Fantasy Football: Is Miles Sanders a Draft Day Fade?

by LaQuan Jones "RealDealFantasy"
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There are lot of questions going into this 2021 fantasy football season regarding the Philadelphia Eagles offense with the new coaching staff. Jalen Hurts will be starting the season off as the starting quarterback and the coaching staff is said to be “catering the offense to fit Hurts strengths.” This leads me to believe one of Hurts strongest abilities he showcased last season was running the ball. So where does this leave the running aka Miles Sanders?

Running Back By Committee

Miles Sanders is the lead back of this well known RBBC (Running Back By Committee). These are facts that we know about about Sanders. He’ll be the lead back to lead in snap opportunities. The concern in fantasy football with Sanders lies on the running backs behind him currently on the roster.

The Eagles went and drafted Kenneth Gainwell, signed Kerryon Johnson, and re-signed both Boston Scott and Jordan Howard. They all bring something to the table which is concerning. Kerryon Johnson is at the bottom of list to take touches away from Sanders. However, he could very well get his fair share of early downs.

Gainwell is a talent that deserves better on a less crowded running back roster. However, he also could be the back to take touches and see targets out the backfield. Howard we all know is the goal line junkie to take away touchdown opportunities which directly affects Sanders scoring ability. All the running backs on the roster behind Sanders have the ability to carve out a weekly role.

Where Does That Leave Miles Sanders

Sanders ADP currently is in the third round, acting as the RB2 for a lot of fantasy football rosters. At that price, I believe we are overpaying for him. Sanders’s upside isn’t as much as everyone is trying to talk it up to be. Sanders lacked in the passing game last season with a 53% catch rate with eight dropped passes. This ranked second among running backs.

The Eagles have a lot of improvement as an offense as a whole ranking bottom half of the league (24th). Carson Wentz was a huge part of that, but as of now it’s hard to know how good this offense is with this new coaching staff.

Sanders also isn’t that workhorse that fantasy football fans know he could be with a full workload. Sanders ranked 21st in rushing attempts. Last season he only played 12 games, but in 2020 will a full season healthy he ranked 22nd. That only lets me know he was on pace for at least 200 carries, or was he?

Jalen Hurts is a dual-threat quarterback who can be very effective on the ground. The last four games of the season where Jalen Hurts took over as the starter, he lead the league in rushing attempts among quarterbacks with 48. That was more than Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Taysom Hill and Cam Newton.

That alone tells me Sanders carries will be taking a hit this season and maybe even his targets. In two out of those last four games, Sanders’ targets were less than two and he only caught one pass in those two games.  Sanders also doesn’t have that home run ability either with only give runs over 15 yards plus ranking him 30th in the league. Sanders’ floor this season is 160+ carries and 60 targets. That’s not a lot to hold on for fantasy football players to see the need to roster Sanders as a RB2.

What to do on Draft Day

Looking at Sanders price, I absolutely do not like it for him to be my RB2. So, lets look at what available in that third round. Wide receivers available in that round look way better to roster over Sander’s as a RB2. Keenan Allen, Allen Robinson, A.J Brown, and Terry McLaurin are all better options for season long production.

Now, let’s look at those running backs with a third round ADP. Those running backs include David Montgomery, Chris Carson, DeAndre Swift and Josh Jacobs. We know Montgomery, Carson and Jacobs will see atleast 230+ carries this season. Swift and Sanders are likely in the range of 160- 200 carries this season. The only difference between Sanders and Swift is that Swift doesn’t have a mobile QB.

End Game

Sanders is overvalued in fantasy football and I would hate for anyone to be stuck with him as your RB2 paying that 3rd round price tag. Sanders could be a solid RB3 for rosters. With that comes less pressure, and dependence on a week-to-week basis.

Chances are that one league mate will fall in love with the hype train with Sanders and pay that 3rd round price. Hey, that’s great news for you so you’re not tempted to draft Sanders. I would recommend staying far away from Miles Sanders. It’s an easy fade in my book.

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