Strength of Schedule, August: 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 2015 Schedule To 2014 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 "2015" 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 2015 schedule and the 2014 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
2015
Chng
EZ
TF
1st3
1st5
Byes
14to16
15to17
Arizona
32.7 7.8% 5 3 34 33.8 33.3 28.6 29.8
Atlanta
32.2 1.3% 7 5 31.5 31.8 31.6 35.1 34.5
Baltimore
32.4 0.2% 2 3 31.1 32.1 33.1 33.2 32.9
Buffalo
32.6 -1% 4 4 32.7 32.2 32.8 29.9 33.7
Carolina
31.4 -7.2% 4 5 33.3 31.9 30.1 32.9 31.9
Chicago
31.1 -3.4% 2 6 29.9 30.9 31.5 29.6 29.3
Cincinnati
32.8 2.8% 3 2 31.9 32.3 32.9 33.3 32.8
Cleveland
32.5 0% 4 3 32.2 32.1 32 33.8 33.2
Dallas
32.4 2.7% 5 5 31.7 32.4 32.1 34.2 35.1
Denver
32.1 1.7% 1 2 32.2 31.4 32.1 32.4 32.5
Detroit
31.3 -1.4% 3 7 30.3 30.3 30.4 35.3 34
Green Bay
31.8 2.2% 3 4 32.6 33.9 32.7 29.9 29.4
Houston
32.4 0.2% 6 4 32.3 32.7 32.5 31.5 31.7
Indianapolis
32 -4.4% 3 5 33.1 33 32.2 31.7 29.3
Jacksonville
32.3 -0.3% 6 4 32.8 32.4 32.4 33.6 32.5
Kansas City
31.7 -2.6% 1 3 30.7 31.1 31.8 32.4 32.3
Miami
33.1 6.5% 6 2 33.2 34.6 32.6 34.9 33.4
Minnesota
32 2.8% 3 4 32.9 32.2 31.8 32.2 32.8
New England
32.7 0.8% 6 6 33.8 33 33.5 32.4 31.5
New Orleans
31.4 -5% 4 5 30.6 29.9 31.5 30.7 31.7
NY Giants
31.8 -6.7% 5 6 31.1 32.7 31.8 31.6 30.8
NY Jets
32 -7.9% 4 4 32 31.4 31.9 29.6 32.4
Oakland
31.7 -0.3% 1 5 32.3 31.8 31.6 30.5 31.5
Philadelphia
32.6 7.3% 6 3 33.4 33.3 32.2 31.4 32.2
Pittsburgh
32.6 -1.2% 3 2 34.8 33.7 31.7 31.4 31.8
San Diego
31.6 -1.4% 1 5 30.6 31.7 32.4 31.4 30.4
San Francisco
32 -5.1% 3 4 30.3 31.4 32.3 31.9 32.9
Seattle
32.4 0% 5 4 32.5 32 32.8 33.7 32.2
St. Louis
31.5 -6% 2 5 32.8 31.2 31.4 30.5 32.1
Tampa Bay
32.8 8% 7 2 30.8 32.4 32.8 34 34.7
Tennessee
33.2 13% 6 2 32.2 32.7 32.8 34.7 33.6
Washington
32.6 1.8% 7 4 34.1 32.1 33.1 31.2 30.7
Average
32.2 0% 4 4 32.2 32.2 32.2 32.2 32.2

