Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts

Deeper Running Back Sleepers - 2022 Fantasy Football Draft Value Picks

In fantasy sports, there are sleepers. We all know what sleepers are. We all get obsessed over sleepers and we play fantasy on websites called Sleeper and it's just sleeper this and sleeper that. Sleeper sleeper sleeper.

The problem is, everyone talks about the same sleepers so much that they stop being sleepers. The sleepers of today are the overhyped players of tomorrow.

So, today, I'm going to talk about some sleepers who are such sleepers that they aren't going to be overhyped to death. Below are three running backs who are deep sleepers for 2022. Guys that we aren't talking about. Guys whose path to fantasy stardom are fairly bleak to be honest, but who at least have some interesting-enough upside for me to have some exposure to. All of these guys are ranked outside of the top-50 at the running back position.

Featured Promo: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off and win big in 2023. Exclusive access to our Premium articles, 15 lineup tools, new Team Sync platform, Lineup Optimizer, Premium DFS tools and cheat sheets, and much more! Sign Up Now!


James White, New England Patriots

Hahahahaha, look at Justin Carter, hyping up James White for seemingly the 18th year in a row.

But you know what? I'll continue to be in on White in full PPR leagues. His 2021 season was cut short by a hip injury, but in the two full games he played, White averaged 47 receiving yards and 16 rushing yards.

He was on track to be a solid piece in the Patriots' offense, something a healthy White has often been. He had four years in a row with at least 600 all-purpose yards.

And that 2020 season where White saw a drop in his numbers was also the gap year between Tom Brady and Mac Jones. Jones is a more reliable option than [insert whoever was throwing him passes in 2020, I'm not looking this one up, sorry] was.

Per Sharp Football Stats, Jones ranked fifth among qualifying quarterbacks in completion percentage on short passes at 73%. He'll be great for getting the ball out quickly to a pass-catching back like White.

I mean, Brandon Bolden had 405 receiving yards last season, over double his all-time high. As long as he's healthy, we're going to see a vintage James White season in 2022.


Damien Williams, Atlanta Falcons

Cordarrelle Patterson was the surprise of 2021. The converted receiver saw 153 carries as a running back, finishing with 618 yards and six touchdowns. He was also targeted 69 times, finishing with 548 yards and five touchdowns. He quickly displaced Mike Davis as the team's top back.

But that's not to say Atlanta was running Patterson into the ground. Davis still had 138 carries, while Wayne Gallman and Qadree Ollison combined for another 49 carries. And Davis was involved in the passing game too, with 58 targets.

With Davis now with the Ravens, someone else will be filling his role in Atlanta. It's likely to either be Williams or fifth-round rookie Tyler Allgeier, but I'm leaning on Williams because he's not too far removed from his 2019 season when he had 111 carries for 498 yards plus 30 receptions.

After sitting out 2020 due to the pandemic and then having just 56 touches last year in Chicago, Williams is a pretty young 30. His last three seasons saw him average over four yards per carry and if he gets a volume similar to Davis, he'll be able to contribute to your fantasy team any time you're dealing with injury or bye week issues.


Abram Smith, New Orleans Saints

This is our deep, deep guy, as Smith was an undrafted free agent who would need to jump everyone not named Alvin Kamara in the Saints backfield to have value.

But before we even talk about Smith's strengths and weaknesses, let's talk about how moving up this depth chart might not be too hard.

Smith would definitely be in the "thunder" role in this backfield, with Kamara in the "lightning" role. Mark Ingram II currently has that role, but I'm really not sure how much to trust a 32-year-old Ingram.

He had a couple of 1,000-yard seasons with the Saints last decade and then one with the Ravens in 2019, but in 2020, he had just 299 yards and was a healthy scratch at times for Baltimore, and then played for the Texans and Saints last year, combining for 554 yards. He averaged 37.1 yards per game after moving to New Orleans, with 3.8 yards per carry, the lowest mark of his career.

With now running backs age, Ingram isn't a lock to see the field as the complement to Kamara.

The other backs currently on the roster are Smith plus Tony Jones Jr., Dwayne Washington, and Devine Ozigbo.

So, why do I like Smith out of those?

It's pretty simple: because I know I don't like the others.

Hear me out. No one should say that Devine Ozigbo is a deep sleeper. We've seen enough of Ozigbo to know he isn't leaping up a depth chart and stealing Mark Ingram's job.

For someone to be this level of deep sleeper, we almost have to know very little about them at the NFL level. Picking a guy who is this low in the rankings will rarely work out, but it has a better chance of working if that guy hasn't demonstrated that he can't be a good NFL player. Makes sense? Maybe?

