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Strength of Schedule: LBs

An examination of the strength of schedule for linebackers

The advantages offered by the Ultimate Strength of Schedule (USOS) when compared to traditional SOS displays are numerous and include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Fantasy Points Driven
    Fantasy football is all about scoring fantasy points, so USOS is based on fantasy points.
  • Removed Bias Of Schedule
    Consider the following scenario: Defense A faced the Top 16 offenses while Defense B faced the Worst 16 offenses. If both defenses allowed opposing quarterbacks to average 300 fantasy points last season, are they equally strong? Of course not; Defense A is far superior as they faced much better offenses. This bias of schedule has been removed from USOS.
  • Positional Breakdown
    If you are looking for a running back, it's much more relevant to see SOS data for running backs (rather than simply rushing data).
  • Comparison Of 2013 Schedule To 2012 Schedule
    On the surface, a team with an easy schedule at running back should see better running back stats this year. Good schedule = bigger numbers than the year before, right? It seems logical. However, sometimes it's not enough to say that a team has an easy schedule. What if they had an equally easy schedule the season before? Equal schedule = similar numbers as the year before. USOS looks at the differences in schedule from this year compared to last season. An easier set of opponents this year points to increased production. A more difficult set of opponents this season points to decreased production.

Explanation of USOS Tables

Below, you will see tables for each positions USOS. Here is a brief explanation of the make-up of these tables.

The "Team" Column

This is simply the NFL team.

The Values

Each value in the table is the expected number of fantasy points on average or on a per game basis (depending on the column).

The "2013" Column

This is the average expected fantasy points allowed by each team's opponents for this season.

The "Chng" Column

This is the amount of change between the 2013 schedule and the 2012 schedule. A positive value points to an easier SOS than last year while a negative value points to a more difficult SOS compared to last season.

The "EZ" Column

This is the number of easy opponents each team will face this season. An easy opponent is defined as one of the eight (seven during the bye weeks) worst defenses. Obviously, it is preferred to have players with as many easy games as possible.

The "TF" Column

This is the number of tough opponents each team will face this season. A tough opponent is defined as one of the eight (seven during the bye weeks) best defenses. Obviously, it is preferred to have players with as few tough games as possible.

The "1st3" Column

This is the SOS for the first three weeks of the NFL season. This value is useful to determine how players should be expected to open the season. Players with low values could easily stumble out of the gate.

The "1st5" Column

This is similar to "1st3" except that it covers the first five weeks of the NFL season (note that some teams only play four games in this time frame).

The "Byes" Column

This is the SOS covering the bye weeks. This value is useful to find a complementary player during the byes as you'll need to shuffle players in and out of your starting lineup. A player with an easy schedule during this time would be nice to have.

The "14to16" Column

This is similar to "1st3" except that it specifically covers Week 14 through Week 16.

The "15to17" Column

This is similar to "14to16" except that it specifically covers Week 15 through Week 17.

The "W1" through "W17" Columns

These values are the expected strength of each team's opponent for that particular week (W5 is Week 5, etc). This is very useful when searching for backups for your stud players. The key is to locate players with easy opponents when your star is on a bye.

The Coloring of the Values

The green values indicate that the team has one of the eight (seven during the bye weeks) best values in that column. Green was chosen because you can go ahead and take players on that team. The yellow values indicate that the team has one of the eight (seven during the bye weeks) worst values in that column. Yellow was chosen because you should use caution before selecting players from that team. (Note: a green / red combo was considered but some people are color blind between those two colors.)

  • Green is a hot team with a good schedule
  • Yellow is a cold team with a bad schedule

