2018 Outlook: The Jaguars spent the fourth-overall pick on Fournette last season in order to lean heavily on their running back and elite defense. The plan worked. Fournette missed three games but still carried the ball 268 times (seventh most) for 1,040 yards (eighth) and nine touchdowns (third). Fournette finished seventh at the position in fantasy points per game. Fournette's weak YPC (3.9, including 3.3 during his final 200 carries) is a concern, though he did face an average of 7.1 in-box defenders (eighth highest). Fournette won't be quite as involved as a receiver as other top backs, but he's a top-end talent who has a shot to lead the NFL carries. That's enough to keep him in the RB1 mix.
2018 Outlook: Green always seems to be overshadowed by other top wideouts, but he has finished as a top-10 fantasy WR in four of the past six seasons, ranking in the top 12 in fantasy points per snap during the two campaigns in which he missed a combined nine games. Last season, despite the Bengals' offensive woes, Green ranked top-12 in all of the important receiving counting stats, including targets (139), receptions (75), receiving yards (1,078), touchdowns (8) and end zone targets (14). Green has averaged 9.6 targets per game during his seven-season career, and there's no sign that he's slowing down as he enters his age-30 season. Target him in the second round.
2018 Outlook: McCoy posted his third top-seven fantasy campaign in five years in 2017 despite it being one of his least-efficient seasons. McCoy ran out of the shotgun 17 percent of the time, averaged 4.0 YPC and managed a league-worst 1.3 YAC. All three were career-low marks. McCoy scored eight touchdowns, which was down significantly from the 14 he managed the season before. McCoy was targeted 77 times -- his highest total since 2010 ' but averaged an underwhelming 5.8 yards per target. McCoy is still a terrific player and positioned for workhorse duties in a run-first offense, but he is also set to turn 30 and is dealing with a very shaky supporting cast. He's a back-end RB1.
2018 Outlook: Carolina spent the eighth-overall pick on McCaffrey last season and immediately handed him a significant offensive role. The Stanford product registered only 117 carries but did most of his damage as a receiver. He ranked first among backs in targets (110), third in receptions (80), fifth in yards (651) and second in touchdowns (five). McCaffrey's efficiency (3.7 YPC, 1.4 YAC, 5.9 YPT) was pedestrian, but the massive passing-game workload allowed him to rack up the 10th-most fantasy points. McCaffrey could be in for a slightly larger share of the carries in 2018, but it won't be much with C.J. Anderson in for Jonathan Stewart. McCaffrey is a fringe RB1 but should be downgraded in non-PPR.
2018 Outlook: Freeman enters his fifth NFL season after posting stellar numbers during each of the past three campaigns. The 2014 fourth-round pick paced the position in fantasy points in 2015, finished sixth in 2016 and ranked ninth during the 13 weeks he was active and healthy last season. Freeman's efficiency has been good, but where he really stands out is volume near the goal line. Freeman has rushed for 29 touchdowns during the past three seasons, thanks to 41 carries inside the opponent's 5-yard line (second most). He finished in the top five in that category all three season and also has six touchdown receptions during that span. Though he'll again defer touches to Tevin Coleman, Freeman's talent and volume combination will allow him fringe-RB1 numbers.
2018 Outlook: Over the past two NFL seasons, no one has caught more touchdowns than Adams. The 2014 second-round pick managed only four scores during his first two NFL seasons, but he has exploded for 22 in the past two campaigns. Adams has yet to finish a season among the top-20 wide receivers in yardage, but playing in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense has led to inflated touchdown totals and a pair of top-10 fantasy campaigns. With Rodgers back healthy and Jordy Nelson out of the mix, Adams is the team's clear No. 1 receiver and a strong candidate to lead the NFL in touchdown catches. He's a solid WR1 target and has even more value in non-PPR.
2018 Outlook: Gronkowski contemplated retirement during the offseason but will be back for at least one more season in 2018. Gronk missed a pair of games but posted a dominant 69-1,084-8 line and led all tight ends in receiving yards, fantasy points per game (16.2) and aDOT (11.4). He has missed 27 percent (26 of 96) of New England's regular-season games the past six seasons, including at least one each season. Despite all the missed action, Gronkowski sits second among tight ends in fantasy points (Jimmy Graham is first) and has posted four top-five seasons during the span. Gronkowski's shaky durability hurts his fantasy value, but his per-game dominance makes him well worth a third-round investment.
