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Fantasy points per touch: 2017 wide receiver recap


Fantasy football is all about points. The more you score, the better chance you have to win.

(It ain't rocket science, folks).

While the final scoring leaders offer a look at how well a player performed in the stat sheets, it fails to offer us a complete picture on how good the player really was for fantasy fans. Case in point, JuJu Smith-Schuster ranked 23rd in points among wide receivers this past season. However, he averaged more points per touch than all but two wide receivers in the league (minimum of 50 touches). So, the rookie from USC was a prolific player every time he stepped onto the gridiron. In fact, his full-season projections (based on his 14 games) would have put him ahead of wideouts like Mike Evans and Demaryius Thomas.

So, let's take a deeper look into the numbers to see how our heroes performed when the football was in their hands. In the case of the wideouts, here's the position's top 30 players ranked based on a combination of receptions and rush attempts and the positive points that resulted via receiving and rushing yards gained, receptions and total touchdowns.

1. Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (3.69 FPPT): Jones is coming off the best season of his career, finishing 11th in PPR points among wide receivers. Aided by the fact that he found the end zone once every 6.7 times he caught a pass, it's no surprise that the California product led all qualifying receivers in points per touch. In this case, Jones recorded all of his points as a receiver (he didn't record a single rush attempt). Fantasy owners should expect him to be valued as a No. 2 fantasy wideout next season, though the potential for Kenny Golladay to see more targets could hurt Jones' bottom line in 2018.

2. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles (3.44 FPPT): Much like Jones, Jeffery's high touchdown total and modest catch numbers made him a standout in our point-per-touch research. The South Carolina product scored one touchdown for every 6.3 receptions in what was a crowded Philadelphia pass attack. He also scored an additional six points on two-point conversions, but the reception and yardage stats from those plays are not counted in the box scores. Jeffery, who is expected to be back in time for the start of next season after surgery to repair his rotator cuff, figures to be in the WR2 conversation in drafts.

3. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (3.41 FPPT): So much for that trend of Southern California wideouts floundering at the NFL level! At least for 2018, the league had several Trojans making a big fantasy impact. No one was better than Smith-Schuster, who averaged just four receptions in his first seven NFL games before busting out in the second half. In fact, he saw an average of eight targets in his final seven contests and found the end zone four times. Smith-Schuster, who scored one touchdown for every 8.2 receptions as a rookie, will be a very popular middle-round selection in 2018 fantasy drafts.

4. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (3.23 FPPT): The fact that Hopkins is this high on the list of point-per-touch performers is nothing short of amazing when you consider his volume. The talented wideout had 96 catches on 174 targets this past season, and he still averaged more than three PPR points every time he touched the football. Compare that to his 2016 campaign, when he caught 78 passes and averaged 2.5 PPR points per catch, and it's evident just how big of an impact Hopkins made in the stat sheets. He'll be one of just two wide receivers (Antonio Brown) who warrants a first-round selection in PPR drafts.

5. Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (3.10 FPPT): There's an obvious trend here, as Funchess is yet another wide receiver with a high touchdown to reception ratio (7.8). He saw his value rise once the team traded Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo, too. In fact, the Michigan product had a five-game stretch where he scored four touchdowns and averaged an impressive 3.7 PPR points per catch. The Panthers are expected to make a move to add another wideout either via free agency or the NFL draft, so Funchess' value is difficult to determine. For now, he's on the No. 2 wide receiver radar in most PPR fantasy drafts.

6. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (3.08 FPPT): Hilton's 2017 fantasy campaign was one to forget, as he finished 28th in PPR points among wide receivers due in large part to the loss of Andrew Luck for the season. His 57 catches were his lowest total since his rookie season, and his four touchdowns were a career low. He still managed almost 1,000 yards and averaged 16.9 yards per reception, however, which kept him among the better wideouts in the league in points per touch. If Luck is able to return to action in 2018, Hilton should be back on the radar as a high-end No. 2 fantasy wideout across the board.

T-7. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (3.07 FPPT): The top-scoring wide receiver in fantasy football, Brown produced 310.30 PPR points despite the fact that he missed two games due to injuries. He was a points explosion waiting to happen each time he touched the football, and his high number of opportunities (101 catches on 163 targets) didn't keep his points-per-touch average down like it does for so many other offensive skill players. Based on his production and durability, one can make an argument that Brown should be the No. 1 overall pick in PPR leagues. At worst, he's going to be a top-five selection.

