2012 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Running back

by Cory J. Bonini on August 27, 2012 @ 13:50:40 PDT

 

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Undervalued

Darren McFadden | Oakland Raiders | ADP: 11th overall

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
1782187969464636423203740248

DMC never returned after playing in seven games last year due to a Lisfranc foot injury. It did not require surgery, and he is said to be 100 percent healthy at this point.

The even better news is that new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp brings the zone-blocking system back to the Bay Area, and McFadden will excel. A full offseason should do wonders for quarterback Carson Palmer's handling of the offense, which also means defenders cannot focus so much on McFadden.

He is a versatile weapon and should be a top-five point producer if he can remain on the field. His 11th overall average draft position is a product of people forgetting how good he was last year before the injury and their fear of yet another ailment. Draft him in the first round once the surefire backs are off the board. Timid owners that cannot forget the past rarely win championships!

Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders
DMC will turn heads in 2012

Beanie Wells | Arizona Cardinals | ADP: 4th round

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Everyone seems to be worried about Wells coming off yet another knee surgery, which was actually very minor, and the return of Ryan Williams from his own knee injury. Truth be told, Williams won't produce quality fantasy numbers until late in the season, if at all, just based on the nature of how extensive his rehabilitation process has been. A torn patella tendon recovery makes an ACL rehab look like a walk in the park, more often than not.

Arizona should be more competent at quarterback this year, regardless of which quarterback starts. They bolstered their passing game and should find running lanes to become more apparent. Their schedule is rather friendly to the running back position, as well.

Wells can be had as an RB3 with a strong chance of producing high-end No. 2 statistics.

Daniel Thomas | Miami Dolphins | ADP: 10th round

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
387814529513915621040114

Thomas' rookie season didn't quite go as he had hoped it would, but that isn't a reason to be down on him. Miami will return to a more conventional offensive approach in 2012; the coaching staff should know by now that even though Reggie Bush had a career year last season, he is by no means a lock to repeat or even hold up for more than a handful of games.

Thomas should see considerable touches and plenty of chances to succeed. While we have tempered expectations for him, he can still be a useful back that is too often overlooked in fantasy circles. Look to land him as a fourth back. His best worth comes in standard-scoring structures.

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Fantasy football sleepers: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT

 

About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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