Archive for April 2011

The fantasy impact of the second round

I covered the first round in great detail yesterday, and with two more rounds of picks to evaluate, there’s a lot to talk about. From a fantasy perspective, the deeper we get into the draft the tougher it is to predict which picks will make an immediate impact, because…well…they’re typically not as good as those players picked in the first round. (That’s the whole point of a draft, right?)

Even so, there will be a few players taken in second or third round (or even later) that will show up on fantasy big boards by midseason, so let’s pull out our divining rods, point them at the second round and see if we can identify a few sleepers.

Who will be throwing to A.J. Green? Andy Dalton.
Dalton is undersized but is a hard worker and possesses great leadership skills. Whether or not this translates to success is to be determined. Hard workers can go on to have great NFL careers (just look at Tom Brady, a former sixth round pick), but they have to have a certain level of physical ability to stick. His arm strength is adequate and his accuracy is good. He’ll need to improve his accuracy even further if he’s going to be a full-time starter in the NFL.

From A.J. Green’s point of view, it’s good to see the Bengals address the QB position relatively early in the draft. But second round QBs do not have a great history of success. For every Drew Brees or Brett Favre, there are ten Kellen Clemens or Quincy Carters. Dalton is a mature fifth-year senior so he has a shot. How quickly he gets up to speed will impact what kind of fantasy seasons we see from Green, Jerome Simpson and even Cedric Benson.

Here’s a look at his QB Camp with John Gruden. He seems like a good kid.

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The fantasy impact of the first round

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft has come and gone, and it’s time for fantasy owners to pick up the pieces. The draft not only affects the rookie that lands in a good (or bad) situation, but it also impacts that veteran who is likely to lose his job now that his team has decided to go into another direction.

There are a number of different ways to approach a piece like this, but I’m just going to go down the list of picks and highlight the ones that will impact fantasy owners in 2011. At the end, I’ll discuss the picks that didn’t happen, and how those decisions might affect your fantasy draft this August.

Cam Newton is the new QB in Carolina.
I heard a pundit say that the Panthers should let Newton hold a clipboard for a season while Jimmy Clausen continues to start and I had to scratch my head. Clausen is not some wily vet who can hold down the fort while the Panthers let Newton develop. He wasn’t good last year and he probably won’t be good this year. If he beats Newton out for the starting gig, fine, but the Panthers will probably let Newton start from the get-go, and how he fares will impact the entire offense. Jonathan Stewart’s stock is probably the most volatile since he’s going to need Newton to manufacture some sort of a passing game so that he has enough running lanes to be productive. (This assumes DeAngelo Williams is elsewhere in 2011, which is no sure thing.) As much of a wildcard as Newton is, Stewart should be better off than he would have been with Clausen.

A.J. Green to the Bengals.
That sound you hear is the air coming out of the Jerome-Simpson-is-a-sleeper balloon. Simpson could still have a solid year, but the Bengals are going to have to find a QB good enough to support two relevant fantasy WRs. What do I mean? Well, in 2010, six teams had two WRs finish in the Top 30 in PPR leagues: Baltimore (Joe Flacco), Indianapolis (Peyton Manning), New Orleans (Drew Brees), NY Giants (Eli Manning), Philadelphia (Mike Vick) and Miami. Of those teams, only the Dolphins had instability at the QB position. That doesn’t bode well for Simpson.

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Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: TEs (PPR)

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DT | RB (PPR) | WR (PPR) | TE (PPR)

Below is a full season point-per-reception (PPR) SOS table for the tight end position. Here is what each column means:

2011: The total SOS (excluding W17 since a vast majority of leagues do not play in W17) for 2011.

%CH: The percent change from 2010. A positive number means that the team has an easier schedule, while a negative number means that the schedule projects to be tougher.

P3: The team’s average SOS for a W14-16 playoff.

P2: The team’s average SOS for a W15-16 playoff.

