NFL Strength of Schedule vs Run Defenses
2009 NFL Strength of Schedule for teams vs Run Defenses
Check out our other SOS Articles: Strength of Schedule vs Pass Strength of Schedule vs Points Given Up Strength of Schedule vs Win/Loss When it comes to strength of schedule I take the schedules against the run, pass and points against much more serious then I take the win/lose schedule. It seems that most talks shows always point out strength of schedule when it comes to the win/lose side of the schedule but never the other areas. In fantasy football it is vitally important to at least give these area’s a look through and see if their are holes in some of these appraisals or if they really hold weight for the season. Listed below I have some points I found interesting when over looking the schedules in terms of against the run. Michael Turner and the Falcons Hard Schedule Much has been made of Michael Turner and why he won’t have a big season again for fantasy football owners. Many point to the fact of how many carry’s he had last year (376) and that runners with that kind of work load struggle the next year. On a side note I find it funny that no one says this about Adrian Peterson as he had 363 carry’s last year and actually had more total touches then Turner. True on paper the Falcons do have the hardest schedule in football to run against but their are some defenses in the schedule that I believe will fall hard this year. The Eagles (week 13), Panthers (weeks 2, 10) and Buccaneers (weeks 12 and 17) have all had hard losses on the defense for stuffing the run. In Philadelphia it has been an off-season of very hard times as they lost Safety and leader Brian Dawkins to the Broncos and then their long time defensive coordinator Jim Johnson passed away from cancer. Then if it couldn’t get any worse they lost their young talented middle linebacker Stewart Bradley to a season ending knee injury. With all these problems I don’t expect this defense to be as strong as it was a year ago. The Panthers have also had problems as they lost their big run stuffer Maake Keomatu to a season ending ruptured allies tendon. This is very bad news as the team is thin a this position and will probably struggle up the middle against runners like Turner.
Finally the Buccaneers have lost captain linebacker Derrick Brooks and their long time defensive coordinator Marty Kiffin. With these problems and all the turnover on the offensive side of the ball, this team will struggle in 2009. The injury to receiver Antonio Bryant doesn’t help this team as they will need to control the clock to help their defense.
Beyond those problems Turner and the Falcons will only have to play the Buccaneers one time in fantasy football as they face off week 17. Oh and by the way the Falcons will get the Bucs in Atlanta the one time they do face them.
Baltimore Ravens have the Best Schedule against the Run
At first I was a bit disappointed to see that the Ravens will play the Raiders in week 17 of the season as manny fantasy teams won’t play that week. But then again the Raiders did finish tenth overall against the run so by the numbers this actually makes this schedule easier for the Ravens to run against.
Lets face it when you get the Browns and Bengals four times out of the year total it is going to help your numbers running the football. I was surprised to see this team as the clear best schedule on paper for running when they face the Steelers twice in the season and the Vikings this year as well.
Those three games aren’t great but outside of the Bengals and Browns they get nice matchups against the Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos, Colts, Packers and Lions. Some of those matchups could potentially be hard as the Chargers and Packers could bounce back this season.
What I like most of all about this teams run schedule is that you can have any of their running backs a very reasonable prices at your fantasy football draft.
Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain stand as the two players that truly hold fantasy value this year as they will be the grinders in this offense. Look for them as very nice late to middle round pick in this years draft as many fantasy owners are passing on them.
Fantasy Football Information Writer Sean E. Douglas: fantasy-info.com