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ANEZ LEAGUE Est. 2017
NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

NFL Schedule Review

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By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Newton has favorable schedule


The NFL has officially released the schedule for the 2017 season. It is always a good idea to take a look at all the schedules to see how it impacts the coming fantasy season. We will release all the fantasy strength of schedule rankings in our upcoming Draft Guide. But for now, here is a quick overview of each position for the coming year. We will start with quarterbacks. . . . .

Quarterback SOS
RANK			FANTASY PTS ALLOWED
1. Browns    			291.02
2. Packers    			292.78
3. Bengals    			294.22
4. Texans    			296.44
5. 49ers    			298.48

28. Seahawks   			314.31
29. Chargers    		316.08
30. Patriots    		316.56
31. Panthers    		316.66
32. Bills 			321.23

We still aren't sure who is going to start for the Browns to open the season, but whoever gets the job is going to be a fantasy concern. The Browns have the toughest fantasy schedule for quarterbacks. Not good. Aaron Rodgers had an injury plagued season last year and the second toughest fantasy schedule for this season. This is a bit of a concern for the coming year. You also might have some concerns about Deshaun Watson. He is trying to return from a major injury and has the fourth toughest schedule for fantasy quarterbacks. Can he repeat his huge start to his career?

Meanwhile, three of the top quarterbacks in the game get very favorable fantasy schedules. Cam Newton, Tom Brady and Russell Willson all have very good schedules for success this year. These guys could all make a run at being the top fantasy quarterback in the game this season. And don't count out Philip Rivers for one more big season. He is another player with a schedule setup for success.

Running back SOS
RANK			FANTASY PTS ALLOWED
1. Redskins			363.08
2. Rams				365.30
3. Lions			372.03	
4. 49ers			372.71
5. Packers			372.86

28. Jets			388.91
29. Cardinals 			389.04
30. Saints			390.30	
31. Broncos 			392.05
32. Vikings			398.87

Todd Gurley was the top fantasy back in the game last season, but gets the second toughest schedule for fantasy backs this season. He could have a hard time repeating last year's monster season. And the Redskins and Lions have unsettled running back situations that look even worse after seeing this ranking. Both could be situations to avoid going forward. Stay tuned.

Don't forget about Dalvin Cook this year. He got hurt his rookie season but will be back and starting in a good Vikings offense that gets the easiest fantasy schedule for running backs. The Saints were explosive running the ball last year and should do well once again, getting the third easiest schedule for fantasy running backs. The Jets, Cardinals and Broncos also have easy schedules for running backs, but don't have their running backs set just yet. So keep an eye on those jobs this training camp.

Wide receiver SOS
RANK			FANTASY PTS ALLOWED
1. Browns			474.49
2. Colts			476.60
3. Titans			479.34
4. Bengals			480.01 
5. Ravens			481.33

28. Panthers			521.79 
29. Buccaneers			521.92 
30. Dolphins			522.87 
31. Saints			526.23
32. Falcons			534.21

The Browns added some talent at receiver, getting a legit No. 1 in Jarvis Landry. But Landry has some fantasy concerns for the coming season. He moves to an offense with quarterback questions and gets the toughest fantasy schedule for tight ends. Not good. The Titans and Ravens didn't get much out of their receivers last year and might be in a similar situation this year, having a very challenging fantasy schedule for receivers. Lastly, TY Hilton looks like a better option this year with Andrew Luck likely back in the mix, but his schedule is a concern, having the second hardest fantasy schedule for receivers.

Julio Jones, Michael Thomas and Mike Evans are three of the elite fantasy receivers in the game. Things look great for them this year once again, having very favorable fantasy schedules for receivers. Any of these guys could be the No. 1 overall fantasy receiver this season. DeVante Parker and Devin Funchess are two players that could finally have those breakout years, having favorable schedules for success.

Tight End SOS
RANK			FANTASY PTS ALLOWED
1. Packers			173.80  
2. Falcons			173.94
3. Bears			174.96
4. Panthers			175.19
5. Lions			176.16

28. Colts			196.11  
29. Raiders			198.01
30. Titans			198.81
31. Chiefs			201.20
32. Chargers 			205.32

The Packers made a big splash in free agency, signing Jimmy Graham. He should be a big boost to the offense, but might have a hard time reaching past success. Graham moves to an offense that doesn't have a history of using the tight end and also has the toughest overall fantasy schedule for tight ends. Greg Olsen is another past top fantasy tight end with some concerns for this year. Olsen is coming off an injury-plagued season and gets the fourth hardest fantasy schedule for tight ends.

On a positive note, Hunter Henry seems primed for a breakout season. He has the easiest fantasy schedule for tight ends and should garner all the work at the position for the Chargers with Antonio Gates no longer around. Travis Kelce was huge last year and should be once again this year, having a very easy schedule for tight ends. You also have to like the prospects of Delanie Walker and Jack Doyle, two more players that were good last year with favorable schedules for success.

