Based on the final 2021 regular-season records for each opponent, we have aggregated the win-loss-tie record of their 17 opponents for 2022 and then ranked the teams from the most difficult 2022 NFL schedule to the easiest 2022 NFL schedule.
2022 NFL Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 1 to 18
|Rank||Team||Opp. Record||Opp. Win Pct.|
|1||Los Angeles Rams||164-125-0||0.567|
|4||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||154-134-1||0.535|
|5||San Francisco 49ers||154-135-0||0.533|
|5||Kansas City Chiefs||154-135-0||0.533|
|7||Las Vegas Raiders||152-136-1||0.528|
|7||New Orleans Saints||152-136-1||0.528|
|10||Los Angeles Chargers||150-139-0||0.519|
Updated: Wednesday, January 5, 2021
Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will update our consensus NFL Power Rankings from a variety of national sites.
Below you will find a table of our NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 18, sorted by their average ranking. The table also lists their respective rankings at various sites.
+ Previous: 2021 NFL Power Rankings: Week 17
[Note: Positive number in Change column = week-over-week improvement in ranking. Negative number = week-over-week decline.]
|1||Green Bay Packers||13-3||1||+0.2||1||1||1||1||1|
|2||Los Angeles Rams||12-4||3||+1.6||4||2||4||2||3|
|2||Kansas City Chiefs||11-5||3||-1.2||2||4||2||5||2|
|4||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12-4||3.2||+0.8||3||3||3||3||4|
|8||New England Patriots||10-6||8.6||+0.4||9||8||10||8||8|
|Full Week 17 Consensus NFL Power Rankings|
Fantasy Football Start'Em, Sit'Em: Week 17
BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Friday, December 31st
The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).
As an example, Rashaad Penny is listed below as a "start" for Week 17. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 17 with him as one of my starting running backs.
Then again, Penny may be a "sit" for your team.
In other words, if you roster Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon and Penny and start only two running backs, you should start Chubb and Mixon and, in turn, bench Penny.
For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check our Week 17 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of making those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.
Week 17 Fantasy Football Start'em
QB - Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (vs. HOU)
Expectations were perhaps too high for a former FCS-level rookie quarterback that had played only one game in 2020, but Lance was a popular late-round QB in fantasy football drafts this summer. Given his dual-threat upside, he oozed top-10 potential once he overtook Jimmy Garoppolo as the starter.
Getting a spot start in Week 5 in Arizona, Lance completed only 15-of-29 for 192 yards and an interception, but he also ran 16 times for 89 yards. While we haven't seen much of Lance since that point, Kyle Shanahan has recently talked up Lance when he said that "[t]his last month of Trey has been his best consecutive four weeks at practice since we've had him."
With Garoppolo battling a thumb injury (and although not officially ruled out yet), it's shaping up for Lance to get his second start of the season in (the fantasy) Championship Week. As double-digit home favorites, the 49ers have one of the week's highest NFL implied totals. The Texans have allowed five rushing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks, tied for a league high, and the fifth-highest passing Y/A (7.74).
RB - Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at NYJ)
It wasn't the most efficient of performances, but last week's 20-carry effort was certainly the most volume that Jones saw this season. With Leonard Fournette placed on IR, Jones carried the ball 20 times against the Carolina Panthers for 65 yards and a score and added two catches for 16 yards. Even though he averaged only 3.25 yards per carry, Jones finished the week as a top-12 play.
After a less fantasy-friendly matchup last week against the Panthers, Jones and the Bucs get the crème de la crème in terms of fantasy matchups this week. Not only have the Jets allowed the most fantasy points to the position this season, but the Bucs are favored by nearly two touchdowns and are tied for the week's highest implied total.
Continue reading our Week 17 Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em
BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Saturday, September 4th
Ask 100 people and you're likely to get 100 different answers.
Not only does no universal definition of a fantasy football sleeper exist, many would argue that there is no such thing as a sleeper in today's age of year-round fantasy football content published on the interwebs.
