It's draft season and everyone needs sleeper running backs in fantasy. This year people are so in love with wide receivers that you have to hit on your RB picks in order to win. Here are 8 running backs to draft with huge upside! Keep in mind that these are based on standard 10 team ESPN leagues.
Let's get started!
Currently the Bills star running back is being drafted in the mid-3rd round as RB12. When you consider the fact that he started the year off slow due to a bum hamstring and ended the season with a torn MCL I understand why his ADP is so low but when this guy was fully healthy he was a beast and his tape last year proves it. McCoy is an elite talent level running back in the NFL and I believe he belongs on the top 5 running back list. Throw in the recent cut of Karlos Williams, who had taken a lot of production away from McCoy, and we've got ourselves a solid RB1. Give me McCoy over a risky pick like Eddie Lacy or Devonta Freeman any day.
After last years performance I really thought more people would start to believe in how talented this guy is but I guess his injury late last season and the caution of the coaching staff who wanted to preserve him for the playoffs left a bad taste that people want to avoid. Stewart had a phenomenal season and was healthy for a majority of the year proving he is a quality NFL running back. He is currently RB14 and is being drafted in the early 4th round. I think this guy has much better value at this round for you especially if you decide to go wide receiver heavy early on.
At this point in the draft you are trying to stock up on sleeper picks. Most of these players won't hit for you but you want to make sure you give yourself the best chance. What better player is there for you to hit the jackpot with than Matt Forte? Everyone knows this guy is talented and we've seen him win fantasy championships for countless people in the past. He's currently being drafted at the end of the 4th round as RB15! The New York Jets proved last year that their offense can produce at the running back position with average players like Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory. Tag on the fact that Forte will get you a fair number of catches and you got yourself a solid RB2 with RB1 upside. Oh and let me also say the last player to leave the Bears and play for Chan Gailey on the Jets was Brandon Marshall who had a phenomenal fantasy year. Just sayin'.
As a Chargers fan let me start by saying that this team is bad. Really really bad. Last year this team had one of the worst defenses in the league and this year it is going to be even worse! That means Phillip Rivers will be playing a lot of catchup and we will be seeing a lot of Mr. Woodhead. With Woodhead currently being drafted as RB27 in the 7th round I can take that and sleep like a baby. If you're in a PPR league play it safe, go with Woodhead.
If you miss out on Woodhead then Theo Riddick is another solid option. In fact when considering value it might be better for you to take Riddick who may produce similar numbers but at a cheaper price. Both players are on bad teams with horrible defenses who will be playing from behind most of the season and throwing the pigskin a lot. We already saw what Riddick can do last year as a pass catcher and when you consider the fact that Riddick is currently being drafted as RB38 in the 11th round. That is some damn good value that I am going to take advantage of.
I am not really buying into all of the big news coming out about Eddie Lacy losing weight. He still looks fat to me and honestly there isn't really anything wrong with a fat running back. The true problem with Lacy is that he just looks so damn slow. He lacks explosiveness and that burst all great running backs have. It's possible that Lacy can break out and have a phenomenal season with that Packers offense but it is a little too risky for me and honestly Starks just looks sharper. I'd grab Starks in round 11 and hold onto him for a weeks in case Lacy struggles. And even if Lacy performs well he hasn't been the greatest player at avoiding injury.
I'll admit I don't know much about this player. I did go back and watch some of his game film in college and he looks promising but that doesn't always translate to the NFL. My reason for advocating this player is simply because CJ Anderson just isn't good. Last year we saw it with our own eyes when he played horrifically. Then reports came out about an ankle injury which I am still not buying into and after a few weeks of terrible play he loses his job to Ronnie Hillman. Anderson waits on the bench patiently for Hillman to shoot himself in the foot like he always does and before you know it BOOM! Anderson bursts back onto the scene and puts together a few decent runs in key moments that catapults him back on top of the mountain of fantasy gold. No thanks I'll pass this time. Currently Booker is being drafted in round 13 as RB45. Huge sleeper pick right here ladies and gentlemen!
I know all the hype is on Ezekiel Elliott who is currently being drafted in the first round. To me that is simply insane. I don't remember a time when a rookie running back was being drafted so high regardless of how great that offensive line is. Last year Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon were drafted at much much lower rounds. If I recall correctly I believe Gordon and Gurley were drafted in rounds 4 or 5 and we all remember that only one of the two had a great rookie season. In the NFL there are so many things that can go wrong for a rookie entering the league especially at the running back position. All it takes is a few fumbles to get you benched, just ask Ameer Abdullah who was drafted ahead of Todd Gurley last year! Morris has been around the league a lot longer and he is definitely a talented running back. I'm not saying that he is better than Elliott but it wouldn't surprise me if Elliott struggles or makes a few rookie mistakes early on. Before you know it Morris comes in and and you have a top 5 running back who currently isn't even being drafted. That's just crazy to me. Pick this guy up and hold him for a few weeks because he could win you the season.
Need more sleepers? Hit me up on Twitter @TheRoastPot
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