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Fantasy Football

How to Use the Strength of Schedule Tool

Staff Writer

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Not every week is equal in fantasy football, especially when it comes to beating your friends in the playoffs. If you preferentially choose players who have a favorable schedule going into Weeks 16 and 17, you will have a great chance of success. The Awesemo Strength of Schedule Tool is not your regular list of good and bad defenses by week. Alex Baker has put his projections to work, using game lines coupled with specific stats to create a rating for each matchup that is not solely based on last year’s performances. Also, types of defenses are taken into account. Run-stuffing defenses may allow no points to bruising backs who continually run through the A-gap, but what about pass-catching backs like Christian McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara? Awesemo’s Strength of Schedule Tool treats those backs differently, for example, and tailors the fantasy football strength of schedule to their unique situations. We have grouped each player’s strength of schedule by periods of the season, grouped by weeks. Want to know how a player grades out during the playoffs? Just toggle the playoff column. Got a guillotine league where you need to be great right off the bat? Toggle Weeks 1-4.

About Strength of Schedule

The general fantasy football consensus seems to be that strength of schedule is not predictable from year to year because of all the turnover in personnel. While this is true to a degree, a defense that was good last year on average tends to be good the following year. In general, a good defense should still decrease your playoff projections by at least 3%, and a poor one increases it by at least 3% with preseason projections. This may not seem like a lot, but remember these are magnified by the fact that playoff points are worth so much more than regular-season points. Furthermore, there are some ways that we can improve our SOS adjustments.

Home/Road Splits — A team playing at home typically scores 3% more fantasy points than they do on the road, running backs increase even more. If your player is playing two home games in Weeks 15 and 16, that could be enough to put you over the top in the championship game.

Weather — As the weather starts to get colder teams tend to score less and pass less. If your quarterback is making trips to Soldier Field and Lambeau during Weeks 15 and 16, their production may decrease by up to 10%. You do not want those guys on your team during the weeks you care about the most. On the other hand, if a running back is making this same trip, he could see his production increase by up to 10%, so he could be a championship winner.

Domes — When most teams are seeing their projected points decreasing in the fantasy playoffs those teams that are going to domes are going to see their production increase. If your players are visiting the Saints and Falcons, you will increase your chances of winning the title, and we can 100% make this forecast before we draft.

If you want to win your league instead of falling just short, you have to take calculated risks, the same way we have over the last few years, winning millions of dollars. Luckily at Awesemo, we have all the tools to help you implement these strategies and properly value players based on their odds to win a championship.

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How to Use the Strength of Schedule Tool

The Strength of Schedule Tool is a part of the 2021 Awesemo Fantasy Football Draft Kit. It features a sortable table that allows you to look at each position individually and sort by certain periods of the year, including traditional playoff time (Weeks 16, 17 and 18) as well as the playoffs. If you are trying to find a specific time period for a year — say you want to target players who will get off to a hot start in Weeks 1-4 so you can trade them — that option is available too.

The tool takes a number of conditions and statistics into consideration, including Vegas point totals for each matchup, team defense against a specific position, weather/dome issues and much more. It was designed by our fantasy football data scientists at Awesemo.

The Strategy Behind Playoff Strength of Schedule

The legendary Ricky Bobby said it best: If you are not first, you are last. And that applies to fantasy football; if you do not win your league, no one is going to remember or care. No one celebrates their second-place fantasy football team. Most people think about this when imagining winning the league title but quickly forget it on draft day and instead follow the same strategies everyone else is.

The best way to adopt this mindset is by focusing on winning the playoffs. Fantasy football is a complex game, so by fixating on the playoffs you can greatly simplify things. Additionally, there is a ton of content across the industry that will help you do well for the season. The problem is since everyone has this information it is tougher to gain an advantage. In fact, using this information often makes it tougher to win. You are not looking for just a good team, which this can help you get. You are looking for an outlier team, and if you follow the general consensus, it is tough to construct an outlier team.

What’s more, a lot of that information is not really that valuable. Based on historical data we typically make the playoffs around 95% even without spending a lot of resources on doing so. You can get through the regular season by drafting well, being active on the waivers, making good start/sit decisions and making a well-timed trade. So why spend valuable resources like draft picks on players to help you make the playoffs when you can instead spend those resources on players that will help you in the playoffs?

Check out today's FREE DFS tool of the day

To read more from Steve Buzzard’s article, click HERE.

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