Now that most NFL training camps are officially underway, fans can truly begin to scout players out for their Fantasy Football squad(s).
Each and every year the league is overwhelmed with a variety of sleeper players who almost always become (fantasy) league threats.
Here are my top sleeper picks for this upcoming NFL season:
5. Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens
With Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon going down and out with a knee injury before training camps even began, West figures to see a much bigger workload alongside newly added veteran RB Danny Woodhead.
West has shown flashes of fantasy potential in the past, especially last year after garnering a lot of carries in the Baltimore backfield. Keep an eye out on West getting close to 20 carries a game this year, a nice uptick from last season.
4. Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints
The departure of WR Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots leaves the Saints’ WR options pretty wide open. Snead, who had some great fantasy performances last year even with Cooks on the roster, will look to fill that open slot this upcoming year.
Drew Brees, who will heavily rely on his arm this year with a veteran backfield, will likely feed the ball to Snead multiple times a game. It will be up to Snead to make the big plays and stay healthy, things he was inconsistent with in 2016.
3. Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets
Similar to the Saints’ situation at receiver, the Jets have a blank-slate when it comes to the position. The departure of WR’s Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker leave Enunwa as the Jets’ top option.
Enunwa, like Snead, showed potential last season as the Jets’ 3rd option. This year, he will serve as the Number 1 to whoever the Jets end up starting at QB. I would expect him to get at least 10 targets a game, with at least 1-3 opportunities for big yardage plays (20+ yards) a game.
Other Jets receivers include newly acquired Lucky Whitehead and Robby Anderson, who still have a lot to prove. Look for a solid season for Enunwa.
2. Mike Gillislee, RB, New England Patriots
The Patriots made some big moves to their backfield this offseason, but none of which will likely hurt their chances at yet another Superbowl run. The departure of LeGarrette Blount to the Philadelphia Eagles allowed the Pats to sign former Bills RB Mike Gillislee to a nice contract.
Gillislee, who has had some issues in the past both physically and personally, has also shown he is capable of being a top NFL running back.
Though, Gillislee will likely share touches with fellow backs Dion Lewis, Brandon Bolden and James White. However, we can still expect him to garner the majority of goalline touches, and rack up anywhere from 6 to 8 touchdowns this upcoming season.
1. Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets
Powell, who has proven to be a workhorse as the Jets 2nd option over the past few seasons, should see more work than last season’s starter Matt Forte, who is no longer an elite fantasy running back at his extended age.
Powell showed real flashes last season, too. Fans saw the Jets begin to split carries more evenly toward the end of the year, and Powell showed that he can be the better back. As a younger, and more durable power back, expect Powell to be the Jets top option and receive the majority of NY’s carries as the season progresses.