As we inch toward the new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move. Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty value of Miles Sanders.
Miles Sanders’ Dynasty Outlook and Value
Sanders is easily one of the most fascinating running backs I’ve encountered in terms of his perception in the fantasy world. I thought he was an incredibly overrated prospect back in 2019. But I will admit his 13.5 ppg as a rookie exceeded expectations.
As a sophomore, Sanders was more of the same, averaging 14.2 ppg, finishing as a mid-RB2. This was enough for him to ascend into the ranks of the RB1s in dynasty valuation.
Then, in his third season, the wheels fell off … kind of. Sanders was the same guy in terms of rushing efficiency, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. The problem in 2021 was he just didn’t score touchdowns … literally. He didn’t score a single one. This resulted in Sanders averaging a career-worst 9.8 ppg.
Another part of Sanders’ issues is he’s become a complete zero in the passing game. Despite being a capable receiver in each of his first two seasons, the Eagles stopped throwing him the ball. His target share dropped to 9.6% in 2021 and plummeted to 5.2% in 2022.
Without receiving volume to rely on, Sanders became the dreaded two-down back who doesn’t catch passes and doesn’t get goal-line work, losing the latter to Jalen Hurts.
Sanders did score seven of his 11 touchdowns from inside the 5-yard line, which is encouraging. However, later in the season, he was regularly ceding work to Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell.
Sanders averaged 12.7 ppg in 2022 with 1,269 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Unless his receiving work reappears, I’m not sure how he does any better than this. From Week 17 through the Super Bowl, Sanders never played more than 40% of the snaps. It’s difficult to imagine another team not looking at that and wondering why.
But now Sanders gets a chance to re-establish his value with the Carolina Panthers, who have signed him to a four-year deal, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo. When you look into the ties that bind, this makes a ton of sense. Duce Staley, who left the Detroit Lions to become the assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Panthers, was with the Eagles as their RB coach when they drafted Sanders.
That likely indicates Sanders could be in line for a significant workload. Carolina was one of the few destinations where Sanders could avoid falling back into the RBBC philosophy. Well, kind of.
For one, free agency is not over by any stretch of the imagination, and former Panthers RB D’Onta Foreman remains unsigned. I wouldn’t be shocked if he was back in Charlotte, as Staley has noted several times he prefers a three-headed attack in the backfield to keep players fresh.
While I do feel certain the Panthers, with Frank Reich and Staley, will want to run the ball as they slowly put more on the plate of their future QB, Sanders’ dynasty value is anything but set in stone.
Miles Sanders’ Fantasy Ranking
At 26 years old, Sanders should remain as effective as he can be for the duration of his second contract. For better or worse, where Sanders ends up will have a sizable impact on his dynasty value.
One thing is certain, while the opportunities might increase, the efficiency will not as Sanders is moving from the Eagles and their cheat code of an offensive line to a team that doesn’t even have its Week 1 QB on the roster, has a new head coach, traded away it’s best offensive asset (DJ Moore), and was 19th in ESPN’s run-block win rate at 39%. For reference, Philly was No. 1 at 52%.
Sanders is not someone I’m looking to acquire, but if I had him, I’d look to trade him at maximum value, which could be right now. We cannot base his value on what he did in Philly as the situation is different, and as Fat Joe once said, “yesterday’s price is not today’s price.”
Currently, Sanders is the RB31 in PPR dynasty formats, but this will change once rookies are added. When it comes to Superflex leagues, where QBs see a boost in value due to positional scarcity, he is the No. 99 ranked player overall.
Sanders is likely a better value in redraft leagues than in dynasty. If he sees top volume in 2023 with the Panthers, a top-16 season is not out of the question — especially if he receives the bulk of the passing work when whoever is at QB is needing to check down because no one can get open.
At the moment, dynasty managers are content with this result for Sanders, who gets a clean start. But as we have seen in both Philly and Detroit, Staley is not the most fantasy-friendly coach in how he operates his backfield. Tread carefully.
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