QB: Jameis Winston
The Buccaneers went all-in this year to get their emerging star quarterback some weapons. After selecting Winston with the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, the Buccaneers threw him to the wolves without a lot of weapons. Mike Evans is an elite talent, but no quarterback can succeed with only one good receiver. The Buccaneers changed the narrative in the offseason. Tampa Bay added speedster DeSean Jackson to their receiving core. Although Jackson is an extremely inconsistent fantasy receiver, he’ll help out the Buccaneers immensely on the field. Jackson’s deep speed will open things up for other receivers, especially Mike Evans. This will allow Evans to work against single coverage more often. The Buccaneers also spent their first round pick on a weapon for Winston by drafting Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. Howard is a fantastic receiver, route runner, and blocker. He’ll be a great security blanket for Winston. After becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to start his career with consecutive 4,000 yard seasons, the Buccaneers made it easier for Winston to hit that plateau this season. With all these weapons, Winston might be able to pass for 5,000 yards this season.
RB: Isaiah Crowell
The Cleveland Browns spent this offseason trying to forge an identity. They signed two offensive linemen in free agency to large contracts – guard Kevin Zeitler and center JC Tretter – and re-signed emerging star guard Joel Bitonio. When healthy, Bitonio has been one of the best guards in the league since he was drafted. The Browns already have Joe Thomas, who is a future Hall of Famer and possibly the best left tackle in NFL history. With these elite offensive linemen, the Browns are trying to forge an identity based on toughness. Coach Hue Jackson wants to run the football. Isaiah Crowell is a smash-mouth runner that fits their identity. He’s quick enough to get away from defenders, but his calling card is his physicality and toughness. He’s a perfect fit in this Browns offense, and will get a lot of touches if healthy. Crowell is a great goal line back, so he’ll likely get a lot of touchdowns. If he’s healthy, he’ll probably break the 1000 yard and 10 touchdown plateau this season.
WR: Sammy Watkins
This may finally be the year that Sammy Watkins stays healthy. The fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft hasn’t lived up to expectations because of a plethora of injuries. Being drafted before Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr. has added to the pressure for Watkins. He’s an elite talent with fantasy upside, even with Tyrod Taylor throwing him the football. The Bills are a run-first team, but Taylor is a good enough passer to feed one fantasy relevant receiver. The Bills drafted Zay Jones in the second round of the 2017 draft, but he’s nowhere near as talented as Watkins. Watkins has great hands, deep speed, and is a great route runner. He can run any route in the route tree from any position on the field. His versatility and athleticism should convince new head coach Sean McDermott to feed him the ball. If he stays healthy, expect Watkins to have a 1000 yard season and nearly 100 receptions.
TE: Eric Ebron
Most fans are unaware that Eric Ebron had a career year last season. The third year tight end had a career-high 61 receptions and 711 yards. The only problem was, Ebron scored only one touchdown. This left him in fantasy obscurity, which is something that he’ll look to avoid this season. After being the tenth pick in the 2014 NFL – one pick ahead of superstar Odell Beckham Jr. – Ebron hasn’t quite lived up to the hype. Tight ends usually take longer to hit their stride because they have to learn to block like offensive lineman and play receiver like wide receivers. That’s a daunting task, and usually takes an entire rookie contract to grasp. Heading into his fourth season, Ebron is looking to prove that he’s put it all together. He’s a fantastic athlete that has top five tight end upside. The Detroit Lions like to throw the football, so Ebron should get plenty of targets. He’s never played a full season, so if he stays healthy he could challenge the 1000 yard mark. The challenge for Ebron to stay fantasy relevant will be in the red zone. If he’s able to score touchdowns along with his high reception and yardage totals, then he’ll be a breakout fantasy star this season.