Every NFL team either already has or will discover its most dangerous offensive weapon once the season kicks off. We are talking about guys who look superhuman at times while blazing through defenders to take a ball 70-plus yards to the house.
In other cases, it is the quarterback who is the player most feared on offense. We cover a few situations here where the man under center makes all the difference moving the ball downfield.
Starting with a guy who has the goal of producing at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards, here is each team’s most dangerous player on offense.
Arizona Cardinals: David Johnson, running back
The dynamic Johnson returns in 2018 following a season-ending injury last year and is easily one of the most explosive at his position. He last averaged 132.4 total yards and 23.3 touches per game in 2016 while scoring an astonishing 20 touchdowns. The Cardinals will keep him heavily involved no matter who winds up quarterbacking as the year plays out. Watch the yards and touchdowns come pouring in from one of the most elusive, dual-threat backs in the game.
Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones, wide receiver
Far too often, there is no stopping a dynamic player like Jones. He is a blast to watch as he evades his defenders with brute strength and blazing speed. He’s electric when he gets the ball and has averaged 15.5 yards per reception throughout his seven years of play. It is also not surprising that the two-time All-Pro has maintained an average of 95.3 yards per game. The only thing missing as of recent are more touchdowns. Are you listening, Matt Ryan?
Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson, quarterback
Jackson is going turn some heads playing on a Ravens offense that was totally dull to watch last year. Fast as can be, Jackson averaged 6.3 yards per carry on rushing plays at Louisville. His elusiveness as a runner, not to mention his exciting passing skills, are bound to see him steal the thunder from some of his teammates on offense. It has been a while since the Ravens featured any exciting players to watch on offense. The last guy who comes to mind is the ferocious Steve Smith.
Buffalo Bills: LeSean McCoy, running back
McCoy makes headlines here a lot, and he’s an easy pick here. Who else would we really trust to list here as dangerous on offense? With that said, Shady will be the crutch his quarterbacks lean on this year. Still playing strong, McCoy has carried the ball 521 times amounting to 2,405 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns the past two seasons. He also racked up 804 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. More of the same should be expected in 2018 as he leads Buffalo’s offense.
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, quarterback
The Panthers’ roster is loaded with talent on offense. But, Newton is an elite dual-threat quarterback who makes some tremendous plays both through the air and on foot. At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, Newton is the most productive rusher on the team, having averaged 5.2 yards per tote in his career. This comes along with 54 rushing touchdowns. He is an all-purpose quarterback who never fails to surprise and is never boring to watch.
Chicago Bears: Taylor Gabriel, wide receiver
As a new member of the Bears, Gabriel may be the guy who is most difficult to defend this season. He will be a starter from Day 1 in the slot and might bring some “Tyreek Hill” speed to the table working with head coach Matt Nagy. Gabriel busted out some big plays in his past two years with the Atlanta Falcons, averaging 14.1 yards per catch. And, it was just last year Gabriel made a particular Top-10 fastest NFL player list.
Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, wide receiver
Green is a dominant player who sometimes does not get the opportunity to perform to the best of his abilities with his current offense. Nonetheless, when Green is on the field, he can really tear things up on big plays that leave his defenders in the dust. Since being drafted, the seven-time Pro Bowler has averaged 9.3 targets per game and has missed only 10 contests. Just imagine if Green played with a more efficient quarterback. Ouch.
Cleveland Browns: Josh Gordon, wide receiver
Reinstated late last season and looking pretty sharp now in offseason practices, Gordon deserves a shout-out. He is already saying the Browns now have the league’s best wide receiving corps. And, that might be true considering Gordon has averaged a stout 18.6 yards per catch and is now teamed up with Jarvis Landry. It is going to be exciting to watch “Flash” in action with a legitimate quarterback under center who can can actually get him the ball.
Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, running back
Since being selected fourth overall by Dallas in 2016, Elliott has led the league in rushing yards per game (104.6). This is pretty amazing considering Elliott’s 2017 season was interrupted by a six-game suspension. With that behind him, look for Elliott keep being a rock star on both rushing and receiving plays. For his efforts thus far, he has scored 25 touchdowns over his 25 games.
Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas, wide receiver
Thomas seems to make do with whoever is quarterbacking for the Broncos. Even the past two seasons playing without Peyton Manning, Thomas has averaged 1,016 yards per campaign. A bump in his production should be on the horizon with Case Keenum throwing passes in 2018. The 30-year-old receiver appears to be as resilient as ever, having not missed a single game since 2011.
Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford, quarterback
Surrounded by talent, Stafford is the engine that drives the whole operation on the Lions offense. We have seen him in some very clutch moments throwing Hail Mary’s or utilizing some fancy footwork to save a game. He has one of the strongest arms in the NFL, and any successor to him in Detroit would have a hard time chasing down his all-time leading 34,749 passing yards. We wish luck to anyone who eventually tries to top Stafford here.
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers, quarterback
Targeting a second NFC North quarterback, Rodgers is the glue that holds his team together. His accuracy and intelligence as a passer prevent him from doing very much wrong. No matter who is catching passes, Rodgers finds his open receivers even if they are buried in a crowd (like this right here). At only 34 years old, Rogers will look to put his injury-filled 2017 season behind and build on the league-high 40 touchdowns he accomplished in 2016.
Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver
We might not have enough fingers on both hands to count the numerous quarterbacks Hopkins has played with, yet he always shines. Hopkins will look to build upon his remarkable 2017 campaign in which he recorded 1,378 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns. This was accomplished playing only seven games with quarterback Deshaun Watson. And speaking of that young man, Hopkins said he believes he and Watson will be the NFL’s best quarterback/wide receiving duo this year. This is not a stretch.
Indianapolis Colts: T.Y. Hilton, wide receiver
Hilton’s luck might be changing for the better with the news that quarterback Andrew Luck should be a go for 2018. Even without Luck, however, Hilton is easily the most dominant player on the Colts offense. His speed is blazing, and he routinely torches defenders (like this). A solid rock for this team on offense, Hilton has averaged eight targets per game as well as 15.8 yards per catch.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, running back
The Jags were smart to spend their fourth-overall pick in 2017 on Fournette. He helped turn the entire offense around by providing a balance the team needed. Big plays were Fournette’s specialty, as proven by this 90-yard touchdown he unloaded on the Steelers last season. Overall, Fournette rushed for 80 yards on average per game and scored 10 total times. He stands to top these stats in 2018.
Kansas City Chiefs: Kareem Hunt, running back
We will have to stick with second-year backs here and spotlight Hunt, whose versatility and speed often go unmatched. Hunt blazed onto the scene as a rookie, averaging 4.9 yards per carry while racking up a league-leading 1,327 rushing yards. Well-equipped as a receiver as well, Hunt recorded 455 yards and three touchdowns. We can certainly see him picking up where he left off, dazzling fans with more huge plays in 2018.
Los Angeles Chargers: Keenan Allen, wide receiver
When healthy, Allen is the most explosive weapon in quarterback Philip Rivers’ receiving corps. Allen upped his game last year when he recorded a career-high 1,393 yards and six touchdowns. Returning from a torn ACL in 2016, Allen was named the 2017 Comeback Player of the Year. He is only 26 years old and should continue to draw a ton of targets, especially with tight end Hunter Henry unfortunately sidelined for 2018.
Los Angeles Rams: Todd Gurley, running back
Gurley is pretty much a no-brainer here. He is tough as nails and never fails to impress making monster runs that exhaust opposing defenders. Many times last year, he ended up scoring multiple touchdowns per game. Gurley rightfully earned Offensive Player of the Year honors after racking up 2,093 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2017. This Rams superstar is not going to disappear into irrelevance anytime soon at the mere age of 23.
Miami Dolphins: Kenny Stills, wide receiver
Stills is a guy who has the potential to give nightmares to opposing defenses in 2018. While defenses will be focusing on No. 1 receiver, DeVante Parker, it will give Stills opportunities to make those awesome plays he’s known for. Stills has averaged 16.1 yards per catch over his five-year career. He has also scored 15 touchdowns and recorded 1,573 yards over his past two seasons. Poised for a bigger role, Stills might become the top receiver in Miami over Parker.
Minnesota Vikings: Dalvin Cook, running back
We only saw a sample size of Cook’s abilities as a professional before he injured his ACL last year in Week 4. But, 88.5 rushing yards per game is enough proof to consider Cook a dangerous offensive threat moving forward. It’s also worth noting that Cook recorded the most rushing yards in the ACC in both 2015 and 2016. Once he’s unleashed this season, the sky will be the limit for him.
New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski, tight end
Patriots fans are happy that Gronk decided to postpone retirement and play for at least one more season. He is a beast on the gridiron, and even triple coverage is not enough to stop him at times. During his eight years playing, Gronk has averaged 70.4 yards per game and scored 76 times. He is a tight end like no other. Look for the magic and ball-spiking to continue once Gronkowski and his legendary quarterback Tom Brady hit the field this fall.
New Orleans Saints: Alvin Kamara, running back
The Saints have a lot of dynamic players on offense, but Kamara is in a class all by himself. If a defender is in the way, he simply scoots around him and continues to find openings to break free. After recording 1,554 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns, it was no wonder Kamara earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. More of the same is on tap for Kamara, who will be featured even more prominently in 2018.
New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver
Beckham plays with passion and wears his heart on his sleeve. That’s what makes him one of the most fantastic at his position to watch. He has averaged 94.1 yards per game since 2014 and this does not look to change this season. What he brings to the table in New York is unmatched by any other player on the roster. OBJ’s healthy return to the game in September will do wonders in helping revive a Giants offense that failed across the board last year.
New York Jets: Quincy Enunwa, wide receiver
A Jets receiver who deserves more love in 2018 is Enunwa. After missing last season due to a neck injury, Enunwa will return to build off of the 857 yards and four touchdowns he recorded in 2016. He has already been spotted making some pretty spry moves in offseason practices. Enunwa will open up the season as a No. 1 receiver who should command a ton of targets.
Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, wide receiver
Cooper’s train derailed last year when he managed only 48 catches totaling 680 yards. Though, he still made enough plays to find the end zone seven times. Of the Raiders current playmakers, Cooper definitely has the most upside to make game-breaking plays that stifle opposing defenders. Hopefully this former fourth-overall pick from 2015 gets himself back on track.
Philadelphia Eagles: Alshon Jeffery, wide receiver
Jeffery thrived in his new digs last year with Philly, staying healthy for all 16 games for the first time since 2014. He recorded just 789 yards, but scored nine times on the season. It was enough that the Eagles extended his contract for four more years. As long as he stays healthy, Jeffery should keep wowing fans with plays like this.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Le’Veon Bell, running back
Don’t worry about Bell missing all his offseason activities or even training camp. The 26-year-old dual-threat back will be just fine and then some like he was last season after missing his summer program. We must trust a guy who finished 2017 with 321 rushing attempts, 85 receptions, 1,946 yards and 11 touchdowns. Bell is anomaly and will continue to stump his defenders week in and week out this year.
San Francisco 49ers: Marquise Goodwin, wide receiver
Goodwin received a nice contract extension after he piled up 962 yards and two touchdowns in his first year as a 49er. More of the same should continue now that Goodwin will have a whole season to work with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He should emerge as the top deep threat on the field after averaging a mighty 17.2 yards per reception last season. Just watch.
Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson, quarterback
The Seahawks are another team that lives and dies based on what their quarterback does on a weekly basis. If Wilson was not there making plays on the ground and through the air, the team would fall apart. Wilson has averaged 5.7 yards per carry, more often than not while running for his life. As such, he has averaged 34.1 rushing yards per game. He has great arm as well and is one of the most enjoyable, not to mention dangerous, dual-threat quarterbacks out there.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, wide receiver
Evans recently got paid in a huge way by Tampa Bay because of his big play-making talents. For this, we hope Evans steers back on course and improves from the 1,001 yards and five touchdowns he produced last year. The 24-year-old receiver is a force, and at 6-foot-5, double-coverage cannot even contain him at times. There is no other player on the Bucs offense who can accomplish what Evans does when he is performing at his peak.
Tennessee Titans: Delanie Walker, tight end
Walker’s name (once again) comes to mind as one of the most solid producers at the tight end position in the entire NFL. He’s gritty, tough and hard to defend, having recorded 356 catches for 4,156 yards and 26 touchdowns in 76 games playing for Tennessee. It boils down to Walker being the guy quarterback Marcus Mariota can trust the most in the team’s passing game.
Washington Redskins: Derrius Guice, running back
The Redskins would not have spent a second-round pick on another running back if they were satisfied with their current pool of backs. Obviously, the draft pick suggests Guice will inherit a large role quickly. Guice last averaged 5.3 yards per carry when he carved out 1,251 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in his final year at LSU. Head coach Jay Gruden said “it’s been very exciting” to watch Guice also catch the football in practices. He is bound to step on some of his teammates’ toes this year.