If a particular matchup is listed in green, it means that it is at least 3% better than the average for that week. If it’s listed in red, it’s 3% worse than the mean.

I use SOS as a tiebraker between two similarly ranked players or as a way to rank players within a tier. It’s important to note that this is just preliminary SOS. Things will change as the draft and free agency occur, and they’ll change week by week during the season as some defenses get better while others get worse. Typically, a defense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup from your TE in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

Click the table to see a larger version.

Tony Gonzalez, Chris Cooley and Brandon Pettigrew were three tight ends that fared significantly better in PPR leagues than in standard leagues in 2010. Coincidentally, they all finished five spots higher in adjusted fantasy points per game in the PPR format.

While Cooley’s schedule is about the same, both Gonzalez and Pettigrew project to see a significantly easier schedule in 2011. In fact, Gonzo’s schedule looks like it will improve as much as any TE this season. Considering he finished as 2010′s TE6 in overall PPR scoring, it seems strange that he’s going TE15 in early drafts. He’s not likely to go out and post Top 5 numbers, but you could do a lot worse in the 10th or 11th rounds if you need a TE after loading up on other positions.

Most pundits seem to be down on both Cooley and Pettigrew heading into 2011, though I think both players are pretty good values considering where they’re going in drafts (TE12 and TE11, respectively). Both players have QB questions: Will Matthew Stafford target Pettigrew as much as Shaun Hill did? Who will be QBing the Redskins and will they look to Cooley like Donovan McNabb did? Will Fred Davis finally overtake him? These are legitimate questions, but I don’t think fantasy owners should write either player off at this point.

Oh, and I like Jared Cook.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: WRs (PPR)

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DT | RB (PPR) | WR (PPR) | TE (PPR)

Below is a full season point-per-reception (PPR) SOS table for the wide receiver position. Here is what each column means:

2011: The total SOS (excluding W17 since a vast majority of leagues do not play in W17) for 2011.

%CH: The percent change from 2010. A positive number means that the team has an easier schedule, while a negative number means that the schedule projects to be tougher.

P3: The team’s average SOS for a W14-16 playoff.

P2: The team’s average SOS for a W15-16 playoff.

If a particular matchup is listed in green, it means that it is at least 3% better than the average for that week. If it’s listed in red, it’s 3% worse than the mean.

I use SOS as a tiebraker between two similarly ranked players or as a way to rank players within a tier. It’s important to note that this is just preliminary SOS. Things will change as the draft and free agency occur, and they’ll change week by week during the season as some defenses get better while others get worse. Typically, a defense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup from your WR in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

Click the table to see a larger version.

Again, even though the numbers grow, there isn’t much change with regard to which wide receivers have good matchups in PPR leagues versus standard leagues. So I’d just like to highlight a few players that fared a lot better in PPR leagues in 2010 and look at their 2011 SOS for some clues about how they might perform next season.

Reggie Wayne finished nine spots higher (WR8 vs. WR17 in adjusted points per game) in PPR leagues in 2010 and given his favorable schedule and easy matchups during the fantasy playoffs, he should continue to perform well in the format. However, he is going WR6 which seems a bit early, especially if Austin Collie can put his concussion problems behind him.

Wes Welker has long been a PPR monster and finished WR11 in the format in 2010. Even though the Pats project to have a slightly tougher schedule than average, it appears to be almost 3% easier than last season. This bodes well for Welker and Deion Branch.

Davone Bess finished WR30 (in adjusted points per game) in PPR leagues versus WR38 in standard leagues. He’s currently going WR36 in PPR formats, so he appears to be undervalued heading into 2011. This goes double if Brandon Marshall can’t get his act together, as the Dolphins schedule should be improved in 2011.

