There's no better feeling than finding a sleeper running back in the fantasy football draft.
Even if you don't consider a second-round choice as a sleeper, it felt really good to have Todd Gurley on my fantasy football team this past year. And Mark Ingram was a major find in the mid-rounds of drafts, thanks to the uncertainty surrounding the Saints' running back situation in 2017.
Running back is the most important position in fantasy football, so nabbing great value at the position will take pretty much any fantasy team to the playoffs. Here's three sleeper running backs to consider in the 2018 fantasy football draft.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
Like all sleepers, he's going to require some risk. He wasn't a dominant running back in college and he hasn't been a bell-cow running back since high school.
However, with the work he attained toward the end of last season, he should have some momentum entering 2018. During the month of December, he had double-digit rushing carries in each of the five games, and he also nabbed 17 catches during the month.
During the combine, head coach Adam Case discussed Drake's role as the lead back, so that bodes well for his potential in 2018. What excites me most about Drake is that he's going to be listed as a mid-tier RB2 in all likelihood, with the ability to run and catch the football. He has the ability to play all three downs and has a value of an RB2.
That's a major recipe for a sleeper. He's not without risk, especially since we don't know how durable he can be with the added work. But he gives some of the best potential among the RB2's in the 2018 fantasy football draft.
Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
Everyone seems to hate Howard, except for me. That's OK, since it will create great value in 2018.
If you didn't see his final stats, you would think Howard was the biggest bust of 2017. Was he as great as some people expected? No, but he still had more than 1,000 yards rushing and more touchdowns in 2017 than 2016. His yards per attempt went down, but Chicago's offense should get better in Mitchell Trubisky's second season, so that should help improve Howard's chances of running against softer defenses.
Howard is currently listed as the 17th-best fantasy football running back on ESPN. If that holds, he gives great value as a middle-of-the-pack RB2.
He's not a three-down back, but he's good enough to get all the goalline work, and with a better offense expected in 2018, Howard should reap the most benefit from that improved production.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
This running back situation is one you're likely going to avoid in 2018. And that may be the best strategy, but if you can find the best option with the right value, then it's not necessary to completely avoid this predicament.
Ty Montgomery, Aaron Jones and Williams all received significant work in 2017. Williams was an afterthought for the first part of the season, before catching steam later in the year. He's not going to give you anything in the passing game, but he's a durable runner who won't turn the ball over. That's important when considering who the coaches will trust going forward.
With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, you need a goalline option, which Williams can be. He's going to be drafted far later than many of the top-tier running backs, so if you can nab him as a bench player or flex to begin with, then he's a solid sleeper choice at the running back position.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH