These 2016 Duds Will Be Fantasy Football Studs in 2017

DeAndre Hopkins is expected to reclaim his form in 2017.

Every year, it happens. Players fail to reach their full potential for a variety of reasons, including injury, coaching, game script, and a lack of talent around them. Far too often, fantasy football analysts and fans alike underestimate these players too easily, resulting in immense value as they progress through the fantasy draught rounds. I’ve decided to dive in to see which players can emerge from the abyss they fall into last season to become major contributors to your fantasy team in 2017.

DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Houston Texans)

Hopkins seems to have been in the league for a long time. Maybe it’s because, since joining the NFL in 2013, he’s appeared in all 16 games every season. Hopkins will be just 25 years old at the start of the 2017 season, which might surprise you. Let’s face it, Hopkins had his worst quarterback throwing to him in his career last year. Despite this, he was able to turn 78 catches into just over 1,000 yards this season.

Hopkins demonstrated his ability to manage the workload in 2015, when he was threatened 192 times. Just Antonio Brown (193) and Julio Jones (203), both wide receivers, had more. Hopkins also had 111 catches for over 1,500 yards and ten touchdowns during that season (11). The good news for Hopkins as 2017 begins? Brock Osweiler will not be tossing to him. If they want to keep Tom Savage, Deshaun Watson, or a mix of the two as the starter, they will lean on the veteran and pepper him with goals. In 2016, Hopkins just scored four touchdowns. When your starting quarterback just passes for 15 touchdowns, you can’t expect anything more.

Houston’s running game is also a factor. Lamar Miller isn’t made to handle a heavy workload, so he’ll have to split time with rookie D’Onta Foreman. In 2017, the Texans offence will have to rely more on the passing game. DeAndre Hopkins is expected to have closer to 100 catches and at least double his touchdown total from 2016, putting him in the high-end WR2 and low-end WR1 talk.

Kelvin Benjamin (WR – CAR) is a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers.

While calling someone with 941 receiving yards and seven touchdowns a “dud” is a stretch, you’d still expect more from Benjamin. There’s no doubt that targets will be available for the Carolina Panthers’ No. 1 wide receiver in 2017, and with targets comes potential. Kelvin Benjamin appeared in all 32 regular-season games in his two NFL seasons and had well over 100 goals in each. This talented, 6’5′′, 245-pound monster wideout will not lose his targets. With Greg Olsen (Newton’s other favourite target) ageing, it’s Benjamin’s turn to take over as one of the Panthers’ offensive leaders.

Benjamin’s 2016 season frightened enough people that he can be drafted in the seventh round in most fantasy draughts I’ve mocked. Draft him if he falls to you in the seventh round. How many No. 1 wide receivers can you get in the 7th or later rounds? I’ll tell you, there aren’t many.

in Sports TV Prior to last season, I wrote an article about Kelvin Benjamin in which I explained why I thought he would have a big year in 2016. What I didn’t expect was Cam Newton’s significant reversal. Benjamin’s “lack” of production last year was largely due to this. Newton might not be the MVP as he was in 2015, but he isn’t as bad as he was in 2016. Even if Newton’s true talent is somewhere between 2015 and 2016, his No. 1 wide receiver will have a much better overall season in 2017.

(TE – MIA) Julius Thomas

Yes, I believe Adam Gase wants to use Thomas in Miami the same way he did in Denver. To be honest, I’m afraid that he won’t be able to stay on the field for long. However, if Thomas can play in at least 14 games in 2017, he could reclaim his spot as a top-10 tight end. With his height of 6’5′′ and 256 pounds, he’ll be a top red zone priority for Ryan Tannehill, alongside DeVante Parker. Yes, this could make Thomas a touchdown-dependent option, but if Gase continues to call plays that feed him the ball in the red zone like he did in Denver, Thomas should see a significant increase in fantasy output in 2017.

Any thoughts on Thomas’ performance in a Gase-led offence vs his previous two seasons.

Top three tight ends in 2013 – 14 games (DEN) Gase, Adam (Offensive coordinator)
In 2014, the top seven tight ends played in 14 games (DEN) Gase, Adam (Offensive coordinator)
In 2015, the top 15 tight ends played in 12 games (JAX) Greg Olson is a writer and a musician (Offensive coordinator)
In 2016, TE was ranked 29th overall with 9 games played (JAX) Greg Olson is a writer and a musician (Offensive coordinator)
– Adam Gase (MIA) – 2017? (Head Coach). Clyde Christensen (offensive coordinator) worked closely with Andrew Luck as the Colts’ quarterback coach from 2012 to last season before taking over as OC for the Dolphins.
Julius Thomas is currently available for a bargain in the late rounds or even post-draft.

