2017 Fantasy Football End of Season Manifesto

2017 Fantasy Football

We can now officially close the book on the 2017 Fantasy Football season. Hopefully there is a championship (or two) sitting on your mantle, representing the fruits of an emotional and unpredictable NFL roller coaster of a season.

Here is a team by team review of the biggest Average Draft Position (ADP) hits and misses on each NFL team.

(All ADP data from FantasyPros in PPR leagues.  All statistical data from PlayerProfiler).

Arizona Cardinals

QB Carson Palmer 159.97 QB16 QB19
RB David Johnson 1.1 RB1 NA
WR Larry Fitzgerald 47.8 WR19 WR4
WR John Brown 121.8 WR41 WR64
WR J.J. Nelson 196.3 WR64 WR83
WR Jaron Brown 229.7 WR78 WR71
TE Jermaine Gresham 246.1 TE23 TE30


HITS:  Larry Fitzgerald
MISSES:  David Johnson, John Brown, J.J. Nelson

Remember when Jaron Brown was a “thing” in the preseason? That never materialized, and neither did the entire Cardinals offense. David Johnson’s Week one wrist injury hurt the fantasy value of every Arizona player. Fantasy owners love certain players regardless of production, and there was no better case than Arizona wide receiver John Brown. The speedy wideout lit up the Twitter world when he scored back to back touchdowns in Weeks five and six.

Unfortunately, Brown only had nine catches and one touchdown after those performances, characterizing him with Nelson, and Johnson as huge fantasy busts this season. The lone positive was the ageless Larry Fitzgerald, who finished as the fourth best wide receiver in PPR formats. Through Week 16, he ranked second with 101 receptions, eighth with 1,101 receiving yards, and fifth at the position with 12 red zone receptions. Fitzgerald accomplished all of this despite losing quarterback Carson Palmer to injury in week seven.

Atlanta Falcons

QB Matt Ryan 56 QB3 QB19
RB Devonta Freeman 9.4 RB4 RB13
RB Tevin Coleman 71.2 RB24 RB18
WR Julio Jones 4.1 WR2 WR7
WR Mohamed Sanu 180.5 WR56 WR33
TE Austin Hooper 145.2 TE11 TE19


HITS:  Mohamed Sanu
MISSES:  Matt Ryan, Austin Hooper

Atlanta was one of the biggest fantasy mysteries this season. Quarterback Matt Ryan went from NFL MVP to producing only three total QB1 weeks this year. All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones ranks third in receiving yards, yet only caught one touchdown in the Falcons first 10 games of the season. Second year tight end Austin Hooper was expected to flourish without the presence of Jacob Tamme, yet he finished with the same number of touchdowns (three) as he did in one less game last season.

Both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman produced near their ADP value, leaving the lone bright spot to be wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. The 28-year old sure-handed Sanu ranked second among all wide receivers with a 65 percent Contested Catch Rate. Drafted at the end of most PPR drafts, Sanu returned solid WR3 value all season, including five WR2 or better performances.

Baltimore Ravens

QB Joe Flacco 183.8 QB17 QB29
RB Danny Woodhead 67.8 RB23 NA
RB Javorius Allen 253.1 RB78 RB25
RB Terrance West 95.4 RB32 NA
WR Jeremy Maclin 84.6 WR39 WR53
WR Mike Wallace 108.3 WR43 WR50
TE Ben Watson 239.5 TE22 TE15


HITS:  Javorius Allen
MISSES:  Danny Woodhead, Terrance West, Jeremy Maclin

Once Joe Flacco’s back injury became public in late July, Baltimore’s fantasy value was destined to suffer. In fact, things only got worse for Flacco from an injury standpoint in late October.

The signing of Jeremy Maclin following his release from the Kansas City Chiefs provided a glimmer of hope, but proved fleeting. The Ravens ranked 26th in total offensive yards per game, and 29th in total passing yards. Maclin was most disappointing, producing only two top 20 fantasy PPR performances and three total touchdowns.

While the Ravens ran the ball fairly well, the production was distributed over a myriad of running backs. Danny Woodhead’s early season injury allowed Javorius Allen to shine in PPR formats. Allen was the best of the Ravens drafted players, ranking 15th among all running backs with 46 receptions despite averaging a meager 4.1 yards per touch. A calf injury (and the acquisition of Alex Collins) limited Terrance West’s fantasy potential to just five uninspiring games.

Buffalo Bills

QB Tyrod Taylor 162.3 QB16 QB17
RB LeSean McCoy 6.4 RB3 RB9
WR Zay Jones 128.6 WR46 WR99
WR Jordan Matthews 130.4 WR48 WR88
TE Charles Clay 234.7 TE18 TE13


HITS:  Charles Clay
MISSES:  Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones

The Bills ended a 17-year playoff drought, much to the chagrin of their management. After trading away wide receiver Sammy Watkins, corneraback Ronald Darby, and feeding Nathan Peterman to the wolves in Week 11, the Bills managed to provide sneaky fantasy value.

LeSean McCoy was his usual brilliant self, finishing as a top 10 fantasy running back despite not scoring a touchdown in the first five games. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor actually had a quality fantasy season. He produced six QB1 weeks, highlighted by the top overall fantasy performance in Week nine against the Jets. Tight end Charles Clay was also solid, starting the year with three top six fantasy tight end performances in his first four games, before injuring his knee injury in week five.

Wide receiver Jordan Matthews underpeformed all year and an injury in week 13 ended his season. Rookie Zay Jones flashed some moments, but was mired in a conservative Buffalo offense that lacked explosiveness.

Carolina Panthers

QB Cam Newton 86.8 QB9 QB3
RB Jonathan Stewart 117.6 RB37 RB48
RB Christian McCaffrey 27.2 RB12 RB11
WR Devin Funchess 207.1 WR70 WR28
TE Greg Olsen 48 TE3 NA


HITS:  Cam Newton, Devin Funchess
MISSES:  Greg Olsen

Those that bet on a Cam Newton fantasy revival were certainly rewarded. Things looked bleak after an opening trio of games that only produced QB17, QB26, and QB27 performances. But then Newton went on a tear, ranking as the QB2, QB5, and QB2 the subsequent three weeks. He also gave us one of the best sound bites of the NFL season.

Overall the Panthers players performed well in fantasy, with running back Jonathan Stewart even salvaging a horrific season with five touchdowns in three games from weeks 12 to 14. Wide receiver Devin Funchess produced four consecutive WR2 or better games following a trading deadline move of Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills. Rookie running back Christian McCaffrey was especially efficient in PPR formats, ranking third among all running backs with 75 receptions. The only miss was tight end Greg Olsen, who suffered a foot fracture in week two.

Chicago Bears

QB Mitchell Trubisky 230 QB22 QB28
RB Jordan Howard 14.4 RB6 RB14
RB Tarik Cohen 226.3 RB67 RB36
WR Kendall Wright 186 WR58 WR53
TE Dion Sims 339 TE31 TE48


HITS:  Tarik Cohen
MISSES:  Jordan Howard

Running back Tarik Cohen provided a nice fantasy boost early in the season. Cohen started the year with three RB2 or better performances, highlighted by a spectacular overall RB2 game in week one. While he cooled off greatly after week three, Cohen finished 14th among all running backs in receptions and ranked eighth at the position with a six percent Breakaway Run Rate (percent of carries of 15 yards or more).

The biggest disappointment was Jordan Howard, who many owners thought was a definite top 12 fantasy running back. He did produce five weeks of RB1 production, but balanced that with six totals of RB29 or worse. Howard’s “feast or famine” nature was not what owners expected from his 14.4 overall ADP.

Cincinnati Bengals

QB Andy Dalton 138.4 QB15 QB22
RB Joe Mixon 43.8 RB18 RB28
RB Giovani Bernard 146 RB44 RB37
WR A.J. Green 8.6 WR4 WR11
WR Brandon LaFell 204.7 WR62 WR60
TE Tyler Eifert 85.9 TE10 NA


HITS:  None
MISSES:  Andy Dalton

It was a very disappointing year in Cincinnati, where the Bengals were expected to benefit from one of the NFL’s easiest strength of schedules. A.J. Green finished lower than expected, but still was a WR1 in PPR formats. Tight end Tyler Eifert battled injuries throughout the preseason and only appeared in the first two games.

Rookie running back Joe Mixon flashed moments of greatness, but had limited snaps until Jeremy Hill went on injured reserve in week eight. From weeks nine through 12, Mixon scored three touchdowns and produced three RB2 or better performances. The mystery all season was the Bengals limited use of Giovani Bernard, who showed against the Detroit Lions in Week 16 that he still has great fantasy value.

Cleveland Browns

QB DeShone Kizer 264 QB24 QB26
RB Isaiah Crowell 33.8 RB14 RB35
RB Duke Johnson 92.8 RB31 RB14
WR Corey Coleman 109 WR38 WR64
WR Kenny Britt 106.3 WR42 WR96
TE David Njoku 204.1 TE16 TE26


HITS:  Duke Johnson
MISSES:  Isaiah Crowell, Kenny Britt, Corey Coleman

When a NFL team is winless on the season, that usually translates to fantasy disaster. The lone bright spot in PPR formats was Duke Johnson, who translated a 92.8 ADP into a solid RB2 season ranking fourth among all running backs in both receptions (68) and receiving yards (618). While his real NFL game performances were terrible, quarterback DeShone Kizer did provide bye week replacement value with five solid QB1 weeks.

The misses were plenty, starting with Isaiah Crowell. After a 2016 season which saw increased usage in the passing game, expectations for Crowell were of the borderline RB1 variety. His RB14 ADP proved to be a disaster as he barely finished as the overall RB35. Kenny Britt never made an impact before being released, and Corey Coleman again struggled to stay healthy after teasing fans with an opening game line of five receptions, 53 yards, and a touchdown.

Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott 109.8 QB11 QB9
RB Ezekiel Elliott 15.4 RB9 RB3
WR Dez Bryant 20.2 WR9 WR28
WR Cole Beasley 153.8 WR49 WR83
TE Jason Witten 138.1 TE10 TE10


HITS:  Ezekiel Elliott
MISSES:  Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley

Fantasy owners who took a chance on Ezekiel Elliott were massively rewarded. The second year running back held off his suspension until Week 10, and dominated the fantasy landscape for the first eight games. His 20.6 PPR points per game ranked third at this position, and Elliott produced six RB1 weeks in the pre-suspension time frame.

Dak Prescott was solid for most of the season, failing to produce a QB1 week only once when Elliott was eligible. The biggest bust in Dallas, and maybe in all of fantasy football, was wide receiver Dez Bryant. Drafted at an overall ADP of 20.2, Bryant simply failed to produce high reception or yardage totals. While this shocked most fantasy owners, followers of this site had a preview of the potential disappointment. Wide receiver Cole Beasley was also a huge bust, reducing his route tree to a very uninspiring pattern.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that Jason Witten again produced a TE1 season, finishing seventh with 61 receptions and ninth with five total touchdowns.

Denver Broncos

QB Brock Osweiler 309 QB30 NA
QB Trevor Siemian 297.8 QB29 QB25
RB C.J. Anderson 60.8 RB21 RB22
RB Jamaal Charles 140.1 RB42 RB69
RB Devontae Booker 225.3 RB61 RB54
WR Demaryius Thomas 30.2 WR13 WR22
WR Emmanuel Sanders 60.1 WR26 WR51
TE Virgil Green 290.2 TE30 TE44


HITS:  None
MISSES:  Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders

When a team has this many fantasy players drafted, it is a always a bad sign. Quarterback Trevor Siemian provided early hope with back to back QB4 and QB3 performances, but that was not a harbinger of future fantasy production. The biggest misses were actually the Broncos wide receivers. Demaryius Thomas only produced three WR1 weeks during the season, and Emmanuel Sanders was worse with only one (week two against Dallas) top 12 fantasy performance.

The best fantasy play on the Broncos was running back C.J. Anderson, which isn’t saying much. The 26-year old running back did manage to finish ninth in rushing yards, but that was bolstered by three huge games. Anderson had 154 total yards and two touchdowns in week two, and a combined 291 yards in Weeks 15 and 16. His fantasy season was a true “donut” with nothing in the middle weeks.

Detroit Lions

QB Matthew Stafford 113.6 QB12 QB10
RB Ameer Abdullah 64 RB22 RB41
RB Theo Riddick 82.8 RB28 RB30
WR Marvin Jones 117.8 WR39 WR13
WR Golden Tate 46.4 WR18 WR17
WR Kenny Golladay 161.7 WR54 WR63
TE Eric Ebron 121.9 TE8 TE12


HITS:  Marvin Jones
MISSES:  Ameer Abdullah, Eric Ebron

For a team with a record of 9-7, the Lions had a plethora of coveted fantasy players during the draft season. Quarterback Matthew Stafford finished exactly where he was valued:  a low-end QB1. The biggest hit was wide receiver Marvin Jones, who put together a solid season of strong fantasy performances while not even being drafted as a WR3. Jones had a mid-season run of five WR1 finishes out of six games. He finished sixth among wide receivers with eight total touchdowns, and was the top fantasy wide receiver with 848 Air Yards.

Unfortunately, Detroit also had a huge fantasy running back bust in Ameer Abdullah. The Abdullah truthers may finally be finished, as the “metrics darling” underperformed for the third consecutive fantasy season. Eric Ebron was non-existent for the first 12 games, but ended the year with three TE1 games, including two top three performances. One of the most compelling ADP questions for 2018 is whether Ebron will be drafted based on his first 12 games or his last three.

Green Bay Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers 33 QB1 QB6
RB Ty Montgomery 34.1 RB16 RB21
RB Aaron Jones 256 RB76 RB48
RB Jamaal Williams 138.4 RB41 RB37
WR Jordy Nelson 12.4 WR5 WR47
WR Randall Cobb 96 WR31 WR39
WR Davante Adams 45.4 WR16 WR7
TE Martellus Bennett 74.1 TE7 TE25


HITS:  Davante Adams
MISSES:  Jordy Nelson, Ty Montgomery, Martellus Bennett, Aaron Rodgers

As Aaron Rodgers goes, so goes the fantasy value of all Packers. The Green Bay quarterback was solid (but not spectacular) when he was healthy during the first six games. He had four top 10 QB weeks to start the year, but no top five performances. Given that Rodgers was the first fantasy quarterback selected, he must be classified as a bust.

