Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis (34) runs away from Indianapolis Colts cornerback Greg Toler (28) during the first quarter of the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Fantasy: Five Sleeper Running Backs

With leagues heating up, the NFL fantasy season is approaching.  Who are some quality sleepers to mine at running back?

Bishop Sankey – Tennessee Titans

Unlike most positions in pro football, rookie running backs actually have viability as potential starters in NFL fantasy circles.  It all depends on the system they enters and the cast they’re surrounded by.  For Bishop Sankey he has it quite good with the Tennessee Titans.  He has a head coach in Ken Whisenhunt who will want to run the ball and an offensive line rich in young talent.  Sankey has a versatile skill set that should serve him well provided he wins the starting job.

Toby Gerhart – Jacksonville Jaguars

Having lived for so long in the shadow of Adrian Peterson, it’s easy for people to forget that Toby Gerhart is a heck of a running back in his own right.  One doesn’t finish second in the Heisman voting by accident.  So the confidence the Jacksonville Jaguars have in him seems well founded.  Gerhart has averaged 4.7 yards per carry for his career and 7.8 yards per catch.  If his body is up to the task of full-time action then he should post some good numbers.

Knile Davis – Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal Charles was the man for the Kansas City Chiefs last season and NFL fantasy owners too.  That should not change in 2014.  However, head coach Andy Reid understands the value of keeping Charles fresh and healthy, which means diverting some of the workload to another runner.  In the final two games last season, the Chiefs found need for somebody to step up and Knile Davis answered the bell.  Despite a low yards per carry average he posted 148 yards rushing, 38 yards receiving and four touchdowns.  Expectations are high for him to improve as his carries increase.

Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons

The Stephen Jackson experiment was a failure for the Atlanta Falcons last season.  Not that it was entirely his fault but the fact is the team needs fresh blood at running back.  Almost completely undetected, they scooped a young man in the 4th round of the draft named Devonta Freeman.  Deceiving due to his 5’8″ frame, Freeman nonetheless was the workhorse back for eventual national champion Florida State.  He’s tough, well-built and has the versatility Atlanta covets.  Matt Ryan will know how to use him.

Khiry Robinson – New Orleans Saints

Few knew who Khiry Robinson was when the 2013 season began.  By the time the playoffs rolled around, NFL fantasy leagues were scrambling to figure out who the kid was.  His games in Philadelphia and Seattle showed a player who knows where to find the openings and then hit them fast.  He’s tough, quick and hard to bring down.  Mark Ingram has had every opportunity to realize his potential for the New Orleans Saints, but if he continues to underachieve, look out for Robinson.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons Jacksonville Jaguars Kansas City Chiefs New Orleans Saints Nfl Fantasy Tennessee Titans

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