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|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
The New York Jets have waived running back De'Angelo Henderson. After adding Le'Veon Bell and Ty Montgomery in the offseason, Henderson was always a long shot to make the team's final roster, so cutting him now allows him time to latch on somewhere else. The problem is that while Henderson was a popular dynasty sleeper pick two years ago, he's now had just 11 total touches through two seasons with two different teams. Henderson doesn't look like a guy who'll be able to earn significant snaps on a team in 2019.
The Dallas Cowboys have released wide receiver Allen Hurns, who broke his fibula in a playoff game last season. It's unclear if Hurns was going to be ready to go for the Cowboys when training camp began, but he was expected to play this season. He'll have a chance to latch on somewhere else, but it would be a stretch to expect Hurns to be a fantasy relevant player in 2019. His departure from Dallas might help Tavon Austin see the field more, but Hurns wasn't a threat to compete for snaps with Dallas' top three wideouts.
Despite starting a game for the Washington Redskins in 2018, quarterback Mark Sanchez has retired from the NFL and will move into a broadcasting role with ESPN. While Sanchez was never an elite quarterback, he did lead the Jets on some long playoff runs early in his career. He's likely still rostered in some dynasty leagues, but it's now safe to drop Sanchez in all formats.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is reportedly in no rush to sign a contract extension. All signs point to the receiver reporting to camp on time, but he will presumably wait until bigger name wide receivers like Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, and Tyreek Hill sign their contracts. Those three are widely expected to not just set the market but to raise it significantly, which is of course not great news for the Cowboys. Still, it does not seem like Cooper plans to hold out in any form this season, which is a bit of good news in a confusing Cowboys offseason.
Free-agent DT Allen Bailey (Chiefs) agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons Monday, July 22, worth $10.5 million, according to a source. The deal includes $3.5 million in guaranteed money, and he is scheduled to make $6 million in 2019.
Free-agent FS Matt Elam (Ravens) recently worked out for the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts, according to sources.
Buffalo Bills RB Frank Gore (undisclosed) should be fine despite being placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list, according to sources. The team is looking to limit the wear on his body.
Fantasy Spin: Gore is part of a crowded running back group for the Bills but has posted solid numbers over the last few seasons. He may be the No. 2 running back for the Bills this season and could have some value in deeper standard leagues.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Jack Cichy (knee) is making solid progress in his recovery, and the team hopes he will be able to practice in about three weeks and possibly play in the third preseason game.
Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons FS J.J. Wilcox (knee) plans to receive a second opinion on the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered Monday, July 22, according to a source.
Free-agent TE Austin Traylor (AAF) signed with the Detroit Lions Monday, July 22. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Chicago Bears FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (knee) was officially placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 22.
Atlanta Falcons LB Deion Jones (foot) did not participate in practice Monday, July 22.
Atlanta Falcons SS J.J. Wilcox (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during practice Monday, July 22, and will miss the 2019 season, according to sources.
Denver Broncos TE Jake Butt (knee) did not participate in practice Monday, July 22. The team hopes he will be able to practice Wednesday, July 24, after three days of rest.
Free-agent WR Justin Hunter (Steelers) is not expected to sign with the New England Patriots at this point even though he worked out for the team Monday, July 22.
While Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) and defensive end J.J. Watt (knee) are starting training camp on the PUP list and will be unable to practice, their stays on those lists are expected to only last a few days. Both players are expected to return to practice soon, and while it would be a surprise if either player takes the field during the preseason, both will be fine for Week 1. Hopkins has a chance to finish as the overall WR1, while Watt is one of the most valuable IDP defensive ends in the NFL.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon recently suggested he wants to be traded if the Chargers don't offer him a contract extension, and on Monday word came that the Chargers do not currently have interest in discussing Gordon's contract situation. Yahoo's Charles Robinson reports that the Chargers are "dug in" on their current stance, which means Gordon will now have to decide if he follows through on threats to hold out. Gordon's a RB1 who should be picked in the second half of the first round if he's on the field, but this situation creates a ton of uncertainty. Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson are worth picking slightly sooner than their ADPs at this point because of the Gordon situation.
Free-agent LBs Josh Bynes (Cardinals) and Stephone Anthony (Dolphins) met with the Buffalo Bills Monday, July 22, according to a source.
The Minnesota Vikings have parted ways with running back Roc Thomas, who was set to miss the first three games of the season after being suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. The move isn't a huge surprise, though Minnesota is now fairly shallow at running back beyond Dalvin Cook and rookie Alexander Mattison. Thomas had just 10 touches as a rookie, so it wouldn't be a shock to see him not make it onto a roster this season, especially with that looming suspension.
The New York Jets have signed tight end Ryan Griffin, who spent the past six seasons with the Houston Texans. Griffin had 24 catches for 305 yards last season. While he'll ultimately be a backup to Chris Herndon IV, Griffin could be in line for an increase in usage over the first four games while Herndon serves a suspension. Griffin could have some DFS value over that span, but he'll still be fighting for snaps during those games as well, making him a risky fantasy play with upside that likely isn't high enough to make that a risk worth taking.