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2021 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule Analysis: Running Backs

Austin Ekeler has a clear path laid for success this season.

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The success of a fantasy player has a lot that goes into it: overall skill, injury history, surrounding cast, coaching, etc. I am of firm belief more and more over the last few years that strength of schedule plays a significant role in how well a team and a fantasy player does. This year I am digging into each position’s strength of schedule to see where there might be opportunity hidden underneath a rock.

Below you will see the RB Strength of Schedule rankings. The methodology for this was – taking opposing teams’ rushing yards & touchdowns allowed from last year (in QB rankings I ran it on sum of rank, but I’m adjusting to sum of yards and TDs going forward). I ran that against each team’s schedule to come up with the easiest and toughest schedule for each team’s run game.

The Good:

  • Looking below, it will be a favorable season for the Chargers (facing off against Bengals Broncos, Chiefs, Cowboys, Eagles, Raiders, Texans and Vikings – all among the 10 worst in rush defenses for yards) and Browns (Bengals, Cowboys, Eagles, Jaguars, Lions and Raiders all poor in Rush yards for defense).
  • Favorability in Rush TDs are Chargers (Broncos, Cowboys, Eagles, Raiders and Jaguars were porous on Rush TDs) and Chiefs (Bills, Broncos, Cowboys, Eagles, Raiders and Titans).

The Bad:

  • A difficult season is ahead in Rush Yards for the Buccaneers (facing off against Colts, Falcons, Giants, Rams and Saints, all top 10 in fewest rush yards allowed) and Bears (49ers, Giants, Ravens, and Seahawks).
  • A difficult path in Rush TDs lies ahead for the Lions (49ers, Bears, Bengals, Cardinals, Rams, Ravens and Steelers) and Packers (49ers, Bears, Bengals, Cardinals, Chiefs, Rams, Ravens, and Steelers).

In a Nutshell:
The schedule this year favors: Austin Ekeler, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire
The schedule this year does not favor: D’Andre Swift, Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones II, Aaron Jones, and David Montgomery

2021 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule - RB

Row Labels Sum of Rush Yds Sum of Rush TD Rank Rush Yds (1 most favorable; 32nd least favorable) Rank Rush TD (1 most favorable; 32nd least favorable) Avg Rank (1 most favorable; 32nd least favorable)
Row Labels Sum of Rush Yds Sum of Rush TD Rank Rush Yds (1 most favorable; 32nd least favorable) Rank Rush TD (1 most favorable; 32nd least favorable) Avg Rank (1 most favorable; 32nd least favorable)
Chargers 34716 302 1 2 2
Chiefs 33476 303 4 1 3
Colts 33311 302 6 2 4
Broncos 33974 298 3 5 4
Jets 33019 299 8 4 6
Bills 33317 287 5 15 10
Steelers 33030 289 7 13 10
Jaguars 32386 292 13 8 11
Titans 32538 290 10 11 11
Browns 34349 280 2 19 11
Washington Football Team 32286 293 16 7 12
Patriots 32168 295 19 6 13
49ers 32376 288 14 14 14
Dolphins 31954 292 21 8 15
Bengals 32431 283 12 17 15
Cardinals 31959 291 20 10 15
Ravens 32510 279 11 20 16
Raiders 32830 272 9 25 17
Eagles 32277 281 17 18 18
Texans 31663 290 27 11 19
Giants 32220 278 18 21 20
Rams 31716 286 25 16 21
Vikings 32312 271 15 26 21
Cowboys 31828 275 23 23 23
Falcons 31578 277 28 22 25
Saints 30882 275 30 23 27
Packers 31871 262 22 31 27
Seahawks 31757 266 24 29 27
Panthers 31470 267 29 28 29
Lions 31673 258 26 32 29
Bears 30216 269 32 27 30
Buccaneers 30763 264 31 30 31