2018 Fantasy Football Creeper Preview

by Michael Nazarek

Editor's Note: Below you will find a portion of our Fantasy Football Creepers for 2018. If you'd like to read about all 21 creepers, please click HERE to order our 2018 Pre-Season Draft Guide.

Were you one of those fantasy football owners who drafted Andrew Luck, David Johnson, Dalvin Cook, Amari Cooper, Dez Bryant, or Jordan Reed last year? Unfortunately, these players were some of the many disappointments due to injuries or other unfortunate circumstances. Just because they didn’t perform last year, doesn’t mean they will fail again in 2018, but I want to make sure to point out some of the warning signs which may cause certain players to produce poor fantasy numbers this year. I remind everyone that the players on the forthcoming list may produce good fantasy numbers this coming season, but I recommend you think twice before drafting them for your team this year. Let the buyer beware!

TIGHT ENDS

 

Evan Engram (New York Giants) - OVERRATED. Engram is talented for sure, but he is being hyped as an elite fantasy TE in his second season coming off an inconsistent rookie campaign at best. While he caught 64 passes and scored six times in 2017, he also struggled a bit down the stretch, producing poor games when he was pretty much the only threat to score. Now that OBJ is healthy, Engram is likely to see less scoring chance, especially with an improved running game due to rookie RB Saquon Barkley. Don't get me wrong, I still like Engram, but choosing him as a top Tier TE (current ADP is 4th round) is just too high a price for me. Update 8/20: Nothing has changed here. I still like Engram's talent, but I question the number of targets he will see, as he remains on this list, as an overrated fantasy prospect. Update 8/31: No change here. His ADP is simply too high for my taste considering his situation.

 

Jimmy Graham (Green Bay) - OVERRATED. Graham can still get the job done in the red zone, as evidenced by his whopping 10 scores in 2017, but he only caught for 520 yards, and averaged less than 10.5 yards per catch (9.5) for the first time in his career. Graham will be 32 years old in November, and is playing on a bum knee (pattella injury from a few years back). Yes, he now has QB Aaron Rodgers targeting him as a Packer, but if you think that fact means he will rebound back to a 900+ yard season, I have a bridge I want to sell you in Brooklyn. In fact, it's more likely that Graham is an inconsistent red zone force in 2018 and not much else. And the fact that his ADP is the 4th round makes him very much OVERRATED. Update 8/20: Graham flashed with a short TD this past week in preaseason action, but the fact remains beteen the 20's, he is likely to struggle. That fact keeps him overated for fantasy in my book. Update 8/31: Graham has settled into his role with the team, which is still likely to be mostly one in the red zone. Do not overdraft him!

 

Charles Clay (Buffalo) - Remember when Clay broke out as a Dolphin? In 2013, Clay produced a sweet 69-759-6 stat season. As a result, he signed a nice deal with the Bills in 2015, but he's not topped 558 yards receiving since and his high TD mark in any one year has been four. Oh, he's also been injured a lot and misses weekly practices due to bum knees. Worst of all, he lost his QB in Tyrod Taylor to the Browns this off-season. As a result, no one knows who will start for the Bills as we enter July. Let's summaraize. Clay is gimpy, misses at least 2-3 games each year, and has no solid relationship with his starting QB, whom we don't even know who it will be in 2018. Yeah, and this is a guy I want on my fantasy roster? Update 8/20: Clay has the same issue that I spoke about in early July. He lost his QB to Cleveland and now may be lost in the shuffle with the curtrent QBs for the Bills. As a result, I am avoiding him if possible in fantasy drafts this summer. Update 8/31: With the QB situation a big mess in Buffalo, Clay could easily get lost and have very low fantasy value. AVOID.

 

Jared Cook (Oakland) - Cook is fairly talented, but the big issue I have with him is his inability to score. The guy has just THREE TDs in his last three seasons total! And while he did manage to catch 54 passes for 688 yards in 2017, too often he was a nonfactor in the passing game. How poorly were his game-to-game stats? In a whopping seven games, Cook caught for 25 yards or less! He also produced 233 of his 688 pass receiving yards in just two games! That is nearly 34% of his total production in just two games! Cook epitomizes the term "all or nothing," and that's why I'm avoding him in all my fantasy drafts this summer. Bottom Line: QB Derek Carr doesn't consistently like to throw to Cook, so why should I draft him this summer? Update 8/20: Nothing has changed here. Cook is unlikely to see the type of volume targets needed to be a solid and consistent fantasy producer in 2018. Avoid! Update 8/31: No change here. I still do not like him for fantasy.

 

The Deep-Creeper

 

Tyler Eifert (Cincinnati) - REMOVED 8/20: In his heyday, Eifert scored a whopping 13 times in 2015, but the past two seasons have been nothing more than injury after injury. The biggest issue here is his back. The guy just can't stay healthy. He missed all of the 2017 season due to a back issue, and even now he's got another back problem, something the team doesn't know if he'll be ready to practice come training camp. Backup TE Tyler Kroft filled in well last year with Eifert sidelined. He produced a solid 42-404-7 stat line, so if Eifert can't play, they will no doubt turn to Kroft again in 2018. Fantasy owners should take a cue from this mess and just plain AVOID Eifert in their draft this summer! Update 8/20: Ntohing has really changed, but just as he is a big risk, the fact hat he's still practicing and expected to play week #1 gives him also some interesting late-round fantasy appeal. As a result, he is removed from this list.

 

The Entire TE Corps (Dallas) - DEBUTS 8/20: UGH. What a mess! Who will start? At this time, NO ONE KNOWS. Let's see... TE Geoff Swaim, TE Blake Jarwin, TE Rico Gathers, and rookie TE Dalton Schultz. Wow. What a list, eh? Yup, through the first two presason games, no one has stood out. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the season, no one on this list actually catches more than 25 passes! Regardless, it's a total crap shoot as to whom will emerge, or if anyone will actually emerge! As a result, I'll just list the entire corps right here, so you can AVOID THEM ALL in your fantasy draft this summer! Update 8/31: Who will start and who gets cut remains one big mystery! AVOID.


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