These NFL Players Drafted in 2017 are Being Forgotten
Adam Shaheen – TE Chicago Bears – Round 2 Pick 45
The Trey Burton experiment didn’t start off so hot, now did it? Adam Shaheen has literally done nothing of relevance in fantasy football. Between 2 injury plagued seasons he has played 19 games and registered 20 targets – 17 receptions – 175 yards – 4 TDs. And for that reason, I LOVE him as an incredibly cheap trade target (get him thrown in on a multi player deal) or $0-1 free agent add right now. Reports are Shaheen is the healthiest tight end in camp as Burton recovers from sports hernia surgery (I hate targeting players having to deal with this). “Baby Gronk” could be in store for a huge uptick in usage. His draft capital is another reason Shaheen should not be forgotten. All of the Travis Kelce role talk we heard about Burton last year could very well come to fruition for Shaheen this year.
Dede Westbrook – WR Jacksonville Jaguars – Round 4 Pick 110
The Jaguars receiving room is a mess. It feels like they’re just throwing a bunch of WRs on the wall to see who sticks. That might not be a horrible fantasy strategy to target this group (Westbrook, Chris Conley, Keelan Cole – also entering year 3), if you have a large roster size. Whoever becomes the apple of Nick Foles‘ eye should be in line for a nice fantasy year. Dede Westbrook is my favorite of the bunch, and he’s not exactly a super deep sleeper. But I think many owners are afraid to touch anyone from this WR corps. Westbrook missed over half of his rookie year due to injury, but built upon that with a solid full sophomore season recording 101 targets – 66 receptions – 717 yards – 5 TDs. He’s on the perfect trajectory of production we see for the typical 3rd year WR breakout.
Jonnu Smith – TE Tennessee Titans – Round 3 Pick 100
I previously wrote about Delanie Walker being a solid “old guy” who can help your fantasy team so this may be a tad contradictory, but I also have love for Jonnu Smith. If Walker can’t stay healthy and Jonnu Smith can, he should enjoy a breakout year. QB Marcus Mariota heavily targets his tight end and even if they both are healthy together, Jonnu Smith could still be fantasy relevant (thinking TD production). Smith’s workout metrics on PlayerProfiler jump out as he is an incredibly athletic tight end who showed he could fill the role nicely last year after Walker was out for the year. The Titans could move on from both Mariota (contract) and Walker (age) after this year, so Smith is a nice target to stash who may need just one more year to fully realize his potential. But that means you should be able to get him at his lowest value which is right now.
Zay Jones – WR Buffalo Bills – Round 2 Pick 37
Crazy Zay Jones has left owners with sort of a yucky taste in their mouth. His rookie year was nothing to write home about after many owners invested in him with such high draft capital. Through a wildly inconsistent 2018 Jones quietly finished year 2 in weeks 13-17 as the 20th best WR in 1/2 PPR with rookie QB Josh Allen throwing him the ball (large part of the inconsistency). Again, we see solid improvement from year 1 to 2 with Zay Jones as he looks to continue his breakout from the end of 2018. Despite the addition of WRs Cole Beasley and John Brown, Jones should be the primary target hog (21.2% share in 2018 – ranked 27th) and has an established connection with Allen.
IDP BONUS SPECIAL!!!!
Raekwon McMillan – LB Miami Dolphins – Round 2 Pick 54
I’m dipping my toe into the IDP waters here on a guy who I don’t see many people talking about. Raekwon McMillan lost his entire rookie season to an ACL tear. He returned in 2018 to post a very solid IDP season – 105 tackles – 69 (nice) solos – 5 tackles for loss. He was lacking a bit in the big play categories and that is where teammate Kiko Alonso gets more attention. McMillan is only 23 years old and I’d give Alonso maybe another year or two in Miami before they move on from him. This means McMillan is lining up perfectly to be the primary inside LB on a team with a bad offense. That is a formula which equals potential LB1 type IDP fantasy production. He’s going largely unnoticed and drafted incredibly late, if at all, in dynasty startups.
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