The NFL season is upon us, and that also means that Fantasy Football season is finally here. Fantasy fans are now scrambling to get their draft order together as they prepare for their league’s fantasy drafts.
Running back has become a less and less valued position over the last couple of years for many reasons. In fantasy, though, it can never be devalued as running back is one of the most valuable positions if not, the most valuable position in fantasy in general. It’s hard to find sleeper running backs like Josh Jacobs who could light up a season for a team and it’s risky sometimes taking a rookie running back cause it’s risky to believe they will make a Saquon Barkley-type impact.
Nevertheless, here are some fantasy running backs who are worth the risk of taking with a mid to late-round pick in your fantasy draft.
Three Fantasy Running Backs You Should Target
Mattison has been with the Minnesota Vikings for the past four years, as he was drafted in the third round 102nd overall in the 2019 NFL draft. Since then, he’s been only known for being Dalvin Cook‘s backup running back as Cook was always ahead of him in the depth chart. This year is much different for Mattison as Cook was released by the Vikings this past off-season and now Mattison is the number-one back on top of the depth chart.
The Vikings offense will always be explosive as it is led by Kirk Cousins, now in his sixth season as the Vikings quarterback. They have arguably the top wide receiver in the league in Justin Jefferson with a top-five tight end in T.J. Hockenson, along with a solid offensive line. So, the Vikings offense is hard to figure out to defend as there are so many pieces to try to stop, so it’ll be easy for Mattison to be able to make more of an impact with defensive coordinators more focused on other players within the Vikings offense.
Mattison is like another version of Cook, so he’ll fit into the Vikings offense easily.
In Mattison’s career, he has a total of 1,670 rushing yards, with 11 rushing touchdowns.
Stevenson came to fruition in the 2022 season when he took more action as the lead back in the New England Patriots offense. Stevenson managed to rush for 1,040 yards and collected five touchdowns for 210 rushes. He faired well in an offense led by Matt Patricia, now Bill O’Brien is back at the helm as Patriots offensive coordinator. So, it’ll be interesting to see how he utilizes the run game with now Stevenson as the featured lead back.
With Damien Harris on the Buffalo Bills, only Ty Montgomery, Pierre Strong, Jr., and Kevin Harris are the running backs on the Patriots depth chart that will command touches. Montgomery will likely be used more in passing/third-down situations.
It’s to be determined if the Patriots will sign a veteran running back like Dalvin Cook or Ezekiel Elliott. But if not and they choose to roll with Stevenson as the lead back, then he should be on top fantasy owners running back charts.
Sanders signed with the Carolina Panthers after having a career year with the Philadelphia Eagles last season as they went on their Super Bowl run. He managed to be the fifth leading rusher with 1,269 yards and rushing for 11 touchdowns.
As he is now with the Panthers, he will receive a huge chunk of touches as he will be asked to help first-overall pick rookie quarterback Bryce Young make a smooth transition into the NFL. It is a new scenery for Sanders since he is coming from a whole other offense which was the “fly Eagles fly” offense with Jalen Hurts under center. But, if he still is the same running back that we saw in Philadelphia, then he’s worth a shot at taking.
Injuries are still a concern, but last year he played in all 17 regular season games and the whole postseason.
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