7 Wide Receivers With an Easy Fantasy Strength of Schedule

7 Wide Receivers With an Easy Fantasy Strength of Schedule

By John Paulsen (Director of Forecasting), last update Aug 22, 2017

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, and has finished in the Top 6 in seven of the last eight years. Cumulatively, John has been the most accurate expert from 2010-17 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

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A long, long time ago on a blog far, far away, I studied the  dependability of preseason strength of schedule and found that rush defense was by far the most consistent on a year-to-year basis. Conversely, preseason passing/receiving strength of schedule wasn’t so dependable.

More recently, Mr. TJ “Tickles” Hernandez studied year-to-year correlations of fantasy points allowed to each position and found that the top/bottom five defenses had a very sticky correlation of .66 for the WR position. In other words, defenses in the extremes in Year 1 are pretty likely to remain there in Year 2.

Armed with 2016 aFPA (for WR PPR), which I would assume is a bit better than raw FPA, I assigned a point for every good matchup against a bottom-five defense (GB, TEN, MIA, LAR and ARI) and a negative point for every bad matchup against a top-five defense (DEN, MIN, HOU, CIN and NYG). I found that five teams had an aggregate total of +2 or more, so listed below are a few receivers that should benefit from a good strength of schedule in 2017.

  • Fantasy Strength of Schedule Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DEF
  • Fantasy Strength of Schedule Hot Spots: By Player | By Position
  • Fantasy Strength of Schedule at Other PositionsQB | RBTE

Doug Baldwin - Seahawks (+3)

Baldwin has five matchups with teams that finished in the bottom five and two matchups against top-five teams, for a net of +3. He has finished in the top nine in two consecutive seasons, and hasn’t missed a game since 2012. Over the past two years, he has averaged 5.4 catches for 69 yards and 0.66 touchdowns (on 7.1 targets/game). Baldwin’s workload appears to be safe, so he’s a solid pick in the second round and a great pick in the third.

DeAndre Hopkins - Texans (+3)

Hopkins has four matchups with teams that finished in the bottom-five, and three come in the four-week span from Week 10 to Week 13, so if these teams (TEN, ARI and LAR) continue to struggle to stop the pass, he may be a good midseason trade target this year. He finished as the WR25 in PPR formats after struggling through a season with Brock Osweiler at quarterback. Hopkins is currently the 12th receiver off the board, so fantasy owners are expecting a bounce back season with Tom Savage and/or Deshaun Watson under center, and as an added positive bullet point, Hopkins should enjoy a favorable schedule.

Continue reading for five more TEs with an easy 2017 schedule, plus a list of teams with a difficult schedule...

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