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Fantasy Football Rankings 2017

Gridiron Experts have compiled staff consensus Fantasy Football rankings.


 

Top 75 ADP Breakdown

The following is a top 75 average draft position breakdown written by Adam Strangis

David Johnson

#1, RB1 (Fair)

You really can’t argue Johnson at 1st overall. He’s an absolute animal, finished #1 overall in PPR last season and doesn’t come with the same amount of baggage as the 2nd pick. Just to illustrate how good he was as a receiver, he won the Pro Football Focus award for the highest graded receiver. While you shouldn’t expect 20 total TDs to go along with 80 receptions, you also know exactly what the upside looks like. He’s the centerpiece of the Arizona offense.

Le’Veon Bell

#2, RB2 (Fair)

While I think Bell could outscore Johnson if both play the same amount of games, you simply cannot ignore the track record of injuries and suspensions that Bell has. He has played in 47 of a possible 64 games. Don’t make too much about Bell not showing up to OTAs and mini-camps. It would be surprising if Bell didn’t sign his franchise tender. Pittsburgh should rightfully be leery of signing him to a long-term deal until he can not get suspended and/or injured and play a full season. Bell had off-season surgery on a groin injury but that shouldn’t be an issue for the 2017 season.

Ezekiel Elliott

#3, RB3 (Fair)

Zeke showed even as a rookie he could be a fantasy stalwart and a dynamic weapon in the NFL. Even if we were talking about a standard league, he’s the third RB for me because you still get points for receiving yards. Elliott will almost surely come in third place in that category behind Johnson and Bell. Even without the receiving yards or receptions, Zeke was super consistent in 2016 and there’s no reason to think that changes in 2017.

Antonio Brown

#4, WR1 (Fair)

Brown was being taken with the number one overall pick last season and didn’t quite have the season owners hoped for. He saw a regression in yards and receptions. This season, he gets Martavis Bryant back to help loosen opposing defenses. Brown still finished as the WR1 in PPR in 2016; this season could bring closer to his 2015 total.

Julio Jones

#5, WR2 (Over)

Before everyone freaks out, I’m not suggesting that Julio isn’t a top 10 fantasy WR. He finished as the WR6 last season while missing two games. I’m merely pointing out that Atlanta moved away from forcing targets to Jones(he saw 74 fewer targets in 2016). There are two WRs going behind Jones that I would take ahead of him.

Odell Beckham Jr

#6, WR3 (Over)

Much like Jones, this isn’t a case of Beckham being crazy high. It’s more about the fact the Giants added WR Brandon Marshall who could end up slightly hurting Beckham’s touchdowns. Marshall has averaged about 7.5 TDs a season. There is also the factor of QB Eli Manning seemed to fade as the season went on in 2016. Beckham is a phenomenal player and falls in as the WR5 in my personal ranks.

Mike Evans

#7, WR4 (Under)

Personally, Mike Evans is my WR2 behind Antonio Brown. He is almost impossible to cover in today’s NFL given his size. His efficiency has lacked throughout his career (53.7% catch rate), but he finished just 3 points behind Brown in PPR last season. The additions of WR DeSean Jackson and rookie TE O.J. Howard is going to help Evans immensely. Many will see Beckham and Evans having similar situations. The biggest 2 differences to me are Marshall and Jackson are VERY different WRs and QB Jameis Winston is on the rise while Manning is on the way down.

LeSean McCoy

#8, RB4 (Fair)

Not only did McCoy finish as the RB4 last year, the Bills are talking about him catching more passes in 2017. This is different than a normal puff piece in the off-season because it’s coming directly from the player. If McCoy actually does catch more than the 51 balls he caught last year, owners are going to be over the moon. There’s wear and tear on McCoy but the ceiling he’s shown is just too high to worry about injury.

A.J. Green

#9, WR5 (Over)

Green is coming off his worst season as a pro due to an injury costing him six games. As good as Green is, he hasn’t topped 90 receptions since 2013. I would be much more comfortable taking Green around six spots later. He’s being drafted as his ceiling instead of his normal production. Green has finished in the top 10 of WRs once in the last three seasons. I fully understand why Green is going here, but there are WR behind him who seem safer.

Melvin Gordon

#10, RB5 (Fair)

Some would point to his mediocre YPC(3.9) and the fact he did not eclipse 1,000 yards rushing and say Gordon is going way too high. However, the Chargers had their offensive line decimated by injury in 2016. Using 11 different players for 24 different line combos doesn’t lend itself to success for a running back. Gordon will still be the workhorse in Los Angeles and should be drafted as such.

Devonta Freeman

#11, RB6 (Fair)

Freeman still does have to deal with fellow RB Tevin Coleman, but I have a hard time believing Coleman will repeat his 2016.  Freeman saw 50+ receptions and 13 TDs last season and there’s room for more in 2017. Don’t underestimate the fact that Freeman has publicly said he wants to be paid elite money. Even with Tevin Coleman scoring a completely unsustainable 12 TDs, Freeman was still a dynamo in 2016.

