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Strength of Schedule: Good for Darren McFadden, bad for Adrian Peterson

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Adrian Peterson will be challenged down the stretch (USP)

Any piece on Fantasy Strength of Schedule has to start with disclaimers, so line them up and let's knock them down.

-- A great schedule doesn't automatically help a struggling player.

-- A bad schedule doesn't automatically sink a star player.

-- Defenses are fluid in the NFL, like everything else. Today's sieve could be next month's surging unit. What's happened over the last month or two does not guarantee future results.

Before the season, I consider Strength of Schedule to be a fool's errand. Too much changes in the NFL, year to year. Specifically, too much changes with respect to defense — it's been documented that defensive strength is more variable, year-to-year, than offensive strength.

That all said, we're into the eighth week and maybe it's time to start figuring out what looks good going forward and what looks tricky. To some of you, the following list will be a way to break a tie. To others, it will be something important. To others, it's not even worth discussing or considering. You make the call.

All that out of the way, here's how I rank the fantasy rushing schedules for all teams going forward, Weeks 8-16. It's based mostly on a formula of what's happened to this point, with a little special sauce thrown in. The strength of the offense is not considered whatsoever — it's merely a measure of what the next nine weeks look like.

Now you decide what, if anything, it's worth. The top teams have the easy rushing slates; the bottom teams have the challenging ones.

Rushing Strength of Schedule, Weeks 8-16
1. Raiders: (@KC, TB, @BAL, NO, @CIN, CLE, DEN, KC, @CAR)
2. Dolphins: (@NYJ, @IND, TEN, @BUF, SEA, NE, @SF, JAC, BUF)
3. Broncos: (NO, @CIN, @CAR, SD, @KC, TB, @OAK, @BAL, CLE)
4. Steelers: (WAS, @NYG, KC, BAL, @CLE, @BAL, SD, @DAL, CIN)
5. Chargers: (@CLE, KC, @TB, @DEN, BAL, CIN, @PIT, CAR, @NYJ)
6. Chiefs: (OAK, @SD, @PIT, CIN, DEN, CAR, @CLE, @OAK, IND)
7. Browns: (SD, BAL, Bye, @DAL, PIT, @OAK, KC, WAS, @DEN)
8. Giants: (@DAL, PIT, @CIN, Bye, GB, @WAS, NO, @ATL, @BAL)
9. Texans: (Bye, BUF, @CHI, JAC, @DET, @TEN, @NE, IND, MIN)
10. Colts: (@TEN, MIA, @JAC, @NE, BUF, @DET, TEN, @HOU, @KC)
11. Buccaneers: (@MIN, @OAK, SD, @CAR, ATL, @DEN, PHI, @NO, STL)
12. Ravens: (Bye, @CLE, OAK, @PIT, @SD, PIT, @WAS, DEN, NYG)
13. Jaguars: (@GB, DET, IND, @HOU, TEN, @BUF, NYJ, @MIA, NE)
14. Bengals: (Bye, DEN, NYG, @KC, OAK, @SD, DAL, @PHI, @PIT)
15. Cowboys: (NYG, @ATL, @PHI, CLE, WAS, PHI, @CIN, PIT, NO)
16. Falcons: (@PHI, DAL, @NO, ARI, @TB, NO, @CAR, NYG, @DET)
17. Eagles: (ATL, @NO, DAL, @WAS, CAR, @DAL, @TB, CIN, WAS)
18. Patriots: (@STL, Bye, BUF, IND, @NYJ, @MIA, HOU, SF, @JAC)
19. Rams: (NE, Bye, @SF, NYJ, @ARI, SF, @BUF, MIN, @TB)
20. Redskins: (@PIT, CAR, Bye, PHI, @DAL, NYG, BAL, @CLE, @PHI)
21. Panthers: (@CHI, @WAS, DEN, TB, @PHI, @KC, ATL, @SD, OAK)
22. Titans: (IND, CHI, @MIA, Bye, @JAC, HOU, @IND, NYJ, @GB)
23. Jets: (MIA, Bye, @SEA, @STL, NE, ARI, @JAC, @TEN, SD)
24. Lions: (SEA, @JAC, @MIN, GB, HOU, IND, @GB, @ARI, ATL)
25. Saints: (@DEN, PHI, ATL, @OAK, SF, @ATL, @NYG, TB, @DAL)
26. Seahawks: (@DET, MIN, NYJ, Bye, @MIA, @CHI, ARI, @BUF, SF)
27. Bears: (CAR, @TEN, HOU, @SF, MIN, SEA, @MIN, GB, @ARI)
28. Packers: (JAC, ARI, Bye, @DET, @NYG, MIN, DET, @CHI, TEN)
29. Niners: (@ARI, Bye, STL, CHI, @NO, @STL, MIA, @NE, @SEA)
30. Bills: (Bye, @HOU, @NE, MIA, @IND, JAC, STL, SEA, @MIA)
31. Cardinals: (SF, @GB, Bye, @ATL, STL, @NYJ, @SEA, DET, CHI)
32. Vikings: (TB, @SEA, DET, Bye, @CHI, @GB, CHI, @STL, @HOU)

Rushing Strength of Schedule, Weeks 14-16
1. Jets: (@JAC, @TEN, SD)
2. Texans: (@NE, IND, MIN)
3. Panthers: (ATL, @SD, OAK)
4. Chiefs: (@CLE, @OAK, IND)
5. Rams: (@BUF, MIN, @TB)
6. Colts: (TEN, @HOU, @KC)
7. Jaguars: (NYJ, @MIA, NE)
8. Broncos: (@OAK, @BAL, CLE)
9. Ravens: (@WAS, DEN, NYG)
10. Niners: (MIA, @NE, @SEA)
11. Browns: (KC, WAS, @DEN)
12. Eagles: (@TB, CIN, WAS)
13. Dolphins: (@SF, JAC, BUF)
14. Redskins: (BAL, @CLE, @PHI)
15. Buccaneers: (PHI, @NO, STL)
16. Giants: (NO, @ATL, @BAL)
17. Steelers: (SD, @DAL, CIN)
18. Falcons: (@CAR, NYG, @DET)
19. Cowboys: (@CIN, PIT, NO)
20. Patriots: (HOU, SF, @JAC)
21. Raiders: (DEN, KC, @CAR)
22. Packers: (DET, @CHI, TEN)
23. Saints: (@NYG, TB, @DAL)
24. Bears: (@MIN, GB, @ARI)
25. Titans: (@IND, NYJ, @GB)
26. Lions: (@GB, @ARI, ATL)
27. Bengals: (DAL, @PHI, @PIT)
28. Vikings: (CHI, @STL, @HOU)
29. Bills: (STL, SEA, @MIA)
30. Chargers: (@PIT, CAR, @NYJ)
31. Seahawks: (ARI, @BUF, SF)
32. Cardinals: (@SEA, DET, CHI)

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