Fantasy Football: Three Factors To Use Over Last Year's Stats

chuck mitchellContributor IJuly 17, 2010

DENVER - JANUARY 03: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on from the sidelines against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on January 3, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Most fantasy owners base their expectations on a player’s performance last season. Probably 90% of fantasy owners are guilty of this expectation. There are some players that will produce consistent fantasy numbers regardless of their competition. There are acceptations, such as, Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, and other top-tier players.

There are a number of factors that will make a player more or less valuable. They are as follows:


Their Surrounding Cast

Is the team that they played on last year different? Has free agency depleted the team’s strengths? Is there stability in their offensive line? Teams that have good offensive lines produce quality fantasy players. Solid offensive lines give their quarterbacks time to make decisions. Solid offensive lines allow wide receivers time in running their routes properly. Solid offensive lines open up holes for their running backs. Do they have quality players on their teams that compliment them well? If you draft the only offensive weapon on a team, teams will be game planning on stopping that one offensive threat.


Their Offensive Scheme

When selecting players, you should consider their offensive coordinator. Has the offensive system been successful? Be cautious of drafting a player, regardless of his position, if the offensive coordinator is inserting in a new offense. It is safer to draft players that have been in the same offensive system for at least three years.


Their Strength of Schedule

This is a common mistake that many fantasy owners make, simply because they overlook this stat. This is the single most important stat you should always view BEFORE you draft a player of any position. Try to avoid drafting a player because he had a great season last year without looking at his strength of schedule for this season. The strength of schedule (SOS) is the single most valuable statistic that all fantasy owners should study. Most fantasy magazines do not provide this stat, but if you go to websites, like the link at the bottom of the article, or simply Google strength of schedule, you’ll see it is easy to find.


Winning a championship is hard enough. Follow these simple guidelines before drafting guys and it will increase your chances of winning. I have so generously included strength of schedule in this blog. It will cover all positions from quarterback to defensive back. For example, if you are drafting Jamaal Charles, you will see No. 1. This means that he will have the easiest strength of schedule against the run this season, or any other Kansas City running back. Another example would be Ray Rice. You will see No. 32 on his strength of schedule. This means that he will face the toughest running defenses based on strength of schedule.

If you are like me, you like to stay one step ahead of your competition. Well my fantasy friends, this will help you. Good Luck!

Strength of schedule is important tool in the arsenal of serious fantasy football drafters. By knowing what players have easier schedules you'll be able to make the hard decisions between two players.