Fantasy Football picks are based on various things. How the player has produced in recent years…new players around them…injuries…playing time, of course, among other things. Something that is often left out in the draft prep for many is actually taking a look at the opposing defense over the long haul of the season. The Fantasy Football Librarian touched on the subject when discussing the NFL.com article on the Draft Preview: Rushing Schedule Breakdowns. We were going to touch on this while recording the latest Fantasy Football News and Advice Show last night but the show was running a little long and we didn’t get to it. I thought that it was worth mentioning here today.
What they did was broke down the schedule for the teams and how they stacked up against opposing run defense. They scored them on different variables and then ranked all 32 teams in order of favorable matchups for the fantasy Running backs.
The Top Five…
1. Patriots-“The AFC Champions have 11 games against teams that finished 20th or worse against the run last season.”
2. Bills-“…faces Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, N.Y. Jets, Oakland and St. Louis — none of those teams finished better than 20th against the run last season.”
3. Jets-”The Jets face Buffalo, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Oakland, St. Louis and San Francisco, all of which finished no better than 20th against the run in 2007.”
4. Dolphins-”AFC East teams also face the AFC North and AFC West — both divisions had two teams ranked 21st or worse in run defense in 2007.”
5. Saints-”Bush and McAllister face seven teams (Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Oakland, San Francisco) that ranked no better than 22nd in run defense last season.”
As you can see, the AFC East teams are all set up with favorable rushing matchups. Partially because they play each other, partially because they play the AFC West as well. What jumps out at me with the Top 5 is the Patriots. Are they going to throw all day just because they can or are they going to take advantage of this? We could see a rise in Maroney and a little drop (as we expect) from Brady. Remains to be seen.
Looking at a list like this is not going to make me jump at drafting the guys in the top teams. What I’m looking at are the red flags that pop up for the teams and runners on the bottom of the list. Buyer beware so to speak.