This 2018 Fantasy Football Top 250 (ppr) Cheat Sheet will be updated often throughout the spring and summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to take a look at my other
2018 Fantasy Football
articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2018 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other things.
One team that tried to trade up for Todd Gurley in the 2015 NFL Draft told us that they viewed him as the next Jim Brown. Gurley looked like he could live up to that distinction last year, as he rushed for 1,305 yards, caught 64 passes and scored 19 touchdowns. As long as the offensive line is intact, Gurley should continue to put up monster numbers. He's my No. 1 player in fantasy this season.
Cardinals GM Steve Keim called David Johnson the best receiving back he's ever seen. Keim cited that many compare Johnson to Marshall Faulk. Those comparisons seem to be right on the money thus far. In addition to rushing for 1,239 yards and scoring 20 total touchdowns, Johnson caught 80 balls for 879 receiving yards in 2016. He missed all of 2017, but should be back to his old self this upcoming season.
Alvin Kamara is one of the most electrifying players in the NFL. He's a threat to go the distance any time he touches the ball, and he can turn what seems into a non-gain or a loss into a quality play. Kamara averaged 6.1 yards per carry as a rookie and also caught a ridiculous 81 passes. The thing is, the Saints didn't even use him that much in the first three weeks of the season! Kamara's talents are undeniable, so he'll get more touches in 2017, as he'll eat into Mark Ingram's workload.
Antonio Brown has now gone five consecutive years with 100 receptions or more. He caught 101 balls for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns in 2017 despite missing the final two-and-a-half games. Brown will continue to be the top receiver in fantasy and real life.
It's amazing that DeAndre Hopkins was able to be so productive despite Tom Savage and T.J. Yates throwing the ball to him in the second half of the season. Hopkins caught 96 passes for 1,378 yards and 13 touchdowns in 15 games. Imagine how much better he'll be with Deshaun Watson in 2018!
There won't be any suspension worries for Ezekiel Elliott this season. As a result, Elliott will be in the running for the first running back chosen in non-PPR leagues. There's no reason to be worried about Elliott's output, as he's well rested after playing so little in 2017.
Le'Veon Bell has played just one full season in his career until this past season. Well, he sat out Week 17 with the other starters, but he was playing when it counted. He rushed for 1,291 yards and caught 85 passes last year. He's in the running to be the first pick in fantasy drafts, but it's worth noting that he was the only NFL running back to carry the ball more than 300 times in 2017. Because of this heavy workload, Bell is certainly a candidate for regression.
Saquon Barkley is likely a top-three pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and for good reason. He has drawn comparisons to Marshall Faulk, and he'll be a borderline RB1 right from the outset. How high he'll end up in these rankings obviously depends on which team drafts him.
Melvin Gordon had an awful rookie campaign, failing to find the open hole and gaining just 3.5 yards per carry. However, he has gotten better each year, though his inability to eclipse four yards per carry is a concern. Still, Gordon is such a big part of the passing game - 58 catches in 2017 - that it's difficult to envision him not being a top-10 running back, barring injury.
Leonard Fournette started his rookie year with a bang, rushing for at least 100 yards four times in the his first eight games. He even said that playing in the NFL was easy. However, Fournette hit a rookie wall late in the year, but should be better in his sophomore campaign, especially if Jacksonville finds an upgrade for the offensive line.
I loved Kareem Hunt as a sleeper last year even before Spencer Ware got hurt. Yet, Hunt was even better than I imagined he would be. Hunt rushed for 1,327 yards and caught 53 passes, putting himself in position to potentiall win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Hunt is due for some regression in 2018, but he's still an RB1, especially in PPR formats.
Keenan Allen got off to a slow start this past season, but exploded down the stretch. He caught at least five passes every single game beginning in Week 11. Finally able to stay healthy, Allen showed that he can be a dominant receiver in the NFL. He'll be a top wideout again if he can avoid injuries once again.
Christian McCaffrey didn't get much of a workload on the ground as a rookie, as he had just 117 carries for 435 rushing yards. However, he made up for it with 80 catches for 651 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns. McCaffrey will get more opportunities on the ground with Jonathan Stewart presumably gone next year.
Dalvin Cook got off to such a strong start as a rookie, rushing for 354 yards and catching 11 passes in his first four games, averaging 4.8 YPC in the process. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL. The silver lining is that Cook got hurt on Oct. 1, so he should be 100 percent or close to it by the season opener.
Despite Drew Brees' declining stats, Michael Thomas still had a prolific year, catching 104 passes for 1,245 yards and five touchdowns. His scoring figure was down from nine in 2016, so that could correct itself potentially. Thomas should continue to be a WR1.
Joe Mixon didn't get much work in the first two games of the season, but became the starter once the Bengals made a coordinator change. Mixon, however, averaged just 3.5 yards per carry because of a horrific offensive line. Mixon could be a big producer in 2017 if the Bengals fix their blocking woes.