Ty Montgomery was drafted as a borderline RB1 and because of performance and injuries failed to justify that ADP level. The biggest Green Bay bust by far was Jordy Nelson. He started the year with three WR1 games, greatly bolstered by five receiving touchdowns. Even with Rodgers however, Nelson only averaged 73 receiving yards per game. As a 33-year-old touchdown dependent wide receiver, his 2018 value is very much up for debate.

The big fantasy hit for the Packers was fourth year receiver Davante Adams. Even without Rodgers for most of the season, Adams managed 10 receiving touchdowns while almost equally his career high with 74 receptions. He is clearly the top wideout in Green Bay and could be a top five fantasy wide receiver if Rodgers plays a full season in 2018.

Houston Texans

QB DeShaun Watson 261.8 QB33 QB1
RB Lamar Miller 28.8 RB14 RB17
RB D’Onta Foreman 173.8 RB58 RB58
WR DeAndre Hopkins 33.4 WR12 WR2
WR Will Fuller 241.7 WR74 WR26
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz NA NA NA


HITS:  DeShaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller

Death, taxes, and DeAndre Hopkins. Regardless of the level of quarterback play, Hopkins continues to produce at a high level for fantasy owners. He ranked fifth in receptions (96), second in receiving yards (1378), and first in total touchdowns (13). Those owners that selected Hopkins at his 33.4 ADP were handsomely rewarded.

Fellow wideout Will Fuller battled through injuries, but was very productive when he played with rookie DeShaun Watson. Watson only played seven games, but his last four produced the following fantasy rankings:  QB1, QB1, QB5, and QB2. He will be an early round target in all fantasy formats in 2018. Lamar Miller had the most uninspiring borderline RB2 fantasy season in history, but he did somewhat match his preseason ADP value. Look for D’Onta Foreman to challenge him for the lead running back position in training camp.

Indianapolis Colts

QB Andrew Luck 92.8 QB7 NA
RB Frank Gore 76.4 RB26 RB27
RB Marlon Mack 173.5 RB45 RB55
WR T.Y. Hilton 28.4 WR11 WR35
WR Donte Moncrief 102.1 WR33 WR78
TE Jack Doyle 18.8 TE8 TE6


HITS:  None
MISSES:  Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief

Fantasy drafters held out hope that Andrew Luck would find his way onto the field, but once this report came out from Bleacher Report, it was apparent the Colts would be in for a long season.

The ageless Frank Gore still managed to match his borderline RB2 value even at age 34. Without Luck, the Indianapolis wide receivers were predictable busts. Both T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief failed to produce even WR3 value. There is no group of fantasy assets that could improve more than the Colts in 2018. If Luck returns fully healthy, this entire group becomes great fantasy values on draft day, especially Marlon Mack who is likely to become the lead running back if Gore is not resigned.

Jacksonville Jaguars

QB Blake Bortles 242 QB22 QB12
RB Leonard Fournette 24.2 RB11 RB8
RB T.J. Yeldon 233.7 RB58 RB33
WR Allen Robinson 49.1 WR21 NA
WR Allen Hurns 205.7 WR63 WR43
WR Marqise Lee 190.8 WR59 WR35
TE Marcedes Lewis NA NA TE30


HITS:  Blake Bortles
MISSES:  Allen Robinson

The Jaguars had a huge turnaround in 2017 and have established a solid fantasy foundation for years to come. Blake Bortles became a legitimate fantasy QB1, and not just through garbage time points. He ended the season with four top seven QB1 performances in the last five games. Rookie running back Leonard Fournette exceeded his already high redraft ADP, highlighted by seven touchdowns in the first six games.

Unfortunately, fourth-year wide receiver Allen Robinson didn’t benefit from the team success, tearing his ACL in Week One. With the late season development of rookies Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole, the 2018 fantasy outlook for Allen Hurns remains unknown. Slot receiver Marqise Lee was top 20 with 279 yards after catch, making him a nice PPR value next season.

Kansas City Chiefs

QB Alex Smith 234 QB21 QB4
RB Kareem Hunt 38.2 RB16 RB5
WR Tyreek Hill 50.4 WR20 WR6
TE Travis Kelce 36.1 TE2 TE2


HITS:  Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill

The fantasy efficiency team award goes to Kansas City. All four drafted fantasy assets either met or outperformed their preseason ADP. Quarterback Alex Smith was fantastic, finishing as a top five quarterback for the first time in his career. He ranked sixth with 4,042 passing yards and seventh with 26 passing touchdowns while only throwing five interceptions. Another great fantasy hit was rookie Kareem Hunt, who took advantage of a preseason Spencer Ware injury to have an amazing fantasy season.

On the receiving end, both wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce were top fantasy producers. Hill ranked second among all fantasy wide receivers with 11.3 yards per target, while totaling seven touchdowns. Kelce lived up to his high positional rank, ranking first among all tight ends with 83 receptions and 122 targets. The Chiefs may not have an abundance of fantasy options, but the one’s they have produced incredible seasons.

