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

TEAM91011122ndHalf161stHalf2ndHalf
LARNYGHOUMINNOARIPHISEATEN16.7110.38
PITBYEINDTENGBCINBALNEHOU20.8810.86
SFARINYGBYESEACHIHOUTENJAX12.8811.43
WSHSEAMINNONYGDALLACARIDEN18.2911.63
TBNONYJBYEATLGBDETATLCAR16.0013.00
ATLCARDALSEATBMINNOTBNO18.0013.25
ARISFSEAHOUJAXLARTENWSHNYG18.4314.50
HOUINDLARARIBALTENSFJAXPIT15.5715.13
PHIDENBYEDALCHISEALARNYGOAK16.8815.14
BUFNYJNOLACKCNEINDMIANE18.2915.25
OAKMIABYENEDENNYGKCDALPHI16.8815.29
CLEBYEDETJAXCINLACGBBALCHI13.6315.43
KCDALBYENYGBUFNYJOAKLACMIA16.0015.43
INDHOUPITBYETENJAXBUFDENBAL17.1315.43
BALTENBYEGBHOUDETPITCLEIND23.0015.57
MINBYEWSHLARDETATLCARCINGB17.2515.71
DALKCATLPHILACWSHNYGOAKSEA17.2915.75
SEAWSHARIATLSFPHIJAXLARDAL14.1416.63
TENBALCINPITINDHOUARISFLAR21.0016.63
MIAOAKCARBYENEDENNEBUFKC11.5016.86
CARATLMIABYENYJNOMINGBTB20.0017.43
GBDETCHIBALPITTBCLECARMIN15.2917.75
NOTBBUFWSHLARCARATLNYJATL16.0017.75
NYGLARSFKCWSHOAKDALPHIARI14.4318.25
JAXCINLACCLEARIINDSEAHOUSF12.0018.38
DENPHINECINOAKMIANYJINDWSH14.7119.00
NYJBUFTBBYECARKCDENNOLAC22.7519.29
CINJAXTENDENCLEPITCHIMINDET17.5719.75
DETGBCLECHIMINBALTBCHICIN11.8620.13
LACBYEJAXBUFDALCLEWSHKCNYJ19.6320.14
CHIBYEGBDETPHISFCINDETCLE13.1320.43
NEBYEDENOAKMIABUFMIAPITBUF14.7526.00

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

TEAM1stHalf2ndHalfSeason
SF12.8811.4311.44
LAR16.7110.3812.50
MIA11.5016.8613.13
CLE13.6315.4313.56
TB16.0013.0013.69
WSH18.2911.6313.81
HOU15.5715.1314.38
JAX12.0018.3814.44
ATL18.0013.2514.50
SEA14.1416.6314.50
KC16.0015.4314.75
PHI16.8815.1415.06
OAK16.8815.2915.13
PIT20.8810.8615.19
DET11.8620.1315.25
ARI18.4314.5015.31
IND17.1315.4315.31
DAL17.2915.7515.44
NYG14.4318.2515.44
MIN17.2515.7115.50
CHI13.1320.4315.50
GB15.2917.7515.56
BUF18.2915.2515.63
NO16.0017.7515.88
DEN14.7119.0015.94
TEN21.0016.6317.50
CIN17.5719.7517.56
CAR20.0017.4317.63
BAL23.0015.5718.31
LAC19.6320.1418.63
NE14.7526.0018.75
NYJ22.7519.2919.81

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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