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Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule Analysis: Wide Receivers

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) runs the ball after a reception against the New England Patriots during the second quarter during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Strength of schedule is often viewed as a power ranking of a team's schedule based on its opponents' prior-year record, but this method is not very predictive of a team’s true strength of schedule (SoS). PFF harnesses the power of its grading system and year-over-year predictability to produce an easily digestible SoS tool. The PFF Strength of Schedule Tool uses current rosters to provide a more insightful look at fantasy football matchups for the 2021 NFL season.

This is the third in a series of articles breaking down strength of schedule by position. We started with quarterbacks and running backs, and now we move on to the wide receiver position. 

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Note: The values found in the live tool are subject to change, since they’re based on current rosters and can be affected by injuries, opt-outs and trades. The values in this article will not be updated after publication.


1. Philadelphia Eagles

Primary Secondary Slot
DeVonta Smith Jalen Reagor Jalen Reagor

DeVonta Smith leaped right to the top of the Eagles’ depth chart this offseason. The 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft will pair smooth route running and big-play ability with talented sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Speaking of players named Jalen, the man holding down the slot position this season will likely be Jalen Reagor. Last season, Reagor struggled playing out wide with a supporting cast of Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham (who was recently waived). Reagor may have some post-hype sleeper value with a transition to the slot.

With the softest schedule for receivers, this could be a fun start to the season for the young passing attack. Its most difficult matchup is the Buccaneers. Eight of Philly's matchups are rated 6.3 or better — very good matchups for the position. 

2. New York Giants

Primary Secondary Slot
Kenny Golladay Sterling Shepard Sterling Shepard

We learned in the quarterback edition of this series that Daniel Jones might have a great time early on — and the Giants’ receivers should benefit, as well. Kenny Golladay reported back to practice this week after dealing with a hamstring injury.

Over the past two seasons, Golladay excelled in receiving grade (91st percentile), aDOT (94th percentile) and yards per route run (91st percentile) — all considered stable metrics year-over-year. His deep-threat ability should mesh well with Jones, who was a surprisingly solid deep passer last season.

Sterling Shepard is a low-upside, medium-floor type of player who likely shouldn’t be rostered in most leagues. If the Giants can get the offense humming through their first six weeks, things could be fun later in the season.

3. New England Patriots

Primary Secondary Slot
Jakobi Meyers Nelson Agholor Kendrick Bourne

There will still be a little bit of mystery in New England's passing game now that rookie Mac Jones will start the season as its quarterback. Cam Newton locked on to Jakobi Meyers throughout the preseason, though the veteran QB has since been released. The third-year receiver was looking to build on a solid 2020 that just didn’t quite translate to fantasy production.

Meyers didn’t nab a single touchdown last year despite catching 59 of 81 targets for 729 yards, though he did have a passing touchdown on a trick play. His main competition this season is Nelson Agholor, who is entering his seventh season. Agholor posted his best season to date in 2020, but his role was also notably different from the rest of his career.

Jones performed really well in his preseason action. He delivered a passing grade of 92.2 on 65 dropbacks — granted, against backups most of the time. Still, this Patriots passing offense could be in for a big bounce back against a lighter schedule.

PFF's 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Kit includes links to every article, tool and chart to best prepare you for your fantasy football draft. This will be updated regularly between now and Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season.


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