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NFL Schedule Review

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
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
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
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
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
Jake Butt Mar 26 12:50pm ET

Denver Broncos tight end Jake Butt, who has torn his ACL three times since 2014, said he is getting closer in his recovery from his latest knee injury. I cant go (practice), but Im getting closer, Butt said. Im about five months out right now. But rehab is going really well. Im feeling great and I know the trainers are feeling good about where Im at. He finished with eight catches for 85 yards in three starts in 2018 and has a chance to be the primary pass-catching tight end if he can stay on the field. The Broncos re-signed Jeff Heuerman and also have Troy Fumagalli recovering from a sports hernia. Fumagalli has been cleared to practice starting April 2. Quarterback Joe Flacco likes to lean on tight ends, which is good for this group, but it remains to be seen how this situation will play out. Fantasy owners would be better off avoiding Denver's tight end group.

From RotoBaller

Eli Manning Mar 26 12:50pm ET

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said the team would like to find quarterback Eli Manning's successor "sooner than later" and would prefer to have the QB spend a year learning behind Manning. With 2019 likely to be Manning's last with the Giants and possibly in his career, that means the Giants will need to draft a young signal-caller this year. New York has the sixth overall pick in the first round, but it's unclear if they'd go after Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins or Oklahoma's Kyler Murray if either are available.

From RotoBaller

Bruce Arians Mar 26 12:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said he thinks wide receiver Chris Godwin can be "close to a 100-catch guy" in 2019. Godwin is expected to fill slot duties this year, a spot that Larry Fitzgerald thrived at under Arians in Arizona. With Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson no longer in town as well, Godwin will be one of the most popular breakout candidates in fantasy football. Don't expect to land him at a discount.

From RotoBaller

Derrius Guice Mar 26 12:40pm ET

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said he expects running back Derrius Guice (knee) to do individual work in organized team activities and then join the team full-go at training camp in the summer. "I think Derrius will be fine," Gruden said. Fantasy owners will need to keep a close eye on Guice as he recovers this offseason, but this is good news. The promising running back sat out all of his rookie season due to a torn ACL and had setbacks late last year, but he appears to be fine now. If fully healthy, Guice should have lead-back duties in D.C. with Adrian Peterson spelling him.

From RotoBaller

Damon Harrison Mar 26 1:10am ET

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Damon Harrison switched agents in the offseason and has already approached the team about signing a new deal, according to a source. The 30-year-old still has two years remaining on his current deal. He'll make $6.75 million in base salary in 2019 and $9 million in 2020 and has workout bonuses of $250,000 for both seasons. Detroit gave up a fifth-round pick for Harrison last year. He stopped the run 30 times in 10 games for the Lions and also added 3.5 sacks and ranked as the third best defensive tackle in the league. Harrison is an excellent run stopper, but that doesn't translate all that well to IDP value.

From RotoBaller

D'Onta Foreman Mar 26 1:00am ET

Houston Texans running back D'Onta Foreman looks to be much leaner than he was in his first two NFL seasons and looked quick and explosive during an impromptu workout on Sunday. Foreman rushed the ball seven times for negative-one yard in his only game in 2018 that was mainly spent rehabbing an Achilles rupture. He adopted a demanding exercise program and a healthier diet this offseason. The 22-year-old is determined to put 2018 behind him and contribute for Houston this season. He rushed for 327 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie in 2017 and could surpass Lamar Miller as the lead back in 2019 if he's fully healthy. Foreman could be an excellent sleeper target in point-per-reception leagues if he proves his health throughout the offseason.

From RotoBaller

Neal Sterling Mar 26 1:00am ET

The New York Jets re-signed tight end Neal Sterling and outside linebacker Brandon Copeland to undisclosed deals on Monday Sterling has been with the Jets the last two seasons but has primarily been a backup on offense while also playing special teams. He had six catches for 47 yards in five games last year but had his season cut short by a concussion in November. Unless an injury occurs, Sterling won't be fantasy relevant in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Larry Fitzgerald Mar 26 12:20am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht believes wide receiver Chris Godwin can play inside in the slot much like Larry Fitzgerald did for head coach Bruce Arians in their time together in Arizona. "I'm not saying he's Larry Fitzgerald by any means yet, but play the role like Larry did in Arizona. That made (Humphries) a little easier to swallow," Licht said. With Adam Humphries going to Tennessee and DeSean Jackson being traded to Philadelphia, Godwin has a clear path to more targets in Arians' new offense. Godwin will be a popular breakout candidate after catching 59 passes for 842 yards and seven touchdowns in his second season in 2018.

From RotoBaller

Jameis Winston Mar 26 12:20am ET

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to sign free-agent quarterback Blaine Gabbert as Jameis Winston's backup. Gabbert played under head coach Bruce Arians and quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich in Arizona in 2017. The 29-year-old played in eight games for the Titans last year and had 624 yards passing, four touchdowns and four interceptions. He's a veteran backup option, having played in the NFL for eight seasons and four different teams.

From RotoBaller

Jerick McKinnon Mar 26 12:10am ET

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said that running back Jerick McKinnon fits into the team's plans for the 2019 season. McKinnon missed all of his first year in San Francisco after getting injured in the preseason. Now he'll have to fight for touches with Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida, which will make it very tough for him to carve out fantasy value. McKinnon was a popular breakout candidate going into last year's drafts, but he ended up being an early-round bust.

