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Fantasy Ease of Schedule
David Dorey
June 1, 2006
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | The Dorey Rule

Considering the Win/Loss records of opponents may be interesting, but in fantasy football only individual players are used – not entire teams. For the ninth year, The Huddle is providing the original Ease of Schedule designed specifically for evaluating fantasy players. You don’t care about win/loss – you need to know what defenses are allowing opposing players in yards and scores.

Best 16 for allowing fantasy points
Passing Rushing Receiving
SF 17.8 STL 25.0 SF 31.6
HOU 16.8 ATL 22.0 NE 30.5
BUF 16.4 BUF 22.0 KC 30.4
KC 16.0 HOU 21.8 STL 29.9
MIN 15.6 NYJ 21.7 HOU 29.9
NE 15.5 SF 20.9 PHI 28.9
CIN 15.2 DET 20.6 TEN 28.8
TEN 15.1 OAK 20.1 BUF 28.5
SD 15.0 GB 20.0 DEN 27.5
PHI 15.0 TEN 19.9 MIA 27.4
DEN 14.9 WAS 19.5 SD 27.4
STL 14.7 PHI 19.1 CIN 27.1
SEA 14.4 NYG 19.0 SEA 26.3
MIA 14.4 NO 18.3 JAX 24.6
ARI 13.9 CLE 17.9 MIN 24.5
DET 13.8 ARI 17.6 DET 24.0
The middle buffer
Passing Rushing Receiving
IND 13.4 MIN 17.3 NYG 23.8
OAK 13.1 MIA 17.1 IND 23.2
JAX 13.0 TB 16.9 DAL 22.8
ATL 12.9 CIN 16.6 ARI 22.7
Worst 12 for allowing fantasy points
Passing Rushing Receiving
DAL 12.4 DAL 16.5 NO 22.1
GB 12.3 IND 16.4 CAR 22.0
NYG 12.2 BAL 16.1 OAK 21.3
NYJ 12.1 NE 16.1 WAS 21.2
NO 12.1 KC 15.9 PIT 20.8
WAS 12.1 PIT 15.7 TB 20.7
TB 12.1 SD 15.6 CLE 20.4
CAR 11.8 DEN 14.8 BAL 20.1
CLE 11.6 JAX 14.7 ATL 19.9
PIT 11.4 CHI 14.1 NYJ 19.7
BAL 10.6 SEA 14.0 CHI 18.6
CHI 10.1 CAR 12.6 GB 17.9

The first step in the process is to determine what defenses actually allowed in 2005. While we could take the full season results, that would be less accurate as defenses evolve over the course of a season. What this analysis considers is what each NFL defense allowed to quarterbacks, running backs and receivers (tight ends and wide receivers combined). Taking the actual results from all games last season, the first two games were removed as they are often unrepresentative of a team. Then the final game was removed since week 17 has too many teams taking the week off in anticipation of the playoffs. Then for the remaining 13 games, the highest and lowest weekly performances were removed giving a solid 11 games that were exactly representative of what each defense was like overall last year.

Using those criteria, arrayed to the left are the actual results from last season using a standard performance fantasy scoring system. The Top 16 (in green) allowed the most fantasy points per position and represent the “upper half” or teams that allowed the better fantasy points. The middle four teams provide a buffer zone between the worst defenses to face and the above average teams in allowing fantasy points. While you may disagree with the grouping, it just reflects exactly what happened last season.

Knowing what teams are more likely to provide either good (green) or bad (orange) match-ups, the 2006 schedule was compared to each team to determine how many times a quarterback, running back or receiver would face a team either in the top 16 or bottom 12 for allowing fantasy points to that position.

The value of this depends on the position. For quarterbacks, the schedule is less important than the individual talent of the player and the likely game situations he will face. When teams gain a lead, they throw much less. When they trail by two touchdowns, they cannot throw it fast enough. When you view the quarterbacks Ease of Schedule (EOS), use it primarily to evaluate the newer quarterbacks to the league and the extremes at either end.

For running backs, the Ease of Schedule is a very useful tool. All teams prefer to run when possible and no position is affected by their schedule more than running back. This will directly impact all runners regardless of their ability.

For wide receivers, the most useful aspect of the EOS is that it can help in a fantasy draft to decide between two otherwise similar players. Receiving is often a complex equation in a game, using two to four different players in differing mixtures.

The EOS applies more to a #2 receiver than a #1 receiver for a team. The reason is simple – the #1 player will get his passes regardless but an easier schedule will have a bigger impact on the other receivers for a team.

This review is predicated on the results from last season and is obviously not likely to happen exactly the same way in 2005. But it provides a basic review from which you should continue to apply your own wisdom against to find those schedules that potential drafted players can exploit.

For the three positions, there will be listed their full season analysis and a look at the fantasy playoff weeks of 14, 15 and 16 common to most leagues. The playoff schedule should not be a major consideration when you draft this summer, but it is a factor to consider in weighing the advantages of two players within a position.

Getting a fast start to your season by having your fantasy players face the easier schedules will not only net more points, it will also put you in a far better spot for trades since you have the current “hot” player. While it only really matters where you end up, you have to win to get there in the first place.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | The Dorey Rule