Strength of Schedule NFL 2021
There are few things as paralyzing as being on the clock in your fantasy football draft with two players on your mind. Trying to make that split-second decision over who to side with is nerve-wracking.
That's where fantasy football strength of schedule can come into play. It's not necessarily a factor you want to use as your starting point for evaluating a player, but it can really help as a tiebreaker when you're torn between a couple of players.
With that in mind, here are the five teams with the hardest strength of schedule for fantasy football in 2021, according to data from FantasyPros.
Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule 2021
5. Chicago Bears
The NFC North is one of the most fun, competitive divisions in football (if you ignore the Detroit Lions, at least). That doesn't make it a fun one for fantasy football, though. The first of three NFC North teams on the list, the Chicago Bears' real saving grace in 2021 is that they don't have to play themselves.
4. Seattle Seahawks
Playing in the NFC West means the Seattle Seahawks get two games against the San Francisco 49ers (No. 6 in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA metric in 2020) and another two against the Los Angeles Rams (No. 4 in 2020). They also have to play the entire NFC North. The kicker? As the 2021 NFC West champions they also draw the division's toughest schedule, which includes a matchup with the No. 1 defense by DVOA last year in the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yikes.
3. Minnesota Vikings
Unlike the Bears themselves, the Vikings do have to play Chicago's eighth-ranked defense twice in 2021. The NFC West vs. North inter-divisional schedule also gives them matchups against the 49ers and Rams. And don't hold up much hope for Vikings kicker Greg Joseph, as his schedule is the only schedule at any position that FantasyPros grades at zero stars .
2. Cleveland Browns
Don't let this ranking scare you off Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt, as the Cleveland Browns actually have a four-star schedule for running backs. But other than that it's pretty bleak. A two-star WR schedule and one-star schedules for WR and TE mean it's going to have to be another run-centric season if the Browns want to make another playoff run in 2021.
1. Green Bay Packers
Back to the NFC North, the Packers are the only team with one-star schedules at RB, WR and QB. This doesn't mean Aaron Jones, Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers aren't going to put together strong seasons, but it does mean that they'll be fighting an up-hill battle to be truly dominant fantasy producers at their respective positions. If you're looking for a bright spot in Green Bay, their defense actually draws one of the most favorable schedules for any D/ST unit.
Be sure to also check out the five teams with the easiest strength of schedule.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.