Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Running Back-Offensive Line Combos to Fade

james conner fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Sometimes fantasy GMs focus too much on raw, counting stats for running backs. How many yards did they rush for? How many touchdowns did they score? Perhaps, taking it one step further, they end up looking at some "manufactured" numbers such as yards per carry, yards after contact, etc... But there is something more that correlates to running back performance that is often overlooked: the strength of the offensive line they play under.

It is definitely hard to assess how much impact any O-Line has on running back performance on a play-by-play basis, but at the end of the year, it's easy to look at season-long data and make a strong correlation between the strength of offensive lines and the production that comes from the backfield. While quarterbacks and wide receivers are also affected by how good the line that protects them or gives them time to work their routes is, the biggest impact any good or bad O-Line causes is on running backs.

Today, I will hand you a few atrocious OLs (per Lineups.com ranks) and the rushers that will suffer from playing under them. Let's get to it!

Featured Promo: Get any rest-of-season NFL and DFS Premium Pass for 10% off through the Super Bowl. using ode BALLER Exclusive access to our Premium articles, Matchup Rating projections, 15 lineup tools, DFS cheat sheets, Research Stations, Lineup Optimizers and much more! Go Premium, Win More!


Arizona Cardinals (No. 29 OL)

James Conner, Darrel Williams, Eno Benjamin, Keaontay Ingram

Instead of just highlighting the worst possible lines in the league in order (at the end of the day, though, bad lines are bad lines anyway), I've opted to feature those which saw the biggest falls from their 2021 ranking to the 2022 one starting in the desert. The Cardinals are the only team that got bumped down more than 12 positions from last season to the upcoming one in the rankings I'm using. They have gone from 15th to 29th!

That bodes not very well for the Cards' backfield (which boasts a massive overperformer in James Conner and not much more) and their rushing quarterback Kyler Murray. First of all, it must be clarified that "not much more" is very real when it comes to the Cardinals RB2/RB3 in tow: free-agent Darrel Williams and rookie Keaontay Ingram are far from what Chase Edmonds was supposed to be in 2021 (at least on paper) last season. Benjamin appeared in just nine games last season, rushing the rock 34 times for 118 yards and one score while he caught six passes for 42 extra yards... and a total of 28 PPR points. Ugh.

Conner was a beast and will remain so in 2022, but to a much lesser extent if we bake some (realistic) regression back to the mean into his projections. He scored 257.7 PPR points last season for an RB5 finish (career-best) but PFF has him hitting just RB low-end RB1 points next season mostly because of a bump-down in touchdowns with "only" 10 instead of the 15 (!!!) he scored last year. Regression and a flopping OL might doom Conner's (and Murray's) numbers a bit more than expected, so keep that in mind come your league's draft day.


Tennessee Titans (No. 28 OL)

Derrick Henry, Hassan Haskins, Dontrell Hilliard

Nobody is going to give a damn about the Titans' OL when assessing Derrick Henry's talent, abilities, and fantasy projections. It is what happens with studs, folks, so you don't really need to sweat it that much. That said, I wanted to highlight Tennessee's unit here because the downgrade is staggering with the Titans' lineman going from ranking as the 16th-best unit last season to the 28th entering 2022.

While Taylor Lewan is still in tow, he suffered a little bit of a step back while the rest of the members didn't play up to expectations, and staple OT David Quessenberry is also waving his goodbye. Henry suffered injuries last year and could only return in the postseason for Tennessee after missing all regular-season games from Week 9 (included) on. Henry being Henry, of course, still finished RB22 season-wise though he appeared in fewer than half of the scheduled games.

Will Henry keep his 24.2 FPPG up in 2022? Hard to see that happening considering 1) the OL assumed downgrade in talent and 2) a logic regression to the mean by Henry, who comes off a 219-carry, 937-yard, 10-touchdown year in such a small sample of games. The backups are truly atrocious in Tennessee, which could aid Henry's chances at another monster season but definitely keep fantasy GMs off the Titans backfield once Henry is off the board at the end of the draft's round.


