10 Fantasy Players with Easy Early Season Schedules
One of the best tools we have available to us here at 4for4 is our aFPA (adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed) Tool, and it can be incredibly helpful for figuring out which players are going to have some easy match-ups to begin the season. By ensuring a solid start to the year beginning 3-1 or 4-0, we can vastly increase our odds to make it to the fantasy promised land in the cold months of winter; the playoffs. What better way to kick things off than by being forward-thinking and digging into easy match-ups before we even begin the draft, as opposed to the normal fantasy owner who won’t even consider them until they are setting their lineups on Sunday morning.
Below I will be picking out some players who have particularly “easy” schedules in the first month of the season who we might boost up our draft boards a few spots because of their likelihood to produce early.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens
2019’s Fantasy MVP starts off the 2020 season against four very giving defenses and a possible shoot-out with the Kansas City Chiefs, doesn’t seem fair, does it?
|Opponent By Week||Avg. aFPA to QB||2019 Rank|
The worry with Lamar Jackson is the impending touchdown regression that is sure to hit at some point during this season. His 9.0% touchdown rate from last year is completely unsustainable and is likely an aberration due to the lack of passing attempts in the Baltimore offense, not to mention the team’s 35% touchdown rate per offensive drive is bound to come down as well. The first month-plus of the season should look a lot like last year but once the tougher defenses start rolling in things may not be as pretty.
Mitch Trubisky, Bears
The scheduling lords have gifted Mitch Trubisky one last shot at keeping his job as the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears and he’d better take advantage of it if he’s going to fend off newly acquired, former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Chicago kicks off the season against the Lions, the Giants, and the Falcons who finished 30th, 31st, and 25th, respectively in aFPA to the quarterback position last season.
All signs point to this being Trubisky’s job until it’s not, but we should be cautious dumping too many draft resources into the fourth-year QB. Though he sported a career-best 1.9 INT% last season, his 6.1 yards per attempt ranked dead last out of 33 qualifying signal-callers (minimum 200 pass attempts). His price tag doesn’t get much more affordable, as he is going undrafted in typical redraft leagues but if you waited too long in an FFPC 28-rounder and need a third quarterback, you could hold your nose and dive in with hopes that his early set of games will boost his stock amongst the Bears coaching staff.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
In a story as old as time, Ben Roethlisberger heroically overcame all of the odds of a career-threatening injury and is set to man the battle station as Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback for at least one more year. Big Ben has played a full 16-game season in three of his last eleven seasons, and only four times in his entire 16-year career, but that is all the more reason to focus on his soft early-season schedule.
The Steelers play only one top-10 unit in aFPA to quarterbacks before their Week 8 bye (Baltimore, Week 7) and each of the Giants (31st), Texans (24th), and Browns (23rd) ranked in the bottom 10. JuJu Smith-Schuster, on-the-rise pieces Diontae Johnson and James Washington and big-bodied offseason additions of Chase Claypool and Eric Ebron should help buoy a healthy Roethlisberger into early season consideration. With his 12-round price tag, it makes for a decent investment, even if he only plays 13-15 games.
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