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Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule Analysis: Running Backs

Oct 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) is tackled by Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (53) during the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Strength of schedule (SoS) is often viewed as a power ranking of a team's schedule based on its opponents' prior-year records, but this method is not very predictive of a team’s true schedule difficulty.

PFF harnesses the power of its grading system and its year-over-year predictability to produce an easily digestible tool. The PFF Strength of Schedule Tool uses current rosters to provide a more insightful look at fantasy football matchups for the coming season.

This is the second in a series of articles breaking down strength of schedule (SoS) by position. We started with quarterbacks, and this time we are highlighting three contentious backfields with tough early seasons. 

Note: The values found in the live tool are subject to change, since they’re based on current rosters and can be affected by injuries, opt-outs and trades. The values in this article will not be updated after publication.


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TOP 3 OVERALL SCHEDULES

1. Cleveland Browns

Early Down Passing Down Handcuff
Nick Chubb Kareem Hunt Kareem Hunt

Nick Chubb is one of the best pure rushers in the league. He was second to only Aaron Jones last year in rushing yards over expectation per attempt and fifth in expected points added (EPA) per attempt among running backs with at least 100 carries.

While Kareem Hunt might eat into Chubb’s upside a bit, there isn’t a better year to take that discount and run with it. The Browns draw the easiest overall schedule based on the PFF grade-powered matchup scores. On top of that, the Browns are tied for the fifth-highest win total this season (10.5). Game script could develop nicely for Chubb to support this cupcake schedule of defenses that are susceptible to formidable rushing attacks.

If Chubb were to miss time at all, Hunt would step in as a low-end RB1 or a high-end RB2 with essentially zero competition behind him.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

Early Down Passing Down Handcuff
Najee Harris Najee Harris Anthony McFarland Jr.

A nice way to enter the NFL is to waltz into the second-easiest schedule for running backs with no competition. Najee Harris must be feeling pretty good right about now. The first-rounder joins an already buzzing offense that needed just a little extra juice in the rushing attack last season.

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