For those that follow my thread on the who to start forum (viewtopic.php?t=511438
) this is an extension from last year's data.
For each matchup for the coming year, I used the passing and rushing average points given up to opposing teams. 6 per TD, 1 per 25 yards passing, 1 per 10 points rushing/receiving, -2 per turnover. My rankings vary slightly from NFL as they rank defenses only on yards per game. Since FF weights TDs so much more than yards (typically), my ranking is a little more fantasy related.
For the 2012-2013 schedule, I take every team, look at their matchup for each week, what that team gave up to opposing qbs over a 16 game schedule on average LAST YEAR and then averaged their schedule out for the year. Same with rushing.
The following rankings were derived. Please note that this does not take into consideration the quality of the passer or rusher on the offense, just the toughness of the defenses they will face. Also, these are averaged out over 16 games.
TB has the easiest passing schedule of the year. The teams they face have given up an average of 17 points per game. ATL has the easiest rushing schedule of the year. The teams they face give up an average of 17 points per game.
Matt Ryan (and Julio) looks like he'll have another very good year. The teams that he is facing are giving up an average of 17 points per game to opposing QBs. Brees also looks to have a very nice set of matchups for the year as does Schaub and Cutler. Cincinnati has to face Pit and Bal (and Cle) twice this coming year. Of course, they had to last year as well but Cincy's schedule also includes Washington, the giants and philly this year all of which are sturdy passing defenses.
It will be very interesting to see if Cam Newton can keep up his studly ways this coming year. He has a nice set of lineups for passing and rushing defensive matchups. Robert Griffin, meh. Andrew Luck? I'm guessing he'll be fun to watch early vs. CHI, MIN but will struggle vs. JAC. Then a bye. Perhaps a nice game vs. GB which was terrible last year on passing defense. Then A very tough jets, gb, cleveland run. Hopefully, we'll find out if he was worth a manning in those games.
Beanie Wells is facing one of the toughest rushing schedules for the coming year. SEA, NE, PHI, MIA to start the year are all above average, STL and BUF should be easier but by then who knows how valuable he'll appear. Then comes MIN, SF, GB and ATL which are all top third rushing defenses. Strangely enough, last year Beanie tended to look better against the tougher defenses but the stats just don't seem to like those matchups. Michael Turner has taken his knocks over the years but boy does he have a cherry schedule lined up for this year. KC, Den, Car, SD, Was and Oak to start the year are all bottom half rushing defenses. DAL and PHI and NO will make for a tough follow-up but then ARI, TB, STL to close out regular season, SEA , DET, CHI in the playoffs where he'll let you down
Anyway, have a looksie if you'd like. But as I always say, don't replace common sense with a bunch of statistics. Defenses change from year to year on how tough they are and some can change dramatically.