Running Backs Strength of Schedule 2022

Friday, Jul 29, 2022 at 5:53 pm ET

Running Backs With The Most Favorable Schedules

  • David Montgomery
    Chicago Bears
  • Jonathan Taylor
    Indianapolis Colts
  • Travis Etienne
    Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Damien Harris
    New England Patriots
  • Devin Singletary
    Buffalo Bills
  • Tony Pollard
    Dallas Cowboys

One of the best fantasy schedules for running backs belongs to David Montgomery. Unfortunately, it's on a team that simply doesn't score many points (6th-fewest points last season). Still, he's got the workload and should make for a solid RB2 on any fantasy team. He is projected to outproduce in every statistical category this season, and while he may struggle in his first two games against the Niners and Packers, he has five sweet matchups this season including the Lions in the Fantasy Championship Week 17.

The overall consensus #1 pick across all formats is Jonathan Taylor. With Matt Ryan under center, the passing game is legitimate enough to at least keep defenses honest. We are anticipating another elite performance for Taylor including a Week 1 matchup against the Texans and very favorable matchups in the Championship Weeks of 16 and 17 when he'll face the Chargers and Giants.

We didn't get a chance to see Travis Etienne play last year, but he's back, healthy, and ready for 2022. He was one of the more explosive and talented backs to come out of college, and should prove to be a fantastic combo with James Robinson in the backfield. Depending upon Robinson's injury timetable (Achilles), there's a chance that we see Etienne's workload increase if only for a short time at the start of the season. Hopefully he transitions into the alpha role where his fantasy contributions could be incredible. He's a good RB2/Flex option with upside. His schedule only makes this sweeter as he'll face seven defenses that ranked near the bottom last year including facing the league's worst run defense in the Jets in Championship Week 16 and the bottom-five defense of the Texans in Week 17.

Devin Singletary totaled just over 1,000 all-purpose yards last season while sharing time with Zach Moss (and Josh Allen). This year he'll have to share some of that workload with rookie James Cook who the Bills took in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Singletary is the 31st-ranked RB on Fantasy Nerds so he's not really anything more than a flex option. He may struggle to produce when the season starts as three of his first four games are against Top 10 fantasy defenses.

Running Backs With The Least Favorable Schedules

  • Leonard Fournette
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Cordarrelle Patterson
    Atlanta Falcons
  • Cam Akers
    Los Angeles Rams
  • Miles Sanders
    Philadelphia Eagles
  • Joe Mixon
    Cincinnati Bengals
  • Saquon Barkley
    N.Y. Giants

Leonard Fournette showed up to camp...a bit overweight. He's since gotten his weight down, but for many of us, we saw flashbacks to Eddie Lacy and how quickly his fantasy relevance faded. That's not likely to happen here as he sits atop the depth chart with very little competition for touches, is only 27 years old, plays on a Tom Brady-offense, and could finish as an RB1 yet again. Unfortunately, few players are going to face as difficult a schedule as Fournette. He'll start the season with back-to-back brutal matchups against the Cowboys and Saints. In total, he'll face seven Top-10 fantasy defenses including the Panthers in the crucial Week 17 championship.

Joe Mixon's name is sure to elicit an emotional response from fantasy owners disappointed in 2020, but Mixon bounced back nicely last year setting career highs in rushing yards, touchdowns, and receiving yards. He also made the Pro Bowl for the first time. The Bengals clearly love him especially near the goal line. Cincinnati's offensive line looks to be improved from last year's already-solid core, so expect Mixon to remain effective on the ground. He'll start the season with a favorable matchup against the Steelers, but the Championship weeks are far less exciting including Championship Week 17 against a stout Bills run defense.

How good will Saquon Barkley be this year? It's anyone's guess, but we'll take the over on him. His rookie season was nothing short of spectacular, but injuries, poor QB, and a God-awful offensive line aren't going to do him any favors. Still, he has one of the highest ceilings among the top running backs. His workload should see him with 15+ touches and he'll remain the centerpiece of the Giants' offense. Unfortunately, he'll start the season with three straight matchups against top fantasy defenses (Titans, Panthers, Cowboys). He has three sweet matchups in a row from Weeks 8 - 11, but the fantasy postseason will present challenges - especially in Week 17 against the Colts.

The Eagles were one of the most prolific running offenses last season (most rushing yards at 2,715), but Miles Sanders' stats wouldn't lead you to believe that. He comes into the Fantasy Nerds rankings at #26 making him more of an RB2/Flex option this year. He'll continue to share carries with Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, and Jalen Hurts but his value as a flex could prove quite valuable for fantasy owners. He'll start the season with an easy matchup against the Lions, but if you're counting on him for the playoffs, he may struggle against the Cowboys and Saints.

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