With fantasy football drafts in their most accelerated week, there are key players going considerably undervalued as panic sets in with injuries mounting early in preseason. Thankfully, the Awesemo Draft Kit and fantasy football projections have all the tools necessary to conquer your draft week, which includes the Draft Wingman, Sleepers/Breakouts/Busts Tool, consensus rankings for every position and scoring format, and more! Just $9.95 using promo code “FANTASYSZN” grants access to all the above and countless other tools to get the ultimate edge in all your drafts leading up to kickoff of the regular season. Turning to the 2021 fantasy football Sleepers Tool for positional leverage in each of your drafts this week, we will look further at the top 3 running backs slipping in drafts based on ADP contrast to their Awesemo draft ranking.
Fantasy Football Sleepers 2021: Top 3 Running Backs
Sony Michel, Los Angeles Rams
Awesemo Rank: 82
Average Draft Position: 192
All it took was a preseason thumb injury to Darrell Henderson Jr for the Rams to trade for Sony Michel. The Awesemo Fantasy Football Sleepers Tool shows how undervalued Michel is, with a Sleeper Score of 110. Although his ADP includes drafts prior to his trade to Los Angeles, Michel is still going about 110 draft positions (192) beneath his Awesemo ranking of 82 overall.
Awesemo’s Fantasy Football Rankings give Michel with an Awesemo rating of 59, which is just ahead of Devante Parker, Kenyan Drake and James Conner (each with a 57 rating). Michel projects for 128.5 season fantasy points and 8.51 fantasy points per game, just 30 points behind the season projection for Henderson (159.28) and merely 2 fewer points per game (10.55). With an ADP of 192 (though likely higher if only looking at drafts since his trade), Michel is being drafted in the vicinity of Damien Williams and Devontae Booker.
Last season Michel ran for 449 yards and one touchdown and added 114 yards receiving and a touchdown in nine games in a congested Patriots backfield. The Rams’ remaining options beyond Michel and Henderson are Xavier Jones and Jake Funk (with Cam Akers on injured reserve), so one has to assume Michel will see a sturdier workload.
Phillip Lindsay, Houston Texans
Awesemo Rank: 67
Average Draft Position: 154.8
The Texans have a new-look backfield itemized with Phillip Lindsay, David Johnson and Mark Ingram II. Awesemo’s Fantasy Football Sleepers Tool projects Lindsay for an 87 Sleeper Score, while his ADP of 154.8 sees him being selected in the company of handcuffs JD Mckissic and Rashaad Penny. With a real draft position of 130.8, Lindsay’s slip in drafts can be attributed to uncertainty about both the Texans and their backfield.
While Lindsay ranks 67th in Awesemo’s rankings, he has an Awesemo Player Rating of 64 and projects for 134.52 season fantasy points. He also projects for 13.66 carries, 1.82 targets and 59.42 yards rushing per game. Johnson’s ADP is nearly five rounds earlier than Lindsay, at 104.3, and he is projected for just over half the fantasy points as his counterpart (85.05).
Lindsay ran for 502 yards and a touchdown in 11 games last year in Denver (plus 28 yards receiving and a touchdown). According to Awesemo’s rankings, Ingram is not even projected in the same stratosphere as either Lindsay or Johnson, making Lindsay an excellent sleeper running back between Rounds 6 and 8.
Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens
Awesemo Rank: 102
Average Draft Position: 192
The avalanche of preseason injuries continues, as JK Dobbins will undergo season-ending knee surgery. Awesemo’s Fantasy Football Sleepers Tool projects Justice Hill as a top sleeper among running backs, with a Sleeper Score of 90. Granted, his current average and real draft positions do not reflect much draft action since the Dobbins news, yet there is room for him to skyrocket up the charts.
With an Awesemo ranking of 102, Hill now becomes less of a question mark in the Ravens backfield compared to Gus Edwards, who is now ranked 27th overall with an Awesemo rating of 82. While Hill has never been an every-down back, he projects for 99.48 fantasy points as the change-of-pace back. Although his per-game projections are more in flux until the regular season kicks off, Hill projects for 6.62 fantasy points per game.
Hill only carried 12 times and caught five passes for a combined 375 yards from scrimmage in 2020, though the Baltimore backfield was extremely crowded. Now with Dobbins out, and assuming no free agent additions, Hill slots in as a draft day sleeper in the Round 16 range.
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