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5 Running Back Sleeper Must Haves | Fantasy Football 2020

5 Must Have Sleepers

5 Fantasy football running back sleeper must-haves 2020. The Counselor dives into running backs that could have an amazing year in fantasy, that everyone is sleeping on.

Running back must-have sleepers. The reason this show shouldn’t be done is that you should be drafting your running backs early. You guys know it. I’m really high on the robust RB strategy and the mainstream consensus that can are coming in herds saying, “Okay, now we’ve got to do this robust RB strategy, we’ve discovered this.” They were going to zero RB for years, realized it didn’t work. And now they’re saying, “Oh, Joe was right the whole time,” which is great, I appreciate it. [inaudible 00:00:28] thanks for the props. So I got five names here, so five running back sleeper must-haves here for you in this show. And again, you got to load up on those running backs early. Now, if you’re new to the show, some of these names are going to sound, oh, well, that’s new to me. But if you’re listening to show consistently, the three first names here I’m going to mention, you’ve heard me talk about them before. And the fact of the matter is I’m not going to change the way that I draft or the players I suggest, and that’s the line mentality.

I’m not going to sit here and say, “Oh, well for this episode you should go with this guy.” No, it’s the guys I believe in for this year. I’m not going to go on ADP consensus rankings, nothing like that. I keep true to the guys I believe in and the guys that I know will thrive this year, and I avoid the guys that I know are going to bust. And I was really good at it last year and the years before, helping you dodge bullets like Antonio Brown second round last year, Odell Beckham first round, Le’Veon Bell first round, Damien Williams round two. I helped you Dodge all those bullets and everybody, I think, last year also had Baker Mayfield, top-five quarterback, ridiculous guy.

So we’re going to dodge all those bullets and we’re going to get right to the meat and potatoes draft solution today. All right. So let’s talk about these five running back sleeper must-haves in today’s show.

1. David Montgomery

The first guy I want to talk about here is David Johnson. Now, you’ve heard me talk about him before, obviously, but this year he’s primed for a huge season, but let’s talk about his history real quickly and why I love him so much. 2016, phenomenal year. Now some people say, “Joe, you don’t know stats. You just talk about David Johnson because he was the guy who endorsed your brand years ago, there’s no statistical history behind this.” Listen, I know stats better than everybody else, I just don’t bore people with stats. That’s the difference with me. I already do the research for you, and I have the information and give you guys, I deliver on a top-level every single episode. Okay. So, David Johnson, not looking at any stats. I’m not sitting here behind a computer hiding and being fake. Okay. This is true facts, I’ll look you right in the eye, I don’t have any stats in front of me, there’s no teleprompter up. Okay. All right. So listen, David Johnson, 20 all-purpose touchdowns back in 2016. 16… Look with my eyes closed, 16 down on the ground, four receiving. The guy was the number one fantasy running back. And that year in PPR, 407 fantasy points. Again, eyes closed, no looking. In 2017, he had a fluke injury to the wrist. Again, I got to start doing more of these with my eyes closed to prove a point to the haters. And by the way, haters, I love the haters, they think that they’re taking time out of their day to hate, but I love it because, hey, I’ve already got a lot of fuel.

Okay. I’ve got my own motivation. I’ve got a family to feed, I got to do stuff. But when they try to discredit me by saying I don’t talk stats, hey man, that’s great, that fuels my fire. I love it. It gives me more energy. Keep feeding the fire. Feed the beast. I love it guys. And what I love about Council Nation is that my spirit is contagious, so the lion mentality, the lion spirit, the fighter spirit, some of you are messaging me and say, “Hey Joe, this is helping me in life with my business, with this. I’ve implemented the lion’s strategy with my wife.” Which is great, that’s great. So guys keep with the lion strategy, be the dominant figure in your children’s lives, be that role model, that positive role model. Be strong, is basically what I’m trying to say, in your job, and your career, in your entrepreneurship, in your content. And that’s what it’s all about. So again, I’m rubbing off on people, which is great.