Ultimate Strength of Schedule - Linebackers

Team
2013
Chng
EZ
TF
1st3
1st5
Byes
14to16
15to17
Arizona
26.0
-0.6%
4
3
24.8
24.9
25.5
26.7
27.8
Atlanta
25.6
-0.6%
2
5
24.9
26.1
26.2
25.7
25.5
Baltimore
25.8
-5.6%
2
3
24.5
24.6
26.4
24.9
25.7
Buffalo
26.7
6.3%
4
1
26.6
27.1
27.3
26.0
25.8
Carolina
25.7
2.7%
2
2
24.3
24.8
25.7
26.7
26.9
Chicago
25.5
-5.9%
2
4
25.8
25.4
24.9
27.4
26.9
Cincinnati
26.3
-0.9%
5
3
26.0
26.0
26.6
24.5
26.5
Cleveland
26.7
1.5%
5
1
26.3
26.1
26.5
27.9
28.0
Dallas
25.6
-1.5%
5
6
25.4
25.7
25.3
25.6
26.1
Denver
26.4
5.4%
7
4
25.2
26.2
26.6
26.6
25.4
Detroit
26.0
2.7%
3
4
25.0
25.5
26.5
26.8
25.2
Green Bay
26.2
4.2%
5
2
26.5
26.0
26.2
25.6
26.5
Houston
26.5
8.6%
7
3
28.6
28.2
26.3
24.6
25.0
Indianapolis
26.3
7.1%
5
3
25.9
26.4
26.0
26.5
26.5
Jacksonville
25.7
-2.6%
5
6
27.0
25.8
25.7
25.2
25.2
Kansas City
25.5
-9.2%
4
7
27.5
26.5
25.1
24.0
25.4
Miami
26.3
3.9%
4
4
25.1
25.9
26.1
25.0
26.7
Minnesota
26.0
2.5%
4
5
26.5
26.2
24.7
28.6
27.1
New England
25.9
1.1%
3
5
26.9
26.7
25.7
27.0
26.2
New Orleans
26.0
3.1%
2
3
25.8
26.1
26.6
24.3
25.0
NY Giants
26.2
9.0%
4
4
24.5
26.5
27.0
26.7
25.3
NY Jets
25.7
-8.8%
3
3
25.2
25.9
26.2
25.1
25.3
Oakland
26.4
4.5%
7
6
24.6
25.3
26.3
29.4
27.2
Philadelphia
25.3
-9.3%
3
6
27.4
25.5
24.1
25.9
26.3
Pittsburgh
26.6
4.3%
5
3
27.8
27.0
26.3
25.5
26.1
San Diego
25.6
-6.0%
4
6
26.9
26.2
25.4
23.4
25.9
San Francisco
25.4
-5.7%
2
5
24.9
24.5
25.3
26.2
25.8
Seattle
25.4
-4.0%
3
4
26.4
25.0
25.2
25.3
24.2
St. Louis
26.1
2.6%
5
3
25.8
26.5
26.0
25.6
25.9
Tampa Bay
25.9
-0.5%
3
3
26.8
26.6
25.9
25.8
26.0
Tennessee
25.9
-6.1%
4
6
25.6
27.3
26.8
25.6
25.3
Washington
26.0
3.9%
5
5
26.2
25.8
26.7
27.0
24.4
Average
26.0
0%
4
4
26.0
26.0
26.0
26.0
26.0

Week-By-Week Look

Team
W1
W2
W3
W4
W5
W6
W7
W8
W9
Arizona
24.9
24.7
24.8
26.0
24.0
28.2
26.9
25.5
-
Atlanta
24.8
24.9
25.0
25.3
30.4
-
26.0
26.0
24.0
Baltimore
23.7
26.8
22.9
24.3
25.0
24.6
25.5
-
26.8
Buffalo
25.3
24.0
30.4
29.1
26.8
27.1
25.0
24.8
29.4
Carolina
26.9
24.3
21.8
-
26.0
24.8
24.9
26.0
25.5
Chicago
27.1
24.8
25.5
24.7
24.8
21.8
24.2
-
24.6
Cincinnati
28.0
25.5
24.6
26.8
25.3
24.3
24.7
30.4
25.0
Cleveland
25.0
29.1
24.8
27.1
24.3
24.7
24.6
29.4
29.1
Dallas
21.8
29.4
24.9
28.5
23.7
24.2
29.5
24.7
24.8
Denver
29.1
21.8
24.6
29.5
25.9
27.0
23.1
24.2
-
Detroit
24.8
26.0
24.2
28.0
24.6
26.8
27.1
25.9
-
Green Bay
28.2
24.2
27.1
-
24.7
29.1
26.8
24.8
28.0
Houston
28.5
28.2
29.1
26.9
28.2
24.9
29.4
-
23.1
Indianapolis
24.6
25.0
28.2
27.0
26.9
28.5
23.7
-
22.9
Jacksonville
29.4
24.6
26.9
23.1
24.9
23.7
28.5
28.2
-
Kansas City
27.0
25.9
29.5
21.8
28.2
24.6
22.9
26.8
24.3
Miami
26.8
23.1
25.5
24.8
29.1
-
24.3
25.3
27.1
Minnesota
24.7
28.0
26.8
25.5
-
24.0
21.8
24.6
25.9
New England
24.3
30.4
26.0
25.5
27.1
24.8
30.4
25.0
25.5
New Orleans
25.5
26.0
26.0
25.0
28.0
25.3
-
24.3
30.4
NY Giants
25.9
23.7
24.0
29.4
29.5
28.0
24.8
29.5
-
NY Jets
26.0
25.3
24.3
28.2
25.5
25.5
25.3
27.1
24.8
Oakland
23.1
27.0
23.7
24.2
28.5
29.4
-
25.5
29.5
Philadelphia
24.2
28.5
29.4
23.7
21.8
26.0
25.9
21.8
24.6
Pittsburgh
28.2
27.1
28.0
24.8
-
30.4
29.1
24.6
25.3
San Diego
22.9
29.5
28.2
25.9
24.6
23.1
27.0
-
24.2
San Francisco
24.6
26.9
23.1
24.9
22.9
26.0
28.2
27.0
-
Seattle
24.0
28.2
27.0
22.9
23.1
28.2
26.0
24.9
26.0
St. Louis
26.0
25.5
25.9
28.2
27.0
22.9
24.0
26.9
28.2
Tampa Bay
30.4
24.8
25.3
26.0
-
29.5
25.5
24.0
26.9
Tennessee
25.5
22.9
28.5
30.4
29.4
26.9
28.2
-
24.9
Washington
29.5
24.6
24.7
24.6
-
25.9
28.0
23.7
28.5
Average
26.0
26.0
26.0
26.1
26.1
26.0
26.1
25.8
26.1

