Hello fantasy footballers! Today we will look at running back strength of schedule. Hopefully these numbers will help us make some trades or pickups that might help us navigate the second half of the season. And with some fantasy playoffs starting as early as Week 13, we are now into the second half of the fantasy season.
We’ll be using ESPN’s strength of schedule numbers, which stat guru Mike Clay posted on Tuesday and you can see here. I’ve chosen the adjusted to schedule fantasy points allowed column for this endeavor. The numbers are fairly straight forward, as the higher the number, the harder the schedule for our signal callers. I’ve also compiled SOS using Football Outsider’s DVOA against the pass to give us another perspective. For this post we’ll look at running backs.
I’m going to look at the average between the adjusted fantasy points allowed and the overall pass defense DVOA as a way to show the teams whose schedules are considered easy or tough based on both metrics. Not the most scientific way of looking at it probably, but I like to see correlation where I can.
RB SOS 7-16
Easy RB schedules
Jonathan Taylor, Colts
Schedule: BYE, @DET, BAL, @TEN, GB, TEN, @HOU, @LV, HOU, @PIT
Taylor hasn’t broken out in a big way, but he’s getting his touches both on the ground and through the air. He’s averaging 88.2 yards and three receptions per game while totaling three touchdowns. He has a bye this week, so if you can find a team with a losing record that needs a running back, there’s a chance you can get Taylor. And I would be willing to spend a pretty penny for him with his schedule and upside.
David Montgomery, Bears
Schedule: @LAR, NO, @TEN, MIN, BYE, @GB, DET, HOU, @MIN, @JAX
Montgomery is only averaging 3.7 yards per run, but he’s also seeing a big workload, especially now that Tarik Cohen is done for the year. Over the last three games, Montgomery has averaged 4.7 receptions on 6.3 targets along with 13 rushing attempts. He only has two touchdowns on the season, but the Bears offense hasn’t been super awful and with a good rushing schedule coming up, he should be able to keep a consistent floor with his big workload.
Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt, Browns
Schedule: @CIN, LV, BYE, HOU, PHI, @JAX, @TEN, BAL, @NYG, @NYJ
Chubb is expected to be out until around Week 11, which means he will miss the easiest part of this schedule, but Hunt will get a great opportunity these next three games to put up huge numbers. Hunt was already putting up good number in relief and alongside Chubb, so if you are able to trade for him, you’ve still got a strong player on your team with a better than average schedule. If you can find someone worried about Hunt losing his upside after Chubb returns and you need to win now, I’d be in the market.
Tough RB schedules
Devin Singletary, Bills
Schedule: @NYJ, NE, SEA, @ARI, BYE, LAC, @SF, PIT, @DEN, @NE
Singletary is in a tough situation as it is, as Josh Allen takes away many of his goal line touches and Zack Moss, when healthy, has done the same. Add in a restrictive schedule, and Singletary doesn’t have much upside at all heading into the second half of the season.
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
Schedule: @WSH, @PHI, PIT, BYE, @MIN, WSH, @BAL, @CIN, SF, PHI
Elliott’s two fumbles on Monday night and his five on the season are worrisome, but more worrisome is Andy Dalton slowing down the offense along with a tough run defensive schedule. Elliott’s going to get his fantasy points, but they will be harder to come by than if Dak Prescott and the offensive line were healthy. Trading Elliott now probably won’t garner you what you’d like, but if he puts up a good game on Washington this week, I’d consider shopping him.