Guest of the League
Steve Grogan
FFL: Week 11 | NFL: Week 11

Running back Strength of Schedule

2017-07-07 09:40:32
Sr Fantasy Writer

Blount gets tough schedule

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.

Many had concerns about Carlos Hyde even before the NFL schedule was released, but the challenging schedules clouds things even more for Hyde. He has the toughest schedule for fantasy running backs. Todd Gurley also is a concern, coming off a terrible season and getting a challenging schedule. Some backs looking even better are Mike Gillislee, who could be setup for a breakout year in New England, and Jordan Howard, who had a big rookie season and gets a schedule to continue his strong play. Take a close at these rankings and tweak your overall rankings accordingly.

1. 49ers    				341.82
2. Redskins    				362.56
3. Rams    				362.92
4. Eagles    				364.62
5. Colts    				365.6
6. Falcons    				366.05
7. Raiders    				367.27
8. Steelers    				367.75
9. Lions    				368.29
10. Cardinals     			368.35
11. Seahawks    			368.44
12. Bucs    				369.91
13. Giants    				370.05
14. Texans    				370.08
15. Chargers    			370.34
16. Packers    				370.41
17. Browns    				370.86
18. Cowboys    				371.7
19. Saints    				372.22
20. Dolphins    			374.84
21. Jaguars    				375.45
22. Bengals    				376.95
23. Chiefs    				378.31
24. Broncos    				378.47
25. Vikings    				378.90
26. Titans    				379.43
27. Ravens    				381.62
28. Bills    				382.14
29. Bears    				384.78
30. Panthers    			385.38
31. Jets    				386.51
32. Patriots    			387.02

Player Notes
Devonta Freeman Nov 17 12:30pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (concussion) remained sidelined at Friday's practice. He is still in concussion protocol and Tevin Coleman is scheduled to be the Falcons' lead back Monday night in Seattle. Seattle has the 5th-best defense against RB, making Coleman a mid-range RB2. Terron Ward will be Coleman's change of pace.

Leonard Fournette Nov 17 12:20pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) is "still not right," and he could be limited if he plays this week against the Browns, according to Florida Football Insiders. T.J. Yeldon played 36.9% of the snaps last week against the Chargers with Fournette in on 53.9% of the downs. Fournette, however, was nonexistent in the fourth quarter before coming back out for overtime while Chris Ivory played eight snaps. Fournette was downgraded to DNP on Friday after being limited Wednesday and Thursday. If he does play, we could be in for a similar Fournette-Yeldon split, and if the rookie sits, expect Yeldon and Ivory to split the load. Fournette is looking like a risky RB2 if he suits up and merely a DFS tournament play.

Ty Montgomery Nov 17 12:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery (ribs) is unlikely to play Week 11 against the Ravens, according to coach Mike McCarthy . McCarthy said it's not a long-term concern, but it will be Jamaal Williams and Devante Mays this week in a tough spot. Williams managed just 67 yards on 20 carries in relief against the Bears last week. Wiliams is a low-upside RB3 play who should get volume, but will likely need a TD to be worth it.

Drew Brees Nov 17 12:20pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara is on pace for more than 1,400 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns despite being in a timeshare with starter Mark Ingram. Kamara has proven he can handle the load and then some. His QB, Drew Brees, had a ton of praise for the rookie. "He's got some unique talents and a unique skill set. But I think more so than that, he's got the intelligence to handle it all and, I think, a maturity, too, beyond his years..." Kamara must be locked in as a RB1 for the remainder of this season, regardless of matchup. Washington has been in the middle of the pack defensively this season, but looked terrible last year against Minnesota. Kamara should have little trouble in Week 11.

Odell Beckham Jr. Nov 17 12:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas will continue to be a target hog in Week 11 when the Saints face the Redskins. Thomas has seen double-digit targets in five of nine games this season and ranks fourth in the league with 59 receptions. Thomas needs just four catches Sunday to rank second in league history with 155 catches in his first 25 NFL games (Odell Beckham Jr. had 176, Anquan Boldin had 154). He will sustain a high floor in PPR leagues, although his lack of touchdowns (two) holds him back from being a WR1. Thomas insisted that "soon, eventually, I'll have that breakthrough where I'll start scoring when I need to start scoring." But, he said, "ultimately it's not about that."

Julius Thomas Nov 17 12:00pm ET

Miami Dolphins tight end Julius Thomas may be entering the fantasy radar at the right time. Thomas didn't score his first touchdown of the year until Week 9 against Oakland, but he made it two in a row with another score last week. Thomas is gaining his quarterback's trust and has a nice matchup against the Tampa Bay Bucs on deck, but is still mostly TD-dependent for value. He has only caught more than three passes once all season, also coming in Week 9. If you stream tight ends, you could do worse in standard leagues.

DeAndre Hopkins Nov 17 11:10am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been about safe a play as possible this season, but the Arizona Cardinals possess something that could greatly limit his impact: Patrick Peterson. Peterson is expected to shadow Hopkins, which could make life tough for the receiver. He still has upside since quarterback Tom Savage will almost be forced to throw the ball his way regardless of matchup, but fantasy owners expecting too much out of Hopkins might wind up disappointed.

Alshon Jeffery Nov 17 10:50am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (ankle) is questionable for Week 11 against the Cowboys. Early indications are that Jeffery's injury will not keep him out of Sunday's game against the Cowboys, but there is still doubt. It will be important to see if he practices on Friday. For now, he can still be looked at as a high-end WR2 this week.