Los Angeles Rams

QB Jared Goff 256 QB26 QB8
RB Todd Gurley 18.6 RB10 RB1
WR Robert Woods 211 WR72 WR14
WR Cooper Kupp 144.4 WR47 WR33
WR Sammy Watkins 63.2 WR24 WR47


HITS:  Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp
MISSES:  Sammy Watkins

Similar to Kansas City, the Rams had an amazingly efficient fantasy season. Running back Todd Gurley was the fantasy MVP, turning an 18.6 second round ADP into the top overall running back and player in fantasy football. Jared Goff was a fantastic byproduct of the “Wait to Draft a QB” strategy, finishing with six QB1 weeks and two overall QB1 finishes.

As Goff produced, so did his wide receivers. Robert Woods was one of the top fantasy values, turning a late-round flyer ADP into a high-end WR2. Rookie Cooper Kupp managed six WR2 weeks or better, which leaves Sammy Watkins as the only fantasy miss. The former Buffalo Bills star was traded in mid-August to the Rams, and while failing to live up to his WR2 ADP, still managed eight touchdowns.

Los Angeles Chargers

QB Philip Rivers 120.4 QB13 QB13
RB Melvin Gordon 9.6 RB5 RB7
WR Keenan Allen 32.6 WR14 WR3
WR Tyrell Williams 93.4 WR34 WR58
TE Hunter Henry 90.4 TE10 TE8


HITS:  Keenan Allen
MISSES: Tyrell Williams

Despite playing every game in a road environment, the Chargers more than satisfied fantasy owners in 2017. Despite an anemic 3.8 yards per carry, Melvin Gordon again proved that opportunity is king in fantasy football.

The big hit was wide receiver Keenan Allen, who showed that all he needs is health to be a true fantasy WR1. He ranked fourth among all wide receivers with 1,260 receiving yards, sixth with 93 receptions, and first overall with a 19.9 percent Hog Rate (targets per snap).  Quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Hunter Henry justified their value, while the only disappointment was the volatile Tyrell Williams, who had three WR2 or better efforts mixed with 12 performances lower than WR3.

Miami Dolphins

QB Jay Cutler 192.7 QB18 QB24
RB Kenyan Drake 207 RB55 RB43
WR Damien Williams 307 RB87 RB63
WR Jarvis Landry 52.8 WR23 WR7
WR DeVante Parker 61.4 WR27 WR47
WR Kenny Stills 181.8 WR57 WR33
TE Julius Thomas 145.3 TE18 TE22


HITS: Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills
MISSES: Jay Cutler, DeVante Parker

There was much fantasy uncertainty when quarterback Ryan Tannehill tore his ACL in the preseason. The Dolphins signed free agent Jay Cutler, and many owners felt that with a strong offensive line, Cutler could salvage the value of the offensive weapons. The mercurial quarterback failed to even match the production of a QB2, and that most directly affected third-year wide receiver DeVante Parker. Beset by injuries, Parker was a huge fantasy bust producing only one WR2 fantasy game all season.

On the flip-side, both Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills greatly outperformed their ADP’s, with Landry leading the league with 103 receptions.  Once running back Jay Ajayi was traded in late October, things also opened up for second-year back Kenyan Drake who produced five RB1 PPR weeks over the second half of the season. His 39 targets during the games he started illustrate his 2018 potential.

Minnesota Vikings

QB Sam Bradford 245.5 QB25 NA
RB Dalvin Cook 41.2 RB13 NA
RB Jerick McKinnon 245.5 RB73 RB18
RB Latavius Murray 156.8 RB46 RB41
WR Adam Thielen 100.8 WR35 WR10
WR Stefon Diggs 56.8 WR24 WR12
TE Kyle Rudolph 74.2 TE5 TE9


HITS: Jerick McKinnon, Adam Thielen
MISSES: Dalvin Cook

The Vikings enjoyed a great 2017 season, one that could end in a trip to the Super Bowl in their home state of Minnesota. Rookie running back Dalvin Cook looked every bit the part of an RB1 before a torn ACL in week four ended his season. His high 41.2 ADP puts him as a miss because of injury. The biggest benefactor was Jerick McKinnon who massively outperformed his minuscule 245.5 PPR ADP. He produced five RB2 or better weeks after Cook’s injury.

Even more impressive was the fantasy season by Adam Thielen. The fourth year wide receiver joined pretty illustrious company with his performance this season.

Stefon Diggs ended the season as the overall WR12 averaging 13.9 fantasy points per game, but injuries and an extremely volatile nature may keep him from ever achieving consistent WR1 status. Tight end Kyle Rudolph was a safe 74.2 ADP selection.

