Blog Entry

Early thoughts on 2009 NFL schedule

Posted on: April 14, 2009 9:00 pm

Like you, I'm pumped about football. Even when the NFL offers non-events like the release of the schedule, I'm all geeked up. Pretty soon they'll start broadcasting offseason weight room workouts and have Q&As with the chefs at the training facilities. Ooh! The Jets are adding more protein to their Thursday meals! Start all Jets!!

The NFL schedule is an important piece to the Fantasy puzzle. It dictates the matchups that dictate Fantasy use. Only problem is that any matchup we look at now as a "cake walk" or "an impossible game" might not be the case come Week 5. Last year, I had the Falcons and Dolphins pegged as clubs that would get run over for much of the season. Goes to show you that nothing is permanent and anything can happen. 

Then again, I was pretty confident that the Raiders, Lions, Rams and Bengals would stink, and they did. Just don't bring up the Browns ... eesh ... I get icy chills just thinking about THAT pick from last year ... again, I swear I'm not from Cleveland.

Here are the first things that popped out at me from the 2009 NFL schedule:

ARIZONA: Two east-coast trips, including a 1 p.m. start at Jacksonville. That helps.

ATLANTA: The Falcons get the royal treatmentr with three straight home games Weeks 12-14 (Bucs, Eagles, Saints). THey also will have one outdoor game in poor conditions in December/January (at the Jets Week 15).

BALTIMORE: Look for a fast start from LeRon McClain and Willis McGahee as the Ravens host the Chiefs, play at the Chargers and host the Browns right off the bat, then host the Bengals in Week 5 after dealing with the Patriots on the road in Week 4.

CAROLINA: Rough start for the Panthers, who have Philly at home and then road games at the Falcons and Cowboys before an early bye. I don't like this defense much, and that goes triple if they pawn off Julius Peppers before the start of the season. Weeks 13-16: vs. the Bucs, at the Pats, vs. the Vikings, at the Giants. Rough stretch for DeAngelo Williams. Rough season for Williams -- he might face only four softish run defenses all year!

CINCINNATI: The Bengals land three straight home games with a bye in-between starting in Week 6 and ending after Week 9. They'll host the Texans, Bears and Ravens, not easy. They also have a nice three-game spell where they play at Oakland in Week 11, vs. Cleveland in 12 and vs. Detroit in 13. That could be nice for Cedric Benson and Carson Palmer.

DENVER: The Broncos catch a break with easily the best opening schedule in the league: At Cincy, vs. Cleveland and at Oakland. They'll pay for it with games vs. Dallas, vs. New England, at San Diego, a bye, at Baltimore and vs. Pittsburgh in Weeks 4-9, though. I'd draft cheap Broncos late and then try to trade them after Week 3. Remember this when Correll Buckhalter and/or Kyle Orton are staring you in the face between Rounds 7 and 9 this summer!

DETROIT: First three overall, four of their first five and eight of their first 11 games are in domes. Holy Calvin Johnson! I also see a lot of high-scoring games for them as they only face three clubs with suspect offenses this season. That means their defense will be tired a lot. It's going to mean a lot of points for the Lions, especially with Scott Linehan as their offensive coordinator.

GREEN BAY: Early season schedule is GREAT for Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Grant. First seven games of the season: vs. Chicago, vs. Cincinnati, at St. Louis, at Minnesota, vs. Detroit, at Cleveland and vs. Minnesota. Remember, Grant has a knack for chewing up the Vikings. Should be a quality start for them, though they are saddled with a Week 5 bye. The Packers do have it rough late with the Ravens in Week 13, the Bears in Chicago in Week 14 and the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week 15. Not good for the Fantasy postseason run.

HOUSTON: Very nice early-season schedule: vs. the Jets, at the Titans, vs. the Jaguars, vs. the Raiders, at the Cardinals, at the Bengals, vs. the 49ers, at the Bills. The first two games will be tough on the offense, but nothing they can't overcome. Slaton & Co. should have a fast start.

INDIANAPOLIS: Eleven dome games! Peyton Manning gets some serious love!! And, they land a three-game home-stand vs. the 49ers, Texans and Patriots Weeks 8-10. The rich get richer.

JACKSONVILLE: Three-straight home games vs. Houston, Miami, and Indy on a short week. They need all the help they can get. And how's this for tough: Their first three games are at the Colts, vs. the Cardinals and at the Texans. Three awesome passing offenses. Hope Rashean Mathis is healthy!

KANSAS CITY: Three straight homers in Weeks 13-15: vs. Denver, vs. Buffalo and vs. Cleveland. Should be good for them. In fact, they finish up nice with that trio of games and road contests at Cincinnati and at Denver. Awful Week 1 matchup at Baltimore, though. That'll hurt Cassel's early stats.

MINNESOTA: Not only do they not play a Thursday game all year, and not only do they have a Week 9 bye, but the Vikings landed a three-game home stand against the Lions, Seahawks and Bears Weeks 10-12! And that precedes a road game at Arizona and a homer against Cincy. And they play 11 dome games this season!! Someone in the NFL office wants Adrian Peterson to be the league MVP ...oh, and they open at Cleveland, at Detroit, vs. San Francisco, vs. Green Bay and at St. Louis. Peterson should be an absolute MONSTER.

