The Jacksonville Jaguars hope that Blake Bortles can take them to a championship this year (he can’t). Can his weaponry take you to a fantasy football championship (…maybe!)?
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.
2018 Fantasy Football Sleeper – Keelan Cole, Wide Receiver (ADP 201, WR73)
Take a shot at the top five wide receivers in fantasy points to end the 2017 season. Close your eyes, search your feelings, and I’m sure you’ll find four of the five. Keenan Allen and Michael Thomas led the way in the last five games last season, with Tyreek Hill and DeAndre Hopkins making up the #4 and #5 down the stretch last year. Nestled right in the middle is a player going outside the top-fifteen WRs (unlike the rest) after posting 475 yards and three scores in the last five games. That player is Keelan Cole.
The Jags took their wide receiving corps and firmly shook it all up in a bag, allowing Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson to abscond off to Dallas and Chicago, respectively. It’s a big ol’ question mark in Jacksonville, so I’ll invest in the guy who ended last season the strongest.
2018 Fantasy Football Breakout – Blake Bortles, Quarterback (ADP 182, QB24)
What if I told you that the quarterback who ended the fantasy regular season by being QB7, QB4, QB9, QB5 and QB4 was available after everyone had already selected? A quarterback whose defense this season will supposedly keep the ball out of his hands? A quarterback who returns all but one of his weapons from last season? Okay fine, small sample size. Oh, and that quarterback hasn’t finished outside the top 14 since 2014. How’s that for small sample size?
How’s this for sample size? Excepting Bortles’s rookie season, he’s finished 43.75% of his games as a top-twelve quarterback. That’s a higher percentage than Carson Wentz, and less than 2% different than Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan in the same span. Yet, here sits Bort, going dozens of picks later than these guys. He’s a steal in a 2QB league and should be on your short list when streaming quarterback in 2018.
2018 Fantasy Football Bust – Leonard Fournette, Running Back (ADP 8, RB7)
Leonard Fournette is an exceptional talent. Theirs no denying that. The problem with Fournette’s draft stock is the high rate of running back injuries coupled with Fournette’s penchant for running himself into getting hurt. Over the last two years, he has a myriad of lower body injuries: ankle, knee, foot, ankle again and quad. Those are the type of injuries that tend to stack and cascade. He already missed two games last season from these maladies (five if you count the preseason). Fournette will be great when he plays. I just believe when he plays will be the problem. He hasn’t shown a consistent health track record to trust him with your first round pick. I know I won’t.