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Fantasy: 2023 strength of schedule matrix


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The fantasy strength of schedule matrix is used to determine the overall difficulty of players' matchups from Week 1 to Week 17.

The No. 1-ranked team is forecasted to see the easiest slate, while the No. 32-rated side will face defenses projected to allow the fewest fantasy points to that position.

Our model takes into account several variables, including historical defensive data, offseason roster changes, new coaching staffs, home/road splits, individual player matchups, and more.

You shouldn't decide whether to draft someone based on this table. Rather, it should serve as an additional data point to help break ties between players you're considering. The impact on players at the extremes (green or red) will be far greater than the differences among those in the middle range (yellow).

Fantasy Strength of Schedule


  • The Packers are doing everything they can to surround their new starting quarterback Jordan Love with pass-catching talent. The 24-year-old will also get some help from the most favorable fantasy QB schedule across the league in 2023. While expectations for Love should be kept in check, he could emerge as a quality QB2 in superflex formats.
  • Several passers with new teams will get the benefit of softer slates this season, including Derek Carr (second) in New Orleans, Bryce Young (fifth) in Carolina, Jimmy Garoppolo (eighth) in Las Vegas, and Baker Mayfield (10th) in Tampa Bay. Carr and Garoppolo have long served as steady QB2s in fantasy and should continue to produce that way this year. Questions about Young's size are the only thing holding back his fantasy stock. The first overall pick should outperform his ADP and may even get the Panthers into the playoff mix as a rookie. Meanwhile, Mayfield finds himself in arguably the best situation of his career, throwing to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in what should be a high-volume passing attack - if he can sustain it.
  • Kyler Murray's fantasy outlook was already concerning due to an ACL tear that might cause him to miss the start of the season. On top of that, you now have to consider the Cardinals' schedule, which has the highest degree of difficulty for any fantasy quarterback this year. With the possibility that high No. 1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins could be traded at some point, there are simply too many red flags around Murray to draft him as anything more than a late-round flier.

Running Backs

  • Similar to the Kyler Murray scenario, we'll have to keep a close eye on Javonte Williams' ACL rehab. Though Sean Payton seems optimistic Williams could be back for Week 1, many injury analysts have pointed out that this is a more complicated knee issue - like the one that J.K. Dobbins struggled to return from last year. Unfortunately, it might cause Williams to miss out on the easiest fantasy running back schedule in 2023. For now, we're below ADP on Williams and more interested in scooping up his backup Samaje Perine at a lower price. Perine proved he can handle starter's snaps during his relief appearances for the Bengals and could be an excellent source of production early in the opening couple months.
  • Derrick Henry's future with the Titans is unknown and, while it appears he'll start the season in Tennessee, if the team isn't in the playoff hunt, we might see him moved to a contender before the deadline. However, that would be a shame since Henry has the second-friendliest string of opponents among RBs, including a pair of matchups with the Texans during the fantasy playoffs (Week 15 and 17). Henry has destroyed Houston over their last five games, with at least 126 yards in each contest and four 200-yard performances.
  • There is a lot of optimism around the Eagles' backfield following the arrival of D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny, but the defending NFC champions will face the hardest schedule for fantasy backs. They're also likely going to use a committee approach with Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott earning some touches as well. With Jalen Hurts' involvement on the ground, it's tough to project a huge fantasy season for Swift or Penny, barring an injury opening up a clearer path.

Wide Receivers

  • Chris Olave may have cracked 1,000 yards as a rookie, but there was the potential for far more had the quarterback play in New Orleans been better. With Derek Carr under center, Olave should enjoy an even bigger sophomore campaign as he works his way through the best fantasy schedule at the wide receiver position. This could also apply to Michael Thomas if the veteran wideout can get back on the field and stay healthy - something he hasn't been able to do over the last few seasons.
  • Rookies like Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Quentin Johnston, Jonathan Mingo, Jayden Reed, and Josh Downs still have to prove themselves at the pro level before fantasy managers can trust them in their lineups, but they'll have the schedule working in their favor in Year 1. All five first-year wideouts mentioned have top-10 schedules in 2023 and could emerge as fantasy options if they can earn enough targets right out of the gate.
  • While the Bills and Chiefs land near the bottom of the matrix for receiver schedules, this is one instance where you can overlook the table. Quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen tend to make their pass-catchers matchup-proof. The same could also be said for the connection between Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp. Despite having the worst combined schedule for a QB-WR duo in 2023, the Rams' pair will find a way to deliver like they always have - as long as Kupp is back to 100% health.

Tight Ends

  • As we said off the top, the most important takeaways from this article come from the green and red sections. Unlike the previous three positions, the tight end schedules didn't have as much separation between the middle and the extremes.
  • At the top, the Saints and Panthers were the only teams that distanced themselves notably from the pack. For New Orleans, Juwan Johnson is an intriguing late-round sleeper thanks to his touchdown ceiling, but the signing of Foster Moreau could siphon just enough targets to make both guys frustrating fantasy options. In Carolina, Hayden Hurst joins a completely new offense at every skill position and one that lacks a proven pecking order in the passing game. It's not impossible that Hurst becomes a safety blanket for rookie QB Bryce Young and sees enough volume to be viable.
  • On the lower end of the table, the Cardinals and Giants were the two teams that stood out from the rest in terms of the difficulty of their opponents in 2023. The Cardinals already have an odd situation with veteran star Zach Ertz working his way back from a torn ACL, which could open the door for sophomore Trey McBride to take the job. With a tough schedule and Ertz likely to return at some point, this might not be the depth chart you want to target for fantasy. And even though the Giants are last on this list, it will be hard to avoid Darren Waller in drafts, given the Giants' wide-open receiver depth chart. There's a strong chance Waller serves as the team's top pass-catching option and offers top-five fantasy upside at his position.

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