Rhinos visit her former club Bradford Bulls tomorrow (2pm).
Staveley reckons Bulls have improved under new coaches Kirsty Moroney and Beth Sutcliffe and it is a similar situation across the whole competition.
“The competition’s tougher, everyone has raised their game,” said Staveley, who made 18 appearances for Leeds in 2018.
“Bradford have come on leaps and bounds from last season; Kirsty and Beth have done wonders for them.
“Last year we were a brand new team and we were underdogs. This year we have got some new players, but other teams know our strengths and weaknesses.
“Every team has improved, it has got harder and we have had to adapt and change as well.”
Leeds topped the seven-team table last year when Bulls finished fith.
This term Rhinos are third, with Bulls fourth out of eight, two points behind.
Rhinos visit St Helens for a Coral Challenge Cup semi-final next weekend and Staveley admitted they want to go into that tie on the back of a strong performance.
She said: “We had a slow start to the season, we are now getting into more challenging games and we have definitely been working hard. We’ve made massive improvements in training and we have had to push ourselves.
“We have been (doing that) since the start of the season, but we’ve had a lot of injuries and we’ve been trying to find our feet. It’s also hard because we’ve had quite a few breaks, so to have Bradford this week and then straight on to Saints will be good for us.”
Rhinos have scored 154 points without reply in their last three games, against Super League’s bottom team York City Knights twice and Championship outfit Warrington Wolves, but Staveley feels they will need to improve in the next two games.
“Other than the Cas game we haven’t really pushed our boundaries,” she added. “Errors we’ve been making are going to be crucial in the games coming up, they could potentially lose us the game.”