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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

QB Strength of Schedule

Thu May 23 11:12am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Related photo caption below

Prescott setup for big success


Using our rules for our money leagues, we came up with a schedule strength ranking for the quarterback position. We are using our fantasy defenses report to calculate the rankings. This report can be found in all of our leagues under the "reports" heading. We took the schedule of each team and entered the average number of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last season from all of their opponents to get our fantasy points allowed number. This is a good indication of the quarterbacks with the most favorable schedules for fantasy scoring for the coming season. Defenses obviously change from year to year, but knowing the quarterbacks that might have the easiest schedule for fantasy is always a good idea when formulating your rankings and draft strategy.

  QB SOS  
1. Miami Dolphins 313.6
2. Cincinnati Bengals 314.77
3. Los Angeles Chargers 317.32
4. Denver Broncos 317.38
5. Pittsburgh Steelers 320.33
6. Houston Texans 320.74
7. Buffalo Bills 321.01
8. Philadelphia Eagles 323.71
9. Kansas City Chiefs 325.08
10. Washington Commanders 325.12
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 326.4
12. Jacksonville Jaguars 328.45
13. New York Jets 329.06
14. New England Patriots 329.64
15. Cleveland Browns 330.31
16. Los Angeles Rams 330.72
17. Arizona Cardinals 331.54
18. Indianapolis Colts 331.69
19. Seattle Seahawks 332
20. Atlanta Falcons 332.73
21. Baltimore Ravens 333.05
22. San Francisco 49ers 333.05
23. Detroit Lions 334.13
24. Las Vegas Raiders 334.38
25. New York Giants 334.72
26. New Orleans Saints 336.27
27. Minnesota Vikings 337.2
28. Dallas Cowboys 339.64
29. Chicago Bears 340.70
30. Tennessee Titans 343.69
31. Carolina Panthers 345.54
32. Green Bay Packers 349.53


The Packers have the easiest fantasy schedule for quarterbacks. Jordan Love already had a breakout season last year and could take his game to an even higher level this season. Love is shaping up to be a really intriguing QB1 this season. He is a player on the rise and seems setup for even more success this year.

A couple second-year quarterbacks have really favorable schedules, Will Levis and Bryce Young. Both seem like good No. 2 fantasy quarterbacks to take a chance. Their teams did well in upgrading the talent around them this offseason and a favorable schedule bodes well for them to take some steps forward this year.

Caleb Williams was the No.1 overall pick and the Bears gave him plenty of firepower to work with in year one. Williams has a lot of good going for him this year and could be the C.J. Stroud of this year’s rookie class. And having a favorable fantasy schedule helps Williams even more.

A couple veterans with favorable schedules are Dak Prescott and Derek Carr. Prescott is the one that stands out the most. The Cowboys are lacking top options at the running back spot, so it would not surprise if the Cowboys are really pass-heavy offensively. Prescott could really rack up the numbers this year.

There are some big-name quarterbacks on the opposite side of things, having very tough fantasy schedules. Tua Tagovalioa has the toughest schedule of all. He struggled a little down the stretch last year and now has the most unfavorable schedule for any fantasy quarterback. This is a little concerning.

Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and whoever is starting in Pittsburgh, likely Russell Wilson, are other veteran quarterbacks that have a top-five unfavorable schedule for fantasy quarterbacks. Burrow is not a huge concern for us because we think they will still have success throwing the ball and he has a ton of talent around him at receiver. Herbert is a concern. The Chargers lost their top two receivers and could be a lot more run-heavy with a new coach in place. Herbert has some red flags for him this coming year, making him a bit of a risky pick for fantasy teams. Wilson is another veteran with a tough schedule. He also has Justin Fields pushing him to play, so Wilson is going to be a boom or bust fantasy pick.

We also wanted to look at playoff schedules for fantasy quarterbacks. So we crunched the numbers of all the schedules from Week 14-17, which is the fantasy playoffs for most leagues. We know you have to get to the playoffs first, but knowing the quarterbacks with the easiest playoff schedules doesn’t hurt by any means, especially in the big money contests.

  QB PLAYOFF SOS  
1. Jacksonville Jaguars 292.02
2. Houston Texans 299.33
3. New York Giants 301.93
4. Miami Dolphins 307.48
5. Los Angeles Rams 308.45
6. Detroit Lions 312.4
7. Arizona Cardinals 313.15
8. Kansas City Chiefs 313.45
9. Buffalo Bills 313.6
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 317.53
11. Cincinnati Bengals 318.03
12. Baltimore Ravens 318.25
13. Green Bay Packers 322.48
14. Indianapolis Colts 322.83
15. Pittsburgh Steelers 328.78
16. Philadelphia Eagles 331.23
17. Cleveland Browns 331.95
18. Minnesota Vikings 334.68
19. Atlanta Falcons 336.18
20. Carolina Panthers 338.62
21. Seattle Seahawks 338.65
22. Las Vegas Raiders 341.18
23. Los Angeles Chargers 341.22
24. New York Jets 344.3
25. New Orleans Saints 346.68
26. Chicago Bears 347.07
27. Tennessee Titans 348.42
28. New England Patriots 355.23
29. Denver Broncos 355.35
30. Dallas Cowboys 359.62
31. Washington Commanders 359.92
32. San Francisco 49ers 363.47


There is just a team that makes both the top-five favorable quarterback schedule for the regular season and playoffs. That team is the Cowboys. So Dak Prescott has the third easiest playoff schedule in addition to having the fifth easiest regular season schedule. Prescott was a player looking pretty good even before seeing these schedules, so you might want to bump him up a few spots in your rankings after seeing this. Prescott could be a league winner in 2024.

