The Eagles won the Super Bowl! Of course, America wins in the battle of the most patriotic mascots in the NFL. I think that the best part is that the Patriots got beat without any fluky helmet catches and by a quarterback not named Eli Manning. BDN Foles (deconstructed abbreviation NSFW) put together his second straight clutch performance for the Eagles. The RPOs, the beautiful RPOs. They’re so hot right now. It’s like if the wildcat was sustainable and effective. When it was all said and done, it was a great season finale of NFL Football. It was right on par with any Breaking Bad finale and much better than the latest season finale of Game of Thrones.
Speaking of prestige television, did you cry when you saw how Jack died? Yes, you did. You bawled harder than your wife and she had to hold you while you sobbed. Don’t pretend you didn’t stay after the game for This Is Us. Westworld and This is Us, be a guy who can enjoy both. Or don’t, there’s more to strive for in life. Reading about fantasy football in February is a great start! About a week and a half ago, I covered quarterbacks and running backs, so you should check that out. It’s time to put the 2017 season in the past once and for all with reviewing the wide receiver and tight end positions.
DeAndre Hopkins made the crown for the number one overall wide receiver interesting until the end, but Antonio Brown put together an elite stretch in weeks 11-14 with 627 receiving yards and six touchdowns before sitting out weeks 16 and 17 with an injury. Brown edged out Hopkins by a half of a point in PPR. For the record, Hopkins finished as the top receiver in standard leagues. I know a lot of you still play those, and that’s fine, if you hate getting fantasy points. Just kidding.
Keenan Allen, Larry Fitzgerald, Jarvis Landry, and Michael Thomas rounded out the top 6 in PPR for the season. For as disappointing of a season as it was for Julio Jones, he still finished as the #7 wide receiver. Julio was lacking in the same department as he has a tendency to struggle in a lot of seasons, and that is the touchdown department. A large chunk of his production came in just two division games. Julio torched Tampa for 253 yards and a couple of scores in week 12 and put up 149 more yards in week 16 against New Orleans. When it comes to being a disappointment, and you don’t count a certain blogger who is writing this, Mike Evans definitely took the cake this season. Evans came at the price of a first round pick in 2017 fantasy drafts and finished as the #17 wide receiver behind names like Marvin Jones, Devante Adams, and Adam Thielen.
Speaking of Adam Thielen, he was the consensus break out star in 2017. I wrote a preseason piece last summer pleading that taking Thielen four rounds later than Stefon Diggs was a better bargain but I didn’t think that this season was in the cards. Thielen racked up a top 10 finish amongst wide receivers and looks to have the type of ability that can keep him up towards the top of the position for years to come. Robby Anderson was another very pleasant surprise this season. Unfortunately, it looks like his future is uncertain because of an off the field incident last month that will most likely lead to a lengthy suspension. Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster was a second half darling and ended up as the 23rd ranked receiver for the season. Ju-Ju will almost certainly come at a top 15-20 price next season.
Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods were also a couple of second half bloomers this year. Without looking, I suspected that they both finished in the top 25 among wide receivers for the year but to my surprise, neither finished in the top 30. Both receivers are in great situations going into 2018.
Rob Gronkowski finished as the number one tight end in standard leagues but not by the margin that one would expect. He played 13 games this year, which is right on brand for a Rob Gronkowski season, but if you ask me, he didn’t live up to his draft day price. It all depends on how much you value the position. I think the whole appeal and argument for spending a second pick on him is the way that he has a tendency to blow away everyone else at the position. In fact, Travis Kelce finished ahead of Gronkowski in PPR scoring. Kelce was drafted a couple of rounds later, which makes a world of difference that early in drafts.
Delanie Walker quietly had a really good top 5 season. He’s getting up there in age, but this season showed us that there is still plenty left in the tank. Jimmy Graham finished just outside of the top 5 for the season which is pretty impressive considering he only had 520 yards this year. I suppose bringing in 10 touchdowns at a very weak position helps. Jack Doyle, Kyle Rudolph, and Jason Witten also finished in the top 10 with fairly useful seasons at times.
Out of O.J. Howard, Evan Engram, and David Njoku I wouldn’t have guessed that Engram would be the one who had a top 5 tight end finish for the season. Engram did fall right into the perfect circumstances which was worst case scenario for the New York Giants. Engram got the yips quiet a few times when he was targeted but this is fantasy football where volume is key. I figured that Cameron Brate would have a more fruitful season than O.J. (pause for giggle), but it was good to see Howard have a couple of big games considering my allegiance lies within the garbage franchise that he plays for. I think David Njoku is a decent quarterback away from being a very good fantasy option in 2018. I’ll get more into that throughout the offseason, but the talent is there if the hands get softer.
Charles Clay should have had a better season but he missed a few games and was relatively quiet at times. Austin Hooper didn’t quite have the break out that a lot of analysts thought that he might have. Give the man some targets, Matt Ryan! Hunter Henry got off to a VERY slow start but he was able to salvage a bit of his season as he finished 14th amongst tight ends. Despite a nice touchdown streak, Austin Seferian-Jenkins turned in a few duds to end the season, finishing outside of the top 20.