Jordy Nelson

#12, WR6 (Under)

Nelson is over 30, but is there any other reason to doubt this guy? 2016 saw him return from a torn ACL and still finish as the WR2 in PPR formats. He still has Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football, is the clear #1 option and would be my third WR behind Antonio Brown and Mike Evans. He missed the 2015 season but still has recorded at least 85 receptions, 1257 yards, and 8 TDs. If that’s what can be considered a floor, count me in.

Michael Thomas

#13, WR7 (Fair)

My first impression when seeing Thomas this high was he’s an overdraft candidate. However, he finished as the WR7 last year and will most likely see even more targets with Brandin Cooks residing in New England. The Saints brought in Ted Ginn and there are some fantasy analysts that think he could be a factor. I’m not sure QB Drew Brees is going to be in love with Ginn dropping the ball like he had a habit of in Carolina. Thomas has clearly seized the alpha role in the New Orleans passing game. Just in case you’ve forgotten how great his rookie season was:

Jay Ajayi

#14, RB7 (Fair)

I certainly don’t believe Ajayi is going to touch the ball 350 times this upcoming season. That also doesn’t mean Ajayi can’t return draft value at the front end of the second round. There was plenty of ups and downs to the 2016 campaign for Ajayi, but having experience in the offense could help bring consistency in 2017. The biggest nitpick with Ajayi is his fortunes seemed to coincide with Mike Pouncey playing or not. Pouncey played in 5 games last year. In those 5 games, Ajayi rushed for 608 yards, 47.7% of his production. Pouncey had a stem cell procedure on his hip and is in question for the season opener.

DeMarco Murray

#15, RB8 (Fair)

Murray is probably the last of the “safe” RBs on the board at #15. He has some wear and tear on his body, but the Tennessee Titans are going to have him as the focal point of a good offense. They added to the passing game with rookie WR Corey Davis and WR Eric Decker. That should make it very difficult for opposing defenses to load up to stop the run. Fellow RB Derrick Henry looms to take away some work but unless Murray is injured, Henry will be the #2 in that backfield.

T.Y. Hilton

#16, WR8 (Under)

Hilton is coming off his career best season and there’s no reason to think he can’t do it again. QB Andrew Luck is still dealing with a shoulder injury at this point, which would seriously hurt Hilton if it lingers. As long as Luck is ready for Week 1, Hilton should be in for a monster campaign. Hilton was the NFL leader in receptions over 20 yards, showing how dangerous he is on any given play. He’s being drafted in line as far as WRs go, but I would take him ahead of both Ajayi and Murray. Hilton is the safer bet to me even with his down games factored in.

Jordan Howard

#17, RB9 (Over)

I might be out on a limb here, but I most likely will own Jordan Howard in zero leagues this season. He is a very talented back and is saying all the right things entering his second season. I just cannot get on board with a back that has an uncertain QB situation and a cloudy real life outlook on defense.It is possible the volume Howard should get trumps all other factors. If he was on a good team, Howard would be a sure first round pick. I’d feel much more confident in the player going right behind him.

Dez Bryant

#18, WR9 (Fair)

2016 was a very difficult year to own Bryant. He missed three games due to injury and then had an additional three games with 3 or fewer receptions. Even with those factors, Bryant found the end zone a remarkable 8 times. As QB Dak Prescott continues to grow, Bryant will be more consistent and has always been a TD monster. There are some questions, but the ceiling is insanely high for Bryant.

Amari Cooper

#19, WR10 (Over)

Not only was Cooper out-produced by his own teammate in Michael Crabtree, he barely finished inside the top 15 in 2016. One could argue that he’s only 23 years old and he will take a step forward this season. While I would expect that would be the case, I’m not ready to gamble my second round pick on it. There’s a WR that is going behind him that I would MUCH rather have. I will also readily admit this could turn out to be a very wrong take. Cooper has been earning rave reviews so far for the Raiders.

Rob Gronkowski

#20, TE1 (Over)

Can Gronk Be Trusted in 2017?

When he’s healthy, Gronk is one of the most unique and dangerous weapons in NFL history. “When he’s healthy” is a very key phrase. Since 2009, he’s had a whopping nine surgeries. At some point, that takes a toll on the human body. It’s fair to wonder if Gronk has hit that point. The New England offense is also ridiculously stacked with playmakers. I believe Gronk is fool’s gold this early in the draft.

Todd Gurley

#21, RB10 (Over)

Gurley is still being taken as a top 10 RB and I’m not totally sure why. I’m all for any Jeff Fisher joke, but it’s possible that Fisher isn’t the only reason Gurley didn’t deliver last season. Out of 29 career games, Gurley has gone over 100 yards just five times. The jury is still out on QB Jared Goff and the #1 WR is Robert Wood, he of 203 career receptions. The draft capital spent on Gurley is a bit too rich for my blood.

