Trent Taylor Fantasy Value
WR | San Fransisco 49ers | 5-foot-8, 181lbs
The wait was becoming a bit overwhelming. As his family would sit and watch the later rounds of this years draft, Trent Taylor picked up a putter and began practicing his short game. The wait was a long time but with just eight picks left in the 5th round, the phone finally rang. It was the 49ers asking if Taylor would like to be the 177th pick in the 2017 draft. The speedy slot receiver from Louisiana Tech had finally found an NFL team to call home. Taylor may not be known in fantasy circles just yet but from practicing his short game to the slot in Santa Clara, Trent Taylor could be the next deep league dark horse to help you in 2017.Kyle Shanahan’s draft class crush. It makes perfect sense when looking back at his style of play calling over the last few years. Players to point to that had benefited from Shanahan’s style of offense are Andrew Hawkins with the Browns in 2014 and Taylor Gabriel this past season with the Falcons. Not only did Gabriel join Shanahan in Atlanta, he was drafted as a fit for Shanahan’s offense with the Browns back in 2014.
Hawkins in 2014, was an under the radar snag for fantasy owners. According to fantasy pros, Hawkins finished as the 48th wide receiver in PPR formats. That was a finish that would put him just behind names like Michael Crabtree and Pierre Garcon. His 10.6 points per game average during that season would prove to be a welcomed asset to deep league owners. That career best year for Hawkins saw him haul in 63 receptions for 824 yards. Unfortunately for Hawkins, Shanahan would take his talents to Atlanta after that season and Hawkins fell into fantasy football obscurity. His 2015 and 2016 seasons combined would fall below his 2014 mark and he has since been shown the door.
Taylor Gabriel had success a lot like Hawkins under Shanahan. In 2016, he would finish 46th among his position in PPR formats and did it in just 12 games. He averaged 8.8 points per game which ranked him 19th among his position in 2016. That average would put him above names like Tyreek Hill and Jarvis Landry. He finished the year with only 35 receptions but had 6 touchdowns and a yard per catch average that ranked him in the top 10. It is also worth noting that during the second half of last season, Gabriel was one of 5 receivers to have 5 games in the top 20 in scoring. Second half production in an NFL season is what brings fantasy owners a championship.
Trent Taylor is No Gimmick
Evaluating Hawkins and Gabriel should have fantasy owners optimistic for Taylor, but his senior year stats are another reason for excitement. This past season, Taylor would put up eyebrow-raising numbers. He would haul in 136 receptions and score 12 touchdowns. That isn’t even the most impressive part of his season as his 1,803 yards receiving would be the highest mark in the entire NCAA. He had four games in which he averaged 15 or more yards per reception with his end of year average sitting at 13.3. Almost 40% of his 51 college games would see him tally 8 receptions or more. He is as reliable as he is consistent.
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) January 24, 2017
Imagine someone like Cole Beasley who is quicker and maybe even a better route runner, that is what the 49ers have in Taylor. It is no shock with these stats that Shanahan likes Taylor as much as he does. The 49ers rookie head coach will no doubt be itching to integrate his draft day crush into his offensive scheme. The 49ers front office has been hard at work to make this 53 man roster their own. Taylor represents an offseason addition that best reflects what Shanahan has done with the slot in the past.
Where Might He Finish Among His Position?
Let’s make on thing clear here on Taylor, you’re not reaching for him. If you’re in a deep league, and especially one that is PPR, you’re waiting till late. Given the history of the position in a Shanahan offense and what Taylor brings to the table, I’m going to peg him to finish somewhere in the 40-50 range among receivers in PPR formats. That sort of projection leaves Taylor as one of the best return investments that you can find in 2017. By NFL standards, the 49ers aren’t contenders. In fantasy football standards, the 49ers receivers are ready to make you look smart in front of all your league-mates. Keep Trent Taylor in mind towards the end of those deep league drafts and thank Gridiron Experts later.
Rankings & Other Great Reads
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- Stay up to date with Gridiron Experts NFL Depth Charts for 2017. We are constantly updating projected team rosters to help you narrow down which players to draft and when
- Rookie Profile articles: Learn more about WR Corey Davis from the Titans, Mike Williams from the Chargers, John Ross the newest Bengal Wide Receiver or the Buc’s newest weapon O.J Howard.