Miles Sanders had a very nice fantasy football season in 2021 despite battling many injuries. He only appeared in 12 games for the Philadelphia Eagles, but still finished with 754 yards. Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell, the Eagles’ backup backs, filled in rather well in Sanders’ absence. When he did play, he rarely saw touches in the red zone, and as a result, finished with zero touchdowns. Will the backups’ roles increase, or will Sanders see an uptick in usage that could lead to a sharp rise in fantasy stock?
2022 Fantasy Football Outlook: Miles Sanders
There is no doubt that Miles Sanders faced some challenges last year. He had to sit out five games at various points of the year because of various injuries. In some games, he only played for a short while or was limited in his carries. In fact, he was only able to get 10+ carries in just half (6) of the games he played thanks in large part to those aforementioned injuries.
But, despite all of the adversity and the challenges, Sanders still put together a solid season behind an improved Philadelphia rushing scheme. He finished with over 750 yards (average of 67 per game), which finished 23rd in the NFL among running backs. What was interesting is the fact that Sanders rarely got any red zone touches, nor could he break out for any big runs; he finished with zero touchdowns, something that is uncharacteristic from starting NFL running backs. Still, he should have been given more chances to score; even he thinks so. This is something the Eagles will have to do better this season.
As said above, the Eagles have to address their issue at running back. They already have one of the best running games, led by Jalen Hurts at quarterback. So, they have to utilize all of their options (Scott and Gainwell included) and have to give each guy some opportunities in all facets of the game. This includes getting a share of carries, some receptions, and a decent share of red zone touches.
As long as Sanders can keep off the injured list, he should have an upside of an RB2 for most of the year. I estimate that he gets at least 900 yards and scores at least five touchdowns. It’s hard for a starting guy to go scoreless for such a long time, and hopefully, the Eagles treat him right and give him some opportunities.
Sanders is a shorter and smaller guy but has decent speed and uses his built line to his advantage. But, his biggest problem is size and strength in the red zone. They won’t feed him nearly as often because they simply have bigger, stronger guys who are more likely to score.
Average Draft Position
Sanders’ competition and questionable health places him much lower than his final rankings. He is ranked anywhere from RB25 to RB28 in most reputable fantasy football sources. He looks to be going around 63rd to 67th overall in most mock drafts, and will likely be around for a few rounds after the 6th and 7th rounds as well. There are just so many questions related to the Eagles’ offensive situation and Sanders’ health that will decide how this fantasy football season will go for Miles Sanders.