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Draft Masters - FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

RB Strength of Schedule

Thu Jun 2 10:47am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Related photo caption below

Williams setup for breakout year


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.

  2022 RB SOS  
1. Atlanta Falcons 380.2
2. Houston Texans 382.1
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 384
4. Philadelphia Eagles 386.7
5. Cincinnati Bengals 388
6. New York Giants 392.5
7. Carolina Panthers 393.2
8. Las Vegas Raiders 394.1
9. Pittsburgh Steelers 395.7
10. Washington Commanders 396.7
11. Los Angeles Chargers 397.3
12. Los Angeles Rams 397.8
13. San Francisco 49ers 398.2
14. Minnesota Vikings 398.5
15. Dallas Cowboys 399
16. New York Jets 399.2
17. New Orleans Saints 400.9
18. Seattle Seahawks 401.3
19. Kansas City Chiefs 401.4
20. Tennessee Titans 401.6
21. Baltimore Ravens 401.9
22. Green Bay Packers 404
23. Indianapolis Colts 404.7
24. Jacksonville Jaguars 405.8
25. Arizona Cardinals 406.8
26. Cleveland Browns 407
27. Detroit Lions 407.3
28. Buffalo Bills 410.6
29. New England Patriots 411.2
30. Denver Broncos 413.3
31. Chicago Bears 417.3
32. Miami Dolphins 421.2


The Dolphins have the best schedule for fantasy running backs this coming year. The problem is you just aren’t sure the back that will lead that team in carries. But these guys might be worth taking a chance on because of this schedule. Whoever emerges could be a productive fantasy asset. David Montgomery is intriguing on a team that lacks weapons in the passing game and gets the second easiest schedule for fantasy backs. Montgomery might have his best season to date. Javonte Williams is pegged as a breakout candidate by many and having the third most favorable fantasy schedule for running backs makes that even more of a possibility. The Patriots have a host of backs that should get carries and could all produce well with their favorable running back schedule. And the Bills duo of Devin Singletary and rookie James Cook could do some damage this year. 

Running backs with challenging fantasy running back schedules include Cordarrelle Patterson, Leonard Fournette, Miles Sanders and Joe Mixon. Patterson is one guy that is a concern because of his finish to last year, stumbling at the end of the season after a great start. And now Patterson gets the most challenging fantasy schedule for running backs. Fournette is setup for more work with Ronald Jones gone, but that might not lead to a lot more fantasy points with this schedule. Lastly, Saquon Barkley has been a bust in recent years and his team has the sixth toughest schedule for fantasy backs. Barkley could have more tough sledding this year. 

Take a close look at this entire ranking when figuring out your fantasy rankings for the coming season.

We also wanted to look at playoff schedules for fantasy running backs. So we crunched the numbers of all the schedules from Weeks 14-17, which is the fantasy playoffs for most leagues. We know you have to get to the playoffs first, but knowing the running backs with the easiest playoff schedules doesn’t hurt by any means, especially in the big money contests. 

  2022 RB PLAYOFF SOS  
1. Los Angeles Chargers 345.7
2. Houston Texans 364.5
3. Atlanta Falcons 368.8
4. Cleveland Browns 369.3
5. Philadelphia Eagles 372.9
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 376
7. Cincinnati Bengals 378.5
8. Green Bay Packers 380.3
9. Denver Broncos 384.5
10. Pittsburgh Steelers 388.9
11. New York Giants 390.5
12. Las Vegas Raiders 394
13. Arizona Cardinals 395.3
14. Dallas Cowboys 397.2
15. New Orleans Saints 400.7
16. Minnesota Vikings 403.7
17. Miami Dolphins 404.1
18. Washington Commanders 407.5
19. New England Patriots 407.9
20. Tennessee Titans 409.4
21. Chicago Bears 412.6
22. Indianapolis Colts 415.8
23. Baltimore Ravens 416.7
24. Los Angeles Rams 418.3
25. Jacksonville Jaguars 419.6
26. Seattle Seahawks 424.5
27. Kansas City Chiefs 424.7
28. Detroit Lions 425.2
29. New York Jets 430.6
30. Buffalo Bills 433.2
31. San Francisco 49ers 433.3
32. Carolina Panthers 442.6


Christian McCaffrey has big injury concerns, but his celling is as high as any back in the game. He also has the easiest fantasy playoff schedule for running backs. This makes him a huge risk/reward pick for fantasy teams. McCaffrey could be a difference maker in the playoffs if he can stay on the field. Elijah Mitchell is another intriguing back for the coming year, getting a chance to start from day one and having the second most favorable fantasy schedule for running backs. Rookie Breece Hall is expected to be the Jets lead back and could have a great finish to his season with a very favorable schedule to end things. And D’Andre Swift has a favorable regular and playoff fantasy schedule. Swift is another back that battles injury issues, but could be a monster this year if he can stay on the field all season. 

There are many repeat teams near the top of the list of the toughest fantasy running back schedules, including the Texans, Falcons and Eagles. You might just want to steer clear of players on these teams. Things might not work out well for them. The team with the toughest fantasy running back schedule in the playoffs, though, is the Chargers. Austin Ekeler is a top-five draft pick this year. He gets a ton of work in the passing game, so having a tough running back schedule isn’t a huge concern. But it is something to keep in mind when picking early in drafts. If you are debating between Ekeler and another high-profile back, you might want to lean the other way because of this playoff schedule.  

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.

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