customer surveys, “They are a poopy.””
Chew Russell (Going For 2)

George Pickens (WR – PIT)

“The Steelers run the gauntlet over the final eight weeks of the regular season, with two games against each of their three divisional rivals – the Browns, Bengals, and Ravens – plus games against the Chiefs and Eagles. It could be a tough stretch run for the Pittsburgh passing game since the Ravens and Browns ranked first and second in DVOA vs. the pass last season, and the Chiefs ranked fifth. That bodes ill for Steelers WR George Pickens and whichever quarterback Pittsburgh is starting at that point — Russell Wilson or Justin Fields. As if the play-calling of Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith weren’t reason enough to fade Steelers in your fantasy drafts, Pittsburgh’s brutal schedule gives us another reason.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

“For a team that once again has playoff aspirations, I’m concerned about the look of the schedule for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although the first month appears favorable, nine of their final 13 games will be against top units. This does not bode well for George Pickens, who is already dealing with a new offensive scheme and a new quarterback. While both of those should be upgrades, Pickens now has to contend with elite defensive play. Highlighted by a six-week stretch that sees him square up to the Browns and Ravens twice, the Eagles and the Bengals from Weeks 11-16, I’m betting that Pickens struggles in most of these matchups. Unless he’s going later than expected in drafts this summer, I’m out on George Pickens in 2024.”
Jeremy Shulman (Fantasy Football Universe)

Malik Nabers (WR – NYG)

“The Giants are tied for sixth for the toughest NFL schedule in 2024, at least according to some data. Malik Nabers already has a tough task ahead of him, given Danny Dimes is his quarterback.. add into the equation his ultra-high ADP (which ranges from the late second to early third round), and Nabers is set to disappoint in 2024. Dimes + Rough Offense + Rough Schedule = Avoid as a second or third-drafted player.”
Smitty (TheFantasyFootballShow)

Justin Jefferson (WR – MIN)

“This call is blasphemy to many fantasy pundits and fans, but I’m not crazy about Justin Jefferson’s schedule or situation, especially with his current consensus ranking at WR 4 (Ringo’s current ranking- WR 14). It sounds like Sam Darnold is the starter, with rookie J.J. McCarthy waiting for his chance. The Vikes’ schedule starts out with Darnold going to New York to play the Giants (Darnold in New York- what could go wrong?)- ugh! Then it’s the 49ers, then Houston with ex-Viking Danielle Hunter, who will be plenty motivated to stick it to his old team. Oh, I almost forgot, Minnesota also plays the N.Y. Jets, Chicago (twice), who they struggled with last year, Green Bay (twice), and Indy. No thanks- Justin “Don’t call him George” Jefferson is all yours. Wesi! ”
Mark Ringo (Sleepers and Busts)

Derrick Henry (RB – BAL)

“The Ravens have the fourth-hardest schedule, and it starts on opening night when they travel to KC to take on the Chiefs in a rematch of the 2023 AFC Championship Game. They’re followed by matchups against the Raiders, Cowboys, Bills, and Bengals. It’s a word of caution for Derrick Henry, who is one of the most game-script-dependent RBs in fantasy football. If the Ravens find themselves trailing in contests, the former Titans RB will not be nearly as effective without a commitment to the ground attack.”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Najee Harris | Jaylen Warren (RBs – PIT)

“The Steelers’ road in 2024 will be tough, particularly for their ground game. Per Sharp Football Analysis, Pittsburgh faces the toughest schedule in the NFL. This is extremely evident for their rushing attack, as they will have seven games this year against run defenses that finished in the top 12 in PFF run defense grades last season. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren still project for a bevy of volume, but this schedule could impact their efficiency.”
Derek Brown (FantasyPros)

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For the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 15-17), which notable player jumps out as having a particularly easy schedule?

