Just a season ago, Darren Sproles was a top-five fantasy back in PPR leagues. While he's moved up into the top 15 due to his his recent play, it was a very slow start for the veteran in September outside of one big game against the Carolina Panthers.
When we take a look at Sproles' production from last year to this year, his overall numbers in the passing game are actually better than last year in key areas.
Last season, Sproles averaged 5.37 receptions per game and this year he’s up slightly at 5.57. While he finished the 2011 season with seven touchdown receptions, he didn’t have his fourth touchdown until Week 13 against the Lions. Sproles already has four touchdown receptions through seven games this year.
Where the numbers start to fall off is in the running game and big plays. Sproles averaged 5.43 carries per game last season, and this year, he’s down to just under four touts per contest.
His yards per carry are down as well after a 6.9 average in 2011. (Sproles is around 4.5 ypg after carrying the ball four times for negative yard last week.)
These numbers should improve through the second half the season, but I believe it’s fair to look at Sproles as more of a RB2 option in PPR leagues in contrast to a RB1 that he was a year ago. With Carl Nicks gone via free agency and the team playing from behind most weeks, the running game doesn't have the same advantages it had a year ago.
Based upon the numbers above, we should feel good that Sproles is still an accountable weekly option in PPR leagues even if the Saints neglect to hand him the football from time to time.
|2||Ray Rice||@ Browns|
|3||Adrian Peterson||@ Seahawks|
|4||Willis McGahee||@ Bengals|
|5||LeSean McCoy||@ Saints|
|6||Jamaal Charles||@ Chargers|
|7||Doug Martin||@ Raiders|
|9||Matt Forte||@ Titans|
|14||C.J. Spiller||@ Texans|
|17||Reggie Bush||@ Colts|
|18||Fred Jackson||@ Texans|
|19||Jonathan Stewart||@ Redskins|
|21||Jonathan Dwyer (I)||@ Giants|
|22||Mikel Leshoure (I)||@ Jaguars|
|23||Ahmad Bradshaw (I)||Steelers|
|26||Joique Bell||@ Jaguars|
|28||Phillip Tanner||@ Falcons|
|29||Larod Stephens-Howling||@ Packers|
|31||Ronnie Hillman||@ Bengals|
|34||Felix Jones (I)||@ Falcons|
|35||Michael Bush||@ Titans|