Running Back Matchups
Even though the New Orleans Saints are known for their passing attack, their 3 headed backfield earned them the top RB points per game last season! Much of that has to do with two of their division rivals being the worst two teams against running backs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the worst offenders(defenders?) and will see the Saints in Week 7 and a PRIME playoff game in Week 15. Unfortunately, the Saints get the Panthers in just Week 2 as the second matchup is the final week of the season. Good news though for both the Panthers and Bucs as they will face each other twice this year and both offenses will revolve around the run game. Week 1 & 11 could provide 4 running backs worth starting in DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount. The Atlanta Falcons have the Week 17 matchup with the Buccaneers so they get to take advantage of the weak D during a Week 12 matchup. They do however get a Week 4 game with the Panthers as well as a playoff Week 14 game.
You do not want to have your RB face the 49ers or Texans as they were the only teams to allow single digit points to RBs last season. Stephen Jackson owners need to have a SOLID backup in place for weeks 10 and 13 (if they are still alive). Beanie Wells lucks out as their second matchups with the Niners is Week 17. Marshawn Lynch owners will need him to go into BEAST mode in Week 16 if they plan on winning their league championship! Chris Johnson owners will be disappointed in their Week 4 and 13 production from CJ2K as the Texans should hold him to minimal yards. MJD owners seem to luck out here as Week 2 might not eve see him playing anyway. Its Week 11 they might want to consider going another route.
Based on last season the Chiefs and Browns were the worst at scoring points with their run game, but this year that should change. In Cleveland, if rookie Trent Richardson can prove healthy, they Browns should have a run game that produces decent fantasy numbers. Over in Kansas City, former Brown Peyton Hillis joins Jamaal Charles who is coming back from an ACL tear. Together, those two can make some noise in fantasy world. That leaves the Colts as the lone team in the NFL who have trouble scoring fantasy points from the RB position. You shouldn't be surprised if you see Donald Brown on the Waiver Wire all season long.
The Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams round out the top 5 WORST defense against RBs from last season.
Believe it or not, the Carolina Panthers rushed the ball just 310 times, 3rd least in the league. Only the Lions and Buccaneers ran the ball less. It's safe to assume the Bucs will be more towards the top of the list this year. Even the Buffalo Bills ran the ball less than the Packers! Be careful with DeAngelo Williams / Jonathan Stewart and Doug Martin / Legarrette Blount.
Info courtesy of Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football RB Rankings
QB Strength of Schedule
WR Strength of Schedule
TE Strength of Schedule