Fantasy Football

NFL Hot Takes: Best and Worst Fantasy Schedules by Position

Jimmy Garoppolo

Best and Worst Fantasy Schedules

Thanks to just about every other site, we know Philadelphia Eagles have the easiest NFL schedule. But what about the position players?  Well, once again, thanks to fantasypros.com, let’s delve a little deeper into it.

Player stats courtesy of playerprofiler.com.  Team stats courtesy teamrankings.com.

QUARTERBACKS WITH THE BEST FANTASY SCHEDULE

Jimmy Garoppolo/Trey Lance, San Francisco Niners

It doesn’t even depend (well, not entirely) on who starts under center for the San Francisco Niners.  The first eight games for the Niners are good for the quarterback.

Niners first eight games v defenses (2020 stats)

@ Detroit Lions#31st in passing yards allowed (284.9)#29th passing completion percentage allowed (68.76%)#32nd average touchdown passes per game (2.4)
@ Philadelphia Eagles#14th in passing yards allowed (237.4)#28th passing completion percentage allowed (68.68%)#15th average touchdown passes per game (1.7)
v Green Bay Packers#7th in passing yards allowed (220.1)#17th passing completion percentage allowed (64.61%)#11th average touchdown passes per game (1.5)
v Seattle Seahawks#30th in passing yards allowed (278.2)#19th passing completion percentage allowed (66.09%)#8th average touchdown passes per game (1.4)
@ Arizona Cardinals#10th in passing yards allowed (226.4)#13th passing completion percentage allowed (64.04%)#14th average touchdown passes per game allowed (1.6)
v Indianapolis Colts#20th in passing yards allowed (245.1)#20th passing completion percentage allowed (66.16%)#12th in average touchdown passes per game allowed (1.5)
@ Chicago Bears#13th in passing yards allowed (233.4)#16th passing completion percentage allowed (64.51%)#20th average touchdown passes per game allowed (1.8)
v Arizona Cardinals#10th in passing yards allowed (226.4)#13th passing completion percentage allowed (64.04%)#14th average touchdown passes per game allowed (1.8)

 

Jimmy Garoppolo 2020 stats: 6 games, 140 passing attempts, 21 red zone attempts, 12 deep passes, 1096 passing yards, 7.8 yards/attempt

QUARTERBACKS WITH THE WORST FANTASY SCHEDULE

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

It won’t matter if they let “Russ cook” or run the ball more.  The Seattle Seahawks offense on all fronts is in for a rough 2021 if you go by last year’s statistics.

Seahawks first eight games v defenses (2020 schedule)

@ Indianapolis Colts#20th passing yards allowed per game (245.1)#20th completion percentage allowed (66.16%)12th avg passing touchdowns allowed per game (1.5)
v Tennessee Titans#28th passing yards allowed (270.8)#23rd completion percentage allowed (67.28%)#27th avg passing touchdowns allowed per game (2.1)
@ Minnesota Vikings#24th passing yards allowed (258.8)#21st completion percentage allowed (66.17%)#24th avg passing touchdowns allowed per game (1.9)
@ San Francisco Niners#4th passing yards allowed (207.9)#9th completion percentage allowed (63.50%)#13th avg passing touchdowns allowed per game (1.6)
v Los Angeles Rams#1st passing yards allowed (193.8)#4th completion percentage allowed (62.36%)#1st avg passing touchdowns allowed (1.2)
@ Pittsburgh Steelers#2nd passing yards allowed (198.4)#1st completion percentage allowed (56.96%)#9th avg passing touchdowns allowed (1.5)
v New Orleans Saints#5th passing yards allowed (214.0)#2nd completion percentage allowed (59.77%)#16th avg passing touchdowns allowed per game (1.7)
v Jacksonville Jaguars#26th passing yards allowed (264.4)#31st completion percentage allowed (69.42%)#29th avg passing touchdowns allowed per game (2.1)

 

Russell Wilson 2020 stats: we know that Wilson started off on fire and then limped into the final half of the season.

