Fantasy Football Draft 2014: Running Back Sleepers
Taking a Look at the Top RB Sleepers in the 2014 Fantasy Draft
August 11, 2014
We’re knee-deep in fantasy football draft season, which means it’s time to start breaking down the best prospects at each position. Today, it’s time to examine a few fantasy sleepers, and we’ll start things off at the running back position.
RB is always a tricky spot to nail down, so there’s a lot of speculation in involved. Luckily, there are a few notable sleeper prospects down in the rankings a little bit, so let’s take a closer look at the numbers and see what we can determine about them.
Travaris Cadet, RB, New Orleans Saints: There’s a healthy bit of buzz surrounding Cadet, but most fantasy owners are still unaware of him. With the departure of dynamic RB Darren Sproles, someone’s got to step up and fill that void. Some are speculating that player could be Cadet.
The two-year vet has earned some rave reviews in training camp and should be up for an expanded role this year. He’s a late-round speculation pickup, but could pan out well.
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Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Many have been predicting the downfall of Frank Gore for quite some time, but it hasn’t quite happened yet. Still, his carries will likely erode once again this year, and the beneficiary of that will be Hyde. He posted five rushes for 39 yards in his preseason debut and has the talent to carry a heavy load this season.
Gore will be the workhorse in 2014, of course, but Hyde should factor in for his share of carries as well. If something happens to Gore, he could be in for an even bigger role.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: The RB situation in Pittsburgh is beginning to concern us a little bit as it relates to fantasy. We like Le’Veon Bell quite a bit, but in the past several weeks there have been lots of indications that he’ll be coughing up some of his workload to Blount.
We could see the Steelers relying on more of a “mix-and-match” approach as opposed to Bell getting the lion’s share of the carries, which is good news for those owners targeting Blount as a sleeper pickup. He’ll also get some short-yardage and goal-line carries, which boosts his value significantly.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Miami Dolphins: With Moreno’s knee issues this off-season (he had arthroscopic surgery last month), he’s been downgraded on most fantasy owners’ rankings. Assuming he can come back at 100 percent, there’s no reason to avoid him in your draft, however.
Moreno was originally slated to start when the team picked him up this off-season, and he’ll likely at least be threatening Lamar Miller for the No. 1 slot. Getting a top back as your No. 3 or 4 RB on your fantasy team doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills: With all the attention focused on C.J. Spiller up in Buffalo, you might be able to sneak Fred Jackson out of your draft at a bargain-basement price. The two backs are expected to share the vast majority of the carries for the Bills, with No. 3 RB Bryce Brown seemingly getting the short end of the stick.
As for Jackson, he looks like he’s still got plenty of burst and should get lots of touches he’ll make the most of. He posted a nice 4.3 YPC average last year, and if he can get close to that again he’ll pay off nicely.
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