Fantasy Football

3 Do Not Draft 2017 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers


Receivers need space. Quarterbacks need time. These are simple fundamental football concepts. Which receivers this season won’t benefit from either?

When drafting wide receivers, not only do we want value, we want excellence.  There is a BIG difference between the “Mike Evans” of the wide receiver world, and the “Ted Ginn’s” of the rankings.  Sure, Mike Evans is in the top 10 and most people are still asking what team Ted Ginn is even on…I’m just saying, when we have a pick in a deep competitive league, we want it to count.  To bring this example further, Mike Evans is pre-ranked around the top 5 in most formats and Ted Ginn is around WR 50 (per Yahoo). If you make a mistake as a top 3 pick in a 12 or 14 team league, you have to wait a LONG time to make another selection.  Suddenly, your choice of Mike Evans can turn into Ted Ginn REAL quick.  I love consistency and target volume.  It’s tough to predict touchdowns, so we have to go by more concrete evidence when we make our selections.

I have come up with 3 WR who will not hold true to their current value, and I will provide alternatives on the fantasy football draft board to consider instead.

3 Do Not Draft 2017 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

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Probably one player that is on a lot of these “Do NOT draft” articles is Dez “was that a catch?” Bryant. Currently at WR8 and preseason rank of 18, the talent is there, no question…when he plays; however, there are some things to note this year.

First, the loss of Zeke is going to sting. One of the things that I love most about fantasy football is how pivotal positions impact each other. When the running game is performing the passing game is performing too, and when the running game is suffering, the passing game follows along with it. That said, the wide receiver corps will see a lot more dime packages than otherwise.

Late start for camp

To add to things, the Cowboys were upset (but probably not surprised) to see that Dez Bryant was late and slow on his arrival to training camp this year. There is an abundance of question marks in the fantasy football universe surrounding Dak’s sophomore season. Who is going to start at right tackle and left guard? Smith, Martin, and Frederick are set in stone, but there remains to be seen how these other two positions will iron out by the end of preseason. Now…what does this all mean for Dez?

Let’s take a look.

Dez had a tough time adjusting to Dak in the early part of last season, scoring just twice in the first five games of the year with one, seven, three, four, and one reception(s) in those five games. Four games last season Dez Bryant had one catch or less, and only three times did he eclipse the 100 receiving yard mark during the regular season.

Yes, he finished the year in a big way against GB in the playoffs with a line of 9,132, 2, but we have to wonder how things will be without a good amount of uncertainties to start the year for the Cowboys. I’ll pass.

Who to pick instead: Leonard Fournette

Let’s stay in the same division and focus on another player around 36 in pre-rankings and WR17 off the board…

Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles

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To be honest, I like Wentz this year. I feel like the Eagles have the potential for a top 5 offensive line this year, which should bode nicely for Wentz and his air attack.

However, let’s look at Jeffery for a second. In 2016 he played 12 games and in 2015 he played in only nine. Last year and the year before he had 821 and 807 receiving yards, respectively while hauling in a combined 106 catches in these two seasons. That number is down almost 50% from his prior two-season reception total of 174. He only had two receiving TDs last year and four in 2015. Now, I understand he is on a new team, and catch balls from someone not named Jay Cutler, however it is tough to overlook his injury risk.

For me, there is too much to go around in Philly with Blount getting a lot of looks at the goal line and current uncertainty with his shoulder (among other injuries), I’d look elsewhere.

Who to pick instead: Travis Kelce or Allen Robinson

Up next is another NFC player that I feel is overrated. He comes from a team with arguably the worst offensive lines in football, a QB who was sacked 42 times last year and getting passes from a QB that scored 2/3 of his fantasy points in the second half last year.

…and his current ranking of 19; WR 11 off the board is too steep for my liking:

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks

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Baldwin’s targets increase each season, but the TD numbers cut in half from 14 in 2015 to just seven in 2016. Before that, Baldwin had a combined 8 touchdowns in his first two seasons with Seattle.

On paper, it seems like Baldwin and the receiving corps of the Seahawks remain poised for one of the easiest schedules in the NFL. However, when you consider they play the improving Cardinals and Rams twice and the Giants and Jacksonville on the road… things get dicey.

I am not saying that Baldwin can’t eclipse the 1,000 receiving yard total, I just don’t think I would trust the touchdown upside I would want in a second or third round player. Don’t forget about Graham and a plethora of running backs to suck up the goal line opportunities…tread with caution. I would tread carefully when drafting any receiver in the NFC West, honestly.

Who to pick instead: Brandin Cooks

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Final notes…

I would not draft anyone on the 49ers, Rams, and Buffalo passing attacks. There is too much variability here with all three teams at the bottom of the league in Passing Yards, Pass Attempts, Completion Percentage, while at the top of the NFL in sacks allowed.

2017 Fantasy Football Position Previews
QuarterbacksRunning BacksWide ReceiversTight Ends

For more F6P preseason coverage please visit our 2017 Draft Kit section.

About Christopher T. Luft

Christopher Luft is from Connecticut and graduated from Providence College with a BS degree in Biology. He went to Optometry school at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and completed an ocular disease residency at the Wilmington, Delaware VA. Chris loves to cook, spend time with his wife, practice and study jiu-jitsu, and of course, fantasy sports.

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