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Dynasty Player Profile: Miles Sanders (2022 Fantasy Football)

May 22, 2022
Miles Sanders

Andrew Erickson Mock Draft

Career Production

 

Rushing

Receiving

YEAR

G

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

REC

TGT

YDS

TD

2021

12

137

754

5.5

0

26

34

158

0

2020

12

164

867

5.3

6

28

52

197

0

2019

16

179

818

4.6

3

50

63

509

3

 

YEAR

Total Fantasy Points*

Fantasy Points Per Game*

2021

117.2 (RB45)

9.8 (RB38)

2020

170.4 (RB23)

14.2 (RB17)

2019

218.7 (RB15)

13.7 (RB21)

*Based on PPR scoring

Career Contextualization

After a breakout junior season at Penn State, Miles Sanders was a second-round pick (53rd overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019. He was the second running back off the board that year, only behind Josh Jacobs (24th). However, Sanders has become less valuable in fantasy football every year of his career.

Sanders barely played his first two years at Penn State. Stuck behind Saquon Barkley on the depth chart, Sanders had only 56 total rushing attempts as a freshman and sophomore. However, he broke out in his final year at Penn State with 1,274 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns, both easily career-highs. His 1,274 rushing yards were the second-most in the Big Ten that year, only behind Jonathan Taylor.

Unfortunately, Sanders has seen his fantasy production decrease every year of his NFL career. After finishing as the RB15 as a rookie, Sanders was the RB23 in 2020 and the RB45 last year. Furthermore, Sanders had six touchdowns in his rookie and second season in the NFL. However, he had zero touchdowns and a career-low 163 touches last year.

While he had the worst fantasy year of his career, Sanders was a very effective runner in 2021. He had a run-blocking rating of 94.2 (first in the NFL) and an 8% breakaway run rate (fifth) while averaging 5.6 yards per touch (10th) last year, according to PlayerProfiler.

Current Situation

Last year, the Eagles had 25 rushing touchdowns, the most in the NFL. The running backs combined for 15 of them, yet Sanders didn’t score at all in 2021. Part of the problem was the Eagles used four running backs last year: Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, and Jordan Howard. Furthermore, Jalen Hurts led the team in rushing attempts (139), rushing yards (784), and rushing touchdowns (10).

There were rumors that the Eagles would add a running back during the 2022 NFL Draft. However, the only rookie running back on the roster is Kennedy Brooks, who was undrafted. While Howard is currently unsigned, the Eagles did bring back Scott this offseason. Sanders remains the lead guy in the backfield but no longer has a featured role. Furthermore, his role in the passing game has decreased over the past few years.

Sanders had 50 receptions as a rookie. However, he has 54 receptions in the past two years combined. Part of his decline in the passing game is the change at quarterback. Sanders played all 16 games as a rookie with Carson Wentz under center. In 2020, he played nine games with Wentz as the starter and three with Hurts.

Last year, the Eagles targeted their running backs 21.3% of the time. Furthermore, Sanders had only a 6.9% target share. Typically, quarterbacks who can run like Hurts don’t target their running backs in the passing game. Moreover, Sanders’ role in the passing game will be further limited because of Gainwell, as he is the best pass-catching running back on the roster.

General Prediction for 2022 and Rest of Career

Sanders is entering the final year of his rookie contract. While he has averaged 5.1 yards per rushing attempt, Sanders isn’t one of the elite running backs in the NFL. If he wants to earn a massive new contract with the Eagles, Sanders will need to have a breakout 2022 season.

The Eagles have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Even with their starting five locked into place, the Eagles used their second-round pick on Cam Jurgens. When Jason Kelce retires in a year or two, Jurgens will be the new starting center.

With arguably the best run-blocking offensive line in the NFL, Sanders should maintain his 5.1 yards per rushing attempt average. However, the crowded backfield and Hurts limit Sanders’ upside.

If he scored six touchdowns in 2021 (his average per year over the first two seasons of his career), Sanders would have scored 153.2 fantasy points last year. On a points per game basis, he would have been the RB23, averaging 12.8 fantasy points per contest.

Furthermore, the Eagles will likely throw the ball more this year than in 2021 with the flashy new addition of A.J. Brown. After attempting only 494 pass attempts last year (fewest in the NFL), expect the Eagles to finish in the middle of the pack this year, thus further limiting Sanders’ upside.

Buy, Sell, or Hold?

Between the loaded backfield, the addition of Brown, and the current quarterback situation, Sanders has several variables keeping him from turning into an RB1 for fantasy teams. Typically, running backs who don’t have a top-12 finish in their first three seasons in the NFL don’t turn into fantasy stars. Unfortunately, Sanders falls into this category.

Fantasy players with Sanders on their roster should look to trade him, regardless if they are contending or rebuilding. Sanders has failed to turn into a fantasy difference-maker and has an unfavorable situation in Philadelphia. Even if he signs with another team in the 2023 offseason, Sanders is unlikely to land in a better situation for his fantasy value.

If you can land a 2023 first-round pick for Sanders, that is a steal of a deal. However, getting back a 2023 second-round pick and a younger running back with upside like Rhamondre Stevenson or Isaiah Spiller is also a package worth accepting for Sanders.


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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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