SOS - Strength of Schedule

Fantasy Football Definition of "SOS"

SOS, or "Strength Of Schedule", is a controversial statistic that indicates how difficult a particular player's regular season schedule is likely to be. With so much parity in today's NFL, it is logical to assume that a team's schedule will have a serious impact on their chances. What teams do they play? What week do they play their toughest opponent? Is it going to be cold that week, or extremely hot? Does the team have to travel cross-country? There are a number of variables about a schedule that can affect the outcome of your fantasy player's game.

The prevalence of belief in SOS as an indicator of a player's potential is the main problem most people have with this stat . It is looked down on as a kind of voodoo by a large portion of the fantasy football world. For one thing, the SOS stat is usually generated using some pretty blurry math. The entire SOS "ranking" is based on how each team's weekly opponents played against different positions last season. You heard me -- SOS is based on last season's performance.

I agree that having an understanding of your fantasy player's team's schedule is important. If your starting QB has a game in a snowy stadium next week, you might consider starting the backup. What I don't believe in is looking into the past to determine how a team is likely to perform in the present.

Still, for those of you who buy into SOS, there are all kinds of free sources for the info.

For we fantasy football fanatics who'd rather do our own research, there are ways to look into a team's schedule without sacrificing a goat to the gods of statistics. Look at your starting QB for an example. Pick a week and look at his team's opponent that week. Is he throwing against a tough passing defense? Is there a studly crew of linebackers that could make your QB's day miserable? Find a good backup and get out of that potential dud game. If you're lucky, you'll find that the opponent's defense is a cream puff, the weather forecast is for clear skies and a high of 80 degrees. Either way, you have some idea of how tough a particular game might be, SOS stat be damned.

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