The fantasy playoffs aren’t far away, so it’s time to cook up the best and worst running back schedules moving forward. Before you consider and consume this list, a bunch of caveats:
This is merely a rank of the schedules — it does NOT consider the strength of each team’s offensive running attack. Just because Josh Jacobs has a challenging schedule and Baltimore has a favorable one does not mean you’d ever bench a healthy Jacobs for Gus Edwards, obviously.
Let’s keep our common sense through this exercise.
I did not put any extra weight into home and away scheduling. You’ll have to season that yourself.
When it came to weighing the rushing defenses, I put much more emphasis on recent performance. I did not put any extra emphasis on when the teams played specific opponents. Maybe you have a bye locked up and Week 15 is irrelevant to you. And obviously, if you lose early in the playoffs, no Week 17 daisy matchup will save you.
It’s a list to consider for fun, and for breaking ties, and for dreaming of what’s hopefully a December to remember. Buena suerte. Play like a champion today.
The biggest takeaways:
• Jonathan Taylor can still make it up to you.
• D’Onta Foreman has been a godsend, but his finishing kick is very challenging.
• Maybe Cam Akers can eke out fantasy usefulness through the month.
• The Chiefs have a nasty Broncos game awaiting (a second one comes this week), but at least the other two draws are cushy.
• Detroit’s run defense has gotten a lot better. Teams can move the ball on the Lions, but it is more likely to come through the air.
Here is your running back strength of schedule board, considering opponents for Weeks 15 through 17. Easier draws are at the top, the hardest draws at the bottom.
Running Back Fantasy Strength of Schedule — Weeks 15-17
Minnesota (Dalvin Cook): vs. Colts, vs. Giants, @Packers
Indianapolis (Jonathan Taylor): @Vikings, vs. Chargers, @Giants
New Orleans (Alvin Kamara): vs. Falcons, @Browns, @Eagles
Baltimore (Gus Edwards): @Browns, vs. Falcons, vs. Steelers
Tampa Bay (Leonard Fournette / Rachaad White): vs. Bengals, @Cardinals, vs. Panthers
San Francisco (Christian McCaffrey): @Seahawks, vs. Commanders, @Raiders
L.A. Rams (Cam Akers): @Packers, vs. Broncos, @Chargers
New England (Rhamondre Stevenson): @Raiders, vs. Bengals, vs. Dolphins
Tennessee (Derrick Henry): @Chargers, vs. Texans, vs. Cowboys
Buffalo (Devin Singletary / James Cook): vs. Dolphins, @Bears, @Bengals
Philadelphia (Miles Sanders): @Bears, @Cowboys, vs. Saints
Washington (Brian Robinson Jr. / Antonio Gibson): vs. Giants, @Niners, vs. Browns
Pittsburgh (Najee Harris): @Panthers, vs. Raiders, vs. Ravens
Green Bay (Aaron Jones / AJ Dillon): vs. Rams, @Dolphins, vs. Vikings
Jacksonville (Travis Etienne): vs. Cowboys, @Jets, @Texans
Denver (Latavius Murray): vs. Cardinals, @Rams, @Chiefs
L.A. Chargers (Austin Ekeler): vs. Titans, @Colts, vs. Rams
Dallas (Ezekiel Elliott / Tony Pollard): @Jaguars, vs. Eagles, @Titans
Chicago (David Montgomery): vs. Eagles, vs. Bills, @Lions
Atlanta (Cordarrelle Patterson): @Saints, vs. Ravens, vs. Cardinals
Houston (Dameon Pierce): vs. Chiefs, @Titans, vs. Jaguars
Arizona (James Conner): @Broncos, vs. Buccaneers, @Falcons
Seattle (Kenneth Walker III): vs. Niners, @Chiefs, vs. Jets
Cincinnati (Joe Mixon): @Buccaneers, @Patriots, vs. Bills
Carolina (D'Onta Foreman / Chuba Hubbard): vs. Steelers, vs. Lions, @Buccaneers
Cleveland (Nick Chubb / Kareem Hunt): vs. Ravens, vs. Saints, @Commanders
Las Vegas (Josh Jacobs): vs. Patriots, @Steelers, vs. Niners