New England Patriots

QB Tom Brady 30.8 QB1 QB5
RB Mike Gillislee 77.8 RB26 RB50
RB Dion Lewis 193.1 RB56 RB24
RB Rex Burkhead 145.4 RB42 RB16
RB James White 107.8 RB35 RB34
WR Brandin Cooks 19.8 WR8 WR17
WR Chris Hogan 103.6 WR36 WR26
TE Rob Gronkowski 19.8 TE1 TE1


HITS: Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis
MISSES: Brandin Cooks, Mike Gillislee

There is always a plethora of fantasy assets in New England, and 2017 was no exception. Tom Brady had an “off” year by his standards but still produced a string of nine fantasy QB1 weeks (twice first overall) in 10 games. Running back Mike Gillislee opened the season with three rushing touchdowns, but then got “Belichicked” by Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis who became critical assets for owners down the stretch of the fantasy playoffs. Burkhead had consecutive overall RB7 and RB3 performances in Weeks 12 and 13, followed by Lewis’ overall RB17 and RB2 games in Weeks 15 and 16.

The most frustrating Patriots play to own had to be Brandin Cooks.  The mercurial wide receiver could not be counted on for consistent production. His last four games of the season produced the following fantasy ranks:  WR74, WR75, WR20, WR68. In a New England offense filled with weaponry, he failed to approach his 19.8 ADP.

Chris Hogan was the most consistent wide receiving option until a shoulder injury sidelined him in week eight. He had a run of four consecutive PPR WR1 weeks from week two to five. What happens when Rob Gronkowski only misses one game due to injury?  The fantasy TE1 overall ranking.

New Orleans Saints

QB Drew Brees 42.8 QB2 QB11
RB Mark Ingram 55.6 RB19 RB6
RB Alvin Kamara 167.4 RB45 RB4
WR Michael Thomas 12.1 WR6 WR4
WR Ted Ginn 131.4 WR44 WR39
TE Coby Fleener 115.6 TE13 TE27


HITS: Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara
MISSES: Drew Brees, Coby Fleener

History was made in the New Orleans’ backfield as both Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara finished as PPR top six fantasy options. A brilliant season by both players was greatly enhanced by the early October trade of Adrian Peterson to Arizona.

While Michael Thomas only totaled five touchdowns on the season, his consistency was very rare among fantasy wide receivers. The sophomore wideout produced 11 weeks of WR2 or better production. Ted Ginn proved to be a great value by turning his 131.4 AP into three WR1 performances.

Calling Drew Brees (only 22 passing touchdowns) a disappointment is shocking, but after being drafted at a 42.8 ADP, the increased running game focus makes him a miss. Tight end Coby Fleener just hasn’t produced to the level expected when he signed with New Orleans in 2016.

New York Giants

QB Eli Manning 137.2 QB14 QB21
RB Paul Perkins 84.6 RB29 NA
RB Odell Beckham Jr. 11.8 WR3 NA
WR Brandon Marshall 66.3 WR28 NA
WR Sterling Shepard 146.8 WR48 WR20
TE Evan Engram 160.3 TE12 TE4


HITS: Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram
MISSES: Paul Perkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall

The Giants season essentially ended on October 8th when their receiving core was decimated by injuries. With Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall finished for the season in week five, they both inherit the “bust” label on their high ADPs. Running back Paul Perkins’ disappointing season was a result of severe lack of production.

The offensive injuries did, however, give wide receiver Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram a chance to shine. Shepard finished as the PPR WR20 averaging 13.1 fantasy points per game. Engram caught six touchdowns and ranked as the fourth best fantasy tight end averaging 11.6 fantasy points per game.

New York Jets

QB Josh McCown 330.4 QB30 QB13
RB Matt Forte 121.4 RB38 RB29
RB Bilal Powell 58.8 RB20 RB31
WR Robby Anderson 144.7 WR50 WR18
WR ArDarius Stewart 218.3 WR60 WR149
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins 230.7 TE19 TE15


HITS: Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
MISSES: Bilal Powell, ArDarius Stewart

An overachieving Jets team provided sneaky fantasy value. While Matt Forte struggled through injuries all season, the 32-year old running back did amass top 20 running back production in receiving yards and receptions, while producing six RB2 or better performances. Bilal Powell was a popular mid-round PPR pick, but he only tallied one RB2 or better performance in his first 10 games.

Quarterback Josh McCown went mostly undrafted, but performed as much more than a bye-week replacement. From weeks six through eight, McCown was the overall QB5 every week. The biggest hit was wide receiver Robby Anderson, who produced a five game stretch with six touchdowns and three WR1 games. Rookie ArDarius Stewart and veteran Austin Seferian-Jenkins failed to reach their ADPs and were not fantasy relevant.

