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 continue our tour around the NFC South, we turn our attention to the Carolina Panthers. They will have a new OC with Norv Turner, and they should have one of the more exciting offenses this year.
2018 Fantasy Football Sleeper – D.J. Moore (ADP 115, WR46)
Why people want to take D.J. Moore nearly three rounds after Devin Funchess (more on him below) is completely beyond me. Moore already has a flashy preseason highlight, has drawn comparisons to Percy Harvin with the ball, and is one of, if not the most all-around NFL ready wide receiver from this draft class. Cam Newton will need to get him the ball, but he has 1,000-yard upside. The only problem is his limited touchdown ability with Cam Newton taking care of business when it gets close.
2018 Fantasy Football Bounce Back – Cam Newton (ADP 65, QB6)
The easy answer here is Greg Olsen, given the injuries that cost him much of 2017. Instead, Cam gets the nod here. First, there’s Cam’s consistency from year to year. He missed two games in 2014 when he flipped his truck and broke his back (literally), but other than that, he has only one season (2016) where he ended up outside the top-four at the position. If you think Cam Newton is healthy and not enduring a Super Bowl hangover, he’s a great pick at his ADP.
This consistency isn’t surprising, as it’s due in large part to his rushing. Since he’s entered the league in 2011, among QBs likely to be starting in 2018, he has the #2, #3, #4, #6, #8 and #10 quarterback rushing seasons, and the most QB rushing touchdowns in that span. His average rushing season (617 yards, 7.7 touchdowns) is roughly equivalent to Isaiah Crowell’s entire 2014 campaign (607 yards & 8 TDs). The 6.7 fantasy points per game he’s generated just from his legs over his career is the equivalent of tacking 2017’s LeGarrette Blount onto his quarterback stats. He’s QB6, but as long as nothing goes haywire in Carolina, that’s his floor. Plus, how can you go against that smile?
2018 Fantasy Football Bust – Devin Funchess (ADP 81, WR32)
Funchess “broke out” last season by “nearly doubling his career targets” because “Greg Olsen got hurt and Christian McCaffrey can’t absorb literally every single target.” Now the Panthers have DJ Moore, Greg Olsen, and Curtis Samuel back, and want to pepper McCaffrey with targets. The problem with Funchess isn’t just opportunity, it’s that he’s also… not… great. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s LeBron James with 4,000 words on how Devin Funchess is below average at pretty much everything that has to do with being a wide receiver.
For more 2018 fantasy football sleeper, breakout, and busts, look here: