Free Sports Picks: Home CFB CBB MLB MMA Boxing Super Bowl
LootMeister NFL Picks
Online SportsbooksBest Sportsbook Bonuses
GTBets

Sleeper Teams from Each Division

NFL Sleeper Teams from Each Division

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Each season in the NFL, a number of teams perform better than what was forecasted. It can be for any number of different reasons. A team could just hit its stride after struggling to find their way for a number of seasons. A key signing can make a difference, as can a rookie who makes a big impact. A team can make a slew of signings and see that resonate well. Changes in leadership, whether in the front office or within the coaching staff, can also help a team get over the hump.

In this article, we broke down potential sleeper teams by division. Naturally, there won't be a team that qualifies as a true "sleeper" from each and every division. And in some divisions, there isn't even a readily-identifiable sleeper to really speak of. It's all relative with the term "sleeper" simply meaning a team that will over-perform according to widespread opinion. Nevertheless, we feel each of these teams at least has a chance to exceed expectations. Not that they necessarily will, but some of the signs are there to signal an upsurge. Here are all the potential surprise teams by division:

AFC East: New York Jets. Bear with us for a moment. Sure, the natural instinct when projecting how a 5-11 team will do the following season is to forecast more gloom and doom. But this was a team that won ten games the previous season. There are guys on the roster and coaching staff that can point to 2017 as a crossroads season that will play a big role in their careers. Last season, not a lot went right and they still showed some promise with a 3-game win streak in the second half of the regular season. This season will see a lot of new faces in key positions and maybe they'll latch onto the right mix of vets and young guys to at least put the unpleasantness of 2016 behind them.

AFC North: Baltimore Ravens. Last season was characterized by a ton of close games, as the Ravens went just 8-8. They've been somewhat of an afterthought since their Super Bowl title of several seasons ago, but that could change in 2017. After all, a twist of fate here and a different bounce there, they easily could have been 11-5 last season. And that was with not a lot of things going their way—injuries, exiting veterans, and high draft picks that have been stinking it up. They added a few key free agents and a first-round rookie to beef up their secondary and if that becomes a team asset again, it could help all facets of the team. We're starting to see signs of a typically-stout Baltimore defense, which is always their calling card when they are thriving. The offense still has some iffy areas, but maybe a pick-up like Danny Woodhead works out or some of those ballyhooed youngsters start carrying their weight. You don't hear a lot of people talking about the Ravens and that could be different come midseason.

AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars. Waiting for the supposed Jacksonville upsurge is like waiting for Haley's Comet. It takes forever and when it finally comes, it's not all that great. Last season was supposed to see a major upgrade and it was just business as usual for the long-struggling Jags with another 3-13 season. Maybe what was supposed to happen last season now takes place in 2017. The offense added a rookie back in Leonard Fournette who along with a few good new linemen could give this offense a big boost. The aerial game always looks good on paper and perhaps the offseason moves will have it looking good on the field more consistently, as well. When a team struggles for as long as the Jaguars have, it's downright difficult to be even a little optimistic, but there are signs of improvement. One has to figure those good signs will produce better results at some point, right?

AFC West: Los Angeles Chargers. When watching the Chargers last season, it was hard to not notice how good they could be—if only they could avoid the injury bug. For the past several seasons, injuries have grounded the Chargers' efforts. Now with a change of scenery, a new coach, and some key added pieces, they could be ready to showcase their wares. Rivers could have a nice 1-2 punch at receiver with returning Keenan Allen and rookie first round pick Mike Williams. The defense has been ripped apart by personnel problems and could be ready to shine this season. Youngsters have been coming around and with some key free agent pickups over the past few seasons, the Chargers could be the most promising double-digit loss team from last season.

NFC East: Washington Redskins. The 2015 NFC East champs took a bit of a tumble last season at 8-7-1, with a lot of people forecasting even more a downward turn this upcoming season. Their aerial attack, upon which much of their recent success in based, took some offseason hits with the loss of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. There were some key losses on the other side of the ball, as well, with the Redskins having one of the worst offseasons of any team—on paper, at least. Still, the picture might not be as dire as it's being made to seem. There is some good talent in the shadows that could spring forth this season, in addition to some draft picks and free agents. When looking at teams with the widest possible range in terms of what you can expect this upcoming season, the Redskins are near the top of the list. While the general vibe of pessimism is understandable, it might surprise some people what the 'Skins do this season.

