RB Fantasy Football Sleepers 2023: Players To Target Include Antonio Gibson, Tyjae Spears, and Others!

Drafting the right sleepers can elevate your fantasy football team to the next level. Here's a look at four sleeper running backs to target in drafts.

A term that gets used often in fantasy football circles is a sleeper. You typically start drafting your sleepers after the fifth round and hope for the best. But when a sleeper comes along that carries a talent profile and a promising role that could lead to fantasy-point production, it can feel like you have hit the jackpot!

There are running back sleepers that I recommend targeting in your fantasy drafts that have all the traits of a breakout performance coming this season.

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What Is a Fantasy Football Sleeper?

Before I dive right in, I wanted to take this time and explain that for this article, a sleeper is a player (in this case, a running back) that the fantasy football community has mostly ignored, and these players could surprise us this season and exceed the expectations set before them.

One thing that these sleepers have in common is that they’re all on offenses that struggled last season. Those struggles, as a result, have pushed down their draft stock.

Fantasy Football RB Sleepers 2023

Rachaad White, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I wasn’t sure if Rachaad White qualified as a sleeper or not, but according to Yahoo ADP, he’s being drafted as the 27th running back off the board and near the turn of the sixth and seventh rounds. I, however, believe he can finish as a top-20 fantasy RB.

Last year, the Buccaneers offense was, well … offensive to watch. But let’s not forget that they had their top two interior linemen injured in Aaron Stinnie and Ryan Jensen.

White is also a talented pass catcher, as he caught 50 passes last season. He’s incredibly versatile, and the team made no major acquisitions that would pose a threat to his workload.

For a sixth-round selection, White has an incredibly high ceiling. I know there’s a clear downgrade at quarterback, but Tampa Bay’s offensive line should perform much better in 2023.

Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Commanders

Antonio Gibson could finally get the coaching boost he’s always needed in Washington. Eric Bieniemy is in town to run the offense, and there’s hope that there could actually be a competent offense in D.C.

Gibson has always struggled with the powers that be in Washington, practically begging for more dynamic usage, only to be stuck as a rusher and splitting time with less athletic backs. He’ll be splitting time with Brian Robinson, but Gibson is the preferred pass catcher, and I’m expecting improved usage this season from him.

Gibson’s currently being drafted in the seventh round, and despite the poor circumstances last season, he still finished with an average of 11 fantasy points per game. If Washington’s offense can progress just a little, and Gibson receives more passing-game work, he’ll be an RB2 lock for 2023.

Jaylen Warren, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Now we’re getting a little crazy, but hear me out! In 2023, we witnessed a poor performance from the entire Steelers offense. But the team has made big investments along the offensive line this offseason, and while it’s only the preseason, Pittsburgh has scored 27 points in both games.

Last year, in 17 games, the Steelers scored more than 27 points only twice! That’s got to count for something, right?!

fantasy football sleepers

Over the second half of the 2022 season, we saw Jaylen Warren receive more playing time. He had more games with a 30% snap share or higher after Week 10 than he did during the first nine weeks of the season.

There has also been the steady drumbeat of reports out of camp praising the second-year back out of Oklahoma State. Pittsburgh has traditionally only used one back, but the team has clearly noticed the talent and effort, and Warren is projected to take more work this season.

Warren is currently going in the 13th round, primarily because of the historical usage of the Steelers’ starting running back and last year’s team struggles. But don’t leave your fantasy drafts without him. Not only can Warren be a handcuff to Harris, but he also provides standalone value.

Tyjae Spears, RB, Tennessee Titans

Okay, now we’re diving deep! I would never fade The Big Dog, Derrick Henry, but we have to look at historical trends and observe how the Titans could adjust their offense after 2022.

After an abysmal performance all season long from Tennessee’s offense, we saw the Titans address it by drafting all offensive positions. Tyjae Spears, in particular, was one player they were very high on. Spears is a shifty, pass-catching back that can complement Henry very well.

We can see Henry in on rushing attempts or base packages, but when the Titans are in hurry-up mode and need to score quickly, Spears can step in and be a safety valve for the quarterback. Spears has an ADP near the 18th round, so he could go undrafted in several drafts.

I’m expecting the Titans to attempt to be more careful with Henry’s snaps as he moves over to the wrong side of 30 for running backs. With an increase in snaps and opportunities, Spears will be the beneficiary.

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