Running Back Sleepers Fantasy Football Week 3: So, It’s Come Lewis

dion lewis derrick henry running back sleepers
RAGE—Goddess, sing the rage of Gridiron’s son Achilles (and ACLs),
murderous, doomed, that cost the NFL countless losses,
hurling down to the House of IR so many sturdy souls,
great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the Dawg Pound and Bird Teams,
and the will of Roj was moving toward its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Football, lord of men and brilliant Achilles (and ACLs).

Well, it’s not quite as dire as the Trojan War, but the first two weeks of the NFL season have left our fantasy football squads obliterated. Luckily, we can help you out with some running back sleepers this week to fill out your team. We promise no Greeks will come out of any of these running back sleepers… okay, maybe Greeks will come pouring out of Nick Mullens. I’m not Cassandra. We have two running back sleepers rostered in fewer than 50% of Yahoo! leagues. For those of you in deep, deep leagues, we always offer a player available in at least 90% of Yahoo! leagues.

Special Running Back Sleepers Option: Joshua Kelley versus Carolina (53% rostered)

Kelley technically doesn’t qualify for this, as he’s rostered in juuuust a bit too many leagues. But, this is me imploring you to go doublecheck that he’s rostered. Honestly, this number shocks me. He’s thirteenth in touches, with 37 in two games, so he has tremendous opportunity. The Panthers are riding a hot streak of sucking against running backs for over a calendar year now. He went for 60 and a score in week one, and over 110 yards in week two. What will week three hold?

Running Back Sleepers Option #1: Mike Davis @ Los Angeles Chargers (43% rostered)

This is a plea to go get Mike Davis for free. I told you to not burn a priority waiver slot or lots of FAAB on him, but I didn’t think that 57% of leagues would ignore him entirely. Go get Mike Davis, he’s the starter for at least three weeks while Christian McCaffrey chills out on IR. This isn’t a good matchup this week, no (third-fewest fantasy points through two weeks after facing Joe Mixon and CEH). And Mike Davis generally isn’t good. But, he gets the Cardinals next week, who allow the sixth-most fantasy points against running backs on the season and the Falcons and their twelfth-most fantasy points to RBs in week five. Call this one a stash for what promises to be darker days ahead, if the first two weeks are any indication.

Running Back Sleepers Option #2: Dion Lewis vs San Francisco (35% rostered)

While everyone ran out and got Devonta Freeman, who practiced with the Giants for the first time on Wednesday, Dion Lewis slipped past the goalie in almost two-thirds of leagues. Then, on Wednesday, Jordan Raanan of ESPN dropped a little bomb: that Dion Lewis is “the best bet to be the Giants’ top running back with Saquon Barkley out for the season.” The Giants will be without some of their best defensive linemen, but Dion Lewis steps into the same situation as Mike Davis, with one-third the hype. He’s not going to be Saquon Barkley, but Mike Davis won’t be CMC, either.

Running Back Sleepers Deep League Option: Jeff Wilson Jr @ New York Giants (9% rostered)

The 49ers’ top-two backs will miss this weekend against the Giants, and Kyle Shanahan will turn to Jerick McKinnon. Luckily for those of us desperate for a player to start this weekend, Shanahan isn’t a one back sort of guy. The 49ers only have three healthy tailbacks under contract (they called up JaMycal Hasty from the practice squad) and Jerick McKinnon is notoriously fragile. And by “notoriously fragile” I mean “has been under contract with the 49ers since before the 2018 season and this is his third game in a 49ers uniform.” The 49ers are wary of the MetLife turf this weekend and that likely changes how much they use McKinnon.

Cue up Jeff Wilson Jr. He doesn’t get a lot of snaps, but he goes deep when he does. He’s played over 40% of snaps three times in his career, and he’s gone over 95 yards in two of those three games.

And hey, the Giants made Benny Snell look good, so stranger things have happened.

Running Back Sleepers Honorable Mentions: Chase Edmonds versus Detroit (39% rostered), Kerryon Johnson at Arizona (37% rostered)


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Beersheets Arizona Cardinals Seattle Seahawks Los Angeles Rams San Francisco 49ers


About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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