Strength of Schedule – Fantasy Index

One of the issues with the strength of the schedule is that it’s based on last year. Teams change, so it doesn’t really make sense to calculate schedule difficulty above what they used to be.

The Titans, for example, went 12-5 last year, but that’s not an opponent that people fear. They could easily be a sub-500 team. The Falcons, meanwhile, finished last year 7-10, which seems optimistic about how their season is likely to go. Everyone would love to play Atlanta every week.

It therefore makes more sense to work through the predicted over-under winning totals that are published by the various sportsbooks. You take those numbers, plug them into the 2022 timeline, and see what comes out.

For this forecast, I took projected over-under totals for each team and then smoothed them to ensure the right balance between wins and losses. (Betting totals tend to run high, and there were a few teams I thought were looking anyway.) No one has released anything for Cleveland as of Deshaun Watson’s situation is up in the air. For the Browns, I went into the first half of the season with 6.5 wins and 9.5 wins in the second half.

PROJECTED PROFITS
team wins
buffalo 12
Green Bay 11.5
Tampa Bay 11.5
Denver 10.5
Kansas City 10.5
LA chargers 10.5
LA Rams 10.5
cincinnati 10
Dallas 10
san francisco 10
Baltimore 9.5
Indianapolis 9.5
New England 9.5
Philadelphia 9
Tennessee 9
Arizona 8.5
Las Vegas 8.5
Miami 8.5
Minnesota 8.5
Cleveland 8th
New Orleans 7.5
New York Giants 7.5
Pittsburgh 7.5
Washington 7.5
Carolina 6.5
Detroit 6.5
Jacksonville 6.5
Seattle 6.5
Chicago 5.5
NY jets 5.5
Atlanta 5
Houston 4.5

If I fit these over-unders into the schedule (and also omit week 18 which is not used by most fantasy leagues) I get the Lions, Giants and Commanders playing the simplest schedules. And those numbers suggest the Rams, Raiders, Titans and Kansas City will be playing the toughest schedules.

If you’re a D’Andre Swift (pictured) fan, this could be interpreted as good news, with a softer schedule perhaps helping the Lions.

Four teams are in bold. These are the teams whose schedules have become the most difficult (compared to traditional methods). Black dot teams are the ones whose schedules have gotten easier. (The Rams rank last using both methods, but not as far here.)

SCHEDULE STRENGTH (Over-Under)
team W L T pt
Detroit 126 145 1 .465
New York Giants 128 144 0 .471
Washington 129 143 0 .474
Philadelphia 129 142 1 .476
Chicago 131 140 1 .483
Baltimore 131 140 1 .483
New Orleans 132 140 0 .485
Jacksonville 132 139 1 .487
Green Bay 133 139 0 .489
Indianapolis 133 139 0 .489
LA chargers 133 138 1 .491
Dallas 134 138 0 .493
buffalo 134 138 0 .493
Cleveland 135 137 0 .496
Denver 135 137 0 .496
Carolina 136 136 0 .500
• Atlanta 136 136 0 .500
• Cincinnati 136 136 0 .500
Minnesota 136 135 1 .502
Miami 136 135 1 .502
NY jets 136 135 1 .502
• San Francisco 136 135 1 .502
New England 137 134 1 .506
Houston 138 134 0 .507
Pittsburgh 138 133 1 .509
Seattle 139 132 1 .513
Tampa Bay 141 131 0 .518
Arizona 141 130 1 .520
Tennessee 142 130 0 .522
Las Vegas 142 130 0 .522
Kansas City 149 123 0 .548
• LA Rams 149 122 1 .550

– Ian Alan

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