Strength of Schedule

Weekly team totals for each NFL team. Data is courtesy of Superbook 

Last Updated May 14th, 2024 10:50 EDT

Not all teams are created equal for fantasy purposes. Some teams have superior talent, some have better coaching, and some simply get easier schedules.

Add up all those factors, and they can greatly impact how players on a certain team score in fantasy that season. In general, the highest-scoring teams in football are also going to provide more productive fantasy players. With that in mind, it makes sense to target fantasy players on teams that are expected to put a lot of points on the scoreboard.

That’s where the Strength of Schedule tool comes into play. Let’s break down everything you need to know to get the most out of this tool.

What is the Strength of Schedule Tool?

Strength of schedule can be defined in a few different ways. For betting purposes, it can be described as which teams are expected to face the hardest teams to beat, on average. That can be calculated either by looking at how each team’s opponents fared last year or by looking at the Vegas point spreads.

Using Vegas projections – looking forward makes much more sense than looking backward – you’ll see that teams like the Saints and Falcons stand out heading into the 2023 NFL season. They benefit from playing in a weak NFC South division and against a relatively weak selection of non-divisional foes.

However, does having an easy team strength of schedule really help that team’s players in fantasy?

Not necessarily. Just because an NFL team might win more games doesn’t always translate to fantasy production for their players. Our Strength of Schedule tool focuses more on what matters for fantasy football, which is finding the teams that are expected to score the most points this coming season.

Admittedly, that has a lot more to do with the offense than the specific matchup. For example, the Chiefs, Bills, and Eagles lead the way with the “easiest” 2023 schedules per our rankings, and that obviously has little to do with their opponents. These teams could be facing the toughest defenses in the league on a weekly basis but would still be projected to score a lot of points if only because they employ Patrick MahomesJosh Allen, and Jalen Hurts.

Still, that doesn’t really matter for fantasy purposes. Be it a good offense or a bad defense, all that fantasy GMs should really care about is that their players will be racking up as many yards and TDs as possible in any given week.

Teams that rank near the top in expected scoring – either for the week, for the season, or for the crucial fantasy playoffs from Weeks 15 to 17 – are going to show up as blue in our tool. Teams that are expected to struggle offensively will show up in red.

Overall, each team is given an implied team total for all 17 games. That figure is calculated by taking the Vegas total for each game and adjusting it for the point spread. For example, in Week 1, the Chiefs are listed as seven-point favorites against the Lions with the total currently set at 54.0 points. To calculate the implied team total for each squad, the following formula is used:

  • Favorite: (Total/2) + (point spread/2)
  • Underdog: (Total/2) - (point spread/2)

Going back to our previous example, that gives the Chiefs an implied team total of 30.5 points and the Lions an implied team total of 23.5 points.

Once a team’s implied totals are calculated for all 17 of their regular season games, the sum of all those implied totals is their season total. You can also see which teams are expected to be the highest scoring during the fantasy postseason, which can be very helpful when building fantasy rosters.

Which team has the “easiest schedule” in 2023?

Once again, “easiest” is in quotations because it doesn’t necessarily mean that a team has the weakest set of opponents in 2023. However, the Chiefs are expected to score the most points by a fairly wide margin this coming season.

Kansas City currently has an implied points total of over 445 points for 2023 with no other team with more than 409.5 implied points. The Chiefs have an implied points total of at least 25.75 points in all but one contest, and that comes early in the season in Week 4. Even in that game, Kansas City’s implied total of 24.75 in that matchup against the Jets is still the seventh-highest of the week, so even bad matchups for the Chiefs aren’t really that bad.

Additionally, these implied team totals might prove to be conservative for the Chiefs. They don’t include any “blow-up” weeks where the team could erupt for 40-plus points, and history suggests that Kansas City is good for a couple of those types of games per season. In fact, they had three regular-season contests with at least 41 points scored last year and an additional game where they scored 38 points.