Chicago Bears (No. 31 OL)

David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, Darrynton Evans, Trestan Ebner

As is the case with the other two teams highlighted here, the combination of a bad OL and a thin backfield is in play for the Bears next season. The problem for Chicago, though, is that while Arizona (Kyler Murray) and Tennessee (Ryan Tannehill) have at least viable/good quarterbacks manning the pocket, well, the jury is still out on Justin Fields when it comes to their future as Chicago's franchise QB.

Anyway, and moving on to the OL exclusively, this is one losing mainly bona fide stars Jason Peters and James Daniels. With the most sacks allowed in the NFL last year, you'd think whatever Chicago ended doing this offseason would help their OL. Welp. I'm sorry for Fields mainly, but David Montgomery and the Minnow-RB Troops he will have as backups won't have any fantastic time when out there on the gridiron.

Montgomery is pretty much going to have a similar workload as he did last year as he didn't have any sort of competition in 2021 and he won't have it next year (Herbert and Evans project to 95 combined opportunities in PFF's last run of projections compared to Montgomery's 261 all by himself). Montgomery had an RB21 season playing behind the 22nd-best OL in the NFL as PFF saw it. With a much more precarious situation in Chicago for next year, odds are he stays a borderline RB2 (because he only played 13 games last year) with the downside of falling to the RB3 realm if he misses a few games as he's done in each of the last two years.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!

Win More With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts


Cam Thomas16 mins ago

Still On The Shelf Saturday
Ben Simmons22 mins ago

A Question Mark For Saturday
Cody Martin28 mins ago

Exits Early With Ankle Injury
Seth Curry34 mins ago

Tweaks Ankle In Rare Start
Russell Westbrook41 mins ago

Out Indefinitely With Fractured Hand
Matt Chapman3 hours ago

Signs Three-Year Deal With The Giants
Anthony Edwards9 hours ago

Exits Early On Friday
Scottie Barnes10 hours ago

Fractures Hand On Friday Night
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope10 hours ago

Listed As Questionable Against Lakers
Jamal Murray11 hours ago

Questionable Saturday For Nuggets
Anthony Davis11 hours ago

Probable Versus Nuggets Saturday
Deni Avdija12 hours ago

Active Against The Clippers
Alex Caruso12 hours ago

Available Versus The Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo12 hours ago

Will Play Against Chicago
Ivica Zubac12 hours ago

Out Again Versus Washington
LeBron James12 hours ago

Questionable Saturday Against Denver
Paul George12 hours ago

Active On Friday
Bradley Beal13 hours ago

Probable Saturday
Eric Gordon13 hours ago

Questionable Saturday Versus Houston
Kyle Anderson13 hours ago

Now Out Against Sacramento
Anthony Edwards14 hours ago

Cleared For Friday Night
De'Aaron Fox14 hours ago

Ruled Out Friday
Max Muncy15 hours ago

Taking Batting Practice Friday
Nick Lodolo15 hours ago

To Have His Leg "Re-Scanned"
Noelvi Marte16 hours ago

To Make Spring Debut Saturday
Mats Zuccarello16 hours ago

Fined $2K For Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Timothy Liljegren17 hours ago

Questionable For Saturday
New England Patriots17 hours ago

J.C. Jackson Released By Patriots
Ronald Acuña Jr.17 hours ago

Ronald Acuna Jr. Being Checked By Doctor
Logan Thomas17 hours ago

Commanders Parting Ways With Logan Thomas
Calle Jarnkrok17 hours ago

A Possibility Saturday
Clayton Keller17 hours ago

Sidelined Into Next Week
Artem Zub17 hours ago

To Return To Action Friday
Sonny Milano17 hours ago

Nick Jensen, Sonny Milano To Return For Capitals Friday
Mark Giordano17 hours ago

