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.
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.
— Blake Allen Murphy (@blakemurphy7) October 8, 2017
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.
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.
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.
Omg Joe Flacco. Toss kiko for that. pic.twitter.com/s18bRdHrd5
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 27, 2017
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.
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.
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.
This is EPIC from @CameronNewton.
Clay Matthews: It’s that wheel route, it’s that wheel route
Cam Newton: You been watching film, huh? That’s cool. Watch this
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) December 18, 2017
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.
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.
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.
-23 car, 116 yds, TD
-7 rec, 52 yds
-1 Very Merry Christmas
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 25, 2017
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.
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.
Can we just call the 2 yard sideline out “The Beasley?”
— Mike Randle (@RandleRant) November 20, 2017
Lastly, it’s worth noting that Jason Witten again produced a TE1 season, finishing seventh with 61 receptions and ninth with five total touchdowns.
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.
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.
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.
Jordy Nelson last 2 seasons (thank you @Rotoviz):
w/Rodgers: 5.6 recs/g, 71.5 yds/g, 0.91 TDs/g
w/o Rodgers: 3.1 recs/g, 21.8 yds/g, 0 TDs/g
He turns 33 years old next season. TDs can’t continue forever.
He’s done folks.
Yet his redraft ADP will again be a Top 15 WR pic.twitter.com/bE9Wwa71wQ
— Mike Randle (@RandleRant) December 24, 2017
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.
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.
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.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 28, 2017
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.
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.
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.
Top 10 RBs in Rushing Yards (2017)
1) Todd Gurley – 1,305
2) Kareem Hunt – 1,292
3) Le’Veon Bell – 1,291
4) LeSean McCoy – 1,128
5) Jordan Howard – 1,113
6) Mark Ingram – 1,089
7) Melvin Gordon – 1,012
8) Leonard Fournette – 971
9) CJ Anderson – 946
10) Alex Collins – 895
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) December 27, 2017
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.
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.
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.
Over the last two seasons (2016/2017), seven running backs have had 2500+ YFS (yards from scrimmage) and 20+ touchdowns.
Ezekiel Elliott (In only 24 games!)
Devonta Freeman pic.twitter.com/NKim808mXc
— Russell Clay (@RussellJClay) December 28, 2017
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.
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.
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.
Top WRs in Rec. Yards (2017)
1) Antonio Brown-1,533
2) DeAndre Hopkins-1,378
3) Julio Jones-1,364
4) Keenan Allen-1,260
5) Adam Thielen-1,215
6) Tyreek Hill-1,183
7) Michael Thomas-1,151
8) Larry Fitzgerald-1,101
9) Rob Gronkowski-1,084
10) AJ Green-1,061
— YourSports (@YourSports) December 28, 2017
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.
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.
Top 10 RBs in YPC (2017)
1) Alvin Kamara – 6.6
2) Dion Lewis – 5.2
3) Mark Ingram – 5.1
4) Kareem Hunt – 5.0
5) Alex Collins – 4.9
6) Kenyan Drake – 4.8
6) Derrick Henry – 4.8
6) Alfred Morris – 4.8
9) Devonta Freeman – 4.6
9) Todd Gurley – 4.6
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) December 21, 2017
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.
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.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) December 21, 2017
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.
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.
Shane Vereen won’t be more than low-end flex option but he doubled Paul Perkins in Week 1 snaps & led #Giants in targets (10) & catches (9).
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 11, 2017
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.
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.
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.
Amari Cooper was 7th player since merger to record 1,000-yard seasons in 1st 2 years in NFL. Previous 6 averaged 1,275 yards in year 3. Cooper has 565 for #Raiders w/ 1 game to go
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) December 29, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Russell Wilson my MVP pick if season ends today. #Seahawks have no run game/OL & crippled by injuries on D. He’s the engine of a 7-4 team.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) November 27, 2017
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.
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.
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?
For his career – when in the red zone – Marcus Mariota has completed 64% of his passes and compiled a 33:0 touchdown to interception ratio. pic.twitter.com/2iW2cHCcoB
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) February 17, 2017
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.
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.
Top 10 Players in Yards After Catch (2017)
1) Le’Veon Bell – 665
2) Alvin Kamara – 645
3) Todd Gurley – 624
4) Christian McCaffrey – 563
5) Golden Tate – 531
6) Antonio Brown – 492
7) Chris Thompson – 483
8) Jerick McKinnon – 471
9) Mark Ingram – 464
10) Duke Johnson Jr. – 457
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) December 29, 2017
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.
View the original article on Last Word On Pro Football: 2017 Fantasy Football End of Season Manifesto