Fantasy strength of schedule: Running Backs

Fantasy strength of schedule: Running Backs

Strength of Schedule

Fantasy strength of schedule: Running Backs

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Strength of Schedule is determined by matching up the fantasy points allowed for each defensive venue (home and away) against the looming schedule for each offense. While defenses will not perform exactly the same as last year, it at least yields a reference point to consider when valuing players. For the first time, I have altered the previous year’s stats by improving the Rams and lowering the Seahawks due to significant personnel moves each franchise made in the offseason. It is only the extreme results that are truly notable.

To remove the effects of the unusually bad or good game, defensive performances had their best and worst game removed before determining their average fantasy points allowed for each position.

2017 RB Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
20 Best Matchups 20 Worst Matchups
NYJ 24.0 NO 15.8
TB 23.8 @TEN 15.7
DET 23.8 @ATL 15.6
@SEA 23.2 @DAL 15.5
WAS 23.0 @CLE 15.4
MIA 21.9 @KC 15.3
SEA 21.4 CAR 15.3
CIN 21.3 LAR 15.0
BUF 21.1 @NYJ 15.0
OAK 21.1 MIN 14.6
@SF 21.1 DAL 14.6
@BUF 21.0 @JAC 14.4
IND 20.8 TEN 14.3
@PIT 20.7 @LAR 14.0
LAC 20.7 @DEN 12.7
GB 20.5 @ARI 12.6
@NO 20.5 PIT 12.6
KC 20.3 @PHI 11.5
CLE 20.2 @CAR 11.4
@CIN 20.2 @MIN 9.5

Three different views are given below – Weeks 1 to 6 show what players will face as they start the season. Weeks 1 through 16 are shown for a full season view and weeks 14 to 16 show the most common weeks for fantasy playoffs. Below that is the NFL schedule marked for each team to show when they have good (green) or bad (red) match-ups. The Dorey Rule is “draft as if the season only lasted the first six weeks”. Those first six games will determine if you get out to a hot start or are trailing by mid-season.

This analysis considers running backs awarded 0.1 points per rushed or received yard and six point touchdowns but no point per reception.

Weeks 1 to 16 (Full Season) Weeks 1 to 6 (Dorey Rule) Weeks 14 to 16 (FF Playoffs)
Team SOS Good Bad Team SOS Good Bad Team SOS Good Bad
CHI 4 7 3 CLE 2 3 1 BUF 2 2 0
CLE 4 7 3 DET 2 3 1 DEN 2 2 0
LAR 4 7 3 NE 2 3 1 KC 2 2 0
NE 3 7 4 NO 2 3 1 MIN 2 2 0
OAK 3 7 4 ARI 1 3 2 NE 2 2 0
LAC 2 6 4 BAL 1 3 2 NYJ 2 2 0
MIA 2 5 3 CHI 1 2 1 CHI 1 2 1
DEN 1 6 5 DAL 1 2 1 DAL 1 1 0
KC 1 4 3 DEN 1 3 2 PIT 1 1 0
MIN 1 5 4 LAC 1 3 2 SEA 1 2 1
NYJ 1 5 4 PIT 1 2 1 SF 1 1 0
PIT 1 5 4 ATL 0 3 3 TEN 1 1 0
TEN 1 3 2 GB 0 1 1 BAL 0 1 1
ARI 0 5 5 KC 0 1 1 CIN 0 1 1
BUF 0 3 3 LAR 0 2 2 JAC 0 1 1
SF 0 4 4 MIA 0 2 2 LAC 0 1 1
BAL -1 6 7 NYJ 0 2 2 OAK 0 1 1
CAR -1 4 5 OAK 0 2 2 ARI -1 1 2
DAL -1 4 5 TB 0 2 2 ATL -1 0 1
DET -1 5 6 TEN 0 1 1 CLE -1 1 2
GB -1 3 4 WAS 0 3 3 DET -1 1 2
JAC -1 4 5 BUF -1 1 2 GB -1 0 1
ATL -2 4 6 HOU -1 1 2 HOU -1 1 2
CIN -2 4 6 IND -1 1 2 IND -1 0 1
IND -2 3 5 MIN -1 1 2 LAR -1 0 1
NO -2 4 6 PHI -1 1 2 MIA -1 0 1
TB -2 4 6 SF -1 1 2 NYG -1 0 1
HOU -3 4 7 CAR -2 1 3 CAR -2 0 2
NYG -3 3 6 CIN -2 1 3 NO -2 0 2
SEA -3 4 7 JAC -2 1 3 PHI -2 0 2
PHI -4 3 7 NYG -3 0 3 TB -2 0 2
WAS -4 3 7 SEA -4 0 4 WAS -2 0 2