Julio Jones scored three touchdowns in 2017, which ruined his fantasy season; he caught 88 balls for 1,444 yards otherwise. Jones was thrown to in the end zone 18 times this past season, so this result was a bit fluky. Then again, I can't exactly have faith in the incompetent Steve Sarkisian turning things around for Jones, but he's still a WR1, obviously.
It would be nice to see Tevin Coleman get more of a workload than Devonta Freeman, but Freeman is the one getting the big bucks. Freeman rushed for only 865 yards in 2017, as he once again wore down as the season progressed. He also saw his receptions decline from 54 to 36.
Davante Adams has emerged as Green Bay's No. 1 receiver. Proving that he's not just a byproduct of Aaron Rodgers, Adams was a big-time producer even when Brett Hundley started. Now with Rodgers back, the sky is the limit for Adams' 2018 potential.
A.J. Green hasn't eclipsed 1,100 receiving yards or double-digit touchdowns in the past two years. Injuries in 2016 and horrible blocking in 2017 were responsible for Green's regression. If the Bengals improve their offensive line, Green could go back to his old self in 2018.
The Dolphins traded away Jay Ajayi, partly because they were comfortable with moving on to Kenyan Drake. The Alabama product was impressive down the stretch, averaging 4.8 yards per carry and catching 32 passes. The clear-cut starter going forward, Drake seems poised for a strong 2018 campaign.
AUG. 24 UPDATE: Rob Gronkowski has emulated parts of Tom Brady's diet, and it paid off for him, as he missed just two games this past season. Gronkowski had a big year as a result, catching 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. Expect similar production in 2018, as Gronkowski is not yet 30.
LeSean McCoy was a huge part of Buffalo's offense once again, rushing for 1,138 yards and catching 59 passes in 2017. He turns 30 in July, but still should be an RB1 this upcoming season, especially if the Bills find an upgrade at quarterback to take some defenders out of the box.
Thanks to Minnesota's defense and run-heavy offense, Stefon Diggs saw his reception total drop from 84 to 64. However, his touchdown totals rose from three to eight because the Vikings' scoring unit was better as a whole. Diggs will continue to be a borderline WR2 in fantasy.
Zach Ertz finished the 2016 campaign on a strong note, and he parlayed that into an incredible 2017 campaign. Ertz logged 74 catches for 824 yards and eight touchdowns despite missing two games. He has great chemistry with Carson Wentz, and he should continue to be one of the top tight ends in football as long as Wentz is healthy.
Travis Kelce makes bone-headed plays from time to time, and he drops lots of passes, but he's extremely talented. He's a perennial top-five fantasy tight end, and it was nice to see his touchdown total rise in 2017 (8, up from 4). Patrick Mahomes may replace Alex Smith, but there's no reason for Kelce's numbers to decline.
Tyreek Hill was mostly a gadget player as a rookie, but he took off in 2017. Emerging as a dynamic, big-play threat, Hill caught 75 passes for 1,183 yards and seven touchdowns. His potential will be greater if the talented Patrick Mahomes replaces Alex Smith at quarterback.
Mike Evans had a very disappointing year, yet he still eclipsed 1,000 yards and scored five touchdowns. Evans looked like he wasn't trying half the time, but he finished strong - 16 catches, 241 yards in his final three games - and so he could be a bounce back next year as a buy-low option.
Jordan Howard saw his yardage drop from 1,313 to 1,122 this past season, as his YPC plummeted from 5.2 to 4.1. Howard's 2018 output will likely be somewhere in between. Chicago will have better receivers, and Mitchell Trubisky will be more effective as a result. Teams won't be able to concentrate on Howard as a result.
JuJu Smith-Schuster had numerous brilliant moments as a rookie, ultimately catching 58 passes for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. Smith-Schuster, just 21, figures to be a more consistent player with experience next season. His production should increase.
Alex Collins didn't see lots of work this past season until late October, but he finished the year as the primary ball-carrier and did a good job overall. Collins rushed for 973 yards on a 4.6 YPC clip. He also caught 23 passes. Collins will have a chance to eclipse the 1,000-yard barrier if he starts in 2018, but the Ravens could find a new running back. Plus, Kenneth Dixon is set to return.
T.Y. Hilton failed to reach 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since his rookie year. Despite Andrew Luck's absence throughout all of 2017, Hilton still accumulated 966 receiving yards. He'll be back to his pre-2017 form if Luck returns to the field, though there is heavy risk with him.
It's amazing that nearly a third of Amari Cooper's yards in 2017 came in one game, which was the Thursday night affair versus the Chiefs in which he caught 11 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. This was Cooper's worst season by a long shot, so he's a great buy-low option. With a better coaching staff in place, Cooper could have his best season yet.
Despite all the talk that DeVante Parker was going to emerge as Jay Cutler's favorite weapon this past season, Jarvis Landry was the one who had the big season, logging a career-high 112 receptions. Cutler's incompetence meant that those 112 catches turned into just 987 yards, but Landry did score nine touchdowns. With Ryan Tannehill returning, Landry should be remain a fantasy WR2.
It'll be exciting to see what Jay Ajayi can do with a full season in Philadelphia. Ajayi will have to split the workload with several running backs, but he was given more of the workload as the year progressed. He could have a big 2018 campaign if Carson Wentz is fully healthy.
With James White, Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee on the roster, Dion Lewis seemed like he would be the odd man out. Lewis didn't handle more than four carries in a game until Week 5. By the end of the year, he handled 50 total attempts in the final two contests. Lewis is still an injury risk, but he has RB1 potential if he remains healthy all year, as he could be in store for double-digit touchdowns.
Larry Fitzgerald has eclipsed 100 receptions in three consecutive seasons. Carson Palmer has retired, but he could still get to four in a row, as Fitzgerald has been very productive with terrible quarterbacks in the past. That said, he could have great upside if Arizona obtained a talented signal-caller.
Jimmy Graham caught 10 touchdowns in 2017, but didn't look like the same player. He had 57 catches for only 520 yards, so perhaps the torn patellar tendon, as well as age (32 in November) are affecting his play. Graham is likely to be overdrafted.
Kyle Rudolph's receptions and yards have dropped from 83 to 57 and 840 to 532, respectively. However, he scored eight touchdowns in 2017, and he's been in the end zone 15 times in the past two years. Rudolph should continue to be a middling TE1.
Evan Engram had a great rookie campaign, catching 64 passes for 722 yards and six touchdowns. He was targeted heavily with Odell Beckham Jr. injured, but his great talent will allow him to continue to be a huge part of the offense even when Beckham returns. Engram's overall outlook in 2017 will depend on the quarterback situation.
Jamaal Williams held the starting running back job late in the year, getting 20 or more carries four times beginning in Week 10. If Williams holds on to the job - he'll face fierce competition from Aaron Jones - he'll have a tremendous outlook because of his touchdown potential with Aaron Rodgers.
Despite playing just six-and-a-half games, Deshaun Watson threw for 1,699 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 269 yards and two more scores. If you extrapolate that over 16 games, you get the following numbers:
Looks pretty good to me! Watson is a dynamic quarterback who will likely be completely healthy by the start of the season. He's one of the top fantasy quarterbacks for 2018, but hopefully the hype doesn't push him up in your draft.
What Russell Wilson does despite having absolutely no offensive line is ridiculous. Getting no help from his blocking, Wilson threw for 3,983 yards, 34 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions in 2017. He also rushed for 586 yards and three more scores. Wilson could finish as the top fantasy quarterback in 2018 with better protection. I would take him over any other quarterback at the moment.
Mark Ingram had a tremendous year in 2017, pairing with Alvin Kamara to form the league's most potent rushing duo. Ingram rushed for 1,124 yards and caught 58 passes for 416 receiving yards. He found the end zone 12 times. Ingram is likely to lose some more work to Kamara in 2018, but he's still a desired fantasy option.
Carlos Hyde is an impending free agent, so he could be playing elsewhere next year. He's still good enough to be a starter for some other team, so his outlook depends on where he's able to sign. If he stays in San Francisco, you have to like his chances with Jimmy Garoppolo taking attention away from him.
Greg Olsen missed most of the 2017 regular season, as he caught just 17 passes. However, he showed that he still has it, logging eight receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown in a playoff loss to the Saints. Olsen turns 33 this offseason, but he should still be a viable fantasy option for the next couple of years.
Marshawn Lynch was a disappointment in his first season with the Raiders. It's unclear if he'll return next year, but if he does, he could be in position for many more touchdowns with Jon Gruden and Greg Olson strengthening the offense.
Will Fuller played four games with Deshaun Watson. In those four contests, in which Fuller wasn't completely healthy, he caught 13 passes for 279 yards and seven touchdowns. Watson will have more experience next year, and with an entire offseason to work with Fuller, the two should have a stronger connection. Fuller is in contention to have WR2 status this season.
Aaron Rodgers is coming off an injury-ravaged 2017 season, so perhaps that'll cause him to be drafted earlier than he should be. Rodgers is still one of the top fantasy quarterbacks available, and he could have a great 2018 campaign with his former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin coaching him once again.
Matt Breida had an impressive rookie year, rushing for 465 yards on a 4.4 YPC average. He also caught 21 passes and scored thrice. With Carlos Hyde entering free agency, Breida could be San Francisco's starting running back next year, though I don't think he can handle a full workload.
Emmanuel Sanders was a huge disappointment in 2017, logging 47 receptions for 555 yards and two touchdowns in an injury-ravaged season. Sanders is a good bet to bounce back next year if he can stay healthy, though his upside is obviously capped because of poor quarterbacking.
Tevin Coleman deserves more running work than Devonta Freeman, but that won't happen because of Freeman's price tag. Coleman should be rostered because of his immense upside should Freeman suffer an injury, plus he can be started in a pinch during a bye week, depending on who the opponent is.
