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Ease of Fantasy Schedule - Running Backs
David Dorey
June 29, 2005
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
2004 Fantasy Points Allowed to Opposing Running Backs
Best to Face Average Worst to Face
TM Allowed TM Allowed TM Allowed
OAK 25.2 CAR 21.8 JAX 17.5
SF 24.7 NYG 21.6 PHI 17.4
CLE 24.1 ATL 21.4 WAS 16.8
GB 23.3 ARZ 20.7 HOU 16.2
NO 22.6 CHI 20.6 SD 15.3
MIN 22.5 KC 20.2 DEN 15.3
IND 22.3 DAL 19.9 BAL 14.9
SEA 22.2 DET 19.7 NYJ 14.1
CIN 22.1 STL 19.6 BUF 13.9
MIA 22.1 TB 17.5 NE 12.9
TEN 21.9   PIT 11.4

The running back schedule is always the most interesting one since all teams will run the ball given a choice. Of the three EOS reviews, the running back version always proves to be the most accurate.

The breakdowns on "good" and "bad" matchups are all exactly what happened from week 3 through 16 of last season. Obviously the 0.1 point separating Tennessee (good) and Carolina (average) is meaningless, but it's reasonable to accept that the Titans will still have a worse defense than the Panthers this year. Conversely, both the Buccaneers and Jaguars tied at 17.5 but I considered the Jaguars to have the better defense this year. A bit subjective but a call had to be made. If Tampa Bay has a rushing game this year with Cadillac Williams, it will encourage opponents to run more in the game that will be "slowed down".

FULL SEASON - Kevin Jones appears to enjoy the best schedule in the NFL for his sophomore campaign while the rookie Cedric Benson ties with Steven Jackson (as long as Marshall Faulk stays out of the way). Interestingly, the next three best schedules - Cleveland, Minnesota and Tennessee - are all considered a mess to determine what running back will be reliable this season. A scheduling quirk suddenly gives the Chiefs the worst rushing schedule in the NFL this year thanks to matchups against the AFC East and NFC East. The entirety of the AFC West neatly fills out the bottom of the list for the same reason, followed by all those AFC East teams. Obviously several of the tailbacks are better than their schedule, but it is a consideration.

THE DOREY RULE / THE FIRST SIX WEEKS - Since debuting in 1997, The Dorey Rule has helped many fantasy teams get off to a nice start for the season. Look for Steven Jackson to run very well in those first weeks so long as Faulk is not a hawk. After Jackson, only the Panthers have any easier schedule statistically which could help De'shaun Foster post some nice numbers before getting injured again. Both the AFC East and AFC West backs catch no break even at the start of the year.

PLAYOFFS - The best stretch of the year for Kevin Jones comes at the perfect time - weeks 14 through 16 when he faces Green Bay, Cincinnati and New Orleans. Shaun Alexander has a tough start in the first six weeks but plays out his fantasy season against San Francisco, Tennessee and Indianapolis. Sounds like "ka-ching" time. The worst time? J.J. Arrington gets to go against Washington, Houston and Philadelphia right when you needed him most.

Weeks 1 through 16 First Six Weeks - The Dorey Rule Weeks 14, 15 and 16
NFL
Team
EOS
Rank
Good
Games
Tough
Games
NFL
Team
EOS
Rank
Good
Games
Tough
Games
NFL
Team
EOS
Rank
Good
Games
Tough
Games
DET 5 7 2 STL 4 4 0 DET 3 3 0
CHI 3 7 4 CAR 2 3 1 SEA 3 3 0
STL 3 8 5 ARZ 1 2 1 PIT 2 2 0
CLE 2 8 6 BAL 1 3 2 SD 2 2 0
MIN 2 5 3 CHI 1 3 2 ATL 1 1 0
TEN 2 8 6 CIN 1 3 2 BAL 1 2 1
ATL 1 6 5 CLE 1 3 2 CAR 1 1 0
CAR 1 5 4 GB 1 2 1 CLE 1 2 1
GB 1 5 4 IND 1 3 2 JAX 1 2 1
HOU 1 7 6 MIN 1 2 1 NYJ 1 2 1
PIT 1 8 7 NO 1 2 1 STL 1 2 1
ARZ 0 5 5 PHI 1 2 1 TEN 1 2 1
BAL 0 7 7 TB 1 3 2 CHI 0 1 1
JAX 0 7 7 ATL 0 3 3 CIN 0 1 1
PHI 0 4 4 BUF 0 2 2 HOU 0 1 1
SF 0 4 4 HOU 0 3 3 NO 0 0 0
TB 0 5 5 JAX 0 3 3 PHI 0 0 0
NO -1 3 4 DAL -1 2 3 SF 0 1 1
SEA -1 4 5 DET -1 1 2 WAS 0 0 0
WAS -1 3 4 NYG -1 1 2 BUF -1 1 2
BUF -2 5 7 SF -1 1 2 DAL -1 0 1
CIN -2 6 8 TEN -1 2 3 DEN -1 1 2
IND -3 6 9 WAS -1 1 2 GB -1 0 1
NYG -3 4 7 NE -2 1 3 IND -1 1 2
DAL -4 3 7 NYJ -2 1 3 KC -1 0 1
MIA -4 4 8 SD -2 1 3 MIA -1 1 2
NE -4 4 8 DEN -3 1 4 OAK -1 1 2
NYJ -4 4 8 SEA -3 0 3 TB -1 0 1
SD -4 4 8 KC -4 1 5 MIN -2 0 2
DEN -6 3 9 MIA -4 0 4 NE -2 0 2
OAK -7 3 10 OAK -4 0 4 NYG -2 0 2
KC -8 3 11 PIT -4 1 5 ARZ -3 0 3

Best RB Schedules - Full Season

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
CHI @WAS DET CIN BYE @CLE MIN BAL @DET @NO SF CAR @TB GB @PIT ATL @GB
DET GB @CHI BYE @TB BAL CAR @CLE CHI @MIN ARZ @DAL ATL MIN @GB CIN @NO
STL @SF @ARZ TEN @NYG SEA @IND NO JAX BYE @SEA ARZ @HOU WAS @MIN PHI SF

Worst RB Schedules - Full Season

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
DEN @MIA SD KC @JAX WAS NE @NYG PHI BYE @OAK NYJ @DAL @KC BAL @BUF OAK
KC NYJ @OAK @DEN PHI BYE WAS @MIA @SD OAK @BUF @HOU NE DEN @DAL @NYG SD
OAK @NE KC @PHI DAL BYE SD BUF @TEN @KC DEN @WAS MIA @SD @NYJ CLE @DEN

Best RB Schedules - First Six Weeks   Worst RB Schedules - First Six Weeks
     
TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6
CAR NO NE @MIA GB @ARZ @DET
STL @SF @ARZ TEN @NYG SEA @IND
 
TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6
KC NYJ @OAK @DEN PHI BYE WAS
MIA DEN @NYJ CAR BYE @BUF @TB
OAK @NE KC @PHI DAL BYE SD
PIT TEN @HOU NE BYE @SD JAX

Best RB Schedules - Fantasy Playoffs   Worst RB Schedules - Fantasy Playoffs  
       
TEAM 14 15 16
DET @GB CIN @NO
PIT CHI @MIN @CLE
SD MIA @IND @KC
SEA SF @TEN IND
 
TEAM 14 15 16
ARI WAS @HOU PHI
MIN STL PIT @BAL
NE @BUF TB @NYJ
NYG @PHI KC @WAS