Anyway, Smith only had one real year of production at Baylor, but he ran for 1,601 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. It took him a while to develop, but he showed some good vision and was a hard runner between the tackles.

He'll surprise you with his ability to evade defenders while running north-south. I know this is probably more of a dynasty play than it is a redraft play, but Smith could be putting up solid numbers by midseason.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!

Win Big With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts


Shi Smith7 mins ago

Raheem Blackshear, Shi Smith Competing For Punt-Return Job
DeAndre Hopkins12 mins ago

May Have To Take Pay Cut To Play For Contender
Dalton Kincaid25 mins ago

Bills Unclear What Dalton Kincaid's Role Is
Jose Trevino33 mins ago

Yankees Reinstate Jose Trevino From Injured List
Max Muncy43 mins ago

Back In Lineup Tuesday
Michael Carter49 mins ago

Could Bounce Back In 2023
Jake Marisnick51 mins ago

Tigers Trade For Jake Marisnick Tuesday
Breece Hall53 mins ago

Might Not Be Ready For The Start Of Training Camp
Baker Mayfield59 mins ago

Kyle Trask Splitting First-Team Reps This Offseason
David Villar1 hour ago

Sent To Triple-A On Tuesday
Chuba Hubbard1 hour ago

Could Serve As Carolina's Short-Yardage RB
Harrison Bader1 hour ago

Heading To The Injured List
Brock Purdy1 hour ago

Expected To Be Ready By The Start Of The Season
Alex Call1 hour ago

Getting A Rest Tuesday
Justin Jefferson1 hour ago

Not At OTAs
Miguel Vargas1 hour ago

Absent On Tuesday
Josh Rojas1 hour ago

Out Of Tuesday's Lineup
A.J. Smith-Shawver2 hours ago

Braves Promote A.J. Smith-Shawver On Tuesday
Riley Greene2 hours ago

Leaves Tuesday's Contest With A Leg Issue
Derrick White4 hours ago

Will Undergo MRI For His Leg On Tuesday
Robert Williams4 hours ago

III Was Battling A Stomach Virus During Game 7
Owen Miller4 hours ago

Returning On Tuesday
A.J. Puk4 hours ago

To Begin Rehab Assignment On Thursday
Malcolm Brogdon4 hours ago

Will Consider Surgery This Offseason
Phoenix Suns4 hours ago

Suns Narrow Coaching List To Three Candidates
Kevin Kiermaier5 hours ago

Remains Out On Tuesday
Tyler Herro5 hours ago

Targeting Game 3 To Return To The Floor
Golden State Warriors5 hours ago

President And General Manager Bob Myers Steps Down From Golden State
Aaron Civale5 hours ago