David Njoku has great potential as a fantasy tight end this year. It really depends on whom the front office finds to play quarterback. Njoku showed promise as a rookie, catching 32 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns despite being paired with the inept DeShone Kizer.
Adam Thielen came out of nowhere to catch 69 passes for 967 yards and five touchdowns in 2016. He took the next step this past season, catching 91 passes for 1,276 yards and four touchdowns. Thielen was not only terrific, but also consistent last year, logging at least five receptions in all but three games. There's no reason for Thielen to regress, as he's an extremely hard worker.
Demaryius Thomas has endured some poor quarterback play over the past two years, and as a result, his stats has regressed; he had 1,304 receiving yards in 2015, but that dropped to 1,083 in 2016 and 949 in 2017. There's another factor, and that would be Thomas' horrible diet, which is the same one that ruined Arian Foster's career. Thomas cannot be trusted going forward unless his quarterback situation substantially improves.
Can Newton accumulated the fewest yards of his career for a 16-game slate this past season. He made up for it with his 754 rushing yards, but there's hope for his passing stats. That would be because the Panthers hired Norv Turner to be Newton's offensive coordinator. Newton is a strong QB1 option for 2018.
Russell Wilson's pass protection was atrocious, so he didn't have enough time to find Doug Baldwin downfield as much as he wanted to. Still, Baldwin accumulated 991 yards and eight touchdowns, and he could post better numbers in 2018.
Michael Crabtree has been Derek Carr's favorite end-zone target, but it's sounding like the Raiders could move on from Crabtree this offseason. Crabtree struggled down the stretch, and he'll turn 31 in September, so his best days are over. His 2018 outlook will obviously depend on where he lands.
Golden Tate just eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards for the third time in four years. He hasn't caught fewer than 90 passes in that span. There's some concern with age now - he turns 30 this offseason - but he should continue to be productive as long as Matthew Stafford is healthy.
A better real-life player than fantasy option, Chris Thompson had several big performances as a pass-catcher in Washington's offense. Unfortunately, he broke his leg in mid-November. He said he'll be ready for training camp, however.
Marquise Goodwin was terrific down the stretch, accumulating at least 68 receiving yards in six of his final eight games. He and Jimmy Garoppolo showed great chemistry together, with Goodwin even posting a 10-114 line against the Titans. Goodwin comes with some risk, however, as he has battled injuries throughout his career. Keep in mind that Pierre Garcon will take some targets away. Still, Goodwin is not a bad option in the double-digit rounds.
If it wasn't for Evan Engram, we'd all be talking about George Kittle's impressive rookie year. Kittle caught 43 passes for 515 yards and two touchdowns this past season. Kittle showed great chemistry with Jimmy Garoppolo, and he seems poised for a strong 2018 campaign.
Delanie Walker has been terrific for the Titans the past four seasons, but he turns 34 in August and may regress. He could still catch half-a-dozen touchdowns if Marcus Mariota rebounds, however. Walker had 74 catches for 807 yards in 2017.
DeMarco Murray is likely to leave the Titans, meaning Derrick Henry will finally handle most of the workload. He's a rock-solid RB2 in standard leagues and an RB3/FLEX in PPR formats. He has more upside if the Titans upgrade their line.
Pierre Garcon's outlook wasn't too hot last year, as he was going to be paired with either Brian Hoyer or C.J. Beathard. Garcon had one big game (7-142 against the Rams), but failed to find the end zone. It'll be surprising if that doesn't change in 2018, given Jimmy Garoppolo's presence. Garcon's fantasy prospects this upcoming season seems very promising.
Jordan Reed seemed to be mostly over his injuries in 2015 and 2016 when he missed just six combined games. However, 2017 was a lost season for him, as he took the field in just six contests. Reed has high upside, but can't really be trusted.
Tom Brady turns 41 in August, but he's still going strong, thanks to his crazy diet and voodoo regimen. Brady threw for 4,577 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2017. He's bound to regress eventually, but it would be foolish to bet against him at the moment.
Chris Hogan was expected to step up in the wake of Julian Edelman's injury, but that didn't happen. To be fair, he missed half the year with an injury. That doesn't matter though, as Edelman will be back on the field in 2018, relegating Hogan to the waiver wire.
Chris Carson was the most impressive running back on Seattle's roster this past season, though that's not saying much. Carson gained 208 yards in four games, but broke his leg and missed the rest of the year. If the Seahawks don't make any moves, Carson will be worth drafting in the middle rounds.
Kelvin Benjamin's 2018 outlook depends mostly on whom the Bills bring in to play quarterback. Benjamin can be very productive with the right signal-caller, or he could post mediocre numbers with a struggling rookie. Plus, Benjamin's health always has to be a concern.
Corey Davis' rookie campaign was mired by injury, which would explain his pedestrian fantasy production (34 catches, 375 yards, zero touchdowns in 11 games). However, he caught two touchdowns in a playoff loss to the Patriots, showing off some major potential. Davis will see more playing time next year, and his production could explode if the new coaching staff gets the most out of Marcus Mariota.
