Sleeper: Jermaine Gresham – With David Johnson coming off a season long injury, I think the Cardinals will do the best they can to use him, but not overuse him which opens up more passing options. Larry Fitzgerald is a first ballot Hall of Famer, I love the guy, but he is also one year older. I think he takes a step back which means someone else will need to step up. I see Jermaine Gresham being that player.
Bust: David Johnson – Calm down and take a deep breathe. I think he has a well above average year. I don’t think he is a true “bust” but I do think he is being drafted too early in almost all leagues and formats. He has had one season with incredible stats in 2016, he missed the entire 2017 season and we expect him to come back and put up the same or close to the same numbers? I am doubtful. I have Johnson ranked as my RB5. A bust? Not completely, overrated, I think so.
Sleeper: Mohamed Sanu – With the addition of NCAA superstar Calvin Ridley, and healthy Julio Jones, I think Sanu is going to be open more often than not. You almost have to double team Julio on all occasions, Ridley already looks NFL ready, he will need to be focused on which is going to leave NFL veteran Sanu open for a lot of looks and plenty of yards and receptions.
Bust: Austin Hooper – Ever since Tony Gonzalez left the Falcons after the 2013 season, the TE position in Atlanta has almost been obsolete. When you have one of the best WR in the game on your team, Devonta Freeman who can catch out of the backfield and the 2nd overall WR taken in the draft, you leave almost no looks or opportunities open for your mediocre TE.
Sleeper: Lamar Jackson – Big name, big hype. Stash this stud on your bench. With the aging Flacco slowing down, Jackson is sure to step in and use his legs and speed to gain rushing yards and rushing TDs. Baltimore also has new additions at WR, Willie Snead coming over from New Orleans, Michael Crabtree coming over from Oakland and John Brown coming from Arizona. With the revamped WR core in Baltimore, Jackson will have plenty of options.
Bust: Joe Flacco – Sorry Joe, your time has come. His arm is still strong but not what it used to be, Baltimore wants to push Lamar into the starting QB position and get this team on the right track. It’s inevitable that Flacco will become the 2nd string QB early on in the season. Stay away from Flacco in your drafts.
Sleeper: Kelvin Benjamin – Whether it be AJ McCarron or Josh Allen throwing the ball in Buffalo, Benjamin is a huge body with a solid pair of hands. Lesean McCoy will struggle to find the fountain of youth and Buffalo will heavily rely on the pass game this year. Expect Benjamin to put up big numbers if you feel safe with his injury risks.
Bust: Lesean McCoy – His attempts from 2016 to 2017 increased, but his yardage and TDs decreased. What does that tell you? He needs more carries to still come up short of his numbers from two seasons ago. I love you Shady, I hope I’m wrong, I just can’t see it this year plain and simple. Draft Shady if you can get him at great value, not where his ADP (average draft position) is.
Sleeper: Greg Olsen – After an injury plagued 2017 campaign, I think Olsen comes back strong and healthy. One of Cams favorite red zone targets. With Kelvin Benjamin gone, Cam will look to Greg more often. Expect lots of receptions and yardage from a sure handed and consistent TE.
Bust: Christian McCaffrey – The biggest running threat in Carolina is Cam Newton, not Christian McCaffrey. With CJ Anderson joining the team, he will eat into McCaffrey’s touches. He is a decent threat out of the backfield but with Torrey Smith and Devin Funchess on the outside, I just don’t see much production from McCaffrey this season.
Sleeper: Mitchell Trubisky – I think Mitch takes the leap this season into a very productive QB. Speedster Taylor Gabriel came to Chicago from Atlanta. Deep threat Allen Robinson came over from Jacksonville. Trubisky has more weapons than he had last year and Kevin White is ready to live up to his hype this season.
Bust: Jordan Howard – The Bears new coach Matt Nagy is going to take a step back from the run-heavy offense the Bears have been known for in the past few seasons. Chicago drafted Trubisky to throw the ball and throw it accurately, this season he will step up and turn this team into a pass first offense. Howard still has good numbers but takes a step back in production with the new direction of the offense.
Sleeper: Joe Mixon – The 21 year old Cincy RB is poised for a breakout year. Splitting carries last year with Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill cost Mixon a lot of touches. I see him taking more of those carries back this season and becoming a real workhorse. His real value is his catching game out of the backfield catching all but 4 of his 34 targets last year. I see big things for Mixon this season.
