Fantasy Football Sleepers & Values: Running Backs

Fantasy Football Sleepers & Values: Running Backs

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Aug 27, 2015

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

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Over the past few seasons, it has become more acceptable to draft one or two wide receivers in the first two rounds and wait until a bit later to start drafting running backs. It's not my Plan A, but I wouldn’t be afraid to go WR/WR or TE/WR in the first two rounds and start drafting running backs in the 3rd or even 4th round. In PPR formats, I especially like drafting Antonio Brown early in the 1st and then grabbing two of Justin Forsett, Frank Gore or Lamar Miller at the 2/3 turn. 

In addition, there are several backs currently available in the 4th-5th range that I'd be content to start Week 1 if I were strong at receiver and/or tight end.

Below you’ll find several middle round running backs that I feel are good values (4th-6th round ADP) along with a number of sleepers (7th round or later) I’ll be looking to draft in the later rounds to round out my bench.



C.J. Spiller, Saints
While New Orleans may not be an ideal landing spot in the carries department, Spiller should have a big role in the passing game with Pierre Thomas, Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills no longer on the roster. He’ll likely take over the role of Thomas, who averaged 11.6 touches in the last two seasons. Thomas finished with a top 30 PPG (PPR) in six of the last seven seasons, so that's a reasonable floor for Spiller. New Orleans running backs caught 275 passes in the last two seasons, so there are plenty of catches to go around. In short, he has significant PPR upside in this offense, and HC Sean Payton seems to love what he brings to the table. The knee scope has hurt his stock somewhat, so now he's often available in the 4th round in PPR leagues. For the full case for Spiller, click here.

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