PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 12: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons hands the ball off to Michael Turner #33 against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the NFL season opener game on September 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Fantasy football is taking over right now. I'm sure plenty of you have drafts upcoming (including our three different Falcoholic drafts), and you're probably still pouring over notes and statistics to decide who you want to pick this year.
It's an easy enough strategy to go with your favorite players from your favorite team, but this year that strategy is actually looking beneficial. The Falcons have a relatively easy strength of schedule in 2012 for the regular season and for fantasy football. Take a look at some of the all-encompassing rankings:
The chart shown here gives you the teams with the most favorable schedule for players in regards to fantasy. For example, the Falcons are ranked first in the quarterback and running back column. This means the opponents they face this season allowed the most points to opposing quarterbacks and running backs last year. You can only sort the charts one position at a time, so for this particular copy I have the QB list in order. Ignore how everything else is out of order.
According to these numbers, Matt Ryan should be in for a strong season. Turner and Quizz will be matching up against some easy defenses as well. Atlanta also holds the eighth-easiest schedule for wide receivers. Everyone is already hyping up Julio and Roddy beyond belief, so this just fuels that fire even more.
I typically shy away from drafting Falcons, simply because it makes watching every game a bit tougher. Last year I drafted Julio and found myself groaning every time No. 2 threw to Roddy. "Why can't you throw to No. 11 40 times a game?" No exactly the most enjoyable experience.
But, there's no denying the Falcons road ahead. According to ESPN, Atlanta has the 24th toughest schedule and just four quality opponents in 2012 (a quality opponent is a team with at least nine wins in 2011). Sure, some of the franchises they'll face this year have revamped their rosters a bit. You can still be confident, though, in drafting the home team for your fantasy lineup this time around.