Bijan Robinson (RB – ATL)

“Let’s forget the Bijan Robinson 0.4 in the first round of playoffs last year, okay? His playoff schedule this time around is absolutely awesome, with a road visit to Las Vegas before two home matchups against the Giants and Commanders. Yes. Please. This Falcons offense is already one of the most sought-after units to buy into in 2024, and that should continue throughout the summer. Buy, buy, BUY into Bijan, and he will not let you down.”
Ed Birdsall (Talking Points Sports)

Kirk Cousins (QB – ATL)

“For the fantasy playoffs, Kirk Cousins jumps out as a player to benefit from an easy stretch of games to help win fantasy championships. The Falcons have the chance to win the NFC South, and it may come down to the last few games to overtake the Buccaneers. From Weeks 15 to 17, the Falcons play the Raiders, Giants and Commanders, respectively. By then, it is expected that Cousins will be fully recovered and connecting well with his weapons in the Zac Robinson-crafted offense.”
Chew Russell (Going For 2)

Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL)

“Not only do the Atlanta Falcons have one of the easiest schedules of 2024, but they also draw the Raiders, Giants, and Commanders in Weeks 15-17. For a run to the championship, I’m betting heavily on Kyle Pitts to eviscerate these teams’ weak linebackers and secondaries. Bijan Robinson, Drake London and Kirk Cousins should all eat as well, but the advantage Pitts affords at the tight end position will help fantasy squads get over the hump in the fantasy playoffs. With these subpar teams unlikely to put up a ton of points and looking to stop the run. As a result, Pitts should excel as a play-action weapon and crush for your fantasy squad when it matters most.”
Jeremy Shulman (Fantasy Football Universe)

Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)

Jonathan Taylor and the Colts finish the fantasy season with games against the Broncos, Titans and Giants. The Broncos ranked 30th in DVOA vs. the run last season and gave up a league-worst 5.0 yards per carry. The Giants were 29th in DVOA vs. the run and yielded 24 rushing touchdowns. The Titans ranked a respectable 10th in DVOA vs. the run, but after a hot start, Tennessee’s run defense was merely average from Week 5 on. Taylor is poised to smash in the fantasy playoffs.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

Trey Benson (RB – ARI)

Trey Benson will, in my opinion, be full-go as the Cardinals’ starting rusher by double-digit weeks in 2024. The Cardinals have a brutal schedule to start the season, but it opens up nicely in the second half of the season, and it ends with the Patriots (Week 15), Panthers (Week 16), and Rams (Week 17). The Patriots have a solid defense, sure, but how well and healthy will they be playing by this time during the season if their offense doesn’t surprise? I think Benson (and all Cardinals, for that matter) have a huge Weeks 15, 16, and 17; these are fantastic match-ups for a team likely trying to get every win down the stretch to make up for a rough start (due to schedule).”
Smitty (TheFantasyFootballShow)

Anthony Richardson (QB – IND)

“QB Anthony Richardson – The Colts play: @Denver, Tennessee, and @NY Giants. I’ll admit, I’m not crazy about my players on the road during my fantasy playoffs, but the old adage is a good running game usually travels. In addition, none of those defenses scare me, of course I’m a pretty courageous guy from my couch haha! Anyway, the Colts should be able to run against all of those teams, which could set up Richardson for some big plays off of play action or the read-option. Now, if we can just get Anthony to stay healthy, I think he’s in for a big year.”
Mark Ringo (Sleepers and Busts)

Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC)

“The Jaguars have two favorable matchups from Weeks 16-17 (@ LV, TEN). After their utter second-half collapse last season after an 8-3 start, the Jacksonville Jaguars could be back for vengeance in this year’s fantasy football playoffs with Trevor Lawrence leading the charge.”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Joe Burrow (QB – CIN)

“On paper, the Bengals have an interesting Week 15-17 schedule. In Week 16, they do get the Browns, who project to field a stellar defense again, which isn’t ideal, but In Weeks 15 and 17, they face the Titans and Broncos, who finished last season with the seventh and the second lowest PFF coverage grades. Joe Burrow and company could be lighting it up as they carry fantasy GMs to best-ball titles.”
Derek Brown (FantasyPros)

Nico Collins (WR – HOU)

Nico Collins – Houston faces Miami, Kansas City, and Baltimore following a Week 14 bye — matchups that should necessitate passing. Two of those matchups come at home. Plus, there are secondary questions in Miami and Kansas City.”
Kevin English (Draft Sharks)

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