A glance at who to draft and who to avoid in your 2017 fantasy football draft:
Garcon the Safest Bet in San Fran
The last time Pierre Garcon played in a Kyle Shanahan offense, he led the NFL in receptions. That was in Washington in 2013, and while San Francisco in 2017 is not the same environment by a long shot, Garcon will still be the unquestioned top receiver in a Kyle Shanahan-coached offense. Brian Hoyer is likely not even a top-20 quarterback in the NFL, but if there is one undeniable fact that every fantasy football owner should live by, it's that opportunity trumps talent. Garcon is competing for touches with exactly no one in that offense, so he should easily outperform his current ninth-round ADP.
Ertz Carries Top Five Potential
While it's true that the fifth-year tight end has never had a truly "breakout" campaign, he has been quietly reliable for each of the last two seasons. He's posted back-to-back 75-catch, 800-yard campaigns, although he's had some trouble finding the end zone (six total touchdowns in 2015/2016). Now that Jordan Matthews is no longer a factor in Philly, Ertz will be Carson Wentz's top option in the middle of the field. In that safety blanket role, Ertz should have no problem posting another 75-catch campaign, and if he can find the end zone at least six times he will provide a handsome return for all those who take a shot on him. His upside is way higher than his current ADP indicates (10th TE off the board).
Unimpressive Blount is an Easy Fade
LeGarrette Blount led all NFL running backs in touchdowns last season, thanks in large part to his role in the high-powered Patriots offense and total lack of competition as the punishing back. In Philadelphia this year, Blount has, so far, failed to impress anyone. He has reportedly been dealing with weight issues in camp, and is apparently being soundly outplayed by Wendell Smallwood. Blount still carries an ADP in the fifth or sixth round, and if you waste a pick on a back who is currently being considered as a roster cut, you're going to have issues all year long.
NFL Draft Sleepers of the Week
Duke Johnson, RB, CLE - The hype is all on Isaiah Crowell this year, but Duke Johnson should provide plenty of value, especially in PPR formats, as the main check-down option for whoever starts at QB.
Jaron Brown, WR, ARI - As of this week, Bruce Arians has named Brown the WR2 in the Arizona offense. With John Brown still ailing, this is something that will likely stick, making Brown a great value pick
given his minuscule cost.
Julius Thomas, TE, MIA - Thomas could make a bunch of noise in an Adam Gase offense, especially with the free-slinging Jay Cutler under center. If he stays healthy, he could become a Martellus Bennett-type player for Cutler--a safety blanket, especially in the red zone.