Posts Tagged ‘Strength of Schedule’

2011 Strength of Schedule: RBs (Rush)

Pass | Receiving | Rush

Of all the year-to-year defensive data, rush defense is the most consistent and therefore the most trustworthy in the preseason. Below you’ll find the SOS for RBs. The first two columns summarize the 2010 and 2011 SOS — the 2011 numbers are generated by assigning points (from +2 to -2) for very good (++), good (+), bad (-) and very bad (- -) matchups. The higher the score in the first two columns, the better the overall schedules for that particular season. The next four columns (in orange) show the number of 2011 matchups that fall into each category.

For an explanation of my methodology, check out the QB SOS as well as the post that examined the dependability of preseason SOS.

Remember, in PPR leagues, 40% of total fantasy points scored by RBs come from receptions and the passing game, so this rush SOS is just one part of the picture, especially for pass-catching RBs.

Tm20102011VGGBVB1234567891011121314151617
ARI3-40533+?+?------+?-+--+?+
ATL442512??+++--+++?+---?+?+++
BAL1-31433---+--??++--+?-+?-+?
BUF-9-62153+++--????---------++--
CAR-124132++--??+-?---++?++-?+++
CHI165423-+--+++--++?++-++++++----
CIN-623423+++-++??+-----+--?+++--
CLE-4-32233??--+++-?+??----++----
DAL-144222---?++--+?+++?-++?++??
DEN-3-34144++?-----+++++-----?--+++
DET-5-13343+++---?--++?+--+--++---
GB-264422++?++-+-----++++?+++?++
HOU-502332?-+--++---?+++?-?+?-
IND-2-31433?+--+++?+--?+-----??
JAX-2-51343---++?----??+?-++--?
KC6-35035++++---?++--++----?----++++
MIA-324223--?+---++?+?++-++?++----
MIN-196322-+++++++?--+--++-+++++??
NE-7-33143--++++-----?--+???++-++
NO413232--???+++?+++-?++----+
NYG-1-22333?+?+++++----?+---?---
NYJ-204133-?++------++--++++?+??-
OAK-214324++++----?++++---?---+++-
PHI-6-32252+-?-++?-?++?--+----?
PIT-2-21423--+??-?++----?+?+-++
SD615215----+-++--+--++?++?++--++++
SEA6-31342---++-?+?---+??+?-++
SF974412+-??+++++??++--+++--++
STL1002423??--?---+++++++-+?---
TB3-21442++---?-+?+?---+?-+-
TEN-243312?--+++--???+-+++++???
WAS-3-32343?++-+?+++---+----?--?

2011 Strength of Schedule: WRs, TEs (Receiving)

Pass | Receiving | Rush

Below you’ll find a strength of schedule table for receivers, which are mainly WRs and TEs, but pass-catching RBs are also affected. The first two columns summarize the 2010 and 2011 SOS — the 2011 numbers are generated by assigning points (from +2 to -2) for very good (++), good (+), bad (-) and very bad (- -) matchups. The higher the score in the first two columns, the better the overall schedules for that particular season. The next four columns (in orange) show the number of 2011 matchups that fall into each category.

You’ll notice that the yearly summary numbers (in grey) are similar to the pass SOS, which makes sense because both are dependent on passing yardage. Receiving numbers are also impacted by receptions (PPR formats), so that’s why there is some variation. If you play in standard scoring leagues, you’ll want to look at the QB SOS for your WR/TE SOS.

For an explanation of my methodology, check out the QB SOS as well as the post that examined the dependability of preseason SOS.