2018 Outlook: Evans has been one of the league's most intimidating wide receivers since entering the league in 2014, but believe it or not, he has posted only one top-12 fantasy campaign. Evans' volatile touchdown production has been a big factor; he caught 12 touchdowns in both 2014 and 2016 but was limited to three in 2015 and five last season. The good news is that Evans is 6-foot-5 and paces the league with 73 end zone targets since entering the league, so touchdowns shouldn't be much of an issue moving forward. Evans is a candidate for an even better season with a healthy Jameis Winston under center. Consider him a fringe WR1 with slightly more value in non-PPR.
2018 Outlook: Thielen came out of nowhere for a bit of a mini-breakout by posting a 69-967-5 line during the 2016 season. Perhaps we should've paid closer attention to his top-seven finish at the position in catch rate (74 percent) and yards per target (10.4) because Thielen certainly took his game to another level in 2017. Minnesota's top receiver most of the season, Thielen ranked in the top 10 at the position in targets (138), receptions (91) and receiving yards (1,276), which resulted in a ninth-place finish in fantasy. Touchdowns have eluded Thielen (nine the past two seasons), but his hefty usage and the team's quarterback upgrade to Kirk Cousins keep him in the WR1 discussion.
2018 Outlook: After mulling retirement, Fitzgerald will return for his 15th season. The future Hall of Famer handled a 29 percent target share last season ' his highest since 2011 (30 percent) ' and was on the field for 98 percent of Arizona's pass plays ' his highest since 2012 (99 percent). Fitzgerald trailed only DeAndre Hopkins in targets en route to his third-consecutive top-11 fantasy season. Arizona made a change at head coach and quarterback, but with conservative Sam Bradford (and eventually Josh Rosen) under center and a shaky/unproven group of receivers behind him, Fitzgerald will be massively involved again in 2018. He's a fringe top-10 WR.
2018 Outlook: Hill exploded onto the fantasy scene as a fifth-round pick in 2016, scoring 12 all-purpose touchdowns (nine of which came on 83 offensive touches). His unsustainable scoring rate and 185-pound frame raised questions about his ability to handle more volume in 2017. Hill quieted his critics in short order, ranking in the top 11 at the position in receptions (75) and receiving yards (1,183). Hill scored eight all-purpose touchdowns and finished eighth at the position in fantasy points (third in fantasy points per snap). Kansas City's quarterback change and addition of Sammy Watkins are notable, but the combination of Hill's explosive playmaking ability and Patrick Mahomes' huge arm should allow top-15 fantasy production.
2018 Outlook: One year after pacing the NFL with 1,448 receiving yards and posting a career-best fifth-place finish in fantasy points, Hilton fell under 1,000 yards for the first time since 2012 and matched his worst fantasy season (27th). The reason for the deep dip was, of course, Andrew Luck's season-long injury. Hilton was still his explosive self, ranking fifth at the position with a 16.9 YPR and posting a trio of 150-plus yard games. Luck is expected to be back in 2018, and assuming that's the case, the 28-year-old Hilton is right back in the WR1 discussion.
2018 Outlook: Baldwin has finished each of the past three seasons as a top-13 fantasy wide receiver. The reason? Heavy and consistent target volume. Baldwin's target shares during those three seasons are as follows: 22, 24 and 22 percent. His 29 touchdown receptions during the span trail only that of Antonio Brown (31) for most in the NFL. Seattle is in a bit of a transition period, but the offense has evolved into a pass-first unit and, especially with Jimmy Graham gone, Baldwin is the team's clear top target. The connection between Russell Wilson and Baldwin shouldn't change in 2018, providing the 29-year-old with WR3 value.
2018 Outlook: Kelce has finished each of past two seasons as fantasy's top-scoring tight end and has finished no worse than eighth in his four full seasons. He paced the position in pass routes (513), targets (121) and receptions (83) last season while setting a career high with eight touchdowns. Kelce had never scored more than five times in a season prior to 2017, and his 5.8 OTD suggests he's in for a dip this season. Kelce will also have a new quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, and while that could impact his efficiency, the tight end will still see a ton of volume and is one of the game's most talented players at the position. He's right there with Rob Gronkowski and Zach Ertz as elite fantasy options at the position.
2018 Outlook: Ertz has been a productive tight end since he entered the league back in 2013, but a lack of touchdowns limited his fantasy contributions. That changed when Ertz found pay dirt a career-high eight times in 14 regular-season games last season. He has now eclipsed 800 receiving yards in three straight seasons and has improved his fantasy point total in each year of his career. Ertz has finished in the top five at the position in targets, receptions, receiving yards and end zone targets each of the past two seasons. Durability is a slight concern (at least one missed game each of the past three seasons), but Ertz is so good when active that he's undoubtedly a top-three fantasy tight end.