Bust: Brandon LaFell – Andy Dalton has three favorite targets, none of which include LaFell. He’ll look for AJ Green first, then Tyler Eifert or Mixon if the play is designed that way. LaFell is in the backside of his career and an afterthought in Daltons mind. Be wary.
Sleeper: Nick Chubb – Cleveland has really turned around this offseason. New RBs, new QB, new WRs. I’m excited to see this team. I think Chubb does what Chubb does best, run the hell out of the ball. He will become a 3 down back eventually and has the power to lower his shoulder and run a few defenders over. His pass catching game needs some work, but his run game makes up for his lack in other areas. Look for Chubb to eat up carries, yards and TDs this season.
Bust: Baker Mayfield – Johnny Manziel 2.0. Jarvis Landry is a true threat, but one of the teams only WR threats. If Josh Gordon could stay out of trouble and play an entire season, things might change. I don’t think Mayfield has the maturity to step into a leadership role in the NFL. With two NFL veterans in the backfield and a rookie stud, I see the Browns relying more on the run game this season than the pass game. There is talk of Dez Bryant taking a trip to Cleveland, if the Browns were to sign Dez, I’ll have to change my pick, until then, I don’t trust Mayfield.
Sleeper: Terrance Williams – Somebody is going to have to step up and fill the shoes of Dez Bryant. Don’t expect Williams to put up those kind of numbers, but I think he takes a huge leap. Prescott will be looking to Allen Hurns and Terrance Williams to fill the void of Dez. Prescott and Williams have already played together and I think that connection gives Williams a chance to be a true breakout WR candidate.
Bust: Ezekiel Elliot – With Dez Bryant leaving, Jason Witten retiring and Dak Prescott left without any big weapons, I think defenses know the Dallas Cowboys plan; run the ball. Its still Ezekiel Elliot and he will get plenty of touches. I think he has a great year but takes a large step back in fantasy numbers. If you’re playing the Cowboys this season, your game plan is to load the box and stop Zeke. That’s it.
Sleeper: Royce Freeman – Freeman is listed as the 2nd string RB, I think he will be the starter by week 5. He is a big back with good speed out of Oregon. Taken in the third round and with the lack of QB stability in Denver, I see Royce Freeman getting plenty of opportunities to tote the rock.
Bust: Demaryius Thomas – He is still the #1 WR in Denver by far, but it almost feels like he is the only WR in Denver. As I mentioned earlier in my sleeper pick, I see Denver relying heavily on the running game in 2018. Expect a decline in Thomas’ fantasy production this year.
Sleeper: Luke Wilson – Detroit has a ton of average weapons but no real superstar, and I don’t expect Luke Wilson to become a superstar, I do expect him to exceed expectations though. The RB core in Detroit is shotty at best and the WR core is fairly better than decent. I see Wilson flying in under the radar this season and surprising quite a few people. A true deep sleeper.
Bust: LeGarrette Blount – He has been a workhorse throughout his career, its taken a toll on his body. The Lions also have three other RBs to feed in rookie Kerryon Johnson, Ameer Abdullah and The Riddick. I just don’t see the potential in opportunities for Blount to have this season to make a difference on your fantasy roster. Flex position at best.
Green Bay Packers
Sleeper: Jamaal Williams – Green Bay has a very tricky backfield to predict with Williams, Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery all hunting for that lead back position. As of now, Williams looks like the first string candidate, I think he will bring tremendous value in the mid to late rounds in your draft. Green Bay has to run the ball eventually, when they do, Williams will be carrying it.
Bust: Jimmy Graham – Big name, I just don’t see him making much of a difference in Green Bays pass game even with Jordy gone. Tight End has never been a very productive position in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best in the game if not the best; he will find Jimmy Graham, just not as much as people expect him to.
Sleeper: D’Onta Foreman – Foreman is coming off an injured 2017 campaign, he’s looked great throughout training camp though. He is on Lamar Millers heels for the lead back duties. Foreman’s 6 foot 233 pound frame makes him a true wrecking ball. He’s very worthy of a bench spot when you want to roll the dice. Lots of upside here.
Bust: Lamar Miller – He has been run into the ground the last few seasons. He was a stud with Miami but those days are long gone. Second year back D’Onta Foreman is also closing in on lead back duties. I see a time share coming to Houston. A healthy Watson and a stout receiving core also impose a threat to Millers touches.