Tyler Eifert has an extensive injury history - he has missed 40 games in the past four seasons - and he cannot be trusted. It's also likely that he won't ever be the same player again because of all the injuries.
I liked Dede Westbrook going into the 2017 season, but he suffered an injury prior to the opener and missed the first 10 weeks. Westbrook was solid when returning to action, catching 27 passes for 339 yards and a touchdown in just seven games. Westbrooks is a very talented receiver with a bright future. His 2018 outlook will depend on Allen Robinson returning to Jacksonville or not.
It seems like ages ago when Allen Robinson accumulated 1,400 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. That happened in his second season, but he struggled in 2016 and missed all but one game this past season. It's difficult to feel optimistic about Robinson, given that Blake Bortles continues to be his quarterback, and former offensive coordinator Greg Olson isn't around to pump his stats.
Cooper Kupp was listed as a sleeper on this site last year despite him being a rookie. Jared Goff and Kupp showed great chemistry in the preseason, and Kupp did not disappoint this past season, catching 62 passes for 869 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games. Kupp should be more consistent in his sophomore campaign, and hopefully he works on not dropping the ball as much.
Giovani Bernard will continue to serve as Cincinnati's receiving back, despite Joe Mixon having control of the majority of the carries. Bernard will be worth adding if Mixon gets hurt, but he shouldn't be drafted in 12-team leagues.
Marvin Jones struggled in the first month of the season, but caught fire down the stretch, either accumulating 60 receiving yards or catching a touchdown in 11 of his final 12 games. He finished with 61 receptions for 1,101 yards and nine touchdowns. Just 28 in March, Jones is still in his prime and should continue to perform on a high level.
Not much was expected from Robby Anderson, especially considering that his quarterback was Josh McCown. Anderson proved all of his detractors wrong (i.e. everyone not related to him) by accumulating 941 yards and seven touchdowns. Anderson's production dropped when Bryce Petty replaced McCown, but he should be a solid fantasy option as long as the Jets find a viable quarterback. Also keep in mind that Anderson was arrested this offseason, so he could be suspended.
The 49ers took a shot, trading a second-round pick for Jimmy Garoppolo during the season. They waited a few weeks to get him on the field, but once he played, it became clear that he's going to be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL quite soon. In five starts, Garoppolo threw for 1,560 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Over a 16-game slate, that equates to 4,992 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Garoppolo will have a better supporting cast in 2018, even if it's only Pierre Garcon returning from injury, so the case can be made that Garoppolo should be considered a borderline QB1.
Sterling Shepard stepped up in the wake of the injuries to Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, catching 59 passes for 731 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games. Shepard is ready to take the next step, but his 2018 outlook depends on whom the Giants obtain to play quarterback.
I liked Jamison Crowder going into 2017, but he struggled in the first seven weeks of the season. He caught fire after that, so that gives him some promise heading into 2018. It remains to be seen who his quarterback will be.
Brandin Cooks posted worse numbers with the Patriots than the Saints, which shouldn't have been too much of a surprise, given that Tom Brady loves to spread the ball around. Still, Cooks' 65 catches for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns made him a solid option. If Rob Gronkowski gets hurt, Cooks' outlook will improve.
Matt Ryan took a step backward this past season with Steve Sarkisian serving as a clear downgrade from Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator. Still, his touchdown total dropping from 38 to 20 was substantial. Ryan could rebound a bit in 2018, but it's difficult to completely trust him as a fantasy quarterback as long as Sarkisian is calling the shots.
Despite playing through some injuries in the middle of the season, Matthew Stafford had a strong fantasy campaign, compiling 4,446 yards, 29 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. There's a coaching change, but his offensive coordinator has remained, so Stafford should have a strong 2018 season.
Drew Brees is 39 now, but age isn't the reason why his stats regressed in 2017. His improved defense and dominant ground attack had a big impact on his stats. That helped Brees win in real life, but not in fantasy. He's no longer a QB1 (unless his defense really regresses for some reason.)
Patrick Mahomes could be Kansas City's starting quarterback this upcoming season if the expensive Alex Smith is dealt. Mahomes is not yet a finished product, but he has great upside, especially in fantasy because of his scrambling ability.
Remember there was speculation that Andrew Luck would be able to play in the season opener last year? So much for that! Luck missed all of 2017 because of a shoulder injury. It's unclear if he'll be ready for 2018, but if he is, he should revert back to QB1 form, albeit with a heavy amount of risk.
Derek Carr battled injuries and regression in 2017, posting a disappointing 3,496 yards and 22 touchdowns, down from 3,937 and 28, respectively, in 2016. There is good news for a buy-low opportunity, however, and that would be the hiring of offensive coordinator Greg Olson. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Olson's work, he once took Josh Freeman to a Pro Bowl; he coached up Jared Goff this past season; and he was coaching Blake Bortles when Bortles threw 35 touchdowns in a season.
Ben Roethlisberger got off to a slow start in 2017, as it seemed as though he spent a bit too much time thinking about retirement this past season. It remains to be seen what Roethlisberger's plans are for 2018, but if he keeps playing, he'll be a borderline QB1 again.
Aaron Jones had some terrific performances early in the year, gashing the Cowboys for 125 yards and the Saints for 131. However, he suffered an injury in the following game and then lost his job to Jamaal Williams. Jones averaged 5.5 yards per carry and seemed to be the better overall back, so it'll be interesting to see if he can reclaim the starting job.
Josh Gordon could be one of the top receivers in the NFL if he had his head screwed on straight. He has reportedly done better recently, and he was able to finally take the field late last season. In five games, Gordon caught 18 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown. This translates to 57 receptions, 1,072 yards and three touchdowns, and those numbers could be even better if the Browns upgrade their anemic quarterback situations. Hopefully he stays out of trouble.
Jared Goff was utterly awful as a rookie, but had tremendous growth under Sean McVay and Greg Olson. Goff won't have Olson around next year, but he should still thrive going into his third year, as he's a very hard worker. Goff threw for 3,804 yards, 28 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 2017 despite not playing in the final game.
Robert Woods was a relevation in 2017. Despite never really accomplishing much in Buffalo - he never topped 700 receiving yards - he became Jared Goff's No. 1 receiver in October. Woods ended up logging 56 receptions for 781 yards and five touchdowns despite missing four games and being a non-factor for most of September. Woods seems ticketed for a big 2018 campaign.
Jordy Nelson had a ridiculous 2016 campaign. He caught 97 passes for 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns despite not being healthy for half the year. Nelson regressed this past season, catching just 53 balls for 482 yards and six touchdowns, but that was a byproduct of Aaron Rodgers' injury. That said, Nelson caught all six of his scores in the six games Rodgers played fully, so he should be able to bounce back.
Philip Rivers threw for 4,515 yards and 28 touchdowns despite the fact that he turned 36 in December. There's no reason to think Rivers will regress, especially with guard Forrest Lamp returning from injury to help bolster the offensive line.
Alshon Jeffery needed to score nine touchdowns to be relevant in fantasy this past season, as he caught 57 passes for 789 yards otherwise. It's risky to trust someone so dependant on touchdowns, except that Jeffery has one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL throwing the ball to him.
C.J. Anderson had a nice, reound season in 2017, rushing for 1,007 yards and catching 28 passes. Anderson was in tip-top shape, so he was able to play a full season for the first time. Unfortunately, he scored only four touchdowns because the offense sucked. Anderson will have a chance to explode in 2018 if the Broncos find a better quarterback.
Cameron Meredith suffered a brutal injury in the third preseason game, which was a shame because a lot was expected from him in 2017. It's unclear if Meredith will be the same player this upcoming season, though he got hurt early enough that he has a chance to be productive by the opener. If so, I love Meredith's upside in Matt Nagy's offense. He's someone I'll closely be monitoring in training camp and the preseason.
Despite lacking a No. 1 receiver and enduring tons of injuries to his offensive line, Kirk Cousins posted solid stats in 2017. He generated 4,093 passing yards and 31 total touchdowns (27 passing, 4 rushing). His passing yards fell from 4,917 to 4,093, but that can be remedied with a better supporting cast. His outlook will depend on where he lands.
Chris Godwin had a big performance in the regular-season finale, catching seven passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Godwin is very talented and has great potential, but he's stuck behind Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. It would probably be best if Godwin replaced the disappointing Jackson. Perhaps that'll happen at some point in 2018.
Calvin Ridley's stats at Alabama aren't worth looking at because he played with some terrible quarterbacking. Ridley is a great talent, however, and he's expected to be a first-round pick. He has great potential, but his outlook obviously depends on where he lands.
Dak Prescott was terrific as a rookie, but endured a sophomore slump in 2017. His outlook for this upcoming season has a lot to do with what the Cowboys accomplish in the offseason. If they add better blocking and a starter across from Dez Bryant, Prescott will be able to rebound.
Bilal Powell was the Jets' best running back this past season, rushing for 772 yards and catching 23 passes. It was disappointing to see Powell not utilized more as a receiver, but that'll happen in 2018 - unless, of course, New York spends an early selection on one of the many talented running backs in April's draft.
Sammy Watkins inexplicably struggled to post relevant stats this past season despite his teammates, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, thrived despite having no history of posting great numbers. This could make Watkins a buy-low candidate for 2018. There's definitely some risk that he'll do nothing again, but Watkins could be obtained very late in your draft.
Carson Wentz was my big fantasy quarterback sleeper for 2017, and that prediction looked great until he tore his ACL. Wentz did this in early December, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's close to 100 percent by kickoff weekend, based on how hard he works. Wentz may run a bit less in 2018, but he's an elite quarterback who should be considered of the top fantasy players at the position.
