Justin’s top Sleeper, Breakout, and Bust of the 2023 Fantasy Football Season.
Tyjae Spears (Tennessee Titans)
Hassan Haskins and Julius Chestnut are the only guys behind Tyjae in the depth chart for the Tennessee Titans. Derrick Henry is getting older – he is 29 years old now and will be 30 at the end of the season. They spent a 3rd round draft pick on Tyjae. In the NFL, that is a lot of capital for a Running Back.
Spears scored as the 2nd best RB in production and 3rd ranked RB overall score at the NFL Combine. He would’ve been higher but scored 20th in athleticism at the combine, but if you ever watch him play it’s obvious they need to change the way they score athleticism at the combine.
T2T has been all in on Tyjae Spears since the start of his Senior year at Tulane. The rest of the world just woke up to him at the Senior Bowl in February. He performed like that EVERY GAME… Not just the nice week of practice at the Senior Bowl and not just his 205 yards and 4 TDs against USC in their Cotton Bowl win. He had 21 Total TD’s on the season and nearly 1,600 rushing yards his senior year! He only had 256 receiving yards on 22 catches, but that was the system. That’s still over 11.5 yards per reception.
Tyjae Spears will be the 3rd down back in Tennessee and get some between-the-20’s work on occasion to save Derrick Henry some miles because Spears is finally that capable backup they have seeked for so long in Tennessee. His current ADP is 14.02 and he will pay off as a capable RB3/Flex Starter for most weeks, with huge upside should Henry get injured again.
Nico Collins (Houston Texans)
Collins is now the WR1 in Houston. His biggest competition for targets at the WR position are Robert Woods, John Metchie, and Tank Dell. I love Robert Woods as a solid WR2 on any team he has ever been with, but when given the opportunity as the WR1 on a team he has failed to produce. He is a prototypical WR2 in the NFL. John Metchie’s feel good comeback story is great and I feel strongly that he will bounce back and help make a difference this season for the Texans. However, he still isn’t ready just yet to take that leap. Tank Dell is a talented and explosive WR, however, he is just a rookie and he isn’t exactly built like a “Tank” at 5’10” and 165 pounds.
Also, 3rd year breakouts for WR’s are a real thing that happens a lot in the NFL. Even players will admit to that. Let us not forget that CJ Stroud has to be an improvement at the QB position, but by sheer volume alone Collins could easily be a WR3 on fantasy rosters and is being drafted as the last WR 5 at the 13.04.
Jaylen Waddle (Miami Dolphins)
Waddle is currently being drafted as the WR11 at the 2.12 spot. In ⅓ of his games with Tua Tagovailoa, he still scored less than 6 PPR points per game. The games without Tua, he proved he was a QB dependent WR. Having only scored double digits in 2 games without Tua last season, with one of those barely over 10 points.
Jaylen Waddle may finish as a top 12 WR overall in points on the season. Quite frankly, if he and Tua both stay healthy it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. I would actually expect that he would. I just want consistency from my fantasy WR1 and his floor is too low, too often to offer that consistency. Plus, Tua is a concussion away from killing Waddle’s value. His QB’s health concerns are scary enough for me to want to avoid Waddle as my WR1. Tua’s health concerns are concussions… not turf toe. This is a serious injury concern that you have to consider. It can’t be overlooked.