Larry Fitzgerald finished 12 spots higher (WR20 vs. WR32) in PPR leagues mostly because the Cardinals had such a tough time punching the ball into the endzone. If Arizona can upgrade its QB situation to mediocre (from awful in 2010) then Fitzy should have a much better 2011, especially since the schedule projects to be 3.5% easier.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: RBs (PPR)

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DT | RB (PPR) | WR (PPR) | TE (PPR)

Below is a full season point-per-reception (PPR) SOS table for the running back position. Here is what each column means:

2011: The total SOS (excluding W17 since a vast majority of leagues do not play in W17) for 2011.

%CH: The percent change from 2010. A positive number means that the team has an easier schedule, while a negative number means that the schedule projects to be tougher.

P3: The team’s average SOS for a W14-16 playoff.

P2: The team’s average SOS for a W15-16 playoff.

If a particular matchup is listed in green, it means that it is at least 3% better than the average for that week. If it’s listed in red, it’s 3% worse than the mean.

I use SOS as a tiebraker between two similarly ranked players or as a way to rank players within a tier. It’s important to note that this is just preliminary SOS. Things will change as the draft and free agency occur, and they’ll change week by week during the season as some defenses get better while others get worse. Typically, a defense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup from your RB in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

Click the table to see a larger version.

Typically, if a RB has a good matchup in standard scoring formats, he’s going to have a good matchup in PPR scoring as well, so there isn’t a whole lot of change between this and the standard SOS that I released a few days ago.

I do want to take a moment to talk about Danny Woodhead, who seems like back that would perform better in a PPR format. Only in 2010, he didn’t. He was RB23 in adjusted per game scoring in standard formats as opposed to RB25 in PPR formats. He can certainly catch the ball (he was actually listed as a WR for most of the season at a few different fantasy football sites), but only averaged 2.4 catches over the last 14 regular season games with the Patriots.

I expect that to change in 2011. First, the Patriots locked him up to a long term deal so they obviously like what he brings to the table. If New England sticks with BenJarvus Green-Ellis as their main rusher, then Woodhead’s role won’t change much from what we saw during the meat of the season. He only caught one pass in his first two games, so when we eliminate those two contests (and include his six-catch playoff game against the Jets), he averaged 3.0 catches per game. I see this as Woody’s baseline in the passing game. Even if the Pats draft a RB in the first round, it’s more likely that the player will eat into BGE’s touches than Woodhead’s. Unless NE drafts a scat-back, of course.

Woodhead is currently going RB36 (with a 7.3 ADP), he appears to be undervalued at this point in the offseason. NE’s SOS is actually a little better in 2011, so barring some change, I see no problem with entrusting Woody with your RB3 slot in either scoring format. This may allow fantasy owners to use four of their first six picks on non-RBs. If they also go QBBC, they could end up with two very strong RBs, a trio of WRs, a stud TE, Woodhead as their RB3 and 2-3 QBs in Rounds 8-12.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: DTs

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DT | RB (PPR) | WR (PPR) | TE (PPR)

Below is a full season SOS table for the defensive/special teams position. Here is what each column means:

2011: The total SOS (excluding W17 since a vast majority of leagues do not play in W17) for 2011.

%CH: The percent change from 2010. A positive number means that the team has an easier schedule, while a negative number means that the schedule projects to be tougher.

P3: The team’s average SOS for a W14-16 playoff.

P2: The team’s average SOS for a W15-16 playoff.

If a particular matchup is listed in green, it means that it is at least 3% better than the average for that week. If it’s listed in red, it’s 3% worse than the mean.

I use SOS as a tiebraker between two similarly ranked players or as a way to rank players within a tier. It’s important to note that this is just preliminary SOS. Things will change as the draft and free agency occur, and they’ll change week by week during the season as some defenses get better while others get worse. Typically, an opposing offense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup for your DT in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

(Click on the table to see a bigger version. You can download the data in CSV format if you click the link below.)

