Miles Sanders Fantasy Outlook & Injury Update 2022 (Temper Expectations in Crowded Backfield)
The 2021 campaign was a step back for Miles Sanders. After finishing as RB23 in PPR scoring during the 2020 season, Sanders checked in at an underwhelming RB45 rank last year.
Injuries once again hurt his chances at taking over as the clear lead back in Philadelphia, allowing rookie Kenneth Gainwell and veteran Boston Scott to see a healthy amount of touches. With Gainwell emerging as a potential breakout candidate at training camp, it's no surprise to see Sanders' average draft position (ADP) pegging him as a middle-round target due to the competition.
Miles Sanders Fantasy Football Outlook
Sanders' numbers took a dip across the board in 2021 compared to the year prior. He recorded just 137 carries, which he turned into 754 yards and a whopping zero touchdowns. His involvement as receiver lessened with Gainwell coming in as a pass-catching specialist as well, going from 52 targets in 2020 to just 34 last season.
Sanders also saw only 28.0% of the team's red zone carries in 2021 after handling 58.1% of the load in 2020, which clearly affected his TD production.
Sanders' use in the Eagles' offense has always been a major hurdle in him rising to fantasy star status, and it appears those worries aren't going away. Gainwell's showing at training camp so far has made it clear he'll challenge the veteran for touches, and Scott continues to be a threat to siphon away opportunities.
It's certainly a plus for Sanders to enter the year as the likely RB1 on the team that posted the second-most rushing attempts in 2021. However, the offense could shift following the major addition of star wide receiver A.J. Brown, meaning there may be less touches and more competition in the backfield this season.
Miles Sanders Injury Update
A lower-body injury caused Sanders to miss time once again last season. He was sidelined for three games due to an ankle sprain midway through the 2021 campaign; Sanders also missed the final two contests of the season due to a broken hand.
This has been a trend for the running back to start his career. He missed four total games in 2020 as the result of hamstring and knee sprains. His inability to stay healthy has held him back from solidifying himself as the Eagles' work-horse back.
Miles Sanders Projections
NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook project a potential bounce-back year for the RB. His rushing yard total sits at 850.5, and he's clearly favored to hit the over (-142) rather than go under (+112) that mark. Sanders has surpassed over 850 rushing yards once in three seasons, posting a career-high 867 yards in 2020.
Is Miles Sanders a Good Fantasy Football Pick?
When it comes down to it, is Sanders someone to target in the middle rounds? Maybe, if you're desperate. His rushing attempts and receiving targets have declined in each of his first three seasons, which is an incredibly concerning sign for someone whose ADP is No. 68 overall.
Gainwell -- who comes in at 159 overall in ADP -- presents upside as a pass-catching back that could also steal some of the rushing share, especially if Sanders' injury-prone history returns in 2022.
If you've drafted Sanders this year, make sure to check out the best Philadelphia Eagles fantasy football team names for your squad.
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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.