Dion Lewis

Dion Lewis was a nobody. He hadn't played in an NFL game since 2012. To the regular fan, he was invisible.

Yet people started to take notice when Lewis's name got traction as a potential fantasy football sleeper. The New England Patriots had locked in on Lewis as their backup running back -- a nice change-of-pace option to starter LeGarrette Blount.

And with Blount serving a suspension at the start of the season, Lewis figured to get the bulk of the team's carries early on. That was the case in the Patriots' season-opening win over Pittsburgh. Lewis carried the ball 15 times for 69 years and hauled in four receptions for 51 yards in New England's 28-12 victory.

The numbers may not blow anyone away, but that performance came from a guy with 39 career NFL carries. A former fifth-round draft pick, Lewis wasn't even in the league for the bulk of last season, after the Indianapolis Colts cut him in mid-September.

His short Colts tenure followed an unremarkable run with the Cleveland Browns, who acquired Lewis in a trade from the team that had drafted him, Philadelphia. His NFL career seemed all but over in 2014, until the Patriots signed him to a futures contract.

And New England found use for Lewis, gradually moving him up the depth chart over the offseason. By the time NFL fans were putting together their draft boards, Lewis was known as sneaky pick.

Anyone who took a chance on the former Pittsburgh Panthers star was rewarded for their leap of faith. Outside of a lone fumble, Lewis looked strong against the Steelers defense and made it clear why the Patriots hold him in such high regard. While Blount's eventual return will cut into Lewis's carries, he looks likely to continue producing for both the Patriots and fantasy owners alike.

After three long years, Lewis returned to the NFL gridiron proved he's right where he belongs.

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