Matt Hicks, Staff Writer
Now that the 2017 season has officially come to a close, I’ve decided to reflect on my weekly waiver wire targets articles, to see what my best calls of the season were. These aren’t necessarily the best players I wrote about, in terms of fantasy points, but rather the best calls; in terms of timing and the fantasy impact they had on the season. Note that I started the series in Week 7 of the 2017 season.
These guys are proof that, like I always say, fantasy championships are won on Tuesdays, not on draft day!
QB- Blake Bortles (15.4% Owned in Week 11)
Bortles shocked the fantasy world this season; going from laughing stock to QB 13 in 2017. Bortles proved himself early in the season, going 167-295 (56%) for 1,930 yards (214 yards/game), 11 touchdowns, 7 interceptions in Weeks 1-10. Since Week 11, when I suggested claiming him, he’s gone 148-258 (57%), for 1,757 yards (251 yards/game), 10 touchdowns, 6 interceptions. He ended the season owned in 46.7% of leagues.
RB- Dion Lewis (6.5% Owned in Week 7)
Predicting the best fantasy running back in New England may be my proudest moment of the 2017 season. In Week 7 I suggested going with Lewis, over a struggling Gillislee and tempting White, and those who took that advice claimed the RB 12 on the season. Since Week 7, Lewis rushed for 745 yards on 150 carries (4.9 yards/carry) and caught 25 of his 30 targets for 162 yards and 7 combined touchdowns. He finished the season owned in 99.2% of leagues.
RB- Jamaal Williams (2.3% Owned in Week 11)
Buried on the bottom of the Packers depth chart, it was hard for anyone to wrap their heads around a Williams claim in Week 11. Those who did, however, got a difference maker in Weeks 11-14. In that 4-game span, Williams rushed for 286 yards (71 yards/game) and caught 17 passes for 186 yards and 5 total touchdowns. Williams was owned in 90.1% of leagues at season’s end.
WR- Marvin Jones (63.4% Owned in Week 7)
Jones was owned in the majority of leagues by Week 7, however, his finish as WR 5 on the season gives him the right to be on the first team. Jones finished the season as the top receiver in Detroit with 1,101 receiving yards (821 from Week 7 on), and 9 touchdowns (6 from Week 7 on). He was owned in 93.4% of leagues at the end of 2017.
WR- Marquise Goodwin (10.2% Owned in Week 11)
Goodwin had little production in Weeks 1-10, however, I thought Goodwin’s big play potential, combined with a new quarterback you may know by Jimmy GQ, could make him an impact player. Goodwin turned into exactly that, leading the 49ers on their 6-game win streak to finish the season with 33 receptions on 39 targets for 462 yards and a touchdown. He finished the season owned in 74.4% of leagues.
TE- Jack Doyle (39.3% Owned in Week 9)
Finding a TE 1 on the waiver wire this season proved to be very difficult, Doyle, however, finished as TE 9 on the season. Doyle was miserable early season, catching just 17 passes for 163 yards and 0 touchdowns in Weeks 1-5. From Week 9 on, Doyle caught 38 passes for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns. Doyle finished the season on 86.2% of rosters.
QB- Jimmy Garoppolo (0.8% Owned in Week 9)
Given more time, Garoppolo would likely have made the first team; but he did a lot with his 5 starts. In those games, he went 118-176 (67%) for 1,542 yards (308 yards/game), 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He didn’t play until Week 13, but those who claimed him in Week 9 saw his potential early. He finished the season owned in 70.5% of leagues.
RB- Alex Collins (32% Owned in Week 9)
Collins just missed making the first team, emerging from the only RBBC more confusing than the one in New England. Although Collins failed to score a touchdown by Week 9, I homed in on him for his volume; progressing from 7 carries in Week 1 to 18 carries in Week 8. Collins is a prime example of why you should follow the volume when it comes to running backs; he scored 6 touchdowns my suggestion to claim him in Week 9. Collins also rushed for 495 yards on 102 carries (4.8 yards/carry). He was owned in 89.4% of leagues by the end of the season.
RB- Giovanni Bernard (9.5% Owned in Week 7)
While the Mixon truthers were still holding out hope, I was insistent that Bernard was the better and more versatile back. Bernard finished the season with 4.3 yards/carry on his 105 attempts; compared to Mixon’s 3.5 yards/carry. Bernard also had 13 more receptions than Mixon, on 26 more targets. He caught 389 total yards, which was 102 more yard, for 2 more receiving touchdowns than Mixon. When Bernard was given volume, he excelled; rushing for 337 yards and 2 touchdowns on 71 carries and 169 yards on 24 receptions since Week 13. Bernard finished the season owned in 60.5% of leagues.
WR- Nelson Agholor (26.1 % Owned in Week 7, 62.1% owned in Week 14)
Patient Agholor owners saw difference making production from Agholor in Weeks 12-15; when he caught 25 passes on 38 targets (66%) for 296 yards and 3 touchdowns. I reminded owners in Week 14 that Agholor’s volume demanded a roster spot, and those that listened saw the impact potential of Wentz’ favorite target. Following the Wentz injury, he finished the season on 66.5% of rosters.
WR- Josh Gordon (35% Owned in Week 13)
There was a lot of wavering (pun intended) on Gordon when he was first reinstated. I pushed for you to claim him before seeing what he could do; given his skillset and need in the mediocre Browns offense. Gordon came out strong in Week 13, rewarding those that headed this advice, and caught 4 passes for 85 yards. In Weeks 13-17, he saw 43 targets, and caught 18 of them for 335 yards and 1 touchdown. Gordon was owned in 85.5% of leagues at the end of the season.
TE- George Kittle (9.2% Owned in Week 7)
The Kittle selection goes specifically to dynasty owners. Those that saw the potential of him in Week 7, landed a young and dynamic tight end who is now teamed up with a quarterback who knows how to utilize him. Since Garoppolo took over in Week 13, Kittle caught 15 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown. He’s actually less owned now (5.7%) than he was in Week 7; which makes him a sneaky selection; and an early waiver target for dynasty players.
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