A Tennessee football rookie in the NFL is getting some unexpected love. Former Volunteers running back John Kelly was named a 2018 fantasy football sleeper.
Hey may have fallen to the sixth round of the NFL Draft after getting nowhere near the love he deserved while playing for Butch Jones. But it looks like another Tennessee football running back from the spread could become a fantasy star this year.
John Kelly, who took the torch from Alvin Kamara in 2017 only to be grossly misused, has been labeled a fantasy football sleeper for 2018 by Mike Tagliere of FantasyPros. Drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, Tagliere brought up the offensive system there.
"It blows my mind that nobody is drafting the running back who is the handcuff to the No. 1 running back in football."
Given the fact that the Rams are looking for playmakers and planning to maximize a complement to Todd Gurley, it is true that Kelly has a chance to thrive. Tagliere noted that dynamic when he listed Kelly.
There was only one player named a sleeper for each team, and Kelly was it for the Rams. Tagliere also noted that Kelly is a great pass-catching back, which allows him even more chances to maximize points.
Of course, the Rams system isn’t like the New Orleans Saints. Kamara was a perfect fit for what Sean Payton and Drew Brees like, so his success was highly predictable. Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush were proof that speedy backs thrive in that offense.
Kelly’s system is a little more up in the air. However, the success of Gurley and the direction of the Rams mean he will get lots of touches this year. As a result, it would be ridiculous not to go all out to draft him.
Of course, Kelly’s numbers from last year didn’t help why he fell to the sixth round. He only had 778 yards, averaging just over four per carry, with nine touchdowns. Combine those with his decision to leave early and a late-season arrest, and there is a bit of a risk with him.
However, we all saw what he could do in games against the Florida Gators and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Kelly is very versatile and a reliable playmaker. Also, playing for a horrible system behind a terrible line hurt him tremendously. So there’s plenty of reason to believe in the guy as a fantasy sleeper.