Fantasy Football Dark Horse Sleeper: Mike James

By Tristen Challe
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The fantasy football running back position has been an interesting story to watch as the NFL season has gone along. Many of the top, high-drafted backs have either drastically under performed or have suffered some sort of injury setback. In come the backups and they show some great fantasy potential. One player who has benefited from this situation and will aid fantasy owners from here on out is Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike James. Heading into Week 10, James is definitely a dark horse fantasy football sleeper.

With the injury to Doug Martin, James entered the picture and had the chance to shine. And shine he did as he blasted the highly-touted Seattle Seahawks‘ defense for 158 yards on the ground. James wove in and out of defenders and ran over any players in his way. He was able to find the open holes and gain massive yards after contact. In fact, last week, James gained 68 of his 158 yards after contact. That stat is not a fluke at all as James has averaged 2.2 yards after contact this year which is good for second in the NFL.

Last week the Buccaneers gave James the rock 28 times which led to the massive rushing total James was able to accumulate. Don’t kid yourself, if the Buccaneers want a chance at winning at their first game of the season, they are going to make sure James gets plenty of touches. He has recorded 55 attempts this season gaining 254 yards which is good for a 4.6-yard average. This guy is a tough runner with great vision to hit every hole.

Running into a Miami Dolphins team, which has been marred by controversy as of late, in Week 10, James can once again run with flying colors. The distracted Dolphins are allowing the third-most rushing yards after contact and give up the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. They have allowed eight rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs in the past five weeks and are allowing opposing running backs to gain 21.3 fantasy point per week.

Surprisingly, James is still available in nearly 75 percent of leagues and should be picked up and started this week against the Dolphins. In my book, he’s a high-end flex position play with the potential to be a solid No. 2 back on your team. Expect James to gather plenty of carries and find the end zone for his first rushing touchdown of the year.

 Tristen Challe is a Fantasy Writer for Rantsports. Follow him on Twitter @TristenChalle or on Google.

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