Measuring schedule strength in fantasy football

Vikings could feature pair of top-20 fantasy WRs (1:48)

Field Yates, Courtney Cronin and KC Joyner talk 2018 expectations for Minnesota's Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. (1:48)

When it comes to grading fantasy football prospects, it's a good idea to remember that not all schedules are created equal. A big difference in schedule strength can make all the difference between two players whose value might otherwise be considered identical on draft day.

To help discern these differences in schedule strength, I created a matchup points grading system that is largely based on tape-based analysis of individual defensive players. Each defensive player matchup is then graded on a color-coded system in which a red grade is a highly unfavorable matchup, a yellow grade is a solid matchup and a green grade is a highly favorable matchup. Those grades are then algorithmically weighed and expressed as a number.

The week-by-week version of this system measures these grades on a 0-100 scale, with 100 being the most favorable. However, the grades tend to flatten out a bit more over the course of a season, so the most favorable season-long grades are usually in the 80s and the least favorable grades typically sit in the 60s. Grades are based on a curve for the various player positions, so some positions tend to have larger rating disparities than others.

Now that those preliminaries are out of the way, let's take a look at which fantasy prospects have the most and least favorable schedules heading into the 2018 season.