16 games, 38.2 passing plays per game, 558 passing attempts, 4212 passing yards, 85 red zone attempts, 64.7% red zone completion, 65 deep ball attempts, 35.4% deep ball completion; 83 carries, 513 yards, two rushing touchdowns

RUNNING BACKS WITH THE BEST FANTASY SCHEDULE

Melvin Gordon/Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

The ongoing who will be under center saga continues in Denver. If it remains status quo, more reason to align yourself with running backs who have a favorable fantasy schedule. We all know the Chiefs are predicted to top in the AFC West, but the Broncos are trending upwards, some even have them finishing 2nd in the division.

The running back by committee is a slight concern, although Denver has shown a propensity to share the ball.  But remember Javonte Williams as the 35th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and Melvin Gordon is on the last year of his contract.

Broncos first eight games against rushing defenses (2020 stats per teamrankings.com)

@ New York Giants11th in rushing yards allowed per game (111.4)9th in average yards per attempt allowed (4.1)10th in average rushing touchdowns allowed (0.9)
@ Jacksonville Jaguars30th in rushing yards allowed per game (153.2)27th in average yards per attempt allowed (4.7)29th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.4)
v New York Jets12th in rushing yards allowed per game (112.0)7th in average yards per attempt allowed (4.0)16th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.0)
v Baltimore Ravens6th in rushing yards allowed per game (101.3)14th in average yards per attempt allowed (4.3)2nd in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.7)
@ Pittsburgh Steelers13th in rushing yards allowed per game (112.4)12th in average yards per attempt allowed (4.3)12th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.9)
v Las Vegas Raiders23rd in rushing yards allowed per game (125.8)22nd in average yards per attempt allowed (4.6)30th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.5)
@ Cleveland Browns9th in rushing yards allowed per game (108.2)13th in average yards per attempt allowed (4.3)17th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.0)
v Washington Football Team15th in rushing yards allowed per game (114.5)11th in average yards per attempt allowed (4.3)11th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.9)

 

Looks are a bit misleading with the Broncos.  For the Broncos running backs, it is about the second half of the 17-game season.  The first half might be a little bumpy, but the second half promises match-ups with:

@ Dallas Cowboys31st in rushing yards allowed per game (158.8)30th in average yards per attempt (5.0)26th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.2)
@ Philadelphia Eagles22nd in rushing yards allowed per game (125.4)10th in average yards per attempt (4.2)25th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.2)
@ Los Angeles Chargers17th in rushing yards allowed per game (119.8)17th in average yards per attempt allowed (4.5)18th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.1)
@ Kansas City Chiefs19th in rushing yards allowed per game (123.2)24th in average yards per attempt allowed (4.6)9th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.8)
@ Detroit Lions28th in rushing yards allowed per game (134.9)16th in average yards per attempt allowed (4.4)32nd in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.7)
@ Cincinnati Bengals29th in rushing yards allowed per game (148.0)31st in average yards per attempt allowed (5.1)7th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.8)
@ Las Vegas Raiders23rd in rushing yards allowed per game (125.8)22nd in average yards per attempt (4.6)30th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.5)
@ Los Angeles Chargers17th in rushing yards allowed per game (119.8)17th in average yards per attempt (4.5)18th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.1)

Melvin Gordon 2020 stats: 15 games, 215 carries, 986 rushing yards, 44 targets, 32 receptions, 158 receiving yards, 30 red zone touches, 4.3 yards per carry

 

RUNNING BACKS WITH THE WORST FANTASY SCHEDULE

Leonard Fournette/Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Besides the crowded running back room, the stellar wide receivers, and Tom Brady under center, the schedule is doing no favors for the Buccaneers’ running backs.

And while there are glimpses of opportunities in the first half of the schedule, the second half may bite their collective asses.

