Fantasy Football 2014: Is Darren Sproles Overvalued?
Darren Sproles became a big factor for fantasy football owners with the New Orleans Saints over the last three seasons, particularly in PPR leagues with at least 71 receptions in all three campaigns and 16 receiving touchdowns. An offseason trade to the Philadelphia Eagles puts him in line for a prominent role in Chip Kelly’s offense, so Sproles retains solid fantasy value for this year.
Sproles is obviously not a running back in the traditional sense, with more catches than carries in three of the last four seasons. But he may be in line for more carries this year as LeSean McCoy’s primary backup, since Philadelphia does not have a lot of proven running back depth.
Kelly will surely find a way to use Sproles in a variety of ways, and report from early in training camp that he was practicing some with the Eagles’ wide receivers backs that up. How that ultimately pans out when the regular season starts is unclear, but Sproles should see the field plenty on passing downs.
Sproles was not consistent enough to be an every week fantasy starter during his time with the Saints, and on his new team his fantasy value looks likely to go down. The Eagles had the fourth-most rush attempts in the league last season (500: 31.3 per game), and I don’t see that changing much with McCoy leading the charge.
Even though I think a drop-off is coming, Sproles still has solid value in PPR leagues this year. I see 60-plus catches as a solid expectation, but he just doesn’t offer enough outside of that to be someone I covet in drafts and auctions. Add in an average draft position befitting a RB3 right now, regardless of scoring format, and I’m not on the Sproles bandwagon.