So going back to David Johnson here, 2016, great year. We talked about 407 points. Number one running back. Then in 2017, he had the fluke wrist injuries, so he’s not injury prone. I saw that play. He went out, I think he caught a ball, turned around, got smoked by a defensive back. I think it was a DB or a line back or something like that, it wiped out his wrist. That year is a wash. That’s understandable. In 2018, he actually ends up finishing 9th amongst running backs in PPR. Now, he wasn’t a great running back that year, but he’s still finished top 10, which is respectable. And then we know what happened in 2019, he got screwed by Kingsbury. So 2017, fluke 2018 still finished top 10, and 2019 had a fluke thing with the coach. The coach was an idiot, Kingsbury, and he benched him. This year he’s with the Texans, he’s prime to have a good season. We saw what Carlos Hyde did last year. Over 240 attempts, 1,000 yards, six touchdowns on the ground. David Johnson’s a far superior back. Look for him to have an amazing year, pending he stays healthy. I absolutely love him this year. And again, I call him a sleeper because this guy is round one talent. That’s where he could finish. He could finish top five amongst running backs. He’s coming off in the third to the fourth round, which is an absolute steal. I see him coming off a late third round, typically in some recent mock drafts, absolutely love the value there, considered a major sleeper for Fantasy Football 2020. Okay. He’s a must-have for me, got to have him.

2. David Montgomery

Next guy here, you’ve heard me talk about him, and again, the guys at four and five, you may not have heard we talked about, but the first three guys, you definitely probably have if you’re a regular to the channel. But David Montgomery. Now listen, David Montgomery, again, I was talking to a guy that trains with him, he’s one of his trainers, a doctor, been to David Montgomery’s house. The guy’s working on his top-end speed. I’ve told you about this, that was inside information. I guess he wasn’t happy with his lack of explosiveness and understandably so. Part of that was the quarterback situation, obviously a mess. Hopefully, Mitch Trubisky… I think Mitch Trubisky is going to surprise a lot of people this year, don’t underestimate him, but he’s got to fight for his career here, his job. And this guy… And the GMs, they understand, the GMs believe in Mitch Trubisky because they had drafted him the same year Mahomes went. They had picked him and they could have picked Mahomes, and they picked Trubisky. So they’ve got a little bit of chip on their shoulder to make sure that Trubisky does well.

He’s got a chip on his shoulder. So I’ve actually got him in the fishbowl in one of my leagues as a QB3, my third quarterback waiver. He was sitting there, I’m like, “You know what? Why not?” So anyway, a quarterback play, hopefully, they made some improvements on that O-line, which they did. Again, Allen Robinson getting integrated. David Johnson, listen, he’s going to… I mean, Dave Montgomery is going to run, that’s just the bottom line. Montgomery’s primed for a huge season, it’s his backfield. Now, you guys may say Tarik Cohen. Tarik Cohen’s going to be lined up in the slot, he’s going to be a receiver, which is sad because he can’t even catch the ball, he led the team and dropped passes last year. “Well, how’d you know that Joe?” Joe doesn’t talk about stats. He doesn’t understand stats. Joe is reading off a teleprompter. Listen, you guys read off teleprompters, I understand all this. David Montgomery, close my eyes again, not looking at anything because again, I’m not feeding into the haters, again, I’m enjoying this, but I’m just trying to show how stupid the haters are and how they’re nitpicking at little things. They try to tear down somebody who’s more successful than them. So the haters go after yourselves. So check this out. So David Montgomery, okay, I have no stats in front of me, and I could be wrong on this, but he had I think, six touchdowns on the grass, 3.9 yards per carry, 240 plus attempts. Again, I don’t have it in front of me. I think 242 attempts. Usually, people will read off a screen.

And again, the guy finished 24th in PPR. And I implore you guys to look that up. Currently, right now, he’s sitting around 21st or something like that. Sorry, 24th, I was wrong. David Johnson’s 21st on the consensus rankings, David Montgomery’s 24th on the rankings right now. So again, did that with my eyes closed, I don’t know stats apparently, but I guess I do. And of course, Tarik Cohen leading the team in drop passes last, a guy who can’t catch a ball and he had far fewer attempts than David Montgomery last year. So David Montgomery is going to have, I would say, he’s going to touch the ball at least 300 times this season at least. I say a floor of 1,200 rushing yards because again, he had around 889 rushing yards, that’s 3.9 yards per carry. You bump up the yards per carry, that takes him up to around 1,100, 1,200 yards, as a floor based on the attempts that he had last year, you just simply got to jump bump the yards per carrying, give him a few more attempts, which he’s going to get. Couple more rushing touchdowns, you got yourself a top 10 running back in David Montgomery. So I love him and you’re getting him in the fourth to fifth-round value. I mean, this is the steal, you’re getting an RB1 with no committee in the fourth and fifth round. This is a must-have sleeper right here. Absolutely love him. Go with Dave Montgomery. Get him when you can.