Tampa Bay first seven games against rushing defenses (2020 stats per teamrankings.com)

v Dallas Cowboys31st in rushing yards allowed per game (158.8)#30th in average yards per attempt (5.0)26th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.2)
v Atlanta Falcons7th in rushing yards allowed per game (104.8)15th in average yards per attempt (4.4)13th average rushing touchdown allowed per game (0.9)
@ Los Angeles Rams4th in rushing yards allowed per game (99.1)6th in average yards per attempt (4.0)6th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.8)
@ New England Patriots26th in average yards allowed per game (131.4)20th in average yards per attempt (4.5)20th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.1)
v Miami Dolphins16th in average yards allowed per game (116.4)19th in average yards per attempt (4.5)21st in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.2)
@ Philadelphia Eagles22nd in average yards allowed per game (125.4)10th in average yards per attempt (4.2)25th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.2)
v Chicago Bears14th in average yards allowed per game (125.4)8th in average yards per attempt (4.1)4th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.7)

 

And then it gets serious.  The homestretch of the 17-game season is anything but for the Buccaneers’ running backs.

@ New Orleans Saints3rd in average yards allowed per game (93.2)3rd in average yards per attempt (3.8)3rd in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.7)
@ Washington Football Team (week 10)15th in average rushing yards allowed per game (114.5)11th in average yards per attempt (4.3)11th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.9)
v New York Giants11th in average rushing yards allowed per game (111.4)9th in average yards per attempt (4.1)10th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.9)
@ Indianapolis Colts2nd in rushing yards allowed per game (90.8)1st in average yards per attempt (3.8)14th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.0)
@ Atlanta Falcons7th in rushing yards allowed per game (104.8)15th in average yards per attempt (4.4)13th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.9)
v Buffalo Bills20th in rushing yards allowed per game (123.2)25th in average yards per attempt (4.7)27th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.3)
v New Orleans Saints3rd in rushing yards allowed per game (93.2)3rd in average rushing yards per attempt (3.8)3rd in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (0.7)
@ Carolina Panthers18th in rushing yards allowed per game (121.0)28th in average rushing yards per attempt (4.7)19th in average rushing touchdowns allowed per game (1.1)

Leonard Fournette 2020 stats: 12 games, 97 carries, 367 rushing yards, 28 red zone touches, 3.7 yards per carry, 47 targets, 36 receptions, 233 receiving yards

Ronald Jones 2020 stats: 14 games, 192 carries, 978 rushing yards, 33 red zone touches, 4.7 yards per carry, 47 targets, 28 receptions, 165 receiving yards

WIDE RECEIVERS WITH THE BEST FANTASY SCHEDULE

Interestingly, the top five wide receiving corps with the most advantageous fantasy schedules will have different quarterbacks this year than they had last year.

The top five are the Carolina Panthers with Sam Darnold under center, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Trevor Lawrence.  The San Francisco Niners will eventually have Trey Lance?  The Indianapolis Colts will have Carson Wentz, and the Los Angeles Rams will have Matthew Stafford.

So where do we go?  We have already seen the Niners’ schedule, and rookie quarterbacks (combined with rookie head coaches) are unpredictable.  We believe in the Sean McVay/Stafford connection, so Indianapolis it is.

TY Hilton, Michael Pittman, Parris Campbell

Colts 2021 schedule first eight games v passing defenses

v Seattle Seahawks20th opponents passing attempts per game (34.7)8th opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.4)16th opponents points per game (23.6)
v Los Angeles Rams15th in opponents passing attempts per game (35.7)1st opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.2)2nd opponents points per game (19.3)
@ Tennessee Titans30th opponents passing attempts per game (30.1)27th opponents passing touchdowns per game (2.1)24th opponents points per game (27.0)
@ Miami Dolphins18th opponents passing attempts per game (34.9)2nd opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.3)4th opponents points per game (21.1)
@ Baltimore Ravens32nd opponents passing attempts per game (25.9)4th opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.3)1st opponents points per game (18.5)
v Houston Texans23rd opponents passing attempts per game (34.1)23rd opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.9)27th opponents points per game (29.0)
@ San Francisco Niners16th opponents passing attempts per game (35.6)13th opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.6)17th opponents points per game (24.4)
v Tennessee Titans30th opponents passing attempts per game (30.1)27th opponents passing touchdowns per game (2.1)24th opponents points per game (27.0)

