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.
Next up on the list as we blast through the NFC East is your World Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Who will be the horse pooper, and who will eat the horse poop?
2018 Fantasy Football Sleeper – Nelson Agholor, Wide Receiver (ADP 113, WR44)
People, quick to forget the Third Year Breakout Wide Receiver Theory, laughed at Nelson Agholor coming into 2017. They called him a bust, they called him trash, they were me. I came around on Agholor last season, as he finally got his NFL legs underneath him. For the first time in his career, he had over seventy targets, and he had the highest target rate, catch rate, yards per catch and touchdowns in his career. He’s currently going as a middling WR5 in ten-team leagues. See if he can continue his lightning-in-a-bottle 2017. If not, go snag the new hotness. He’s not the sexiest sleeper, but the Eagles offense is extremely stacked and I cannot tell you in good conscience to go after Dallas Goedert.
2018 Fantasy Football Bounce Back – Alshon Jeffery, Wide Receiver (ADP 57, WR24)
2018 will be the return of that good Alshon, that 2013 & 2014 Alshon, that top-ten wideout Alshon. If he doesn’t bounce back, then you can have whatever money you paid for this back. Here’s the short on Alshon Jeffery in 2018. First, Jeffery changed teams last year without seeing his production fall off a cliff. This is unlike Terrelle Pryor, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Marshall, Kenny Britt, or Torrey Smith, who all failed to produce much of anything fantasy football worthy in 2017. Second, Jeffery posted his best season in three years with Wentz and the Eagles, finishing as WR22 last season.
The third thing you need to know about his bounce back 2017 campaign? He did it while needing a myriad of surgeries literally all season. Those injuries caused him to have those numbers with a sub-50% catch rate for the first time in his career. Jeffery is set for a full recovery by week one, and the prognosis is that he will finish behind his 2017 campaign with a better situation around him.
2018 Fantasy Football Bust – Carson Wentz, Quarterback (ADP 60, QB5)
I don’t know if it’s a collective delusion or a massive swell of hopefulness in the fantasy football community with Carson Wentz. I know, it doesn’t make sense to list one of his pass catchers as a bounce back, another as a sleeper, and Wentz as a bust. Both those guys can produce (potentially with Nick Foles), without Wentz living up to his draft day price. The short of Wentz’s bust status is two-fold.
First, he had a 7.5% touchdown rate last season, meaning about one of every thirteen passes Wentz threw went for touchdowns last year. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, if it was a career rate, nobody who has played since Nixon was present has pulled it off. Aaron Rodgers comes the closest, scoring touchdowns about one of every sixteen passes. Second, Wentz will certainly defer to other players for rushing come 2018. Blowing your knee apart tends to do that to a person, so those free 29.9 fantasy points last season will mostly dry up.
Throw a late-season knee injury recovery in with clear touchdown regression and a likely change in play style in a bag, shake it up, and you have something that tastes only slightly better than a Philadelphia Celebratory Horse Manure Sandwich. He’s more likely to be QB10 than QB5 this season, don’t snag him with a top-sixty pick.
For more 2018 fantasy football sleeper, breakout, and busts, look here: