2008 Strength Of Schedule For Running Backs

03/17/2008 1:05 am by in Fantasy Football Articles

Below is our 2008 Fantasy Football Strength Of Schedule (SOS) for running backs. Obviously the 2008 NFL Schedule has not yet been released, but the 2008 NFL Opponents Schedule has. Using last season’s defensive stats, along with the list of opponents that each NFL team faces, we have calculated what teams have the easiest rushing schedule and what teams have the toughest rushing schedule entering the 2008 NFL season.

Obviously defenses will improve via the 2008 NFL Draft, free agency, etc., but for the most part, this data is very useful.

Strength Of Schedule

 

Defensive Team Stats / Raw Data

#
Team
Avg. 2008 Opp. Against Run
1
SD
22.875
2
NE
22.375
3
DEN
22.375
4
KC
21.875
5
BUF
21.75
6
OAK
21.1875
7
NYJ
20.5
8
MIA
19.8125
9
NO
19.6875
10
TB
18.6875
11
CAR
18.5
12
ATL
18.125
13
MIN
16.4375
14
TEN
16.375
15
STL
16.0625
16
SEA
15.875
17
JAC
15.5
18
AZ
15.5
19
BAL
15
20
HOU
15
21
GB
14.875
22
SF
14.375
23
DET
14.25
24
CHI
14.1875
25
IND
13.1875
26
PHI
12.625
27
PIT
12.5625
28
CIN
12.25
29
WAS
12.125
30
DAL
11.5625
31
CLE
11.375
32
NYG
10.5625
 
#
Team
Yds/G
TD
1
Minnesota Vikings 74.1 7
2
Baltimore Ravens 79.2 9
3
Pittsburgh Steelers 89.9 6
4
Washington Redskins 91.2 10
5
Tennessee Titans 92.4 11
6
Dallas Cowboys 94.6 12
7
Philadelphia Eagles 95.8 10
8
New York Giants 97.7 12
9
Arizona Cardinals 97.9 13
10
New England Patriots 98.2 7
11
Jacksonville Jaguars 100.3 12
12
Seattle Seahawks 102.8 16
13
New Orleans Saints 102.9 7
14
Green Bay Packers 102.9 6
15
Indianapolis Colts 106.9 10
16
San Diego Chargers 107 11
17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 107.9 11
18
Carolina Panthers 110.7 13
19
Houston Texans 114.1 15
20
St. Louis Rams 115.2 16
21
Cincinnati Bengals 118.3 11
22
San Francisco 49ers 118.5 9
23
Detroit Lions 119.4 19
24
Chicago Bears 122.9 17
25
Buffalo Bills 124.6 15
26
Atlanta Falcons 127.1 12
27
Cleveland Browns 129.5 8
28
Kansas City Chiefs 130.6 11
29
New York Jets 134.8 14
30
Denver Broncos 142.6 14
31
Oakland Raiders 145.9 24
32
Miami Dolphins 153.5 18

Observations

First off, if LaDainian Tomlinson starts the season off healthy, and I think that he will, the runner is in for a MONSTER year. His opponents rank, on average, in the bottom 11 against the run (22.8), which is the easiest schedule in the league based on that calculation.

On the flip side, Brandon Jacobs and the Giants could be in for a rough 2008 on the ground, as they appear to have the toughest rushing opponents in the league. According to last year’s defensive rushing stats, the Giants 2008 opponents were, on average, inside the top 10 against the run in 2008. That’s a tough break for Jacobs owners. If you have Jacobs, I’m not advising that you sell him low (as defenses do change from season to season), but I’d absolutely recommend that Jacobs owners test the trade waters. Not sure what is a fair swap for the runner? Get on our FFX Forums and get some advice from the FFX community.

Both New England and Denver have relatively easy schedules based on last year’s stats, so maybe Laurence Maroney will prove doubters wrong. That said, I still don’t trust him.

If you’re doubting Larry Johnson entering 2008, you may want to rethink your stance. Even with all the offensive line questions going on in K.C. right now, L.J. could be in for a huge 2008, as his average opponents rank 21.8 against the run out of 32. Again, defenses often change from year to year, but Johnson owners couldn’t have asked for a better ’08 schedule, as the runner faces Denver (30th) twice, Oakland (31st) twice, Miami (32nd) once and the New York Jets (29th) once. Those four teams were exactly the worst four teams in the entire league last year. If you include Johnson’s Atlanta match-up (26th), that’s already seven games (over 40% of the season) against the 7th worst rushing defenses from last year.

While it would have been nice to see Steven Jackson and Adrian Peterson with top 10 rushing schedules, both are still right in the middle. That’s enough to put a smile on the face of all A.D. and S-Jax owners.

It looks like Michael Turner caught a break in 2008, as his opponents next season rank around the 18-range against the run. He has six match-ups against rushing defenses inside the bottom 12 from last year, and only two match-ups against rushing defenses that ranked inside the top 12.

Jamal Lewis was handed a rough 2008 rushing schedule, as his 16 opponents next season, on average, rank inside the top 12 against the run. It might be time to test the trade waters if you own Jamal, especially in keeper leagues. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Jamal next year, so I wouldn’t sell low, but I’d definitely see what you can get if you own the back. Maybe you can upgrade into a safer rusher that is right around the same type of value. Not sure what is a fair swap for the runner? Get on our FFX Forums and get some advice from the FFX community.

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