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Fantasy Football: Sleeper running backs for 2022

Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson (27) carries the ball in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

• The Los Angeles RamsDarrell Henderson leads the list of sleepers after starting last season as a fantasy starter, and he has the potential to overtake Cam Akers as a starter.

These running backs are great options as players who have some standalone value but could be fantasy stars if something goes right.

See where these running backs rank with our new PFF+ Fantasy Draft Guide.

Selecting the right running back in the middle-to-late rounds of fantasy football drafts could be the key to winning a league. Rashaad Penny was a sleeper last season who ended up leading all running backs in fantasy points over the last five weeks of the season. Similarly, Devin Singletary was a mid-round pick who finished second in that time.

With that in mind, we are going to dive into five sleeper running backs who are typically available in Round 10 or later in fantasy football drafts. Each back will receive significant playing time this season and can push for the starting jobs on their teams. Any can be the next Penny or Singletary, helping win a championship in January.

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Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams (ADP: 11.04)

Henderson started the 2021 season as the Rams starter with Cam Akers on injured reserve. He had a fine start to the season with double-digit carries in each of his first eight games and seven touchdowns in that time. In both 2020 and 2021, he looked like one of the league’s best running backs early in the season before injuries derailed his season.

The 24-year-old managed just 23 offensive snaps over the last six games of the regular season and missed the first three rounds of the playoffs. He returned in time for the Super Bowl to take the receiving snaps while Akers played on early downs. 

The Rams seem confident in their two-back committee heading into the 2022 season. Sony Michel left for Miami in free agency, and the Rams only invested a fifth-round pick as his replacement. Henderson could see a similar role to the Super Bowl, where he played on passing downs while also receiving some carries. He should only be in fantasy lineups as an emergency when this is his role.

Nonetheless, the reason to draft Henderson is for the weeks where he doesn’t have that role. Henderson could become the Rams' starter again if he outplays Akers, or if Akers suffers an injury. Henderson’s one of the most talented handcuffs when healthy, making him a must-start if Akers spends any time as the starter.


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