Tm20102011VGGBVB1234567891011121314151617
ARI401001--?++????????????++
ATL-624113??-++----++??++?++--+?-
BAL-143111?++?--+++??++????-??
BUF-5-42023?--++????--??--++-?-++
CAR175121?--+??++??++++?-++++-?
CHI-5-34034++?----++?-?++---?-++--?
CIN-643111?-?--+?++++????++???
CLE-453101???++--++?++?+??????
DAL-113012--??++++??++--????-??
DEN-2-63025--?++---?++--?---??++--?
DET-7-71033-?????++-?----??-----
GB2-32032?--?-++??-?-++?--??++
HOU112212????--?+++?-+++?--?++
IND9106111++??-???+++++--++?+++++
JAX645022++----????++??++--++++?
KC1-92035--++-??---?-++??-------
MIA-5-43024++++?----???--?--?--++--
MIN-6-53034--++???--------++-++???
NE-13-100024?-------???--????-?--
NO555122--?+++---??-++?++++?++--
NYG8-22003????++--?++???--??--?
NYJ0-32123?+--?++?---++---?????
OAK5-33033-----++++??--???--++?-
PHI923002?++??--?????++++?--??
PIT-494100?++?+++++?++????????
SD8-52124?++??---?----?-+--?++--
SEA-221000???++????????????
SF-353010++???-++????????++?
STL422001????--????++??++???
TB334103++?++?????++--++--+?--++
TEN202222+?-??++??--++---??+++
WAS2-22003?????----???++--++???

2011 Strength of Schedule: QBs (Pass)

Pass | Receiving | Rush

As promised in Wednesday’s post that examined the dependability of preseason SOS, here is a look at team-by-team QB (pass) SOS for 2011. You’ll notice that there are no numbers associated with each specific matchup. I found that using previous year’s data was pretty undependable, so showing matchup-specific data to a tenth of a decimal point just isn’t appropriate since it gives the illusion of accuracy when there is none.

At this point, I am just going to adopt a five-category system for matchups: very good (++), good (+), mediocre (?), bad (-) and very bad (- -). I’ve found that defenses that fall into any particular category generally won’t stray too far away in the following season. For example, 44% of defenses with a “very bad” two-year average against the pass (i.e. good matchups for QBs) finish “mediocre” to “very good” the following season. That means that 56% finish either “bad” or “very bad” the following year. Those may not seem like great odds, but only 17% finished either “good” or “very good” (becoming bad matchups for QBs), so if you know your QB faces a “very good” matchup in Week 16, you can be reasonably certain (83%) that it will be at least “mediocre” and possibly “good” or “very good.” Got it? Good.

Just so we’d have some summary of a QB’s SOS outlook, I assigned points for each matchup: very good (2), good (1), mediocre (0), bad (-1), very bad (-2). You’ll find the total score for each team (for W1-W16) in the first two columns. The “2010″ column shows the actual SOS from last season so you can compare it to each team’s projected SOS in the “2011″ column. Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have generally favorable schedules, while Tom Brady and Matt Cassel do not. (Though it should be noted that Brady’s schedule is actually more favorable than last season.)

Bottom line: Preseason SOS is volatile, especially for pass/receiving, so be careful not to depend too heavily on it when making roster/draft decisions. It can be used as a tiebraker between two players in the same tier — i.e. Joe Flacco (+4) vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick (-3) — but I wouldn’t bump a player up or down a tier based on his predicted SOS.

Tm20102011VGGBVB1234567891011121314151617
ARI6-11121--?++???-??????+-++
ATL-714142???++---++--+?++--++-?
BAL-443331?+?--++++??++-?+--+-
BUF-5-31232+-++-???--??--+-??++
CAR-563330?-++?-+??+++-?+++?-
CHI-113251+----++???++--+?++-?
CIN-953321+??--++-+++?-+?++??-
CLE-713160--?+-++?++?++--??-?
DAL-323002--??++++??++--???????
DEN1-42262--+--?++-+---??++--+
DET-6-40241?+????+??----?---
GB0-11231---??+??-??++?-+?++
HOU2-12361-?-?--++++?+++----+
IND1084531+++??+--++++--++-+++++
JAX5-12452+------?-++-+++-?++-
KC6-62062--++-?---??++??----?
MIA-603223+++++---??+?--?-?--++--
MIN-6-12251-?+++??-----+?++-??
NE-13-80133?------???--+?-???--
NO053321-?++++--?-??+?+++?+--
NYG4-22022????++--?++??--??--?
NYJ003132?++--++?---++?--?+???
OAK433322?----++++++?-???-+++-
PHI512102?+??--?????++++?--??
PIT-464350-++-+++++?++--+-+??+
SD1113232?+++??--+--??++---++-
SEA-100220???+?+-?-???????
SF-153120++?-??+++???-???++?
STL612140??-?-?-?+++??++-??
TB-403242++?+-?-?-++-+--++?--+
TEN5-13252++-?+?++----+?----++++
WAS1-22003?????----???++--++???

