Top 5 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Running Back

Josh DicksonContributor ISeptember 8, 2008

With Week 1 of the NFL under wraps, I have decided to publish my Top 5 sleepers for each skill position for Fantasy Football.  I have played Fantasy Football for 7 years now and I have always found a sleeper or two each season.  Here are my Top 5 Sleepers for Running Back:

1)      Chris Johnson ( TEN ) – Johnson accumulated 6,993 all-purpose yards at East Carolina and has likely one of the quickest first steps among all rookies, even Darren McFadden.  Johnson can catch a lot of passes in the backfield as he has great hands and can really be a change of pace back for the Titans early on.  Current Titan’s starter LenDale White has yet to get serious about his weight and it seems like a real possibility that he could lose his starting job to Johnson by mid-season. 


2)      Thomas Jones (NYJ) – The Jets made the offensive line a priority in the off-season and they also added a future HOF QB to boot.  Jones had a putrid line to run behind last season and still managed 1,100 yds, but only 2 TD’s.  The Jets offense should be much improved which should mean more red-zone opportunities and more TD’s for Jones.



3)      Ray Rice (BAL) – The Ravens have a solid running game via Willis McGahee, but McGahee has had a history of being injury-prone.  With McGahee having pre-season ending surgery and Rice continuing to work out with the 1st string offense, there’s a good chance that Rice could see just as many carries as McGahee this season.  At least look for Rice to be the starter in Week 1 with McGahee still recovering.


4)      Matt Forte (CHI ) – The Chicago Bears love to run the football and with Cedric Benson gone, the question is: Somebody’s going to have to be the starter there, right?  The Chicago offense is not a dynamic one filled with very few play-makers at each skill position.  The Bears will again rely on their defense and try to run the ball to control the game.  He’s been solid throughout the preseason and has pretty much inherited the #1 back position by default.  I believe he should eclipse over 1,000 yards and could become Offensive Rookie of The Year.



5)      Ricky Williams (MIA) – Yes, that Ricky Williams.  Williams was a very solid RB in the NFL when he wanted to be and it appears that he’s finally serious about playing football again.  Ronnie Brown is the starter, but has had some injury problems ever since entering the league as well.  The Dolphins are reportedly very pleased with Ricky and his work ethic thus far.  He’ll at least split carries with Brown and should rush for 700-800 yds and a handful of scores.