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Three Sleeper RB’s to Keep an eye on This Fantasy Season

Have an open roster spot?

Looking for some depth on your roster?

Want a good handcuff?

→ Check out how these three RB’s may be able to help you round out your roster this fantasy season as well as getting some potential steals in your draft!

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Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions

Ameer Abdullah played just two games last season, due to a devastating injury in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans. Before he went down, he was looking like an absolute breakout candidate. This season, he makes for a great post-hype candidate. He may have only had two appearances in 2016, but he still has the potential to have the feature back role this year. Abdullah is quite shifty, and his game isn’t merely one-dimensional. He also thrives in the passing game. You could even say that catching it out of the backfield is one of his specialties, but the only problem with that is, Theo Riddick, his teammate, tends to be known for excelling at that even more. Riddick and Zenner are still going to be there, cutting into Abdullah’s workload, Riddick as the pass-catching back, and Zenner functioning primarily as the goal line back. He just had 18 rushing attempts last season due to injury. His YPC increased from 4.2 to 5.6 from 2015 to 2016, but we have to recognize that with the 2016 season, we are analyzing just a 2-game sample size (per Pro-Football-Reference). But, can Ameer Abdullah increase his efficiency even more this season? More importantly, can he avoid the injury bug?

 

Chris Keane/Associated Press

 

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Martin will be missing the first three weeks of the 2017 NFL season due to suspension. Now, you might instantly see that as a red flag. In addition, his 2016 production might also scare you. He was not even able to hit 500 yards rushing last season, not to mention that he was averaging under 3 yards per carry. But, the following season, in 2015, Martin had a YPC of 4.9, which was pretty impressive, while racking up a total of 1402 yards on the ground that season (per Pro-Football-Reference). Now, this is a pretty drastic YPC drop from 4.9 to 2.9, but you have to consider that he had just half the rushing attempts in 2016, compared to 2015. Yes, he won’t be available for you to start in your lineup until Week 4, but he may be worth a late round pick due to the potential upside that he carries. He’s been a stud at the feature back role before, but the question is whether he can get back to that 2015 form. Martin can be seen as a value pick, especially near the end of your draft.

 

Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

 

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Now, from a glance, Derrick Henry is arguably the best handcuff RB to own this season on your fantasy team. If Murray gets injured, it would seem inevitable for Henry to thrive with the workload and become an RB1. However, even with Henry currently playing 2nd fiddle to Murray, Henry is already poised to cut more into Murray’s workload. The Titans’ offense heavily features the ground game, and they have made it clear that they want to continually involve Henry. He had 110 rushing attempts last season and racked up 490 total rushing yards (per Pro-Football-Reference). He was also a threat in the passing game, but that seemed to be more of an emphasis with Murray, in how the Titans are utilizing him in the offense. If you draft Murray, I would not hesitate on drafting Henry along with him. Murray is still the lead back, but we will still have to see just exactly how much more the Titans want to work Henry into the offense.

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Caprio Michel

Follow me on Twitter @caps_michael

 

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