10 Fantasy Players with Easy Early-Season Schedules
They say when something is difficult or challenging, it builds character. That doesn’t apply to fantasy football. In the NFL, there is an 82% chance of making the playoffs if a team wins its first four games. Every fantasy league is different in terms of the number of teams, weeks of regular season play, and how to qualify for the playoffs. One similarity, however, is that early-season success not only improves the odds of the playoffs but also identifies how to improve the team for the stretch run.
One way to increase these odds is to target players who have an early-season stretch favorable for fantasy. While a fantasy player won’t bench their studs, filling out those last few starting spots is where the game can be won or lost. Using the Hot Spots tool on 4for4, this article will identify options at each position who can help in those pivotal initial weeks.
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Being drafted in the 10th or 11th round in most 12-team leagues, the veteran signal caller is essentially a high-end backup for most drafters. Much like offspring, his stats continue to accumulate with at least 4,000 yards passing in 10 of his last 11 seasons. Seeing an early calendar that includes the Colts, Lions, Texans, and Dolphins gives Rivers the chance to take a big step early with neutral to favorable matchups and likely a few shootouts as well. Both the Texans and Dolphins are bottom five defenses against the quarterback in adjusted fantasy points allowed, giving up over 20 adjusted points per game to the position. While Rivers faces some stronger opponents as the season wears on, late-round quarterback aficionados could pair him with Marcus Mariota or Mitch Trubisky who have more enticing schedules the latter half of the season.
Josh Allen, Bills
Heading into his sophomore season, Allen should see upgrades at the skill positions. John Brown, Cole Beasley, T.J. Yeldon, Frank Gore, Tyler Kroft, and Dawson Knox all join the team in 2019. The group may seem uninspiring, but looking back at 2018, the target leaders were Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones. Depth can only help here and with a full offseason as the starter, Allen should see development and chemistry with the new additions. As for his early-season schedule, Allen gets the Jets, Giants, Bengals and Patriots. These are all favorable matchups with each defense giving up over 18 adjusted fantasy points per game to the position, and with his added ability to run the football, some big games should come. Allen’s worst stretch is Weeks 12–14, which pairs nicely with Derek Carr or Sam Darnold for the bargain hunters.
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