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What We Learned in 2017: Wide Receiver and Tight End - Footballguys

A look back at 2017 to understand what we learned about the wide receiver and tight end positions in fantasy football, and how to apply that knowledge going forward.

The 2017-18 season is in the books. In my 12 years of closely covering fantasy football, there has not been one that had more twists and turns, and tests for fantasy owners to endure. Now that the tests are over, we can go back and see what we've learned. Wide receivers were more chaotic than usual, especially at the top of the board, and the top tight ends separated even more from the middling option, putting streaming on the table even more prominently as an option.

Wide Receiver

1. Early round wide receiver isn’t as safe or sure as advertised - Odell Beckham’s season ended prematurely because of injury. Jordy Nelson and TY Hilton lost their quarterbacks and ended up on fantasy benches by the end of the season. Dez Bryant and Amari Cooper were inconsistent, frustrating to watch, and rarely providing an advantage for their fantasy teams. Even Mike Evans, AJ Green, and Julio Jones came in well under expectations for a first-round pick. There is no obviously correct answer to the question of which position to target in the first round. In general, there was a lack of consistently dominant wide receivers, and fantasy players were able to get by with more mid-round picks and even waiver wire wonders in their weekly lineups.

How to Apply This Knowledge: Be open to a running back no matter what draft position you draw. The top four running backs are clear and worthy of top four picks, Alvin Kamara has mid-first appeal in PPR leagues, and Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon III, and Dalvin Cook all have cases to be made for a first-round selection between 8-12.

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