(TE – NO) Coby Fleener

Coby Fleener was a top 12 fantasy tight end in standard scoring last season, which can surprise you. That might speak more to the tight end position’s overall lack of production than to Fleener’s true worth. In any case, Fleener had a much more fruitful season in his first year with Drew Brees than Jimmy Graham did in his first year with the Saints.

Graham was Brees’ sixth choice in the passing game during his rookie season. Wide receivers Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson, and fellow tight end Jeremy Shockey were all targeted less than Graham. Reggie Bush, the running back, had more receptions than Graham. Graham’s second season changed everything.

Also read out latest article: ESPN Issues an Apology for Including Black Players in a Fantasy Football ‘Auction’ Segment

ESPN Issues an Apology for Including Black Players in a Fantasy Football ‘Auction’ Segment

ESPN issued an apology for a segment in which an auctioneer “sold” both white and black players. The segment attracted a lot of backlash, with many people claiming that the auctions resembled a slave auction on social media.

“In fantasy football, auction draughts are popular, and ESPN’s segments simulated an auction draught with a diverse slate of top professional football players.” We understand the optics may be interpreted as offensive without that context, and we apologise,” ESPN said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports.

The episode aired in the aftermath of a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, by several white nationalist parties. White nationalist activists marched on the University of Virginia campus on Friday, shouting racial epithets and threatening counter-protestors, and there were numerous protests and clashes over the weekend. When a white nationalist crashed his car into a group of counter-protestors, the situation became violent, and one person was killed.

In fantasy sports, auction draughts are fairly popular.

Each team in an auction league has the chance to bid on a player, with the highest bidder winning the player’s services. That could raise ethical questions in and of itself, and yes, white players were “sold” as well. However, ESPN’s decision to hire an auctioneer to sell black men is egregiously bad optics and demonstrates a lack of equity in whoever accepted the segment.


NFL players, such as Odell Beckham Jr., have expressed displeasure with the network’s decision to air the auction segment. In the segment, Beckham was one of the players who was ‘auctioned off.’

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It wasn’t just football players who spoke up—Kevin Durant, for one, didn’t seem to like the episode.

Also read out latest article: Start-up for fantasy football To take on ESPN, a sleeper gets VC funding.

Start-up for fantasy football To take on ESPN, a sleeper gets VC funding.

Sleeper is attempting to compete with big fantasy league applications from companies such as ESPN, and has raised venture capital from Silicon Valley investors to do so.

The San Francisco-based startup wants to treat fantasy football leagues more like social platforms than a jumble of league mechanics, positioning itself as a simple, ad-free alternative.

Sleeper has gotten little press as it has grown its app over the last two seasons, but the team has been courting investors to help scale the product, raising more than $7 million from VCs so far. Late last year, the company raised $5.3 million in a Series A round led by General Catalyst. In early 2017, the company raised $2 million in a seed round led by Birchmere Ventures, with participation from Expa, the startup studio founded by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp.

There aren’t many monetization solutions available right now.

According to CEO Nan Wang, the company’s current emphasis is on “increasing a wide base of users and making it the stickiest and highest engagement product in the category.”

During the season, Wang claims that app users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on the app, which he describes as “Instagram-like” numbers. The fact that chat is only a swipe away, and that all of the season’s activities appear inside chats to promote interaction, appears to be the key contributor to that figure.

Users will now have a unified experience, rather than having to put together their experience by using a WhatsApp or GroupMe group in addition to their other fantasy league applications. The more distinct UI of Sleeper, as well as the up-to-the-minute alerts that offer league updates, appear to be common among early vocal users.

Though poaching users from other sites is a top priority, Wang says the team has also been looking at how to nab users who have avoided the perplexing world of fantasy leagues and The N.H.L. Schedule. Taking on the leading apps from ESPN, Yahoo, and the NFL can be intimidating; another concern for the younger startup is the short user acquisition window; however, things can rapidly compound if you can attract only one loyal user who takes their entire league to the site.

“From the second week of August to the first week of September, the consumer acquisition window for fantasy football leagues is at its peak. “We’ve seen about 70% of users build their leagues in that three-week timeframe in the past,” Wang says.

The money will be used to grow the company’s workforce, which currently numbers only ten full-time staff, as well as extend its goals beyond fantasy football to other sports like basketball and soccer.

