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Part III RB Strength of Schedule



Training camps have opened their doors and what we’ve seen is a lot of people arriving out of shape (hamstring problems) and/or sustaining injuries. It’s the nature of the game. In this edition of the

Brew Crew Corner, we will concentrate on the first three weeks of the season for RB match ups.


The Running Back position receives the most attention by owners because everyone wants to know where the value will be as well as which RBs will perform the best. You always want a solid stable of RBs to work with. I always grab enough RBs and a couple of potential starters in hopes to use them as trade bait later on in the season to upgrade my receiving corps. You can always find good WRs later in the draft.


You’ve heard it all before, I know. However, the trend of QBs like

Tom Brady and

Peyton Manning going in first round are now more common and I guarantee you will see

Tony Romo drafted way too early. Another trend I see and read about is the WR-WR combo. That is a deadly strategy to go into a draft in depending on how many teams are in your league and the scoring system. Say your intentions are to hold off and grab two WRs and wait until the 3rd or 4th round to see if you can grab players such as an

Edgerrin James or a

Michael Turner. If you miss out you may be stranded with committee RBs that don’t provide enough points for your team.



Let’s look back at the top RBs SOS for 2007 and how they did after the first three weeks.

  (RB rank is for the first three weeks)





Going into the 2007 season the

Jacksonville backfield had potential to provide a large amount of points, but provided nothing spectacular in the first three despite playing in good match-ups.

Edgerrin James made the most of his two easy matchups which is what you want from your players facing an easy SOS. Last season was a down year for RBs as a whole and the start of these RBs show the slow start no matter playing favorable opponents.


Here is the Top 10 SOS for RBs for the first three weeks of the season.






New England’s easy schedule to start the season the RB position benefits greatly.

Laurence Maroney will face three defenses that gave up a ton of yards and also will have to respect the pass. The only caution would be how

New England expects to use

Sammy Morris and

Kevin Faulk as well as newly acquired RB

LaMont Jordan. Last year

Adrian Peterson took the league by storm and this year’s hot rookie

Darren McFadden can jump out to a good start with his early SOS.


Some cautions on players such as

Willis McGahee and

Michael Turner. They have a favorable SOS but their offensive lines are not adequate.

Baltimore has suffered several injuries in camp to their line which is not good news for McGahee.


LaDainian Tomlinson is a stud and as with all studs, it doesn’t matter who is on the schedule, you’re playing them if healthy. LT is coming back from an injury but assuming he is healthy for the start of the season, he has a few games that will allow him to get back into his rhythm.




Let’s look back at the bottom RBs SOS for 2007 and how they did after the first three weeks.

    (RB rank is for the first three weeks)





In the bottom SOS in 2008 we had two first-round RBs who didn’t let the hard SOS affect their productivity, another indication that studs find a way to put up numbers despite the teams they face. This does not always happen as teams focus to take the opponents best weapons out of the gameplan.

Brian Westbrook was contained by the two tougher teams he faced but exploded in the easy match-up he had.

Joseph Addai also played a few tough games and still produced nicely. Rookie

Marshawn Lynch showed he belong in the league by stepping up against a hard start of the season.



Here is the Bottom 10 SOS for RBs for the first three weeks of the season.





SOS only tells one part of the story which is what teams they will face. Looking at the hard SOS, Houston and Cleveland start off with a very tough three games.

Ahman Green must prove he is healthy as well as show the ability to still be a productive RB in this league. The first three games of the season will real be a test for him.

Jamal Lewis proved his critics wrong last year but starts the season on a rough path. If you have other options for these two for your RB2 or RB3 it would be wise to do so.


Brian Westbrook

again finds himself on this list like last year but should be able to stay productive with his versatility. Other studs on this list such as

Steven Jackson,

Joseph Addai and

Adrian Peterson should still be in your lineup but know they may not put up great numbers.


Rudi Johnson

will be healthy for the start of the season but faces a tough start.


In conclusion, using the SOS to your advantage can help in determining if you win or lose your games. For instance, if you had last year two RBs to choose from and one RB faced Minnesota while the other faced Oakland, you may find that playing the RB with the easier matchup nets you more points. It may not seem like a big difference but sometimes fantasy games come down to just a few points.


Just like in the NFL, why settle for FGs when you can score a TD? In fantasy, why have 15 points when you can have 18?


Thanks again for reading and good luck!



In Part IV of the strength of schedule analysis, we will look closer at the WR position and identify 20 players facing SOS that are favorable or unfavorable to start the season.

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