Fantasy Sleepers at RB – 5 Running Backs Due for a Breakout Season

by Alexander Regan · Draft Strategy

Fantasy sleepers at the running back position have been some of the most coveted players of the last three years, and this has been further supported by the ever-growing usage of the Zero-RB strategy. We can all thank guys like Kyren Willians, Raheem Mostert, and Gus Edwards for their excellence in 2023, but now is the time to look for the next RBs to destroy their ADP. Here are five sleeper RBs you should be looking out for in your fantasy drafts this upcoming 2024-25 NFL Season.

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1. Zack Moss

Zack Moss is my favorite undervalued RB for the 2024-25 NFL Season and is currently the RB28 on Underdog Fantasy. In 2023, Moss was a successful stash player when Jonathan Taylor went down with an ankle injury in the preseason. While Taylor was recovering, Moss averaged 17.8 fantasy points from Weeks 2-8. He also averaged 17.8 carries, 101.7 total yards, 2.2 receptions, and 0.85 touchdowns in the same time frame. From Weeks 5-8, Moss even outscored Taylor in three out of the four games, finishing as the No. 2 RB in Week 5 (33.5 PPR points vs Titans).

Moss signed a 2-year 8-million-dollar contract with the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2024 offseason. He is the RB1 on the Bengals depth chart. The Bengals made this signing immediately after trading Joe Mixon to the Houston Texans. Mixon was very successful in the last three seasons in the Bengals offense. Since 2021, he has been a top 10 fantasy RB multiple times. Mixon had two 1000+ rushing yard seasons and had over 150 total receptions in three seasons. If Moss can recreate his production from Weeks 2-8 over a full season, and play a similar role to what Mixon has done over the last three seasons, Moss should easily out-produce his ADP.

2. Tyjae Spears

Tyjae Spears would have been my favorite sleeper RB for this season. However, the Titans signed Tony Pollard to a 3-year deal this offseason. This was one of my least favorite moves in free agency. Pollard is Underdog’s RB26 with an ADP of 92.2 while Spears is Underdogs RB38 with an ADP of 122.5.

Spears as a rookie had an excellent back half of his 2023 season. From Weeks 13-18, Spears averaged 12.5 PPR fantasy points per game. He finished his year with a two-touchdown game performance against Jacksonville. Spears was phenomenal in his limited opportunity, as his efficiency was excellent. He had the No. 6 highest yards per touch (5.5 yards) and the No. 5 highest breakaway run rate (7.0-percent). Spears also had a 14.7-percent target share (No. 7 amongst RBs in 2023) and the No. 9 most targets for an RB (70 targets).

The Titans fired Mike Vrabel and signed Brian Callahan this offseason. Callahan is the former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator. The Titans will now be going from a power rushing scheme to a wide zone rushing scheme that loves to target RBs. Joe Mixon in the last three years under Callahan never had less than 42 receptions and peaked in 2022 with 60 receptions. Spears’s competition, Tony Pollard, also had a huge efficiency drop-off from 2022 to 2023. He went from averaging 5.2 yards per carry in 2023 to only 4.0. Spears is entering his second year fresh. Therefore, look for Spears as a perfect late-round RB that could be a future starting RB on your fantasy team.

3. Devin Singletary

Devin Singletary is not being talked about enough in fantasy circles as a late-round gem. Singletary is coming off a career year with the Houston Texans. He set career highs in rushing yards with 898 and finished with 152.3 PPR underdog fantasy points. However, he didn’t have a game over 10 fantasy points until Week 10. Singletary scored 23.1 fantasy points against the Cincinnati Bengals that week. Over 70-percent of his fantasy points came after Week 10. Week 10 was the week where his opportunity share shifted from a backup role under Dameon Pierce to the starting role.

Singletary also signed a 3-year 16.5-million-dollar deal with the New York Giants after Saquon Barkley signed with the Eagles this offseason. My only concern with Singletary is the Giants offensive line. Injuries and bad draft picks have crushed their line’s consistency. I would still expect Singletary to get the majority of touches and red-zone opportunities within the Giants backfield. Singletary has an ADP of 112.7 and is Underdog’s RB35, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes as a top 30 back.

4. Rico Dowdle

If there is anyone in the Cowboys backfield that I would buy, it would be Rico Dowdle. Dowdle was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Cowboys in 2020. He has been in and out of their practice squad since then. In 2023, Dowdle got his first meaningful snaps as the Cowboys RB2. In 2023, he had 89 carries, rushed for 361 yards on 4.1 yards per carry, and scored two touchdowns. He was the only other Cowboys RB outside of Tony Pollard to rush for over 100 yards and score two rushing touchdowns.

This offseason, the Cowboys reunited with Ezekiel Elliott on a 1-year deal after Tony Pollard signed a 3-year deal with the Titans. Elliott will be the Cowboys goal line back. However, I don’t think he will be the full-time starter. His efficiency has dropped all the way to 3.5 yards per carry and has hit the dreaded 28-year-old mark. 28 is the age when RBs have shown major regressions. Deuce Vaughn, the Cowboys sixth round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, ran for an abysmal 1.7 yards per carry on 23 touches last year. Even without the starting job, Dowdle has huge potential to outproduce his ADP of 141.7. The Cowboys are a fire-powered offense that finished No. 5 in total yards in 2023. At minimum, he is a player that you can stash on your bench to wait for his breakout game.

5. Kimani Vidal

If there is a sleeper rookie RB who has the potential to get meaningful touches right away, it is Kimani Vidal. Vidal was selected by the Chargers with the No. 181 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. He enters an RB room with Chargers offseason additions J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Vidal had outstanding college production at Troy, rushing for the No. 2 most FBS yards with 1,661 and scored 14 rushing touchdowns. Also, he had the most carries in the FBS with 297 carries (5.6 yards per carry).

The reason why Vidal could get snaps immediately is simple. Dobbins (Underdog’s RB51) tore his Achilles in Week 1 of the 2023 season. Achilles injuries have never favored RBs returning one year after their injury. Gus Edwards (Underdog’s RB36) is coming off his most productive year, yet likely will not re-create his 13 rushing touchdowns in 2023. New Chargers Head Coach, Jim Harbaugh, loved to run the ball at Michigan. Michigan’s offense had 563 total carries to only 361 passing attempts. Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards even combined for 1,742 rushing yards and 32 rushing touchdowns.

We will likely see a healthy running back committee in the Chargers offense, and Vidal should be their primary outside zone rusher. He has the top end speed, running a 4.46 40-time at the combine, and is an RB who excels at forcing missed tackles (94 missed tackles forced according to PFF). As Underdog’s RB49 and with a current ADP of 160.1, Vidal could be bottom of the draft gem or waiver wire in fantasy leagues.

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