Strength of Schedule Targets Week 10

Updated: November 15th 2020

With the fantasy regular season nearing the end in most RSO leagues, owners with competitive teams need to begin thinking about reinforcing their squads for the final push into the playoffs.  Below I lay out a few NFL teams with particularly favorable offensive schedules for the rest of season or in the fantasy playoffs (weeks 14-16).  Most of the players on these teams would not be considered must start options at this point.  Not all teams have notably great offenses, but RSO owners should at least entertain obtaining certain players from each team based on the schedule ahead.



Lamar Jackson has been fine for fantasy football, however, “fine” is not what people were hoping for when acquiring the rushing guru.  The Baltimore signal-caller is currently a borderline QB1.  He’s on pace for just 2/3 of his touchdown total from 2019 with drops in rushing and passing efficiency.  The volume levels remain on a very similar pace however.  The lack of big plays highlights the main difference from last season.   Deep passing is a notoriously volatile measure due to a variety of factors that may not be passing accuracy.  The drop in Jackson’s passing correlates with decreases in Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews’ fantasy output which also relied on high touchdown percentages.  The run game remains stellar, but the Ravens’ three-way committee limits the fantasy impact of any running back.

I am willing to invest in the Baltimore passing attack for a playoff run.  The remaining schedule looks incredibly soft with just one tough matchup (Pittsburgh) remaining and a fantasy playoff trifecta of Cleveland, Jacksonville, and the Giants.  The offense and Jackson in particular, possess the opportunity to explode down the stretch.  Brown and Andrews remain volatile assets due to the low-passing volume of this unique Baltimore offense.  The running backs may continue as unpredictable weekly pieces with three backs potentially getting work.


Los Angeles Rams

This one is more for those with a fairly secure path to the playoffs.   The Rams have been one of the most opponent-dependent teams so far looking strong against the weaker opponents but struggling against some of the more difficult draws.  Increased run-game usage also limited the passing-game to a degree.  Woods and Cupp remain weekly starters at wide receiver but without many huge ceiling games, while Goff has been a streaming QB2 option.  The decreased volume in the passing game has really hurt Higbee and Everett at tight end.

The Rams get New England, the Jets, and Seattle for the fantasy playoffs.  New England may seem like a hard draw, but this is not the Patriots’ defense of old.  While they are giving up the 5th fewest passing yards per game, this largely is a function of game script for a five-loss team limiting passing volume of opponents.  The Patriots’ defense rank dead last in the NFL in passing yards per attempt (8.8) to opposing throwers.  New York and Seattle have been destroyed by passing offenses.  Increase expectations for the Rams usual suspects in the passing game (Goff, Kupp, and Woods) during playoffs.

Indianapolis Colts

Philip Rivers might have the ugliest throwing motion of any quarterback in the history of the NFL.  It has not stopped him from putting up big passing yardage yet.  His lack of arm strength makes for some very poor throws, particularly when pressure gets to him.  The Indianapolis offensive line does a fairly good job in pass protection however.  Most of the Colt’s wide receiver options have been hit-or-miss due to injuries or inexperience.  The running backs and tight ends have been used in a committee with none really getting enough consistent work to truly be trust-worthy.

Rivers should be a quality streaming option for most of the remaining season.  Each of the Colts defensive opponents ranks among the bottom half of the league in Football Outsider’s passing DVOA until week 16.   Nyheim Hines is fresh off another two touchdown performance Thursday night versus Tennessee.  His role dependency makes for a boom/bust flex play going forward.  It’s difficult trusting any of the receiving options given how Rivers spreads the rock and struggles pushing the ball downfield, but keep an eye on rookie Michael Pittman who emerged with some quality outings the last couple of weeks.


Tennessee finds itself in a rough stretch of games over the next few weeks.  The schedule becomes much easier throughout the fantasy playoffs however.  Jacksonville, Detroit, and Green Bay do not scare many offenses.  Tannehill should be a viable option at quarterback and Davis gets a boost in the flex while teams may expect increased production from Henry and Brown. 

Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

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Week 11: Prepping for the Playoffs

Updated: November 14th 2019

We are at the stage in the fantasy football season where most teams know if they are contenders.  If you are a contender, the time is here where playoff matchup considerations need to be examined.  The trade deadline is coming up for many leagues.  Below the reader finds a look at some NFL defenses worth targeting for your fantasy players and teams with good fantasy playoff schedules.  Now go win your league!

Target the pass and run defenses


Things obviously did not go as planned when your team boasts a 0-9 record.  This is a team that failed in virtually every area of the field in 2019.  The Bengals give up the most total and rushing yards per game while giving up the fourth-most points per game.   The pass defense is not giving up as many yards but not because it is good.  Cincinnati ranks dead-last in Football Outsider’s DVOA against the pass.  Feel confident starting your fantasy players against Cincinnati weekly.


Miami mirrors Cincinnati in many ways.  Their efficiency metrics place them in the bottom-3 in the NFL for rushing and passing both for offense and defense.   They rank second to last in scoring.  Like the Bengals, game script may limit the total passing volume in some games because of how bad Miami is.  Do not worry.  The Dolphins play like a team which traded many top assets and clearly in rebuilding mode.

Others: Arizona gives up the second-most yardage and sixth-most points thanks to a sieve defense and a speedy high-volume offense.  Detroit has no real strength to their defense ranking bottom half of the league in yardage, scoring, and efficiency.

Target the pass defenses

Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers might exhibit the most polarized defense in the league.  They allow practically nothing on the ground as FO’s number one rushing defense.  Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, the passing defense has not held out up well.  FO’s 27th ranked passing defense lets quarterbacks go wild, leading to the most points allowed for any team.  The Tampa Bay offense also typically does enough to keep pressure on opposing offenses.  Fire up your quarterbacks against the Bucs.

New York Giants

The 28th ranked passing efficiency defense giving up the third-most points makes for an enticing opponent.   Rookie, Dexter Lawrence, helped solidify the Giants run defense.  The defensive backs in New York have struggled all season on the other hand, particular rookie DeAndre Baker, and that is unlikely to change this season.  This passing defense is one to target.

Others: The Raiders have not solved their pass rush issues.  Happily start your passing game fantasy assets against a team giving up the third-most passing yards in the NFL.  The league gouged Atlanta, another team with problems putting pressure on the quarterback, for 8.2 yards per passing attempt so far.  We will see if the play-calling change after the bye helps moving forward.

Target the run defenses

Kansas City

The Chiefs made big acquisitions helping the pass defense including Frank Clark.  The defensive scheme invites runs over more efficient pass plays.  As a result, Kansas City allows over five yards per carry and the second most rushing yards while also giving up the second most rushing touchdowns.  The only questions for opposing offenses is whether they will be able to stick with the run long enough with Kansas City putting up their typical high-output points.


Copy and paste the information from Kansas City.  The Panthers allow lots of rushing yards and lots of rushing scores while shutting down the passing game.  Most teams should stay competitive against Carolina to be able to utilize the run game significantly.

A few teams with good fantasy playoff schedules (Weeks 14-16)

Philadelphia (The Giants, Washington, Dallas)

The Eagles play all NFC East teams in the fantasy playoffs.   They even get Miami in week 13 as a bonus. None of these represent teams you should be afraid of starting your fantasy assets against in either the pass or run games.  Wentz, Ertz, Howard, and other Eagles have the chance for big performances during the fantasy stretch.

Cleveland (Cincinnati, Arizona, Baltimore)

The passing game for the Browns has not exactly worked according to plan.  With that being said, there is no better week 14/15 combo than Cleveland facing the Bengals and Cardinals defenses.  Nick Chubb is set up for a monster fantasy finish to the season and the Mayfield/Beckham/Landry combo possesses immense upside to take you into the championship week.

Miami (The Jets, Giants, Cincinnati )

No really feels comfortable starting any Miami player this year.  Quarterback Ryan “Fitzmagic” can turn into Ryan “Fitztragic” any game and the possibility of benching always exists.  The run game and offensive line are possibly the worst in the league.  Still, Miami faces maybe the easiest fantasy playoff schedule of any team against the pass.  Fitzpatrick and receiver DeVante Parker make for very cheap gambles in deeper leagues with great matchups every week of the playoffs.

Others:  New York Giants (Philadelphia, Miami, Washington); Jacksonville(Chargers, Oakland, Atlanta)

Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

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Early 2019 Value Targets

Updated: May 30th 2019

Sometimes the fantasy community is slow to catch on.  Maybe fantasy footballers have not had the time to evaluate new coaches, rookies, and players in different situations.  That makes early season auctions some of the most potentially profitable for those willing to do the homework.  Below you will find a number of players with secure roles and ability to easily outperform their cost.  The FantasyPros ADP at time of this writing is listed to give the reader an idea of relative price point.  The reader should make an attempt to acquire these players if valued by owners near the market worth before the consensus catches on.


Kyler Murray, QB22

There is a lot to like about Murray’s fantasy prospect, even as a rookie.  The overall number one pick should start immediately.  Arizona invested heavily at wide receiver in the NFL draft with two receivers in the first four rounds.  David Johnson provides a strong presence in both the run and passing game.  The Kliff Kingsbury spread offense will likely feature one of the most pass-happy offenses in the NFL.  The big question is whether the offense works in the NFL against top-level athletes and if the offensive line can do enough to make it possible.

Why the consensus is too low:  People underestimate his rushing upside and the general uncertainty of this offense at the NFL level scares some.  The consensus projection puts Murray around 460 rushing yards at 4.6 yards per carry.  Those numbers should be closer to his floor than his projection.  Murray reportedly runs the forty-yard dash in the 4.4 second range and rushed for 1,000 yards last year at Oklahoma.  The Arizona offensive line should be better on the injury front however no major investment was made in the draft or free agency for the worst offensive line in football.  Murray will be scrambling a lot and his physical tools should ensure efficiency.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB21

Oh how the fantasy community darlings have fallen.  Just a year ago, Garoppolo was a low-end QB1 for many fantasy gamers.  You can now buy him as a borderline QB2/3 after an ACL-tear finished his season in his third game with some commentators deeming him injury-prone.  The 49ers invested heavily in skill players this offseason taking two wide receivers in the first 67 picks.  They also signed speedster running back Tevin Coleman to bolster a solid backfield.  We have not even talked about how George Kittle broke the receiving yardage record for tight ends yet.

Why the consensus is too low:  Shanahan cures many ills.  San Francisco racked up a respectable 3,867 passing yards (15th) at an impressive 8.0 yards per attempt (9th) despite playing with backup quarterbacks most of the season, losing top running back Jerick McKinnon before the year started, with speedster wide receiver Marquise Goodwin in and out of the lineup.   The defense also gave up the fifth most points in the league in 2018.  Garappolo is going to throw the ball a lot in 2019 with a vastly improved skill-player core and he is going to be efficient doing it.  Don’t be surprised if he ends up top-5 in passing yardage.

Others to consider:  Lamar Jackson (QB17) and Josh Allen (QB21) racked up big rushing totals last season in different ways which led to some big fantasy production.  Baltimore designed many rushing plays for Jackson where Allen mainly scrambled on passing plays for his rushing.  Jackson provides the higher weekly floor and additional injury-risk due to the amount of carries and relatively lean frame.  Allen is the more volatile play but one with far more upside as a passer and further developed than Jackson.

Running Back

Kalen Ballage, RB55

The situation in Miami looks bleak on its surface with a new quarterback and an offensive line among the worst last season.  Looks can be deceiving.  The Dolphins spent significant capital upgrading the offensive line in the draft and Rosen or Fitzpatrick could easily be an upgrade over Tannehill.  Ballage is a size-speed specimen who will be the big-back part of the committee to Kenyan Drake.  Backs priced similarly to Ballage include receiving specialists, backups, and guys hoping to make the roster, not players who reasonably might lead a committee.

Why the consensus is too low:  Many believe Drake will be a workhorse back.  This idea goes back to when Drake filled the primary back for part of a season after trades and injuries forced him into the role.  He is a rail thin (6th percentile BMI) back built more like a receiver.  Ballage, at almost 230 pounds, is far better equipped to handle the rigors of heavy workloads.  Gore led the backfield in carries last year.  Don’t be surprised if Ballage does this season.