Out With Concussion
Lars Nootbaar18 hours ago

Has Revamped Swing
Ricky Tiedemann18 hours ago

To Face Live Hitters Soon
NFL18 hours ago

Michael Penix Says He's Healthy
Justin Fields18 hours ago

Could Fetch Second- Or Third-Rounder
Blake Snell19 hours ago

Giants Becoming Favorites To Land Blake Snell
Philadelphia Eagles19 hours ago

Eagles Release Kevin Byard
NFL19 hours ago

Jonathan Brooks Ahead Of Schedule In His Recovery
Darren Waller19 hours ago

Considered Retirement
Baker Mayfield19 hours ago

Falcons In Play For Baker Mayfield?
Wade Miley20 hours ago

"50-50" To Be Ready For Opening Day
Yuki Matsui20 hours ago

Resumes Playing Catch
Matt Brash20 hours ago

Could Resume Throwing Next Week
Shamil Gaziev20 hours ago

Looks To Remain Undefeated
Ronald Acuña Jr.20 hours ago

Ronald Acuna Jr. Scratched With Knee Soreness
Jairzinho Rozenstruik20 hours ago

In Dire Need Of Victory
Bekzat Almakhan20 hours ago

Set For UFC Debut
Matt Schnell21 hours ago

Looks To Get Back In Win Column
Kyle Finnegan21 hours ago

Evolving With New Sweeper
Steve Erceg21 hours ago

A Favorite At UFC Vegas 87
Tristan Beck21 hours ago

Needs Surgery On His Arm
Justin Verlander21 hours ago

To Throw Another Bullpen Sunday
Gunnar Henderson21 hours ago

Taking Live Batting Practice
Tarik Skubal21 hours ago

To Start On Opening Day
C.J. Cron22 hours ago

Red Sox Add C.J. Cron On Minor-League Deal
Philipp Grubauer1 day ago

Shuts The Door On Penguins
Logan Stankoven1 day ago

Scores In Third Consecutive Game
Roman Josi1 day ago

Racks Up Three Points In Second Consecutive Outing
Morgan Geekie1 day ago

Pots First Career Hat Trick
Frederik Andersen1 day ago

Could Be Back In Action Next Week
Adrian Kempe1 day ago

Considered Week-To-Week
Gabriel Vilardi1 day ago

Questionable For Saturday Following Thursday's Exit
Cam Fowler1 day ago

Forced To Exit Early After Taking Puck To Face
Framber Valdez1 day ago

Could Call His Own Pitches
Elehuris Montero1 day ago

Could Force His Way Into Regular Playing Time
Alex Bregman1 day ago

Working To Develop More Power
Trey Lance1 day ago

To Stay In Dallas In 2024, But Fifth-Year Option Declined
Ty Chandler1 day ago

Now Vikings No. 1 Running Back
Sam Reinhart1 day ago

Adds Two More Goals Thursday
Mark Giordano1 day ago

Suffers Head Injury Thursday
Ilya Lyubushkin1 day ago

Maple Leafs Acquire Ilya Lyubushkin From Ducks
Rasmus Dahlin1 day ago

Bags Overtime Winner Thursday
Joseph Woll1 day ago

Strong In Return On Thursday
Brock Nelson1 day ago

Pots A Pair Of Goals Thursday
Alexander Mattison2 days ago

Vikings Releasing Alexander Mattison
Will Levis2 days ago

Titans Still Believe In Will Levis As Their Starter
Saquon Barkley2 days ago

Giants Have Good Initial Meeting
Odell Beckham Jr.2 days ago

Ravens, Odell Beckham Jr. Staying In Communication
Gus Edwards2 days ago

Ravens Hoping To Bring Back Gus Edwards
Houston Texans2 days ago

Laremy Tunsil Has Knee Surgery
Kansas City Chiefs2 days ago

Optimism That Chiefs Will Re-Sign Chris Jones Before Free Agency
J.K. Dobbins2 days ago

Resumes Running
Kenny Pickett2 days ago

Steelers Have "Full Faith" In Kenny Pickett
Umar Nurmagomedov2 days ago

Takes On Newcomer At UFC Vegas 87
Najee Harris2 days ago

Steelers Non-Committal On Najee Harris' Fifth-Year Option
Muhammad Mokaev2 days ago

