6 NFL Running Backs Who Are Fantasy Football Sleepers For 2024

De'Von Achane, Miami Dolphins
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL campaign is inching closer and closer, which means that Fantasy Football season is upon us.

Fantasy owners everywhere know that Christian McCaffrey is the top running back available, but in a modern NFL where the importance of halfbacks has been diminished, it may be more difficult to identify the sleepers who may help people win their leagues.

So, who are five running backs that are flying under the radar heading into 2024?

Keep your eye on these guys.

De’Von Achane, Miami Dolphins

Raheem Mostert is currently the No. 1 running back on the Dolphins’ depth chart, but we’ll see how much longer that lasts.

De’Von Achane’s rookie campaign was limited to 11 games due to injuries, but when he was on the field, he was electrifying, rushing for 800 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging an insane 7.8 yards per carry. He also caught 27 passes for 197 yards and three scores.

Achane racked up 455 rushing yards as well as six total touchdowns between Weeks 3 and 5. He also posted 12.3 yards per attempt (no, seriously) during that stretch. Then, the injury bug struck, and he missed four straight games.

Should you expect Achane to record nearly eight yards per tote again in 2024? Probably not, but look for him to have a big season and potentially supplant Mostert as the featured back.

Chase Brown, Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals seemed to really like Chase Brown heading into last season, but he only carried the ball 44 times for 179 yards with Joe Mixon getting the bulk of the work.

Now, Mixon is gone, and Zack Moss is the top running back in Cincinnati. But is Moss really an every-down back? I have my doubts.

Brown could end up getting significantly more touches in 2024, both as a rusher and as a receiver out of the backfield. He rattled off 1,643 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground during his final season at Illinois in 2022, also punching in three receiving scores.

The 24-year-old has blazing speed and may very well carve out a crucial nice in the Bengals’ offense this fall. Again, it just seems unlikely that Moss will become a Mixon-type bell cow.

Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers

The cat may be out of the bag with Jaylen Warren after he rattled off 784 yards and four touchdowns while averaging a robust 5.4 yards per carry in 2023. Not only that, but he hauled in 61 receptions for 370 yards.

However, it’s not like he rushed for 1,000 yards last season, so he could still be considered a sleeper.

The Steelers have decided not to exercise Najee Harris’ fifth-year option, which indicates that they feel pretty good about Warren moving forward.

Will Warren be Pittsburgh’s featured back right out of the gate in 2024? Probably not, and if anything, he will likely end up splitting time with Harris. It seems hard to imagine that he will flat out overtake him. But expect Warren to get more touches than he did last year, and given how efficient he has proven to be, he will almost surely make the most of his playing time.

Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks took Zach Charbonnet in the second round of the NFL Draft last spring, and he served as the backup to Kenneth Walker in his rookie campaign.

However, based on how disappointing Walker was in 2023, Charbonnet could (should) end up getting more burn in his sophomore season.

Charbonnet didn’t post eye-popping numbers this past year. He rushed for 462 yards and a touchdown, logging 4.3 yards per attempt. Additionally, he snared 33 balls for 209 yards as a receiver.

But given that Seattle may end up giving more touches to Charbonnet this coming season, you can expect bigger numbers from the third-year back.

After all, the 23-year-old posted back-to-back monster campaigns in his final two collegiate seasons at UCLA, topping out at 1,359 yards and 14 touchdowns while adding 37 catches in 2022.

Look for Charbonnet to get more opportunities come September.

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans

The Titans lost Derrick Henry to the Baltimore Ravens in free agency and replaced him with Tony Pollard.

Pollard is coming off of back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, but he wasn’t very efficient in 2023 and there is some doubt as to whether or not he is a legitimate featured back.

This could open up even more playing time for Tyjae Spears, who was very impressive in a backup role this past year. He rushed for 453 yards and a pair of touchdowns, recording 4.5 yards per tote. More importantly, he racked up 52 receptions for 385 yards and a score, displaying his versatility.

Spears’ usage also increased as the 2023 campaign progressed, as he caught 23 passes in six games in December and January after amassing a grand total of 29 over his first 11 contests.

Plus, with Will Levis entering his first full season as Tennessee’s starting quarterback, he may throw a lot of check-down passes. Spears will eat those up.

Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders

On the surface, Zamir White’s 2023 numbers don’t look too great. He totaled 451 yards and one touchdown on the ground, logging 4.3 yards per carry.

But then, you look at White did in the last four games of the season with Josh Jacobs sidelined, and you’ll see that he certainly has the potential to have a breakout 2024.

White accumulated 397 rushing yards between Weeks 15 and 18, a tick below 100 yards per game. He also averaged 4.7 yards per attempt.

Jacobs signed with the Green Bay Packers in free agency, opening the door for White to start next season. We will see if he can pick up where he left off from last January.

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