Leonard Fournette

#22, RB11 (Over)

Leonard Fournette Jaguars
Leonard Fournette Fantasy Preview 2017

It didn’t take too long to get to our first rookie. Jacksonville has made an effort through free agency and the draft to beef up their defense the past couple of seasons. That is commendable, but it’s hard to believe that Fournette won’t face negative game scripts fairly often. His role in the passing game is unknown at this point. Even if QB Blake Bortles stops being a turnover machine, Fournette could be a 2 down back on a bad team. That would be a disaster with the 22nd pick.

DeAndre Hopkins

#23, WR11 (Over)

It’s a real shame Hopkins has yet to play with a really good QB. After a breakthrough 2015, Hopkins had a disaster of a 2016. Given the play of former QB Brock Osweiler, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. He completed under 60% of his passes and threw one more interception than touchdowns. This led Hopkins to finish outside the top 25 at WR last year. His current ADP is 23 overall with a  QB combo of Tom Savage and rookie DeShaun Watson, both of whom are extremely unproven. You do the math.

Lamar Miller

#24, RB12 (Fair)

Miller was considered a bust in 2016 due to his ADP, and I understand why some former owners would shy away. It’s important to remember that Miller was still an RB2 level player and that was with missing two games and playing through injury in others. A lack of TDs also contributed to Miller finishing lower than most thought he would. He’s due for some positive TD regression and I personally would prefer Miller to Gurley in this range.

Marshawn Lynch

#25, RB13 (Over)

If this is the ADP for Lynch, I won’t own him anywhere and I will be sad about that. It’s just fun to watch Lynch play and even though this is just practice, it’s hard not to get excited when you see film like this.

Even in a good Oakland offense, it’s far too hard to predict what will happen to Lynch in a 16 game season after a year off. I definitely think Lynch is motivated and ready to go, but 25th overall is too high to be wrong on him. There are multiple safer picks going after Lynch, especially in the PPR format where Lynch most likely won’t contribute in the passing game.

Brandin Cooks

#26, WR12 (Over)

The fantasy community is understandably excited over the idea of Cooks playing with QB Tom Brady. Visions of the magical Randy Moss season are dancing through owners heads. Even though Cooks finished as a top 10 WR in 2016, he was an absolute pain in the butt to own. He had five games with 3 receptions or less and seven games under 60 yards. He’s going to have some monster weeks in New England but will also kneecap your team. I won’t take a player like that this early.

Aaron Rodgers

#27 QB1 (Over)

I’m a very strong proponent of waiting on a QB in a 1 QB league, so it doesn’t make sense to me to sink your third pick in a position that is easy to fill. We all know how great Rodgers is in real life and fantasy football. As long as he’s healthy, he’s almost guaranteed to finish as a top three QB. After all, he’s finished as the QB1 or QB2 in 7 of the last 9 years. The only 2 seasons he didn’t was due to a collarbone injury and Jordy Nelson tearing his ACL. I would just much rather attack RBs and WRs at this stage of the draft.

Doug Baldwin

#28, WR13 (Under)

Baldwin is flat out being criminally under drafted at 28. After his monster breakout in 2015, there was doubt headed into 2016. Baldwin responded with a second straight top 10 WR finish even though his TD total dropped from 14 in 2015 to 7 in 2016. There’s no reason to doubt him or his role in the Seattle offense.  I would personally take him at least 9 picks earlier. Another factor in trusting Baldwin is he pulled off a top 10 finish in 2016 even though QB Russell Wilson played through injuries

Keenan Allen

#29, WR14 (Over)

This isn’t questioning the role Allen has in the Charger offense or his talent level when he’s healthy….but he’s not been healthy very often the past two seasons. Out of 32 possible games, Allen has played in a grand total of 9 and has only finished 7. He is only 25 years old, so there’s plenty of reason to think he can get past his ACL tear from 2016. Once you add in those factors with the fact he’s never had more than 77 receptions or 783 yards in any season means I won’t pick Allen in this spot.

Isaiah Crowell

#30, RB14 (Fair)

Crowell is fresh off a top 15 finish in 2016, as frustrating as it was to own him. He was a boom or bust player all year long since Cleveland was in negative game scripts all the time. Coach Hue Jackson has already talked about emphasizing the run more in 2017. The Browns also upgraded their offensive line by signing Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter. The best way for Cleveland to win games in to feed Crowell as much as he can handle. The Crow was on of only two RBs in the top 15 to log under 200 carries in 2016. Barring injury, he should see near 250 and be a worthwhile pick at #30.

Tom Brady

#31, QB2 (Over)

This one could certainly come back to bite me. The Patriots offense has Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, Mike Gillislee and James White. That’s a ton of playmakers. If Brady ever comes close to his 2007 season when he threw 50 TDs, this year could be it. This boils down to the same logic I used with Aaron Rodgers- even though you know the greatness you’re passing up, I won’t draft a QB this early.