NEW YORK GIANTS: The G-Men got saddled with three straight roadies in Weeks 2-4: at Dallas, at Tampa Bay and at Kansas City. Gonna be a challenge. I do like the Week 10 bye for them, though.

SAN DIEGO: Just two east-coast trips this year, and both games start at 4 p.m. Nice break for the Bolts, who start very tough after Week 1 at Oakland: vs. Baltimore, vs. Miami and at Pittsburgh, then a bye. We might not see L.T. perk up until Week 6 (vs. Denver) and beyond.

SAN FRANCISCO: ONE east-coast trip -- Week 15 at Philly (1 p.m.). NICE BREAK for the Niners, who otherwise have a tough run.

ST. LOUIS: Rams catch a break with three straight home games in Weeks 10-12, but it's all against good passing offenses (vs. Saints, vs. Cardinals, vs. Seahawks). Might negate the advantage, other than the whole not-getting-on-airplanes thing. Get this -- they won't have to get on a plane from Nov. 2 through the end of the month. That's a nice home stand for the Rams (Week 9 bye).

SEATTLE: Smacked with a three-game road trip in Weeks 10-12, all indoors: at Arizona, at Minnesota, at St. Louis. In fact, they have six dome games in 2009 if you include Dallas in Week 8. Almost as many as a dome team that has all outdoor road games. That will help them with their pass attack, as will ZERO east-coast games (six 1 p.m. starts, all in central time zone).

TAMPA BAY: All their games are at 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. ET. They're gonna be a tough team to figure out, especially with their trip to London in Week 7 vs. the Patriots.

TENNESSEE: Three straight home games late in the year vs. St. Louis, Miami and San Diego on Christmas Day (a Friday, so a short week). Should help them get a playoff push. They also play three tough 3-4 defenses in the first six weeks, all on the road (at Pittsburgh in the league opener, at the Jets in Week 3, at the Patriots in Week 6). Very tough start for Chris Johnson.

WASHINGTON: The Redskins' last two road games are Week 14 at Oakland and Week 17 at San Diego, with divisional home games against the Giants and Cowboys sandwiched in-between. That might hurt them but it gives the Redskins' Fantasy players an edge during the meat of the season. We'll see inflated stats from Clinton Portis in the early going with a Week 1 premiere at the Giants, Week 2 vs. the Rams and Week 3 at the Lions.


Since: Sep 9, 2008
Posted on: April 15, 2009 10:46 pm

Early thoughts on 2009 NFL schedule

The NFL did a real nice job on last years super bowl team the Arizona Cardinals?  When do the Cardinals get "hot" ?  Say when post season is not to far away?  Arizona has a super opportunity!  The last five games on the Cardinals schedule are the Vikings, 49ers, Lions, Rams, and the Packers?  Sound great?  Listen to this, Arizona's quarterback Kurt Warner really excells when he plays IN DOORS!  Of the five last games on the Cardinals schedule four games are played in doors and the only out doors game is at warm weather San Francisco???  WOW no freezing, or snow blowing games for the Cardinals in the final stretch of the regular season going into the play offs?  The lord does work in mysterious ways dos'nt he Kurt?  Who said Arizona can not return to the super bowl in two straight seasons???????



Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: April 15, 2009 3:33 pm

Early thoughts on 2009 NFL schedule

Oh you mean that team we beat with Brad Johnson under helm? Tony Romo shreds your Bucs poppajohn. 

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: April 15, 2009 12:34 pm

Early thoughts on 2009 NFL schedule

Wow, I have to admit.  The Colts got a nice looking schedule this year.  Not only in regards to all those dome-games, but even half of their non-dome road games are in Florida.  The only potential bad-weather games are the trip to Baltimore in mid-November, and the trip to Buffalo in week 17.  But who knows if they'll even be playing for anything in that last week (it's always hit-or-miss with any given team).  I just hope they take advantage of the situation and have a great season.  I have a feeling their window is closing a bit as some of their stars get up in age and their salary cap continues to run tight.  I'd like to see at least one more championship in the Manning-era.


Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: April 15, 2009 7:50 am

Early thoughts on 2009 NFL schedule

Fyi The Bucs secondary is far from depleted.  They have young playmakers at every if you want to talk about the d-line than you'll get no argument from me but we'll shore that up in the draft.  Either way, dont bank on romo being a stud the first week especially without for thought for anyone touting romo as their #1 fantasy qb next yr 

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: April 15, 2009 4:20 am

Early thoughts on 2009 NFL schedule

The 2009 NFL Schedule's Effect on my Fantasy Team, the Hepcats© first Five games.

First let me tell you a little about the league itself just so you fully understand how hard it was to acquire a team as dominant as my 2009 Hepcats©.

