2009 Strength of Schedule

Fantasy Forte’s 2009 NFL Strength of Schedule Rankings

If you are an expert fantasy owner, when you saw Tom Brady’s knee get obliterated in Week 1 against Kansas City last year, the first thought in your mind wouldn’t have been anything about Tom Brady.  As soon as you saw the replay of Bernard Pollard falling on that left knee, you should have raced to your computer, found New England’s depth chart, and picked up whoever the back-up was.

Immediately picking up Matt Cassel without thinking twice in 2008 is important to recount for two reasons.  First, even without Brady, one should be able to identify New England’s offense as one of the most explosive in the league.  Second (with the first point already in mind), New England clearly had the easiest schedule in the league last season.  NYJ(2), BUF(2), SF, STL, DEN, SEA, and OAK all in one season?  Cassel’s success was as certain as ESPN touting Tim Tebow for Heisman.   Based on Strength of Schedule alone, Darren Sproles, Antonio Gates, Zach Miller, Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Drew Brees, Roddy White, Steve Smith and Deangelo Williams all could have been predicted last year as their respected teams made up the 10 easiest schedules in 2008.

On that note, players such as Ben Roethlisburger, Santonio Holmes, Willis McGahee, Jamal Lewis, Derek Anderson, Daunte Culpepper and Vince Young had the 10 hardest schedules in the league and their disappointing years shouldn’t have been a surprise.

What is in store for 2009?  Below I have identified Definite Studs, Potential Studs, 50/50’s, Potential Duds and Duds for the top and bottom 10 teams based on 2009 Strength of Schedule.  Each player’s assessment is based on (and in order of importance), 1.) Average Draft Position, 2.) Strength of Schedule, 3.) 2008 Statistics and Strength of Schedule, 5.) Offensive Line Ranking, 6.) Career Statistics.

2009 SoS Rankings (Easiest to Hardest)

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1.  Chicago Bears (2008 SoS #22)(Offensive Line #19)

Definite Stud: Matt “The Ambassador” Forte, Greg Olson

50/50: Jay Cutler, Devin Hester

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2.  Minnesota Vikings (28)(6)

Definite Stud: Adrian Peterson

50/50: Brett Favre, Visanthe Shiancoe, Chester Taylor, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin

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3.  Green Bay Packers (21)(17)

Definite Stud: Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings

Potential Stud: Ryan Grant, Donald Driver

50/50 Jermichael Finley

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4.  Arizona Cardinals (12)(20)

Definite Stud: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin

Potential Stud: Kurt Warner

50/50: Jerheme Urban(TE), Tim Hightower, Chris Wells

Potential Dud: Steve Breaston

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5.  Pittsburgh Steelers (32)(30)

50/50: Entire Steelers Starting Line-up

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6.  Baltimore Ravens (29)(8)

Potential Stud: Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Derrick Mason

50/50: Todd Heap, LeRon McLain

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7.  San Francisco 49’ers (15)(27)

Definite Stud: Frank Gore

50/50: Shaun Hill, Josh Morgan

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8.  Cleveland Browns (26)(18)

Potential Stud: Braylon Edwards

50/50: Brady Quinn, James Davis

Dud: Jamal Lewis

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9.  Seattle Seahawks (14)(23)

Potential Stud: Matt Hasselbeck, TJ Houshmandzadeh

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10.  St. Louis Rams (16)(22)

Definite Stud: Steven Jackson

50/50: Donnie Avery

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11.  Detroit Lions (2008 SoS #24)(Offensive Line 32)

12.  Oakland Raiders (3)(24)

13.  Cincinnati Bengals (27)(29)

14.  Houston Texans (25)(12)

15.  Tennessee Titans (23)(2)

16.  San Diego Chargers (2)(21)

17.  Denver Broncos (4)(7)

18.  New York Giants (18)(1)

19.  Washington Redskins (19)(28)

20.  Kansas City Chiefs (7)(31)

21.  Indianapolis Colts (31)(16)

22.  Jacksonville Jaguars (30)(26)

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23.  Dallas Cowboys (2008 SoS #20)(Offensive Line #11)

Definite Stud: Jason Witten

Potential Stud: Marion Barber

50/50: Tony Romo

Potential Dud: Roy Williams, Felix Jones

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24.  New England Patriots (1)(14)

Definite Stud: Randy Moss

Potential Stud: Wes Welker, Tom Brady

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25.  New Orleans Saints (5)(15)

Definite Stud: Drew Brees

Potential Stud: Pierre Thomas

50/50: Reggie Bush

Potential Dud: Marques Colston

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26.  Philadelphia Eagles (17)(3)

Potential Stud: Brian Westbrook

50/50: Donovan McNabb

Potential Dud: DeSean Jackson

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27.  New York Jets (8)(13)

50/50: Leon Washington

Potential Dud: Thomas Jones, Jericho Cotchery

Dud: Mark Sanchez, Chansi Stuckey

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28.  Buffalo Bills (6)(25)

50/50: Lee Evans

Potential Dud: Marshawn Lynch, Terrell Owens, Trent Edwards

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29.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13)(10)

Potential Dud: Antonio Bryant, Derrick Ward

Dud: Byron Leftwhich/Luke McCown

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30.  Atlanta Falcons (9)(4)

Potential Stud: Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez

Potential Dud: Michael Turner, Matt Ryan

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31.  Carolina Panthers (11)(5)

Potential Stud: Steve Smith

Potential Dud: Deangello Williams, Johnathan Stewart

Dud: Mushin Muhammad, Jake Delhome

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32.  Miami Dolphins (10)(9)

50/50: Brian Hartline

Potential Dud: Ronnie Brown, Ted Ginn Jr.

Dud: Chad Pennington



7 Responses

  1. Joe Flacco a “potential stud”? I dont think so

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