Fantasy Football Nerd

Top 5 Running Back Sleepers (PPR)

Posted: Saturday, July 28, 2018


By the time you get to the 10th round or later, you'll be looking for upside. In PPR leagues where pass-catching running backs are a premium, here are five guys to target in those later rounds.

Top 5 Running Back Sleepers (PPR)

1. James White, New England Patriots

Over the past several years, the Patriots backfield has always been a shooting gallery for which back was going to be productive and when. It would seem reasonable to expect Rex Burkhead and newcomer Sony Michel to compete for early-down touches, but third-down passing work will likely belong to James White. He's projected to haul in 49 catches for 395 yards and 3 receiving scores making his 14th-round ADP an incredible value. That assumes that he regresses from the past two seasons where he has averaged 58 receptions and 490 yards. The Wisconsin product belongs in the discussion as one of the best 3rd-down backs in the NFL.

2. Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions

Take a look at our running back projections and click on the Rec column to sort by projected receptions. You'll find Theo Riddick ranked inside our Top 12 overall in anticipated receptions. Detroit was the 10th-highest passing offense last year throwing 570 times. There are a few mouths to feed here including Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, and Kenny Golladay, but with Eric Ebron's departure, some of those targets will get distributed elsewhere. Even with the arrival of Kerryon Johnson, we would anticipate Riddick's role as a pass-catching back to continue. While he's not on the radar in standard scoring leagues, Theo Riddick's ADP in PPR has him going in the early 13th round - fantastic value for that spot.

3. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers

Looking at the throwing numbers for the Pack in 2017 is a bit misleading as Aaron Rodgers missed significant time and backup QB Brett Hundley left a lot to be desired. Green Bay will improve on their 14th-place in throwing attempts and 25th-place in passing yards with Rodgers back under center. Although Montgomery won't be the running back workhorse that many thought he would be last season, he is still projected for 40 catches, 313 yards, and 2 receiving scores. His late 9th/early 10th round ADP means that he's not as much of a value as Riddick above, but he's part of one of the most prolific passing offenses in the NFL (with a healthy Rodgers) and makes for a fine RB4 on your fantasy team.

4. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

The lead role in Cincy belongs to Joe Mixon, but with an estimated 90 carries, Bernard will be more involved in the overall running game than the other guys that we're highlighting on this list. Bernard is currently going in the 11th round and is projected for 38 catches, 324 yards, and 1 receiving score.

5. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles

You won't find Darren Sproles on our ADP list and he missed most of last year with a torn ACL, but with 2018 being his last NFL season, you could still take a flier on him as one of your last picks. He's projected for 33 receptions, 271 yards, and 1 receiving touchdown in a backfield where Jay Ajayi is the team's leading back and Corey Clement is expected to take on a bigger role. That being said, Sproles is a known quantity. He has finished as an RB3 in PPR formats in five of the past six seasons.

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