Allen Robinson

#32, WR15 (Over)

Do you believe in QB Blake Bortles? If you don’t, this pick probably isn’t for you. We know Robinson is capable of putting up a fantastic year. 2015 saw him log 80 receptions, 1,400 yards, and a whopping 14 TDs. What is interesting in the 2016 campaign of just 73 receptions, 883 yards, and 6 TDs is Robinson actually saw the same amount of targets. His catch rate fell below 50% and his yards per catch went from 17.5 to 12.1. The argument is Robinson could make a few more long catches and see a better season. I just won’t take him as a top 35 player to find out.

Christian McCaffrey

#33, RB15 (Fair)

There are plenty of questions about just how well Christian McCaffrey will fit with QB Cam Newton, but a team doesn’t go out and spend an 8th overall pick on a player they don’t plan to use. There’s a difference between McCaffrey and Jaguars rookie Leonard Fournette because the Panthers are a better team. This will lead to better game scripts for McCaffrey to be involved in and there is zero question if he can contribute in the passing game. Fellow RB Jonathan Stewart will still be involved, but it appears McCaffrey should be an RB2 right away. This comes with the caveat of the only reason I’m comfortable with the ADP is the PPR format. My big concern is McCaffrey makes a flashy play in the pre-season and the ADP jumps even higher.

Alshon Jeffery

#34, WR16 (Fair)

6 Overdrafted Fantasy Players in 2017

This ADP seems very fair to me since Jeffery has a history of being a good fantasy producer. He’s being taken in a spot that he won’t be relied on as your WR1 and there’s a chance he still gives you that level of production. Moving to Philadelphia from Chicago should help Jeffery in multiple ways. He’s in an offense with more weapons at the WR position in Torrey Smith and Jordan Matthews. He also gets an upgrade at QB with Carson Wentz over either Mike Glennon or Mitchell Trubisky. Jeffery is playing for a new contract for the third straight season and will be looking for a big year to cash in on a multi-year deal.

Demaryius Thomas

#35, WR17 (Fair)

Thomas isn’t the stud he used to be but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a rock-solid WR2 with some potential to be more. His QB is still very up in the air between Trevor Siemian and 2016 first round pick Paxton Lynch. That was also the case last year and Thomas still caught 90 passes for over 1,000 yards. The Broncos will want to establish the run and lean on their excellent defense which could keep the TDs in the 5-7 range. Still, Thomas is the kind of third round pick you can count on. This tweet from Justin Lonero from RotoGrinders caught my eye as well-

Jarvis Landry

#36, WR18 (Under)

Speaking of players that you know what you’re going to get on draft day, Landry is being under-valued in PPR leagues. Sure, the ceiling isn’t there with his career 13 TDs over three seasons. The floor isn’t much safer, especially at this point in the draft. Landry has yet to record less than 84 receptions in a season.Even with plenty of noise over a potential DeVante Parker breakout, Landry will still be the possession guy and he’s entering his second year with Coach Adam Gase.

Travis Kelce

#37, TE2 (Under)

Fair or not, I HATE relying on QB Alex Smith to feed my players in fantasy. The passing game can be especially volatile since Kansas City has a good defense and will be conservative if they’re winning in the second half. This year’s version of Travis Kelce is going to be an exception to that. Kelce finished as the #1 TE last season and with only WR Tyreek Hill as competition for targets, he might do it again. Kelce is my personal #1 TE due to Rob Gronkowski’s injury history. Also, Kelce has seen both his targets and receptions increase every season. 

Terrelle Pryor

#38, WR19 (Fair)

It has to feel pretty good to go from being productive in Cleveland to a legitimate NFL QB in Washington’s Kirk Cousins. It probably feels even better if Washington let both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon walk away in free agency, and that’s exactly what happened for Pryor this offseason. Fellow WR Jamison Crowder and TE Jordan Reed are sure to command a lot of targets, but Pryor wasn’t brought in for no reason. His floor most likely looks like his 2016 season, which saw him finish as WR19. His upside is a WR1 if everything falls his way.

Davante Adams

#39, WR20 (Fair)

The public certainly hasn’t bought into Adams this offseason. He was a top 10 WR last season and is just barely inside the top 40 in ADP. While I understand why some players are hesitant, you could argue that Adams will be a bargain if his career continues down the path he’s on right now. His production has gone up in all three seasons and he will only be 25 years old at the end of the 2017 season. Aaron Rodgers needs a reliable #2 wide receiver and Jordy Nelson is a clear #1. Green Bay is one of the few offenses that can safely support two top 12 WR.

