Ten Fantasy Football Insights from the 2022 NFL Schedule Release

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Every year the NFL schedule is a puzzle and now we have the last piece of information we needed to start officially projecting: the order. We knew the who but now the when allows just to tighten some of our preconceived notions of how we draft for fantasy.

We analyzed the schedule recently on a Fantasy Footballers DFS Podcast episodeForecasting the NFL and Win Totals.

Last year’s 10 Insights article nailed some early streaming options and beneficial schedules to pounce on in your fantasy drafts. There is still so much we don’t know regarding depth charts and situation as I explained earlier this week: Five Ways to Decipher Team Depth Charts & Situations After the NFL Draft.

I’ll count down ten insights starting with a fun one to get you pumped about the season.

1. Who Takes the Cake?

Before I go into the details and my main fantasy takeaways, I always like to share my favorite schedule release videos put out be team social media teams. If you have a moment, here are the most creative.

The Chargers’ social media team always kills it. The Urban Meyer burn on here is next level.

Honestly, this year the entries across the board in the NFL were less than stellar. But I’ll add the Packers and the Giants as honorable mentions.

2. Week 1… FIGHT!

Week 1 is always a treat and starts out with a bang with the Bills in Week 1 versus the defending Super Bowl Champion Rams.

Here’s a look at the early Vegas lines by DraftKings Sportsbook. Betz and I will briefly tease this on The Fantasy Footballers DFS Podcast this next week if you want some initial gut reactions. It’s way too early but consider this the “syllabus”. Don’t throw it away but put it in a place you can refer to again later as we draw nearer.

  • Bills at Rams (-1) , Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET
  • Saints (-3.5) at Falcons, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Browns (-3.5) at Panthers, 1 p.m.
  • 49ers (-6.5) at Bears, 1 p.m.
  • Steelers at Bengals (-6), 1 p.m.
  • Eagles (-4) at Lions, 1 p.m.
  • Colts (-7.5) at Texans, 1 p.m.
  • Patriots at Dolphins (-2.5), 1 p.m.
  • Ravens (-4) at Jets, 1 p.m.
  • Jaguars at Commanders (-4), 1 p.m.
  • Chiefs (-3) at Cardinals, 4:25 p.m.
  • Raiders at Chargers (-4), 4:25 p.m.
  • Packers (-1.5) at Vikings, 4:25 p.m.
  • Giants at Titans (-6.5), 4:25 p.m.
  • Bucs (-2.5) at Cowboys, 8:20 p.m.
  • Broncos (-4) at Seahawks, Monday 8:15 p.m.

3. Streaming QBs

The beginning of the season is one of the most beneficial in aligning with your late round QB philosophy for fantasy football. We’re looking for QBs that can be drafted late or picked up off the waiver wire early in the season:

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4. Rest Matters

With so many international games as well as Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games, one of the biggest areas of concern for a team (especially on the road) is their rest differential. This is computed by simply taking the number of days in between games for each team and comparing for each matchup. Sorry Green Bay fans but that is a bad draw on top of an overall tough schedule… oh and losing Davante Adams.

5. Revenge Game!

We all love a good revenge game narrative

  • Week 1- DEN @ SEA: Drew Lock faces off against his old team. Ok, they’ll try to make us want to care about that part of the storyline but this is all about Russ.
  • Week 1- NE @ MIA: DeVante Parker and Sony Michel have switched jerseys. It’s going to take a minute for our brains to calibrate on some of these players.
  • Week 4: KC @ TB: The Ronald Jones revenge game we’ve all been waiting for. Perhaps a Super Bowl LV do-over for Patrick Mahomes and his offensive line will suffice.
  • Week 7- NYG @ JAX: Evan Engram had to get out of a bad relationship with Joe Judge, Dave Gettleman, and Jason Garrett. Too bad none of them will be there for the reunion.
  • Week 8- WAS @ IND: “Ok, Carson this is awkward. We have a new guy named Matt. And we actually like being around him.”
  • Week 13- TEN @ PHI: A.J. Brown takes on his old team. Ryan Tannehill is still reeling from the trade.
  • Week 13- CLE @ HOU: It’s been a while since we’ve seen play on a football field. This one just happens to be in a stadium where Deshaun Watson is public enemy #1.
  • Week 18- TB @ ATL: Russell Gage… welcome back to ATL. Your record likely will be lightyears better than the Falcons at this point.

6. Pack Your Bags!

The toughest road stretches in the schedule force teams to basically be on the road for almost a month stretch. It’s wild when you consider some teams are evened out. Sorry Packers fans.

  • Chicago Bears– From Weeks 4-8, Chicago plays at home once: @NYG, @MIN, WAS, @NE, @DAL
  • Cincinnati Bengals– From Weeks 2-6, the defending AFC Champions play at home once: @DAL, @NYJ, MIA, @BAL, @NO.
  • Green Bay Packers– From Weeks 5-9, Green Bay plays one game in Lambeau: NYG (overseas), NYJ, @ WAS, @BUF, @ DET… but then when you look at Weeks 12-16, only one home game: @PHI, @CHI, bye, LAR, @MIA.

7. Tough Out the Gate

It feels like a reoccurring theme but the AFC West is a gauntlet this year. Betz and I discussed the entire division on today’s DFS Podcast from a win totals perspective. The Chiefs have Warren Sharp’s toughest strength of schedule and before their bye, it’s unbelievably harshL

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Other teams with tough opening schedules include teams facing at least four teams with 8+ wins forecasted according to Vegas

8. We’re Talking About Playoffs?!?!

For teams thinking forward about fantasy playoffs, here are some of the teams with juicy schedules from Weeks 15-17 and a couple of quick takeaways:

  • The Jets– Their 5.5 win total is by far the most bet win total on the board and something Betz and I discussed on the AFC Win total podcast. That stretch from Weeks 15-17 is enticing: DET, JAX, @ SEA.
  • Russ Needs to Cook– That playoff schedule (ARI, @LAR, @KC) is as tough as it gets. Hopefully the fantasy points rain down in late December.
  • That Sean McVay Life– It feels like their schedule never lets up with a brutal playoff stretch (GB, DEN, @LAC) that should be bonanzas for fantasy.
  • Trevor Lawrence Revival– Will we be trusting the Jaguars? That playoff schedule (DAL, @NYJ, @HOU) looks very fantasy friendly. Is TLaw going to be on our radar after an abysmal rookie season?

9. Bye Weeks Matter

For redraft leagues, you get to pivot and plan for these. In BestBall, you have to know your bye weeks or you take a zero. The Chargers and Chiefs having the same bye week is a bit odd from a structural standpoint. Also good luck fantasy managers in Week 9! That one looks like a doozy.

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10. ChristmasFootball.com

Some call it one of the best websites on the net. Seriously, what a site.

I’d be remised without including the Thanksgiving schedule this year as well.

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