Stay tuned for more SOS for WRs, TEs and RBs.

The Dependability of Preseason SOS

I’ve been using Strength of Schedule (SOS) while putting together my rankings, and as I was trying to decide between Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy as my fifth-ranked RB, I elected to go with McCoy given how much tougher of a schedule Charles is projected to have in 2011.

This got me wondering — just how dependable is preseason SOS? I have always relied on it heavily in-season (with great success), but how much variance do defenses show against the run and the pass year over year?

To that end, I calculated fantasy points allowed by each defense over the last six seasons in three areas: pass (QB), rush (RB) and receiving (WR, TE, RB). (For receiving, I used a PPR scoring system, since I play almost exclusively in PPR leagues.) For each defense, I adjusted for strength of schedule, and calculated the percentage over (or under) the average for that season. I then compiled two-year running averages because I found them to be a better predictor than just using the previous season’s numbers.

For pass, receiving and rush, I grouped the defenses into five different categories: very good, good, mediocre, bad, very bad. If a defense is “very good” against the pass, they are obviously a bad matchup for a quarterback. The cutoff for each group was set by the data set’s standard deviation at the -1, -1/2, +1/2 and +1 sigma marks. The idea was to see how predictable movement between the groups would be year to year.

Here’s an explanation of each column:

repeat +/-
chances that teams in the group will repeat a finish in the positive (or negative) the following season

repeat VG/VB
chances that a team will repeat a “very good” or “very bad” finish

repeat G/B
chances that a team will repeat a “good” or “very good” (or “bad” and “very bad”) finish

reversal
chances that a team will go from “good” or “very good” to “bad” or “very bad” (or vice versa)

2-yr avg
the two-year average of the (adjusted for schedule) +/- for all teams in the group

avg y+1
the average of the +/- finish the following year for teams in that group

PASS

Group#%repeat +/-repeat VG/VBrepeat G/Breversal2-yr avgavg y+1
Very Good2217.2%68%23%45%23%-15.5%-3.7%
Good1713.3%65%59%24%-7.5%-5.6%
Mediocre5139.8%47%0.0%0.1%
Bad2015.6%55%35%30%7.3%1.3%
Very Bad1814.1%72%33%56%17%17.8%7.9%

RECEIVING

Group#%repeat +/-repeat VG/VBrepeat G/Breversal2-yr avgavg y+1
Very Good1612.5%56%38%50%25%-11.6%-3.9%
Good2821.9%61%46%21%-5.5%-1.5%
Mediocre4837.5%50%0.1%-0.9%
Bad1511.7%67%47%20%5.7%3.0%
Very Bad2116.4%71%24%57%14%12.0%4.9%

RUSH

Group#%repeat +/-repeat VG/VBrepeat G/Breversal2-yr avgavg y+1
Very Good1814.1%94%61%72%6%-26.3%-21.0%
Good2418.8%58%42%21%-12.9%-3.0%
Mediocre5039.1%66%-0.1%-1.4%
Bad1814.1%67%50%22%13.3%8.5%
Very Bad1814.1%83%50%72%0%30.6%20.4%

A few takeaways:

Rush defense is by far the most consistent year to year. Rarely do very good rush defenses turn into bad rush defenses and vice versa. This happened just once in 36 occurrences. So if you see that your RB faces six defenses that were very bad in 2010, you can bet that they will be at least mediocre to very bad against the rush in 2010.

Pass and receiving defense is tougher to predict. While rush defense is somewhat static year over year, pass defense is not. We can be reasonably sure that a defense that is very good (or very bad) against the pass isn’t going to suddenly become bad (or good), but the chances are significantly greater than the same thing happening against the run. Take the “very bad” group against the pass — just 17% of teams finishing in that category managed to finish in the “good” or “very good” groups the following season, but that’s still quite a bit higher than the “very bad” rush group (0%).

