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Mike Davis (RB, CHI) - 2019 Fantasy Football Sleeper


A lot has been said about what is and what is not a sleeper. And in most cases, looking at sleeper lists, one gets truly surprised to find some great names thrown in them. This season, to me, there are not many players that can be considered capital-S Sleepers like Mike Davis can be. Be it because of what he did last season, the situation he will find himself into this year, his ADP, or any other thing you want to look at, he has everything in place to become an important player in any fantasy team at a bargain price.

Just months ago, Davis was part of the Seahawks. The pecking order in Seattle when it came to running chances was clear: Chris Carson, then Mike Davis, and finally rookie Rashaad Penny. Among running backs, though, the leading pass-option man was always Mike Davis. That is why in a run-heavy team such as the Seahawks Davis finished with 146 touches, only behind Carson's 267. Both Carson and Davis ranked in the Top-20 by Rushing DYAR and Rushing DVOA per Football Outsiders. In fact, Davis finished the season with an 8.7% DVOA overtaking Kareem Hunt, Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley.

So, how come his ADP puts him out of draft rounds of even the deepest of leagues?

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New Environment, New Opportunities

Well, as a start, Davis moved to a new team and is now a Chicago Bear. His ADP peaked in April at 141, but with Chicago drafting David Montgomery later in the offseason things went south for him. Davis finds himself in quite the same position he did last year in Seattle. Tarik Cohen looks like the Bears' RB1, and Davis will have to battle Montgomery for touches in the RB2 competition.

Should owners put their faith in an often overlooked player such as Davis? I say yes. Davis is not new to the situation he's stepping into. Last year, when covering for Carson's injury, he was able to post incredible stats. Overall, he finished the season with 112 carries for 514 yards (4.6 per carry) and 34 receptions on 42 targets for 214 yards (81% catch rate, 6.3 yards per catch, and 6.9 yards after the catch). By season's end, it was hard to tell if Carson or Davis has turned into Seattle's better running option, especially considering Davis ability as a receiving threat.

Moving on to Chicago, Jordan Howard's exit is leaving a staggering 250 rush attempts for Cohen and Davis/Montgomery to share. It's more than possible that Davis finishes with close to 200 carries even backing up Cohen. Davis will lose more targets to Cohen than he did to Carson though, as Cohen is a much better and productive receiver. Even with that, Davis still has both a better success rate running (52% compared to Cohen's 44%) and the higher catch rate (81% to Cohen's 78%).

I have to think Davis is being overlooked on most drafts just because of the situation and what Chicago did in the draft rather than his own ability. While Davis is not an RB1 either in the real NFL nor in any fantasy league, he's more than capable of putting up high-end RB2 numbers and potentially reaching low-tier RB1 performance.

Take another look at his current ADP of 228, it is just ridiculous. You will probably find him on waivers for free at the end of the draft, so keep an eye on them. But if you're in a deeper league, have a flex slot available, or play in any other configuration that allows to field more RBs, take the gamble and bet on Mike Davis. He has all of the upside in the world to perform way above his ADP rank.

More ADP Values and Sleepers


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!