Running Back Draft Strategy 2017: 2nd half Strength of Schedule

Leveon Bell stiff arms a Jaguars defender

This is the follow up to my 1st half analysis, if you missed that article, click here.  The previous article included methodology for how these numbers were produced.  I’m going to assume you read it, and jump right into the numbers here for the 2nd half strength of schedule – running backs.

Running Back Draft Strategy | 2nd half of the season S.O.S

* Week 17 has been omitted as the vast majority of fantasy football leagues end in week 16

TEAM 9 10 11 12 2ndHalf 16 1stHalf 2ndHalf
LAR NYG HOU MIN NO ARI PHI SEA TEN 16.71 10.38
PIT BYE IND TEN GB CIN BAL NE HOU 20.88 10.86
SF ARI NYG BYE SEA CHI HOU TEN JAX 12.88 11.43
WSH SEA MIN NO NYG DAL LAC ARI DEN 18.29 11.63
TB NO NYJ BYE ATL GB DET ATL CAR 16.00 13.00
ATL CAR DAL SEA TB MIN NO TB NO 18.00 13.25
ARI SF SEA HOU JAX LAR TEN WSH NYG 18.43 14.50
HOU IND LAR ARI BAL TEN SF JAX PIT 15.57 15.13
PHI DEN BYE DAL CHI SEA LAR NYG OAK 16.88 15.14
BUF NYJ NO LAC KC NE IND MIA NE 18.29 15.25
OAK MIA BYE NE DEN NYG KC DAL PHI 16.88 15.29
CLE BYE DET JAX CIN LAC GB BAL CHI 13.63 15.43
KC DAL BYE NYG BUF NYJ OAK LAC MIA 16.00 15.43
IND HOU PIT BYE TEN JAX BUF DEN BAL 17.13 15.43
BAL TEN BYE GB HOU DET PIT CLE IND 23.00 15.57
MIN BYE WSH LAR DET ATL CAR CIN GB 17.25 15.71
DAL KC ATL PHI LAC WSH NYG OAK SEA 17.29 15.75
SEA WSH ARI ATL SF PHI JAX LAR DAL 14.14 16.63
TEN BAL CIN PIT IND HOU ARI SF LAR 21.00 16.63
MIA OAK CAR BYE NE DEN NE BUF KC 11.50 16.86
CAR ATL MIA BYE NYJ NO MIN GB TB 20.00 17.43
GB DET CHI BAL PIT TB CLE CAR MIN 15.29 17.75
NO TB BUF WSH LAR CAR ATL NYJ ATL 16.00 17.75
NYG LAR SF KC WSH OAK DAL PHI ARI 14.43 18.25
JAX CIN LAC CLE ARI IND SEA HOU SF 12.00 18.38
DEN PHI NE CIN OAK MIA NYJ IND WSH 14.71 19.00
NYJ BUF TB BYE CAR KC DEN NO LAC 22.75 19.29
CIN JAX TEN DEN CLE PIT CHI MIN DET 17.57 19.75
DET GB CLE CHI MIN BAL TB CHI CIN 11.86 20.13
LAC BYE JAX BUF DAL CLE WSH KC NYJ 19.63 20.14
CHI BYE GB DET PHI SF CIN DET CLE 13.13 20.43
NE BYE DEN OAK MIA BUF MIA PIT BUF 14.75 26.00

Takeaways

Le’Veon Bell – It looks like 2017 will truly test the idea of whether Le’Veon is matchup proof or not, as he goes from the 4th easiest 1st half schedule, to the 2nd toughest second half schedule.  Don’t sweat too much though, as the team rushing defenses are likely to change, so Bell’s matchups could be easier by the time week 9 rolls around.

Ameer Abdullah – Ameer may be one of the better buy low candidates in the 2nd half, as he faces an absolutely brutal first half of the season, before the schedule really opens up in week 9 starting with the Packers.

Todd Gurley – Poor Gurley can’t catch a break, as he faces a middle of the road first half schedule, before seeing the toughest 2nd half schedule for running backs.  Looks like he is a prime fade candidate on draft day unless he falls to a draft spot you can’t ignore.

Season Long strength of schedule | Running Backs

TEAM 1stHalf 2ndHalf Season
SF 12.88 11.43 11.44
LAR 16.71 10.38 12.50
MIA 11.50 16.86 13.13
CLE 13.63 15.43 13.56
TB 16.00 13.00 13.69
WSH 18.29 11.63 13.81
HOU 15.57 15.13 14.38
JAX 12.00 18.38 14.44
ATL 18.00 13.25 14.50
SEA 14.14 16.63 14.50
KC 16.00 15.43 14.75
PHI 16.88 15.14 15.06
OAK 16.88 15.29 15.13
PIT 20.88 10.86 15.19
DET 11.86 20.13 15.25
ARI 18.43 14.50 15.31
IND 17.13 15.43 15.31
DAL 17.29 15.75 15.44
NYG 14.43 18.25 15.44
MIN 17.25 15.71 15.50
CHI 13.13 20.43 15.50
GB 15.29 17.75 15.56
BUF 18.29 15.25 15.63
NO 16.00 17.75 15.88
DEN 14.71 19.00 15.94
TEN 21.00 16.63 17.50
CIN 17.57 19.75 17.56
CAR 20.00 17.43 17.63
BAL 23.00 15.57 18.31
LAC 19.63 20.14 18.63
NE 14.75 26.00 18.75
NYJ 22.75 19.29 19.81

Which running backs to target and avoid based on the season long schedule

Carlos Hyde – Run and Hyde! The 49ers don’t figure to improve significantly this season, and Carlos Hyde faces the strongest overall strength of schedule against running backs.

Matt Forte – Currently going as the 39th running back of the board, and around #100 overall.  Forte handled 218 carries last season, and now has the easiest overall strength of schedule.  Pick him up as a terrific value in 2017

Melvin Gordon – Handled a massive 254 carries last year in just 13 games, figures to have the 3rd easiest strength of schedule making him a solid first round pick.

Jay Ajayi – If the schedule is any indication, Ajayi could be in for a rough year as he faces the 3rd toughest schedule.  12th overall may be too steep a price to pay given the defenses Ajayi will be facing.

Thanks for reading, let me know your thoughts in the comments below and good luck with your 2017 fantasy football drafts!

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