The media attention that the NFL schedule release draws is simply astonishing in my eyes. Prior to the official schedule release we already knew which conferences would play whom and vice-versa.
Despite already knowing most of the opponents, the NFL is able to draw extensive attention during the offseason. Quite simply, it demonstrates a desire for football that can't be satisfied.
Personally I've never been a huge believer that the NFL schedule should impact your fantasy drafting decisions.
Sure, there are a few key pieces of information to look for. But any analyst that tells you which teams are going to cruise to easy wins because of this newly announced schedule, are doing nothing but speculating.
Fantasy Values Will Continue Changing
At this point in time there is still so much to change. The teams that were brutal last year won't all be brutal again this year. The teams that snuck into the playoffs last year might stumble and fall in 2014. It's nearly impossible to believe that you can glean drafting decisions from the NFL schedule in 2014.
As we approach August and fantasy draft days I'll be slightly more intrigued by different teams schedules. We'll have seen them through the offseason, the draft and some preseason games. It'll be worthy of being a slight influencing factor, but nothing major.
The Scheduling Decision that WILL Impact Fantasy Values
Despite coming out of the gate and bashing the NFL schedule for its fantasy value, I do believe there are a few factors that you should be aware of.
Every year people over analyze bye weeks and which players they "can't draft" because they share the same bye as someone else. I don't believe in the strategy of passing on talent because of a bye week issue, but that argument is for another day.
I do believe that being mindful of the byes is important, just in case you're choosing between two equally talented players and need to make a decision.
The most important bye weeks in 2014 include week 4, 9 and 10. During these weeks 6 teams will be on byes, which means you'll likely be missing a starter or two.
I honestly don't see anything else of fantasy relevance from a schedule release in April. I believe there will be some incredible matchups, some games that provide more fantasy value than others and plenty of things that we can't prepare for.
I admire the way the NFL handles their offseason business. They drive traffic and interest in something that seems crazy to me. At this point I think you're better off not over evaluating the schedule and spending time reading fantasy rankings, fact filled articles and just having fun.
This summer will leave plenty of time to evaluate the full impact of schedules and the sweet matchups that are yet to come.
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.
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