For the 2018 season, we will explore a 2018 fantasy football sleeper, breakout (or bounce back), and bust from every NFL team. First, a sleeper can leap into top-tier production at a bargain basement draft day price. A breakout is available in the middle rounds and will return positive value of at least a couple rounds. Bounce backs are normally helpful players coming off a down year or years whom you can acquire for a song. Busts are the worst case scenario: a player who drastically underperforms his draft position. While they may not be a wasted pick, you definitely don’t want them on your team.
Today, we round up our look at the NFC North as we turn our attention to the reigning Minneapolis Miracle Makers, the Minnesota Vikings.
2018 Fantasy Football Sleeper – Latavius Murray, Running Back (ADP 158, RB53)
I’m not going to blow smoke up your backside. I won’t tell you that Latavius Murray has a chance to steal enough touches from Dalvin Cook to be fantasy relevant. He won’t. The fantasy football community is huge on this offense for 2018, making sleepers difficult. Fantasy football drafters are snagging Cook, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, and Kirk Cousins as set-and-forget starters, and then there’s Latavius Murray. Should Cook go down, snatch Murray immediately. He’s productive and versatile enough to be a valuable fantasy football commodity, with nothing but UDFAs behind him on the depth chart.
I guess, Laquon Treadwell (ADP 492, WR127) exists, as well. There’s not much 2018 fantasy football sleeper appeal to squeeze out of this offense unless everything falls apart for the top-line starters.
2018 Fantasy Football Breakout – Kyle Rudolph, Tight End (ADP 68, TE7)
Look, guys. I’m really sorry. There just isn’t much 2018 fantasy football sleeper or breakout value to dig out of the Minnesota offense. I am sorry that I have to resort to a clear starter at his fantasy football position. I literally spent years mocking Kyle Rudolph being this year’s next big breakout for the tenth year running. The truth of the matter is that Rudolph, who already had a good thing going, saw his situation improve.
While Rudolph had a good thing going for him last year, the addition of Kirk Cousins only improves his situation. Cousins has three years of TE data under his belt. Those years netted him TE2, TE3, and TE16 (with Vernon Davis & Jordan Reed splitting targets). Rudolph, tied for second in TE touchdowns last season, has a shot to lead all big boy pass catchers (the original name for TEs) in scores.
2018 Fantasy Football Bust – Dalvin Cook, Running Back (ADP 13, RB10)
This is a return to teaching you a fantasy football lesson through the lens of highlighting something about a player. Dalvin Cook is on the mend from tearing his ACL last season and is fully mended, according to many. That’s great; I don’t think Cook will actually be a bust. The problem comes when his small sample size combined with an out-of-control hype train potentially elevate Cook further than he should go.
Right now, he’s a top-ten back, but the slightest negative about guys ahead of him will have you questioning whether or not you could take him ninth, or even fifth or sixth. Just be wary of draft day inflation with Cook. He ran well in a small sample size last year, but we should be careful. Don’t put him at or near the top the rookie and sophomore running back ranks (which several experts did). He carries some risk, therefore don’t draft him while ignoring that risk.
For more 2018 fantasy football sleeper, breakout, and bust looks, check out these: