16. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
At his best, Winston is easily a top-10 fantasy quarterback, and potentially top-5. The problem is that his career has spiraled the past couple of seasons. The fact that Bruce Arians is now the head coach in Tampa means there’s a chance he can get the best out of Winston, making him a risky fantasy selection, but one with plenty of upside.
Keep in mind, the Bucs couldn’t run the ball last season and their defense had plenty of problems. That means Winston will have plenty of opportunities to throw the ball with the Bucs likely playing from behind. Just remember that deep threat DeSean Jackson left Tampa and Winston can be turnover-prone at times, making him the definition of high risk-high reward.
Top Target: Mike Evans
Secondary Target: O.J. Howard
15. Cam Newton, Panthers
Newton would have been a top-10 fantasy quarterback if he had played the last two games of the season. In theory, he’s still capable of being that caliber of player, but the uncertainty surround the health of his shoulder makes him a risky pick unless he drops to the later rounds. Carolina’s receiving corps also has some questions outside the aging Greg Olsen and running back Christian McCaffrey.
The good news is that Newton’s shoulder trouble doesn’t take away his abilities as a runner, which is a big reason why he has a lot of fantasy upside. But he still needs to be able to throw the ball, so fantasy owners should proceed with caution if they want to draft Newton.
Top Target: Greg Olsen
Secondary Target: D.J. Moore
14. Derek Carr, Raiders
Carr was outside the top-20 in most fantasy leagues last year. But he’s the perfect candidate to have a bounce-back season. If he drops to the middle or late rounds, he’s a potential steal, even if he starts the season as your backup.
There’s no doubting his talent, and he should be a little more comfortable with the offense in Jon Gruden’s second season. There’s also the Antonio Brown factor, not to mention the Raiders also added Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson over the summer. As long as Carr can develop some chemistry with his new receivers, his fantasy numbers should see a considerable improvement from last year.
Top Target: Antonio Brown
Secondary Target: Tyrell Williams
13. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
Roethlisberger was one of the top fantasy quarterbacks in the league last year. But don’t assume that he’ll be able to remain at that level. Losing Antonio Brown is huge, and while JuJu Smith-Schuster can fill his spot as the no. 1 receiver, the Steelers don’t have an obvious replacement as the no. 2 receiver.
Unless Donte Moncrief can step up or second-year receiver James Washington takes a big step forward, the Steelers won’t be creating as many big plays in the passing game this year. Roethlisberger is a solid option, but he’s no longer in his prime and he doesn’t have elite weapons around him anymore.
Top Target: JuJu Smith-Schuster
Secondary Target: Donte Moncrief