Week-By-Week Look

Team
W1
W2
W3
W4
W5
W6
W7
W8
W9
Arizona
34.2 32 35.9 35.8 31.1 34 32.4 33 -
Atlanta
27.4 36.9 30.3 32.4 32 34.2 26 27.8 35.9
Baltimore
30.1 31.6 31.6 34 33 35.9 27.8 31.9 -
Buffalo
35.8 32.6 29.6 36.9 26 31.6 33.2 - 29.6
Carolina
33.2 32.4 34.2 27.8 - 32.5 27.4 35.8 29.5
Chicago
29.5 27.8 32.5 31.6 33.1 31.1 - 29 31.9
Cincinnati
31.6 31.9 32.4 33.1 32.5 34.3 - 34 33
Cleveland
38.9 26 31.6 31.9 32.4 30.1 35.8 27.8 31.6
Dallas
36.9 27.4 30.9 34.2 32.6 - 36.9 32.5 27.4
Denver
32.4 33.1 31.1 29 31.6 33 - 29.5 35.8
Detroit
31.9 29 30.1 32.5 27.8 32 29 33.1 -
Green Bay
32 32.5 33.1 35.9 35.8 31.9 - 30.1 36.1
Houston
33.1 36.1 27.8 30.9 35.8 33.2 29.6 26 -
Indianapolis
34.3 38.9 26 33.2 32.4 32.6 34.2 36.1 30.1
Jacksonville
36.1 29.6 32.6 35.8 27.8 32.4 34.3 - 38.9
Kansas City
32.4 30.1 29.5 31.6 32 29 34 31.1 -
Miami
32 33.2 34.3 38.9 - 26 32.4 32.6 34.3
Minnesota
35.9 31.1 31.9 30.1 - 33.1 31.1 32 35.8
New England
34 34.3 33.2 - 30.3 35.8 38.9 29.6 32
New Orleans
27.8 27.8 36.1 30.3 27.4 30.9 35.8 36.9 26
NY Giants
30.3 30.9 32 34.3 35.9 27.4 30.3 34.2 27.8
NY Jets
33 35.8 27.4 29.6 - 32 32.6 31.6 33.2
Oakland
31.6 32.4 33 32 30.1 - 31.9 38.9 34
Philadelphia
30.9 30.3 38.9 32 34.2 36.9 36.1 - 30.3
Pittsburgh
32.6 35.9 35.8 32.4 31.9 27.8 33.1 31.6 31.6
San Diego
31.1 31.6 29 33 34 29.5 31.6 32.4 32
San Francisco
29 34 27.8 29.5 36.9 32.4 32.5 35.8 30.9
Seattle
35.8 29.5 32 31.1 31.6 36.1 35.9 30.3 -
St. Louis
32.5 32 34 27.8 29.5 - 33 35.9 29
Tampa Bay
26 34.2 32.4 36.1 33.2 - 32 30.9 36.9
Tennessee
27.8 33 35.8 - 34.3 29.6 30.9 32.4 34.2
Washington
29.6 35.8 36.9 27.4 30.9 38.9 27.8 - 32.6
Average
32.2 32.2 32.2 32.4 32 32.3 32.4 32.2 32.3

 

Team
W10
W11
W12
W13
W14
W15
W16
W17
Arizona
32.5 31.6 35.9 35.8 29 27.4 29.5 32.5
Atlanta
- 35.8 29 27.8 36.1 33.2 36.1 34.2
Baltimore
33.2 35.8 33 29.6 32.5 33.1 34 31.6
Buffalo
38.9 32.6 33.1 32.4 27.4 32 30.3 38.9
Carolina
26 32 30.3 34.2 30.9 36.9 30.9 27.8
Chicago
35.8 30.1 29.5 35.9 32 29 27.8 31.1
Cincinnati
32.4 27.8 35.8 33 34 35.9 30.1 32.4
Cleveland
34 - 32.4 31.6 35.9 32.5 33.1 34
Dallas
27.8 29.6 36.1 32 29.5 38.9 34.3 32
Denver
33.1 32 32.6 31.9 31.6 34 31.6 31.9
Detroit
29.5 31.6 27.4 29.5 35.8 34.2 35.9 32
Green Bay
31.1 29 32 31.1 30.3 31.6 27.8 29
Houston
31.6 38.9 34.2 34.3 32.6 35.8 26 33.2
Indianapolis
- 30.9 27.8 34 33.2 32.4 29.6 26
Jacksonville
32.4 26 31.9 26 35.8 30.9 34.2 32.4
Kansas City
30.1 31.9 34.3 31.6 31.9 32.4 33 31.6
Miami
27.4 30.3 38.9 32.4 36.9 31.9 35.8 32.6
Minnesota
31.6 29.5 30.9 32.5 27.8 32 36.9 29.5
New England
36.9 34.3 30.1 27.4 32.4 26 38.9 29.6
New Orleans
32 - 32.4 36.1 27.8 31.1 33.2 30.9
NY Giants
32.6 - 32 38.9 29.6 36.1 29 27.4
NY Jets
34.3 32.4 29.6 36.9 26 30.3 32.6 34.3
Oakland
29 31.1 26 33.1 30.1 29.5 31.9 33.1
Philadelphia
29.6 27.8 31.1 32.6 34.3 27.8 32 36.9
Pittsburgh
33 - 32.5 35.8 31.6 30.1 32.4 33
San Diego
- 33.1 33.2 30.1 33.1 29.6 31.6 30.1
San Francisco
- 32.5 27.8 32 33 31.6 31.1 35.8
Seattle
27.8 35.9 34 29 32.4 33 35.8 27.8
St. Louis
32 32.4 31.6 27.8 31.1 27.8 32.5 35.9
Tampa Bay
30.3 27.4 35.8 30.9 34.2 35.8 32 36.1
Tennessee
36.1 33.2 31.6 33.2 38.9 32.6 32.4 35.8
Washington
34.2 36.1 36.9 30.3 32 34.3 27.4 30.3
Average
32 31.8 32.2 32.2 32.2 32.2 32.2 32.2

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