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Fantasy Football: Which running backs have the best playoff schedules?

Is Jonathan Taylor going to be a league winner after all? His fantasy playoff schedule looks fun. Scott Pianowski audits the rushing matchups for Weeks 15-17, when the money is made.

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The fantasy playoffs aren’t far away, so it’s time to cook up the best and worst running back schedules moving forward. Before you consider and consume this list, a bunch of caveats:

This is merely a rank of the schedules — it does NOT consider the strength of each team’s offensive running attack. Just because Josh Jacobs has a challenging schedule and Baltimore has a favorable one does not mean you’d ever bench a healthy Jacobs for Gus Edwards, obviously.

Let’s keep our common sense through this exercise.


I did not put any extra weight into home and away scheduling. You’ll have to season that yourself.

When it came to weighing the rushing defenses, I put much more emphasis on recent performance. I did not put any extra emphasis on when the teams played specific opponents. Maybe you have a bye locked up and Week 15 is irrelevant to you. And obviously, if you lose early in the playoffs, no Week 17 daisy matchup will save you.

It’s a list to consider for fun, and for breaking ties, and for dreaming of what’s hopefully a December to remember. Buena suerte. Play like a champion today.


The biggest takeaways:

Jonathan Taylor can still make it up to you.

D’Onta Foreman has been a godsend, but his finishing kick is very challenging.


• Maybe Cam Akers can eke out fantasy usefulness through the month.

• The Chiefs have a nasty Broncos game awaiting (a second one comes this week), but at least the other two draws are cushy.

• Detroit’s run defense has gotten a lot better. Teams can move the ball on the Lions, but it is more likely to come through the air.

Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts has fantasy potential

After what’s been an up-and-down season, Jonathan Taylor could end up being a fantasy savior in the playoffs. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Here is your running back strength of schedule board, considering opponents for Weeks 15 through 17. Easier draws are at the top, the hardest draws at the bottom.

Running Back Fantasy Strength of Schedule — Weeks 15-17

Minnesota (Dalvin Cook): vs. Colts, vs. Giants, @Packers

Indianapolis (Jonathan Taylor): @Vikings, vs. Chargers, @Giants


New Orleans (Alvin Kamara): vs. Falcons, @Browns, @Eagles

Baltimore (Gus Edwards): @Browns, vs. Falcons, vs. Steelers


Tampa Bay (Leonard Fournette / Rachaad White): vs. Bengals, @Cardinals, vs. Panthers

San Francisco (Christian McCaffrey): @Seahawks, vs. Commanders, @Raiders

Detroit (D’Andre Swift / Jamaal Williams): @Jets, @Panthers, vs. Bears


LA Rams (Cam Akers): @Packers, vs. Broncos, @Chargers

New England (Rhamondre Stevenson): @Raiders, vs. Bengals, vs. Dolphins

Kansas City (Isiah Pacheco): @Texans, vs. Seahawks, vs. Broncos


Tennessee (Derrick Henry): @Chargers, vs. Texans, vs. Cowboys

Buffalo (Devin Singletary / James Cook): vs. Dolphins, @Bears, @Bengals

Philadelphia (Miles Sanders): @Bears, @Cowboys, vs. Saints


Washington (Brian Robinson Jr. / Antonio Gibson): vs. Giants, @Niners, vs. Browns

New York Giants (Saquon Barkley): @Commanders, @Vikings, vs. Colts

Pittsburgh (Najee Harris): @Panthers, vs. Raiders, vs. Ravens


New York Jets (Michael Carter / Zonovan Knight: vs. Lions, vs. Jaguars, @Seahawks

Miami (Raheem Mostert / Jeff Wilson Jr.): @Bills, vs. Packers, @Patriots

Green Bay (Aaron Jones / AJ Dillon): vs. Rams, @Dolphins, vs. Vikings


Jacksonville (Travis Etienne): vs. Cowboys, @Jets, @Texans

Denver (Latavius Murray): vs. Cardinals, @Rams, @Chiefs

LA Chargers (Austin Ekeler): vs. Titans, @Colts, vs. Rams


Dallas (Ezekiel Elliott / Tony Pollard): @Jaguars, vs. Eagles, @Titans

Chicago (David Montgomery): vs. Eagles, vs. Bills, @Lions

Atlanta (Cordarrelle Patterson): @Saints, vs. Ravens, vs. Cardinals


Houston (Dameon Pierce): vs. Chiefs, @Titans, vs. Jaguars

Arizona (James Conner): @Broncos, vs. Buccaneers, @Falcons

Seattle (Kenneth Walker III): vs. Niners, @Chiefs, vs. Jets


Cincinnati (Joe Mixon): @Buccaneers, @Patriots, vs. Bills

Carolina (D’Onta Foreman / Chuba Hubbard): vs. Steelers, vs. Lions, @Buccaneers

Cleveland (Nick Chubb / Kareem Hunt): vs. Ravens, vs. Saints, @Commanders


Las Vegas (Josh Jacobs): vs. Patriots, @Steelers, vs. Niners

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