Puts Undefeated Record On The Line At UFC Vegas 87
Alex Perez2 days ago

Finally Ends Layoff At UFC Vegas 87
Amon-Ra St. Brown2 days ago

Lions To Talk Extension This Week
Tyson Pedro2 days ago

Set For 11th UFC Appearance
Vitor Petrino2 days ago

A Big Favorite At UFC Vegas 87
Doug Ghim3 days ago

Is On An Impressive Run To Start The Florida Swing
Maverick McNealy3 days ago

Is An Intriguing Play At PGA National
Lucas Glover3 days ago

Far From A Must-Play At PGA National
Erik Van Rooyen3 days ago

Can Erik Van Rooyen Keep His Consistency Going In Florida?
Adam Svensson3 days ago

Needs To Find Some Putting Form In Florida
Beau Hossler3 days ago

Looking To Keep The Good Times Rolling In Florida
Denny McCarthy3 days ago

Looking To Heat Up At PGA National
Taylor Montgomery3 days ago

Putting Together Solid Results
Christiaan Bezuidenhout3 days ago

Arrives To Florida In Stellar Form
Luke List3 days ago

On A Mission To Reverse Past Heartbreak
Matthieu Pavon3 days ago

Looking To Widen His Season-Long Lead
Shane Lowry3 days ago

Leaning On Some Positive Florida Vibes
Ryo Hisatsune3 days ago

Heads To Palm Beach Gardens For Debut
Brendon Todd3 days ago

Takes Hot Putter To PGA National
Ben Griffin3 days ago

Loves The Bermuda Grass
Chris Kirk3 days ago

Looks To Defend Title At Cognizant Classic
PGA3 days ago

Alex Noren A Player To Watch At PGA National
Stephan Jaeger3 days ago

Closing In On First Tour Victory
Thorbjorn Olesen3 days ago

A Contender At PGA National
Ryan Fox3 days ago

In For A Tough Week At PGA National
Thomas Detry3 days ago

Trying To Shake Off Rough Event In Mexico
Brandon Royval5 days ago

Gets Back On Track With Decision Win
Brandon Moreno5 days ago

Loses Back-To-Back Fights
Francisco Prado5 days ago

Drops A Decision At UFC Mexico City
Daniel Zellhuber5 days ago

Extends Win Streak To Three
Sam Hughes5 days ago

Takes Decision Loss
Sam Hughes5 days ago

Yazmin Jauregui Defeats Sam Hughes
Kyle Busch5 days ago

Frustrated Despite Finishing Third At Atlanta
Ryan Blaney5 days ago

After Runner-Up at Atlanta: "That Was So Fun"
Daniel Suarez5 days ago

Wins At Atlanta In Photo Finish
Kaz Grala5 days ago

Rises To 14th By End Of Atlanta Race
Austin Cindric5 days ago

Enjoys Top 5 Result At Atlanta
Ross Chastain5 days ago

Outshone by Teammate, But Still Made Solid Recovery
Harrison Burton5 days ago

Electrifying Ford Speed Carries Harrison Burton to One of His Best Runs
Michael McDowell5 days ago

Finishes Eighth After Strong Atlanta Performance
Ty Gibbs5 days ago

Quietly Recovers From Crash For An Atlanta Top 10 Finish
NASCAR5 days ago

Bubba Wallace Starts 2024 Off With Back-To-Back Top Five Finishes
Todd Gilliland5 days ago

Despite Poor Finish, Todd Gilliland Has Big Day At Atlanta
Chris Duncan6 days ago

Gets Submitted Quickly At UFC Mexico City
Manuel Torres6 days ago

Remains Undefeated In The UFC
Yair Rodriguez6 days ago

Gets Finished At UFC Mexico City
Brian Ortega6 days ago

Gets Submission Win At UFC Mexico City
Joey Logano6 days ago

Will Have to Serve Penalty at Start of Atlanta Race