3. Alexander Mattison

All right, next guy here is Alexander Mattison sitting 47th on the consensus rankings. The guy again, I’m not looking at stats, but I don’t know stats apparently, he had 100 rushing yards last time… A 100 rushing attempts, there, yeah, I don’t know what I’m talking about. A 100 rushing attempts last year and he averages 4.6 yards per carry. How’d you know that you don’t look at stats? Listen, 4.6 yards per carry compared to Dalvin Cook’s 4.5 yards per carry. Listen, I live and breathe this stuff, I’m constantly looking at numbers and I took the numbers with these guys, with Mattison and Cook, now I understand last year Cook played really well, but he fell apart near the end, hasn’t finished a season, threatening a holdout. Mattison, you get this guy in a 10th round, that’s pretty phenomenal. Ninth, 10th round as early as the 8th, late as the 11th, depending on how many people in your league or who’s drafting, that type of thing. But Mattison is a guy, if you project his numbers out, and apparently I don’t know stats, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, just over 450 yards-ish, I don’t have the exact number on his yardage, that on, I don’t know, I got to look it up. Let me actually look it up here right now.

I don’t know, I think it’s 450, don’t quote me here. I’m going to pull him up here, but Mattison, if you project his numbers out, if you actually go ahead and do the numbers on Mattison, you project his numbers out, he would have had just as good, if not a better season, than Dalvin Cook. Okay, I got it. 462 rushing yards, one touchdown. Again, because Dalvin Cook was there, got all that volume. But if you look at that a 100 at 462 rushing yards and you look at Cook, he had 250 attempts and Dalvin Cook had what? 1,135 yards. Project Alexander Mattison out, you got yourself an RB1. And so many people are saying, “Well, Joe, I want to draft Dalvin Cook and handcuff Mattison.” I’m saying, no, don’t do that. Mattison is a sleeper, get yourself a Jacobs or Henry at the ADP of Dalvin Cook, right? Or a Kamara, and then get yourself a Mattison later, avoid Cook completely. Now you’ve got two RB1s because Mattison’s going to start this season, whether it be starting the season because of a holdout of Dalvin Cook or when Dalvin Cook goes down again, you’ve got Mattison. So he’s a big-time must-have sleeper on your bench that’s going to start this season, at some point or another he will be an RB1 this season. Okay. And he couldn’t do it. He showed on a smaller level he could do it. Absolutely love him. Okay.

4. Joshua Kelley

Two more running backs here that are must-haves later. You get them later, you get them for free. And I got a lot of criticism last year because I was stashing Darwin Thompson on my bench. Darwin was a guy I was stashing on my bench last year when McCoy wasn’t there.  This is prior to McCoy being acquired. I knew Damien Williams sucked and he proved that he sucks, so I was half right there. I said, Damien Williams sucks, don’t draft in the second round, but I’m like just get Darwin Thompson and just stash him on your bench as your RB5 to six. It doesn’t hurt you, right? To have him a potential breakout and mind you, they needed that void, they didn’t believe in Williams, I just didn’t, nobody saw that McCoy would end up there and he sucked as well. So with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, that’s another guy I’m kind of being cautious about it, I’m going to avoid him a little bit. I don’t know if I want to invest a second-round, third-round pick on him when I can get myself a Gurley and Johnson there, I’m just not going to do it. Especially because I don’t think the attempts are going to be there because they have 220 plus attempts with McCoy and Williams combined. How many is Clyde Edwards-Helaire going to get with David Williams still there? So that’s a bit of a thorn in my side with Williams there. But the guy I’m talking about here at number four is Joshua Kelley. Again, a guy you don’t have to invest a lot in. I get Darwin Thompson, benched, doesn’t hurt yet, he’s there on your bench, why not?