Devin Funchess became Carolina's No. 1 wideout when the front office traded Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills. Funchess had some strong performances in the wake of the deal - five catches, 92 yards, two touchdowns versus Miami in Week 10 - but he faded down the stretch because of a nagging injury. Funchess should be better in 2018 as long as he can stay healthy.
I can't imagine Isaiah Crowell being the starting running back for the Browns next year. He'll have to carve out some sort of role somewhere else. Perhaps he'll be relevant in fantasy if the starter on his team suffers an injury.
Nelson Agholor finally lived up to his first-round billing last year, though Carson Wentz's incredible play certainly helped matters. As long as Wentz is healthy, Agholor will post WR3-caliber numbers, though keep in mind he'll be inconsistent because Wentz tends to spread the ball around,
Vance McDonald barely did anything in the regular season because he battled knee injuries. However, we saw him show off his potential in the divisional-round loss to the Jaguars in which he caught 10 passes for 112 yards. McDonald is a nice buy-low sleeper option for 2018.
Kenny Golladay flashed at times as a rookie, but understandably wasn't a consistent option, thanks in part to injuries. He caught 28 passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns despite missing five games. Golladay will be better next year, but will have to fight Golden Tate and Marvin Jones for targets. His stock will increase if one of those receivers gets hurt.
John Brown hasn't been able to stay healthy for the past two years because of lingering medical conditions. Bruce Arians even expressed his frustrations with Brown's durability when he coached the team. Brown simply cannot be trusted, especially with Carson Palmer gone.
Eric Ebron's overall stats in 2017 weren't great - 53 catches, 574 yards, four touchdowns - but most of that came at the end. In his final seven games, he caught at least four passes in all but one contest. He even had 10 receptions for 94 yards at Tampa. This bodes well for 2018.
Julian Edelman missed all of 2017 with a torn ACL. The good news is that he suffered the injury in August, so he'll be 100 percent or close to it by the season opener. Edelman will continue to be a force in PPR leagues, though age (32 in May) is beginning to become a concern.
Kevin White has played in just five of 48 possible games thus far in his career. It's time for the Bears to give up on the constantly injured White, so there's no reason to own him in any sort of league.
Marcus Mariota was a disappointment in 2017. He threw more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (13). His rushing numbers dropped a bit as well, from 349 to 312, but that was a byproduct of a mid-season injury. Mariota played hurt for several games, so perhaps he'll be better in 2018. Unfortunately, his stats will be capped by Mike Mularkey's terrible coaching.
D'Onta Foreman tore his Achilles in mid-November, so there's a chance he may not be ready to start the season. It's a shame because he had some nice performances as a rookie. Perhaps Foreman will be placed on the PUP list, making him a worthwhile pick-up in the middle of the season.
I disliked Terrelle Pryor heading into 2017, but I never imagined that he would do so poorly. Pryor caught just 20 passes in 2017 before he was benched. Pryor had 1,007 yards with the Browns in 2016, so perhaps he can rebound in a better situation next year. Pryor wouldn't be a bad late-round flier depending on where he lands.
Alex Smith has always been a better real-life quarterback than fantasy option - until this past season when he finally began posting great numbers. Smith threw for 4,042 yards, 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions, and he also rushed for 355 yards and another score. However, Smith may leave the team in the offseason as the Chiefs could move on to Patrick Mahomes.
Andy Dalton saw his passing yardage drop from 4,206 to 3,320 from 2016 to 2017. The difference was the offensive line, which gave him no time in most of the games. With better weapons and a stronger blocking unit, Dalton could bounce back to mid-range QB2 status.
Curtis Samuel did nothing at the beginning of his rookie campaign, but showed some major potential in Week 10 catching five passes for 45 yards for a portion of a game against Miami. Unfortunately, Samuel suffered a season-ending ankle injury in that contest. Samuel will be much better in 2018, but his potential will be capped because the Panthers use such a run-heavy attack.
Tyler Lockett has great potential, but never has been able to live up to it. He caught 45 passes for 555 yards and two touchdowns. Lockett was targeted frequently in the end zone last year, but he couldn't come up with those receptions.
Dez Bryant was woeful this past season, catching just 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns. Bryant couldn't get separation, and Dak Prescott's struggles when Tyron Smith got hurt didn't help. Bryant is a buy-low candidate for sure, but it's also quite possible that he won't ever be the same receiver again.
Austin Ekeler is currently the Chargers' No. 2 back, though this is an area that could be upgraded in the offseason. He caught 27 passes and scored five times in 2017. If Ekler reprises his role, he'll need to be added in the event of a Melvin Gordon injury.
LeGarrette Blount plowed forward for 766 rushing yards with the Eagles, but most of that came early in the season prior to the acquisition of Jay Ajayi. Blount is now an impending free agent, and he may struggle to find significant work.
Randall Cobb caught 66 passes for 653 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. Not impressive. That said, it's important to note what Cobb did with Rodgers in five games: 30 catches for 302 yards and two touchdowns. If you extrapolate that over 16 games, you get 96 receptions, 966 yards and six touchdowns. Those numbers are fair to project for 2018, though Rodgers is always a risk to get hurt again.