 

Team
W10
W11
W12
W13
W14
W15
W16
W17
Arizona
22.9
27.0
23.1
29.5
24.9
28.2
26.9
28.2
Atlanta
26.9
26.0
24.8
24.3
24.6
24.2
28.2
24.0
Baltimore
27.1
28.0
30.4
25.5
24.8
24.7
25.3
27.1
Buffalo
25.5
30.4
-
25.5
26.0
27.0
25.0
25.3
Carolina
28.2
25.3
25.0
26.0
24.8
30.4
24.8
25.5
Chicago
24.7
29.1
24.9
24.8
25.9
26.8
29.5
24.6
Cincinnati
29.1
26.8
-
28.5
23.1
25.5
24.8
29.1
Cleveland
-
27.1
25.5
27.0
25.3
28.0
30.4
25.5
Dallas
24.8
-
21.8
24.6
28.0
24.6
24.2
29.5
Denver
28.5
29.4
25.3
29.4
28.2
28.5
22.9
24.6
Detroit
28.0
25.5
26.0
24.6
29.5
29.1
21.8
24.8
Green Bay
29.5
21.8
24.8
24.7
25.5
25.9
25.5
28.0
Houston
26.0
24.6
27.0
25.3
27.0
23.1
23.7
28.2
Indianapolis
24.9
28.2
26.0
28.2
27.1
22.9
29.4
27.0
Jacksonville
28.2
26.0
22.9
26.8
22.9
24.3
28.2
23.1
Kansas City
-
23.7
28.5
23.7
24.2
24.6
23.1
28.5
Miami
26.0
28.5
24.0
30.4
25.5
25.3
24.3
30.4
Minnesota
24.2
26.9
24.6
28.0
29.1
29.5
27.1
24.7
New England
-
24.0
23.7
22.9
26.8
25.0
29.1
24.3
New Orleans
25.9
28.2
25.5
26.9
24.0
24.9
24.0
26.0
NY Giants
24.6
24.6
25.9
24.2
28.5
26.9
24.7
24.2
NY Jets
-
24.3
29.1
25.0
24.6
24.0
26.8
25.0
Oakland
21.8
22.9
28.2
25.9
30.4
29.4
28.5
23.7
Philadelphia
24.6
24.2
-
26.0
24.7
24.8
28.0
25.9
Pittsburgh
24.3
24.7
26.8
29.1
25.0
27.1
24.6
26.8
San Diego
23.7
25.0
29.4
27.1
21.8
23.7
24.6
29.4
San Francisco
24.0
24.8
24.2
24.9
26.9
26.0
25.5
26.0
Seattle
25.5
24.8
-
24.8
28.2
21.8
26.0
24.9
St. Louis
23.1
-
28.0
28.2
26.0
24.8
26.0
26.9
Tampa Bay
25.0
25.5
24.7
24.0
24.3
28.2
24.9
24.8
Tennessee
27.0
23.1
24.6
23.1
23.7
26.0
27.0
22.9
Washington
24.8
29.5
28.2
21.8
29.4
25.5
25.9
21.8
Average
25.7
26.0
25.8
26.0
26.0
26.0
26.0
26.0

More from Clayton Gray:

160 Cheatsheets - July 2
Strength of Schedule Overview - June 30
Strength of Schedule: DBs - June 30
Strength of Schedule: LBs - June 30
Strength of Schedule: DLs - June 30
Strength of Schedule: TDs - June 30
Strength of Schedule: PKs - June 30
Strength of Schedule: TEs - June 30
Strength of Schedule: WRs - June 30
Strength of Schedule: RBs - June 30