Antonio Brown is arguably the best wide in the game but could 2017 be the year his production slips? Brown scored 307 Fantasy points and was the best fantasy WR in 2016. He totaled 106 rec for 1,282 yards and 12 TDs. So what is the reason for concern for Brown? Well, there are a few. Le’Veon Bell’s workload will continue to increase with an aging big Ben at QB. Martavis Bryant will return from suspension this season, taking targets away from Brown and Roethlisberger has stated publicly that he wants the Steelers to get him another Tight End. I can see the Steelers taking Evan Engram (TE) out of Ole Miss in the second round and grabbing a wide receiver in the 3rd or 4th. If that happens, there may be too many mouths to feed in the steel city for Antonio Brown to be a top 5 WR in fantasy in 2017.
The addition of Alshon Jeffery has already dinged the value of Matthews. Matthews only had 3 Touchdowns in 2016 and now with Jeffery and Ertz sucking up red zone targets, don’t expect that total to increase much. In a down year, Jordan Matthews had 73 catches for 804 yards last season. That was only good enough for 44th best among fantasy WRs. Heading into his 4th season, many believe he still has the upside to be a WR2 in PPR formats but if the Eagles add another WR early in the draft to grow with Wentz, Matthews may lose most of his value.
Everyone wants this guy to be elite. I don’t think it’ll ever happen and here’s why. Benjamin already has the cards stacked against him. He plays on a run heavy team with a QB who has accuracy issues. We all saw what he did as a rookie but it was a mirage! He was force fed the ball because he was the only target for Cam Newton. Kelvin Benjamin has a huge frame but struggles with drops and lacks burst. Now let’s get to the draft. The Panthers have the #8 pick in the first round. If they draft Christian McCaffrey out of Stanford, that would only send more pass attempts to a running back. Not a WR. The latest mock from NFL.com has Carolina taking Dede Westbrook (WR) in the 4th round. If the Panthers add a pass catching RB (who can also line up in the slot) AND take a playmaking wide out, Benjamin’s target share goes down. So, if you still have faith in Benjamin and plan on drafting him this fall, good luck.
Let’s assume that Watkins is healthy and let’s assume you think he has WR1 upside this fall. What if the Bills select Corey Davis (WR) with the 10th overall pick? I believe this would limit his fantasy ceiling. Watkins is already risky enough. He has chronic health issues. He has Shady McCoy catching passes and Tyrod Taylor struggling to make consistent throws. Watkins isn’t on my radar this draft season. With Sammy’s injury history, I would actually prefer Corey Davis over Watkins in 2017.
Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson are gone and Crowder, by default, will be the number one wide receiver in Washington right? Not so fast my friend. Jamison Crowder is only 5’ 9” and plays in the slot. Second year player Josh Doctson is expected to take over as the main guy outside. I could see the Redskins taking John Ross from the University of Washington at #17 and he would be the deep threat they need to replace Desean Jackson. Despite the hype, Crowder could be 5th in line for targets on his team behind Doctson, Pryor, Reed, and Ross.
Dez will be the definition of a “touchdown dependent” player in 2017. Bryant will see plenty of red zone looks in 2017 because of his frame but don’t expect consistency in PPR. With Dak and Zeke working the running game, Bryant won’t be eclipsing 100 catches this season. I think he will end up with around 95 catches but if the Cowboys draft a legitimate number two WR, that total will be lower. Watch out for Carlos Henderson from LA Tech. I can see the Cowboys taking him in the 3rd or 4th round.