Overall, the Chiefs’ average implied team total of 27.8 points per game is a slight decrease compared to their actual 29.2 points per game last year. Kansas City is also expected to be the highest-scoring team during the fantasy postseason with an average of 27.2 points per game. The gap between the Chiefs and the rest of the league isn’t quite as wide from Weeks 15 to 17, but they’re still the clear top choice.

I don’t think I’m exactly going out on a huge limb here saying that the Chiefs’ offense will provide some strong fantasy players once again in 2023. The crazy thing is that their offense really isn’t that expensive. Travis Kelce and Mahomes both go off the board early, but the rest of their skill-position players are fairly affordable. If one of Isaiah PachecoKadarius ToneySkyy Moore, or a later WR were to see consistent usage in 2023, he could quickly become a stud in fantasy.

Which team has the “hardest schedule” in 2023?

On the other end of the spectrum from the Chiefs are the Cardinals. They boast the “hardest” schedule in our tool, and it’s based on a combination of the quality of their own roster and the quality of their opponents.

Let’s start with Arizona’s roster. They’re coming off a down year in 2022, and they have major concerns at QB with Kyler Murray’s health in question. Murray suffered an ACL tear towards the end of last season, and there’s no guarantee that he’ll be on the field to start Week 1. And even when healthy last year, Murray was unable to play up to his previous level, having posted career-worst marks in adjusted yards per attempt and TD rate in 2022.

Making matters worse, the Cardinals moved on from DeAndre Hopkins as their top WR. The cupboard isn’t exactly bare at WR with Marquise Brown and Rondale Moore still there, but whichever QB is under center for Arizona will have far less to work with than Murray did last season.

The Cardinals’ current win total over/under is set at just 4.5, which is the worst mark in the league by a wide margin. No other team has an over/under of lower than 6.5 wins for 2023, so Arizona is going to be an underdog in the vast majority of their games.

Additionally, the Cardinals play a tough schedule in the NFC West, which features two playoff teams from last year. They also have to play all four NFC East teams and all four AFC North teams, which are two of the better divisions in football.

Ultimately, Arizona is implied to average just 16.7 points per game this season with no other team with an implied total of less than 18.1 points per game. The Cardinals’ top implied point total of the entire season also comes in Week 2 against the Giants, and it’s still the lowest total of any team that week.

These low implied point totals each week equate to fewer TDs to go around, making Cardinals players risky propositions in fantasy. They’re not an expensive team to target – Marquise Brown and James Conner are the only Cardinals with an ADP inside the top-130 on Underdog – but they’re likely going to be volatile options on a week-to-week basis.

NFL Strength of Schedule Rankings

“Easiest” Schedules


Implied Points Per Game

Kansas City Chiefs


Buffalo Bills


Philadelphia Eagles


Cincinnati Bengals


Los Angeles Chargers


Detroit Lions


Dallas Cowboys


Baltimore Ravens


Miami Dolphins


Minnesota Vikings

















“Hardest” Schedules


Implied Points Per Game

Arizona Cardinals


Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Houston Texans


Los Angeles Rams


Indianapolis Colts


Tennessee Titans


Washington Commanders


Carolina Panthers


New England Patriots


Green Bay Packers















How accurate is the Strength of Schedule Tool?

Our strength of schedule calculations stem purely from the Vegas data, and Vegas obviously has massive liability if their numbers are off by too much. There are likely to be a few overachievers and underachievers, but the data should be pretty solid on the whole.

Of course, there is one huge factor that isn’t accounted for: injuries. The current betting lines are based on the assumption that teams will be mostly healthy heading into the 2023 season. Obviously if an impact player like Mahomes were to go down with a season-ending injury, Kansas City would move down from the top spot in the our rankings.

That said, predicting injuries is nearly impossible. Our Strength of Schedule Tool is going to be driven largely by who is at QB each week, so minor injuries shouldn’t have a huge impact. However, if a star QB were to miss time this coming season, there could be some major shakeups.