On average, groups will return to the mean. The far right column in each table shows the resulting performance the following year. You can see that it is almost always closer to 0% than the two-year average for each subgroup. Intrinsically, this makes sense — if you are terrible at something, you are going to work at that area and will likely improve (i.e. you have nowhere to go but up). Conversely, if you are the best at something, you have nowhere to go but down — it’s difficult to maintain superiority when there are 31 other teams working to be superior.

In the next few days, I will be releasing projected SOS tables that will replace the tables that I released earlier this summer (which used last year’s actual points allowed). SOS is not an exact science year to year, so we need to be careful when using it to make major roster/draft decisions.

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.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: WRs (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 wide receiver 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 WR 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.

Again, even though the numbers grow, there isn’t much change with regard to which wide receivers have good matchups in PPR leagues versus standard leagues. So I’d just like to highlight a few players that fared a lot better in PPR leagues in 2010 and look at their 2011 SOS for some clues about how they might perform next season.

Reggie Wayne finished nine spots higher (WR8 vs. WR17 in adjusted points per game) in PPR leagues in 2010 and given his favorable schedule and easy matchups during the fantasy playoffs, he should continue to perform well in the format. However, he is going WR6 which seems a bit early, especially if Austin Collie can put his concussion problems behind him.

Wes Welker has long been a PPR monster and finished WR11 in the format in 2010. Even though the Pats project to have a slightly tougher schedule than average, it appears to be almost 3% easier than last season. This bodes well for Welker and Deion Branch.

Davone Bess finished WR30 (in adjusted points per game) in PPR leagues versus WR38 in standard leagues. He’s currently going WR36 in PPR formats, so he appears to be undervalued heading into 2011. This goes double if Brandon Marshall can’t get his act together, as the Dolphins schedule should be improved in 2011.

Larry Fitzgerald finished 12 spots higher (WR20 vs. WR32) in PPR leagues mostly because the Cardinals had such a tough time punching the ball into the endzone. If Arizona can upgrade its QB situation to mediocre (from awful in 2010) then Fitzy should have a much better 2011, especially since the schedule projects to be 3.5% easier.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: RBs (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 running back 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 RB 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.

Typically, if a RB has a good matchup in standard scoring formats, he’s going to have a good matchup in PPR scoring as well, so there isn’t a whole lot of change between this and the standard SOS that I released a few days ago.

I do want to take a moment to talk about Danny Woodhead, who seems like back that would perform better in a PPR format. Only in 2010, he didn’t. He was RB23 in adjusted per game scoring in standard formats as opposed to RB25 in PPR formats. He can certainly catch the ball (he was actually listed as a WR for most of the season at a few different fantasy football sites), but only averaged 2.4 catches over the last 14 regular season games with the Patriots.

I expect that to change in 2011. First, the Patriots locked him up to a long term deal so they obviously like what he brings to the table. If New England sticks with BenJarvus Green-Ellis as their main rusher, then Woodhead’s role won’t change much from what we saw during the meat of the season. He only caught one pass in his first two games, so when we eliminate those two contests (and include his six-catch playoff game against the Jets), he averaged 3.0 catches per game. I see this as Woody’s baseline in the passing game. Even if the Pats draft a RB in the first round, it’s more likely that the player will eat into BGE’s touches than Woodhead’s. Unless NE drafts a scat-back, of course.

Woodhead is currently going RB36 (with a 7.3 ADP), he appears to be undervalued at this point in the offseason. NE’s SOS is actually a little better in 2011, so barring some change, I see no problem with entrusting Woody with your RB3 slot in either scoring format. This may allow fantasy owners to use four of their first six picks on non-RBs. If they also go QBBC, they could end up with two very strong RBs, a trio of WRs, a stud TE, Woodhead as their RB3 and 2-3 QBs in Rounds 8-12.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: DTs

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

Below is a full season SOS table for the defensive/special teams 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, an opposing offense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup for your DT in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

(Click on the table to see a bigger version. You can download the data in CSV format if you click the link below.)

