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.
We finish our tour around the NFC East with the only team in the division with a new quarterback, the Washington < Anachronistic Racial Slurs We Have to Put in the Title for SEO Reasons>.
2018 Fantasy Football Sleeper – Alex Smith, Quarterback (ADP 127, QB19)
Alex Smith is not a sexy 2018 fantasy football sleeper. The Chiefs traded him to Washington for Pat Mahomes, so he isn’t even that flashy a real life player, either. Still, steady Alex Smith, Mr. Won’t Win Ya Games, Won’t Lose Ya Games, Mr. Game Manager of the Year lost his mind last year. He posted the most fantasy football points of his career; long story short: he went off.
Yes, efficiency numbers are completely out of whack. Yes, he will surely take a step back from his torrid #3 fantasy football QB campaign last season. But QB19? That is too far, mon frère. Smith has finished higher than that draft slot in five of his last six full seasons. Turns out Mr. Manager uses his legs to add a chunk of rushing value into his totals every year. Rushing yards are 2.5x as valuable as passing yards, which helps buoy his value. Only seven QBs have more fantasy points through yardage than Smith since he joined KC, providing him with an incredible floor. He’s an immense two-quarterback league value, and he represents the last of the solid QBs who have clear top-ten upside.
2018 Fantasy Football Bounce Back – Jordan Reed, Tight End (ADP 89, TE9)
Jordan Reed’s 2018 reclamation campaign will hopefully be the lesson that teaches us all to respect downside in a player. Last season, Reed was extremely risky due to injuries and owners holding onto a sad past of a bonkers three-game stretch. He was TE3 two years ago, and that was disastrous. Last season, that bad 2016 gave him a miniscule drop in ADP, down to TE4. Then he did Jordan Reed things again in 2017 and he finally priced himself into the “risky upside” tier of tight ends.
That’s truly where Reed belongs. When he is physically capable of playing, Reed is a one-man wrecking crew at tight end. Getting Reed physically capable of playing is the problem, as he has missed 35% of the games in his career. However, his downside is finally priced correctly, which means I’m snagging Jordan Reed wherever I can. He represents the end or near-end of a tier of tight ends that acts as a wall holding back the flood of cheap, troubled tight ends.
2018 Fantasy Football Bust – Chris Thompson, Running Back (ADP 101, RB39)
It’s now been over a week since Chris Thompson admitted he won’t be back at full strength until November. Last season, Thompson set PPR leagues ablaze, but went full Icarus and broke his leg, missing the final six games last year. So he is concerned he won’t be back at full strength from a leg injury until the fantasy football season is two months deep… cool. Somehow, this has flown completely under draftees’ collective radar, and he is going in the RB with Upside group. If a player volunteers the information he provided, I am going to pass on him 100% of the time. By the time he gets up to strength, Derrius Guice will have solidified the running back role, leaving you frustrated and angry with your pick.
For more 2018 fantasy football sleeper, breakout, and busts, look here: