Most fantasy owners base their expectations on a player’s performance last season. Probably 90% of fantasy owners are guilty of this expectation. The most overlooked statistic in fantasy football is the strength of schedule(SOS). The strength of schedule (SOS) is the single most valuable statistic that all fantasy owners should study, prior to drafting a player of any position.
I have made a list of a few players who could make or break your season based on strength of schedule. Remember, even though a player has good strength of schedule, it is wise to draft a player who has displayed a proven record. This is not to say you should not take chances, but only minimize your risks. However, you cannot win a championship without taking risk. The following are the player’s who could have a break out season based on SOS.
1. Jamaal Charles(Kansas City). He is a 3rd year player who showed flashes of fantasy super stardom last season. He rushed for 1120 yards with 7 touchdowns. He also caught 40 passes for 297 and scored 1 touchdown. He has the #1 spot on the strength of schedule. I think he is poised for fantasy greatness. He should go in the 1st or 2nd round.
Justin Forsett (Seattle). He came out of nowhere last season and rushed for 619 yards with 4 touchdowns. He caught 41 passes for 350 yards with 1 touchdown. His name is slowly moving up among fantasy websites. He is a player who could be drafted way too early or too late. He has the #2 spot on the strength of schedule. At one time, he was behind Lendale White, but Lendale’s lack of commitment to the game cost him a roster spot. He will compete with the often injured Julius Jones and Leon Washington. Washington is still recovering from a shattered leg. Watch this guy.
Frank Gore (San Fransisco). He enters his 6th season at age 27. He rushed for 1,120 yards with 10 touchdowns. He caught 52 passes for 406 yards with 3 touchdowns. Those are some impressive numbers! His team was starting to open things a little last season. He faces the #3 spot on the strength of schedule. Gore enjoyed his most productive season since 2006. What is most impressive is that he carried the ball only 229 times. He averaged more fantasy points than Ray Rice.
Before you decide to use a magazines cheat sheets, take the time to study for yourself. The strength of schedule is like a crystal ball. I would hate to see anyone draft a player with high expectations, to only find out later that he will face a challenging strength of schedule.
The following is a list of players whose strength of schedule could limit their success. Don’t be surprised. Search through this blog and you will find a strength of schedule and you can decide for yourself.
1. LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia). He is a 2nd year back that came out of nowhere to fantasy greatness, in his brief appearance last season. . He runs behind an effective offensive line and has a solid surrounding cast. He posted 637 yards with 4 touchdowns and caught 40 receptions for 308 yards with no touchdowns. Don’t expect him to have a break out sophomore season. He will face #30 on the SOS. Sure he could prove me wrong, but is too much to ask of a 2nd year player faces tough run defenses, week after week. Fantasy owners be very careful.
2. Matt Forte (Chicago). Nobody wants this guy to bounce back more than myself, due to the fact that I am a Bears fan. It will not happen this year. He will face the #29 spot on the SOS, but he will also be digesting a new offensive system. His receptions could increase, if Jay Cutler doesn’t have a fully understand the complex offense. Don’t set your sites too high.
Maurice Jones-Drew(Jacksonville). He is coming off a season where he posted career best in many categories. One thing that will hurt him is the fact that the Jags do not have a back that compliments him well. There are times throughout the season, where he will physically wear down. This offense revolves around him. He will be facing the #21 on the SOS in 2010. He had over 300 carries last year. History has proven that backs who see that much action tend to wear down. Drafting him at the right spot in the draft would be great, but don’t draft him too high.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog and learning the importance of studying the strength of schedule. Good luck!