NFC North: Detroit Lions. The Lions are on the move. If only they can create more consistency, they could see some things come together in 2017. Last season, they were inconsistent, while also showing what they're capable of when they get into a groove. At one point last season, they won 9 of ten games, before petering out at the end after getting in an unlikely postseason position. We see a general move toward making the Lions a more-complete team, as they showed signs of being a lot more defensively-oriented last season. We also see Matthew Stafford becoming the calm vet behind center that they need him to be. Rather than looking for big names, they spent free agency adding to the O-line and giving more depth to the "D." And if some of these incoming youngsters develop, it gives the Lions another layer of promise.

DEPOSIT $100 AND GET $50 FREE AT ONE OF THE WEB'S OLDEST SPORTSBOOKS: BOVADA SPORTSBOOK

NFC South: Carolina Panthers. The season before last, the Panthers were NFC champions, so it's strange identifying them as a sleeper. Then you hear people discuss top contenders from the conference and notice Carolina is seldom mentioned. So maybe people are sleeping on Carolina this season. It's hardly outside the realm of possibility that the Panthers are able to latch onto the winning formula they once had not too long ago. Things almost have to go better than they did last season, team-wide and for individual stars like Cam Newton, who was considerably off his best form. The offense could be getting a boost with exciting rookies like Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel coming into the fold. Either way, they should definitely exceed last season's team performance.

NFC West: Los Angeles Rams. Let's face it, they weren't very good in '16. That was with almost everything going wrong—uneven QB play, a putrid season from Todd Gurley, and a midseason coaching fire. A lot of stars need to line up right, but maybe 31-year old new head coach Sean McVay can find the right answers. Jared Goff needs to upgrade his play significantly, while Gurley needs to find the form he flashed in his rookie season. But if they can support that "D" just a little more than they did last season, that side of the ball could be special and help carry the Rams to a better season than what is being forecasted. Did you know... that you could be wagering on games at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

Share this article with friends:

Leave a comment:

SAVE BIG MONEY BY BETTING AT -105 REDUCED ODDS!
Quit wasting your hard earned money! Make the switch from -110 to -105 odds today
You'll be so glad that you did! Click Here!
Doc's Sports NFL Picks

NFL Betting

  • Reduced Juice - Loot explains how reduced odds football betting works and where you can find this valuable asset.
  • What is a Point Spread? - Many new to the game struggle to understand why one side has a (+) while the other has a (-) in front of a team. We explain what the spread is and how it works.
  • Football Bets - All the different types of wagers that you can make when betting on football games.
  • What Professional Handicappers Do - Learn the tricks of the trade and increase your odds of beating the books!
  • Key Numbers - The article that bookies don't want you to read!
  • NFL Betting Quiz - Test your football wagering prowess with Loot's 10 question quiz!
  • Super Bowl 52 Predictions - Loot gives his preseason picks for which teams are most likely to win "the big game" along with middle of the road and a longshot that is sure to surprise you!
  • 2017 NFL Season Wins Predictions - Loot breaks down every team and gives his opinion on how they'll do vs. the number!
  • 2017 NFL Bye Weeks - The first set start in Week 5 and the final byes take place in Week 11. Loot also gives tips on betting on teams coming off byes.
  • 2017 NFL Coaching Changes - We seem to be in an era where football coaches become disposable in an instant if they don't win. 2016 was no different as a handful of teams made the switch. Check out who went where right here!

MISC.

  • Famous Football Players - Biographies of the best and greatest NFL football players of all-time.
  • Greatest NFL Players of All Time - A list of all time greats at each position. Each position has it's own dedicated article!
  • Best Quarterbacks of All Time - Joe Montana heads our list of top 10 QB's, however, Tom Brady is a sure bet to give him a run for his money by the time his career is said and done.
  • Best Running Backs of All Time - We list the top 10 greatest ball carriers of all-time. The order may be debatable, as Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and Walter Payton all brought something special to the gridiron.
  • Football Lingo - One must be very familiar with all of the terms, slang and jargon associated with this game to win at football betting. Find a slew of pigskin terminology right here!
  • Football Quotes - Funny and memorable sayings from around the National Football League including comments made by Vince Lombardi and John Madden.

Other Great Sites

  • Predictem - Weekly NFL picks from one of the most knowledgeable sports handicappers on the web. Tons of great football betting advice articles here too!
Reduced Juice Sports Betting 100% Sportsbook Bonus Best Parlay Odds Online