2023 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule: QB

Jordan Love Green Bay Packers

There is certainly no shortage of analytics and data available to fantasy football enthusiasts. One of the most useful tools available to the well-prepared fantasy drafter is to break down the strength of schedule for each position. FullTime’s 2023 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule: QB looks at the most crucial position to give you a draft-day edge.

There is also a lot of strength of schedule analysis out there, but FullTime Fantasy breaks down the data in a unique way. In addition to season-long data, FullTime Fantasy Members get access to all positions including IDP. Also, the data can be sorted by remaining games and broken down into sections. This can be especially helpful for high-stakes and tournament drafters looking for the edge during the fantasy playoffs.

Here is a deep dive into the 2023 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule: QB and how to take advantage of that data this draft season.

The numbers listed include Weeks 1-17.

 

Favorable Schedules

Jordan Love (Green Bay Packers) – In his first year as Green Bay’s starter, Love is a bit of a polarizing fantasy option. However, the Packers’ schedule sets up nicely for Love to make an immediate positive impact. Thanks to their six games against the defense-challenged NFC North and four more with AFC West, Love gets the easiest schedule of any starting quarterback.

10 of Green Bay’s 17 games come against opponents who ranked in the bottom 10 last season in fantasy points allowed to QBs. This includes five of the final seven contests. Also, Love avoids the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field during the crucial fantasy playoffs.

Derek Carr (New Orleans Saints) – Carr has always been a middling fantasy option with only one QB1 finish in his career. However, he enters a good situation in New Orleans. The Saints have some talented young skill-position players and play the league’s easiest overall schedule.

For fantasy purposes, Carr will enjoy 10 straight indoor games. The Saints’ only outdoor road trip after October is a Week 17 trip to Tampa. Carr should rack up some useful stats in Weeks 12-17 when New Orleans plays six straight against opponents who were below average against the pass.

Bryce Young (Carolina Panthers) – There is no doubt that the No. 1 overall pick will start from Day One. However, it is possible that Young could prove to be a better fantasy option than many are projecting. Not only will the rebuilding Panthers see plenty of favorable game scripts, but Bryce Young and company also get the league’s third-easiest slate for a quarterback.

The Panthers get 10 games against the fledgling pass defenses employed by their AFC South and NFC South rivals. In addition to those games, Young also gets the Bears, Lions, and Vikings, who all ranked in the bottom-7 in allowing fantasy points to opposing passers. With this slate, Young has a good chance of posting fantasy-relevant stats in his freshman campaign, making him a solid QB2.


Justin Fields (Chicago Bears) – The Bears made several moves to revamp the supporting cast around phenom QB Justin Fields. The most important acquisition was trading from standout wide receiver D.J. Moore. Those additions should prove to pay immediate dividends as the Bears boast the fourth-easiest fantasy schedule for quarterbacks in 2023.

Starting in Week 10, Fields gets to play a bottom-12 fantasy pass defense in six of seven games. This includes home dates against the Cardinals and Falcons during the playoffs slate of Weeks 16 and 17. With modest progression as a passer, Fields could contend for top-5 fantasy stats. And the 2023 schedule makers did the third-year signal caller some major favors.

Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers) – I’ve had Justin Herbert as my locked-in QB4 all off-season. Herbert and his supporting cast were banged up last season, so there was a dropoff in his play. However, he still managed to throw for a career-high 4,739 yards. Now healthy, and bolstered by the addition of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, I’m expecting Herbert to revert back to his sophomore season where he posted top-3 fantasy numbers.

A small piece of that optimism lies with the NFL schedule makers. Herbert and the Chargers get the No. 6 schedule* for fantasy QBs. Although the slate ends roughly in the fantasy postseason, Herbert should get off to a fast start playing two of the league’s worst two secondaries before their Week 5 bye.  After that, LA gets four more games against opponents that ranked inside the bottom 10 in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last season.

*Desmond Ridder and the Falcons have the No. 5 schedule.