Spencer Ware

#40, RB16 (Over)

Ware is a prime example of how annoying a player can be in fantasy when they don’t find the end zone. Consider this from T.J. Hernandez –

Normally, this would lead me to claim this player is a bargain. He was a top 20 RB without the TDs and it would be reasonable to expect positive regression to come. I’m just not sure Spencer Ware is that great of an RB. The 2016 volume was excellent with almost 250 touches. With whispers of rookie Kareem Hunt being involved to full on speculation he could just take the job, I’d go elsewhere with a pick this high.

Jordan Reed

#41, TE3 (Under)

Reed is one of the ultimate exercises in risk vs reward in fantasy football. When he’s on the field, he’s unquestionably one of the best TEs in football. He also has missed 11 games in the past three seasons. If you draft him here, just be prepared to stream the TE position for a couple games. I personally think it’s well worth the risk to get one the top 3 TEs in fantasy at the lowest ADP. He showed up to mini-camp looking fantastic. Once you get into the fourth round, it makes sense to draft upside and you can’t play scared at that point.

Tyreek Hill

#42, WR21 (Over)

One of the biggest surprises of the 2016 season was the success Hill achieved as the season wore on. He finished as a top 25 WR with just 61 receptions. The reason he did this is that he scored a whopping 6 total TDs on rushes, kick and punt returns. To put it bluntly, that’s not happening again. The Chiefs released Jeremy Maclin which leaves Hill to be the #1 WR. That also means that he will not be returning kicks this season.  Odds are also strongly against him averaging 11.1 yards per rush. While more receptions seem like a lock, I’m not sure how many more TDs an owner could expect with Hill this season.

Carlos Hyde

#43, RB17 (Over)

The off-season has not been kind to Carlos Hyde at this point. The 49ers haven’t given many signals that they’re sold on him as the slam dunk starter. The NFL Draft is typically a good sign of how teams are thinking, and GM John Lynch let Coach Kyle Shanahan to take RB Joe Williams. This is notable because Williams was reportedly not even on the San Francisco draft board. Things didn’t get much better in OTAs because Hyde appeared to be the worst running back of the bunch. In fairness, new offenses take time to learn. However, something would have to change during training camp for me to want to draft Hyde this high.

Drew Brees

#44, QB3 (Over)

Brees falls into the same category as the other two QBs going ahead of him. Brees is phenomenal in real life and fantasy. That doesn’t mean I want to invest my fourth pick into a QB. There’s no evidence that this scenario is going to play out, but let me paint you a picture. The Saints have tried to address the defense while adding RB Adrian Peterson to RB Mark Ingram. They traded away WR Brandin Cooks to the Patriots(thanks a lot from the rest of the NFL, by the way. GREAT move, Saints). Is there a chance that New Orleans is shifting the offense to more of a run-based attack? I don’t think that’s the case at this point, but it would be a major story in camp.

Sammy Watkins

#45, WR22 (Under)

Talk about risk versus reward, it doesn’t get much bigger than Watkins. He represents a total waste of a pick with his injury history. He also represents one of the last chances to draft a WR1. Watkins is a dynamic athlete and he and QB Tyrod Taylor have excellent chemistry. He averages 16.1 yards per reception which shows he’s a big play receiver. There’s also the off-field factor of Watkins is in a contract year. The Bills declined his option for the 2018 season, which means Watkins has a ton to prove. I’m willing to roll the dice with Watkins at an ADP of 45.

Julian Edelman

#46, WR23 (Fair)

There’s an argument to be made that Edelman could be over-drafted here with the addition of fellow WR Brandin Cooks. I’m not buying that, however. The Patriots just gave the 31-year-old Edelman a 2-year contract extension, with $7 million in guaranteed money. The New England offense has a ton of mouths to feed, but Edelman always sees a ton of targets from QB Tom Brady. The past three seasons(35 games), Edelman has averaged 10.8 targets a game and has 251 receptions. The TD upside isn’t great, but Edelman should return value as a mid tier WR2.

Michael Crabtree

#47, WR24 (Under)

Somehow, even though he’s part of an offense most of the public seems to love, Crabtree is getting no respect in early drafts. Crabtree has finished as the WR16 and WR12 in the past two seasons(ahead of the more heralded Amari Cooper both seasons). He’s also led his team in targets the past two seasons. Even though Cooper is the more explosive player and has the better skill set, Crabtree is who Derek Carr focuses on slightly more. When Crabtree does things like this, it’s easy to see why.

Joe Mixon

#48, RB18 (Fair)

The draft capital being spent on Mixon is fair at the moment. Much like we talked about with Christan McCaffrey, the issue is it would be very surprising to see his ADP stay in this range. The hype machine is starting up and the talent level is there. If not for off-field issues, Mixon most likely would have been a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. The only competition he has in the backfield is Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Bernard is coming off an ACL tear and Hill has been a disappointment for the past two seasons. At this point, it might be an upset if Mixon isn’t the lead back for the Bengals.

