- Here’s a look at three running back sleepers for the 2022 Fantasy Football season
- Khalil Herbert, Brian Robinson, and Rachaad White all pose fantasy value
- Read below for the top running back sleepers heading into the 2022 NFL season
It’s easy to draft Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffery, and Austin Ekeler in the first round, but what about when you’re looking for a running back sleeper to take a chance on in the late rounds? That’s why you have us! Here’s a way too early look at the top running back sleepers heading into the 2022 Fantasy Football season.
The Top Running Back Sleeper For the 2022 Fantasy Football Season
Khalil Herbert (RB) – Bears
- ADP: Round 13-14 RB: 58
Now, a sleeper is a sleeper for that reason. Something unexpected has to happen for the value to explode. I think that’s what we have here in Khalil Herbert on the Chicago Bears.
With the new coaching in place, the Chicago Bears are expected to transition to a run-heavy offense targeted toward an outside zone scheme, according to Adam Jahns. Matt Eberflus brought over Luke Getsy to implement a more run-heavy offensive scheme. Just so happens, that when the Bears had success on the ground, Justin Fields played his best games of the season. Shocker, right?
Coming over from Green Bay, Getsy’s wide zone system is run-heavy. Khalil Herbert fits this type of offense to a tee.
2. While Getsy's system should help David Montgomery, I've said a few times it's a perfect fit for Khalil Herbert.
There are two reasons for this.
A. His excellent vision
B. His acceleration through the hole
— Erik Lambert (@ErikLambert1) May 29, 2022
Montgomery missed a few games last season, and Khalil Herbert made the most of his opportunities. He was PFF’s fourth-highest-graded rusher from Weeks 5-8 when Montgomery was out. Herbert averaged 4.4 YPC over that stretch, including a 100-yard rushing performance against the number one ranked rushing defense last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, Montgomery averaged 3.8 YPC for the season and surpassed 80+ rushing yards in just three of his 13 games.
If things go in Herbert’s favor, his value will definitely exceed RB58.
Can the Buccaneers Backfield Churn Out a Sleeper?
Rachaad White (RB) – Buccaneers
- ADP: Rounds 13-14 RB: 50
Rachaad White ended up in a great situation to develop in his rookie season. Drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round, White joins a backfield with a lack of long-term running back depth making him a perfect target as a Fantasy Football sleeper heading into the 2022 season.
The Bucs lost Ronald Jones II in free agency, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn has not panned out. That leaves Leonard Fournette, who had a great year last season with +1,250 all-purpose yards. However, White provides massive upside if Fournette goes down with an injury or continues to struggle with his weight.
"I just want to be the best at my position. I want to be the best player on the field and just go hard at everything I do."
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) June 28, 2022
Rachaad White is Tom Brady’s dream running back. A high-caliber pass catcher with the ability to be a three-down back. At Arizona State, he was first in his draft class in receiving yards, first in yards per route, and second in receptions. He had a 16 percent target share at Arizona State, which is big-time volume for a college back.
Rachaad White performed well at the NFL Draft Combine, posting a 4.48 40-yard dash and 38-inch vertical jump. Numbers that compare to Breece Hall’s combine performance. If Rachaad White turns into James White for Tom Brady, he’ll be a huge factor for many Fantasy Football owners.
White is listed at +5000 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at Caesars Sportsbook heading into the 2022 NFL season.
Don’t Turn Your Back on Alabama Running Backs
Brian Robinson (RB) – Commanders
- ADP: Rounds 16-17 RB: 64
With the Washington Commanders’ offense looking to lighten Antonio Gibson’s role in the offense, this could pave way for Brian Robinson to be fantasy relevant. Robinson certainly doesn’t have that WOW factor that some rookie RBs have, but he did produce at Alabama as a top-tier college back. Gibson is one of my RBs to avoid this season, which is why we have him positioned outside the top 20 in our running back rankings.
Last season, Robinson was fourth in missed tackles and eighth in 10+ yard runs. The Alabama product is a guy that can immediately step in and take away some of Gibson’s red zone productivity. Moreover, Gibson fumbled the ball a ton last season, so if that trend continues Robinson could be in for a much bigger workload.
Robinson falls closer to the fantasy football running back super sleeper category with this cluttered backfield. However, I think he provides the most upside considering his current ADP. Look for Robinson in the later rounds to stash on your bench or even as a handcuff to Antonio Gibson.