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Strength of schedule

Eagles, Chargers should benefit from scheduling early

If you’re looking for an offense that will start the season strong, how about the Eagles and Chargers? They’ve got favorable schedules for the first month of the year.

Looking at the first five games for each team, the Eagles rank No. 1, with opponents having a win-loss record of 32-52-1 last year. And those opponents allowed an average of 25.3 points per game last year, 2nd-most. Yet another reason that I am interested in Jalen Hurts (pictured), despite his limitations – his game translates well for fantasy.

The Browns have the 2nd-easiest win-loss schedule (in the first five weeks), and with the most points allowed, but they’ll likely be starting Jacoby Brissett in those games.

Only one other team ranks in the top 5 in both of these categories: the Chargers (with opponents going 37-48-0 in wins, with 24.5 points allowed). I may be in the minority, but I think I like Justin Herbert more than Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes.

The Jaguars also grade out favorably in both categories. To me, that looks like a sleeper offense, with Trevor Lawrence potentially looking a lot more like the generational talent many expected him to be last year. I would be comfortable with Lawrence as my second quarterback in a typical league.

On the other end of the spectrum, three teams rank in the bottom-5 for schedule difficulty in the first five weeks of the season, and all three have offenses that people are excited about: Bucs, Rams, Raiders. Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr are all better quarterbacks than Hurts, but for fantasy purposes, I like Hurts better than those guys.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE, WINS (G 1-5)
TeamWLTPct
Philadelphia32521.382
Houston34510.400
Cleveland34501.406
LA Chargers37480.435
San Francisco37480.435
Seattle37471.441
Jacksonville38470.447
Indianapolis38470.447
Chicago39460.459
Washington39451.465
New England40450.471
Denver40450.471
Detroit40450.471
Green Bay40450.471
Tennessee41440.482
Minnesota41431.488
Miami42430.494
Pittsburgh42430.494
Cincinnati42421.500
New Orleans42412.506
Baltimore43420.506
Carolina43420.506
NY Jets44401.524
Dallas46390.541
Arizona48370.565
NY Giants48370.565
Atlanta50350.588
Buffalo50341.594
Las Vegas51340.600
LA Rams51340.600
Kansas City52330.612
Tampa Bay54310.635
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE, POINTS (G 1-5)
TeamPoints
Cleveland26.16
Philadelphia25.29
Jacksonville24.65
LA Chargers24.51
Chicago23.88
Cincinnati23.82
Washington23.78
Houston23.65
New England23.62
New Orleans23.54
Denver23.38
Kansas City23.32
Arizona23.11
Dallas22.95
Indianapolis22.93
Detroit22.89
Tennessee22.86
Green Bay22.79
Minnesota22.74
Seattle22.54
NY Jets22.47
Miami22.31
NY Giants22.28
Buffalo22.22
Baltimore22.08
Pittsburgh22.06
San Francisco22.01
Las Vegas21.94
Tampa Bay21.82
LA Rams21.61
Carolina21.42
Atlanta20.76

—Ian Allan

Fantasy Index