Using my rankings from the last post I did sum calculatin’ and came up with what we have below. Long story long, the numbers are the average overall defensive rush ranking for each opponent through 16 weeks, 8 weeks and weeks 14 through 16 (week 17 is null and void).
There is absolutely no way to know how well a defense is going to play for the upcoming season. There are too many variables from year to year to take the previous years numbers as gospel. I know it, you know it and the American people kinda know it. But the big BUT is that we don’t have a ton to go on. Yes, the Bears should be better with Urlacher and Peppers (why doesn’t Brian change his last name to Salt?), but they also lost Alex Brown and you just don’t know how the team will come together. And when I say the five worst run defenses last season were KC, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Oakland, and St Louis, I think we are safe in assuming they aren’t going to switch places with Green Bay, Minnesota, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Dallas. On the average, the poorest defenses stay poor and the strongest stay strong. It usually takes a couple years for a very bad defense to completely turn things around.
In this chart I have it sorted so the teams with the easiest schedules against the run for the entire season are at the top. So with all that said, here are the numbers —
For those of you (me) touting Justin Forsett, this makes you (me) breathe a little easier. Seattle gets Oakland, KC, St Louis, New Orleans, Denver and Tampa Bay. Really, the AFC West and NFC West face each other and themselves and that means plenty of fantasy points to go around.
Our man Ray Rice gets a good playoff schedule facing Houston, New Orleans and Cleveland.
Chris Johnson also gets a nice playoff schedule with Indianapolis, Houston and Kansas City. So you might want to up CJ’s ranking from 1 to Double 1. (no, not 11)
Beanie Wells gets the easiest first half of the season schedule.
The Giants have the toughest playoff schedule with Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Green Bay. Makes me dislike Brandon Jacobs more, but like Ahmad Bradshaw a bit less.
Ricky and Ronnie have a tough first half of the season, but it gets better and better. Whoever is still kicking at mid-season might end up being a good trade target.
Overall there are some good backs with favorable schedules including, Forsett, Gore, Charles, MJD, SJax, Wells, Moreno and the Panther duo.
The losers in these rankings are any Buffalo Bills’ running back (but weren’t they already?), The Giants’ duo, LeSean McCoy (his receptions should off set some of that), Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, Ryan Grant and Matt Forte.
Just a little food for thought. I don’t let these rankings skew my overall rankings too much, but they can help. Last season I always had Jamaal Charles a click away because of his playoff schedule and it paid off. Keep an eye on those matchups!
Now click on that Borg cube and you’ll see the entire schedule —