There are always players who fall through the cracks in drafts that outscore their average draft position (ADP). Targeting those mid to late-round picks is how you win your leagues. This is easier said than done, of course, which is why looking at what each player brings to the table with a microscope is important. One such player that fits this mold is Miles Sanders.
Several factors come into play when it comes to trying to evaluate Miles Sanders, which makes it difficult to determine how his future is projected. The first of these factors is that Sanders is on a new team after he signed with the Carolina Panthers. To compound this situation is that his new team has a new head coach in Frank Reich, and nothing is clear on how Sanders is going to be used. Because of this, there are multiple question marks surrounding him that need to be analyzed closely to figure out what can be expected of him this coming season.
A Look at the Past to Glimpse the Future
One thing that Sanders has going for him is the fact that he is coming off his best rushing season, as he finished with 1,269 rushing yards. The 26-year-old is in the prime of his career and finally had the breakout season that everyone had been waiting for him to have since his rookie season in 2019. Despite the solid rushing performance from Sanders, he finished in the high-end RB2 range.
This has brought up the question of his ability in the receiving game. Sanders’s best fantasy performance came from his rookie season in 2019 when he finished as RB14 with 509 receiving yards off 50 receptions. This shows he has the ability to be a part of the receiving game, but the Eagles utilized a running back by committee (RBBC) for the majority of his time there, limiting his exposure in the passing game.
The question will be whether or not he will continue to be used in an RBBC or if he’ll finally be the three down back people have hoped he would become.
A New Home with Greener Pastures?
This brings us to his new home with the Panthers, where Frank Reich is now the head coach, and his only real competition in the backfield is Chuba Hubbard. Reich has used an RBBC approach during his time as head coach of the Colts, often utilizing Nyheim Hines as a go-to receiving back. However, Reich has also shown he will use one back if available, given that Jonathan Taylor’s best year came with him leading the team in receiving yards, as well.
It will be interesting to see what Reich does with the backfield, but the Panther’s lack of investing in a running back with the loaded class says they are quite comfortable moving forward with their running backs the way they are. This is all to say that if Reich continues the trends with how he’s used his running backs in the past, Sanders has an excellent chance to be the lead rusher on his team, and he should be expected to be targeted in the receiving game.
Looking at Miles Sanders’s Value
With this kind of expectation, you would think that Miles Sanders is going near the top of drafts. Surprisingly though, he isn’t being drafted until the back end of the 7th round with an ADP of 82, according to Sleeper’s draft boards. This puts him around RB27 off the board, going after running backs such as Isiah Pacheco, Cam Akers, Zach Charbonnet, Rachaad White and Dameon Pierce. All of these running backs have yet to prove themselves as being as productive as Sanders, and some of them have yet to prove they will be the starting back on their given teams.
When it comes to dynasty, players who can outscore what it costs to get them on your team is the key to winning your league. Sanders has the ceiling you want in a dynasty running back and should have the floor of an RB2 this coming season, given his situation. You should be trying to put him on your team before his value is realized by the rest of the dynasty community.