Jaguars, Saints players lead NFLPA veterans ‘Rising Stars’ list

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Alvin Kamara /

Multiple members of the Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints are on a short list of players who the NFLPA expects to gain a lot of revenue from in 2018.

Questions might have recently risen again about the Jacksonville Jaguars’ long-term future in their current market, but the immediate future looks bright. The same goes for the New Orleans Saints, according to the NFLPA.

The NFLPA recently released its list of the top 10 veteran “rising stars” for the 2018 season. That distinction is based on commercial potential, not necessarily on-field performance. While on-field performance is one of the aspects taken into consideration in the ranking, the ranking also figures in fantasy football popularity, early demand from NFLPA sponsors for content and marketing, product submissions from more than 70 NFLPA licensees, and the strength of a player’s team market.

Jacksonville and New Orleans are the only two franchises to have more than one player appear on the list, with the Jaguars and Saints claiming four of the top six spots. The list is dominated by players who will be in their second seasons as well, as four of the top five are NFL “sophomores.” In what is perhaps a surprise, half of the top 10 are running backs.

  1. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
  2. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
  3. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
  4. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
  5. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
  6. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
  7. Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
  8. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
  9. Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
  10. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

The NFLPA has also released a shorter list of veteran players with new teams that the union expects to perform well on the marketing side.

  1. Case Keenum, QB, Denver Broncos
  2. Allen Hurns, WR, Dallas Cowboys
  3. Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams
  4. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
  5. Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Next: NFL uniform power rankings

How these players will fare on the field in 2018 remains to be seen, but the NFLPA will be surprised if it doesn’t see big returns from merchandise bearing their names this coming season.