Fantasy football value picks for 2017

One of the biggest factors in achieving success in fantasy football is the ability to determine appropriate value for players. There are many ways of finding out the market value of a player, from partaking in numerous mock drafts to consulting websites like Fantasy Football Calculator to determine a player’s average draft position.

After getting a sense of where players are typically getting drafted, it’s important to target the players that can offer a nice return despite not costing you a high pick. That’s where we come in. Here’s our list of the biggest values in the draft for 2017.

Lamar Miller, RB, Texans (ADP=2nd round-24th overall)—If he’s going 24th overall and you’re in a snake draft, that could leave you with David Johnson or Le’Veon Bell taken first overall, and Miller. The Texans’ back retains a very high floor with the amount of touches he’ll receive. The team should have a better passing game, taking pressure off him.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks (3rd round-26th overall)—Taking the No. 1 WR from a team with a healthy Russell Wilson in the third round could prove to be very effective. He may even fall farther than this, given that he’s never been an exciting name for fantasy.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos (3rd round-33rd overall)—He got drafted way earlier last season, but I think he puts up even better numbers this year. Thomas was a disappointment last year as a WR1, but if he matches those numbers this season, it’ll be good value at where he’s being drafted.

Mike Gillislee, RB, Patriots (4th round, 47th overall)—He’s expected to take LeGarrette Blount’s role and was extremely efficient last season. Gillislee could be an RB1 taken in the fourth round.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers (4th round, 48th overal)—Bryant might end up dropping even farther if owners shy away from him due to off-the-field issues. Keep an eye on his status, he hasn’t been fully reinstated quite yet, because he could be a steal in the fourth round.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins (5th round, 54th overall)—Taking a WR2 with possible WR1 upside in the fifth would be nice. He was tenth in receiving yards last year, but scored just four times.

Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts (6th round, 70th overall)—He would have had a highly productive season in 2016 if he hadn’t missed time. In nine games he scored seven touchdowns and could be WR2-level in the sixth round.

Donte Moncrief #10 of the Indianapolis Colts catches a touchdown pass during the game against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Donte Moncrief #10 of the Indianapolis Colts catches a touchdown pass during the game against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins (6th round, 71st overall)—It seems like most fantasy experts have given the edge to Terrelle Pryor as the next No. 1 receiver in Washington. Crowder already has chemistry with Kirk Cousins and virtually tied Pryor in fantasy points last season.

Frank Gore, RB, Colts (7th round, 78th overall)—To draft a running back that finished as an RB1 in 2016 in the seventh round is the definition of finding great value. Even with questions surrounding his age and Marlon Mack, the price isn’t too high for this workhorse.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Ravens (8th round, 87th overall)—Taking the No. 1 receiver on the Ravens in the eighth round is a tremendous value selection. You’ll have WR2 potential without having to go out on a limb, selecting him in the eighth.

Eric Decker, WR, Titans (8th round, 99th overall)—If Marcus Mariota continues to move in the right direction, Decker could put up WR2 numbers. He’s a nice candidate to make a comeback after playing in just three contests last year.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions (10th round, 122nd overall)—Stafford slings the ball around so much, it’s crazy to think he’ll be available in the tenth round. The return of Ameer Abdullah makes the dinks and dunks Stafford throws even more dangerous.

Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings (11th round, 128th overall)—Thielen outperformed Stefon Diggs last season, who is being drafted nearly 50 spots ahead him. He’s a WR3 with WR2 potential, being drafted extremely late in mock drafts.

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals (12th round, 140th overall)—With weapons like A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert and rookies Joe Mixon and John Ross, Dalton definitely has an opportunity to end up a QB1 at a ridiculously low cost.

Robert Woods, WR, Rams (14th round, 194th overall)—He’ll be the No. 1 WR on the Rams. That’s the bad news. The good news is he can be had for next to nothing.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy sleepers and lottery tickets

These next two weekends are the busiest in terms of fantasy drafts. It’s time to talk sleepers and lottery tickets.

Sleepers are those players that aren’t really on anyone’s radar, but can come through for you in the late rounds of your draft. Sleepers are all about finding that player who has the potential to significantly out-perform his draft position. You’re not drafting them to be your starters, but you can hope they’ll work their way into your lineup sooner rather than later.

Lottery tickets are players who, frankly, need the starter in front of them to go down with an injury or demotion in order to be productive.