Notable Schedules:

Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen (Bears) – There is a new offense with head coach Matt Nagy and Mitchell Trubisky struggled last year as a rookie. But, the offense added all new receivers in Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton and rookie Anthony Miller to concern the defenses. And the backfield enjoys the lightest schedule in the NFL this year with seven of their games going against the weakest venues. Better yet, six of the final nine weeks offer that advantage including a Week 16 matchup versus the 49ers. The schedule is only average in the first half of the year but then is superior to all others. That’ll help Jordan Howard the most since he plays outside in all but two weeks in the latter part of the season.

Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, James White (Patriots) – Their backfield is never easy to forecast and often changes roles as the season progresses. But the first-round rookie Sony Michel gets to fit in and likely dominate against a schedule that features only one bad matchup over the initial ten games and yet five soft matchups over that time. Michel has the most upside of the group and could carve out a permanent role thanks to facing mostly lesser opponents to start the year.

Carlos Hyde, Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson (Browns) – Another logjam for a backfield enjoys a lighter schedule. Almost half of the Browns games face a weaker defense versus running backs and there’s all new firepower there with Carlos Hyde and the rookie Nick Chubb joining third-down back Duke Johnson. The best stretch comes from Weeks 2 until Week 12 when here are no bad matchups and yet six advantageous venues. The problem is that both Hyde and Chubb have solid rushing credentials but both backs cannot get enough volume to offer significant fantasy value. But the schedule is kind for the back that wins the bigger load.

Todd Gurley (Rams) – While Gurley hardly needs any help, he’ll try to maintain his elite statistics while facing one of the lighter slate of defensive venues. His final game of the fantasy season has him playing in Arizona, he has only two bad venues between Weeks 1 and 16 while going against seven advantageous matchups. That will rightfully help keep him in consideration as the first pick in every fantasy draft this summer.

Rashaad Penny (Seahawks) – On the positive, the rookie Rashaad Penny is the best back in Seattle since 2014 when Marshawn Lynch played a full season. But the offensive line remains a work in progress (at best) and the schedule is no friend. Penny also faces seven bad matchups behind those blockers and doesn’t catch any break until Week 8 when he faces the Lions. There’s minimal other talent in Seattle so Penny will remain as good as it gets. But unlike his fellow rookie rushers, he’ll have the worst offensive line and a very bad schedule.

Derrius Guice (Redskins) – Without any reception points, Guice is the clearly the best bet for the Redskins. And the rookie brings in plenty of potential. But he’ll learn that the SEC still falls short of the NFL for quality defenses. Guice burns through three soft matchups over the first four games and then has none the rest of the way. Four of his final five weeks go against the toughest venues and all four come on the road. He’ll earn that rookie paycheck during the brutal final month.

