In our annual 32-part Summer Sleeper series, DLF scribes identify a lightly-touted player on each NFL roster who may be worthy of your consideration. Our subjects all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but each merits a bit of in-depth discussion.
To help everybody along, we are going to be categorizing our sleepers under one of three headings:
Super Deep Sleepers – Players who aren’t roster-worthy in 12-team leagues, but are still worth keeping an eye on.
Deep Sleepers – An end-of-the-roster player who is more often than not on the waiver wire in 12-team leagues.
Sleeper – A likely rostered player who makes for a good trade target. Their startup ADP puts them out of the top 175 or so.
Because we aren’t going to give you the likes of mainstream sleepers, most of these players will undoubtedly fizzle. All we are asking is for you to keep an open mind and perhaps be willing to make room for one of these players on your bench. You never know when the next Adam Thielen or James Robinson is going to spring up. Feel free to add your own thoughts about our choice for the designated sleeper, or nominate one of your own in the comments below
Next up in our series, the Miami Dolphins…
Myles Gaskin, RB MIA
Category: Deep Sleeper
I can already hear the collective moaning of the readers, so I’m going to try to do my best to show you why you shouldn’t give up on someone like Gaskin. There’s a lot left in his tank and his price is pretty good too. First, let’s check out his statistical history.
Statistics from Pro Football Reference.
It’s not amazing and I hope you didn’t expect it to be, but if you take a quick peek at the receiving stats to go with his running stats, it may open your eyes a little bit. Gaskin was the lead back with Miami last year and finished RB26 overall, which puts him in flex territory at the very worst. Considering the dumpster fire that the offense was, I think it’s an accomplishment for a Dolphins running back to be anywhere in the top 32.
I understand that veterans Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert were brought into the fold and that turned people off Gaskin, but in my opinion, that’s the exact reason we should be liking him. At 5’10” and 195 pounds he was never meant to be the lead back anyway.
Gaskin is better suited for the passing game, and the addition of Edmonds and Mostert means Gaskin can focus on the downs that matter to his game. I also don’t think Mostert can fully heal and withstand the punishment of an entire NFL season, so Gaskin should be looked at as a number two at worst at some point this season.
Given how most teams in the NFL use running back by committee these days, I think it’s safe to assume that Gaskin will still generate around 30% of his team’s handoffs, which equates to around 100-110 carries. As a result, his stats may go down a tad but even if that’s so, it’ll still out-perform his ADP, which is 267 and RB83.
This means – even with a low projection – Gaskin is expected to out-perform his ADP by a long shot, making him a good deal overall. He can still be found on the waiver wire, and for pennies he can be had via trade. Here are some good examples I found using our trade finder tool.
Lastly, I think we should look at the fact that Miami will be coached this year by first-time head coach Mike McDaniel, who spent the previous five seasons in San Francisco mostly as the running game coordinator, and his last season as the offensive coordinator. The 49ers’ running game has been among the elite offenses in the NFL over that span.
The team returns third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, a set of excellent pass-catchers in Mike Gesicki, Jaylen Waddle, and deep-threat Tyreek Hill. I feel teams may focus on forcing the Dolphins to run the ball more, which will fall right into the hands of McDaniel and his offensive scheme, where Gaskin will be one of the beneficiaries.
If you need depth at running back, Gaskin is probably floating around on the waiver wire right now. At worst I think he’ll be a flex, and perhaps only an injury away from being a starter yet again in the 2022 season.
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