Also read out latest article: Fantasy Football Draft: The Most Exciting Way to Play Dream Team Ahead of the 2020/21 Premier League Season

Fantasy Football Draft: The Most Exciting Way to Play Dream Team Ahead of the 2020/21 Premier League Season

Yes, the Dream Team Draft is back for a second season, with countless offers, shocking performances, and masterclasses in selection right around the corner.

Do you think you’re your friends’ fantasy football champion? Here’s how you can prove it…
Fantasy Draft: All You Need to Know About Dream Team’s Premier League Game

The following are the basic draught rules:

  • Draft pits you against other managers in a league as you assemble a 15-man team to take you to the top.
    Before the start of your season, you’ll participate in a live draught to select your squad, with no players in the league being duplicated.
  • That’s right, if you have Mohamed Salah on your side, Bob from HR isn’t on it.
  • The game weeks work on a head-to-head basis, pitting you against another boss in your league each week, with three points awarded for a victory, zero points for a loss, and one point awarded for a tie.
  • Draft, unlike Season, only counts points from Premier League games. As a result, cup competitions are not included.
  • Since it’s a head-to-head format, leagues must have an even number of teams, with a minimum of four. The ideal league size is possibly six or eight players.

The live player draught is as follows:

  • The exact rules will be determined by your league’s chairman.
  • In most cases, the live draught can occur prior to the start of your league season. Each manager will be given a total of 15 picks in a ‘reverse snake’ format.
  • That simply means that if you get the first pick in the first round, you’ll get the last pick in the second round, the first pick in the third round, and so on. The Chairman has the option of changing the Draft format to a linear order, but we wouldn’t recommend it to ensure parity among mini-league members.
  • You can host a live draught at any time during the season, so it doesn’t matter if you don’t get started right away.

In the draught, players are chosen in the following order:

  • Most notably, there are no budget constraints and no player costs to adhere to.
    In your 15-man team, you must have at least one goalkeeper, three defenders, three midfielders, and one striker.
  • More than two goalkeepers, ten defenders, ten midfielders, and five strikers are not permitted.
    To make it easier for yourself, build a ‘watchlist’ before the Live Draft to keep track of the players you want to sign.
  • In your player list, you will move players up and down in priority order, with the most appropriate ones at the top.
  • You can also ‘ignore’ the players you don’t like, and they’ll be pushed to the bottom of your player list.
    If you miss a go for any reason, you can use the ‘auto pick’ function, which will automatically select players in order of your priority.
  • A manager must choose a starting XI from their 15-man squad in one of the following formations before each Game Week: 3-5-1, 5-3-2, 5-4-1, 3-4-3, 3-5-2, 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 5-3-2, 5-4-1

Free agency and player trades

  • That is your initial starting lineup after the live draught is completed.
  • However, once your league is up and running, you can change your squad if you’re unhappy with your choices.
  • If you’re not in the midst of an active game week or during a lockout, you can swap players with other managers in your division.
  • You can also sign ‘free agents,’ who are actually new signings who haven’t been selected by any other manager and haven’t been picked in the initial live draught.
  • If you like, certain free agents will become “limited free agents,” which means that everyone in the league will “bid” on them. This is a more advanced choice.
  • The player lockout will be lifted almost immediately after the final Premier League game of the Game Week, allowing you to make trades or sign free agents.

Advanced Draft options (customizable by League Chairmen):

  • Captains – Every Game Week, you can choose a captain for your team who will win you double points.
    Reduced squads – You can reduce your squad size from 15 to 11 people (7 in starting XI, like Weekender)
    Switch to a linear snake instead of a reverse snake in the draught order.
  • Increase the time between turns on the live draught by increasing the turn time.
  • Substitutes are set up automatically to take the place of injured players.
  • Free agents with restrictions – make certain free agents ‘restricted’ so that they are put up for auction rather than being picked up right away.
  • Trade approval – gives the Chairman final say on all player trades within the league.

Mini-leagues for draught (three ways to join):

Make a private league and invite your friends and family to participate – private leagues are hidden and need a pin to join.

Join a private league that has already been formed, or join one of the public leagues and compete against managers from all over the world – these are open to all and do not require an invitation.

Leagues must have an equal number of players, of at least four.

What are some of the best fantasy team names you can think of?

Every year, it seems that deciding on a team name becomes more and more important.

Are you witty? Is it unique? What is the most important thing to you?

If you prefer Lallanas in Pyjamas to Mee, Myself, and Ibe, you’ll find this long list both useful and entertaining.

Also read out latest article: The N.H.L. Schedule