Not everyone will be able to strike gold in their fantasy football draft.
The luck of the draw might allow you to land a Todd Gurley, Antonio Brown or Aaron Rodgers. But don’t fret, because you don’t necessarily need a slew of household names in order to have success in your league.
Every season produces a crop of sleepers, or players who flew under the radar in drafts but end up making a huge impact. In fact, these types of players often can push you to your league championship.
With that in mind, here are 10 sleepers who could help you win your league.
Mitchell Trubisky, Quarterback, Chicago Bears
Trubisky didn’t produce eye-popping numbers in his rookie campaign, but he started to come into his own toward the end of the regular season. With a full preseason as the Bears’ clear-cut starting QB under his belt, the 23-year-old could be in store for a big Year 2. Not to mention, Chicago largely improved its offensive arsenal in the offseason, adding wide receivers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel and tight end Trey Burton. Don’t forget about the Bears’ lethal backfield tandem of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, either.
Alex Collins, Running Back, Baltimore Ravens
It’s been somewhat of a merry-go-round at running back for the Ravens the past few seasons, but Baltimore appears to be all-in on Collins heading into the 2018 campaign. The third-year back showed flashes of brilliance to close out the 2017 season, scoring six touchdowns in the Ravens’ final seven games. It feels as though quarterback Joe Flacco is beyond his days of dropping dimes on a regular basis, so Collins could be a focal point in Baltimore’s offense.
Devin Funchess, Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers
The 2018 season very well could be Funchess’ coming out party. While Carolina’s offense relies heavily on its running backs, expect Funchess to be Cam Newton’s go-to wide receiver. At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, the 24-year-old boasts ideal size for a deep threat who can take the top off the defense and also serve as a premier red-zone option. Expect Funchess to eclipse the 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown threshold in the upcoming season.
Trey Burton, Tight End, Bears
Burton never had the opportunity to consistently shine with the Philadelphia Eagles while backing up star tight end Zach Ertz. But now that he’s moved on to Chicago, the fourth-year pro finally will have the chance to make a name for himself. Burton is relatively small by tight end standards, but he’s supremely athletic and is dangerous after the catch. As Trubisky continues to develop, look for Burton to be a security blanket for the Bears’ young signal-caller.
Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City obviously had big plans for Mahomes when they selected him with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2017 draft. Those plans are being put into motion this season, as Mahomes will take over starting QB duties after the Chiefs dealt Alex Smith in the offseason. The 22-year-old has an absolute rocket for an arm, which bodes well for playmakers Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce. Mahomes is no slouch as a rusher, either.
Rex Burkhead, Running Back, New England Patriots
Burkhead turned in a solid debut season with the Patriots despite battling injuries. With major concerns surrounding New England’s wide receiver depth chart, Burkhead’s versatility could end up becoming critically important for quarterback Tom Brady. Not to mention, Sony Michel’s knee injury could result in even more touches for Burkhead.
Will Fuller V, Wide Receiver, Houston Texans
Fuller had one of the best four-week stretches in fantasy football last season, hauling in a combined 13 catches for 279 yards with seven (!) touchdowns. The Notre Dame product couldn’t maintain that production due to injuries, but he’s poised for a bounce-back season in 2018. With opposing defenses’ attention primarily focused on DeAndre Hopkins, expect Fuller to quickly become quarterback Deshaun Watson’s No. 2 option.
David Njoku, Tight End, Cleveland Browns
Believe it or not, there actually are some reasons to be excited about the 2018 Browns, and Njoku is one of them. The 22-year-old led Cleveland in receiving touchdowns (four) last season, and his growth only should continue now that veteran QB Tyrod Taylor is under center. Wideouts Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry undoubtedly are the Browns’ top two offensive threats, but Njoku could end up being a pleasant surprise.
Chris Carson, Running Back, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has lacked any identity at running back ever since Marshawn Lynch left town, but things are looking up for the Seahawks at the position heading into 2018. While many are excited about first-round pick Rashaad Penny, fully trusting rookies at skill positions often can be a dangerous game. Carson has experience in Seattle’s system and could end up staking claim as the team’s starter.
Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans
Davis posted an underwhelming rookie season after being selected No. 5 overall in the 2017 draft. That said, the second-year wideout did show signs of serious potential, and his size and ceiling make him a very interesting prospect in this year’s fantasy drafts. The Titans usually don’t feature superstar talent at wide receiver, so it should be open competition to become QB Marcus Mariota’s go-to target.
Thumbnail photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports
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