Sleeper: Ryan Grant – Andrew Luck is coming back and he is coming back strong, after his first favorite target in TY Hilton, Ryan Grant is another stud receiver who I think will benefit from his move to Indy from Washington. With a lackluster backfield and a healthy QB, I think the Colts will have quite the passing game in the 2018 season. Expect an uptick in production from Ryan Grant this year.
Bust: Jack Doyle – I had Doyle on my team last year and was happy with his production. He was a favorite target of Jacoby Brissett while he was filling in for Luck. Andrew Luck is back healthy and the Colts have added another tight end in Eric Ebron. I don’t see Doyle having the same production as last year.
Sleeper: Keelan Cole – Jacksonville hasn’t produced 1,000 yard receivers since Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns did it in 2015. Marqise Lee may be the #1 WR and vet with the best chance at 1,000 yards this season but my sleeper pick is Keelan Cole. The 2nd year receiver out of Kentucky Wesleyan led the Jaguars in receiving yards during his rookie season while producing 3 TD’s, Lee also finished with 3 TD’s. This came with fewer receptions than Lee and sporadic playing time as Allen Hurns dealt with injuries. Now that Hurns is in Dallas and Cole is the #2 WR in Jacksonville, I look for Cole to be a key contributor to move the ball down the field as the Jaguars look to make another AFC championship run.
Bust: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins – After a great year in New York Sefarian-Jenkins finds himself in a potent offense in Jacksonville. Unfortunately for him, it’s a run first offense. Fournette showed out last season and I expect him to do the same this season. It’s a strange situation in Jacksonville when it comes to the quarterback position as well. I don’t see many wide receivers or tight ends making a huge impact in fantasy this year. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are both gone. Expect the Jags to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible this season.
Kansas City Chiefs
Sleeper: Patrick Mahomes – I have a ton of faith in this kid breaking out this year. With his pedigree and the weapons he has around him, I honestly don’t see how he couldn’t break out for a big season and put up huge numbers. One of the best tight ends in the game, a home run hitting Tyreek Hill and now Sammy Watkins has joined the team. Snag Mahomes in your draft if you get the chance. Not too early though, he’ll be there in the much later rounds.
Bust: I’m no Cheifs fan by any means, it’s hard for me to find a bust on this team though. If I had to pick one, I’m going to have to pick Travis Kelce, and I only say that because the only way his fantasy production struggles is if Mahomes doesn’t perform the way Alex Smith did last year. Mahomes is making the transition into starting quarterback, everyone will struggle if Mahomes doesn’t perform, I don’t see that happening though. Lots of confidence in the KC offense this year.
Sleeper: Kenyan Drake – With a shaky quarterback situation in Miami and Jarvis Landry gone, the Dolphins will rely heavily on the run game. When Jay Ajayi left for Philly, Drake filled in quite nicely and he will continue to produce throughout the 2018 season. A solid value pick with high upside.
Bust: Ryan Tannehill – I don’t see enough talent around Tannehill to qualify him as a productive fantasy quarterback. I think the team will focus on running the ball. His top target in Landry is gone, Miami tried to replace him by adding Kenny Stills and Danny Amendola, I just don’t see those two acquisitions making up for the loss of such a big talent.
Sleeper: Kyle Rudolph – After acquiring Kirk Cousins, I think every pass catcher on the team takes a step up production wise. We know the connection Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed had in Washington. Cousins loves his tight ends and I expect that to show this season. Solid value pick here in the later rounds.
Bust: Adam Thielen – Thielen will still be a solid player, but with a healthy Dalvin Cook back and a new quarterback in town, his numbers will drop. Do not overdraft him expecting to get the fantasy production he had last year. It won’t happen.
New England Patriots
Sleeper: Chris Hogan – Tom Brady can make anyone a superstar. Danny Ammendola is gone, Julian Edleman is suspended the first 4 games of the season. Tom Brady will have Gronkowski and Hogan to throw to. I think Brady and Hogan build a solid connection in the first four weeks, even when Edleman is back, I see Hogan taking some looks away from him. Solid flex position play.
Bust: The Backfield – Any fantasy footballer knows that the New England backfield is an impossible thing to predict. Rex Burkhead, Jeremy Hill Sony Michel, James White, Mike Gillislee, Brandon Bolden…who should you take out of this massive backfield? Nobody. Steer clear of the Patriots backfield. They are a pass first offense anyway and have too many backs to feed for any one of them to be a valuable asset to your roster.