While that may be true, our definition of the term for this post will be a player that we are targeting in the double-digit rounds of 12-team leagues. Of course, our fantasy football rankings will list the players we prefer in sequence, but the goal of this post is to highlight later-round players that you should know for your upcoming drafts.
So, in other words, the fantasy football sleepers referenced in this article have an average draft position (ADP) greater than 108 (nine rounds times 12 picks).
Some players that just missed the cut based on our self-imposed ADP requirement include A.J. Dillon (ADP: 81), Laviska Shenault Jr. (ADP: 92), Michael Pittman (ADP: 99), Tyler Higbee (ADP: 106), among others.
Fantasy Football Sleepers for the 2021 NFL Season
Here are ten sleepers for the 2021 season with their Fantasy Football ADP in parenthesis (N/A = currently undrafted):
QB - Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 120)
Look at 2020's top 10-scoring fantasy quarterbacks and you'll notice a common theme. Almost all of them are prolific runners. The average top-10 quarterback had a rushing line of 79.5/416.5/5.1.
To highlight the importance of rushing production, look no further than the G.O.A.T. (Tom Brady). Of course, Brady isn't known for his rushing prowess (six rushing yards in 2020). But in his first season in Tampa, Brady threw 40 touchdowns (second-most of his Hall-of-Fame career) and 4,633 yards (fifth-most). Even so, Brady only finished as fantasy's QB8. Winning from the pocket used to be enough -- Brady has nine seasons where he finished as a top-seven fantasy QB.
Nowadays, quarterbacks that are exclusively pocket passers need to have career-type seasons to warrant a high ranking. On the other hand, QBs with elite rushing upside can be mediocre passers (on a good day) and still be strong fantasy plays.
So, while the rookie version of Lance won't have the passing success that Brady (or Aaron Rodgers) will have in 2021, his elite rushing upside puts him squarely in the top-10 mix (or better) once he becomes a starter. Lance is more talented than Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts, as an example, and Hurts was the QB7 from Weeks 14-17 last season after the team benched Carson Wentz.
Especially considering that he was a redshirt sophomore that played only one game in 2020 at the FCS level in such an unusual year, it may be a lot to expect him to start Week 1. Lance may not start Week 1 (although I wouldn't rule it out). PFT's Mike Florio ponders a Jimmy Garoppolo release before Week 1. The 49ers have the earliest possible bye (Week 6) and that could be a natural transition point to this year's No. 3 overall pick (if he's not the starter sooner).
One of the common things I've often done in a fantasy football mock draft is pair someone like Joe Burrow, on my list of undervalued players in fantasy football, with Lance for two high-upside options.
Continue reading our 2021 Fantasy Football Sleepers
BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Monday, May 10th
Now that the 2021 NFL Draft is in our rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead to the upcoming NFL and college football seasons and even further ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft.
The pre-draft process should be more typical (fingers crossed) in 2022 with the NFL Scouting Combine, private workouts, etc. returning.
Perhaps the on-location draft weekend in Las Vegas will be anything but normal; I mean that in the best way possible. I'm looking forward to seeing the spectacle of a Vegas draft week(end)!
With that said, here is my way-too-early 2022 NFL Mock Draft:
Offseason trade demands and ongoing legal issues make Deshaun Watson's future with the Houston Texans anything but certain. If Houston is picking first in the 2022 NFL Draft, the organization could use this opportunity to draft a quarterback.
Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux will top my initial 2022 big board, but Howard is my QB1 a little less than a year out and a potential top-five pick. Like Watson, Howell has the ability to elevate the play of those around him and he's been one of the best deep passers in college football since his freshman season.
If the Lions are picking this high in 2022, it's possible that they could look to reset at quarterback. The Lions would only incur a $10 million cap hit if they moved on from Jared Goff next offseason. In addition, Lions general manager Brad Holmes recently said they "would have had to strongly consider" a quarterback at No. 7 if Penei Sewell weren't their highest-ranked player available.
