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Updated strength of schedule

Falcons look to ride soft late-season schedule

If you’re a believer in trying to incorporate scheduling into your fantasy decision making, the Falcons, Bucs and Packers are teams you should be looking at for the final weeks of the season.

Atlanta’s remaining schedule is the easiest of all, with its remaining games against teams that are currently 24-43. They have one remaining game against a team with a winning record (they’re at home against 6-5 Indianapolis in Week 16). Their only other remaining opponent with 5 wins are the 5-6 Saints in Week 18. I think we’re going to see Bijan Robinson and company coming on.

Tampa Bay’s schedule is a notch tougher. It has a home-and-away against 1-10 Carolina and three other games against 5-win teams (Falcons, Saints, Packers). But there’s one harder game in there – hosting Jacksonville in Week 17.

In the case of the Packers, who are suddenly back in the playoff hunt after their Thanksgiving win, they’ll host Kansas City this week, but their only other remaining game against a team with a .500 record is at Minnesota in Week 17. That looks very good in comparison with the two teams the Packers are chasing (6-5 Seattle’s next three are against the Cowboys, 49ers and Eagles, while 6-6 Minnesota has to play Detroit twice).

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE (Wk 13-18)
TeamWLPct
Atlanta2443.358
Tampa Bay2541.379
Green Bay2742.391
Kansas City2741.397
New Orleans2740.403
Denver2938.433
Pittsburgh3038.441
Jacksonville3037.448
Philadelphia3237.464
Houston3135.470
Carolina3135.470
NY Jets3235.478
Cleveland3235.478
Indianapolis3235.478
Chicago2729.482
LA Chargers3335.485
Detroit3534.507
Miami3534.507
San Francisco3633.522
New England3532.522
Las Vegas3026.536
LA Rams3732.536
Buffalo3025.545
Minnesota3125.554
Seattle3928.582
Washington3322.600
Tennessee4026.606
Dallas4226.618
Arizona3521.625
Cincinnati4225.627
NY Giants3520.636
Baltimore3619.655

As an alternative look, consider the following chart. If shows the average number of points allowed by upcoming opponents. Specifically, the next four opponents for each team (so that’s Weeks 13-16 for most teams, and 13-17 for the eight teams that haven’t yet had their byes).

Four teams will play their next four against opponents allowing (on average) fewer than 20 points, and all are notable offenses: Eagles, Bills, Seahawks, Jaguars. I have those teams tagged with black dots.

Four teams, on the other hand, will play their next four against teams allowing over 23 points per week, on average. The Steelers are tops (up at 24 per game), followed by the Saints, Falcons and Jets. I’ve got those teams in bold. Atlanta and New Orleans, of course, were also top 5 in the win-loss version.

I normally post just the schedule data, but I’m doing it slightly differently this week (just to try something new). The first column shows how many points the team is currently averaging. The schedule shows the average allowed by the next four opponents. And the final column shows the average of the two.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE (next 4 G)
TeamOffSchedAvg
Dallas31.521.726.6
Miami30.822.026.4
San Francisco28.221.825.0
Detroit26.722.624.7
• Philadelphia28.219.824.0
• Buffalo27.319.823.6
Baltimore27.020.023.5
LA Chargers24.522.123.3
Houston23.521.622.6
Denver22.422.622.5
Indianapolis24.520.522.5
New Orleans20.823.922.4
Kansas City23.320.822.0
Minnesota21.921.821.9
Cleveland21.721.921.8
Green Bay21.022.021.5
Chicago20.222.621.4
Atlanta19.423.421.4
• Jacksonville23.119.321.2
LA Rams21.121.021.0
Tampa Bay19.322.120.7
Washington20.520.320.4
Pittsburgh16.524.020.3
Cincinnati19.321.020.1
Tennessee16.822.819.8
• Seattle20.818.819.8
NY Jets14.823.519.2
Las Vegas16.821.219.0
Arizona17.220.318.7
Carolina15.720.618.1
New England13.721.017.4
NY Giants13.321.017.1

—Ian Allan

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