Running Back Strength of Schedule
October 25, 2014 | Chet
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Good afternoon fake footballers. I wanted to take a look see at how schedules stacked up for running backs now that we have some decent statistics to look at and this is what I came up with.
* As you can see, the best schedule is for one of the worst running back situations in the league with Carolina. So I’m going to move on to Cleveland. There you have Ben Tate and Isaiah Crowell. Both are owned in most leagues, but Crowell could be had fairly cheap and has a lot of upside if Tate gets hurt again.
* The Bengals have Giovani Bernard, who has played well, but is sub-4.0 per rush, which could leave some room for Jeremy Hill to find some more early down work. Don’t sell either and maybe look to acquire Hill.
* Atlanta is much like Carolina, but with more upside players. Of course their O-line is crapola and those upside players, Antone Smith and Devonta Freeman are in a four-headed backfield. I could see keeping one on your roster, but I’m not going to go after either with that traffic jam.
* Green Bay is an interesting team in that we just don’t know for sure how Eddie Lacy and James Starks will share carries. With a nice schedule both could have value each week, but I’m going to stick with Lacy as my pick for more fantasy points.
* After Week 8 against the Panthers and then Week 9 against the Raiders, it gets to be tough sledding for Seattle and Marshawn Lynch on the ground. He should do very well these next two weeks and that might be your time to sell.
* The Patriots have a tough schedule with a couple middle of the road teams and then the rest top-10 run defenses. The good thing for Shane Vereen is that he can get a lot of work done through the air and these numbers skew toward the run. I probably wouldn’t want to invest too much time in Brandon Bolden or Jonas Gray or whoever Belichick throws out there.
* Tre Mason unfortunately gets some brick walls to play against and one nice matchup in Week 13 against Oakland, but who knows who will be getting carries by then.
* Miami has a rotten schedule against the run, but then gets two decent games against the Patriots and Vikings during the fantasy playoffs. I think your position on Lamar Miller might depend on your record. If you really need to win and win now, hope he does some work against the Jags this week and then sell him for a Tate/Crowell combo.
* Darren McFadden has been getting enough work to be useful and this week gets a nice matchup with the Browns. But then it gets tougher. It would be difficult to sell McFadden for much, but if he were to get 100+ and a touchdown or two this week, he could be packaged for something.
* The Saints have a nice playoff schedule against CAR, @CHI, and ATL. Mark Ingram has a good shot to help some teams still.
* The Jets, Steelers, Browns and Detroit all have decent playoff schedules and could be worth targeting Chris Ivory, Le’Veon Bell, Ben Tate/Isaiah Crowell and Joique Bell for the stretch run.
Below here you can see the rankings I smushed together to find my overall run defense rankings above here. The higher the number, the crappier the defense.