A few takeaways:

– Of the Top 12 DTs of 2010, only five managed to also finish in the Top 12 in 2009: Packers, Patriots, Jets, Ravens and Chargers. The Packers were the only team to finish in the Top 5 the last two years. The Jets finished 4th in 2010 and 6th in 2011. The Patriots finished 10th and 2nd.

– Of the Top 12 DTs of 2010, only Green Bay, Baltimore, Detroit and Arizona have significantly easier projected schedules in 2011.

– The Steelers project to have a similar schedule in 2011, but they have several nice matchups down the stretch, with six mediocre to good matchups in their last six games. Pittsburgh has Cleveland, San Francisco and St. Louis in the fantasy playoffs. Pittsburgh is going in the 10th round, which is too early for a defense, but they are one of maybe two (GB being the other) of the no-brainer DT starts every week.

– Of the Top 12 DTs of 2010, the Raiders and Bears both project to have significantly worse schedules in 2011.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: Ks

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DT | RB (PPR) | WR (PPR) | TE (PPR)

Below is a full season SOS table for the kicker position. Here is what each column means:

2011: The total SOS (excluding W17 since a vast majority of leagues do not play in W17) for 2011.

%CH: The percent change from 2010. A positive number means that the team has an easier schedule, while a negative number means that the schedule projects to be tougher.

P3: The team’s average SOS for a W14-16 playoff.

P2: The team’s average SOS for a W15-16 playoff.

If a particular matchup is listed in green, it means that it is at least 3% better than the average for that week. If it’s listed in red, it’s 3% worse than the mean.

I use SOS as a tiebraker between two similarly ranked players or as a way to rank players within a tier. It’s important to note that this is just preliminary SOS. Things will change as the draft and free agency occur, and they’ll change week by week during the season as some defenses get better while others get worse. Typically, a defense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup from your K in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

(Click on the table to see a bigger version. You can download the data in CSV format if you click the link below.)

– Only four of the Top 12 kickers in 2009 managed to finish in the Top 12 in 2010: David Akers, Sebastian Janikowski, Dan Carpenter and Mason Crosby. Of those four players, only Akers projects to have a significantly easier schedule in 2011, so he’s probably the safest fantasy kicker in the league. ADP, he’s going K2 (after Janikowski).

– Other players that finished in the Top 12 with significantly easier schedules are Billy Cundiff, Jay Feely and Josh Brown.

– The kicker position is generally an afterthought for me on draft day. It doesn’t make sense to burn an early (13th round or earlier) pick on a kicker, though Akers is probably worth a 14th-round pick given his consistency over the years. I typically look for teams that can move the ball but have trouble in the redzone, and if they play indoors (or warm weather) it’s a bonus. Josh Brown was very good down the stretch last season, and Josh McDaniels’ offense should improve the Rams’ scoring chances. Dave Buehler, Jay Feely, Neil Rackers, Dan Carpenter, Adam Vinatieri, Nate Kaeding and Matt Bryant also fit the indoor/warm weather profile.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: TEs

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DT | RB (PPR) | WR (PPR) | TE (PPR)

Below is a full season SOS table for the tight end position. Here is what each column means:

2011: The total SOS (excluding W17 since a vast majority of leagues do not play in W17) for 2011.

%CH: The percent change from 2010. A positive number means that the team has an easier schedule, while a negative number means that the schedule projects to be tougher.

P3: The team’s average SOS for a W14-16 playoff.

P2: The team’s average SOS for a W15-16 playoff.

If a particular matchup is listed in green, it means that it is at least 3% better than the average for that week. If it’s listed in red, it’s 3% worse than the mean.

I use SOS as a tiebraker between two similarly ranked players or as a way to rank players within a tier. It’s important to note that this is just preliminary SOS. Things will change as the draft and free agency occur, and they’ll change week by week during the season as some defenses get better while others get worse. Typically, a defense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup from your TE in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

(Click on the table to see a bigger version. You can download the data in CSV format if you click the link below.)

A few takeaways:

– Of the Top 5 TEs (in terms of current ADP) — Antonio Gates, Jermichael Finley, Dallas Clark, Jason Witten and Vernon Davis — only Davis appears to have a significantly more difficult schedule in 2011 as compared to 2010. He projects to have eight tough matchups versus only two easy matchups through 16 weeks. Depending on who is QB’ing the 49ers, this might be a reason to exercise caution with Davis.

– The next group of TEs — Jimmy Graham, Owen Daniels, Zach Miller, Marcedes Lewis and Rob Gronkowski — won’t see much of a change in schedule difficulty in 2011. Graham is a real threat to crack the Top 5 given his late-season performance (3.3-38-0.63 over the last eight games, TE7 numbers) along with the departure of Jeremy Shockey. He’s going in the 6th round on average in the #Draftmaster series, which means he’ll probably be a 7th-8th round pick in your local draft.

– Jared Cook is in position for a breakthrough season, assuming the Titans can find a decent QB to throw him the ball. Over the last six games he averaged 4.0-49-0.17, which are fringe starter numbers. If he’s able to find the endzone a little more often and becomes the Titan’s de facto WR2, he is a threat to finish in the Top 10.

– Don’t sleep on Zach Miller. He struggled through injuries midseason, but started the season strong and finished it with 22 catches in his final four games. His schedule looks favorable as well. If you miss out on Gates, Witten, Finley and Clark, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Miller, Graham, Marcedes Lewis or even Owen Daniels, who finally started to look like his old self towards the end of the season. Throwing Kellen Winslow (TE11 in adjusted PPG) and Rob Gronkowski (TE7 in adjusted PPG) into the mix, and there appear to be 11 pretty solid TEs available this season.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: WRs

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DT | RB (PPR) | WR (PPR) | TE (PPR)

Below is a full season SOS table for the wide receiver position. Here is what each column means:

2011: The total SOS (excluding W17 since a vast majority of leagues do not play in W17) for 2011.

%CH: The percent change from 2010. A positive number means that the team has an easier schedule, while a negative number means that the schedule projects to be tougher.

P3: The team’s average SOS for a W14-16 playoff.

P2: The team’s average SOS for a W15-16 playoff.

If a particular matchup is listed in green, it means that it is at least 3% better than the average for that week. If it’s listed in red, it’s 3% worse than the mean.

I use SOS as a tiebraker between two similarly ranked players or as a way to rank players within a tier. It’s important to note that this is just preliminary SOS. Things will change as the draft and free agency occur, and they’ll change week by week during the season as some defenses get better while others get worse. Typically, a defense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup from your WR in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

A few takeaways:

– This is another reason to love Mike Wallace heading into 2011. He finished WR8 last season in adjusted points per game, and now his schedule projects to be 9.4% easier, including two great matchups in W15-16. He’s going in the early third as the 10th WR off the board and probably should be going WR6 or so.

– Jerome Simpson could be the Bengals’ WR1 heading into the season and if that’s a case, he’s certainly a super-sleeper, especially if Cincy can find a decent QB to throw him the ball. In his final two games, he caught 18 passes for 247 yards and three TDs against Baltimore and San Diego.

– Dez Bryant and Miles Austin should get off to a good first half with four easy matchups and no tough matchups in the first eight games. Getting Tony Romo back won’t hurt either. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin look to have an improved schedule as well. (By the way, Maclin looks to be the better value considering his ADP is a full round later.)

– Be wary of Dwayne Bowe and Brandon Lloyd, especially Lloyd. His new head coach (John Fox) is run-oriented and he may be dealing with Tim Tebow at QB instead of Kyle Orton. Bowe’s schedule is looking much tougher, and at this point he doesn’t look to have a single favorable matchup all season…though things can and will change.