We were established in 2003 playing Single Season Drafts and continued that way for 2 years as 12 man team leagues. In 2005 I purchased a Commissioner League with CBS and we created a 3 man keeper league. At this point we were a 16 man league. In the following season we expanded to 24 teams again as a 3 man keeper league. In 2007 we dropped back down to an 18 team full out keep everyone Dynasty league. 9 East teams vs. 9 West teams. An Individual Defender league with players receiving points and  fractions of a point for every stat recorded. A league that awards for Catches, Rushing Attempts (WorkHorseRB), Passing Completions, Tackles, Forced Fumbles, Fumbles Recovered, INTs, obviously you get the point. Hell block a kick, record a safety as an offensive player and score a point. We award bonus points for marks met through out the game. A team like mine has scored as high as 600 points for 1 week. On average a good matchup might read one close to 340.95 to 341. During bye weeks we allow BYE WEEK AVERAGES being that our league is so deep. There clearly is'nt enough bye week replacements on the waiver wire. Our format and scoring, although unorthodox, form the Worlds Greatest Fantasy Football League.

I am the Commissioner of my Dynasty Fantasy Football League. " The East Vs. West© "

My team is listed below. * indicates Starter; ^ indicates rotation players.

Keep in mind this is an 18 team league with roster size set to 26 players.

12 starters and 14 reserves.

QB - Tony Romo *

QB - Jon Kitna

RB - Maurice-Jones Drew *

RB - LaDainian Tomlinson ^

RB - Edgerrin James

RB -  Darren Sproles

RB - Peyton Hillis

WR - Steve Smith *

WR - Terrell Owens *

WR - Eddie Royal

WR - Marvin Harrison

WR - Earl Bennett

WR - Bryant Johnson

WR - Devin Thomas

TE - Owen Daniels*

TE - Martellus Bennett

K - Phil Dawson^

DL - Julius Peppers*

DL - Justin Smith*

DL - John Abraham^

LB - DeMarcus Ware*

LB - D.J. Williams *

LB - Keith Brooking

DB - Eric Weddle*

DB - Adrian Wilson*

DB - Brandon McDonald


I'm going to use a grading system for my matchups as follows -

Slaughtering - Superior Victory

Beat Down - Impressive Victory

Solid - Good Chance at Victory

Suspect - 50-50 Chance at Victory

No Time - No Chance at Victory


Week 1: Romo faces a depleted Buccaneers team and should shine early on. I'll have to start Tomlinson over Jones-Drew because hes gaurenteed 100 yards and a couple scores against the Raiders. My Receivers have some tough matchups with the Eagles, Patriots, but I do expect Daniels to post solid numbers against a suspect linebacker core and vulnerable pass defense vs. the NYJ.  My defense is so consistant it really doesn't matter who they play its always a good matchup. I'll post the terrific matchups when it comes to defense. DeMarcus Ware is one of them in Week 1. I expect this guy to get off to a hot start and post a possible 2 sack day.

Beat Down


Week 2: The Cowboys open their new stadium against the NYG and these games have turned into shootouts early on recently. I expect Tony Romo to be "Guns-a-Blazin" on this day. I love Terrell and Steve against the Falcons and Bucs, and expect big numbers here as well. Jones-Drew vs. Arizona? Sign me up. 200 total yards and 3 Touchdowns. You heard me, write it down and remember who predicted it week 2.



Week 3: Carolina comes to Dallas on Monday Night Football, and its a game that scares the hell out of me. Tony Romo might not be able to play mistake free football with Julius Peppers in his face. I'm torn here because Abraham has a horrible matchup with the Patriots and if Peppers has a good week it might come at the expense of Romo.  Jones-Drew faces Houston in a game where he should post terrific numbers yet again. I'm a Cowboys fan. That being said I know for a fact that Steve Smith will probably be the start of the week. He'll shred Dallas. Terrell Owens plays the Saints in a game where he should score a couple times. Owen Daniels could be a sleeper start in this Division match. Both my Linebackers have exciting matchups as well. I expect huge tackle totals from D.J. and a couple sacks from Ware.

Beat Down (only cause I know Romo might score in the negatives)


Week 4: Romo is going to pick apart the Bronco defense and might put up 40 on the scoreboard. I'm starting Steve Smith because he'll have a huge average after just 3 weeks. If his average isn't where it should be I wont hesitate to start Eddie Royal against the Cowboys. I'm not too high on T.O.'s matchup vs. Miami. Thank god Albert Hanesworth changed his address. I'd have nobody worth starting with Tomlinson at Pittsburgh and Jones-Drew at home vs. Tennessee. Its not a good matchup but its better than Tomlinson. If my defense gets off to a slow start this could be a real bad week for me without Adrian Wilson, John Abraham, and Julius Peppers.



Week 5: This is my huge week. Romo against Kansas City! WOOHOO! 300 yards 3 to 4 tds here we come! Jones-Drew vs. Seattle! Terrell Owens vs. Cleveland! Steve Smith vs. Washington! Daniels vs. Arizona! Ware will destroy Matt Cassel! D.J. Williams should post a season high in tackles against New England! Abraham and Peppers are gonna post huge numbers! Btw its 4:18am now....... yea anyway... Adrian Wilson is gonna be hovering near Andre all night, and has a shot at a butt load of tackles and an interception. We're talking a 600 point week baby!!!



Off to a great start =)




The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or