Ty Montgomery

#49, RB19 (Fair)

Can you imagine the reaction you would have got at this point last year if you said Ty Montgomery would be the starting RB for the Packers midway through 2016? The NFL changes in a hurry. You don’t need to look any further than the fact the Packers selected three backs in the Draft. While they didn’t sink any high picks into any player, it does make you wonder. Are the Packers just looking for depth?  Do they have full belief in Montgomery? I tend to think it’s the former, especially with Montgomery saying he has the mental side of the game down better. He’s a good pick in this spot, just make sure you know who his back-up is in camp.

Greg Olsen

#50, TE4 (Fair)

Olsen may not have the splash that the big three TEs do, but he brings something they don’t- consistency. The old saying is the best ability is availability. Olsen hasn’t missed a game since 2011, which is astonishing in the NFL. In that time period, he hasn’t finished any lower than the TE7. There’s also a very good chance the additions of Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel could help open up space in the intermediate passing game for Olsen. Regardless of how you feel about QB Cam Newton, Olsen is almost a lock for 80 receptions, 850-1,000 yards, and around 6 TDs.

C.J. Anderson

#51, RB20 (Under)

The stats may not point to Anderson being that great of a back, seeing as how he’s never topped 900 rushing yards in any season. Especially in fantasy, it’s important to realize how a team is structured. Denver has a fantastic defense. They will have a QB with little to no real experience and is learning on the job(that applies to both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch). The Broncos are going to lean on the defense and brought in OL Ronald Leary to help fortify the offensive line. Even with the Broncos signing RB Jamaal Charles, Anderson is going to be the man. He seems pretty happy Charles is there.

https://twitter.com/cjandersonb22/status/859540600969977858

Brandon Marshall

#52, WR25 (Over)

While Marshall should take on more of a complementary role alongside Odell Beckham, I’m still not sure what to expect from him. The days of 100+ targets may be over. Aside from Beckham, WR Sterling Shepard and maybe even rookie TE Evan Engram will see a sizeable target share. Marshall will still be a productive WR, but he could be in a position where he needs TDs to really return value on this pick. He does have a good history in the first year with a new team and is open to being the #2 WR on a team. There’s WR going directly after him that I would rather have.

Golden Tate

#53, WR26 (Under)

Another WR who isn’t getting the respect he should in drafts, Tate finished last season as the WR17 in PPR and isn’t even in the top 25 right now. What is extremely impressive about that is Tate only had 134 yards on 17 receptions in the first five games of the season. I was in some leagues where he was flat out dropped last year. He’s in a rock solid offense with QB Matthew Stafford and coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. Here’s a fascinating nugget on just how good and under the radar Tate really is-

Martavis Bryant

#54, WR27 (Under)

People can accuse me of being biased, but Bryant may represent the biggest potential of any player past the top 40. The last time we saw him in action, he was scorching the Denver Broncos defense in the 2015 postseason. In a game that both Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown were both out, Bryant recorded 9 receptions for 154 yards and added 40 rushing yards. Yes, his suspension history is well-documented. When he’s on the field, all he does is score TDs and make big plays. He’s played in 21 games and has only started eight of them, yet averages 17.3 yards per catch and has scored 14 TDs. It’s always nice to have the star QB gushing over you in OTA’s as well.

Doug Martin

#55 RB21 (Over)

It’s possible that some people have forgotten Martin is suspended for the first three games of the 2017 campaign. That’s the only reason I can think of that he’s being drafted this high. It’s great that Buccaneers GM Jason Licht is talking about how Martin looks like the 2015 version. If owners get that, this pick is a monster value. The odds of getting that version seem slim. He’s only played in 57 of a possible 80 games in his career. Martin is also 28 years old and averaged just 2.9 yards a carry in 2016. When you’re already guaranteed to not have him for three games, it doesn’t seem like a smart strategy to sink your 5th-6th round pick on him.

Eddie Lacy

#56, RB22 (Fair)

The Green Bay Packers let Lacy move on this off-season and Lacy came into a fairly good landing spot. The past three seasons have seen Seattle finish in the top 5 in rushing attempts twice. Last season seems to be the anomaly of the group and it makes sense that they sought Lacy as a way to help the run game. The Seahawks do still have Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise to help Lacy shoulder the load, but Lacy should get the first crack at being the #1 RB. Lacy is just 26 and he very much needs a good season. His contract has some nice incentives, including getting paid for losing weight a.k.a the American Dream.

Matt Ryan

#57, QB4 (Over)

This is the point in the draft where QB starts to make some sense, but taking Ryan is not a move I would make. Sure, Ryan crushed his career norms in 2016.

Not only would it be completely reasonable to expect some regression from Ryan in 2017, there’s no way at this point to know what the offense is going to look like. The Falcons saw Kyle Shanahan leave the offensive coordinator position for the 49er head coaching job. They hired Steve Sarkisian as the new offensive coordinator and while that doesn’t mean the offense will definitely be worse, it does mean it’s different for Ryan. A closer to average Matt Ryan season would be a waste of a pick in this spot.

