2021 Fantasy Sleepers: Running Backs
We are entering home draft season! In my sleeper article 1.0 I talked about players who could potentially rise up and make fantasy impacts. In this article, I’ll go over players who are quickly rising up the boards and will possibly make impacts. Several of these players likely will be in my first waiver wire article so get them now before the price costs you your top waiver! These running backs can help you in the later rounds. We all look for the rookie season Alvin Kamara, could one of these be it?
Chris Evans, Cincinnati Bengals, ADP 295
Joe Mixon has missed 14 games in his 4 seasons with the Bengals. The possibility of the Bengals not giving a full workload is realistic. Enter Chris Evans. In his first preseason game, he had 12 carries for 25 yards and a touchdown. He added 4 catches for 33 yards. In his second preseason game, he had 9 carries for 35 yards. Evans is the ideal 3rd down and passing back for the Bengals, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the Week 1 waiver wire article.
Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs, ADP 240
With the news of Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s ankle injury possibly putting his Week 1 status in question, the big question is which Kansas City running back is the target? Darrel Williams or Jerick McKinnon? McKinnon is more likely to fill in CEH’s receiving role, and being the more valuable of the 2 for fantasy purposes.
Tevin Coleman, New York Jets, ADP 190
Michael Carter has gotten all of the offseason attention as the RB1 for the Jets. However, Tevin Coleman made his preseason debut tonight, and was the first running back on the field, and looked good in the process. He only had 4 carries for 19 yards but should be noted, the Jets' first-round pick Alijah Vera-Tucker was not playing. Carter got later duties and managed 10 carries for 52 yards. It’s a split backfield, but don’t discount Coleman as long as he can remain healthy.
Giovani Bernard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ADP 169
Gio Bernard has left the Bengals and joins the crowded Tampa backfield. Bruce Arians just recently came out and stated Bernard will be a major part of the backfield, which already has Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette. I can see Bernard racking up when all is said and done 40-50 catches this year out of the backfield. Needless to say, it’s a crowded backfield, but Bernard’s receiving upside gives him an advantage.
Javian Hawkins, Atlanta Falcons, ADP 243
Javian Hawkins is one of my favorite sleepers this offseason. Mike Davis is a great play for the Falcons, but he has yet to do it for a full season. Enter Hawkins. Against the Dolphins he had 5 carries for 46 yards. Hawkins will go undrafted all over, but an injury could make him the top waiver wire add in fantasy.
Larry Rountree, Los Angles Chargers, ADP 289
Rountree is a pure speculative add for a backup to Austin Ekeler. If Ekeler were to get hurt, Rountree will be on every waiver wire article. In his first preseason game, Rountree had 8 carries for 63 yards. He is competing with Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelly for the RB2 role. If Ekeler were to get hurt, I can see him splitting opportunities with Justin Jackson.
James White, New England Patriots, ADP 163
While James White is not the fantasy hero he once was, he still maintains the pass-catching upside. Do not be afraid of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, White is the pass-catching back, and Cam Newton is familiar with a pass-catching back, see 1.01. Christian McCaffrey.
Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots, ADP 199
Speaking of New England running backs, the rookie Stevenson has been displaying major upside this preseason. He has shown a burst in his 2 games. In his first preseason game, Stevenson had 10 carries for 127 and a long touchdown run at the end of the game to make it 2 total. In his second preseason game, he had 15 carries for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns again. He may take this backfield over sooner than later.