 

Difficult Schedules

Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals) – Murray is already a fade this season due to his lingering knee injury. Murray is expected to miss a significant chunk of the 2023 campaign. Also, the rebuilding Cardinals may be in no hurry to rush back their star quarterback in what projects to be a lost season.

Not helping matters for the Cardinals will be a rough slate of games. Whether it’s Murray, Colt McCoy, or Clayton Tune under center, Arizona plays the toughest schedule for quarterbacks in 2023. Additionally, the Cards are currently projected to have the worst record in the league. Plus, the offense will also be without DeAndre Hopkins. This is a situation to avoid in redraft.

Daniel Jones (New York Giants) – Fresh off a surprising QB9 finish last season, a lot of fantasy managers view Daniel Jones as a relatively safe QB1. However, an inordinate amount of Jones’s value came via 708 rushing yards. Before that, Jones had not eclipsed 423 yards on the ground. Nor has he ever passed for 4,000 yards and has only one campaign with 20 TD strikes.

Additionally, the 2023 schedule could complicate things for Jones. New York plays the second-toughest slate for quarterbacks this season. The Giants play 13 games against teams that ranked 16th or higher in terms of limiting fantasy points to QBs last season. Also, New York’s fantasy playoff run (Weeks 14-17) against Green Bay, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and the Rams is the most difficult in football.

Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams) – After winning Super Bowl LVI, 2022 was a lost season for the Rams. Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp missed significant time with injuries. After loading up to win that trophy, Sean McVay’s squad is now in full rebuild. A healthy Stafford could still contend for QB1 numbers. Especially with favorable game scripts. But, LA’s 30th-ranked 2023 fantasy football strength of schedule: QB presents some obstacles.

Stafford gets the usual six games versus the NFC West. On top of that, the Rams play a further five games against teams that were top 10 in limiting fantasy points to opposing passers last season. Overall, I still like a healthy Stafford to bring a positive return on his deflated value. However, the road to redemption won’t be without its challenges.

Sam Howell (Washington Commanders) – Ron Rivera named Sam Howell Washington’s starter ahead of training camp. However, Rivera also signed Jacoby Brissett to potentially compete for that role. The Commanders ranked just 21st in passing a year ago, so there isn’t a ton of fantasy interest as of yet. Also, Washington’s 29th-ranked QB strength of schedule in 2023 further limits the fantasy appeal.

Washington’s tough fantasy playoff stretch is also a major concern. From Weeks 14-17, the Commanders have the No. 2 most difficult schedule. Howell drafters would first have to navigate an untimely Week 14 bye. That would be followed by consecutive road trips to face the Rams and Jets. Both of those opponents ranked inside the top 10 last year versus quarterbacks.

Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh Steelers) – Pickett’s rookie campaign got off to a rough start. Things improved a bit after Pittsburgh’s Week 9 bye. In his final eight contests, Pickett produced six total scores and only tossed one interception. The Steelers also signed Allen Robinson and used a third-round draft pick on intriguing Georgia tight end Darnell Washington.

That growth down the stretch was encouraging. However, there wasn’t a lot to indicate Pickett is poised to suddenly become fantasy-relevant. Also, the schedule in Year Two won’t do Pickett any favors. Pittsburgh faces the fifth most difficult overall schedule for signal callers. This includes the second-worst opening month of the season where Pickett and company play the 49ers, Browns, and Ravens all before a Week 6 bye. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a repeat of Pickett’s early-season woes.

 


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About Jody Smith 507 Articles
With over a decade of winning experience, Jody is a well-known fixture in the fantasy football community. He was named Fantasy Pros’ **Most Accurate Ranker** previously and was the site’s Top NFL over/under totals picker with a record 65% accuracy in 2020, while also ranking 5th in the country with a 55% against-the-spread hit rate. Jody has written for many sites over the years including Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, CBS Sportsline, FantasyData, and is a regular contributor to the Fantasy Index magazine expert’s poll, draft, and auction. Jody’s experience ranking and projecting player performance will help prepare the Fulltime Fam for their big draft days as well as answers they can trust on Sunday for those ever crucial Who Do I Start questions.