The Duel

Potential Running Back Sleepers for the 2019 Fantasy Football Season

Dan Israeli
NFL Combine - Day 2
NFL Combine - Day 2 / Joe Robbins/Getty Images
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After fantasy football shifted to a more wide receiver dominant game over the past 10 years, the pendulum appears to be swinging back to running backs as we prepare for the 2019 fantasy football season.

Running backs account for 12 of the top 20 picks, according to average draft position (ADP). While there are many attractive options toward the top of drafts, that just means every owner will be targeting them. In addition, the elite tier of wide receivers will also start flying off the board in late round one, all the way through rounds two and three.

As a result, while it will be key to grab at least one top RB early in drafts, you'll still need to queue up those potential sleeper picks. The following three players are all outside of the top 25 at RB, according to ADP, but offer upside for much more this fantasy season.

3. Damien Harris, New England Patriots (ADP: RB44)

One name starting to generate some serious buzz is New England's Damien Harris, a third-round pick out of Alabama. Harris, who outrushed Josh Jacobs on the Crimson Tide last season, is turning heads in camp due to his three-down back potential. While New England likes to employ several backs, starter Sony Michel is currently nursing a knee injury. James White will always have a role, but Harris' emergence could mean bad news for Rex Burkhead's roster spot. If that's the case, Harris may only be a Michel injury away from a prominent role this season, as an early-down/goal line back with pass-catching chops to boot.

2. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (ADP: RB33)

Miles Sanders is quickly becoming everyone's favorite sleeper, as the Eagles' rookie is having an impressive camp. While Jordan Howard is dominating first-team reps, Sanders can still carve out a solid role to begin the season, with upside for more if Howard falters in his first year with the Eagles. Sanders took over the reigns from Saquon Barkley at Penn State last year, finishing with 1,279 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He may have more upside than any rookie RB not named Josh Jacobs heading into the 2019 season, playing behind one of the best offensive lines in football.

1. Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins (ADP: RB28)

The Washington Redskins are entering a transitional year, as rookie QB Dwayne Haskins will battle with veteran Case Keenum for the starting job. While Haskins could eventually be named the starter, there may also be a changing of the guard at the running back position. Adrian Peterson is the projected starter, but is 34 years old with a lot of miles on his legs. Enter second-year RB Derrius Guice, who missed his entire rookie season due to a torn ACL. Guice suffered the injury during the 2018 preseason, so he's fully expected to be ready for Week 1. He offers tremendous upside playing behind the vet in AP and should still get plenty of burn in a potential committee, especially with the Redskins being projected to run a ton in 2019.


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