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Strength of Schedule Rankings & Advice: Running Backs (2023 Fantasy Football)

Strength of Schedule Rankings & Advice: Running Backs (2023 Fantasy Football)

As offseason programs ramp up across the NFL, most teams are formed to the point that we can expect to hit the field on Week 1.

From here, the only roster changes we may see are injuries and when preseason cuts happen.

However, preseason cuts shouldn’t impact the top of the running back depth chart, so here, we’ll look at the top three running back units in terms of strength of schedule (SOS) heading into the season. For this, we’ll be using our strength of schedule tool.

Let’s check it out.

2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

Strength of Schedule: Running Backs (2023 Fantasy Football)

Here are our strength of schedule rankings for running backs. We start with Detroit with the easiest strength of schedule (best) and wrap up with the Eagles who have the most difficult strength of schedule for running backs (worst).

What is fantasy Strength of Schedule?

Each team’s Strength of Schedule (SOS) displays the relative ease or difficulty of their matchups for the season. SOS is based on each opponent’s Fantasy Points Allowed to a position, adjusted for strength of schedule. Favorable matchups receive better matchup star ratings. You can learn more about the methodology here.

DET Jahmyr Gibbs David Montgomery Mohamed Ibrahim
CHI Khalil Herbert D’Onta Foreman Roschon Johnson
MIN Dalvin Cook Alexander Mattison DeWayne McBride
TEN Derrick Henry Tyjae Spears Hassan Haskins
GB Aaron Jones AJ Dillon Tyler Goodson
DEN Javonte Williams Samaje Perine Tyler Badie
SF Christian McCaffrey Elijah Mitchell Jordan Mason
KC Isiah Pacheco Jerick McKinnon Clyde Edwards-Helaire
NO Alvin Kamara Jamaal Williams Kendre Miller
CAR Miles Sanders Chuba Hubbard Raheem Blackshear
ATL Bijan Robinson Tyler Allgeier Cordarrelle Patterson
TB Rachaad White Chase Edmonds Sean Tucker
NYJ Breece Hall Michael Carter Zonovan Knight
BAL J.K. Dobbins Gus Edwards Justice Hill
LAR Cam Akers Zach Evans Kyren Williams
LV Josh Jacobs Zamir White Ameer Abdullah
PIT Najee Harris Jaylen Warren
WAS Brian Robinson Jr. Antonio Gibson Chris Rodriguez Jr.
DAL Tony Pollard Ronald Jones II Deuce Vaughn
ARI James Conner Keaontay Ingram Corey Clement
CIN Joe Mixon Chase Brown Chris Evans
LAC Austin Ekeler Joshua Kelley Isaiah Spiller
HOU Dameon Pierce Devin Singletary Mike Boone
CLE Nick Chubb Jerome Ford Demetric Felton Jr.
IND Jonathan Taylor Zack Moss Evan Hull
JAC Travis Etienne Jr. Tank Bigsby D’Ernest Johnson
NE Rhamondre Stevenson James Robinson Pierre Strong Jr.
SEA Kenneth Walker III Zach Charbonnet DeeJay Dallas
NYG Saquon Barkley Matt Breida Eric Gray
BUF James Cook Damien Harris Nyheim Hines
MIA Jeff Wilson Jr. Raheem Mostert Devon Achane
PHI D’Andre Swift Rashaad Penny Kenneth Gainwell

Detroit Lions

Depth Chart: Jahmyr Gibbs, David Montgomery, Mohamed Ibrahim

After drafting Gibbs in the top 15 picks of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Lions shipped oft-injured running back D’Andre Swift to the Philadelphia Eagles.

This trade and the draft choice clearly indicate that Gibbs is the man in Detroit moving forward.

Gibbs is not only a blazing-fast runner, but he caught 103 passes in 31 games with the Alabama Crimson Tide in college.

Over the season’s first few weeks, he’ll match up with the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, and Green Bay Packers.

Of those teams, all but the Chiefs ranked inside the bottom seven in rushing yards allowed per game.

Montgomery will be mixed in, but Gibbs is the man moving forward. He’s currently drafted as the RB15, behind the likes of guys like Breece Hall (coming off of an injury), Rhamondre Stevenson (Patriots inevitable running back trickery) and Najee Harris (struggled last season).

It wouldn’t be shocking to see Gibbs finish in this range or higher by the end of the season.

Chicago Bears

Depth Chart: Khalil Herbert, D’Onta Foreman, Roschon Johnson

It’s somewhat of a bummer to see the Bears up this high. Despite the running back depth, we all know that quarterback Justin Fields will eat up a sizable amount of the rushing production, but there’s still value here.

Here’s where each player’s average draft position (ADP) is right now:

  • Herbert: RB35
  • Foreman: RB43
  • Johnson: RB53

They’re somewhat clustered in the low-end RB3/RB4 range and for good reason. Seeing the young and healthy 6-foot, 219-pound Johnson emerges wouldn’t be surprising.

Playing behind No. 8 overall pick Bijan Robinson at Texas, Johnson averaged 5.6 yards per carry through four seasons, including a personal best of 6.0 last year with 554 rushing yards.

In these ranges, there’s value to be had still, especially if you’re looking to fill out your bench with upside plays like Johnson.

Minnesota Vikings

Depth Chart: Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, DeWayne McBride

Interestingly enough, the top three teams in terms of running back strength of schedule come from the NFC North.

However, of the three, so much could happen between now and the start of the season.

There’s been rumbling all offseason about the Vikings moving on from Cook, but they have yet to do it. Instead, they signed Mattison to a contract worth about $6.35 million over the next two years and drafted McBride out of UAB.

It’s hard to gauge this situation until we reach a resolution with Cook.

Even if he stays on the team, they could use him less than expected to not risk injury in hopes of a deal before the trade deadline.

Cook is currently going as the RB16. This draft status reflects the uncertainty surrounding him. Meanwhile, Mattison is going as the RB33 and McBride as the RB71.

Good thing a majority of drafts aren’t happening just yet. That said, the value of McBride is intriguing. While Mattison has been viewed as this awesome handcuff running back option, he has just 11 touchdowns through 59 games. To be fair, he only had one game last season with double-digit carries (10), and in that game, had had 54 rushing yards and two scores.

Ultimately, we need to see what’s happening with Cook.


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