It is way too easy to overestimate the importance of the schedule, especially with the way teams change from year to year. But there were a couple of notable fantasy developments with the release of the schedule Tuesday.
Somebody loves Peyton Manning
Colts QB Peyton Manning faces the Texans at home in Week 16. Obviously, Howard Katz and the NFL schedule-makers are huge fantasy-football enthusiasts. They aren't even trying to be shy about it. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie carrying on during the filming of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (when Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston) were more subtle. Of course, there is a chance the Texans could be good this year. Just like there's a chance Brooklyn Decker is going to dump her tennis-playing beau for me.
Chris Johnson is the top guy
Titans coach Mike Munchak reportedly wants to put the ball in Chris Johnson's hands more. Really? He doesn't want to turn the offense over to Kerry Collins nor the rookie quarterback he ends up with? The good news here is that Johnson and the Titans finish the fantasy season against the Colts (12th-most points allowed to running backs in 2010) and the Jaguars (ninth-most).
Jamaal Charles has a chance to pull the Bowe
Remember how Dwayne Bowe disappeared at the end of last year to kill your fantasy team? Look at this slate of teams the Chiefs finish the season against, starting with the Patriots in Week 11, followed by the Steelers, Bears, Jets and Packers. The Chiefs get the Raiders in Week 16, but by then your season could be ruined. Although the Raiders could be good. Charles just moved down my board a touch.
No place like dome
There are three starting quarterbacks who will play a Week 16 game outside. Sam Bradford will be at Pittsburgh. Good luck with that. The Cardinals' quarterback will be at Cincinnati. As if you would start him. And the Vikings' quarterback will be at Washington. Since that's probably going to be Donovan McNabb, consider it a wash.
A couple of quick hitters
» Don't sweat about the Packers closing the fantasy season in cold weather. Aaron Rodgers has always done well in the cold, including a four-touchdown performance against the Giants in 20-degree weather last year.
» The Steelers have the Browns and 49ers in Weeks 14 and 15. These will be tougher games for QB Ben Roethlisberger than most people believe.
»What a waste. The Texans' Week 14 and 15 games are against the Bengals and Panthers. Do you want to be starting Jordan Palmer and Cam Newton? Thanks for nothing.