2016 Career Average
TD- 38 25.25
INT – 7 13.37
Yards- 4944  4094.62
AY/A – 7.06 10.1

Tevin Coleman

#58, RB23 (Over)

The Falcons not only got a career season from Matt Ryan but had a lethal running back combo with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. The best guess is the duo will split the RB duties much like they did last season, as outlined here. Coleman has put on 10-15 pounds of muscle in the off-season and looks like he’s in excellent shape. The main reason I think Coleman is a touch high is that I don’t expect him to replicate his 13.2 yards per reception in 2017. That’s a monster number for a running back and is unreasonable to expect every season. 12 total TDs also seem like a stretch. To wit –

Larry Fitzgerald

#59, WR28 (Under)

Maybe the public thinks Fitzgerald is just too old now, but he’s been a monster since he moved into the slot for Coach Bruce Arians in 2015. The slot lets Fitzgerald show off his route running ability and other worldly hands. He’s topped 100 receptions and 1,000 yards with at least 6 TDs each of the past two seasons. He finished 11th in PPR last year. Fitzgerald is a clear PPR gem and wouldn’t be as valuable in a standard setting. Even in what could be considered a bit of a down season, he finished 11th in PPR last year.

Adrian Peterson

#60, RB24 (Over)

There’s no denying that Peterson is in a much superior offense in 2017. Even with that, there are a lot of red flags with Peterson in 2017. First, he’s over 32 years old and not many RBs survive past the age of 30. He also has over 2,400 career carries which are a huge number. He’s lost the majority of two of the past three seasons with major injuries. Peterson now shares a backfield with Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara. Drafting Peterson as an RB2 is a significant gamble and not one I’ll be taking, regardless of his confidence.

Andrew Luck

#61, QB6 (Fair)

Normally Andrew Luck is not going to be drafted as the 6th QB off the board. He’s thrown at least 30 TDs in each of the two healthy seasons he’s enjoyed. Luck has taken more than his fair share of hits but has managed to only miss a career 10 games out of a possible 80. There is certainly a concern if Luck will be ready for camp.

The good news with a player like Luck is he really doesn’t need training camp as much as most players. He’s a cerebral player and if his ADP continues to drop due to the shoulder injury, he’s going to be a bargain.

Ameer Abdullah

#62, RB25 (Under)

The Detroit offense could have a whole new dimension of their offense if Abdullah can stay healthy in 2017. After logging only 18 carries in 2016 before seeing his season ruined by a Lisfranc injury, the hype train is picking up steam on Abdullah. The Lions will be without OL Taylor Decker, which certainly doesn’t help. Also, backfield mate Theo Riddick will still have a role in the passing game. Even given those factors, Abdullah can be a high-end RB2 if everything goes right. The natural talent is evident.

LeGarrette Blount

#63, RB26 (Fair)

After being discarded from the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots, it took a while for Blount to find a home. When he finally did, he found a pretty good home in Philadelphia…I think. As it stands, the backfield is pretty crowded. Right now Blount is sharing duties with Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and Wendel Smallwood. There were rumors that Mathews will be the odd man out and be cut from the Eagles, but that has yet to happen. The Eagles also could be using Blount more in the passing game, though that seems unlikely while Sproles is still there. While it’s a virtual lock Blount will not score another 18 TDs, he can still be productive in what is on paper a vastly improved Philly offense.

Kelvin Benjamin

#64, WR29 (Fair)

While everyone was destroying Benjamin on Twitter when he showed up to OTA’s out of shape, it completely buried the fact he still finished as a top 30 WR in 2016. That’s not something that it typically impressive on its own. Keep in mind Benjamin was coming off a full ACL tear. He’s already a WR who is not overly explosive and doesn’t run the best routes. With all these things said, Benjamin still had a better yards per reception last year than his rookie year and only scored 2 fewer TDs. A repeat of 2016 is fair value with this ADP; the upside is a good bit higher.

Tyler Eifert

#65, TE5 (Over)

This ADP is based on pure hope, in my opinion. Eifert has only appeared in 37 of a possible 60 games in his career at this point. His career high in receptions is 52 to go along with 615 yards. The only reason he was a stud in 2015 was 13 TDs, which seems unlikely to repeat. There was also news that Eifert doesn’t know if he’ll be ready for training camp. Granted, this news is from April and a lot can change. We heard this same story last season when Eifert missed the first six games of 2016.

Bilal Powell

#66, RB27 (Fair)

Chances are if you’re reading this article, you already know this- the Jets roster looks completely awful on paper. The QB position is going to be some mix of journeyman Josh McCown and Christian Hackenberg. The WR corps is going to be lead by Quincy Enunwa and Robbie Anderson, who have a combined 142 receptions at the NFL level. Powell is going to be leaned on heavily this season, especially in the passing game. The Jets will most likely be behind on the scoreboard often this season, and Powell should at least be able to replicate his 2016 season when he finished as the RB16. Powell will most likely be the focus of opposing defenses but fared extremely well after contact last year.

