The 2017-18 National Football League (NFL) season is fast approaching, which means one thing and one thing only: fantasy football is back. Whether you are a “fantasy veteran” or “virgin,” you’re going to need to have a successful draft in order to win. The following are a few picks to help you assert your dominance over your friends.
Here are some stellar picks which will leave less-savvy league members in awe. Sleepers may not be household names, but don’t be surprised to see them rack up points throughout the season.
Kareem Hunt, RB
Kansas City Chiefs
Hunt’s draft stock is on the rise as Spencer Ware, Kansas City’s former running back, tore his Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) during a preseason game against the Seahawks. With little competition, Hunt will be the “featured back” according to a press conference with head coach Andy Reid following Ware’s PCL injury. During his 2016 season at Toledo University, Hunt totalled 1878 yards rushing and averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Reid has confidence in Hunt, enough to establish him as one of the lead rushers and as a key part of the passing game as well. Hunt is currently a fantasy RB2 running back with RB1 potential. This means that Hunt should be drafted as your second best running back in the draft, but could become the number one back on your team. Due to Ware’s injury, Hunt is now being taken in the fourth round in typical fantasy drafts, so if he is one of your prime targets, you might want to draft him in the mid to late 3rd round.
Devante Parker, WR
In most leagues, Parker is currently being taken around the eighth round, which is a steal. He is being eclipsed by the shadow of Miami’s number one wide receiver, Jarvis Landry. This makes him a prime candidate of a major fantasy sleeper. During Miami’s second preseason game against Baltimore, Parker brought in two completions for a total of 78 yards. Post-game, Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler considered Parker a “faster Alshon [Jeffery].” Last year when Cutler was a Chicago Bear, his favorite receiver to throw to was Jeffery. They had amazing chemistry together and Jeffrey had a huge impact on the team’s success of the team. Cutler has hinted that he hopes to get Parker a larger role in their offense, which gives Parker the potential to end the season as a top 15 wideout. If Parker outperforms Jarvis Landry, Miami’s current top wideout, his fantasy production will rise tremendously. In addition, if he stays healthy and continues his great offseason, he will be an excellent flex option/WR2 this year.
Corey Coleman, WR
Coleman had a solid start with Cleveland during his rookie season last year. During week two, he made his presence known his receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns against Baltimore. Days after the game, Coleman suffered a broken hand and didn’t come back until week nine. He stayed quiet until the end of the season, not receiving more than 41 yards in any game. While Coleman was injured, Cleveland’s passing scheme mostly featured wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, Sr. and tight end Gary Barnidge. But with the absence of both, Coleman now has the potential to a have a bigger impact on the offense. Depending on his health, and the outcome of Cleveland’s endless struggle to find a reliable quarterback,it is possible that Coleman could have a breakout season. He is a handy flex option if you are desperate, but he should definitely be added to your bench as he is a solid backup.
Some of these players have had mediocre seasons, but are likely to become fantasy stars this year.
Jameis Winston, QB,
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winston is a favorable option if you’re willing to wait until the later rounds for a quarterback (which you should). Unless you’ve got you heart set on Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, two quarterbacks who significantly outperform the rest, the better play is to wait until the eighth round and pick up Winston. He’s been in the league for two years without much help on offense, but this year Tampa Bay snatched speedy wideout Desean Jackson from the Redskins. Mike Evans will likely remain the number one target in spite of the addition, but now that Winston has options, he will have far more success passing the ball. The only downside is Winston’s aggression and lack of accuracy. He threw 18 interceptions last year, the second most in the league. If Winston increases his vision and judgement, he could very well be a top 10 QB.
Christian McCaffrey, RB
McCaffrey was an great addition for the Panthers struggling offense. He was a Heisman Trophy runner-up at Stanford University and broke Barry Sanders’ all-purpose yards record of 3,250 yards. This stat proves his impact on offense rushing the ball and in the passing game. Carolina had a constant problem with its running scheme and Ron Rivera is looking to make McCaffrey the featured back over veteran Jonathan Stewart. Rivera’s choice to make McCaffrey the main running back on the team shows his lack of confidence in Stewart. McCaffrey had an impressive preseason and seems to be a workhorse in the backfield and far more importantly a solid addition to your fantasy squad.