Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: TEs (PPR)

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DT | RB (PPR) | WR (PPR) | TE (PPR)

Below is a full season point-per-reception (PPR) SOS table for the tight end position. Here is what each column means:

2011: The total SOS (excluding W17 since a vast majority of leagues do not play in W17) for 2011.

%CH: The percent change from 2010. A positive number means that the team has an easier schedule, while a negative number means that the schedule projects to be tougher.

P3: The team’s average SOS for a W14-16 playoff.

P2: The team’s average SOS for a W15-16 playoff.

If a particular matchup is listed in green, it means that it is at least 3% better than the average for that week. If it’s listed in red, it’s 3% worse than the mean.

I use SOS as a tiebraker between two similarly ranked players or as a way to rank players within a tier. It’s important to note that this is just preliminary SOS. Things will change as the draft and free agency occur, and they’ll change week by week during the season as some defenses get better while others get worse. Typically, a defense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup from your TE in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

Click the table to see a larger version.

Tony Gonzalez, Chris Cooley and Brandon Pettigrew were three tight ends that fared significantly better in PPR leagues than in standard leagues in 2010. Coincidentally, they all finished five spots higher in adjusted fantasy points per game in the PPR format.

While Cooley’s schedule is about the same, both Gonzalez and Pettigrew project to see a significantly easier schedule in 2011. In fact, Gonzo’s schedule looks like it will improve as much as any TE this season. Considering he finished as 2010′s TE6 in overall PPR scoring, it seems strange that he’s going TE15 in early drafts. He’s not likely to go out and post Top 5 numbers, but you could do a lot worse in the 10th or 11th rounds if you need a TE after loading up on other positions.

Most pundits seem to be down on both Cooley and Pettigrew heading into 2011, though I think both players are pretty good values considering where they’re going in drafts (TE12 and TE11, respectively). Both players have QB questions: Will Matthew Stafford target Pettigrew as much as Shaun Hill did? Who will be QBing the Redskins and will they look to Cooley like Donovan McNabb did? Will Fred Davis finally overtake him? These are legitimate questions, but I don’t think fantasy owners should write either player off at this point.

Oh, and I like Jared Cook.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

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