I’ve often found that you can target players that start slowly because of bad schedules, then get them just before they face much better schedules in the middle part of the season.
We’re going to examine the best and worst Fantasy Football strength of schedules at quarterback.
Consider the tips and bits of advice as you think about what you should do after the initial month or so of the season is over.
Best Fantasy Football Strength of Schedules: Weeks 1-5
These rankings are culled from the Strength of Schedule tool over at FFToolbox.com.
1. St. Louis Rams: Things set up well for Sam Bradford to start the season, then he tore his ACL in his knee … again. Can Shaun Hill do great things with this great schedule? Possibly – but there aren’t enough early bye weeks to make him someone you’d consider. If he had the best schedule from Weeks 6-10, then that would be an option. But the Rams have the second-toughest schedule for Fantasy quarterbacks in that span. Expect a decent start from Hill, with a midseason fade.
2. New Orleans Saints: Why didn’t I draft Drew Brees over Aaron Rodgers in the two drafts I ended up taking Rodgers? Expect Brees to get off to a hotter start, but fading midseason (30th from Weeks 6-10). Rodgers, meanwhile, goes from the 22nd-best fantasy QB schedule in Weeks 1-5 to the worst from Weeks 6-10. Great.
3. San Francisco 49ers: I have several reasons to like Colin Kaepernick this season, including this early schedule.
4. Seattle Seahawks: It’s a great year to wait on quarterbacks! Russell Wilson gets Percy Harvin (hip) healthy, and a great schedule to start the year!
5. Houston Texans: Not even a favorable schedule will have you considering a Texans QB to start the season.
Worst Fantasy Football Strength of Schedules: Weeks 1-51. Dallas Cowboys: As if Tony Romo didn’t have a big enough pain in the back, now he’ll have to start the season against the Niners, Saints, Seahawks, Texans and Titans in the first six games of the season.
2. Cleveland Browns: Here’s an interesting scenario – the Browns face the second-toughest schedule for the first five weeks (we’ll call that Brian Hoyer’s starts), and they face the fifth-easiest schedule for the middle five weeks (we’ll call those Johnny Manziel’s likely starts).
3. Chicago Bears: Things get easier for Jay Cutler after the first third of the season, as the Bears rank well in the middle weeks. Then things really pick up for Chicago late in the year, as Cutler will face the third-easiest schedule from Week 11-15. Keep him on your radar for Week 6 or so, after his tough start to the season, he’ll be worth trading for.
4. Baltimore Ravens: You shouldn’t be considering starting Joe Flacco in most formats at this point anyway.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: And you thought you should be worried about the offensive line!?! Facing teams like the Panthers, Steelers and Saints among their first five opponents. The great news is that Josh McCown gets the second-best schedule for Fantasy QBs from Weeks 6-10.
Tracking the best Fantasy Football strength of schedules is a good idea, but you still have to draft good Fantasy players. A combination of the the two of them could be hard to beat!
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.