Target running on prolific offenses with good size adjusted athleticism and a clear path up the depth chart in the later rounds of fantasy drafts. Miles Sanders meets all of these criteria and is undervalued with an FFPC ADP outside the top 100. He’s the best value in fantasy football based on his advanced stats and metrics profile, and has league-winning potential .
Miles Sanders has feature back size at 5-11, 211-pounds. He has feature back measurables with a 120.3 (76th-percentile) SPARQ-x score and a 123.2 (76th-percentile) Burst Score. Not only does he possess the right size adjusted athleticism, but he has the college production to back it up. His sub-par Breakout Age of 22.3 can be explained because he was behind Saquon Barkley on the depth chart during his first two seasons at Penn State.
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In his junior year, he started all 13 games and carried the ball 220 times for 1,274 yards and nine TDs. He also posted 24 receptions for 139 yards, an 8.4-percent (62nd-percentile) target share. This breakout season proves that not only is Sanders able to withstand a heavy workload in the run game. He is a capable pass catcher who will be Philadelphia’s only true dual threat running back in 2019.
The narrative is that Doug Pederson strictly uses the running back by committee approach. However, this strategy was used primarily due to the lack of a stand out talent. Fantasy gamers are assuming Miles Sanders will split carries with Jordan Howard, Josh Adams, Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood, while losing pass catching downs to Darren Sproles. None of Clement, Smallwood, and Adams were able to claim the lead back job in 2018. While they will get carries in 2019, they do not pose a significant threat to Sander’s workload. Howard, the newcomer, is the biggest threat.
Howard received at least 250 carries in each of his three seasons in Chicago, producing 4.3 yards per carry over that time. He never recorded 30 receptions in a single season though, making it unlikely that he’ll be a three down back in the Eagles offense. Even if he’s given the first opportunity at the early down workload, Sanders has the ability to equal his production on the ground and demand a significant target share in the passing game. The Eagles have also not invested in anyone as heavily as Sanders, a second round draft pick. By drafting him in the second round, the Eagles have demonstrated that they are willing to invest high draft capital in a running back who they believe can play all three downs and be a lead back in their system.
The Eagles offense is set to explode in 2019. Carson Wentz is nearly two years removed from the ACL tear that ended his potential MVP season in 2017, and has had plenty of time to recover from the back injury that ended his 2018 season. Philadelphia also has a stacked group of pass catchers, including elite tight end Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery. Getting deep threat DeSean Jackson back will help stretch the field and prevent defenses from loading the box, further helping the running game.
Philadelphia also has the offensive line needed to produce an elite running back. In 2018, they ranked in the top half of the league in pass protection and run blocking. They’ve also added first round pick Andre Dillard to further solidify the group. Overall, the Eagles offense scored 23 points per game in 2019 and scored 12 rushing touchdowns. With a healthy Wentz and new weapons, these numbers will increase in 2019. The Eagles are likely to see more positive game scripts because of this. Which will create even more opportunities for the running backs. The carries in Philadelphia will be valuable this season. Sanders will be given the opportunity to get the bulk of them as the season goes on.
Miles Sanders has an ADP of 101st overall at the FFPC, behind backs such as James White, Tarik Cohen and Latavius Murray. Even Derrius Guice, who joins a crowded backfield on a low scoring offense and is recovering from an ACL tear, is more coveted. Sanders will outproduce many of these players if he can take over as the lead back in Philadelphia. At his ADP, Sanders is the best value at running back in fantasy in 2019. It may take a few weeks for him to take the lead job from Jordan Howard, but it will happen earlier than most believe. Sanders has an all-purpose back profile and plays on a prolific offense with a shallow depth chart. He will be a top 24 running back with weekly top 12 upside.