Fantasy Football 2013: Sleeper Running Backs Worth Taking Early

Eric GuyCorrespondent IIIAugust 8, 2013

December 23, 2012;Baltimore, MD,USA;New York Giants running back David Wilson (22) smiles at fans during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL Preseason continues to get underway, football fans all across the world will be strategically prepping for their fantasy drafts.         

In the event that top running backs like Arian Foster, Doug Martin and Adrian Peterson are gone off the draft boards early, there are a number of overlooked running backs who would be great pickups in the early rounds.


Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams

With Steven Jackson out of the fold, Daryl Richardson will be a name that fans will hear quite often throughout the season.

Last season, Richardson rushed for 478 yards on 98 carries as Jackson’s backup.

According to the Rams’ training camp media guide, via Michael David Smith of NBC Sports’ ProFootballTalk, Richardson is listed as the projected starter at running back.

Now, although Rams head coach Jeff Fisher recently told’s Ian Rapoport (via's Chris Wesseling) that the team may rotate between three running backs, one should expect Richardson to get the bulk of the carries. 

Richardson’s ability to switch gears in an instant and speed past defenders should result in many scoring opportunities for the 23-year-old.

No doubt, one would be wise to keep an eye on Richardson.


David Wilson, New York Giants

David Wilson has all the tools needed to be a prime-time performer in fantasy football.

Wilson is a dynamic athlete who has the ability to make defenders miss quite often. His speed and agility makes him a versatile option not only for the Giants, but for fantasy owners as well.

With Ahmad Bradshaw gone, David Wilson will have a sizable role in head coach Tom Coughlin’s offense.

With increased opportunities, expect Wilson to rack up an abundance of points for owners throughout the upcoming season.


Andre Brown, New York Giants

Now, I know you are probably asking “why are two Giants’ backs on the list?”

Well, because if you miss out on one, you can grab the other.

Like Wilson, Andre Brown will be a key contributor for the Giants this coming season.

A couple of months ago, Brown expressed to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News that he feels like “a home run hitter” and that his goal is to rush for 1,300 yards and 22 touchdowns during the 2013 campaign.

Certainly, 22 touchdowns may be a bit of a reach. Nonetheless, it is good to have that mindset.

Just like last season, one can expect Brown to be the primary back in short-yardage situations. If the Giants find themselves in a lot of goal-line situations next season, Brown might have a chance to reach his goal.

While you continue to prep for the upcoming fantasy season, do yourself a favor and keep Brown in your plans.