The National Football League has a strength of schedule formula that's simple to understand. Just take the opponents' records from the previous season, add up the wins and losses and calculate a percentage for all 17 opponents. In fantasy football, rather than using team records, we use the number of PPR points allowed by defenses against a single position the previous season and rank the teams/players according to the average.
The numbers, admittedly, can be very close in many cases.
For example, the most favorable quarterback total (17.9) for this season is just 2.3 points more than the worst total. The tight end spot is even closer, as the best and worst slates are separated by 1.5 points. That’s why you shouldn’t use this data as a determining factor in whether you should draft a player. Instead, this is useful in picking between players with similar value in drafts.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the five easiest schedules per position as we head into the 2023 fantasy football campaign.
SEE ALSO: Five Toughest Fantasy Schedules
Green Bay Packers
The Packers traded Aaron Rodgers to the Jets, leaving Jordan Love as their starting quarterback. He’ll have the advantage of a great schedule, playing division foes the Lions, Bears and Vikings twice apiece. Those three defenses alone were among the seven easiest for quarterbacks to score against last season. Love will also face the Panthers and Vikings in the fantasy postseason.
Much like Love, Justin Fields benefits from playing in a division that gave up a ton of points to quarterbacks last season. He gets to play the Lions and Vikings twice, not to mention other favorable opponents like the Chiefs, Raiders and Panthers. When it comes time for the fantasy postseason, Fields will battle vulnerable defense like the Cardinals and Falcons in the final two weeks.
New Orleans Saints
Derek Carr will begin his tenure with the Saints with some positive matchups from a fantasy standpoint. He’ll face division opponents like the Panthers and Falcons twice; both defenses were among the 12 easiest for quarterbacks to score against last season. Carr also faces the Lions, Titans, Colts and Jaguars among his most favorable opponents during the regular season.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers should be in some high-scoring games against AFC West foes like the Chiefs and Raiders this season, which will of course benefit Justin Herbert. Besides facing those teams twice apiece, he’ll also get to battle the Titans, Vikings and Bears. Herbert’s fantasy playoff schedule could be tough, though, as he’ll go up against the Bills and Broncos in the final two weeks.
Desmond Ridder isn’t going to be high on the wish lists of most fantasy managers, but he does have a favorable schedule. Besides facing the Panthers twice in the division, he’ll also square off against poor pass defenses like the Lions, Jaguars, Titans, Vikings and Cardinals. His postseason slate includes favorable matchups against Carolina, the Colts and the Bears as well.
Fantasy managers might be a bit worried about Derrick Henry’s workload entering his age-29 season, but his schedule is the best in the league for running backs. He gets to face the Texans twice, both in the fantasy playoffs, the Chargers, Colts and the Seahawks (also in the fantasy playoffs). Add in two games against the Jaguars, and Henry’s slate looks pretty darn favorable.
The Broncos have question marks in their backfield with Javonte Williams coming off ACL and LCL injuries, and we could see a lot of Samaje Perine early in the season. Regardless, the duo has some nice matchups in games against the Chargers (2), Raiders (2), Bears, Packers and Texans. The fantasy postseason slate is tough, but overall this is a good schedule for Denver’s backs.
Najee Harris was a bit of a disappointment last season, though he still finished as the RB14. The Steelers have improved their offensive line in the offseason, and the schedule is favorable for Harris to rebound in 2023. They’ll face the Browns twice, plus the Raiders, Texans, Colts and Jaguars. Harris also has a nice postseason slate, facing both Indianapolis and the Seahawks.
The Lions drafted Jahmyr Gibbs, who could be seen as a potential breakout player in fantasy drafts. He will split the workload with David Montgomery, however. The duo has a nice schedule with games against the Bears (2), Packers (2), Seahawks, Packers and Chargers. Their postseason slate includes two favorable matchups in games against the Broncos and Vikings.
The Ravens schedule starts out very well for J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and crew, as they’ll face the Texans, Colts and Browns in the first four weeks. Those defenses were among the eight easiest to score fantasy points against for opposing running backs. Baltimore also has other positive matchups against the Cardinals, Seahawks and a second contest against Cleveland.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints schedule starts on a high note for Chris Olave, Michael Thomas and the rest of their wideouts, facing two of the three worst defenses against wideouts from last season (Titans, Panthers). They’ll of course get Carolina a second time later in the year, not to mention two games against the Buccaneers and Falcons. Games versus the Vikings and Lions are also favorable.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers’ young receiving group of Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed gets a bit of a boost from a favorable schedule. They’ll face the Vikings and Lions twice in the division, plus other positive matchups against the Chiefs, Panthers and Buccaneers. With fantasy postseason games against Carolina and the Vikings, Watson and crew should be quite productive.
The Seahawks added rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the draft, but DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett remain the two best fantasy wideouts on the roster. The schedule is favorable overall with two games against the 49ers (fifth-most points allowed to wideouts in 2022) and the Rams, plus games against the Lions, Panthers and Titans (second weekend of the fantasy postseason).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have question marks in their passing game after the retirement of Tom Brady, but Chris Godwin and Mike Evans do have a favorable slate. They’ll open with a plus matchup against the Vikings, plus a pair of games against the Panthers and Falcons. Tampa Bay also gets the Lions in season, though the fantasy playoffs could be rough vs. the Packers and Saints.
The Bears have a new look at wideout after trading for DJ Moore, who’ll play along with Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney. Two games against the Vikings and Lions in the division are very favorable, along with other games against the Buccaneers, Chiefs, Panthers and Falcons. In the fantasy postseason, this trio will get a plus matchup vs. Atlanta but also faces the Browns.
The Texans added veteran Dalton Schultz in the offseason, and he’ll benefit from the easiest schedule among tight ends. He’ll face the Titans and Jaguars twice in the division, plus other plus matchups against the Falcons, Buccaneers and Cardinals. Schultz also gets the Jets and Titans, two of the eight worst defenses vs. tight ends last season, in the fantasy playoffs.
San Francisco 49ers
Fantasy managers with George Kittle will love his schedule for this season, as he gets to face the Cardinals and Seahawks twice apiece. No teams gave up more points to tight ends last season. Kittle will also face the Giants and Jaguars during the year, and his fantasy playoff slate includes a great matchup in Arizona before facing tougher foes in the Ravens and Commanders.
The Ravens field one of the top two tight ends in fantasy football in Mark Andrews, so a positive schedule is just a cherry on top of the ice cream. He’ll face the Titans, Lions, Cardinals and Seahawks, all of whom were among the 10 easiest defenses for tight ends to score points against last season. Andrews (and Isaiah Likely) will also get to face the Jaguars in the fantasy postseason.
David Njoku is coming off a season with 142 fantasy points, but can he be better this season with a favorable schedule? He’ll get his chance, as the Browns face the Titans, Seahawks and Cardinals among their more favorable opponents. Njoku also has a favorable schedule during the fantasy postseason, going up against the Texans and Jets during the final two weekends.
The Commanders don’t have a great tight end option on the roster, unless of course you like Logan Thomas or John Bates. Regardless, one of them might become a decent matchup-based starter during the season based on the schedule. Teams that were bad against tight ends last season like the Cardinals, Broncos, Falcons and the Giants (2) over the course of the 2023 campaign.