Now that we got those pesky RB busts out of the way, we can move onto greener pastures. The RB Sleeper is a gift from the fantasy gods. Want to win a fantasy league? Then snag a deep sleeper. Whether it’s on the backend of the draft or the waiver wire, the sleeper RB can put you over the top. Lets get into the nominees.
LeGarrette Blount (NE) – Depending on when you drafted in 2016, LeGarrette Blount was an intriguing option. Regardless of if it was before or after the Patriots lost their projected top RB, Blount was never ranked higher than the low 30’s at the position. The lack of catches and randomness of a Patriot offense scared many fantasy owners away, but those that drafted Blount with a high bench spot got one of the better backs in all of 2016. Second in carries and first in touchdowns, Blount was a solid RB1 that surprisingly produced on a pretty consistent basis.
Melvin Gordon (SD) – Many refused to draft the San Diego back based off principle. Gordon broke many hearts in 2015 when he never really grabbed the Chargers’ job as feature back and never returned on his 2nd to 3rd round perceived draft value. In 2016, Gordon dropped down the draft board to the mid-to-late 20’s at RB. Once Danny Woodhead went down with an ACL injury, Gordon was forced into carrying the load. This was a very good thing for fantasy owners that enjoyed his 16.1 points/game average on the year which was the fifth best at RB.
Jordan Howard (CHI) – When it comes to a sleeper, my favorite ones are the waiver wire golden gods. Howard was one of these. If you watched Langford early in the year, you knew that the Bears back left a lot to be desired. If you watched Howard spell him then you knew he passed the eye test and would eventually steal away the job. You either snagged Howard on the right week or you had a high waiver once Langford went down. Either way you got the second best rusher in 2016 as far as yards and a guy that averaged over 13 points per game.
The Winner: Considering Gordon was a borderline RB2/FLEX and Blount was a high end backup, Jordan Howard was the only true deep sleeper that made our nomination list. Howard was excellent pounding the rock in 2016, so we expect the Chicago Bears to heavily lean on their #1 next season with a revamped offense.