The NFL is hard enough without the schedule-makers burdening your team with an unforgiving schedule. But sometimes, life ain’t fair. These four quarterbacks will probably be saying that idiom this year as they trudge through their gauntlet. What will it mean for their fantasy value?
Worst passing schedules
Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Good luck, kid. Wilson appeared to be in over his head in many games last season and finished with a dreadful 69.7 QB rating. He has an appealing receiving corps, headlined by Elijah Moore. He, Denzel Mims and Garrett Wilson make up a very green but possibly dangerous triumvirate for Gang Green. However, Zach Wilson will have to go through the Bills (twice), Patriots (twice), Browns and Broncos, just to name a few of the tough defenses that lie ahead. He’s nothing more than a stash-and-wait in deep leagues.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Jackson will also get the pleasure of facing a couple of those strict AFC East defenses as well as the Broncos and Browns as the Ravens own the second-hardest schedule for quarterbacks. All of the training camp reports have been excessively positive — Jackson is healthy, throwing better than ever, worked hard to improve his mechanics and is motivated to earn a big-money contract extension. He will ultimately need youngsters Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay and Tylan Wallace to grow up quickly in order for this offense to hit its ceiling. Or he could just target tight end Mark Andrews 200 times. Even if he’s still not the prettiest passer around and has a tough row to hoe, Jackson will always be in the QB1 range because of his running ability, which is second to none in the NFL today.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
Although Tua dealt with plenty of physical ailments last year, the Dolphins’ coaching staff also just seemed scared to let him unleash the ball. This year, under new head coach Mike McDaniel, they will have no choice if they want to get the best out of Tyreek Hill. The former Chiefs star joins Jaylen Waddle and tight end Mike Gesicki in what could be a formidable offense — if Tua is able to overcome some solid competition. He will have to face the Chargers, Bills, Packers and Patriots from Weeks 14-17. But considering his surrounding parts and the new offensive philosophy in town, Tua is a QB2 worth chasing in drafts.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Can Burrow overcome a possible Super Bowl hangover AND the fourth-toughest schedule for QBs?
His 2022 fantasy season will end with the Patriots and Bills in Weeks 16 and 17, respectively, but his top skill weapons, minus tight end C.J. Uzomah, are all back for another run. And most importantly, the Bengals revamped their faulty offensive line in order to keep the face of their franchise from getting squashed week after week. Yeah, the schedule is no cakewalk, but Burrow is still a no-brainer, midrange QB1 in drafts this summer.