Want to win your fantasy football league? It all starts with the draft. We understand your time is limited, creating your own cheat sheet is a none starter. So here are a few players that we think will be sleepers, busts and breakout stars in 2017.
Here is how we define each:
Sleeper: A player not being drafted as a starter but should be.
Bust: A player drafted as a starter but will disappoint.
Breakout Star: A player projected to finish in the top five at their position but are not currently being drafted like a superstar.
To create these rankings, we used a combination of FantasyPros experts and then compared those rankings to the average draft position (ADP), which is a composite of rankings from ESPN and Yahoo, of each player. The draft rankings are based on a standard league.
In case you missed it, 2017 sleepers, now players likely to bust.
2017 ADP: 8th quarterback
2017 Projected Rankings: 12th quarterback
It is easy to make a case for Carr as a No. 1 option at quarterback. He has a young receiving core in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and the Raiders added pass catching tight end Jared Cook in the offseason, plus he is fully healthy after breaking his leg. However, there are underlying statistics (point differential, record in one score games and turnovers) that point to regression for Oakland. Carr’s fantasy season is likely to be negatively impacted if the Raiders take a step back after winning 12 games last season.
2017 ADP: 9th quarterback
2017 Projected Rankings: 13th quarterback
In one of the most impressive rookie campaigns in NFL history, Dak Prescott completed 67.8% of his passes for 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for six scores. The young signal caller helped the Cowboys earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC and now expectations are through the roof for Dallas’ starter. Don’t be surprised is Prescott suffers a sophomore slump. For starters, the line might not be as dominant as in years past, the team will face a tougher schedule and the defense still has questions.
2017 ADP: 14th running back,
2017 Projected Rankings: 19th running back
McCaffrey’s fantasy stock is on the rise. The first round draft pick continues to receive high praise including from backfield teammate Jonathan Stewart who said, “no one can cover McCaffrey 1-on-1.” The former Stanford product has the versatility to contribute on the field right away but he won’t be the lead back and Cam Newton already has favorite targets in Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin. I’m not confident the workload will be there for McCaffrey to flirt with being an RB1.
2017 ADP: 24th running back,
2017 Projected Rankings: 30th running back
The new Eagle led the NFL in rushing touchdowns last year (18) and was second in carries (299). It is hard to expect similar production, especially for a back so dependent on rushing scores. Blount is a nonfactor in the receiving game, which limits his fantasy value.
2017 ADP: 10th receiver
2017 Projected Rankings: 15th receiver
Fantasy owners are excited about Cooks joining the Patriots. The speedy receiver is another weapon for Tom Brady but the quarterback is notorious for spreading the ball around. Cooks will have to share targets will Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and James White. If the receiver is used primarily as a deep threat it is hard to value him as a top ten option at the position.
2017 ADP: 27th receiver
2017 Projected Rankings: 48th receiver
Tennessee is a run-first offense that finished 28th in the league in pass attempts last year. The Titans used a first round pick on Davis and will want to get him involved but it’s unclear where he falls among Marcus Mariota’s other receiving options in Delanie Walker and Eric Decker.
2017 ADP: 13th tight end
2017 Projected Rankings: 21st tight end
Many fantasy owners are viewing the Bama alum as a potential low-end No. 1 option at tight end. This seems to ignore the fact that Cameron Brate has a chance to start over the first rounder. In addition to a battle for playing time, Howard will also have to contend for targets against Mike Evans and newly acquired DeSean Jackson.
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