Latavius Murray, RB40

I will keep this short.  Murray takes over for Ingram as the compliment to Kamara in New Orleans.  Ingram just had his worst fantasy season in the last five years and ended as the PPR RB29 in per game scoring.  Murray comes with a rock hard floor and elite handcuff potential in one of the league’s top offenses.  His NFL contract likely ensures he will be with the Saints at least the next two years.

Why the consensus is too low:  Do we think undrafted free agent Devine Ozigbo or former Lions 7th round pick Dwayne Washington are threats to Murray’s workload?  Is New Orleans planning to change a top-4 scoring offense each of the last two seasons to dump more bodies into the backfield or increase Kamara’s touches even more?  I can’t come up with a legitimate reason that Murray is this low.  He is one of the best values for teams in need of cheap running back help.

Others to consider:  Tampa Bay’s offensive line is an absolute mess.  However, the price point of Peyton Barber (RB42) and Ronald Jones (RB52) make the Bucs’ tandem an intriguing gamble.  It is rare locking up a backfield this cheap on a team projected for plenty of scoring chances and high yardage.

Wide Receiver

Curtis Samuel, WR51

Samuel showed well as the season progressed after returning to health and Devin Funchess being relegated to a more minor role.  He displayed above average route running and tremendous after-the-catch ability.  The receiving options are rapidly dwindling in Carolina.  Funchess left in free agency while Greg Olsen proved a shell of his former-self last year.

Why the consensus is too low:  Injuries prevented Samuel from developing quickly.  Remember he converted from a hybrid receiver/running back in college so Samuel was always going to take some time to transition to a full time receiver.  Samuel should attain top-three target status in Carolina along with D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey.

Marvin Jones, WR39

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong last year in Detroit.  Matt Stafford lost his two top receivers, Jones and Tate, to trade and injury.  Matt Patricia’s offensive philosophy proved nearly unwatchable as the attempted transition to more running decimated the passing attack which never saw consistency throughout the season.   New offensive coordinator likely continues the transition to a more run-based offense.  So what’s to like?

Why the consensus is too low: There’s just not much left in terms of reliable receivers in Detroit.  Kenny Golladay and Jones are it.  The next best options are probably new slot receiver Danny Amendola and a rookie tight end.  We also expect positive regression from Stafford who performed at his worst level in a long time.  Jones did not connect as well with Stafford last year but still registered one of the highest percentages of air yards before his injury.  He will be targeted for big plays throughout the season and command a fairly large chunk of Stafford’s targets.

Others to consider: The most expensive receivers from the Buffalo and Miami are currently John Brown (WR59) and Kenny Stills (WR66), respectively.  You don’t necessarily have to prefer these receivers.  The likes of Robert Foster, DeVante Parker, and others are even cheaper on the Bills and Dolphins.  If you expect Josh Allen making a second year jump and Josh Rosen or Ryan Fitzpatrick playing competently, then someone on these receiver cores is going to be a solid value.

Tight End

Jordan Reed, TE21

Washington was a mess last year.  Alex Smith performed at his lowest level in many years coming off of a breakout campaign in Kansas City.  That weak production carried over to Reed who had his worst catch percentage of his career by almost 10%.  Whoever wins the starting quarterback is very unlikely to be much worse for the fantasy receiver prospects than Smith.  Injuries remain an issue for Reed who has not played a full season in his career.

Why the consensus is too low: A tight end typically must be one of the focal points of an offense or have high touchdown upside from playing with a top quarterback.  Reed is one of the only tight ends in the league who is the top receiving threat on their own team.   He averaged at least six targets per game over the last four years.  Reed does not have to play a full season to be worth this price.

Others to consider:  Andrew Luck targeted Jack Doyle (TE23) at a moderately high rate over the last two seasons and he played a higher snap rate than breakout Eric Ebron last season.  Tyler Eifert (TE31) carries a massive injury history.  He also must only play a handful of games to make buying him worth the cost.

Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

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