Oakland Raiders

QB Derek Carr 85.2 QB8 QB20
RB Marshawn Lynch 35.8 RB15 RB30
RB DeAndre Washington 184.9 RB52 RB63
RB Jalen Richard 216.3 RB61 RB63
WR Amari Cooper 18.1 WR7 WR41
WR Michael Crabtree 41.1 WR16 WR12
TE Jared Cook 206.2 TE16 TE14


HITS: None
MISSES: Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Amari Cooper

The shine off the 2017 NFL season for Derek Carr has clearly faded. Despite having a strong offensive line and solid receiving weapons, Carr only ranked 20th with 14.7 fantasy points per game. Last season’s fantastic touchdown to interception ratio (28 to six) slipped this season (21 to 12). Never a high yardage passer, his 3,259 passing yards ranks a microscopic 15th among fantasy quarterbacks.

Carr’s lack of production clearly hurt wide receiver Amari Cooper who should simply be referred to as “The Fantasy Enigma.” The Raiders struggled to get Cooper involved, and when they did he was awful. Outside of his 11 catch, 210 yards, and two touchdown performance in week seven, Cooper only managed two weeks better than WR31. His dropoff in year three is historically puzzling.

Running back Marshawn Lynch had his moments (six RB2 or better weeks), but with only 188 carries (19th among running backs) his fantasy ceiling was limited. Tight end Jared Cook gave owners the overall TE1 performance in week nine, but remained wildly inconsistent to trust on a weekly basis.

Philadelphia Eagles

QB Carson Wentz 104.5 QB16 QB3
RB LeGarrette Blount 102.6 RB34 RB57
RB Alshon Jeffery 37.2 WR15 WR24
WR Nelson Agholor 245.8 WR85 WR22
TE Zach Ertz 78.4 TE7 TE3


HITS: Carson Wentz, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz
MISSES: LeGarrette Blount

A great year for the Eagles in fantasy football. Quarterback Carson Wentz had an amazing season, ranking first among all quarterbacks with 33 touchdowns while only playing 13 games. Nelson Agholor enjoyed the typical third year wide receiver breakout with nine receiving touchdowns and a WR2 finish from a 245.8 ADP. Tight end Zach Ertz finally reached his fantasy potential, finishing third at the position in receptions (73), receiving yards (800), and red zone receptions (11). The only bust was LeGarrette Blount who finished well below his RB34 ADP value, influenced by the Eagles mid-year acquisition of Jay Ajayi from Miami.

Pittsburgh Steelers

QB Ben Roethlisberger 104 QB10 QB7
RB Le’Veon Bell 2.1 RB2 RB2
RB Antonio Brown 3.2 WR1 WR1
WR Martavis Bryant 51.2 WR22 WR56
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster 238.5 WR84 WR24
TE Jesse James 197.4 TE17 TE17


HITS: JuJu Smith-Schuster
MISSES: Martavis Bryant

There are not two more reliable fantasy assets than running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown. They both hit their exact preseason ADP values. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger started off slow (one QB1 week in his first nine games), but ended it on fire with three top two overall quarterback weeks in four games. Martavis Bryant is a feast or famine wideout and his 51.2 ADP greatly exaggerated his value.

Kudos to the Steelers front office for drafting wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster at the end of round two, he finished as a true WR2 from a 238.5 ADP. He produced six total touchdowns including three games in a row at mid-season.

San Francisco 49ers

QB Brian Hoyer 273.1 QB31 QB31
RB Carlos Hyde 41.4 RB17 RB12
RB Matt Breida 228.7 RB68 RB61
WR Pierre Garcon 81.2 WR26 NA
WR Marquise Goodwin 251.8 WR88 WR42
TE George Kittle 297.7 TE30 TE24


HITS: Marquise Goodwin
MISSES: Pierre Garcon

No NFL team in history has ever started the season 1-10 yet ended with so much promise as the 2017 San Francisco 49ers. The quarterback situation from a fantasy perspective has done a complete reversal. Brian Hoyer is now Jimmy Garoppolo and Bay Area fans couldn’t be happier. Running back Carlos Hyde had a surprisingly healthy season and ended up as an RB1. Matt Breida also flashed moments as well with three RB2 or better performances. He could become the starter next season in an attractive fantasy offense.

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon makes the “miss” list due to a week eight neck injury, which opened the door for a nice season by Marquise Goodwin. The 27-year old speedster amassed five WR2 or better weeks, thrilling owners at his 251.8 ADP.

Seattle Seahawks

QB Russell Wilson 63.8 QB4 QB1
RB Eddie Lacy 101.6 RB33 RB81
RB Thomas Rawls 114.2 RB36 RB77
WR Doug Baldwin 22.8 WR10 WR20
WR Paul Richardson 230.7 WR80 WR44
WR Tyler Lockett 160.2 WR51 WR62
TE Jimmy Graham 58.3 TE4 TE7


HITS: Paul Richardson
MISSES: Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, Doug Baldwin

No fantasy quarterback overcomes more adversity than Russell Wilson. Despite a poor offensive line and no running game, he still finished as the overall QB1 averaging 22.5 fantasy points per game.