New Orleans Saints
Sleeper: Cameron Meredith – I see a lot of potential here. He’s back healthy and under the wing of a first ballot hall of fame QB. The Saints offense has a lot going for it with stud receiver Michael Thomas and stud back Alvin Kamara, I can see Meredith sneaking in and becoming a household name in fantasy football households if he can stay healthy. A late round flyer to stash on your bench.
Bust: Mark Ingram – Missing the first four games of the season is bad enough, coming back to run behind Kamara is also a negative. He has been a solid RB2 the past few seasons, but I believe his ceiling has been reached and his decline starts this year. Kamara will own this backfield with Ingram coming in every now and then to give Kamara a rest. Only take Ingram if you can snag him at incredible value in your draft. His ADP is too high for me currently.
New York Giants
Sleeper: Saquon Barkley – With all the hype around this kid, can he be considered a sleeper? Yes. I have Barkley as my RB3. Above Johnson and Elliot. Kareem Hunt led the league in rushing yards last year as a rookie. The year before that, Ezekiel Elliot led the league in rushing yards, as a rookie. It wouldn’t surprise me if Barkley continued that trend with an aging Eli Manning. The Giants drafted Barkley to take over this offense, that’s what he is going to do.
Bust: Odell Beckham Jr – How do you expect this stud wide receiver to perform when his QB cant. On another team OBJ is a top receiver, with Eli throwing to him, my expectations are low, especially with the arrival of Saquon Barkley taking over the offense. He’s still a stud and will still put up numbers, just don’t expect superstar numbers.
New York Jets
Sleeper: Sam Darnold – Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater are the only thing standing in the way of Sam Darnold and the starting roll at quarterback. I personally don’t think McCown and Bridgewater and hold Darnold off. I think he will be your week 1 starter. He has impressed in training camp. Robby Anderson came out of nowhere last year at wide receiver and should be one of Darnolds favorite targets early on in the season. Don’t expect a lot, but in a 2 QB league, he could be a decent second option in the later rounds.
Bust: Isiah Crowell – I just don’t see it here. He was a decent flex option in Cleveland for a while, but he will be splitting carries with Bilal Powell now and I think this whole offense is going to struggle. The NYJ backfield will be led by Crowell, but Powell will always be that pesky fly that steals goal line touches.
Sleeper: Derek Carr – I think a healthy Carr learning under one of the greatest coaches ever (in my opinion), the addition of Jordy Nelson and Amari Cooper returning, he has a big year. Jared Cook is another weapon he has to choose from. I think Carr has the passion and determination to really take Oakland into the playoffs this year. Pick him up in the later rounds of your draft if you’re waiting on a QB.
Bust: Marshawn Lynch – How long can he do it? The Raiders have a pretty tough schedule this season also when it comes to rush defense. I think this is the curtain call for Lynch. Beast Mode will be one year older, even though he’s never had a huge problem with injuries, he’s a fun player to own, I just think he’s production declines significantly this year.
Sleeper: Alshon Jeffrey – I see Alshon coming in and improving on his numbers from last season. . There’s no real superstar on this team, but they work better as team than almost anyone else. Wentz has one hell of an arm and Jeffrey is his obvious favorite target. The Eagles schedule also makes receivers from this team more enticing. They play some tough teams against the run this season which will force them to attack more through the air.
Bust: Jay Ajayi – As mentioned above, the Eagles will face some very tough defenses this season and Ajayi will have an average season, nothing spectacular. Wendall Smallwood will also eat into Ajayi’s carries. This could potentially turn into a running back committee. The Eagles really like Smallwood and want to keep Ajayi fresh.
Sleeper: Vance McDonald – After last season, it is obvious McDonald is Roethlisberger’s favorite TE target on the team. His numbers weren’t huge last year, injuries were a reason for that. I see him improving and becoming a bigger part of this offense, especially if an unfortunate injury were to happen to any of the Steelers wideouts. Worth a pick in the later rounds of your draft as a sleeper.
Bust: Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster – This guy is fun to watch, and fun to say his name. I don’t believe he will be getting the same number of looks he received last year though. We are all pretty positive that this will be LeVeon Bells last season in Pittsburgh, the guys in the front office at Pittsburgh know this too, which is why they are going to run him into the ground this season. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will always look for Antonio Brown first, Ju-Ju is a second option in an offense that will rely heavily on the run this season, very heavily.