Since 2018, two Sooner quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) have been selected first overall and another (Jalen Hurts) was a second-round pick. If there's a quarterback that will challenge Howell for the honor to be 2022's QB1, it's most likely Rattler. Based on props from Bovada, Rattler (11/2) is the early favorite to win the Heisman Trophy over Clemson's D.J. Uiagalelei (6/1), who's not eligible until the 2023 NFL Draft.
Arguably the top college football recruit in 2019, Thibodeaux has lived up to the hype so far with 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss over 21 games in his first two seasons. In a pair of Pac-12 Championship Games, he's been virtually unblockable -- 18 QB pressures, 4.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks in those two games combined.
Current Oregon (and former Texas A&M) DC Tim DeRuyter has compared Thibodeaux's explosiveness to that of Von Miller, one of DeRuyter's former players, as he said that Kayvon is "probably the first person that I've seen in a while who has that explosiveness off the edge like Von" [Miller].
The Bengals (17) ranked last in the NFL in sacks last season. Even though they signed Trey Hendrickson to a four-year deal, Carl Lawson (team-high 5.5 sacks) departed via free agency.
Although not as dominant last year as he was in 2019, Stingley's true freshman season was as good as it gets for any defensive back regardless of level of experience. When the Detroit Lions selected Jeffery Okudah third overall in 2019, ESPN's Ryan Clark said that some coaches agreed with him that Stingley "would've been the number one cornerback drafted in that draft" at only 18 years old. Given his elite combination of size, speed and ball skills, Stingley will be a top-five pick in 2022 (or whenever he declares).
Even though the Jaguars have selected C.J. Henderson (2020) and Tyson Campbell (2021) with top-33 picks in back-to-back drafts, I don't think that precludes them from passing on a talent like Stingley.
No safeties were drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but Hamilton will hear his named called early in 2022 and potentially inside the top-five picks. Leading Notre Dame in tackles last season, Hamilton has tremendous size and length (6-4, 219) at safety with the versatility to impact the game in a variety of ways.
Continue reading Kevin Hanson's 2022 NFL Mock Draft
We are more than two years away for the 2023 NFL Draft, which will be held in Kansas City, MO.
For our 2021 (and 2022) mock draft(s), we know which prospects have declared early (or decided to return for another season). For the pool of players for our early top-10 mock draft for 2023, we've limited our pool of prospects to only players that will become draft-eligible beginning in 2023.
The draft order used is based on the inverse order of NFL wins over the past decade.
As noted in our 2021 NFL mock draft, the Jaguars own the rights to their first-ever No. 1 overall pick, which they will undoubtedly use on Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. More than likely, the Jags won't be picking first again in 2023 given their treasure trove of draft picks and ability to spend in free agency.
Nonetheless, they have the first pick based on our criteria for determining the draft order and get a disruptive edge rusher in Anderson. Among SEC defenders, only Georgia's Azeez Ojulari and former teammate Christian Barmore had more sacks in 2020 than Anderson had as a true freshman. Only the Cincinnati Bengals (17) had fewer sacks than the Jaguars (18) in 2020.
The No. 1 recruit in the 247Sports Composite (2020), Bresee enjoyed immediate success for the Tigers. The ACC Defensive Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-ACC performer finished his true freshman season with 6.5 tackles for loss including four sacks and 33 tackles. With a rare combination of first-step explosiveness for a man his size, Bresee has the versatility to line up at various alignments along the defensive line.
Murphy stepped onto the Clemson campus with NFL-ready size and athleticism. As a true freshman, Murphy led the Tigers in tackles for loss (12.5) and forced fumbles (three), had four sacks and was as good as it gets against the run.
The highest-graded run defender last season was a true freshman— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 20, 2021
Myles Murphy, Clemson - 92.5 pic.twitter.com/NM7coDqv1B
Continue reading our way-too-early Top-10 2023 NFL Mock Draft
Check out more of our content: