NFL Players Who Will Return to Earth in 2017
By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
You will often see a player's career go through peaks and valleys. Sure there are superstars whose careers are one big upward ascent, but more often than not, a player has good years with some off-years sprinkled in there, as well. In this article, we have identified six NFL players who had good seasons in 2016. While no prediction is fail-proof, we have a feeling that these players will be less-effective in the 2017 season. Not that they will, but our instincts and the shiftiness of the NFL landscape tells us that they might.
We're not saying these players won't continue to be effective. We are merely suggesting that their 2016 numbers might not be matched this upcoming season. In other words, this is not a list of guys who are going to stop being good. But in fantasy football in particular, the composite view is of less importance. These players might see their numbers drop off for good reasons—a diversification of the offense, players returning from injury, a new system replacing an ineffective one, or players joining new teams where they can see their roles change. But at the end of the day, we just see their 2017 numbers slipping down some. Here are our top candidates to come down to earth this upcoming NFL season.
Dak Prescott: We could be completely off the mark here, as Prescott was a pleasant surprise as a surprise starter for the Cowboys in 2016. He showed a lot of mental strength and ability for a 4th round pick, leading Dallas to a 12-win season. We started to see more flaws toward the end of the season. With his line perhaps beginning to lose a little juice, less stars lining up right, less pressure with Romo no longer breathing down his neck, the stage seems to set up for at least a slight dip in 2017.
Kenny Britt: In his third season with the Rams, Britt hit his high-water mark, surpassing 1000 yards receiving for the first time in his 8-year career. That came with a Rams team that was struggling to find anything positive to latch onto in a 2016 season where they were the worst in football. He may find himself in a similar situation with the Browns this season. Not to question his ability, but coming off a contract year and joining the Browns doesn't necessarily seem to line up for a great season.
Melvin Gordon: His season totals in 2016 for the Chargers weren't exactly awe-inspiring, but despite missing upwards of 4 full games, he managed 997 yards and 10 scores on the ground, while catching 41 balls for over 400 yards and a few more TDs. It was a big boost from his rookie season where he scored zero touchdowns and was an overall disappointment. But a lot of pieces were missing on offense for San Diego last season and with a lot of returning parts to the machine, Gordon might be relied upon less.
Marvin Jones: It's all relative, with Jones being a good complimentary receiver for several years running. He registered a career-high 930 yards in 2016 in his first season with the Detroit Lions. Jones was a league-leader in yards after three weeks with 408 yards through the air. In the next 13 games, however, he tallied a lackluster 522 yards receiving. I'd look for more of those big days to go Golden Tate's way this season, with Jones settling back into the 600-700 yard range.
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LeGarrette Blount: A bruising back with a lot of ability, Blount, 30, went for career-highs in yards (1161) and touchdowns (18) in his contract year in 2016. As of press time, it's unclear where Blount will sign, but wherever it is, we're pretty sure he won't be quite the statistical bonanza he was last season. If you look at his stats, he had a big rookie season and a big 2016, which sandwiches six seasons of numbers that range from bad to decent. We envision something in-between last season and one of those other seasons this upcoming campaign.
Brandin Cooks: We've seen a lot of receivers struggle to duplicate the success they had with Drew Brees in New Orleans. Now with the Patriots, one would think that would lead to big production, but team achievement is the key with New England. Players can shine, but the ensemble approach isn't conducive to putting up big numbers. With over 2300 yards receiving over the past two seasons, Cooks should become a big part of the Pats' passing attack, but coming from the fast-track aerial Saints' offense, he might find less individual glory is available with New England. But just by signing with New England, he has shown he is looking for something more. Bet on the NFL for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!