ROOKIE SLEEPER 🤫
I’ve already gone to this well once in a sleeper article about a month ago, but I gotta go back to it because it makes my lips tingle. Israel Abanikanda has a real shot at being this years Isiah Pacheco. He and Pacheco both dabble in just putting their heads down and plowing into their O-Line to force a gap. However, what makes Pacheco so successful is that he’s an angry runner with one-cut, finishing speed. That's exactly what Abanikanda provides but Izzy has stats that should stop him from being a 7th rounder.
"His film says he can house a 60-yarder and make a fantasy week in one play. You can’t ask for much more from a dude who’s going in the 2nd or 3rd round of your rookie drafts."
— Andrew Teuscher —
The Pittsburgh RB put up 1,431 rushing yards (14th in FBS) and 20 rushing TDs which led the nation. He had more rushing yards than guys like Zach Charbonet and Sean Tucker, and was more efficient than Blake Corum and Deuce Vaughn. He had 100 rushing yards in 9 out of the 11 games he suited up in. The “Problem out of Pittsburgh” slapped what his mother gave him on the table when he put up a massive 320 yard and 6 TD performance against Virginia Tech. Yet people aren’t talking about him enough.
Abanikanda checks so many boxes. He had a decent 6.2% target share but showed he was certainly capable of being a passing down back. At 5’11”, 216 lbs he carries enough size to truly lead a backfield. He’s also got the speed to make someone pay when they don’t bring him down in space. Not to mention he declared early and is only 20 years old.
I really don’t think he’ll be a top-15 dynasty RB, but his profile says its not out of the question. His film says he can house a 60-yarder and make a fantasy week in one play. You can’t ask for much more from a dude who’s going in the 2nd or 3rd round of your rookie drafts.
Andrew Teuscher is a Fantasy Guides' contributor. He writes a ton of articles on our website and content for our Instagram as well as part of our fantasy football rankings. He's a die-hard Colts fan who dreams of brighter days in Indy.