2015 Fantasy Football: Running Back Sleepers
There are always a handful of players that are overlooked each season for whatever reason. Whether it be age, situation, injury or anything else, guys get slept on. In this article we will reveal four guys that you can steal much later than they should be falling. These guys will far outplay their current ADP.
Joique Bell, DET (89.72)
Bell completed 2014 as the fantasy RB14. This season he’s barely even being considered as a flex option. His absence from camp has damaged his stock, and drafting Ameer Abdullah has caused some fantasy owners to slide Bell down their board. Nonetheless, Bell did manage to total 1,182 yards from scrimmage and eight TDs, amd he also added 34 receptions in just 15 games. Watch for him to build off last year’s performance and top last year’s production.
He was extremely productive at the end of last season when fantasy owners relied on him most. He played like a star from Thanksgiving through the fantasy playoffs. He averaged 107.5 yards, scored five TDs and caught 13 passes in four vital games. Bell can be slammed between the tackles and utilized on the goal line. The veteran is also a very good pass-catcher, though. He has caught 139 passes over the past three seasons. There is little he doesn’t do well. When push comes to shove, the Lions will trust Bell more than Abdullah.
Devonta Freeman, ATL (107.78)
Freeman was a key piece in Florida State’s Championship offense. He had only 173 carries in 2013 and took them for 1,016 yards on 5.9 yards per carry. Despite the lack of touches, he also managed to score 15 touchdowns during his final college season. He also showed he can shine on the brightest stage. The former Seminole took 11 carries for 73 yards and a TD to go along with three catches for 21 yards in the National Championship game victory against Auburn. Freeman also showed off exceptional skills in the passing attack, both as a blocker and route runner.
The Falcons’ projected starter is a very intelligent back and does the minor things well. He’s a patient runner that explodes through the right hole, follows his blockers and can make a defender look silly with a quick step. However, he is not particularly powerful running between the tackles. He’s not a guy you can hand the ball to 300 times but has proven to be a durable back with a compact 5-foot-8, 206-pound frame. His skills in the passing attack are also far superior to fellow Atlanta back Tevin Coleman’s. Freeman is a much better blocker, route runner and has soft hands.
Danny Woodhead, SD (117.90)
After 2014 ended with a broken leg, everybody has since forgotten about the pint-sized Woodhead. He is and will be a superb source of PPR points. In 2013, his first year with the San Diego, Woodhead caught 76 passes, totaled over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and scored eight TDs. Expect an abundance of the same this season. The Chargers’ offense stalled last season without the presence of an elite-level pass-catching back. It was the first time since Philip Rivers became the starter that a RB failed to catch at least 49 passes. Rookie Melvin Gordon’s largest weakness is as a pass-catcher and blocker, which are exactly Woodhead’s greatest strengths.
Chris Ivory, NYJ (91.46)
Ivory is truly flying under the radar this season. He could be a legitimate flex play for the duration of the season. Weeks one and two are particularly alluring. The Jets open up against the Colts who have a horrifically incompetent defensive line. and it only gets better Week 2 when they tangle with the Browns. Cleveland boasts the 32nd ranked rush defense in the league. Not only does Ivory have the sixth-easiest strength of schedule to start the season, he has the ninth-easiest for the whole season. The Jets did add Stevan Ridley this offseason, however, he is presently on the PUP list recovering from a torn ACL. There is a very strong possibility Ridley won’t even be active early on, let alone productive. Ivory is on the rise and fantasy owners are just picking it up now.