To Return On Friday
Alec Bohm5 hours ago

Returning On Tuesday
Carson Hocevar5 hours ago

To Make Cup Series Debut At Gateway This Weekend
Seamus Power5 hours ago

Hit The Wall At PGA Championship
Brent Rooker5 hours ago

Remains Out Of The Lineup
Garrick Higgo5 hours ago

Might Have Hands Full In Ohio This Week
Denny McCarthy5 hours ago

Expects Rebound At The Memorial
Sahith Theegala5 hours ago

Primed For The Memorial
Sam Burns5 hours ago

Attempts To Keep Rolling At The Memorial
Chase Elliott5 hours ago

Suspended; Corey LaJoie To Replace Him At Gateway
Tarik Skubal5 hours ago

Could Begin Rehab Assignment Soon
Jon Rahm5 hours ago

A Favorite To Win At The Memorial
Matt Manning6 hours ago

Throws Bullpen Tuesday
Gavin Stone6 hours ago

Dodgers Option Gavin Stone To Triple-A
Jesse Winker6 hours ago

Placed On 10-Day Injured List
Harrison Bader6 hours ago

Could Land On Injured List
Washington Commanders8 hours ago

Andrew Norwell Placed On PUP List
Jordan Addison8 hours ago

Not Participating At OTAs
Calvin Ridley9 hours ago

To Remain Limited Until Training Camp
Ty Gibbs9 hours ago

Runs 900 Miles Around Charlotte
NASCAR9 hours ago

Bubba Wallace Scores Fourth Top-Five Finish
William Byron9 hours ago

Comes Up Short At Charlotte
Ryan Blaney9 hours ago

Scores Eighth Career Victory
DeAndre Hopkins10 hours ago

Ravens To Consider Adding DeAndre Hopkins?
Evan Engram11 hours ago

Absent From OTAs
Saquon Barkley11 hours ago

Remains Explosive Despite Injuries
Adin Hill11 hours ago

Shuts Out Stars In Game 6
Derrick Henry11 hours ago

Not Declining Just Yet
Josh Allen11 hours ago

Among The Best Big-Play Producers
Reilly Smith12 hours ago

Hands Out Two Assists In Game 6 Victory
Dalvin Cook12 hours ago

Remains Explosive
William Karlsson12 hours ago

Tallies Three Points As Vegas Eliminates Dallas
Derrick White12 hours ago

Contributes 18 Points In Game 7
Detroit Lions12 hours ago

Tracy Walker Limited At OTAs
Jaylen Brown12 hours ago

Has Eight Turnovers In Game 7
Jayson Tatum12 hours ago

Held Back By Injury In Game 7
Kyle Lowry12 hours ago

Makes Big Impact In Game 7
Bam Adebayo12 hours ago

Very Effective In Game 7 Despite Poor Shooting
Caleb Martin13 hours ago

Makes History With Another Productive Outing
Jimmy Butler13 hours ago

Leads Miami Into The NBA Finals
Christian McCaffrey1 day ago

"Excited" About Season Ahead
Los Angeles Clippers1 day ago

Tyronn Lue Expected To Remain With Clippers
Philadelphia 76ers1 day ago

Nick Nurse To Become 76ers Head Coach
Zach LaVine1 day ago

Could Leave Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks1 day ago

Bucks Hire Adrian Griffin As Head Coach
Kyrie Irving1 day ago

Mavericks Not Interested In Kyrie Irving Sign-And-Trade
Malcolm Brogdon1 day ago

Expected To Play In Game 7
Derek Carr1 day ago

Jon Gruden Helping Saints, Derek Carr Install Offense
Jordan Poole2 days ago

Warriors To Cut Costs By Trading Jordan Poole?
Lonzo Ball2 days ago

Bulls "Privately" Believe Lonzo Ball's Career Is Over
Jonathan Marchessault2 days ago

Posts Two Assists Saturday Night
Thomas Harley2 days ago

Tallies Two Assists In Game 6 Win
Ty Dellandrea2 days ago

Keeps Dallas Alive With Late Goals
Chase Elliott3 days ago

Believes He’s Got A Good Shot To Win Coca-Cola 600
Alex Bowman3 days ago

Facing Uphill Battle In Coca-Cola 600 Return
Ryan Preece3 days ago

Hopeful To Start Putting Pieces Together For Good Runs
Corey Lajoie3 days ago

Looking To Continue Career-Best Season At Charlotte
NASCAR3 days ago

Bubba Wallace Hoping For First-Ever Top 10 Finish At Charlotte
AJ Allmendinger3 days ago

A DFS Sleeper Pick For The Coca-Cola 600
Jimmie Johnson3 days ago

Doesn't Feel Prepared For Coca-Cola 600
Zane Smith3 days ago

Hoping To Learn & Get Better At Charlotte
Todd Gilliland3 days ago

Facing Significant Equipment Downgrade At Charlotte
Austin Dillon3 days ago

Could Be Place Differential King At Charlotte
Erik Jones3 days ago

Could Be Good Early At Charlotte
Daniel Suarez3 days ago

Has Upside At Coca-Cola 600
Aric Almirola3 days ago

Stuck In Middle Of The Pack For Charlotte
Chase Briscoe3 days ago

Tries To Turn Back Clock At Charlotte
Ty Gibbs3 days ago

Could Provide DFS Value At Charlotte
Jack Eichel5 days ago

Keeps The Assists Coming
William Karlsson5 days ago

Matches Vegas Record With Eighth Postseason Goal
Miro Heiskanen5 days ago

Delivers Two Power-Play Assists
Jason Robertson5 days ago

Scores Two Goals In Game 4 Victory
Joe Pavelski5 days ago

Scores Overtime Winner In Game 4
Jake Oettinger5 days ago

The Confirmed Starter For Game 4
Evgenii Dadonov5 days ago

Will Be Out Of The Lineup For Dallas
Adin Hill5 days ago

Will Mind The Vegas Crease In Game 4
Jamie Benn6 days ago

Suspended For Two Games
Sergei Bobrovsky6 days ago

Remains Sharp In Series-Clincher
Aleksander Barkov6 days ago

Hands Out Two Assists In Game 4 Victory
Matthew Tkachuk6 days ago

Late Goal Sends Panthers To Stanley Cup Final