The time has come. Now, with just less than two weeks remaining until the start of training camp, it's time for us to look forward to the 2017 NFL season.
We start by looking at three quarterbacks set to surprise from a fantasy perspective this year.
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As a sophomore last season, Winston actually regressed from a fantasy perspective. He finished 15th at his position in points, compared to 13th as a rookie the previous year. Most of this had to do with Winston struggling with mistakes. He threw a whopping 18 interceptions and had four multi-interception games that accounted for 11 of those picks.
Look for an improved Winston in this category in 2017. He won't be forced to force the ball to Mike Evans' side with the addition of free agent DeSean Jackson. Adding an elite talent in tight end O.J. Howard in the first round of this year's draft didn't hurt either. We're definitely projecting a top-10 fantasy finish for Winston in 2017.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Fresh off signing the richest contract in NFL history, Carr has everything he needs to improve off last season's No. 9 ranking. The addition of Marshawn Lynch to the backfield will surely help Oakland put up a more balanced offensive attack.
Helping matters even more, Oakland picked up tight end Jared Cook and wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson in free agency. Team them up with 1,000-yard receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, and there's a whole lot to like about Carr's fantasy outlook in 2017.
Carr has progressed on the field and from a fantasy perspective each season he's been in the NFL. Last year saw him put up 3,937 yards with 28 touchdowns and six interceptions. We're definitely expecting him to cross the 4,000-yard plateau with well over 30 touchdowns in 2017. If so, he becomes an elite fantasy option. One might even say, a top-five option at this position.
Brian Hoyer, San Francisco 49ers
Now the 49ers' starting quarterback under his former offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, Hoyer has an opportunity to become fantasy relevant for the first time in his career. Here's a guy that has put up 4,000-plus yards with 26 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions in his last 17 games.
Hoyer also has an adequate receiver group to work with that includes former top reception guy Pierre Garçon and speedster Marquise Goodwin. With two solid book ends and the reigning assistant coach of the year calling the plays, look for Hoyer to break out in his first season as the 49ers' starter. We would not be surprised if he finished as a mid-tier QB2 option.