T.Y. Hilton, 2020 stats: 15 games, 68.8% snap share, 93 targets, 56 receptions, 762 receiving yards, 16 deep targets, 10 red-zone targets, 12.5 average target distance

Michael Pittman, 2020 stats: 13 games, 79.3% snap share, 60 targets, 40 receptions, 503 receiving yards, 7 deep targets, 9 red-zone targets, 8.6 average target distance

Parris Campbell, 2020 stats: 2 games, 44.4% snap share, 9 targets, 6 receptions, 71 receiving yards, 1 deep target, 0 red-zone targets, 12.0 average target distance

WIDE RECEIVERS WITH THE WORST FANTASY SCHEDULE

Amari Cooper/CeeDee Lamb

Dallas Cowboys 2021 schedule v passing defenses

@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers31st opponents passing attempts per game (39.6)18th opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.8)7th opponents points per game (21.6)
@ Los Angeles Chargers12th opponents passing attempts per game (33.9)21st opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.8)23rd opponents points per game (26.6)
v Philadelphia Eagles4th opponents passing attempts per game (33.1)15th opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.7)20th opponents points per game (26.1)
v Carolina Panthers25th opponents passing attempts per game (36.6)19th opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.8)18th opponents points per game (25.1)
v New York Giants22nd opponents passing attempts per game (35.9)7th opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.4)9th opponents points per game (22.3)
@ New England Patriots1st opponents passing attempts per game (30.9)6th opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.4)8th opponents points per game (22.1)
@ Minnesota Vikings10th opponents passing attempts per game (33.8)24th opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.9)29th opponents points per game (29.7)
v Denver Broncos20th opponents passing attempts per game (35.4)3rd opponents passing touchdowns per game (1.3)

Amari Cooper, 2020 stats: 16 games, 87.2% snap share, 130 targets, 92 receptions, 1114 receiving yards, 15 deep targets, 16 red-zone targets, 8.7 average target distance

Cee Dee Lamb, 2020 stats: 16 games, 68.6% snap share, 109 targets, 74 receptions, 935 receiving yards, 19 deep targets, 11 red-zone targets, 9.1 average target distance

Michael Gallup, 2020 stats: 16 games, 91.4% snap share, 106 targets, 59 receptions, 843 receiving yards, 17 deep targets, 14 red-zone targets, 11.8 average target distance

TIGHT ENDS WITH THE BEST FANTASY SCHEDULE

  • Jonnu Smith/Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
  • Eric Ebron/Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Mike Gesicki/Hunter Long, Miami Dolphins

TIGHT ENDS WITH THE WORST FANTASY SCHEDULE

  • Dawson Knox/Jacob Hollister, Buffalo Bills
  • Cole Kmet/Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears
  • Gerald Everett/Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks

DEFENSES WITH THE BEST FANTASY SCHEDULE

  • Detroit
  • Tampa Bay
  • Dallas Cowboys

DEFENSES WITH THE WORST FANTASY SCHEDULE

  • Houston Texans
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • New England Patriots

The tight-end pool is shallow, so you are either that brave person rolling the dice on Kyle Pitts or the lucky one who grabbed Travis Kelce or George Kittle.

Either way, it helps a little knowing who has the potential most advantageous fantasy schedule and who you might want to steer clear of.  Spoiler alert, the bottom three don’t really rely on their tight-ends anyway. Remember, these are last year’s stats.  A barometer, but some teams got better, some a little worse. It is time for you to rule your fantasy world.

 

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