As the NFL season is only a mere 28 days from opening kickoff, we take a look at a fantasy football sleeper from all 32 teams.
Steelers – James Washington
College 2017: 74 rec – 1,549 receiving yards – 13 TDs
Martavis Bryant out, James Washington in. James gets to be a part of one of the most dynamic offenses in the league. When you have JuJu, Le’Veon and AB, you are going to have a lot of chances for the ball to be coming your way and you won’t be covered by the team’s best defenders.
Bengals – John Ross
2017: 1 rushing att – 12 yards
Ross didn’t really get a chance to do much of anything last season. He was injured and found himself in the doghouse early on. Now with a full offseason under his belt and the potential to be the second target behind AJ Green, look for Ross to breakout.
Browns – Tyrod Taylor
2017: 2,799 passing yards – 14 TDs– 4 INTs
Taylor has never been one to stuff the stat sheets, but he has never had the weapons he now has in Cleveland. Being a mobile quarterback is always a plus as well.
Ravens – John Brown
2017: 21 rec – 299 receiving yards – 3 TDs
Three years removed from a 1,000-yard, 7 touchdown season, Brown finds himself in a new home with a new quarterback. If Brown can stay on the field, he will contribute this season.
Packers – Randall Cobb
2017: 66 rec – 653 receiving yards – 4 TDs
Healthy Rodgers? Check. Jordy gone? Check. Cobb had ankle surgery this offseason and has been dealing with soreness, but if Cobb is on the field all season, look for him to breakout. Cobb looked very good last year and he still has the speed and elusiveness to be a dynamic weapon in this pass happy offense.
Bears – Anthony Miller
College 2017: 96 rec – 1,462 receiving yards – 18 TDs
Anthony Miller has been lighting it up routinely in training camp. He predicted that he will score at least eight touchdowns this season. Seeing that Trubisky only threw seven touchdowns last season, that may be a stretch, but the rookie made spectacular catches in college, and is making them in training camp. Let’s see if his prediction comes to fruition.
Lions – Kerryon Johnson
College 2017: 285 att – 1,391 rushing yards – 18 TDs
The Lions currently have five other running backs on their roster. You don’t trade up in the second round to grab a running back that doesn’t have a chance to be the guy. Look for the Lions to finally have a competent running game, as they also improved their offensive line.
Vikings – Latavius Murray
2017: 216 att – 842 rushing yards – 8 TDs
We unfortunately didn’t get to see a fully healthy Latavius on the field at the same time as Dalvin Cook last year. Jerrick McKinnon got 56 less attempts than Latavius last year, and he has taken his talents to the 49ers. I don’t think that Latavius will get more touches than Dalvin, but I do believe that he will get his fair share.
Texans – KeKe Coutee
College 2017: 93 rec – 1,429 receiving yards – 10 TDs
DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Braxton Miller? Braxton Miller hasn’t been as dynamic as the Texans would have hoped. Deshaun Watson was slinging touchdowns at a high rate last year, and KeKe Coutee could very well see quite a few come his way.
Colts – Ryan Grant
2017: 45 rec – 573 receiving yards – 4 TDs
The Colts let Moncrief walk in free agency and Luck looks to be fully healthy. T.Y. Hilton is the obvious number one receiver on the team, but Ryan Grant has the skillset to emerge as the number 2. He already has been given plenty of praise from his new coach. If Luck gets back to his elite ways, the WR2 will have value.
Jaguars – Donte Moncrief
2017: 26 rec – 391 receiving yards – 2 TDs
Moncrief has the size and speed to be an elite wide receiver in the league, but he has never stayed healthy enough to prove it. He was paid to be a top receiver for the Jags and he has the skillset to do so. Bortles recently signed a contract extension and looks to bring the Jags back to the championship. Will Moncrief be the playmaker the offense has been missing after losing Robinson?
Titans – Taywan Taylor
2017: 16 rec – 231 receiving yards – 1 TDs
Rishard Matthews was recently put on the PUP list. Corey Davis seems primed for a breakout season after an underwhelming rookie year, and Taylor looks to be right beside him. Matt LaFleur is now the offensive coordinator for the Titans. He has spent the last few years learning under Shanahan and McVay. The Titans offense was very vanilla last year, but LaFleur could produce the next high flying offense.
Panthers – CJ Anderson
2017: 245 att – 1,007 rushing yards – 3 TDs
Over his entire career, CJ has never averaged less than 4.0 ypg a season. Last year, Jonathon Stewart got 198 attempts, McCaffrey got 117. Anderson has also has at least 100 receiving yards in every season except his first year. Look for CJ to split the workload with McCaffrey and get short yardage work.
Falcons – Austin Hooper
2017: 49 rec – 526 yards – 3 TDs
Hooper and Matt Ryan worked together a lot this offseason. There are a lot of weapons in Atlanta, but Hooper will look to take the next step this year. The talent is there, all we are waiting for is that chemistry with his quarterback.
Saints – Cameron Meredith
2016: 66 rec – 888 yards – 4 TDs
Meredith didn’t play a snap in the regular season last year, due to injury. The Saints recently released Brandon Coleman and let Willie Snead walk in free agency. Meredith will rarely have to face the top defensive back, as that will be the task of Michael Thomas. Look for Meredith to potentially become the go-to receiver on third down and red zone situations, as he brings length to the slot position for the team.
Buccaneers – Ronald Jones
College 2017: 261 att – 1,550 rushing yards – 19 TDs
Jones was very impressive during his tenure at USC. Doug Martin is no longer with the Buccaneers and Ronald will only have to compete with Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers for touches. No knock on them, but they have always been a change of pace in the offense. Ronald will very likely be the starter.
Broncos – Jake Butt
College 2016: 46 rec – 546 receiving yards – 4 TDs
Case Keenum is the Bronco’s new starting quarterback and he looked Rudolph’s way often during his tenure with the Vikings. Butt has a prime opportunity to be Denver’s top option at tight end and should be the starter.
Chiefs – Spencer Ware
2016: 214 att – 921 rushing yards – 3 TDs
Ware seems to be the odd man out of the new and improved Chiefs offense, but remember last year when Ware was the starting running back before going down with a knee injury? All it takes is one guy going down.
Chargers – Mike Williams
2017: 11 rec – 95 yards
Hunter Henry was primed for a huge year with Antonio Gates no longer on the team. Now with Henry on the shelf, there are more targets to go the lengthy receiver’s way. Williams was a dominant receiver in college and battled the injury bug last season. The Chargers have arguably one of the best receiving corps in the league when healthy, and Williams will be at the forefront.
Raiders – Jordy Nelson
2017: 53 rec – 482 receiving yards – 6 TDs
With Michael Crabtree gone and Amari Cooper not being able to keep the football off the ground, Jordy could become Carr’s go-to target this season. Martavis Bryant hasn’t been working with the fist team since he can’t learn the plays, so that helps too. Jordy has always been sure-handed, and with Crabtree gone, Jordy has a prime shot to become the redzone threat for the Raiders.
Rams – Cooper Kupp
2017: 62 rec – 869 receiving yards – 5 TDs
The Rams lost Sammy Watkins this offseason and traded for Brandin Cooks. Luckily for Kupp, Goff showed that he looked his way often. Kupp had more receptions than both Woods and Watkins this past season, so look for him to build upon that performance.
Cardinals – Ricky Seals Jr.
2017: 12 rec – 201 receiving yards – 3 TDs
Most of Ricky’s production came in weeks 11-13 last season, with his best game being against the Jags. The Cardinals have Fitz and David Johnson returning, but no one else that has shown worthy of being much of a threat catching the ball. Can Ricky take advantage?
Seahawks – Brandon Marshall
2017: 18 rec – 154 receiving yards
With Doug Baldwin likely missing the majority of the preseason and potentially some regular season time, it gives Marshall much needed time to build rapport with Wilson. Marshall will look to have a bounce-back season, with a much better quarterback than he had in New York.
49ers – Matt Breida
2017: 105 att – 465 rushing yards – 2 TDs
Breida had a productive season last year despite not being the number one back. This year, he should take on a similar, if not larger role. Look for him to take over as the “Tevin Coleman” back in Kyle Shanahan’s dynamic system. Breida has had high praise in training camp and will see his fair share of touches.
Patriots – Cordarrelle Patterson
2017: 31 rec — 309 receiving yards — 121 rushing yards
Cordarrelle hasn’t had the most productive career as a wide receiver, but Bill Belichick is elite when it comes to coaching and getting the most out of his players. He will use Cordarrelle the way he should have been used since he has been in the league. Edelman is suspended the first four games and Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Jordan Matthews are all gone. Someone has to catch passes for the Patriots, and we know how electric Patterson can be with the ball in his hands.
Dolphins – Frank Gore
2017: 261 att – 961 rushing yards – 3 TDs
Gore has failed to rush for over 1,000 yards in only 4 of his 13 seasons in the NFL. Two of those four seasons he was only 39 and 33 yards away. The Dolphins drafted Kalen Ballage and still have Kenyan Drake, but Gore appears to still have some left in the tank. He’s the definition of an iron man.
Jets – Quincy Enunwa
2016: 58 rec – 857 receiving yards – 4 TDs
Enunwa looked to potentially be the Jets number one receiver last year before he went down with an injury. There are a lot of new faces on the offense this year, but if Enunwa is fully healthy, which he says he is, he could be a key weapon for this team.
Bills – Kelvin Benjamin
2017: 16 rec – 217 receiving yards – 1 TD
Every season that Kelvin has been in the league, his stats have gone down across the board. The Bills don’t have many weapons on offense, especially with the LeSean McCoy allegations looming. Targets will be going Benjamin’s way.
Cowboys – Michael Gallup
College 2017: 100 rec – 1,418 receiving yards – 7 TDs
Gallup had two very productive seasons in college. He now has the chance at being Dak Prescott’s number one target with Dez and Witten gone. Even if Gallup isn’t the number one receiver, he will be heavily targeted in the offense, due to lack of playmakers.
Giants – Eli Manning
2017: 3,468 passing yards – 19 TDs– 13 INTs
Eli Manning had a pretty mediocre season last year. This season, he has a re-tooled offensive line, as well as a running back that is arguably the best running back he has had in his career, even though he hasn’t played a down in the NFL. Eli also has Pat Shurmur calling plays, who did a pretty good job taking the Vikings to the NFC Championship last year.
Eagles – Darren Sproles
2017: 15 att – 61 rushing yards
Sproles sadly didn’t get to take part in much of the Eagles Super Bowl winning season, as he ended up on IR. This season, Sproles will be back for what will likely be his last year. The Eagles have a plethora of running backs, but Sproles is a dynamic rusher and pass-catcher.
Redskins – Derius Guice**
College 2017: 237 att – 1,251 rushing yards – 11 TDs
Guice was the seventh running back taken in the draft. He could have easily been the second taken, but slipped due to “off the field concerns.” However, nothing has come to fruition from those reports. Chris Thompson isn’t fully healed yet, and Guice could easily be a three down workhorse.
**Obviously Guice’s season was ended prematurely. With the addition of Adrian Peterson, the sleeper is now Samaje Perine, who looked good before the signing of Peterson. While workload will be an issue early, we could see Perine emerging later in the year.
Giovani Bernard, Courtland Sutton, Paul Richardson, Michael Crabtree, Nyheim Hines and Danny Amendola, to name a few.