T-7. Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles (3.07 FPPT): How about those Trojans? Agholor is the second USC product in the top seven, as he produced his best season in the NFL with eight touchdowns and 193.50 PPR points. Much like his teammate Alshon Jeffery, Agholor was average in the catches department with 62 (tied for 26th among wideouts) but found the end zone eight times. That amounts to one end-zone visit for every 7.7 receptions. A big part of Philadelphia's Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots, Agholor will be picked as a No. 3 fantasy receiver (assuming Carson Wentz is back for Week 1) in 2018.

9. Robby Anderson, New York Jets (3.03 FPPT): Did you know that Anderson scored just 3.1 fewer PPR points than Mike Evans last season? Much of his success came during a torrid five-game stretch that saw him score a combined five touchdowns and 107.8 PPR points, including a stout 3.85 point-per-touch average. Unfortunately, Anderson's offseason got started on the wrong foot as he was arrested for several traffic violations and reportedly threatening the wife of the arresting officer. The incident is likely to lead to some sort of league discipline, but Anderson looks likely to be on the WR3 radar in drafts.

10. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (3.02 FPPT): Green also finished 10th in total PPR points among wide receivers, but he wasn't very consistent in the second half of last season. In fact, he failed to score a touchdown in four of his last five games of the fantasy season, During that time, he averaged just 2.67 points per catch (which is less than Dez Bryant's season total). Green was much better to start the season, however, as he scored three touchdowns and averaged over three PPR points per reception. He'll be worth a second- or third-round selection in drafts next season regardless of the format.

T-11. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (3.01 FPPT): The new No. 1 (fantasy) wide receiver in Green Bay, Adams scored one touchdown for every 7.4 receptions he hauled during this past season.
T-11. Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins (3.01 FPPT): Stills, who averaged a touchdown for every 4.7 receptions two seasons ago, posted increased totals in both receptions and yardage during 2017.
13. Brandin Cooks, New England Patriots (2.99 FPPT): Cooks saw a decrease in catches and touchdowns in his first season in New England, but his yards per reception average was a career best.
14. Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (2.96 FPPT): Crabtree's catch and yardage totals declined compared to his 2016 totals, but he hauled in a touchdown for every 7.2 receptions last season.
15. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (2.90 FPPT): Baldwin had his worst statistical season since 2014, but he still finished with eight touchdowns (one for every 9.4 receptions) for fantasy fans.
16. Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (2.89 FPPT): Matthews saw a decided drop in touchdowns compared to his breakout season of 2016, so his points-per-catch average suffered as a result.
17. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2.86 FPPT): One of the bigger disappointments in fantasy football, Evans saw drops almost across the board and saw his points-per-reception drop by 0.31.
T-18. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (2.85 FPPT): Kupp's rookie season included five touchdowns catches and a points-per-touch average that was better than Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins.
T-18. Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens (2.85 FPPT): Wallace, who finished 38th among wideouts, recorded his lowest reception and yardage totals since his rookie campaign (minimum of 14 games).
20. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (2.83 FPPT): Ever inconsistent on a week to week basis, Jones saw his points-per-reception average decline from 3.13 points in 2016 to 2.83 this past season.
21. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (2.82 FPPT): Woods is coming off the best season of his career, and his targets could rise if the Rams decide to part ways with free agent Sammy Watkins.
22. Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers (2.81 FPPT): Goodwin averaged 2.76 PPR points per touch during a five-game stretch of 2017, and he did it while scoring just one touchdown.

23. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (2.75 FPPT): Diggs averaged an impressive 3.69 fantasy points per touch in his first three games, but his frantic pace slowed in the following weeks.
24. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (2.73 FPPT): Allen ranked fifth in targets among wideouts, and he had a four-game stretch during which he averaged above three points per touch.
25. Jermaine Kearse, New York Jets (2.71 FPPT): Kearse is coming off the best statistical season of his career, but his 2018 value depends on if the Jets retain Quincy Enunwa for 2018.
26. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (2.67 FPPT): Hill posted career bests across the board this past season, and his 3.14 points-per-catch average ranked seventh among wide receivers.
27. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (2.66 FPPT): Bryant has failed to record 900 yards in each of his last three seasons, and his 17 touchdowns since 2015 is just one more than he had in 2014.
28. DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2.62 FPPT): Jackson had one of the worst years of his career last season, posting just 668 yards and his lowest touchdown total (3) since 2012.
29. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (2.60 FPPT): Thielen might have had a much better points-per-touch average in his breakout campaign, but he scored just four touchdowns all season.
T-30. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (2.59 FPPT): A pending free agent, Lee is coming off the best statistical season of his career. However, he found the end zone just three times.
T-30. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (2.59 FPPT): Nelson was a virtual non-factor after Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury, and now his status with the team is in question for 2018.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!


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