Week-By-Week

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
ARI WAS @LAR CHI SEA @SF @MIN DEN SF BYE @KC OAK @LAC @GB DET @ATL LAR
ATL @PHI CAR NO CIN @PIT TB NYG BYE @WAS @CLE DAL @NO BAL @GB ARI @CAR
BAL BUF @CIN DEN @PIT @CLE @TEN NO @CAR PIT BYE CIN OAK @ATL @KC TB @LAC
BUF @BAL LAC @MIN @GB TEN @HOU @IND NE CHI @NYJ BYE JAC @MIA NYJ DET @NE
CAR DAL @ATL CIN BYE NYG @WAS @PHI BAL TB @PIT @DET SEA @TB @CLE NO ATL
CHI @GB SEA @ARI TB BYE @MIA NE NYJ @BUF DET MIN @DET @NYG LAR GB @SF
CIN @IND BAL @CAR @ATL MIA PIT @KC TB BYE NO @BAL CLE DEN @LAC OAK @CLE
CLE PIT @NO NYJ @OAK BAL LAC @TB @PIT KC ATL BYE @CIN @HOU CAR @DEN CIN
DAL @CAR NYG @SEA DET @HOU JAC @WAS BYE TEN @PHI @ATL WAS NO PHI @IND TB
DEN SEA OAK @BAL KC @NYJ LAR @ARI @KC HOU BYE @LAC PIT @CIN @SF CLE @OAK
DET NYJ @SF NE @DAL GB BYE @MIA SEA @MIN @CHI CAR CHI LAR @ARI @BUF MIN
GB CHI MIN @WAS BUF @DET SF BYE @LAR @NE MIA @SEA @MIN ARI ATL @CHI @NYJ
HOU @NE @TEN NYG @IND DAL BUF @JAC MIA @DEN BYE @WAS TEN CLE IND @NYJ @PHI
IND CIN @WAS @PHI HOU @NE @NYJ BUF @OAK BYE JAC TEN MIA @JAC @HOU DAL NYG
JAC @NYG NE TEN NYJ @KC @DAL HOU PHI BYE @IND PIT @BUF IND @TEN WAS @MIA
KC @LAC @PIT SF @DEN JAC @NE CIN DEN @CLE ARI @LAR BYE @OAK BAL LAC @SEA
LAC KC @BUF @LAR SF OAK @CLE TEN BYE @SEA @OAK DEN ARI @PIT CIN @KC BAL
LAR @OAK ARI LAC MIN @SEA @DEN @SF GB @NO SEA KC BYE @DET @CHI PHI @ARI
MIA TEN @NYJ OAK @NE @CIN CHI DET @HOU NYJ @GB BYE @IND BUF NE @MIN JAC
MIN SF @GB BUF @LAR @PHI ARI @NYJ NO DET BYE @CHI GB @NE @SEA MIA @DET
NE HOU @JAC @DET MIA IND KC @CHI @BUF GB @TEN BYE @NYJ MIN @MIA @PIT BUF
NO TB CLE @ATL @NYG WAS BYE @BAL @MIN LAR @CIN PHI ATL @DAL @TB @CAR PIT
NYG JAC @DAL @HOU NO @CAR PHI @ATL WAS BYE @SF TB @PHI CHI @WAS TEN @IND
NYJ @DET MIA @CLE @JAC DEN IND MIN @CHI @MIA BUF BYE NE @TEN @BUF HOU GB
OAK LAR @DEN @MIA CLE @LAC SEA BYE IND @SF LAC @ARI @BAL KC PIT @CIN DEN
PHI ATL @TB IND @TEN MIN @NYG CAR @JAC BYE DAL @NO NYG WAS @DAL @LAR HOU
PIT @CLE KC @TB BAL ATL @CIN BYE CLE @BAL CAR @JAC @DEN LAC @OAK NE @NO
SEA @DEN @CHI DAL @ARI LAR @OAK BYE @DET LAC @LAR GB @CAR SF MIN @SF KC
SF @MIN DET @KC @LAC ARI @GB LAR @ARI OAK NYG BYE @TB @SEA DEN SEA CHI
TB @NO PHI PIT @CHI BYE @ATL CLE @CIN @CAR WAS @NYG SF CAR NO @BAL @DAL
TEN @MIA HOU @JAC PHI @BUF BAL @LAC BYE @DAL NE @IND @HOU NYJ JAC @NYG WAS
WAS @ARI IND GB BYE @NO CAR DAL @NYG ATL @TB HOU @DAL @PHI NYG @JAC @TEN
TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

 

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