From RotoBaller

Jay Ajayi Mar 26 12:10am ET

Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for free-agent running back Jay Ajayi (knee), expects his client to be ready for the start of the season. Ajayi's visit with the Indianapolis Colts last week went well, but he's also still in discussions to return to the Philadelphia Eagles. Ajayi might not even be ready for all of training camp, so his health will determine whether a team takes a chance on him for 2019. The 25-year-old has game-breaking ability in the backfield, but he has never played in a full season and will probably be a fantasy afterthought in 2019, depending on where he lands.

From RotoBaller

Carson Wentz Mar 26 12:00am ET

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said that the team "wants to sign" quarterback Carson Wentz to a contract extension. Wentz is undeniably a franchise QB at just 26 years old, but he's ended the last two seasons injured and played in a career-low 11 games in 2018. He's entering the final year of his rookie deal but also has a 2020 team option. With plenty of playmakers around him still, Wentz still has plenty of QB1 upside left, but the question is if fantasy owners feels he's worth the risk due to injuries.

From RotoBaller

Marcus Mariota Mar 26 12:00am ET

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel confirmed at the NFL owners meetings that quarterback Marcus Mariota remains the starter, even after the club acquired Ryan Tannehill from the Dolphins. Vrabel also said he expects Mariota to be ready when the team starts their offseason program on April 15 after battling through injuries in 2018. Mariota started 13 games last season and finished with a disappointing 2,528 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. On a run-first team without great options in the passing game, Mariota will continue to be a mediocre QB2.

From RotoBaller

Rob Gronkowski Mar 25 11:40pm ET

Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for tight end Rob Gronkowski, said he wouldn't be surprised if his client came out of retirement to play for the New England Patriots again. "If the team was struggling or they needed him at some point next year, and lets just say hypothetically Tom Brady gave him a call and said Rob, I need you. I wouldnt be shocked if he came back to play a few games," Rosenhaus said. Gronk seems to be comfortable in his decision to move on from football after winning his third Super Bowl ring last season. The debate now begins as to whether the 29-year-old was the greatest to play his position after accumulating 521 receptions, 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons.

From RotoBaller

E.J. Gaines Mar 25 11:40pm ET

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent cornerback E.J. Gaines to a one-year, $3.6 million deal on Monday, according to a league source. The 27-year-old returns to Buffalo after a one-year stint in Cleveland in which he played in just six games. Gaines has yet to play a full season in his four NFL seasons. He had 59 total tackles, three forced fumbles and one interception in 11 games for the Bills back in 2017. Gaines is expected to compete for a starting spot opposite Tre'Davious White.

From RotoBaller

Kareem Hunt Mar 25 7:50pm ET

Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey said the team has a plan for running back Kareem Hunt up until his suspension begins for the 2019 season. Hunt was suspended eight games by the NFL for two violations of the personal-conduct policy. The running back won't appeal the suspension and Dorsey said he is "most proud" of the effort Hunt is taking to grow into the best version of himself. Hunt will obviously have his upside capped with Cleveland in 2019 because of his suspension for half the season and the fact that he'll be sharing the backfield with Nick Chubb when he makes his season debut.

From RotoBaller

Derek Carr Mar 25 7:40pm ET

Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden confirmed that Derek Carr will be the team's starting quarterback in 2019. While the Raiders believe in Carr, they will still send personnel to meet with Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Ohio State signal-caller Dwayne Haskins. The Raiders own the fourth overall pick in the first round of this year's draft, one of three first-round picks for Oakland. Carr, 28 on March 28, threw for a career-high 4,049 yards in 2018 with a 68.9 percent completion percentage, but he had just a career-low 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions over a full season. Gaining receivers Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams will help, but he's also losing safety blanket Jared Cook at tight end. Draft Carr as a QB2 with upside.

From RotoBaller

Jeremy Maclin Mar 24 9:31pm ET

Former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin announced on Sunday that he is retiring from the NFL after 10 years. Maclin was drafted in the first round in 2009 and spent six seasons with the Eagles alongside DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy. He is the 10th leading receiver in Philly franchise history after compiling 343 catches, 4,771 receiving yards and 36 touchdowns. Maclin spent the last three years struggling with the Chiefs and Ravens.

Rob Gronkowski Mar 24 6:13pm ET

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL Sunday, March 24.

Fantasy Spin: The Patriots have lost Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen this offseason, so they probably will be looking for a tight end early in the 2019 NFL Draft. None of the other tight ends on the Patriots roster have a lot of fantasy value.

Rob Gronkowski Mar 24 6:10pm ET

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced on Sunday that he is retiring. The 29-year-old Gronk finished on a high note in the postseason and goes out on top with another Super Bowl ring, but he struggled to gain separation from defenders in the regular season and finished with 47 catches for 682 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season in 13 games. Gronkowski had four 1,000-yard receiving seasons and amassed a whopping 79 regular season scores in his nine-year career. He'll go down as one of the most dominant tight ends in NFL history. With Gronk no longer around, Stephen Anderson will be the top tight end on the depth chart, although he won't be much of a fantasy consideration. Losing Gronk as a safety blanket will surely affect quarterback Tom Brady negatively moving forward.

From RotoBaller