Unless you've been living under a rock for the last, uh, six hours, the 2008 NFL regular-season schedule is coming out on April 15.
You may already be familiar with WHO your favorite team plays, but WHEN they play them is of major significance ... and, like anything else, it impacts Fantasy Football.
One of our "busts" last year was Larry Johnson. Part of the reason why is because his first five games were against the Texans (in Houston), the Bears (in Chicago), the Vikings (at home), the Chargers (in San Diego) and the Jaguars (at home). The Bengals were next in Week 6 and the Raiders in Week 7 (at home and in Oakland) before a bye in Week 8.
So feasibly, Johnson was expected to deliver two strong performances (three if you count Houston on Kickoff Weekend, which we didn't) behind a suspect offensive line in the first eight Fantasy games of the season.
It's important that you look for these factors when examining a schedule:
1. Does any team play three straight games on the road, or three straight games at home?
2. Which teams have an early bye? Which teams have a late bye?
3. Which teams play two games in seven days the most (most Monday night games followed by Sunday games, notably Sunday afternoon games)?
4. Which West-Coast teams play the most 1 p.m. ET games?
5. Which teams have rough stretches of 3+ games against teams expected to be strong?
And most importantly ...
6. Which teams have a difficult schedule right out of the gate?
We'll answer those questions this week.