10 Sleeper Running Back Candidates

Fantasy football is all about having an inside edge, and finding a sneaky sleeper or a breakout player that no one else in your league can identify. Of course, this is easier said than done. With every site online, from your fantasy league host site to Rotowire offering sleeper candidates and late round pickup ideas, it’s hard to find something that your friends and opponents haven’t already picked up on. But, in the spirit of trying, here’s a look at 10 RB sleeper candidates outside of the obvious picks of Giovanni Bernard and Eddie Lacy.

1. Maurice Jones-Drew
I know, I know… MJD can’t possibly be called a “sleeper.” But look me in the eye and tell me you were considering him 1st round. The bottom line is, this guy can play, and he’s healthy, and he’s in a contract year. Betfair lists him in the top 10 best odds to lead the league in rushing, a feat he’s accomplished before. MJD is an RB1.

2. Daryl Richardson
Lost in the Steven Jackson fantasy hype is the fact that his St. Louis replacement, Richardson, is primed for a big year. He’s not an RB1, but don’t overlook him.

3. Lamar Miller
Miller is being largely overlooked, but in replacing Reggie Bush as Miami’s main back, he’s in line for a significant production bump.

4. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Uh, everybody? Green-Ellis is still the starter in Cincy. Gio Bernard is deserving of the hype, but don’t overlook a starting RB option!

5. Shane Vereen
Stevan Ridley is perhaps a bit over-hyped this year, following his 2012 breakout. The Pats will likely lean on Vereen at times as well. Plus, he doesn’t have Danny Woodhead around to take touches from him anymore.

6. DeAngelo Williams
Jonathan Stewart is hurt, and D-Willy will finally get to be an RB by himself this season. Sure, Mike Tolbert will vulture some TDs, and Cam Newton is the Panthers’ best runner – but look for better fantasy numbers from Williams.

7. Jonathan Dwyer
The Steelers are remarkably unsolved in the backfield, but Dwyer figures to have a strong shot at ending up as “the guy.”

8. Vick Ballard
Keep an eye on Ballard as a bench option. He’ll be backing up Ahmad Bradshaw in Indy, but Bradshaw can be fragile, and Ballard is capable of being a #1 back.

9. Danny Woodhead
Looking for a fresh start in San Diego, Woodhead will likely get a chance to shine backing up the generally disappointing Ryan Matthews.

10. LaMichael James
If Frank Gore stumbles in San Francisco, LaMichael James has the pedigree to get a shot at stealing the RB1 job. It’s no guarantee, but he’s a great draft-and-stash candidate.


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