A few takeaways:

– Of the Top 12 DTs of 2010, only five managed to also finish in the Top 12 in 2009: Packers, Patriots, Jets, Ravens and Chargers. The Packers were the only team to finish in the Top 5 the last two years. The Jets finished 4th in 2010 and 6th in 2011. The Patriots finished 10th and 2nd.

– Of the Top 12 DTs of 2010, only Green Bay, Baltimore, Detroit and Arizona have significantly easier projected schedules in 2011.

– The Steelers project to have a similar schedule in 2011, but they have several nice matchups down the stretch, with six mediocre to good matchups in their last six games. Pittsburgh has Cleveland, San Francisco and St. Louis in the fantasy playoffs. Pittsburgh is going in the 10th round, which is too early for a defense, but they are one of maybe two (GB being the other) of the no-brainer DT starts every week.

– Of the Top 12 DTs of 2010, the Raiders and Bears both project to have significantly worse schedules in 2011.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: Ks

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

Below is a full season SOS table for the kicker 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 K in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

(Click on the table to see a bigger version. You can download the data in CSV format if you click the link below.)

– Only four of the Top 12 kickers in 2009 managed to finish in the Top 12 in 2010: David Akers, Sebastian Janikowski, Dan Carpenter and Mason Crosby. Of those four players, only Akers projects to have a significantly easier schedule in 2011, so he’s probably the safest fantasy kicker in the league. ADP, he’s going K2 (after Janikowski).

– Other players that finished in the Top 12 with significantly easier schedules are Billy Cundiff, Jay Feely and Josh Brown.

– The kicker position is generally an afterthought for me on draft day. It doesn’t make sense to burn an early (13th round or earlier) pick on a kicker, though Akers is probably worth a 14th-round pick given his consistency over the years. I typically look for teams that can move the ball but have trouble in the redzone, and if they play indoors (or warm weather) it’s a bonus. Josh Brown was very good down the stretch last season, and Josh McDaniels’ offense should improve the Rams’ scoring chances. Dave Buehler, Jay Feely, Neil Rackers, Dan Carpenter, Adam Vinatieri, Nate Kaeding and Matt Bryant also fit the indoor/warm weather profile.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: TEs

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

Below is a full season 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 on the table to see a bigger version. You can download the data in CSV format if you click the link below.)

A few takeaways:

– Of the Top 5 TEs (in terms of current ADP) — Antonio Gates, Jermichael Finley, Dallas Clark, Jason Witten and Vernon Davis — only Davis appears to have a significantly more difficult schedule in 2011 as compared to 2010. He projects to have eight tough matchups versus only two easy matchups through 16 weeks. Depending on who is QB’ing the 49ers, this might be a reason to exercise caution with Davis.

– The next group of TEs — Jimmy Graham, Owen Daniels, Zach Miller, Marcedes Lewis and Rob Gronkowski — won’t see much of a change in schedule difficulty in 2011. Graham is a real threat to crack the Top 5 given his late-season performance (3.3-38-0.63 over the last eight games, TE7 numbers) along with the departure of Jeremy Shockey. He’s going in the 6th round on average in the #Draftmaster series, which means he’ll probably be a 7th-8th round pick in your local draft.

– Jared Cook is in position for a breakthrough season, assuming the Titans can find a decent QB to throw him the ball. Over the last six games he averaged 4.0-49-0.17, which are fringe starter numbers. If he’s able to find the endzone a little more often and becomes the Titan’s de facto WR2, he is a threat to finish in the Top 10.

– Don’t sleep on Zach Miller. He struggled through injuries midseason, but started the season strong and finished it with 22 catches in his final four games. His schedule looks favorable as well. If you miss out on Gates, Witten, Finley and Clark, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Miller, Graham, Marcedes Lewis or even Owen Daniels, who finally started to look like his old self towards the end of the season. Throwing Kellen Winslow (TE11 in adjusted PPG) and Rob Gronkowski (TE7 in adjusted PPG) into the mix, and there appear to be 11 pretty solid TEs available this season.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.



Categories