Fortunately, as the Vegas numbers change, so will the numbers in our tool. That will help deal with any potential in-season injuries, as our tool will update to account for who is playing and who will be inactive any given week.

How to use the Strength of Schedule Tool for fantasy football

This tool is going to be helpful throughout the fantasy season, starting with aiding in drafts. At certain points in your draft or auction, you’re likely going to be deliberating between players at the same position. Our Rankings and Projections tools will give you an idea of who we expect to score more points between the two, but the Strength of Schedule Tool can help break ties.

For example, maybe you’re looking to draft a depth RB who can fill in when one of your starting RBs will be on a bye. In this scenario, you could use the Strength of Schedule Tool to see which teams are implied to score the most points during that player’s bye. If one team stands out as a better choice than the other, that could help determine which RB in a given tier would make the most sense for your roster.

The Strength of Schedule Tool will also be useful in-season. It can help with waiver wire pickups, especially if you're streaming at the QB or TE positions. Additionally, the tool can help highlight “sell-high” and “buy-low” targets.

If a player has feasted on an easy schedule to start the year, but his team is expected for fewer points in the coming weeks, it could be a good time to cash out by trading him away. Conversely, if a player on a projected high-scoring offense is off to a slow start, he could become an appealing trade target to acquire.

How to use the Strength of Schedule Tool for betting

Unfortunately, this tool isn’t going to have a ton of uses for betting purposes. Essentially, all it’s going to tell you is which teams are implied for the most points in a given week. That information is derived directly from the Vegas data, so it’s not going to give you an insight into whether or not a certain team is going to cover the spread or if a specific game is going to go over or under the projected point total.

However, this tool could be somewhat useful in betting player props. Props such as anytime TD scorers are obviously correlated with how many TDs a given team will score each week. If a team has a high implied team total for a given game, then some players on that team could be worthwhile targets to bet as first TD scorers or anytime TD scorers.


  • Implied Points – The number of points each team is expected to score each week based on the Vegas total and point spread.
  • Weeks 1 to 17 – The first 17 weeks of the NFL regular season. These are typically the weeks that matter for fantasy football, as the majority of fantasy leagues hold the fantasy championships in Week 17.
  • Grand Total – The total number of implied points for each team through the first 17 weeks.
  • Sea Avg (Season Average) – The average implied team total for each team over the first 17 weeks.
  • Sea Rank (Season Rank) – The team’s rank in terms of implied points per game, with one being the best and 32 being the worst.
  • 15-17 Avg – The average number of points per game that each team is implied to score from Weeks 15 to 17. These three weeks are arguably the most important in fantasy football because they typically comprise the fantasy playoffs.
  • 15-17 Avg vs. Sea – How many additional or fewer points each team is implied to score during the fantasy playoffs compared to the regular season. Teams with a positive number in this category are implied for more points during the playoffs than the regular season. A negative number in this category means fewer implied points per game during the fantasy playoffs.
  • W15-17 Rank – The team’s rank in implied points per game for the fantasy playoffs.
  • 2022 Actual – The team’s average points per game from the 2022 NFL regular season.
  • 2022 Rank – The team’s ranking in points per game average from the 2022 NFL regular season.
  • 2023 vs. 2022 – The difference between each team’s 2023 implied average vs. their 2022 actual total. Positive numbers represent a scoring increase compared to the previous season, while negative totals represent decreases.
  • Change Rank – The rank for each team in terms of scoring difference compared to the previous season. The team ranked No. 1 in that department is currently implied for the largest scoring increase, while the team ranked No. 32 is implied for the largest scoring decrease.
  • Change % – The difference between 2023 implied scoring average and 2022 actual average expressed as a percentage.
  • Change % Rank – The ranking of teams according to their change percentage. The No. 1 team in this metric is expected to increase their scoring by the largest percentage compared to the previous season.