The 2018 NFL season is upon us….well kinda. The 2018 NFL Best Ball leagues from DRAFT are upon us! Drafting a season long team in January is like asking a girl for her number before you even get her name. It’s scary, it probably won’t work, our friends will laugh at us, but hey we’re going to take a shot anyways (though we may need a few drinks first).
The reality is this venture is basically the bitcoin equivalent for DFS. I’m going to throw a bunch of money into it and hope I crush it so that I can tell everyone, especially my girlfriend, that I knew exactly what I was talking about. In reality, I’m making decisions with limited information. But hey, isn’t that basically true in August too? Let’s get real folks, winning would be nice, but that sweet, sweet ‘I told you so’ is really what we’re after.
What I’m going to do is attempt to predict the good, the bad, and the ugly for the 2018 season to help you savvy drafters come out big next season. Based on DRAFT ADP (average draft position) I am going to cut off the top 4 QBs, the top 5 RBs, the top 10 WRs, and the top 4 TEs, anyone can tell you Todd Gurley is good, you don’t need me for that. I will limit each section to 4 players as well as a sleeper/bounce back that you may want to take a shot on this season.
The Good-Players with medium to high floors, with exceptionally high ceilings.
The Bad– Middle of the road players. They will have low to medium floors but are capable of having a handful of big games a year.
The Ugly– Late round picks with the lowest floors and low ceilings. These players are capable of having 1-2 games a season that win you a week, but know that their floor could be 2pts.
THE GOOD: Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins
Cam Newton has a large built in floor with his legs and the team let him run again in 2017. I expect to see CMC have a bigger role opening up more for Cam. While the Saints seemed more focused on the running game this year Brees still was able to pass for over 4,000yds and no doubt will do it again. The great thing about Goff and Cousins is the amount they do with minimal opportunity. They are about as efficient as they come and in 2018 will continue to do so in their young careers.
THE BAD: Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford, Jimmy Garoppolo, Carson Wentz
All carry similar upside to the top QBs ,they do however carry a much lower floor. Big Ben and Stafford have shown for years they can put up 4 or 40 pts in any given week, 2018 wont change that. Jimmy G is everyone’s new shiny toy and with a full season ahead I expect him to build on his 2017 heroics. Wentz could fall into the “Good” category, however with his return from injury it’s hard to tell at this moment.
THE UGLY: Marcus Marriota, Derek Carr, Philip Rivers, Blake Bortles
It’s not pretty, but someone has to do it. These guys can be zero or hero in any given week. I would never feel great about them going into any week, but a third option on a team they are worth the risk. All carry similar floors and similar upside.
SLEEPER /BOUNCE BACK: Andrew Luck
THE GOOD: Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook, Mark Ingram, Lesean McCoy
2017 rushing leader Kareem Hunt will look to repeat in 2018 and with a disappointing playoff loss, it is clear that the Chiefs need to lean on Hunt. Dalvin Cook will be coming off a major injury in 2018, but showed flashes in 2017 of why he jumped up everyones draft board. With a great defense the Vikings will heavily involve Cook to take pressure off whoever their QB may be. Ingram and Mccoy are the veterans of this group and should continue to thrive as they do every year.
THE BAD: Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon, Devonta Freeman, Kenyan Drake
For Fournette and Drake, they were given opportunities to show they can handle the every-down role, which they did quite well in 2017. Can Drake repeat his late season run for a full season? I think so! Gordon and Freeman have workload concerns that bump them down a tier but are capable of a big score any week.
THE UGLY: Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, Carlos Hyde, Joe Mixon
Here we have three backs in Mixon, Henry, and McCaffrey that look poised to take over the lead in their backfield, while for the first time in Hyde’s career he will have a competent quarterback that will keep the defense from stacking the box.
Sleeper/Bounce Back: Chris Carson
THE GOOD:Doug Baldwin, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, Jarvis Landry
Once you get out of the top 10 at WR, “safe” has quite a different meaning. Baldwin and Adams are their QBs favorite target and will typically see a high usage. Diggs shares the workload mostly with Adam Thielen as they accounted for 45% of the team targets. Landry is a PPR machine and while this format is .5 pt he still has great viability.
THE BAD: TY Hilton, Josh Gordon, Larry Fitzgerald, Robert Woods
Look up deep threat ability and see pictures of Hilton and Gordon as they can run up the points fast. Gordon will look to continue his unprecedented return in 2018 and Hilton will look to bounce back with Andrew Luck’s return. If Fitz wasn’t 1000 years he would fall in the “Good” category. Robert Woods had a break out year and solidified himself as Jared Goff’s favorite target. Woods can be a late round pick that has flashed 30+ point upside multiple times.
THE UGLY: Amari Cooper, Robbie Anderson, Julian Edelman, Dede Westbrook
Amari Cooper had an awful year, but look for him to bounce back with John Gruden as coach. I look for him to get back to his rookie form in which he saw great success. Robbie Anderson had his coming out party in 2017 and will look to repeat hopefully with Josh McCown returning. Julian Edelman will be coming off a gruesome injury, but is Tom Brady’s favorite target and a late round gem. As for Dede Westbrook he showed flashes of the reasons why the Jaguars took him in the 4th round of the draft, however, with the return of Allen Robinson and the Jags commitment to the run there may not be enough opportunity to go around for everyone.
SLEEPER /BOUNCE BACK: Devante Parker
THE GOOD: Jimmy Graham, Delanie Walker, Jack Doyle, Hunter Henry
Jimmy Graham showed over and over the threat he poses as he led the NFL in red zone targets and is a great bet for a touchdown week in and week out and I don’t expect this to change in 2018. In terms of market share of the teams total targets there is no safer bets then Walker and Doyle. I look for this to continue in the 2018 season with Marcus Marriota coming into his third season and the return of Andrew Luck for Doyle. Hunter Henry’s third year should be his breakout season as he shouldn’t have to battle the corpse of Antonio Gates for playing time.
THE BAD: Kyle Rudolph, Eric Ebron, Charles Clay, Jason Witten
Kyle Rudolph is the king of one catch, one yard, and one touchdown games. He is capable of a few big game each year and landed third in targets on the team in 2017. The last 4 weeks of 2017 we saw the Eric Ebron that everyone thought we would see in the beginning of the year. If Ebron can learn to catch a ball he could be in line for a successful 2018. Charles Clay and Witten are similar to me. Both of these tight ends are a model of consistency and their QBs favorite target.
THE UGLY: Jordan Reed, George Kittle, Jared Cook, OJ Howard/Cam Brate
This is probably the ugliest group of the whole article. Reed can put up monster games if he doesn’t stub his toe and miss half of the season, so make sure you weigh the risk. George Kittle seemed to have chemistry with Jimmy G and of the group would be my favorite as he had 4 catches or a touchdown in each of his last three games. Jared Cook is well “Eh” at best, while he does possess the skill set, he has yet to put it all together for a full season. I wouldn’t expect big things except once or twice a year. As for Howard and Brate, they vulture each other so good luck picking whose turn it is, but we have seen both have monster weeks as Jameis Winston loves his tight ends.
SLEEPER /BOUNCE BACK: Tyler Eifert
Best of luck and I’ll see you in the lobby!
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This post was written by Fulltilt82