Player Notes
Doug Marrone Aug 21 8:10pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette could see more action on third down this year, according to head coach Doug Marrone. The Jaguars used Fournette on third down plays with the first team offense in Saturday's preseason game against the Vikings and Marrone said the second-year back "seems to be doing a good job" in the situations. If Fournette can be a true three-down back for Jacksonville this year, he could see his value in PPR formats vault into the top five by the end of the season.

From RotoBaller

Adam Shaheen Aug 21 4:40pm ET

Chicago Bears tight end Adam Shaheen's Week 1 status is in doubt due to a right ankle sprain. Shaheen rolled the ankle hauling in his third reception of the game against the Bengals on August 9. Shaheen racked up 53 yards in the preseason affair but this is just another injury that could stunt his development. Shaheen also had a strong performance last season against the Bengals but exited that game as well with a chest injury at the time. The sprain is not being characterized as serious right now but this certainly hurts his value as a TE2 in deeper leagues moving forward. Expect Shaheen to miss the rest of the preseason.

From RotoBaller

Allen Robinson Aug 21 4:20pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson made his preseason debut against the Broncos last Saturday. It has been a long road back from a torn ACL for the talented receiver and his appearance marks his first game action since the injury in Week 1 of last season. The free-agent acquisition was not targeted in the game but his rehab is right on course to begin the season at full speed. When healthy, Robinson is a professional route runner with the physical tools to win on 50-50 balls and is a big-time red zone threat. He currently is being slotted as a low-end WR1 and is in line for tons of targets in the Bears revamped offense.

From RotoBaller

Saquon Barkley Aug 21 4:10pm ET

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley missed practice for the sixth straight day with a tweaked hamstring on Tuesday. Barkley was not in uniform for the team's second preseason game last Friday and the team is being ultra cautious with their top draft pick. Barkley has the talent and skill-set to deserve the top-6 fantasy status he currently is getting in most rankings. At this time, the Giants will do everything they can to get their rookie up to 100% before Week 1 and should be ready to roll when the lights come on. His draft status should not be altered because of this injury for now.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman Aug 21 3:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will once again be inactive for the third preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Freeman has not yet seen a single minute of preseason action, and it now looks increasingly likely that he will not suit up at all this preseason. Freeman not playing in the preseason is not an issue for his fantasy value entering the season. If anything, given his history of concussions, not playing is a bonus to his fantasy value. If Freeman can stay healthy for the majority of the season he should be in contention to be a top-10 running back at the end of the season.

From RotoBaller

Matt Bryant Aug 21 3:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant will kick again in Wednesday's practice. Bryant has an undisclosed injury and has not played in either of the first two preseason games. He did kick 15 balls last week, but that was not enough to convince the Falcons to activate him for the second preseason game. How Bryant fairs Wednesday could determine his status for the third preseason game. Right now Bryant is still the front runner to remain the Falcons kicker into the season, and he should be treated as such in fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Rishard Matthews Aug 21 3:40pm ET

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews has missed all of training camp dealing with an undisclosed injury, however, head coach Mike Vrabel said on Tuesday that he is hopeful the receiver will return shortly. Lack of injury updates and the emergence of Taywan Taylor have both caused a bit of a drop in Matthews' draft stock this year, but should he be able to return early in the season, he still has a chance to be Mariota's favorite weapon. Despite the possible value, proceed with caution regarding Matthews until we receive news that he is able to return to practice.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Aug 21 3:40pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones will not suit up against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Falcons third preseason game. Given that the third game is often the one where the starters play the most time, it is now looking as if Jones is not going to suit up for any preseason games. This should not be an issue for fantasy owners entering the season. As long as Jones remains present at Falcons practice you should consider him good to go when the season begins. As it stands Jones remains a top-five fantasy wide receiver, despite the lack of preseason action.

From RotoBaller

Trey Burton Aug 21 3:30pm ET

Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton gave fantasy owners a taste of his forthcoming expanded role with his new team in the Bears 24-23 preseason win over the Broncos. Burton caught four passes for 45 yards, including a touchdown catch on a fantastic play drawn up by new head coach Matt Nagy. Burton was used in motion on several plays out of the slot, including an excellent sideline catch for 12 yards for a first down. Burton's career high for receptions in a season is only 37 but glimpses at the new Bears offense indicate he could blow by that number. Burton's value will continue to rise leading up to fantasy drafts over the next few weeks.

From RotoBaller

Terrance West Aug 21 3:20pm ET

The New Orleans Saints have released running back Terrance West, according to the NFL Network. West racked up 36 yards on seven carries over two preseason games, including a 21-yard run. The team appears to be favoring youth and running back Jonathan Williams has continued to impress in camp. The team is looking for a player to combo with Alvin Kamara while Mark Ingram serves his suspension to begin the season. West enjoyed his best season in 2016 when he racked up six total touchdowns and 1,010 all-purpose yards for the Ravens. West surely will get a look with another team at some point this season.

