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We’re going to share nine players that have a great Fantasy strength of schedule to start the season, but then follow up with a tough schedule from Weeks 6-15.

In other words, these are players expected to get off to really good starts before they level off against tougher competition. By drafting these players at decent Fantasy values, you can watch their stock rise after the first month, then trade them before their values dip.

When looking at the Fantasy Football strength of schedule, it’s important to take a few things into account.

First, there are certainly those that oppose the concept of Fantasy Football strength of schedule because players and teams change so much over the offseason that offenses and defenses aren’t the same, and the numbers are useless. This is an incorrect assumption, as the key players and coaches usually stay the exact same, outside of changes on a few teams every year.

Second, the focus on a target does get fuzzier the farther you pull back, so the Fantasy Football strength of schedule are more accurate in the first part of the season than they are in the latter stages. But even so, only one or two teams every year make huge strides either forward or backward defensively.

Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule: Hot Starts, Cold Finishes

These eight players are all worthy of being drafted in most standard Fantasy Football leagues. In other words, I’m not telling you to draft Levine Toilolo because the Falcons have a good slate early and then it fades quickly.

These Fantasy Football strength of schedules come from FFToolbox.com, and I broke them down into three segments: Weeks 1-5, Weeks 6-10 and Weeks 11-15. And I used the ADP numbers from FantasyPros.com aggregate numbers from several draft sites.




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Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers – Round 9 ADP

I’ve already been cool on drafting Rivers as your Fantasy backup at quarterback, but doing it this way actually makes sense.

The Chargers have the easiest Fantasy Football strength of schedules for quarterbacks from Weeks 1-5, then they have the 28th-easiest in the next five weeks and the 26th-easiest in the last five weeks.

By drafting Rivers, who has a tough strength of schedule in the first five weeks, you’ll be able to squeeze the best weeks out of him early, with games against the Jaguars, Colts, Saints and Raiders secondaries in the first five weeks.

Unfortunately, trading a quarterback is tough in Fantasy because usually, everyone has a decent one and they don’t want to give up a commodity at another position. But you can use Rivers as a 2-for-1 chip with an owner who might lose their QB to injury, like if they drafted Tony Romo, Big Ben or Carson Palmer.

If you end up drafting Tom Brady, who is suspended for the first four weeks of the season, draft Rivers as his Fantasy counterpart. Brilliant!

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Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers – Round 9 ADP

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David Gonos

David Gonos has been writing about Fantasy Sports online since 2000 – and playing Fantasy Sports since 1989. He has drafted both Curt Warner and Kurt Warner, along with Big Unit and Big Papi. A veteran of hundreds of drafts in the past 15 years alone, Gonos is closely acquainted with sleepers, breakouts and busts – as he has drafted many of all three. He was a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBSSports.com for five years, and he has been columnist on SI.com and FanDuel.com, while also getting published on MLB.com, NFL.com, FoxSports.com and USAToday.com.
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