2017 Draft Day Sleepers: Running Backs

Running Backs

Kareem Hunt

The rookie out of Toledo will need to carve out his spot in what is becoming a crowded backfield in KC. But Andy Reid loves using a multi-back system, and it’s hard to imagine the Kansas City coaches not seeing a place for Hunt after spending a 3rd round pick on him. Spencer Ware, Charcanderick West, and C.J. Spiller will all be options as training camp moves along, but Reid has been ultra-hesitant to commit to Ware or West fully as his top guys — which leads me to believe he doesn’t view them as workhorses. Hunt’s going in the 10th round of most mocks — pretty good value if he emerges as the guy.

Paul Perkins

The Giants should have one of the more explosive offenses in football, and Perkins should be the lead back. As much as Eli Manning is willing to chuck the ball around, the coaching staff (and NYG fans) would be quite pleased if Perkins could dispel some of the passing attempts. He’ll have to improve his catching abilities and he’ll have to prove he can reach the end zone. But if Perkins solidifies himself as the top RB in New York heading into the season, he should be very active.

Derrick Henry

Maybe the Alabama product isn’t that big of a sleeper candidate, but he made the list anyway. While DeMarco Murray’s been the definition of a workhorse running back for years now, one has to have doubts that he’ll continue playing at such a high level — especially when the team has a bruising, young runner in Henry waiting to get more reps.

Henry got more carries as the year went on in 2016, and I’d expect that trend to continue. Tennessee should have a fun offense with playmakers at practically every position. Even if he sees limited carries, Henry should still find enough touches that make him a fantasy value.

Duke Johnson

While all the talk when it comes to a Browns’ running back has centered on Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson has quietly built a nice little resume — especially in PPR formats. The former Miami Hurricane has caught more than 50 passes each of his two seasons in Cleveland.

The Browns should be improved in 2017 and the offense should be more exciting for Cleveland fans than it has been in a while. None of the projections put Johnson in the upper tiers or at a superstar level, but his passing catching capability makes him the best value pick of any of the four running backs on this list.

 

Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.

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Author: Brian Goodwin

An educator for 15 years. I have a passion for sports and a passion for writing about sports. I'm very excited to run this blog and have conversations with people about relevant topics, mostly pertaining to sports but also in all aspects of life.

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