St. Louis Rams
Sleeper: Brandin Cooks – Cooks will be replacing Sammy Watkins as the top deep threat in St. Louis. Even with Gurley, the Rams love to throw the ball and have a great quarterback doing it. He is tall and fast as hell, watch out for Cooks to put up some big numbers this season in a high scoring offense.
Bust: Jared Goff – I think Goff still has a solid season, I don’t believe he will perform where people are expecting him to perform though. Todd Gurley has proven himself to be one of the greatest players in the league and the Rams are going to use that. Expect lots and lots of running in St. Louis this season. Goff’s ADP is too high in my opinion currently.
San Diego Chargers
Sleeper: Virgil Green – This is a deep sleeper guy here, the Chargers signed him after Hunter Henry went down with a season ending injury. Philip Rivers is about as consistent of a player as there is. We all know the name Antonio Gates and how much Rivers loved throwing to his sure handed tight end. I expect Rivers to try and create some sort of connection between himself and Green this season. I like the potential here.
Bust: Melvin Gordon – There will be tons of opportunities for Gordon to prove me wrong here. His efficiency is a real problem for me. He is the Chargers obvious #1 weapon and other teams know that. I expect anyone playing the Chargers to load the box and try and completely shut down the run game.
San Francisco 49ers
Sleeper: Jerrick McKinnon – I love McKinnon this season. Replacing Carlos Hyde in the west coast style offense will give McKinnon plenty of opportunity to put up big numbers. The lack of talented receivers in San Francisco is another plus for McKinnon to surpass expectations.
Bust: Jimmy Garappolo – He ended the 2017 season in extraordinary fashion. I just don’t see him continuing that success coming into this season. Pierre Garcon is arguably the most talented receiver on this team, that’s not a good thing. I expect the 49ers OC to try and keep the ball on the ground for the majority of games this season. I see a big slump for Jimmy G in the near future.
Sleeper: Rashaad Penny – This guy already has some buzz and hype, I think he is going to out perform the hype though. Seattle selected Penny in the first round and it looks like they are going to try and get back to a run first offense. Penny is one of my favorite rookies this season and I would have no problem starting him in my lineup in any format.
Bust: Doug Baldwin – Still the top receiver in Seattle, though the Seahawks will be running the ball a lot more often this season than they did last season. Russsel Wilson now has a solid option in the backfield to hand off to, Wilson is a threat on his feet alone also. Baldwin is a solid option, just don’t expect the numbers from last year now that Seattle has a legitimate backfield.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sleeper: O.J. Howard – Last season was Howard’s rookie year and he was a decent option. I think he takes the next step this year and truly has a breakout year. Even with Connor Brate eating some looks from Howard, throughout the season I think Winston creates a relationship with Howard. O.J. will be the #1 tight end in Tampa by the end of the season. Very intriguing option here for your roster.
Bust: Jameis Winston – Even with a great talent in Mike Evans, I just don’t see the production here. Winston can’t stay out of trouble. He has been underwhelming. Unless some sort of miracle happens, all I see coming from Jameis is mediocre quarterback production. Maybe you can pick him up when your starting QB is on a bye week, other than that. I don’t want him.
Sleeper: Derrick Henry – With DeMarco Murray finally out of Tennessee, Henry has no competition. He is the obvious back that the Titans will lean on to lead the ground game. 6 foot 3 inches and a 247 lb frame gives Henry the obvious nod when it comes to goal line carries. Dion Lewis will come in every now and then to give Henry a breather, other than that, Derrick Henry is going to be a workhorse. A solid RB2 option.
Bust: Corey Davis – I had a lot of faith in this young wide receiver last year, I was mistaken. Most people have Davis as a sleeper this year. With a fresh young running back in Henry this season and Delanie Walker being Marcus Mariota’s favorite target, I don’t see the value here. Tennessee could run with Henry and Mariota is pretty solid on his feet as well. Delanie is a solid pick at TE, I am just not a fan of any Titan receivers this year.
Sleeper: Josh Doctson – Breakout year for Doctson. With Alex Smith at quarterback and Doctson’s speed, I see a lot of potential here. The Redskins rookie stud runninb back Derrius Guice suffered an ACL injury and is out for the season which is a huge blow for Washington. Less ground game equals more pass game. Love the value with Josh Doctson this year.
Bust: Jordan Reed – With a new sheriff in town (Alex Smith) there is no chemistry between Reed and his new leader. Jordan Reed can’t seem to stay healthy anyway. If he can stay healthy, which he hasn’t shown us he can, there might be something in the works. I stay far away from Reed mainly because of his injury history.
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