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What running back strength of schedule means for rest of fantasy football season

What RBs have the best and worst schedules for the rest of the 2020 season? We give you some players to deal for in fantasy football.

Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts stiff arms Jessie Bates #30 of the Cincinnati Bengals as he runs down the field during the third quarter of the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

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

Teams RB (Adjusted) DVOA AVG
Teams RB (Adjusted) DVOA AVG
DAL 31 30 31
NYG 30 31 31
BUF 28 32 30
NO 32 28 30
LV 26 27 27
LAR 22 29 26
SEA 27 22 25
TEN 24 24 24
ARI 28 18 23
KC 18 25 22
PIT 25 17 21
JAX 18 23 21
BAL 14 26 20
NE 23 14 19
CAR 14 21 18
DET 16 19 18
SF 20 15 18
GB 21 12 17
ATL 12 20 16
LAC 16 6 11
PHI 5 16 11
MIA 10 9 10
HOU 7 11 9
CIN 3 13 8
DEN 13 2 8
WSH 8 7 8
TB 9 4 7
CLE 4 8 6
MIN 2 10 6
NYJ 10 1 6
CHI 6 3 5
IND 1 5 3

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.