Hello fantasy footballers! Today we will look at quarterback strength of schedule. Hopefully these numbers will help us make some trades or pickups that might help us navigate the second half of the season. And with some fantasy playoffs starting as early as Week 13, we are now into the second half of the fantasy season.
We’ll be using ESPN’s strength of schedule numbers, which stat guru Mike Clay posted on Tuesday and you can see here. I’ve chosen the adjusted to schedule fantasy points allowed column for this endeavor. The numbers are fairly straight forward, as the higher the number, the harder the schedule for our signal callers. I’ve also compiled SOS using Football Outsider’s DVOA against the pass to give us another perspective. For this post we’ll look at quarterbacks.
QB SOS (Wk 7-16)
I’m going to look at the average between the adjusted fantasy points allowed and the overall pass defense DVOA as a way to show the teams whose schedules are considered easy or tough based on both metrics. Not the most scientific way of looking at it probably, but I like to see correlation where I can.
Easy QB schedules
Nick Foles, Baker Mayfield, Carson Wentz, Justin Herbert and Jimmy Garoppolo have the Top 5 schedules moving forward. If we extend that to the Top 10, we get some better fantasy upside names, with Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Kyle Allen and Philip Rivers.
Any of these quarterbacks could be useful in an extremely good matchup, but I wouldn’t want to trade for Kyle Allen just because he has a few good matchups. But players like Wentz or Herbert, you could get okay deals on them to go along with their strong schedules. I’ll take a look at my three favorite trade targets:
Justin Herbert, Chargers
Schedule: JAX, @DEN, LV, @MIA, NYJ, @BUF, NE, ATL, @LV, DEN
Since we don’t play Week 17 in fantasy, Herbert won’t face the Chiefs since they play Week 17. That’s good, as they have a strong pass defense. The Broncos and Dolphins have put up the best numbers against the pass this season, but the Jaguars, Raiders x2, Bills, and Falcons are all above average matchups for the rookie. Herbert currently ranks seventh in fantasy points per game for his position and I wouldn’t be surprised if he can keep up that play moving forward.
Carson Wentz, Eagles
Schedule: NYG, DAL, BYE, @NYG, @CLE, SEA, @GB, NO, @ARI, @DAL
Playing the NFC East does have some positives, as they are not good at a lot of things, including pass defense. Wentz has also not been very good this season, but has run the ball enough to keep his floor from bottoming out and is slowly getting on track. They’ll avoid Washington for fantasy in Week 17, and they’ve been good against the pass this season. Otherwise, this schedule is great and as long as the Eagles continue to give up points like they have been, Wentz is going to be scrambling and putting up fantasy points until that clock ticks down to :00.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
Schedule: @NE, @SEA, GB, @NO, BYE, @LAR, BUF, WSH, @DAL, @ARI
I’m not a huge fan of Garoppolo’s, but I am of Kyle Shanahan and the guy knows how to get the best out of his players. We saw that last week when they completely avoided Aaron Donald with quick passes to their extremely good yards after the catch receivers. Give Shanahan an easy schedule against the pass and Garoppolo has upside. They are also playing teams with good offenses for the most part, which should help boost Garoppolo’s numbers as well. He’s not a guy I want starting every game for my fantasy squad, but as a spot starter, he could easily be worth grabbing.
Tough QB schedules
Deshaun Watson has a tough schedule, but he’s still not a player I’m looking to trade away, as his rushing ability and overall ability keep his upside high in every matchup. But, there are some quarterbacks who will ebb and flow more based on matchups. I’ll give you two quarterbacks I would avoid moving forward.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans
Schedule: PIT, @CIN, CHI, IND, @BAL, @IND, CLE, @JAX, DET, @GB
Tannehill has been so efficient that he has a chance to keep up his strong play, but his upside will likely take a hit. Playing the Steelers, Colts x2 and Ravens over the next five weeks isn’t a recipe for big fantasy points.
Matthew Stafford, Lions
Schedule: @ATL, IND, @MIN, WSH, @CAR, HOU, @CHI, GB, @TEN, TB
Stafford hasn’t shown a lot this season, but has upside with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, T.J. Hockenson and D’Andre Swift to throw to. This week he gets a great matchup with the Falcons, but then will have the Colts, Washington, Bears and Buccaneers on the agenda. Unless that offense can really get trucking, I expect plenty of inconsistency from Stafford.