The 49ers actually have the easiest fantasy quarterback schedule for the playoffs. So Brock Purdy could have a great run during the fantasy playoffs. He always has a high weekly ceiling, so things are looking great for him this postseason.

Now some rookie quarterbacks round out the team of having top-five fantasy quarterback playoff schedules. Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix and Drake Maye are all likely starting for their teams later in the season, so they should help fantasy teams during the playoffs. They all have some question marks surrounding them but could be worth the gamble, especially if you have a dependable starter already on your roster. These rookies could make some noise late in the season.

On the opposite side of things, the Dolphins are the only team to have both a top-five unfavorable fantasy quarterback schedule for the regular season and playoffs. We already had a few concerns for Tagovalioa even before these schedules were released. And now seeing he has very challenging schedules for both the regular season and playoffs make him a player you might want to avoid come draft day.

Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars have the toughest schedule for the playoffs. Lawrence has not lived up to expectations to date. He could have his best season to date this year, but his schedule during the playoffs is concerning. Lawrence could struggle when it matters most.

C.J. Stroud is the biggest name of any quarterback with a top-five unfavorable playoff schedule. We aren’t too concerned about this because some players can rise above the challenge. Stroud is one of those players. Things will be tougher for him in year two, but he will also progress and get better. Plus, he has Stefon Diggs added to the mix, which should improve that passing game even more.

Daniel Jones is another quarterback with a challenging playoff schedule. He is another fringe draft pick to begin with, so seeing him possibly have struggles down the stretch causes more trepidation when it comes to possibly drafting him. He might be another player to just steer clear of come draft day.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

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Buffalo Bills running back James Cook dropped five passes last season, which ranked sixth among all qualified running backs. Early in offseason activities, the third-year pro out of Georgia has continued to struggle in that area, according to Bills reporter Alex Brasky. "James Cook allowed a pass to bounce off his hands, high into the air near the start of team drills at Wednesday's mandatory minicamp." Brasky wrote, "Cook encountered issues with drops last season and has done little to ramp down those concerns during offseason activities." While this is somewhat of a concern, it can often be overplayed when analyzing a player's fantasy football value. After catching 44 passes for 445 yards and ranking second among running backs in yards per reception, the team is unlikely to pull back his receiving workload. That said, rookie fourth-rounder Ray Davis caught 62 passes over his final two collegiate seasons in the SEC and could become a factor on third downs.

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Marquise Brown Jun 13 12:10pm ET
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Ja'Marr Chase Jun 13 12:10pm ET
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Joe Burrow Jun 13 12:10pm ET
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Josh Jacobs Jun 13 12:10pm ET
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Austin Trammell Jun 13 12:10pm ET
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Colby Parkinson Jun 13 12:10pm ET
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Jayden Daniels Jun 13 12:10pm ET
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Washington Commanders new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury appears to be using some two-running back sets during mandatory minicamp this week involving Brian Robinson and Austin Ekeler. In what will be a vastly different offense under Kingsbury in 2024 with rookie first-round quarterback Jayden Daniels at the helm, Washington figures to use Robinson as more of the between-the-tackles, early-down back, with Ekeler serving as the primary pass-catcher out of the backfield. The 25-year-old Robinson had 43 targets in 2023, but he stands to lose a hefty amount of targets to Ekeler this year. With more competition from Ekeler, B-Rob is going to need to remain productive and hold onto the football to be a viable RB3/flex for fantasy managers in standard-scoring leagues. Ekeler should be more valuable as an RB3/flex in point-per-reception formats.

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Drake Maye Jun 13 12:10pm ET
Drake Maye

New England Patriots rookie first-round quarterback Drake Maye continues to make strides at mandatory minicamp this week. Maye nearly matched veteran Jacoby Brissett in repetitions for the second consecutive open practice on Monday, and there's more juice to the offensive operation when Maye is at the controls. His arm talent and athleticism allow him to, in flashes, elevate players around him. It's exactly what the Patriots want to hear of the No. 3 overall pick, who has the playmaker gene, but they understandably don't seem to be in a rush to start Maye as their QB1 to open the regular season, especially with the remaining pieces of the offense being a work in progress in a new offensive scheme. Maye's early impressiveness will make him an even more popular draft pick in dynasty/keeper leagues, but he's probably not going to be much of a redraft target.

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Hunter Henry Jun 13 12:10pm ET
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New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry has been the top dog at the position so far in offseason workouts. Henry has been reliable between the numbers for the team's quarterbacks. Along with Henry, seventh-round rookie Jaheim Bell is finding his footing in practices, and his speed to run the seam has become more apparent with each repetition. Austin Hooper has struggled at times to create separation and is set to carve out more of a role as a blocker in the run game than as a receiver. The 29-year-old had a career-low 419 receiving yards in a bad Patriots offense last year, but don't let his six touchdown passes go overlooked. He signed a three-year extension to stay in New England this offseason and should once again be a highly-used red-zone target by either quarterback Jacoby Brissett or rookie Drake Maye. Henry could be an intriguing touchdown-dependent TE2 in fantasy, especially if Maye takes the starting job sooner than later.

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Kayshon Boutte Jun 13 12:10pm ET
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Sam Darnold Jun 13 2:13am ET
Sam Darnold

Dynasty | The Vikings currently have Sam Darnold as their QB1. Dynasty Analysis: Noted. It seems Minnesota will attempt to create a competition between Darnold and rookie JJ McCarthy, a competition McCarthy will almost assuredly win. Darnold looked like he had a chance for another legitimate shot at starting but the drafting of McCarthy has thrown a big bucket of cold water on that sentiment. It's hard to see him holding this spot for long in training camp. Darnold is roster worthy in 2QB leagues but a tough hold in 1QB formats.

From Dynasty League Fantasy