Chris Boswell Nov 17 10:30am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell turned in a big game on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans. The veteran kicker nailed all four of his field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder, while also adding four extra points. Boswell finished the night with 16 total points as the Steelers ran away from the Titans, 40-17. Boswell remains one of the better fantasy kickers in the NFL as he should continue to see a high volume of field goal attempts going forward. On the year, Boswell is tied for third in the league with 20 field goals and 23 attempts. Continue to roll with him in Week 12, when the Steelers take on the Green Bay Packers at home.

Marcus Mariota Nov 17 10:30am ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST turned in a big game on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans. Pittsburgh held Tennessee to just 17 points while intercepting Marcus Mariota four times and adding five sacks. The Steelers defense has been a solid fantasy option this season, having held their opponents to 17 points or less in five straight games while logging at least two sacks in each game this season and notching a turnover in every game but one. They draw another favorable matchup in Week 12 when they take on the Brett Hundley-led Green Bay Packers at home.

Le'Veon Bell Nov 17 10:20am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell was limited on the ground by the Tennessee Titans in Week 11. He saw just 12 carries, finishing with 46 rushing yards on the evening. He did finish with nine catches for 57 yards to at least salvage his fantasy day in PPR leagues. Don't get too concerned about Bell's light workload on Thursday night. The Steelers went away from their recent run-heavy offensive attack as they clearly game planned to pick on a Titans secondary that has been vulnerable this season. He remains one of the few workhorse running backs in the league and should bounce back in Week 12 in a home game against a weak Green Bay Packers defense.

Randall Cobb Nov 17 10:20am ET

Green Bay wide receiver Randall Cobb will face an unfavorable matchup in Week 11 when Green Bay takes on Baltimore. Cobb has been lost in Green Bay's offense the past several years in large part to his inability to deal with press coverage. Baltimore utilizes press coverage frequently. Cobb has had some respectable if underwhelming fantasy days with Brett Hundley under center, but most of his production has come on big catch and runs, something Cobb has only done on only an inconsistent basis recently. Cobb has a low ceiling and low floor in Week 11 and should be kept out of line-ups in almost all situations.

Jesse James Nov 17 10:20am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James had his best game since Week 1 as he helped his team beat the Tennessee Titans 40-17 on Thursday night. James caught 5-of-8 targets for 21 yards and a touchdown in the game. His usage was certainly bolstered by the team ruling out Vance McDonald before the game. James now has three total scores on the season after scoring for the first time since Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns. Despite the solid game, James remains a low-end, touchdown-dependent TE2, especially when Vance McDonald is active.

D'Onta Foreman Nov 17 10:10am ET

Houston Texans rookie running back D'Onta Foreman has looked good at times this season, but he's had the kind of up-and-down season--four games of double-digit carries, and then no carries against the Seahawks, for instance--that makes him hard to trust in fantasy, especially as the season winds down and each decision becomes magnified. Foreman could see the ball a lot against the Cardinals, or he could end up with four carries. That level of variance makes him just a low-tier flex option.

Eli Manning Nov 17 10:10am ET

As a double-digit underdog at home against the Chiefs, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will look to capitalize against a defense that is near the bottom of the league against the pass. Manning has thrown for two touchdowns each of the last two weeks in comeback efforts that have fallen short. Expect the Giants to be down and looking throw throughout his Week 11 matchup. He is a low-end starting option once again.

Sterling Shepard Nov 17 10:10am ET

Coming off one of the best games of his career in Week 10, New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard looks to be locked in for double digit targets in his Week 11 matchup against the Chiefs. Shepard should face off against Steven Nelson for most of the game, one of the worst graded cornerbacks in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. He has a safe floor for Week 11 and has the upside of delivering another 100 yard receiving game. Shepard is a WR2 in all formats this week.

Ben Roethlisberger Nov 17 10:10am ET

After stumbling through a lackluster season, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethsliberger roared to life on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans, shredding them for 299 passing yards and four touchdowns. Thursday night marked the first time Roethlisberger threw more than two touchdowns all season in what has been a down year for him. The veteran quarterback had no trouble moving the ball against a leaky Titans pass defense, completing 30-of-45 passes in Pittsburgh's 40-17 win. He will look to stay hot in Week 12 as he will take on a weak Green Bay Packers defense at home.

Antonio Brown Nov 17 10:00am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown turned in a vintage performance against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night. Brown destroyed the Titans with 10 catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 40-17 Pittsburgh win. Brown certainly left his fantasy owners feeling good a week after turning in a disappointing three-catch, 47-yard outing against the Indianapolis Colts. Brown showed yet again why he's the top fantasy wide receiver in all of the NFL. He now has 70 catches for 1,026 yards and six touchdowns through 10 games, giving him five straight 1,000-yard seasons.

Lamar Miller Nov 17 10:00am ET

Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller has been frustrating for fantasy owners this season. Miller was inconsistent while Deshaun Watson was the team's quarterback, but he's looked more effective now that Tom Savage is starting-Miller's two best games this season in terms of yards-per-carry came in the past two weeks. The problem? He only has combined 22 carries in those two games. Houston needs to recommit to the run this week. If they do, expect Miller to put up solid numbers. He's a risky play, but one that could be rewarding.

Tom Savage Nov 17 9:50am ET

Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage hasn't looked great in his two starts since taking over for the injured Deshaun Watson. His two touchdowns to only three interceptions isn't good, but it isn't as terrible as it could be. Factor in three fumbles over the past two games--and another pair when he started the team's season-opener--and a picture starts to develop: one of Savage as an unfit fantasy option. Fantasy owners in leagues that start two-quarterbacks might be forced to make that choice, but no one else should.