We’re approaching the 2024 season. Every year, a few players seize on the right opportunity and surprise for fantasy players. The value comes from trying to predict who it will end up being this time of year and stashing them. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking at some 2024 sleeper candidates at each key fantasy position: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end. Hopefully, these are players you can acquire at a value that will propel you to fantasy glory.

For the next entry in my running back group, I’m looking at a player with plenty of upside and opportunity. The problem is that we have a very small sample to fuel our optimism. But that’s the case with Zamir White, who could be poised to break big in year three with the Las Vegas Raiders. But it’s certainly not without risk. Just how big a risk is it to bet on White in 2024? Let’s weigh the evidence and see.

The Case for Zamir White

The case for White comes down to opportunity and what we’ve seen from him. The first peg there is opportunity. The Raiders have been led by Josh Jacobs for the past few years, but he left in Free Agency for the Green Bay Packers. That leaves a hole in the backfield that the Raiders have done little in free agency or the draft to fill. That’s good news for those who roster White—especially those who’ve had him on a Taxi Squad the past two seasons.

In 2023, Jacobs started the season as the unquestioned No. 1. Through 13 games, all starts, he saw 233 carries and 54 targets. That aligns with his lead role in 2022, where Jacobs finished as RB3. White started the final four games of the season in his stead and shined. He finished as RB9 over that stretch, turning 104 carries into 451 yards and a touchdown. He also caught 15 passes for 98 yards. Now, he has the chance to carry the full load and expand on those numbers.

The Case Against Zamir White

When we’re considering whether White could be the guy, it comes down to his past performance and potential competition. First, White doesn’t have much experience. He was taken by former coach Josh McDaniels in the Fourth Round. He had barely a role in 2022, carrying only 17 times. He was headed that way in 2023, too. Before Jacobs getting injured and inheriting the starting lineup, White had just 22 carries for 54 yards. He had four great games to end the season, but it’s a small sample size.

The Raiders also add some competition in the form of Alexander Mattison, who spent his first five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. With Dalvin Cook out of the picture in 2023, the Vikings turned it over to Mattison to start the season. He was the lead back but sputtered. He carried 180 times for 700 yards—both career highs—but managed just 3.9 yards per carry and no touchdowns. Still, he has far more experience than White and could be a factor in the backfield.

The Bottom Line

There is great potential in the Raiders’ backfield, creating some excitement. That’s probably why White—despite a lack of experience—is going as RB21. That gives a certain expectation that he’ll be a weekly starter. That creates pressure, but it might still be too low. White was a Top 10 option during his four starts. Jacobs, similarly, was RB9 during his 13 starts. If White is the guy and gets volume, he could pay off handsomely. But there’s also a chance he can’t hold up to the load or ends up in more of a split with Mattison. But I like White and his potential. If you’ve been holding onto White for two seasons, this could finally be your time.

Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.

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