The National Football League has a strength of schedule formula that's simple to understand ... take the opponents' records from the previous season, add up wins and losses and calculate a percentage. In fantasy football, there's a different method that evaluates a player's value.
Instead of team records, we use the number of fantasy points allowed by opponents the previous year against a single position. For example, the Cleveland Browns allowed an average of 19.4 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks in 2016. As a result, any quarterback who faces them in 2017 receives 19.4 points. The bigger the overall point total, the easier the schedule.
While these ratings are not the be-all, end-all in determining a player's stock, owners can use them when picking between players with similar value and projecting potential sleepers or busts.
Notes (1-16): The difference between the best schedule (17.2) and the worst (15.56) is not excessive this season. In fact, it's less than a two-point separation from No. 1 to No. 16. ... Three of the top eight quarterbacks (Sam Bradford, Mike Glennon, Aaron Rodgers) come out of the NFC North, which is due in part to matchups against NFC South teams. The Atlanta Falcons (second) and New Orleans Saints (sixth) were in the top six when it came to fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last season. ... NFC South signal-callers were also big schedule winners, as Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan were all in the top seven. That's not a surprise, as two teams in that division were very vulnerable to quarterbacks. Ryan gets to face the Saints twice in the fsntasy playoffs (Weeks 14-16), which is a huge win for his value. ... Ben Roethlisberger has the 10th-easiest schedule at the position, but what about his road contests where he struggled in 2016? Well, there is some good news. Out of his eight roadies, three come against teams that play in domed or retractable roof stadiums (Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions).
Notes (17-32): All four AFC West quarterbacks rank in the lower half of the FPA ranks, with Alex Smith fielding the most difficult schedule of the quartet. That's due in large part to the fact that just one of those teams (Oakland Raiders) allowed an average of more than 17 fantasy points per game to the position last season. There are also tough games against NFC East opponents, as the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants were hard on the position in 2016. ... Fantasy fans should also notice that NFC East quarterbacks (including Dak Prescott) are ranked low, which is the result of games against the Giants, Eagles and some difficult matchups against the AFC West. To put it into perspective, however, keep in mind that even the hardest schedule in the division (Kirk Cousins) has less than a one-point difference (0.86) from Matthew Stafford at No. 16.