In this article, we look around the NFL and provide analysis on 2013 fantasy football sleeper running backs (RB).
2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers – Running Backs
Following the first three weeks of NFL preseason play, here are three more solid running back sleepers to consider on fantasy football draft day. We’ve put these RBs in order of their potential fantasy return, based on your draft-day investment and their current ADPs.
Daryl Richardson (RB, St. Louis Rams) - D-Rich has managed to make it through all of camp as the lead back for the St. Louis Rams, and it looks as though he has earned the nod as the team’s full time running back. Well-deserving of the gig, and good enough to help the Rams part ways with franchise legend Stephen Jackson, Richardson put in some serious work last season in his limited rushing attempts (98) over 16 games. He managed to put up 475 yards on the ground, with a 4.8 yards per carry average, to go along with 24 receptions and 163 yards receiving. Although Richardson did not cross the end zone even one time last season, we think he will be doing that quite frequently in 2013, as he enters the season as the Rams most deadly weapon. Richardson is one of the few three-down RBs in the NFL, which makes him more valuable than other running backs for fantasy football. He is listed as both the goal-line back and the third-down back, which should increase his value even further in PPR leagues. With a current ADP around 92, his draft-day price is still low, making him a legit fantasy football running back sleeper in 2013, and well deserving of your draft pick in the seventh or eighth round for standard formats. Richardson comes into the season as a solid flex option, with upside for legit RB2 value or even more if he explodes.
Andre Brown (RB, New York Giants) – Coming out of almost thin air to save the Giants’ running game in 2012 after Ahmad Bradshaw fell prey to a severe foot injury, Andre Brown posted 385 yards rushing with eight TDs in just 10 NFL games. He averaged a very solid 5.1 yards per carry in 2012, and this is the main reason we love the Giants #2 running back heading into the 2013 fantasy football season. At the very least, Brown will be vulturing goal-line touches from the fumble-prone David Wilson and getting some touches to complement Wilson in the running game. Brown may even ultimately emerge as the more competent back for a second year in a row, as the coaching staff tends to trust him with pass protection and blitz pickups. Don’t forget, Brown is currently listed as the third-down back and the goal-line back for the Giants, which provides a nice amount potential and upside, especially in PPR leagues. Either way, the Giants thought he was good enough as security blanket to combine with Wilson, that they let their former Super Bowl hero leave town in very quiet fashion this past offseason. With a current ADP around 76, Andre Brown should be targeted as a fantasy football draft day sleeper near rounds 7-8, in standard 10 team league formats. Brown comes into the season as a solid flex option, with upside for legit RB2 value, or even more if Wilson goes down with an injury.
Update: Andre Brown unfortunately injured his left leg and is expected to miss at least 4-6 weeks with a small fracture. He should be downgraded in fantasy football drafts, to a late round stash at best. Brown still has the upside to contribute when healthy this year, but will be out for a while and can more realistically be left for the waiver wire in shallower leagues. Until Brown is ready, Michael Cox, Ryan Torrain or Da’Rel Scott will compete for the backup role behind David Wilson, and may have the potential to hold similar fantasy value as Brown if given similar opportunity. We’re thinking that rookie Michael Cox, a 6 foot, 220 lb bruiser, with average speed but great agility, can win this competition and carve out a role as the Giants’ number 2 running back.
Isaac Redman (RB, Pittsburgh Steelers) – With just shy of 1,136 yards on the ground and 394 yards receiving on 46 receptions over the past three seasons, it is safe to say that the new starting running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers is not exactly what we’d call a fantasy stud. With that said though, opportunity is the key to success in the NFL and it seems like the downfall of Le’Veon Bell with a foot injury has reopened the door for a messy time share in the Steel City. And this former undrafted free agent will be leading the ground attack until Bell is healthy enough to return, which could take up to six weeks. If you are preparing to draft still, Redman can viewed as a solid late round pick, especially with a very low ADP around 215. Redman is more of a reserve RB4/RB5 or flex option in a deeper leagues, and will best be served as a handcuff for Bell for the entire 2013 season. But realistically, he should easily outperform his very low fantasy price tag on draft day, or his very low free agent budget price off the waiver wire in your fantasy league. Target Redman as a solid RB4 stash, with the potential to be a solid flex play in the right matchups.
Here are some more fantasy football articles about running backs & sleepers. Let’s win some leagues!
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Rookie Running Backs
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Running Backs (RBs)
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Later Round Running Backs (RB)
- 2013 Fantasy Football: Evaluating NFL Rookie Running Backs (Part 2)
- 2013 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Handcuffs by Tiers
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