NFL 2023 Schedule Release | Fantasy Football Winners and Losers

by Emerson Beery · Fantasy Football

The NFL 2023 schedule release has set the stage for the start of the regular season. There have been plenty of changes this year including more international games, as well as the potential for teams to play multiple Thursday night games. This has created some interesting travel and rest dilemmas for franchises around the league.

These adjustments in addition to defensive matchups are going to have major fantasy implications. Below, I’m going to dive into some of the biggest NFL schedule fantasy football winners and losers by team and the specific players affected. This analysis will be different than most as I will be taking a look through a fantasy lens as opposed to projecting their record.

Check out the Best and Worst Weeks of The NFL Season Here

NFL Schedule Fantasy Football Winners

New York Jets

The Jets have made themselves Super Bowl contenders with the addition of Aaron Rodgers and their fantasy schedule is very favorable. Only seven games will actually be played outside the state of New York. Furthermore, Warren Sharp from did an excellent job of detailing the rest advantages they have down the stretch. These games will mostly be against division opponents, and the AFC East projects to be very competitive.

What this means for fantasy purposes is the New York offense will be pushed in high scoring matchups. The Bills (twice), Dolphins (twice), Cowboys, Chiefs, Eagles, and Chargers all appear on the schedule in games that could turn into shootouts. The schedule is extremely tough, but it will drive fantasy production.

With the talent to push for an AFC East title, New York and fantasy managers will be dependent on the play of Rodgers. He struggled last season finishing just No. 21 in fantasy points per game and No. 23 in points per dropback. However, the Jets boast a more talented skill position group with Garrett Wilson already establishing a strong rapport with his quarterback in practice.

NFL Schedule Fantasy Football Risers: QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Garrett Wilson, RB Breece Hall

Green Bay Packers

The NFL did the Packers a favor and are easing them into the Jordan Love era. The Packers have four games against the NFC South, which will likely be the worst division in the NFL and don’t represent any particularly tough defensive matchups. They are also set to face off against the AFC West this year as well. None of these teams finished inside the top 14 in points allowed in 2022 and have strong offenses.

The sugar on top is six games against their own division who all finished near the bottom of the defensive standings. These teams also have powerful offensive units that should push a lot of scoring too. This will be perfect for Love who has only thrown only 83 career passes going into his fourth year in the league.

The biggest question fantasy managers have is whether or not Christian Watson is ready to be the top target in the offense. Despite finishing as a top 13 fantasy receiver five times down the stretch, 32.9-percent of his production came from touchdowns. Watson was only No.78 in target separation as well. This could make it tough for a young quarterback to trust throwing him the football in a tight window.

NFL Schedule Fantasy Football Risers: QB Jordan Love, WR Christian Watson, RB Aaron Jones

New Orleans Saints

I have my concerns about the New Orleans offense, however, the schedule couldn’t be any better. Right off the bat, they get six games against the worst division in the NFL playing in the NFC South.

An easy start to the schedule, with no projected playoff teams in their first six weeks, could allow Derek Carr to get off to a hot start. This will be important with a new quarterback and the potential suspension of Alvin Kamara. How quickly Carr can create a relationship with Chris Olave and the rest of the receivers will dictate their success.

One of the biggest mysteries in fantasy football though is the health of Michael Thomas. Since his WR1 finish in 2019, he has only played in ten games in the last three years. Nonetheless, Thomas scored 17 fantasy points per game and had a 47.5-percent Dominator Rating when he was on the field in 2022. His injury status will be a huge concern, but Thomas will provide a huge boost to the offense if he’s available.

NFL Schedule Fantasy Football Risers: QB Derek Carr, WR Chris Olave, RB Alvin Kamara, TE Juwan Johnson

NFL Schedule Fantasy Football Losers

Best and Worst Fantasy Football Playoff Schedules

San Francisco 49ers

Right off the bat fantasy managers can tell the 49ers got the short end of the stick with their schedule. San Francisco faces four teams coming off a bye week which leads to them having the worst rest differential in the league compared to their opponents. This is the total rest days a team has between opponents compared to the rest their opponent has coming into their matchup.

Additionally, nine of the 49ers’ seventeen opponents are against non-playoff teams. With a strong defense, this could encourage low scoring affairs where the team is coasting to a victory. This was a problem last season as San Fransisco kept their opponents under 20 points on 13 different occasions.

This is great for the 49ers, but a problem for fantasy football managers. There are a lot of mouths to feed in this offense with the presence of Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle. Brock Purdy is going to be asked to be a game manager which will lead to inconsistent fantasy performances from everyone outside of McCaffrey.

NFL Schedule Fantasy Football Fallers: QB Brock Purdy, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk, TE George Kittle

New York Giants

The Giants were one of the surprise teams of 2022, however, their schedule was very favorable. That won’t be the case this season as they are slated for a difficult slate. Starting off in their own division they will match up against defenses all ranked in the top 11 in yards allowed. They will play each of these teams twice unfortunately as well.

Additionally, New York will square off with three more top 10 defenses in New Orleans, Buffalo, and San Fransisco. Saquon Barkley will have fantasy success on volume alone, however, the passing attack could struggle. The primary receiving option will be tight end Darren Waller, and the Giants will hope that one of their other wide receivers emerges as a legitimate second option.

The big question will be if Daniel Jones can build on his breakout performance last season. He finished as the QB9 in fantasy football. However, this production was primarily driven by his rushing ability (No. 5 in Rush Yards Per Game). For him to be a top 12 quarterback again, he will need to improve as a thrower and on his 6.8 yards per pass attempt. That could end up being a tall order considering the state of the New York receiving core.

NFL Schedule Fantasy Football Fallers: QB Daniel Jones, TE Darren Waller, WR Paris Campbell, WR Isaiah Hodgins