Top Breakout Running Backs to Target in 2020

Fantasy football owners are always looking for sleepers, though the definition of the word varies. Call them underranked, underdrafted, or simply potential steals, but one thing is certain — you need to hit on a few to win a fantasy championship.

When it comes to Wide Receivers, there have been a ton of breakout candidates and you can check out some of the ones that we favor HERE.

Running back sleepers are arguably the most important to have circled on your draft cheat sheet, and there is no better feeling in fantasy than hitting on that stud Running Back that everyone ridiculed you for taking them 5 rounds too early.

With that in mind, here are some of our top running back breakout candidates to target in your 2020 fantasy football drafts.

Devin Singletary

The Bills will have a middle of the pack type of offensive line in 2020. Locking up their LT long term and adding Brian Winters this offseason will definitely help Singletary add to his tail end of a year in 2019. If we remove the games in which he was limited by injury (Week 2 when he got hurt and Week 7 when he was working his way back), he averaged 13.4 PPR fantasy points per game — a mark that would have ranked 23rd at the position in 2019. He also really saw his volume increase down the stretch, averaging 20.4 opportunities (17.2 carries plus 3.2 targets) per game over his final six. Only 10 backs averaged more than 20.4 opportunities per game in 2019. Healed up and with a full year of NFL experience under his belt, Singletary could evolve into a true workhorse RB this year.

Prediction: 190 Attempts, 930 Rush Yards, 4 TDs; 35 receptions, 290 yards, 2 TDs

David Montgomery

Montgomery had an underwhelming year as a rookie. I’m not going to lie I bought into his hype last year prior to the season way too much, but I’m still going to ride that train in 2020. There’s a reason to think he will take a step forward in 2020. Through his first six games, Montgomery averaged just 11.8 rush attempts per game, only managing 3.3 yards per carry. After that he put up 3.9 yards per carry on 17.1 rushes per game. He added 2.0 targets per game in that latter sample, and the Bears haven’t brought in any competition to pose a threat to those 19.1 opportunities per game. If a shift to Nick Foles improves this offense at all, we can also expect an accompanying increase in efficiency for Montgomery, which would make that workload a valuable one for fantasy purposes.

Prediction: 235 attempts, 1040 rush yards, 7 TDs; 20 receptions, 170 yards, 1 TD

Miles Sanders

Miles Sanders was a second-half superstar in 2019. From Week 11 through Week 16 (he was hurt in Week 17) Sanders was the No. 3 running back in PPR scoring with 735 total yards and four touchdowns in just six games. And it wasn’t as if that’s because he was getting all of the running-back touches. In that same stretch Boston Scott averaged nine touches per game. Earlier in the offseason I was worried the Eagles would add another complementary piece, but it seems pretty clear that Sanders and Scott are the guys. There’s 300-touch and double-digit touchdown upside for Sanders in his second-year in Philadelphia.

Prediction: 220 attempts, 1090 yards, 7 TDs; 50 receptions, 430 yards, 2 TDs

James Conner

Conner is a realistic option to finish as the RB10 or better after his career-low year as a starter in 2019.

 A healthy Conner could lead to a superstar pick for your squad. Conner is a realistic option to finish as the RB10 or better after his career-low year as a starter in 2019.

Big Ben returning in 2020 after missing 14 games should provide a large enough boost to consider Conner higher than his current ADP. In the last two seasons, Conner’s 89 receptions in 23 games are one behind Todd Gurley’s 90 catches in 29 games and almost double Mark Ingram’s 47 receptions in 27 games — both players are currently going ahead of him.

Conner averaged 14.8 PPR points per game in 2019 and finished seventh overall among running backs in 2018 with 21.5 points per game. Despite missing three games in 2018, he finished sixth at the position with 280 total PPR points and seventh in standard scoring with 225 fantasy points. All of that production is possible again with Roethlisberger returning and a lack of proven offensive weapons for Pittsburgh’s offense.

Prediction: 225 carries, 930 yards, 8 rushing TDs; 40 receptions, 360 yards, 1 receiving TD

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