Unlike in college football, strength of schedule weigh much in pro football rankings. Unless, of course, you care about your fantasy football league rankings.
As you waste considerable hours at the office these next two weeks getting busy with your pre-draft planning, don’t limit yourself to just the off-season trades, bye-week schedules, last year’s fantasy points, and the developments of Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow with their new teams. Take a good long look at strength of schedule outside each team’s own division.
For the 2012-2013 season, there are very few cream puffs in the NFC. Take away the Vikings, Rams, and Bucs, and there is a ton of parity in the NFC. There are no clear division favorites, but half the teams could put up big victories against the AFC teams.
Meanwhile, over in the AFC, take away the Patriots, Texans, and Ravens–and most AFC teams have serious question marks.
Flaming Bag of Poo bold prediction #1: 3 out of 4 of the best regular season records will come out of the AFC. Mainly because there is no parity in the AFC, while the NFC will just beat each other up.
Let’s examine the NFC division races:
• NFC North: Sound arguments (especially from a fantasy perspective) could be made that the most explosive team in the NFC could be the Packers, Lions, or Bears.
• NFC East: The Redskins can finish on top or on the bottom primarily because the four are that potentially deadly—to other teams and to themselves.
• NFC West: The 49ers, Seahawks, and Cardinals might not be anyone’s favorites to win the NFC, yet no team feels very confident walking into those home stadiums to pull out a win.
• NFC South: The Saints have a huge chip on their shoulders, and might actually be more dangerous this year without their coaching staff and suspended players.
Meanwhile, let’s examine the AFC division races:
• AFC North: The aging Steelers look closer to challenging the Browns for the cellar, than challenging the Ravens for the penthouse.
• AFC East: The Jets resemble their fellow HBO “Hard Knocks” alum the Dolphins, rather than the more secretive Patriots.
• AFC West: With one Peyton Manning neck tied behind his back, the Broncos are favored to finish at least second in their division.
• AFC South: The once Luck-less Colts might actually finish second in their division—mainly because the Jags and Titans look committed to mediocrity.
Flaming Bag of Poo bold prediction #2: The Dolphins and the Vikings will be playing for the #1 pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Seriously, the Dolphins look like the NFL’s version of the Charlotte Bobcats. Would you really pay money to see this team on offense? QB Ryan Tannehill will hand the ball to Reggie Bush on 50% of the offensive plays, and he will dump screen passes to Reggie Bush on the other 50%.
“What goes around, comes around” is not exactly true when it comes to the NFL because of the scheduling rotations from year-to-year for the 16-game regular season.
Now, for those of you for whom English is not your first language–or for those of you who graduated from an SEC school…
Do you know the difference between the terms “Intraconference” and “Interconference”?
“Intraconference” – Occurring within a single athletic conference, or between teams that belong to the same conference.
“Interconference” – Occurring between two athletic conferences, or between two teams that are members of different conferences.
For example, for the upcoming 2012 NFL season, the New York Giants from the NFC East will play the New Orleans Saints from the NFC South in an Intraconference matchup.
And those same Giants will also play the Pittsburgh Steelers from the AFC North in an Interconference matchup.
From a sexual standpoint, “Intercourse” is sexual penetration between a man and a woman, per se. “Intracourse” is more akin to making sweet love to oneself with a cucumber.
Or an apple pie.
Again, you SEC graduates know what I’m talking about!
For the 2012-2013, here is who each division plays Intraconference and Interconference:
• AFC East — AFC South + NFC West
• AFC North — AFC West + NFC East
• AFC South – AFC East + NFC North
• AFC West – AFC North + NFC South
• NFC East – NFC South + AFC North
• NFC North – NFC East + AFC North
• NFC South – NFC West + AFC East
• NFC West – NFC South + AFC South
Flaming Bag of Poo bold prediction #3: Your fantasy defense will be really, really bad if you choose the Colts, Texans, Titans or Jaguars.
Flaming Bag of Poo bold prediction #4: AFC fantasy defenses will do better than NFC fantasy defenses this year.
Flaming Bag of Poo bold prediction #5: When choosing fantasy studs, pick a player scheduled to play against multiple teams with porous defenses and sputtering offenses. Think the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and St. Louis Rams.
This favors a Houston Texan like QB Matt Schaub, RB Arian Foster, TE Owen Daniels or WR Andre Johnson instead of any New England Patriot.
This is because the Texans play more cream puffs in the beginning of their season schedule, while the Patriots play more cream puffs toward the end of the season (after they will have already clinched a playoff spot).
College football polls factor in the strength of schedules. So your fantasy football draft picks should factor them in, too!!!
Flaming Bag of Poo bold prediction #6: I am going to draft one wide receiver again way too early, and my league will mock me, until he out-points their third round WR selection.