Charles Clay, who played 16 games in a season throughout his career just once, finished his 2017 campaign with 49 catches for 558 yards and two touchdowns. He's not much of a fantasy option unless the Bills can somehow obtain a big-time upgrade at quarterback this offseason.
Keelan Cole caught 42 passes for 748 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie despite not doing much in the first six weeks of the season. Cole had some big performances down the stretch, including a 7-186-1 line against the Texans. Cole's 2018 outlook depends on whether or not Allen Robinson re-signs, as he'd be the third or fourth option if Robinson returns.
Perennial playoff hero James White is somehow 26 even though it seems like he's been around forever. He'll continue to be Tom Brady's reliable third-down back. He'll need several injuries to be a viable fantasy option in 12-team PPR leagues, however.
Josh Doctson finally did something late last season after struggling for a year and a half. Doctson has potential as a former first-round pick, but there are other late-round fantasy receivers with more upside.
Tyler Kroft could be Cincinnati's starting tight end next year. Tyler Eifert hasn't been able to stay healthy, and he's an impending free agent anyway. He scored seven touchdowns in 2017, but he's not a viable fantasy option in normal leagues.
DeSean Jackson was a bust in his first season with the Buccaneers, catching just 50 passes for 668 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games. The perennially overrated Jackson, who turned 31 recently, is past his prime and shouldn't be considered a serious fantasy option.
Antonio Gates turns 38 in June, yet he still wants to play. This makes sense, as Gates was productive late in the year when Hunter Henry was injured. Unless Henry misses more action, Gates shouldn't be rostered in fantasy.
Jack Doyle caught a whopping 80 passes in 2017 despite Andrew Luck not playing at all. Doyle turned those 80 receptions into just 690 yards and four touchdowns (8.6 yards per catch), but both figures will likely rise if Luck can play the entire next season.
Blake Bortles had a great three-game stretch in December when he battled some miserable defenses at home, but he struggled for most of the year otherwise. Bortles sucks, and there's a good chance he'll be benched at some point in 2018.
Rishard Matthews has been Marcus Mariota's favorite receiver the past two years, though that could change with Corey Davis certain to make great strides this upcoming season. Still, Matthews is relevant and could have a spot on a fantasy roster if the new coaching staff gets Mariota to play better.
Atlanta's offense was much worse with Steve Sarkisian replacing Kyle Shanahan, but don't tell that to Mohamed Sanu, who saw his catches and yards rise from 59 and 653 to 67 and 703, respectively. He also caught five touchdowns. Sanu is not a very good fantasy option.
Ted Ginn had some solid performances in his first season with the Saints, but finished with mediocre numbers (53 catches, 787 yards, four touchdowns.) As long as the Saints have a strong defense and running game, Ginn's potential will be capped, especially at age 33.
Joe Flacco threw for 4,317 yards with a limited supporting cast in 2016, but his numbers were much worse this past season; he had just 3,141 yards and 18 touchdowns. Flacco has regressed, but a better receiving corps could help him return to QB2 status.
Jim Irsay told the media that his team will be obtaining a new running back this offseason, quite possibly Saquon Barkley with the third-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. That could leave Frank Gore without a starting job next season, but Gore should still find backup work somewhere if he wants it.
Taylor Gabriel had promise heading into this season, but Steve Sarkisian couldn't figure out creative ways to get the ball to him. It's a shame, but Gabriel will continue to be a non-factor in fantasy under the current coaching regime.
Zay Jones struggled this past season, but played most of his rookie campaign with a torn labrum. He'll be better in 2018, but his production depends on which quarterback the Bills obtain this offseason.
There's a chance Jonathan Stewart could cut ties with Jonathan Stewart, as he was very ineffective this past season. He averaged just 3.4 yards per carry, though he did find the end zone on seven occasions. It's unlikely that as a 31-year-old, Stewart will find a starting job next year.
Jameis Winston had a nightmare 2017 season for the most part, as injuries and bad coaching ruined what seemed to be a promising season. However, Winston posted some strong numbers after he got healthy in Week 13. In his final five games, he threw for 1,584 yards and 11 touchdowns. If you extrapolate that over 16 games, you get 5,068 yards and 35 scores. I do not expect Winston to accumulate these stats, but I think he's a nice buy-low option for 2018.
Hunter Henry had a strong rookie campaign, catching 36 passes for 478 yards and eight touchdowns. He scored on fewer occasions this past season - he had four touchdowns - but saw his yardage rise to 579 despite missing two games. Henry had some big performances at times, and he'll have a larger role if Antonio Gates retires.
People seem to always expect Martavis Bryant to explode, perhaps because of his great athleticism. That has yet to happen, however, as Bryant hasn't eclipsed 50 receptions for 765 yards in a single season yet. With JuJu Smith-Schuster becoming a greater part of the offense, there just aren't enough targets to go around.