Top NFL Breakout Players in 2017-18

QB Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans)

He’s the real deal and should have a career year in his third season as a pro. His numbers have improved each season and another year in the same system can only help. If you wait on QB than grab Mariota in the mid rounds.

QB Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

While I’m not a fan of the Bucs’ offensive line, Winston has the size, seed, and poise in the pocket that screams superstar. The receiving corps are better than you think. Lee Evans is pretty close to being the #1 receiver in football, with sincere apologies to Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., A.J Green, Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson, and Doug Baldwin. If you wait on QB than grab Winston in the mid rounds.

WR Corey Davis (Tennessee Titans)

Corey Davis was the fifth pick overall (Western Michigan) in this year’s NFL draft and will not be a bust. He’s been slowed by a hamstring injury but should be ready for the preseason finale. Great size, good speed, and uber talented. The 2016 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year is the all-time leader in major College Football in receiving yards (5,285). Eric Decker will draw all the attention after signing in the off-season. A little ironic since he’s been compared to Decker quite often. Grab him as a mid-round sleeper.

WR Kenny Golladay (Detroit Lions)

Can’t believe he fell to the third round. The Lions got arguably the steal of the draft. The rules benefit the passing game and Stafford is better than most. He had a career-high 71.6 QBR last season. Kenny is big, physical, smart, and should prove to be a big-time red zone target threat. Grab him in the late rounds.

WR Amari Cooper (Oakland Raiders)

Extremely talented with superior focus equals superstar. The Raiders are going to throw the ball early and often. Plenty of red-zone targets that should produce 10+ touchdowns with over 1,000 receiving yards. The offensive line is very good and the chemistry between Carr and Cooper is off the charts. Don’t be afraid too grab him by the fifth or sixth round.

RB Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings)

The Vikings offensive line is above average in the running game and head coach Mike Zimmer likes to pound the rock. I see him going in the 3rd round of fantasy drafts after dazzling in the preseason. Playing the majority of his games (10 of 16) indoors is a huge factor. His elusiveness plays well indoors. Get him!

Jeff Hochman of VegasTopDogs.

Twitter: @jhsportsline

2017 NFL Fantasy Football Steals to Target.

The 2017 fantasy football season is almost here – which means it is time for draft planning and scheming. It is time to show your football IQ and football know how to demolish every team in your path – take them down with your big named picks.
We all know the David Johnson’s, Antonio Brown’s and Aaron Rodgers’ are all going to be plucked off the board in the first 2 rounds. But at the end of the day – we all know it’s really about the later round guys you can snake in and grab in the ending rounds, is where champions are built. Those are the guys to watch for – those are the guys to quietly pick up and abuse your opponents his 2017 fantasy football season.

Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
4386 YDs / 33 TDs / 6 games of 300+ YDs in 2016
Round to target him in; 10-11th
Reason to snatch him up;
The Chargers made plenty of moves to fix and upgrade their offensive line. Which keeping him standing up is going to be nothing but good news for you. The Chargers made sure they brought n a better team around him – not only with WR options – but taking offensive linemen Forrest Lamp – they want him upright, for good reason. His talent is always top notch, and the quality of the loaded weapons around him, have gotten even better. As long as Rivers stays healthy he is going to be more than a solid QB with enormous QB1 upside for your team.

Prediction for 2017; 4500 YDs / 35 TDs


Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers
4090 YDs / 28 TDs / 9 games of 2+ TDs in 2016
Round to target him in; 10-11th round
Reason to snatch him up;
Winston is one of the leaders of the new young bucks of QBs getting ready to start dominating the NFL, as well as in fantasy.
He is on the cusp to be a huge breakout and a beast in the fantasy world of QBs. The excellent additions of big YD WR DeSean Jackson, and talented TE O.J. Howard are going to help him. Both guys can move the chains in a hurry. He has had issues with his turnovers – but he is getting older and smarter – and his QB style will likely also get him 4-5 TDs on the ground, as well. He is growing into a true double threat that is going to score points one way or the other. Having a bunch of new threats to go along with Mike Evans and Cameron Brate is going to open up a new world for the 3rd year QB.

