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.

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