From RotoBaller

Dalvin Cook Aug 21 3:00pm ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (knee) could realistically make his preseason debut on Friday against the Seattle Seahawks. Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo mentioned that the team is "looking forward to possibly seeing him out there". While it seems like a foregone conclusion that Cook will play in Week 1 of the regular season, it would still be nice to get a glimpse of him before preseason is over. There have been rumblings about Cook and fellow RB Latavius Murray splitting carries during the season, but there is no doubt that Cook is the more dynamic of the two. He should still be drafted with RB1 upside, while Murray would be a smart handcuff to grab in later rounds.

From RotoBaller

Wendell Smallwood Aug 21 12:00pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles running backs Wendell Smallwood and Matt Jones could have good outings on Thursday, making them both potentially solid DFS picks. The two backups are expected to be the only active running backs for Philadelphia's third preseason game. Darren Sproles has already been ruled out and Jay Ajayi is unlikely to play due to a lower body injury. Smallwood and Jones won't have much value during the regular season, but they could be sneaky good running backs for this week's DFS slate.

From RotoBaller

Nick Foles Aug 21 11:40am ET

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles will play "about a half" in Thursday's preseason game according to coach Doug Pederson. Foles was forced to leave the second preseason game because of a shoulder injury, but he recovered quickly and will be in there to face the Cleveland Browns in the regular season dress rehearsal. If Carson Wentz (knee) ends up not being able to start Week 1, Foles will be in there to start.

From RotoBaller

Sam Bradford Aug 21 11:30am ET

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford has stated that he has been given a large degree of control over play-calling under offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. McCoy has previously worked with quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning, giving them the freedom to change in and out of plays and put up big numbers in the process. This is good news for Bradford fantasy owners, as the veteran quarterback could put up a solid QB2 campaign in his new offense.

From RotoBaller

Mike Glennon Aug 21 11:30am ET

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Mike Glennon (forearm) is still nursing the same injury that kept him out of the team's second preseason game. Although he is making progress, his availability for this weekend's game against the Cowboys is still up in the air. Glennon projects to be the third quarterback on the depth chart, making his fantasy value virtually nothing for the 2018 season.

From RotoBaller

Brice Butler Aug 21 11:30am ET

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Brice Butler (foot) missed the team's game last week and is day-to-day heading into Week 3. However, head coach Steve Wilks is confident that the veteran receiver will be able to play. Butler has a bit of catching up to do, having lost the team's second wide receiver job to either Christian Kirk or Chad Williams for now. If Butler is able to reclaim the starting job, expect him to be a flex option this season. However, if not, Butler will likely have minimal fantasy value in 2018.

From RotoBaller

Kenneth Dixon Aug 21 10:30am ET

Oft-injured Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon had a strong preseason debut Monday night against the Colts. The shifty running back averaged over five yards per carry and reeled in all three of his targets Monday night. Dixon will need to continue his strong showing to close out the preseason in an effort to grab hold of the backup running back role from teammate Javorious Allen. Allen also had a solid showing Monday night, but Dixon has shown to be the more skilled of the two when he manages to stay healthy. Alex Collins has a firm grasp on the lead-back duties in Baltimore's offense, but monitor this situation closely as his hand-cuff should emerge from one of Allen or Dixon.

From RotoBaller

Michael Crabtree Aug 21 10:30am ET

Newly-acquired Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Crabtree hauled in his only target from quarterback Joe Flacco in Monday night's preseason match-up with the Colts. The connection was good for a 29-yard gain along the sidelines. Both Crabtree and new teammate John Brown, who was also a free agent signing, have shown early chemistry with their new quarterback thus far. This chemistry should translate to the regular season and boosts the fantasy stock of both Flacco and his new receivers. Crabtree is coming off draft boards much earlier than Brown, but could be a candidate for double-digit touchdowns this season. Look to draft him in the middle rounds of your fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Donald Aug 21 10:20am ET

Los Angeles Rams linebacker Mark Barron returned to practice. The former safety has excelled since converting to linebacker, and he is great in coverage. He flies around the field making tackles, which makes him a great play in IDP (individual defensive player) leagues. His return can also help soften the blow of Aaron Donald's absence if his holdout extends into the regular season. Head coach Sean McVay is hoping to have him back for the start of the season. If he progresses well, he will help strengthen the Rams' defense biggest weakness, which is the linebacker position. Linebacker is the position group management did not address this offseason, so Barron will have to take that next step.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Aug 21 10:20am ET

Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson had a quiet showing on Monday night against the Colts. The quarterback got off to a slow start, but flashed some elusiveness in avoiding Indianapolis' pass-rush on his first drive of the game. Jackson said after the game that he has not performed as well as he has hoped in the preseason, but, despite that, the quarterback still managed to connect for a touchdown pass in the game. Teammate Joe Flacco's strong preseason has solidified Baltimore's original plan to go into the season with the veteran having a firm hold on the starting quarterback job, so Jackson will have plenty of time to become more efficient. He is still an attractive dynasty league asset, and could have some nice value in the event of an injury to Flacco. Jackson should be drafted as the third rookie quarterback off the board in your dynasty drafts.

From RotoBaller