Originally posted on The Fake Football  |  Last updated 7/18/13
I’m going to try the impossible here and give you a strength of schedule for running backs this season. I agree that these are perilous because the only true stats we have are from last season and much of last season is useless. This is a little less true in run defense though. Not enough to make me use these SOS ranks as anything more than a tie breaker, but I still feel better with them than I do the Quarterback SOS. Below here we have how each team’s rush defense ranked in eight categories and then I average those ranks to come up with an overall ranking that I then place down in the schedule below here. I would like to quantify the off season changes in personnel, etc, into these rankings, but I feel like that could just compound the problem. I will be using the Football Outsiders projections for this season to update these when they come out. If it looks like a big change I’ll repost. I will also do similar SOS schedules as we gather data from the 2013 season.   Chris Ivory: For those looking for a little push onto the Ivory train, this might help. Besides having the easiest SOS for the season, he also has the third easiest playoff stretch. I don’t love Ivory, but think he’ll get plenty of use and in good matchups shouldn’t have trouble putting up good enough fantasy points. I’ve been taking him in non-ppr leagues whenever he falls a bit. Panthers Running Backs: The Panthers have a nice schedule against the run, but of course they have a four-headed rushing monster in Williams, Stewart, Tolbert and Newton. But if I’m choosing a running back to take from Carolina this season it’s most likely going to be DeAngelo Williams. I love Jonathan Stewart, but he just can’t stay healthy and may miss some training camp. Montee Ball: The Broncos schedule is good this season all around and you know Peyton Manning is going to put his team in scoring position plenty of times.  I’m not a huge Montee Ball fan, but right now he is the favorite to win the starting position, which would put him in line for numerous touchdowns. When you put everything together Ball has the easiest path for fantasy production IF he can stay on the field. Lamar Miller: There’s plenty of Miller love going on around the fantasy world and I’m right in the guts of it. His schedule doesn’t hurt that love either. For a guy who is on the edge due to his lack of track record, a decent schedule can at least make you feel a bit safer. Eddie Lacy/Johnathan Franklin: The Packers face the tough AFC North and their four top 13 rush defense and then their own division with three top nine rush defenses who they’ll face twice each. Of course with the Packers offense they’ll still get into the red zone more than their fair share, but who wins the job? If Lacy can hold off Franklin I still would like him quite a bit in an offense where he’d get plenty of goal line opportunities. Giovanni Bernard: The Bengals have to face the Steelers #1 run defense twice so that knocks down their average SOS, but they have a nice fantasy playoff schedule and Bernard should be seeing a good amount of work by then. If things work out he could lead some teams to championships. And here’s a look at the grid with the names of the actual teams for reference: The post Running Back Strength of Schedule 2013 appeared first on Fantasy Football Rankings & more, The Fake Football.
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