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NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Running Back Strength of Schedule

Thu May 23 11:07am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

The NFL has released schedules, so it is time to see how this impacts the fantasy world. Next up, the running back spot.

Using our rules for our money leagues, we came up with a schedule strength ranking for the running back position. We are using our fantasy defenses report to calculate the rankings. This report can be found in all of our leagues under the "reports" heading. We took the schedule of each team and entered the average number of fantasy points allowed to running backs last season from all of their opponents to get our fantasy points allowed number. This is a good indication of the running backs with the most favorable schedules for fantasy scoring for the coming season.

The Ravens had arguably the most potent rushing attack down the stretch last year and will look to carry that over to this year, so having the easiest schedule for running backs bodes well for this entire offense. Baltimore should be run heavy once again with Mark Ingram and quarterback Lamar Jackson leading the way. Both are setup for big years. 

Phillip Lindsay was a huge surprise last year and is looking good again to at least repeat, having the second easiest schedule for running backs. New England, Detroit and Pittsburgh also have favorable schedules, making their running backs good targets for this coming year (i.e. Sony Michel, Kerryon Johnson and James Conner). 

The Chiefs have run the ball well in recent years with whomever is starting, but have a schedule that could make it a little more difficult this year. Kansas City has the toughest schedule for running backs, which might send up a few red flags for likely starter Damien Williams. 

Atlanta struggled to run the ball last year and could be in a similar situation this season, having the second hardest schedule for running backs. Cincinnati, Tampa Bay and Houston are other teams with very challenging schedules for running backs. Keep this in mind come draft day. 

Take a close at these rankings and tweak your overall rankings accordingly. These schedules could impact running backs - good or bad. 

FANTASY POINTS ALLOWED
1. CHIEFS 375.42
2. FALCONS 380.99
3. BENGALS 382.36
4. BUCCANEERS 383.12
5. TEXANS 383.16
6. COLTS 383.82
7. BILLS 384.83
8. BROWNS 387.52
9. REDSKINS 388.44
10. PACKERS 388.75
11. COWBOYS 389.53
12. SAINTS 390.48
13. CHARGERS 391.1
14. TITANS 392.49
15. CARDINALS 392.62
16. DOLPHINS 393.67
17. JETS 393.67
18. GIANTS 394.86
19. RAMS 395.4
20. EAGLES 395.59
21. JAGUARS 396.73
22. PANTHERS 397.05
23. BEARS 398.1
24. VIKINGS 398.18
25. RAIDERS 398.65
26. SEAHAWKS 398.75
27. 49ERS 399.27
28. STEELERS 402.82
29. LIONS 402.91
30. PATRIOTS 403.58
31. BRONCOS 406.57
32. RAVENS 409.25

 

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Ty Johnson Aug 24 9:00pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Ty Johnson continues to prove that he deserves the third spot on the Lions running back depth chart. Johnson rushed four times for just nine yards and had one catch for 11 yard against the Bills in Week 3 of preseason but he showed off his lethal speed. Johnson is a player to keep an eye on; right now, he is totally off fantasy radar but if Kerryon Johnson or C.J. Anderson go down with an injury, Ty Johnson could begin to make an impact.

From RotoBaller

Zach Zenner Aug 24 8:50pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenner had just four carries for 21 yards in the Lions third preseason game against the Bills. It appears that Zenner will likely fall behind running back Ty Johnson on the depth chart, into the fourth position. Regardless, Zenner is a talented special team player and should still make the final squad. Zenner is not fantasy relevant.

From RotoBaller

Jameis Winston Aug 24 8:32pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston was scrambling for his life most of the night in the preseason game against the Browns on Friday, but he managed to continue building chemistry with wide receiver Chris Godwin, hooking up with him four times for 52 yards. Winston finished 9-for-19 for 88 yards and a 60.9 passer rating. He scrambled well and didn't make bad decisions or risky throws, which is what he needs to cut out of his game in a contract year. Winston has all the things in place to have his best season to date in head coach Bruce Arians' offense, making him a low-end QB1/high-end backup for fantasy owners. Godwin should see heavy targets as well, making him a popular breakout candidate in 2019.

T Y Hilton Aug 24 8:31pm ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is likely out until the start of the season. Head coach Frank Reich stated that it would be unlikely to see any starters during the team's Week 3 matchup against the Chicago Bears. Hilton has not played any snaps during the team's first two preseason games, and he doesn't appear slated to play any this week. The strategy of keeping your best player's healthy when you can is usually the right decision. As he's not battling any injuries, this isn't an issue to be worried about as he will play when the games count.

D'Onta Foreman Aug 24 7:53pm ET

Indianapolis Colts RB D'Onta Foreman (biceps) was waived from the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Aug. 24, after the two sides reached an injury settlement.