Here’s a look at some of the potentially most productive sleepers and lottery tickets.

Looking for sleepers and lottery tickets for your fantasy football draft? Here are six possibilities for 2016 (clockwise, from top left): Bill quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Falcons backup running back Tevin Coleman, Rams receiver Tavon Austin, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, Saints rookie receiver Michael Thomas and Bears receiver Kevin White.
Looking for sleepers and lottery tickets for your fantasy football draft? Here are six possibilities for 2016 (clockwise, from top left): Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Falcons backup running back Tevin Coleman, Rams receiver Tavon Austin, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, Saints rookie receiver Michael Thomas and Bears receiver Kevin White.

SLEEPERS

Kevin White, WR, Bears: He had high expectations before a stress fracture caused him to miss his entire rookie season. He’ll be Chicago’s No. 2 receiver behind Alshon Jeffery, who many fear might not hold up due to his soft tissue injury history. White’s been going around the eighth round in mock drafts, so he could be a WR3/WR4 that produces like a WR2 if things pan out.

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints: There are quality receivers in New Orleans, but Thomas could end up being worth a later-round pick if he continues to impress like he did in his first preseason game — four catches for 67 yards, though just one catch for five yards in his second game. He’s being drafted in the middle of the 10th round, so if he’s around at that point, you might as well snag him.

Tavon Austin, WR, Rams: I’m opening myself up for ridicule with this one, but he totaled over 900 yards of offense and had nine touchdowns last season. He’ll be nobody’s first, second or even third option, but it looks like he finally started to find ways to contribute last year. The Rams will need to lean heavy on Todd Gurley and find ways to continue to get the ball into Austin’s hands in a variety of ways. Going typically in the 11th round, you can afford to take a flyer on this guy.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati: Another rookie that could end up contributing meaningful numbers. He’s had three catches for 78 yards and a touchdown so far this preseason. With little reason to believe in Brandon LaFell as a solid No. 2, Boyd could end up being A.J. Green’s lightly covered counterpart. He could be a steal in the 12th round.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) catches a 12-yard touchdown pass as Detroit Lions defensive back Tavon Wilson (32) defends in the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Detroit, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) catches a 12-yard touchdown pass as Detroit Lions defensive back Tavon Wilson (32) defends in the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Detroit, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

Sammie Coates, WR, Steelers: He could end up filling the role vacated by Martavis Bryant, who’s suspended this season. Markus Wheaton has had ample opportunity to be the second option behind Antonio Brown, but has been passed up multiple times. Coates has been getting drafted around the 11th round, but you might even be able to get him in the 14th.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills: With an ADP around the 10th round, he could be a nice insurance policy for whichever starter you pick before that. He accounted for 24 touchdowns and more than 3,500 yards last season while missing two games.

Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys: He’s been pretty consistent his entire career, gaining at least 700 yards every year after his rookie season. If you want to carry a second tight end, he could be had in later rounds. It could be one final solid season from the tight end and a healthy Tony Romo.

Charles Sims, RB, Buccaneers: Even with Doug Martin’s resurgent season, Sims had more than 1,000 yards of total offense. He’s getting drafted early in the ninth round and could be a nice flex player even with Martin as the lead back.

LOTTERY TICKETS

Tim Hightower, RB, Saints: He was one of the best running backs at the end of last year, gaining 456 total yards and scoring four touchdowns in the final four games. A pick in the 14th round could end up winning you the lottery.

Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks: Thomas Rawls was impressive last season, but 583 of his 803 rushing yards came in just four games. Michael has looked good in the preseason and might just need an opportunity. He’s going in the 10th round, but might be around in the 12th.

Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael is tackled by Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) in the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael is tackled by Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) in the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

DeAndre Washington, RB, Raiders: Latavius Murray should be used heavily in Oakland, but Washington has shown flashes in the preseason. He could carve out a nice role for himself, but if Murray goes down, then he could really shine. His ADP is in the 11th, so it shouldn’t be too tough landing this potential lottery ticket.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons: It was odd that Atlanta drafted him a year after taking Devonta Freeman. Freeman then went on to have a great year. I’m not sold on Freeman duplicating his early success last season. He rushed for more than 80 yards just twice in the final eight games. He scored just four touchdowns in that span. Coleman should be available in the middle of the ninth round.