– There’s also reason to be cautious with Greg Jennings. He’s a good bet to finish in the Top 15, which makes him a solid 3rd round pick, but he’s currently going in the middle of the 2nd. GB’s schedule might also temper some enthusiasm about Jordy Nelson’s prospects. He could absolutely justify a 7th round pick, but the schedule combined with the presence of Donald Driver (and possibly James Jones), along with the return of Jermichael Finley…be cautious.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.

Early Strength of Schedule: RBs (Updated)

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DT | RB (PPR) | WR (PPR) | TE (PPR)

Below is a full season SOS table for the running back position. Here is what each column means:

2011: The total SOS (excluding W17 since a vast majority of leagues do not play in W17) for 2011.

%CH: The percent change from 2010. A positive number means that the team has an easier schedule, while a negative number means that the schedule projects to be tougher.

P3: The team’s average SOS for a W14-16 playoff.

P2: The team’s average SOS for a W15-16 playoff.

If a particular matchup is listed in green, it means that it is at least 3% better than the average for that week. If it’s listed in red, it’s 3% worse than the mean.

I use SOS as a tiebraker between two similarly ranked players or as a way to rank players within a tier. It’s important to note that this is just preliminary SOS. Things will change as the draft and free agency occur, and they’ll change week by week during the season as some defenses get better while others get worse. Typically, a defense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup from your RB in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

A few takeaways:

– The news is good for two studs, Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson, who should see a considerably easier schedule in 2011 than what they saw in 2010. AP’s playoff matchups are a little better, but CJ’s aren’t bad either. A few other stud RBs (Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy) should see an easier schedule, but we should exercise caution with Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew and Jamaal Charles, who are all projected to see a more difficult schedule. At this point, I’d put AP, CJ, Foster and McCoy ahead of Rice, MJD and Charles.

– Whoever gets the starting gig in Miami is going to be set up for a nice season. The schedule is mediocre for the first half, but the matchups look great down the stretch, with five favorable and one unfavorable over the last 10 weeks. If a rookie lands there (or a free agent like DeAngelo Williams) and wins the job, they’ll have a shot at RB1 status if the O-line can come together.

– Expect more greatness from Arian Foster. His schedule is mediocre, but it doesn’t look any worse than last season.

– Watch out for Jonathan Stewart if Williams leaves. The schedule looks very favorable, though he does have four tough matchups in the first eight games.

– Many pundits are writing Michael Turner off in 2011, expecting his late-season swoon to continue into the new season. While he did struggle ypc-wise over his last four games (including the postseason), he still scored two TDs in that span while finding the endzone six times from W11 to W14. If he’s healthy, he’s going to score double-digit TDs, so he’s a solid pick in the 2nd round given the certainty of his workload.

– If Shonn Greene can fully overtake LaDainian Tomlinson as the Jets RB1, then we should see some good production. He gained 70+ yards in three of his last four games (including the playoffs) and found the endzone twice in that span.

– Matt Forte should be able to build on his very solid 2010 season with an easier schedule. He’s currently going in the early 2nd round and should make an outstanding RB2. When removing bias of schedule from both players’ 2010 numbers, Forte only trailed Jamaal Charles by 0.1 fantasy points per game.

– The Cardinals couldn’t run the ball very well last year, so I wouldn’t bet on a big jump in productivity when the schedule projects to be almost 9% worse. I’d also be wary of drafting Steven Jackson considering his schedule is about 11% tougher and his W16 matchup with the Steelers. Ouch.

– The table is set for Jahvid Best (+4.8%) and whomever wins the Green Bay job, be it Ryan Grant or James Starks. Neither schedule on the whole is great, but running the ball should be a little easier in 2011 for both teams.

– Cedric Benson is another sleeper that could surprise if the Bengals can find a QB to keep the safeties honest. He’s only 28 and averaged 96 rushing yards per game just two seasons ago. The key will be a solid passing game.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

If you like this kind of information, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FantasyShrink) and “like” the site on Facebook. I will be publishing a ton of content over the next few months and throughout the season.



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