The Seattle backfield started a mess and ended a mess. Both Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls failed to even approach their draft ADPs. Even the normally reliable Doug Baldwin greatly disappointed as only the WR20, a byproduct of getting only four red zone receptions this season. Fellow wide receiver Paul Richardson actually managed the same amount of touchdowns as Baldwin (six) on one more red zone reception, making him a nice value at a 230.7 ADP. No player was more touchdown dependent than tight end Jimmy Graham, who led the position with 10 touchdowns on only 54 total receptions.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

QB Jameis Winston 81.5 QB5 QB16
RB Doug Martin 76.3 RB25 RB53
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 131.2 RB39 RB79
WR Mike Evans 7.1 WR3 WR16
WR DeSean Jackson 87.2 WR31 WR46
WR Chris Godwin 229.4 WR77 WR100
TE Cameron Brate 170.3 TE14 TE11
TE O.J. Howard 160.3 TE13 TE17


HITS: Cameron Brate
MISSES: Jameis Winston, Doug Martin, Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin

Tampa Bay had a ton of fantasy misses. There are legitimate concerns about Jameis Winston’s fantasy value. His 38 Danger Plays (when the quarterback takes an unnecessary risk that could have resulted in a turnover) ranked him second among all quarterbacks despite only playing 12 games. The hope that Doug Martin would return to his old self after being suspended for the first three games of the season was quickly dashed. Martin had two RB2 or better games in weeks five and six, and never came close to replicating those performances.

Wide Receiver Mike Evans made a case for the biggest bust of the season, massively underperforming his 7.1 overall WR3 ADP. He ranked 15th at the position with just 66 receptions, and a microscopic 81st with just 100 yards after the catch. DeSean Jackson is too volatile to trust on a weekly basis, while Cameron Brate’s six consecutive TE1 weeks relegated O.J. Howard to an unreliable rookie season play.

Tennessee Titans

QB Marcus Mariota 84.8 QB7 QB17
RB DeMarco Murray 14.4 RB7 RB20
RB Derrick Henry 90.2 RB30 RB49
WR Rishard Matthews 119.6 WR40 WR30
WR Corey Davis 117.3 WR45 WR83
WR Eric Decker 90.4 WR32 WR73
TE Delanie Walker 78.4 TE6 TE5


HITS: Rishard Matthews
MISSES: Marcus Mariota, DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry, Corey Davis, Eric Decker

While Tampa Bay had several fantasy busts, the Tennessee Titans had the most. Remember when twitter was flooded with this statistic in the preseason about Marcus Mariota?

This season, Mariota threw 15 interceptions leading to a pedestrian 15.2 fantasy points per game. Yet his fantasy failures pale in comparison to running back DeMarco Murray, who only averaged 43.9 rushing yards per game behind an offensive line that was touted as one of the best in the NFL. Murray only totaled seven touchdowns and 39 receptions. Even worse was that teammate Derrick Henry cut into Murray’s touches, relegating both as almost useless fantasy options. The pair of Titans backs only accumulated five total RB1 weeks on the season.

There was fantasy success at the receiving position however, in the name of Rishard Matthews. Despite having the lowest ADP of the three main Titans wide receivers, Matthews produced six WR3 or better performances, more than justifying his 119.6 ADP. Rookie Corey Davis and free agent Eric Decker produced just five WR3 or better performances total. The most reliable Titans fantasy player was tight end Delanie Walker, who keeps churning out TE1 seasons even at age 33.

Washington Redskins

QB Kirk Cousins 84.4 QB6 QB6
RB Robert Kelley 63.4 RB27 RB60
RB Chris Thompson 151.3 RB58 RB10
RB Samaje Perine 129.8 RB41 RB38
WR Terrelle Pryor 30.8 WR16 WR81
WR Jamison Crowder 63.8 WR28 WR39
TE Jordan Reed 61.8 TE6 NA


HITS: Chris Thompson
MISSES: Rob Kelley, Terrelle Pryor, Jordan Reed

Washington was beset by injuries throughout the season, but still managed some quality fantasy production. Despite limited weapons, quarterback Kirk Cousins clawed his way to a 27 touchdown season rankings as the overall QB6 with 19.1 fantasy points per game. The backfield was a mess, but pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson started the season on fire. He made a huge fantasy impression despite a fractured fibula in Week 11.

One of the absolute fantasy busts of the season was wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. After accumulating 1,007 receiving yards in an awful situation in Cleveland, expectations were sky high in the explosive Washington offense. Pryor never got started and produced one overall WR16 week before opting for ankle surgery after week nine. He finished as the WR81 averaging just 6.2 fantasy points per game after being drafted as the WR16 with a 30.8 overall ADP.

Wide receiver Jamison Crowder battled injuries during the first half of the season but came on strong with three touchdowns over his last five games to go along with 44 receptions over his last eight games. Injuries also limited the fantasy production for running back Robert Kelley and yet again for tight end Jordan Reed.

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