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Updated strength of schedule

Schedules could lift Falcons, Saints down the stretch

Scheduling should play a role in the crowning of the NFC South winner. The Bucs have a modest closing schedule, but if the current numbers are to be believed, the Falcons and Saints have the easiest remaining schedules in the league.

Atlanta’s remaining games are against teams that are currently 25-44. That includes Arizona, Carolina and Chicago, and there’s no heavyweight opponent in there.

New Orleans’ schedule is similarly soft, with its opponents sitting at a combined 28-41. They’ve got three games left against the Panthers, Giants and Rams. (And New Orleans and Atlanta still need to play each other twice, which will be crucial.) With the NFC being the lesser of the two conferences, there’s a decent chance both of these teams make the postseason.

The hardest remaining schedules, meanwhile, belong to the Bengals, Ravens and Raiders.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE, WINS (Wks 10-18)
TeamWLPct
Atlanta2544.362
New Orleans2841.406
Detroit2939.426
Indianapolis3037.448
Pittsburgh3037.448
Houston3035.462
Carolina3136.463
Chicago3136.463
Tampa Bay3136.463
Philadelphia3237.464
LA Chargers3335.485
Green Bay3334.493
LA Rams3435.493
New England3434.500
Tennessee3333.500
Kansas City3534.507
Cleveland3433.507
Minnesota3433.507
Jacksonville3332.508
Denver3532.522
Washington3532.522
Arizona3632.529
Miami3632.529
Dallas3732.536
NY Giants3832.543
NY Jets3832.543
Seattle3829.567
Buffalo3929.574
San Francisco3929.574
Las Vegas4029.580
Baltimore3927.591
Cincinnati4325.632

Some prefer to look not at wins but points allowed – the strength of defenses. With fantasy football, after all, we’re not so much concerned with winners as offensive production.

Looking at the next six games for each team (on this one, I’m trimming off some year-end games), I see five whose upcoming opponents are allowing at least 23 points per week: Lions, Falcons, Titans, Cowboys and Saints.

The three teams that should see the toughest defenses in the near future all have notable offenses: Jaguars, Eagles, Ravens.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE, POINTS (next 6 G)
TeamAvg
Detroit23.8
Atlanta23.5
Tennessee23.5
Dallas23.5
New Orleans23.0
New England22.9
Minnesota22.7
Pittsburgh22.7
Chicago22.4
Houston22.4
Tampa Bay22.3
San Francisco22.1
Washington21.9
NY Giants21.9
Cleveland21.9
NY Jets21.9
Arizona21.6
LA Chargers21.6
Indianapolis21.4
Kansas City21.3
Carolina21.1
Miami21.0
LA Rams21.0
Buffalo20.9
Seattle20.8
Green Bay20.6
Cincinnati20.4
Denver19.9
Las Vegas19.9
Baltimore19.8
Philadelphia19.3
Jacksonville18.3

—Ian Allan

Fantasy Index