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Strength of Schedule Analyses of Top 5

When looking at your draft it is not enough to just use cheat sheets & rankings. You need to look closer at the match-ups and the opportunity they provide.

 

Now situations will change from now until the start of the season as well as through out the regular season but you still can see which of the match ups are in your favor. I’m sure some of you benched one of your RB’s or WR’s last year because they were facing the Bears defense. Of course you should always start your studs, but you should consider the strength of schedule and how it favors your team.

 Also which players you can target who will soon have a favorable match up later in the season.

 

I will start by discussing the four major skill positions QB, RB, WR & TE (for leagues that start a TE). I will discuses the top five teams that have the most favorable SOS and the players affected as well as listing PROs and CONs for each player.

 

Keep in mind the order of the SOS does not mean you should draft these players in the 1st round but as the draft unfolds you want to look for advantages that will help you.

 

QB SOS

QB SOS takes into account the defenses it will be facing and weapons the QB has all around them.

 

TEAM

       PLAYER

        

  1. STL

          Bulger

              

PRO

More Weapons, 2nd year in system

      

           

CON Defense gives up points

  1. PHI

          McNabb

              

PRO

Great O-line, Spreads ball around

        

           

CON Health issues

  1. WAS

       

    Campbell

             

PRO

More experience in offense

                 

           

CON Still inexperience

  1. CAR

        Delhomme

PRO

Healthier team, open up offense

                     

CON Inconsistency

  1. ARI

          Leinart

     

               

PRO

Upgraded O-line, 2nd year in system

    

           

CON Inexperience, some health issues

 

This list shows three QB1 and two QB2’s that can perform like a QB1. Now this doesn’t say take Bulger over Manning, it just shows that you can grab good RB’s and then get a guy like Bulger or McNabb and do well. Also if you miss out on a QB early you can grab Leinart later or use Campbell or Delhomme for trade bait or match ups/bye week fill-ins.

 

RB SOS

RB SOS takes into account the defenses it will be facing and the O-Line.

 

TEAM

       PLAYER

                                                                    

           

  1. JAC

         MJD/F.Taylor

     

PRO

MJD can build on last year/Taylor healthy

       

CON RBBC, QB situation, WR situation

  1. ARI

          E. James

              

PRO

Upgraded O-line, Ended year strong

               

CON Age, injury risk, mileage

  1. BAL

         McGahee

             

PRO

Better O-line then BUF, No threat from RB2

  

CON New system, Attitude

  1. TAM

        C. Williams

          

PRO

Upgrades on the O-line, QB situation better

    

CON Injury concerns, inconsistency

  1. NO

           Bush/

    McAllister

PRO

High powered Offense, 1-2 Punch

                  

CON RBBC, Some injury concerns

 

This list shows that M. Jones Drew can put up great numbers like he did last year, you have to keep in mind F. Taylor’s involvement in the offense but Taylor was healthy last year and it could be a situation like in NO. G. Jones will be a Fullback type player again. Many have written off

Taylor for years so there is no reason to be optimistic about him now.

James has been written off in most leagues and if you can grab him as a RB3 or late RB2 then you’ll be in great shape.

McGahee is going as an early RB2. I’ve grabbed T. Henry & McGahee in some drafts. That would be a killer combo. Williams has dropped in drafts and could be a great flex player or RB2 if he takes advantage of his schedule. I see Bush and McAllister running the same as they did last year. It worked very well for

New Orleans so why would they change?

 

 

WR SOS

WR SOS takes into account the secondary they will be match up with.

 

TEAM

       PLAYER

        

                       

                                               

       

  1. SF

            D.Jax/A.

    Battle/A. Lelie

              

PRO

QB getting better, Face weak DB’s

  

  

CON

  D.Jax health, inconstant WR2/WR3

  1. STL

          T.Holt/I.Bruce/D.Bennett

             

PRO

Quality WR’s, Great QB

         

       

    

CON S.Jax touches, More spread offense

  1. ARI

          L.Fitz/A.Bolden/B.Johnson

     

         

PRO

Stable QB, More experience

   

      

     

CON

  Health concerns, QB inexperience

  1. SEA

         D.Branch/D.Hackett/B.Engram

PRO

West Coast offense benefits WR’s

    

CON No true #1 receiver

  1. CIN

          C.Johnson/T.Hous/T.Perry

           

PRO

Strong QB, Playmakers

          

          

CON Tough division, QB health

 

There are many solid studs on this list. C. Johnson has been ranked in some places as the #1 WR and the schedule favors him. However, Jake Delhomme will throw to Smith early and often where CIN has more options. With Bulger having a favorable SOS as do the WR’s this group could put up serious numbers. This makes me rank Holt high. Bruce is on the decline and the addition of Bennett & McMichael will cut into his production. I know everyone had picked

Arizona to break out last year but this could be the year some people let their guard down and they slip a few spots. Fitz is clearly the #1 on the team and Bolden might be used similar to how Whisenhunt used Ward in

Pittsburg. B. Johnson will go undrafted but could get 40 catches in this offense. Branch has disappointed lasted year and some think he will be the man now that D.Jax is in San Fran but the team moved on because of the development of D.J. Hackett who will produce well. Speaking of D.Jax if he can remain healthy he will be A. Smith’s favorite target. Although

Battle hasn’t put up big numbers on a consistent bases this can be the year he does and he can be had cheap. Lelie is too inconsistent and may not make the squad.

 

Notice all 4 NFC West teams are in the top 4 so that means all the head to head division games should be shoot outs.

 

TE SOS

TE SOS takes into account the linebackers they will be match up with.

 

TEAM

       PLAYER

                                                                                            

  1. STL

          R.McMichael

                               

PRO

Proven Vet, good skills

                      

CON Too many options in STL

  1. NE

           B. Watson

                                   

PRO

Difficult to cover

                               

CON Same as STL, too many options

  1. ATL

         A. Crumpler

                                 

PRO

Vicks go to guy, good hands

               

CON Off season surgery, new offense

  1. BAL

         T. Heap

                                                   

PRO

Always constant, Weak WR’s

            

CON Will run the ball more, injuries

  1. ARI

          L. Pope

                                                   

PRO

Underrated, Big Target

                      

CON TE is 4th option, limited targets

 

For those leagues that use TE’s there are a hand full that are dependable and the rest is anyone’s guess. If you don’t get one of the top 3 TE’s you can wait awhile for these TE’s later in the draft and still get good production. Pope is the only one in the group that may not have much value but if he may be good for a bye week fill-in.

In Conclution the SOS is only a projection tool like rankings and the situations will change but wouldn’t it feel great to know that your Stud is heading into a great streach where he will put up numbers or getting rid of a player that will struggle before he cost you games? Hope this helps your draft.

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