Jimmy Graham

#67, TE6 (Fair)

I’m going to use this space to say how completely wrong I was about Graham in the 2016 season. He suffered a grisly patellar tear towards the end of the 2015 season and I basically wrote him off last year. Graham came back to appear in all 16 games and pile up 65 receptions for over 900 yards to finish as the TE4. It stands to reason that Graham could produce an even better season in 2017. He should be healthier and Russell Wilson is a great QB. He only missed a 200 point season by under 11 points in 2016. 200 points is a pretty significant threshold to hit as a TE.

Mark Ingram

#68, RB28 (Under)

When I first compiled this list, Ingram fell into my over-drafted group. I didn’t realize just how efficient he was even though the volume wasn’t what you normally hope for. Yes, there were four games in which Ingram had fewer than 10 rush attempts. It would stand to reason as that could happen again since he’s sharing the backfield with Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara. Still, Ingram finished as the RB8, ahead of Jordan Howard, Jay Ajayi and Tevin Coleman among others. He could be a strong RB2 candidate at a discount price.

Donte Moncrief

#69, WR30 (Over)

The Colts have a top notch QB. They have an iffy defense which leads them to be in high scoring games. The offense should have zero problems supporting two WR and maybe this year that will happen. Even as the 30th WR off the board, I’ll go a different route than Moncrief. I’m just not convinced there’s this incredible upside in a player that has never caught more than 64 passes in a season. Especially in PPR, that’s a pedestrian number. Only one top 20 WR from 2016 had under 70 receptions (Tyrell Williams, 69).

Jamison Crowder

#70, WR31 (Under)

Let me say right off the bat, I’m a huge Crowder fanboy. He’s one of my favorite WRs to watch in the NFL so I’m going to try to be unbiased here. In 2016, he approached 900 yards….as the third-most targeted player in the offense. With both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon out of the offense, there’s an excellent chance for Crowder to absorb a nice chunk of their targets. Already, the Washington brass is talking up what Crowder can bring to their offense. I’m far from alone, but I feel like Crowder logs at least 85 receptions for 1,000+ yards and 8 TDs. Get him while you can before you get left in the dust like this Detroit DB.

Derek Carr

#71, QB7 (Over)

After Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, QB really becomes quite the grab bag. It’s very difficult to differentiate between similar players. However, I feel very comfortable saying Derek Carr should not be going ahead of QBs both Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins. There’s a two-year track record of both those players finishing higher than Carr and I believe that will continue. Carr only averaged just over 250 pass yards per game. That was very surprising to me but it also makes sense when you see Carr only went over 300 yards in four games. Carr is a fantastic real life QB, but he has yet to ascend to fantasy greatness.

Delanie Walker

#72, TE7 (Over)

I’m kind of cheating a little by saying Walker is over-drafted since this ADP came before WR Eric Decker signed with the Titans. Even if Decker hadn’t signed, I still would be wary of drafting Walker ahead of Zach Ertz and Kyle Rudolph. The Titans spent a top 5 pick on WR Corey Davis and it would be an upset if Davis didn’t make a dent in the target share Walker has seen. Sometimes, it’s best to jump off an older player before you see a major regression and with the combo of Walker being 33 when the season starts and new weaponry in the offense, I’m off of Walker this season.

Willie Snead

#73, WR32 (Under)

Another breakout candidate, Snead just missed out on a top 30 finish in 2016 even though he fought injuries all season. He missed Week 3 and seemed to lose some traction after that point. He didn’t top 100 yards after that point, but consistency may be easier to find this season with Brandin Cooks no longer in New Orleans. Snead was one of the best WRs from the slot in 2016 and he could easily be in the same boat Crowder is: 80 receptions, 1,000 yards, and 8 TDs is within reach.

Emmanuel Sanders

#74, WR 33 (Under)

The Denver QB situation may not be the best in the league and they surely want to have a strong run game to compliment the defense. That’s also the exact same scenario as the past two seasons. All Sanders has done the past two years is finish as the WR20 in 2016 and WR19 in 2015. He’s been a consistent contributor and even with a new offensive coordinator should be expected to have similar production. He’s quite the bargain this late in drafts.

Danny Woodhead

#75 RB29 (Fair)

When Woodhead has played the past four seasons, he’s been what amounts to a cheat code in PPR leagues. He’s recorded 76 and 80 receptions in his two healthy years. He’s also missed basically two full seasons with serious injuries. Woodhead comes with obvious risk, but some serious upside in a Ravens offense that brought him in for a specific role.  Terrance West and possibly Kenneth Dixon will share the workload. Woodhead is the only back with 60 reception upside and at this stage is well worth a shot.

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