5 Way Too Early RB Sleepers

5 Way Too Early RB Sleepers

Welcome back to our Way Too Early Sleeper series. Let’s wrap it up with the Running Back position. 

Running backs are a difficult group to navigate when looking for sleeper picks. Some teams have a one RB workhorse, but those rarely end up being sleepers and generally are picked in the first round of fantasy drafts. Then you must sift through the rest of the league's RBBC. Then, after considering coaching style and opportunity, and occasionally injury history, you may end up finding the next James Robinson (nobody called that one happening). So here is my list of the top sleepers to look for next season.

  1. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

Despite being the number 5 RB in both rushing yards and scrimmage yards, many people overlooked Montgomery last year. A lot of this had to do with his slow start. In the first 3 months of the season, he only had over 20 carries in a game once and topped 100 yards only once. He also only had one rushing TD before the final month of the regular season. In December he had over 20 carries in nearly every game and hit paydirt 6 times. With a probable change at QB and Allen Robinson likely leaving town, look for Montgomery to have a year 3 breakout as the primary star for the Bears offense.

  1. J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens

This one all comes down to opportunity. Last season saw Dobbins lost in a sea of running backs, not to mention QB Lamar Jackson (the team's leading rusher). With Mark Ingram gone and Gus Edwards currently a restricted free agent, Dobbins is in line to take over as a workhorse 3 down back. Even if Edwards returns, Dobbins outperformed him last season, rushing for an entire yard more per carry and finding the end zone 9 times to Edwards 6. With a healthy o-line back to start the season, Dobbins can easily break the top 10 for fantasy RB’s next year.

  1. Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team

This is a riskier pick then the previous two. With J.D. McKissic still in town taking most of the receiving stats away, Gibson needs to really become a workhorse to break the top 10 next season. If he can stay healthy, the former WR can take some work from McKissic and eventually phase him out of the offensive gameplan. Of course, this could entirely depend on the preference of whoever is under the helm next season.

  1. Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams

Another back stuck in a RBBC last season Akers also had a late season surge that showed how much potential he brought to the Rams. With Malcolm Brown headed to free agency, this offense likely comes down to Darrell Henderson and Akers. With the exciting trade for Matthew Stafford, expect the dual threat that Akers brings to help give him the edge over the older Henderson. The Rams look like a Super Bowl or bust kind of squad and Akers is going to have a large say in how far they can go.

  1. DeAndre Swift, Detroit Lions

With Adrian Peterson now gone and a new regime coming to Detroit, the versatile Swift is my favorite sleeper for next season. The only other RB on the roster that may steal some playing time is the oft injured and underperforming Kerryon Johnson. If the Lions fail to retain Kenny Golladay then Swift will become the biggest star in this offense. The biggest risk with Swift is whether he can stay healthy behind the Detroit offensive line. If he does, I expect last year's RB 18 to leap into the top 5.

Thanks for reading and as always, stay true. 


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