Joshua Kelley’s a guy that could end up on your bench. If you look at Austin Ekeler’s numbers, okay, I’m actually looking at this one, but I know it, it’s 132 attempts, 557 yards, and three touchdowns on the ground. How do I know that? Because I live and breathe stats and Austin Ekeler DM’d, or not DM’d me, he commented on one of my posts, where I said that he sucks. We had this debate, the haters dove in because they’re jealous because players don’t comment on their stuff. Anyway, long story short, me and, I and were having a conversation and I said, “I wasn’t happy with your stat line of where were you? Three touchdowns on the ground? 132 attempts.” I want a full workhorse in the second round. Mind you, he’s going to be great PPR and I understand that. But the reason I like Joshua Kelley is that Melvin Gordon’s gone. And with Melvin Gordon being gone, that’s going to free up 162 attempts, which is what Melvin Gordon had last year, 612 rushing guards and eight touchdowns. So Ekeler’s not really going to be used as a goal-line guy, I just don’t see it. That’s why I see a guy like Joshua Kelley, whose sitting 69th on the consensus rankings. The guy was a workhorse 511, 212, 229 attempts, 1,060 yards, 4.6 yards per carrying, and 12 touchdowns, in his last year at college at UCLA, not to mention 11 receptions.

Okay. So he can catch the ball if need be, but he could be a power back, that’s going to get some goal-line work. I’m excited about Kelley as a bench stash. That’s it guys, don’t say well, you told me. And that’s the thing with the haters, what they do is, I say something like Montgomery, I was getting him and Josh Jacobs at their ADP in their third round last year, but everybody was saying that I was suggesting, everyone made up lies. They said, I said, Montgomery over CMC is what they were saying, right? Not the case. I was not saying… I had CMC as my top four. And that’s what the haters do, they try to find something that’s wrong with you, even though there isn’t anything wrong with what your analysis is, and they just hate. So again, Joshua Kelley benched at, I’m not saying Joshua Kelley is going to be a top-five running back. I’m saying stash him, I’m out here to help you guys, that’s my mission. I’m not here copy and pasting rankings. I’m here to help you guys. Joshua Kelley stash him, must-have sleeper at the running back position.

5. AJ Dillon

And the final guy, AJ Dillon, the guy’s an absolute monster, go watch his tape. And the thing is he had a 3,000-yard rushing yard seasons in college, 1,685 at his last season, 318 attempts, 5.3 yards per carry, four touchdowns. He’s a monster, he’s a beast, and he’s there to replace Aaron Jones if they decide not to pay him. Aaron Jones only finished one out of the three-season that he’s played, so he’s not showing that he’s been durable. Now AJ Dillon, 38 touchdowns, guys, in three seasons in college. Let me repeat that. Three years in college, 38 rushing touchdowns. The guy’s a monster. The guy’s a goal-line beast. He throws people, goes watch his tape, he just launches people that are in his way. He’s a big boy and he runs pretty fast. So I’m telling you guys, we’re talking a guy who’s about 240 plus pounds and moves fast. So the Packers are looking to invest in a guy that could be the future feature back of the Packers, right? I’m excited about him and a guy you must have on your benches as a sleeper that could potentially break out. I’m excited about Dillon a lot this year. And if AJ… Sorry, Aaron Jones gets hurt, look out, AJ Dillon is going to be a beast. Okay. So there you have it guys. David Johnson. I mean, what a steal in the third or fourth round, if you can get him. David Montgomery a fourth to fifth-round ADP. Alexander Mattison, you get him after the ninth round, he is going to be a starter at some point.

Joshua Kelley. I mean, Melvin Gordon’s gone. Ekeler’s not a full workhorse, right? Joshua Kelley is going to get work. And AJ Dillon, the future of the Packers potentially, he’s going to be given the opportunity, it matters what he does with it. I’m excited about these guys. Okay. And load up on the robust RB, so you don’t have to worry about late-round sleepers at the running back position because you’re going to be loaded early on. Top heavy, okay, with running backs. All right guys, make sure you guys smash those up. Get 16 round drafts solution, leave your fantasy questions below, and follow FTFM. But very important you guys, just jump on over to thefantasyfootballcounselor.com and get that 16 round draft solution. Your friends won’t know what hit him. I’m telling you guys to scrap the draft kits, this is the future of fantasy analysis. Thank you for being here, guys. I appreciate you. And I am out.

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Joseph Robert
Joseph Robert
Joseph Robert's outside of the box, LION mentality has created the strongest and most loyal fan base in the fantasy football industry! @fantasyfootballcounselor