Prediction for 2017; 4300 YDs / 30 TDs


Jeremy Maclin, WR, Ravens
44 recpts / 536 YDs / 2 TDs in 2016
Round to target him in; 6-7th round
Reason to snatch him up;
When the Chiefs released him this offseason – I was left very confused. He is now back with his former coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, and the Baltimore Ravens, which means familiarity across the board. Good news for the FFB owner of this former 1300 YD WR. The Ravens have plenty of area to get him targets – with no more Dennis Pitta, who got 119 targets last season and Steve Smith and his 103 targets along with 5 TDs are the numbers to keep in mind here. When Maclin was on the Eagles between from 2009 – 2012, he led the Eagles in catches with 258, as well as TDs with 26, so he has the ability to light it up. He is going to be a great later round grab – with huge upside. He is going to lead the Ravens in targets, and with good hands, excellent rout running, he will most certainly produce yet again.

Prediction for 2017; 1200 YDs / 8 TDs


Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers
217 carries / 988 YDs / 6 TDs in 2016
Round to target him in; 4-5th round
Reason to snatch him up;
He is going to be great this season – especially with a new start with Kyle Shanahan running game. He is an extremely effective RB, when he is healthy. He has more than deserved the opportunity to hold onto his spot as the man to lead the Niners on the ground. Hyde put up some top half numbers last season – and that was with missing 3 games. As long as he stays on the field – Hyde is going to be taking it to the next level in 2017. He boasted a meaty 4.6 / YPC, which is obviously a huge number that pops out. Hyde ended the 2016 season putting up 5 top 10 weeks. Shanahan’s running game – has steadily gotten RBs top numbers over many years. He is an awesome playmaker with powerful size, and he can split defenses very well. He won’t be regretted.

Prediction for 2017; 1200 YDs / 10 TDs


Mike Gillislee, RB, Patriots
101 carries / 577 YDs / 8 TDs in 2016
Round to target him in; 8-9th round
Reason to snatch him up;
When the Pats picked up Mike Gillislee from the Bills this offseason, I immediately thought this was going to be one of the sneaky moves to make in FFB. He is the perfect RB to fill the power TD role left by LeGarrette Blount. Gillislee gives the Patriots a really good ballplayer with great power – and he is a legit goal line threat, as he has proven in his 3 year career. Even though Dion Lewis is still there, and had his career high in carries last year with 64, along with his 4.6 YPC for the Pats in 2 seasons. Gillislee’s upside in fantasy is top ended. Gillislee is going to be the Pats goal line replacement for Blount, and with his nose for the endzone ability – I have no qualms grabbing him. Gillislee is going to have some of those games with the 40-50 YD rushing games, but will also get the vulture 2 score games. He has a very real double-digit touchdown upside and he can also catch some balls out of the backfield as well – something Blount didn’t bring. Blount was a steal last year, when he popped in, and led the league with 18 rushing TDs, this is your chance to get the sneaky grab this year.

Prediction for 2017; 880 YDs / 11 TDs

Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
Round to target him in; 6-7th round
Reason to snatch him up;
The Vikes traded up for Cook for a reason – and they will be looking to him to produce this season. Cook brings the Vikings great versatility to the team, not only as a very fast runner – but he also is a great pass catcher out of the backfield. The ultra talented rookie, is coming into a great situation where they are looking to fill the RB spot. He brings an explosive running game where he can show his dominance – with a great ability after contact. He is going to be an elite playmaker who is going to get his carries and get his touches in the receiving department as well. The RB committee in Minnesota is a concern – with Murray and McKinnon – but by week 6, I fully expect Cook to be getting the lions share of carries/game.
It will be his chance to get a hold of the RB1 spot, and when he does – he is going to bring a great upside in fantasy.

Prediction for 2017; 800 YDs / 9 TDs

Written by TonyK for

Don’t Count The Vikings Out

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs the ball in the fourth quarter as the Minnesota Vikings play the Cleveland Browns at the Metrodome in Minneapolis Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, September 22, 2013. Browns won 31-27. (Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin)

Anybody writing off the Minnesota Vikings because they lost Teddy Bridgewater for the season is making a mistake.

Unlike most NFL teams, the Vikings are ground-oriented. Their MVP is Adrian Peterson not their quarterback. Peterson led the NFL in rushing last season. He’s a top-four runner again this season, one of only three franchise running backs with the others being Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott.

The Vikings, Rams and Cowboys can survive without their starting quarterback because of a stud running back. Other teams can’t.

Fantasy-wise, I had Bridgewater ranked 28th out of the 32 starting quarterbacks. I get that Bridgewater has a number of intangibles and is better in real football than fantasy. He was likely to improve this season, although I don’t think it would have been by leaps and bounds. He still would have been far more game-manager than attacker.

The oddsmaker seems to usually underrate the Vikings especially when it comes to their defensive personnel, which has elite talent that is still peaking. Mike Zimmer and his coaching staff are way above average, too.

The Vikings addressed their major weakness by upgrading their offensive line during the off-season. Their line is good enough now that the team recently released John Sullivan, who had been one of their better players before getting injured last season.

Keep in mind, too, that Shaun Hill is one of the better backup quarterbacks. He’s a savvy veteran who is more downfield-oriented than the usual, scatter-arm, dump-off passing backup quarterbacks littering the NFL landscape.

Most contending teams would be totally screwed if their starting quarterback went down. Not Minnesota. The Vikings surround their quarterback with talent – not the other way around where the quarterback has to carry the team. Bridgewater had 10 games last season when he threw for less than 188 yards. The Vikings still won eight of those games.

Minnesota is a top-five NFC team with or without Bridgewater.

Written by Stephen Nover for

Seattle Seahawks Best Move

Seattle’s best move was dumping Percy Harvin and not this cheerleader.
The Seattle Seahawks had decided it was time for Percy Harvin to no longer be a part of their organization. The 6 yr WR this season for Seattle was struggling with 22 catches for 133 YDs receiving and 0 receiving TDs. His 133 receiving YDs was 4th on the team.
The decision to dump him off came as a slight surprise to some, but apparently he had more than enough issues going on behind the scenes in Seattle. Including fighting with teammates before the SuperBowl, and giving black eyes to his co-workers. Looking back, now, this has got to be monetarily, the absolute worst decision of the Pete Carroll and John Schneider era. When they grabbed him from Minnesota and in turn the Vikings got their 1st rd draft pick Cordarelle Patterson, essentially to replace Harvin, many folks thought Harvin was going to explode in Seattle.
But, now, as time has played its cards, as always, maybe Seattle should have been more inclined to pay Golden Tate and his great hands and let Percy go from the beginning. This was a terrible choice by the Seahawks overall. Problems continue now as the Hawks aren’t deep in depth at WR. With Doug Baldwin and probably Jermaine Kearse now their WR1 and WR2, they have essentially a virtual unknown group of guys for Russel Wilson to sling the ball to. So, talent wise, Harvin was likely considered their best receiver.
A rotten attitude can spread quickly, so you are forced to cut the bad apples. Especially, if the team isn’t playing its best football either. Seattle is currently sitting at 3-3 and currently out of the playoff hunt, if it started today. No matter how ‘good’ a player has potential to be, is, or was, a team is better off getting rid of a problem player. The team will move on and be better for it.
Harvin was a detriment to the offense at times as well. He struggled with timing routes, and also had some problems getting open against zone coverages. He made most of his work on quick slants, and on crossing routes. Almost in a way, a one trick pony. Most of his catches were made within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. When he was in Minnesota, I remember well, how he was used, and he was able to get downfield with his speed, but he really made a living making his catches no further than quick 5 yard outs. Which is often an indicator that a player could be struggling at running his routes. Every team needs that receiver that can be where they need to be, and get open for the catch 10 or 15 yards downfield. If they can’t break off, like that, your WR1 may not be worth having in your offense.
Seattle tried to make a trade with Denver to get super TE Julius Thomas. Now this thought, was absurd to me, to say the least. It’s almost as if they tried to sabotage Denver. Why would Peyton ever give up one of his favorite toys for Seattle’s least favorite. A beast of a TE with great hands, for a player that would play on and off, and the way the offense works, he would likely be a WR3 at best in Denver anyway. That’s an absolute joke.
Harvin is a good player, but not a star like Thomas. In my opinion, Thomas would easily be worth worth a 1st rd pick. There’s no way Harvin is, right now. How could they offer a train wreck like Harvin for Denver’s best Tight End? I have no idea to even think that Seattle thought that Denver would ever consider that disaster.
So, in the end, Harvin is now on the New York Jets. Where he will line up alongside Eric Decker, 24 catches 3 TDs, and currently their WR1. Where as Decker was their big sign this off season, I question how this is going to work. If he was fighting with his teammates in Seattle, where they were a winning team, how is this going to come together in New York, and how will Rex handle this problem child arriving?
I feel bad for Geno, who has has hands full. I still question Geno, and what his future is in the NFL, he has had a struggle in his 23 games for the Jets. And he has been terrible at times. But, if Harvin had a problem with Christian Ponder, how is this going to work with Geno and his passing?
Granted, he does bring something to the Jets, who have been horrendous passing the ball. Decker is the only WR with more than 1 TD catch. So Harvin brings another option. Jets fans honestly, don’t have a lot to cheer about, he will bring another weapon for Geno, which has been the issue his career. Decker as the crisp route runner, Harvin as the 4-5 YD out, bubble screen guy. We’ll see how it works.
It just kind of smells similar to the Eagles and the Redskins. Locker room problem DeSean Jackson. You cause an issue on a good team trying to move forward, send them to the basement.

Breakout stars to keep an eye on this year in the NFL

sel0992 Vikings Redskins

Obviously, every year, every team in the NFL  are always looking to acquire the next big breakout star to help lead their teams to victory, and 2014 will be no different as any other year before. Young players are drafted, and some make an immediate impact, some need a little time to develop, today we will be looking at a few that are out there to keep an eye on as your teams most surely will be getting better with these players.

Either way, there are going to be those few surprise guys of who will make us stand up, cheer and suddenly take notice this season.

Some of the guys getting the promotion this year are:

RB, Andre Ellington

He had the the highest YPC average of any back with over 100 carries, with 5.5. And he did this with a terrible O-line. This year it has been stated by head coach Bruce Arians, that he plans on Ellington getting 25-30 carries a game. He still seems to not have been unleashed as of yet this season though. This could potentially be very dangerous suddenly for opposed teams. He has great speed that will help the offense and he will likely be the chief threat for them. He is a quick player who can dip and dodge out of line of sight in a hurry. He has showed his explosive expectancy, and he can be a dual threat after catching 39 balls for 371. Keep an eye out.

DE, DT Devin Taylor

Devin has great size, 6-7, and 270 lbs, and absurd speed and with other teams offenses’ mostly preoccupied about blocking the tandems of Ansah, Suh, and Fairley. Devin can take serious advantage as well. Although off to a slow start he can be getting the advantage of mismatches and charge into the pocket very quickly, and with nailing a starting job, he’ll undoubtedly start to rack up stat sheets as well. No question, Devin Taylor will play a big role in the new system for Detroit. Playing in 14 games last year, and only 2 starts, he ended the year with 9 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. I could see a 7-8 sack season, with another 45+ tackles coming from him.

TE Jordan Reed

Reed is a monster, and if he stays clear of injuries, can be an 85 catch, 8 TD receiving TE for the Skins. The biggest concern for him is his injury prone susceptibility now. I expect him to come back soon, from yet another injury, but I genuinely hope he keeps a long career ahead of him, instead of a 2-3 one that is ended early. Although with new signee, DeSean Jackson going to be the deep threat and 113 catch Pierre Garcon are evidently going to be taking the majority of targets from Cousins, but it will also open up the middle of the field, and they will be demanding coverage away, which, in turn, will leave Reed with a ton of room to make plays.
RB Zac Stacy and Tre Mason

I think this could be possibly a very nasty running tandem in St. Louis. Stacy had a very nice season in 2013, with 973 yards behind a beat down O-line, and a very limited passing attack, with Kellen Clemens at the helm. Then, of course, Tre Mason, who happens to be the guy who broke Bo Jackson’s Auburn records last year. Let’s also recall he did that running behind the 2nd pick in 2014, OT Greg Robinson, so he understands his blocking strategies and opening holes. They need to get this kid involved in the offense already. I think this could be fun to watch. Long and Robinson are big-timers, and if Clemens can deliver the goods, this could be a team to make some exciting plays from the backfield.

And my last, but certainly not least.

WR Minnesota Vikings, Cordarrelle Patterson

In 2013, he had a good season without much playing time. Being used mostly as a kick returner, which he is first-rate at, 32.4 YPR and 2 TDs. But his raw talent at the WR spot wasn’t used effectively until the season was pretty much over, but we saw his qualities. He played really well, with 45 catches in his limited WR time, and 4 receiving TDs. But this season he will show the whole league how good he really is. A big target, At 6’2″, 220 pounds with lightening fast open-field speed, Patterson can be a breakneck weapon and with their 1st round pick, Teddy Bridgewater stepping in and delivering more than what was expected from a rookie. Still early in the season, and has had some issues getting early separation at the line, but simply put, get the ball in his hands, any way possible.

Written by Mike Anthony of