Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule: Tight Ends

Written by John Ferguson
June 2, 2020
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As part of our 2020 Fantasy Football Draft Kit here at FantasyData, we have created a custom strength of schedule projection model with in-depth analysis to help you in your quest for a championship title. Strength of schedule (SOS) is a tool I have used ever since I started playing fantasy as a part of draft preparation. This, along with personal rankings and ADP are cornerstones of conducting a solid draft. One of the best parts about using SOS is being able to compare two players you have ranked pretty much identically with similar ADPs to see which one might have a slight edge with an easier schedule, especially in the final quarter of the fantasy season (Weeks 13-16) when wins matter the most.

Method of Projection and Numbers to Know

There are a few different ways people project SOS for an upcoming fantasy season. The way I prefer to do this is by using a recent sample of the last two seasons' fantasy points allowed ranks and points per game (PPG) allowed. I compare these side-by-side to find an average that I am happy with and use that for the upcoming season to determine where a team could potentially rank against a position in fantasy points allowed. It's a fairly simple method, but in doing this, I have found that most teams don't have a drastic change in fantasy points allowed from one season to the next. To back that up, here are some key numbers worth knowing before we dive into this more:

The average amount of ranks that a team moved between the 2018-2019 seasons when it comes to fantasy points allowed to TEs was nine spots, though 20 teams in the league moved less than 10 spots. The nine spots in ranking movement has been consistent amongst all positions in the league. Where we see a much smaller discrepancy at this position compared to the rest is in the fantasy points per game category, which is to be expected given that TEs don't generally accrue as many points as QB, RB, or WR. The average amount of PPG a team moved between the last two seasons was just 1.6 PPG and 14 teams moved fewer than one point per game, making this a seemingly reliable model. 

This model isn't without its outliers and unexpected movements, however, with teams like the Cardinals who went from ranking 29th against TEs in 2018 to allowing the absolute most points to them in 2019 and by a pretty wide margin. They literally averaged one TD per game to the position. They're the only team within the top five for this season that saw significant movement between the last two seasons and seven of the teams in the top 10 moved less than two PPG on average as well. Touchdowns are everything when looking at the value of TEs especially, so it is worth knowing that the teams who allowed the most TDs to the position last season were the Cardinals (16), Raiders (10), and Browns (10).

The bottom of the rankings or the teams that allow the fewest fantasy points to the position shows even stronger consistency between the last two seasons. None of the teams that rank bottom five moved more than one PPG between the last two seasons. Only three teams within the bottom 10 moved more than the average nine spots between the last two seasons as well. Similarly looking at just TDs allowed from last season to the position, the Vikings gave up just one TD to a TE last season -- fewest in the league. The Jets, Broncos, and Ravens weren't far behind them with each allowing just three TDs to TEs.

Now that we have some of the basic details covered, let's look specifically at the best and worst SOS for TEs this season!

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John Ferguson

John Ferguson is an avid Fantasy Football fanatic with 10+ years of experience in friends and family leagues, paying public leagues, and DFS Tournaments. Ferguson specializes in draft strategies, trade negotiations (Buy Low/Sell High) and DFS value picks amongst other parts of fantasy football analysis. When Ferguson isn’t spending time skimming over stats while at the beach, he follows the Oakland Athletics closely as a diehard fan and enjoys spending quality time with his beautiful wife and three children. A native of Monterey, California, Ferguson now calls Quintana Roo, Mexico home.