From TheHuddle

Lamar Miller Aug 24 7:33pm ET

Houston Texans RB Lamar Miller (leg) was carted off the field after suffering an apparent leg injury during the preseason game Saturday, Aug. 24.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to determine the severity of Miller's injury. Duke Johnson likely would take over the starting job if Miller misses an extended period of time and could be a No. 2 running back in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Lamar Miller Aug 24 7:30pm ET

Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller was carted off the field after a first quarter hit in Saturday's preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. Miller hadn't played in a preseason game before this one. A Pro Bowler last year, Miller is expected to see the bulk of Houston's offensive touches this year with Duke Johnson coming in on passing downs, but a potentially serious knee injury would lead to huge changes in this Houston offense. Monitor the situation over the next few days.

From RotoBaller

George Kittle Aug 24 7:20pm ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (calf) will not play Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Kittle suffered a calf injury a couple weeks ago but has been practicing and assured his fantasy enthusiasts hell be ready for Week 1. Kittle deserves top-3 tight end consideration in all leagues this season. Other notable inactives include Jerick McKinnon (knee), Trent Taylor (foot), and Nick Bosa (ankle). Both McKinnon and Taylor are at risk of starting the season on the PUP list while Bosa continues working his way back from an ankle sprain. None of the latter three players merit fantasy consideration until theres clarity on their health.

From RotoBaller

Jarrad Davis Aug 24 6:43pm ET

Updating previous reports, Detroit Lions LB Jarrad Davis (ankle) has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, according to a source. He is starting to feel better but probably will miss time early in the regular season.

From TheHuddle

Justin Evans Aug 24 5:23pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Justin Evans (hamstring) passed his physical Saturday, Aug. 24, and was activated from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.

From TheHuddle

Giorgio Tavecchio Aug 24 5:20pm ET

The Atlanta Falcons signed free-agent kicker Blair Walsh on Saturday. The 29-year-old is a former All-Pro that was taken by Minnesota in the sixth round in 2012. He hit 84.2 percent of his kicks in five years with the Vikings and was last with Seattle in 2017, where he made 72.4 percent of his kicks. Current kicker Giorgio Tavecchio has struggled this preseason, so Walsh will push him for the job as Week 1 approaches. Atlanta's kicker position could yield nice fantasy points in 2019, but this is a situation to avoid in fantasy until we have more clarity.

From RotoBaller

Dalvin Cook Aug 24 5:13pm ET

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook rushed for 88 yards and one touchdown on two carries in the preseason game Saturday, Aug. 24.

Fantasy Spin: Cook is scheduled to receive a majority of the carries for the Vikings this season and can be a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues if he is able to stay healthy.

From TheHuddle

Paul Worrilow Aug 24 5:13pm ET

Baltimore Ravens LB Paul Worrilow was officially released Saturday, Aug. 24.

From TheHuddle

Kirk Cousins Aug 24 5:10pm ET

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins went 3-for-13 for 35 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions Saturday in the third preseason game. He was sacked twice and was pressured often in the outing. Cousins had multiple passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. The stat line looks ugly, but it shouldn't serve as much of a deterrence for taking Cousins as a low-end QB1 or as a quality backup. The upside isn't where it once was, but he's a relatively safe option for your fantasy squad.

From RotoBaller

Lance Kendricks Aug 24 5:10pm ET

New England Patriots tight end Lance Kendricks has been suspended for the first game of the regular season for violating the league's policy on substances of abuse. Kendricks wasn't in line to see much work for the Pats and could be cut now, so this doesn't move the fantasy needle at all. The 31-year-old caught 19 passes for 170 yards and one score over a full season with Green Bay last year. With Benjamin Watson also suspended to begin the season, Matt LaCosse is likely to be the primary pass-catcher in Week 1, but he'll be a deep DFS sleeper, at best.

From RotoBaller

Kirk Cousins Aug 24 5:03pm ET

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins went 3-for-13 for 35 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions in the preseason game Saturday, Aug. 24.

Fantasy Spin: Cousins is coming off a very good 2018 season and will have a solid group of pass catchers to work with but probably should be considered a No. 2 fantasy quarterback.

From TheHuddle

Dalvin Cook Aug 24 5:00pm ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook rushed twice for 88 yards and one touchdown in the third preseason game Saturday. On one of his rushes, he started left and cut back to the right, breaking tackles on his way to an 85-yard touchdown run. Cook is showing he's all the way back from his torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He's a midrange RB1 that has the potential to be one of the best backs in the game.

From RotoBaller

Jarrad Davis Aug 24 4:43pm ET

Detroit Lions LB Jarrad Davis (ankle) is not dealing with a season-ending injury and likely will avoid the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Matt Patricia.

From TheHuddle

Kyler Murray Aug 24 4:40pm ET

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray went 14-for-21 for 137 yards in the third preseason game Saturday. He didn't throw a touchdown or an interception, and he avoided taking a sack. He rushed four times for nine yards. The team has emphasized getting the ball out quickly with Murray, which hasn't led to many big gains. This dink-and-dunk approach limits his fantasy value in single-year formats. However, it could prove beneficial in the long run. Murray is an upside backup quarterback in fantasy, but he is a budding chip to have in dynasty formats.

From RotoBaller

Lance Kendricks Aug 24 4:33pm ET

New England Patriots TE Lance Kendricks has been suspended by the NFL for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

From TheHuddle