All NFL teams are not created equally. The same goes for any NFL team’s schedule. Some get a little lucky with a slate filled with cupcakes. Some have to work your way through a murderer’s row. We won’t really know until the season gets into full swing.
But we can take some guesses. And by the look of things right now, these four quarterbacks have the easiest schedules awaiting them this year. Let’s go through what that means for their fantasy value.
Best passing schedules
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Jones, arguably the worst quarterback in the league, has the easiest schedule. Great. Among the highlights are a date with the Jets in Week 3 and a four-week midseason stretch with the Jaguars, Seahawks, Texans and Lions. There are reasons to believe Jones will be better in his fourth season: The Giants upgraded their offensive line through free agency and the draft. New head coach Brian Daboll helped mold Josh Allen from an athlete who plays quarterback into a legitimate MVP candidate. Saquon Barkley appears to be healthy, and the receiving corps has plenty of talent, at least on paper.
But is all of this enough to trust Jones, who has recorded more turnovers than touchdowns during his career? Not beyond a late-round dart throw, no.
Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars
Lawrence did not live up to his draft pedigree as a rookie, but if you were to write that off as largely a product of the Jags’ toxic environment last season, no one should argue with you. Despite tying for the league lead with 17 interceptions, there were times when Lawrence flashed real star potential. Week 6 versus the Dolphins and Week 18 versus the Colts were a couple of examples. Wideout Christian Kirk and tight end Evan Engram have been added to his supply of targets, and his fantasy playoff schedule looks scrumptious (Lions, Cowboys, Titans, Jets, Texans from Weeks 13-17). All this — and the fact he won’t have to deal with Urban Meyer’s megalomaniacal ways — has Lawrence’s arrow pointing up.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
The NFC East, where opposing quarterbacks feast. Hurts has no excuses this year if he can’t take advantage of his fantastic matchups as a passer. A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert make for a dynamic trio of receiving weapons. Will Hurts hit them with on-target throws often enough this season? That’s the big question. But if he can take a step forward with his accuracy, he will be a rock-solid QB1 in fantasy as you know he will complement his passing stats with plenty of game-breaking ground work.
Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
Wilson has the fourth-easiest strength of schedule, which feels misleading at first blush. While it’s nice that he won’t have to see the Rams and 49ers four times per year, many of his Sundays will now include showdowns against Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack (Chargers), Chris Jones (Chiefs) and Maxx Crosby (Raiders). Losing Tim Patrick for the season doesn’t help. Plus, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy are good, but they don’t match D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Russ’ Denver tenure will begin with a highly anticipated game against Seattle in Week 1 and continue with a matchup versus the Texans in Week 2. Those are a couple of cake matchups, but Wilson’s schedule shouldn’t give his fantasy stock a significant bump up. He’s fine as a low-end QB1.