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Published: Jan. 3, 2018 at 04:26 p.m.
Updated: Jan. 3, 2018 at 04:52 p.m.

Most owned players on fantasy championship teams

With the 2017 fantasy football season in the rearview, it’s time to look back on some of the players who played a key role in getting you into the playoffs, and potentially even won you a fantasy title. For the most part, every player on this list stayed healthy throughout the season, contributed consistent week-to-week value, and of course had a couple of matchup-winning spike weeks. But it’s the players who really went all out in the fantasy playoffs that you’ll remember most if you did indeed win your league. Check out our list of most owned players on fantasy football championship teams.

10 Photos Total

  • <p>You probably made the fantasy playoffs on the heels of Todd Gurley's outstanding season. If so, there's a good chance you won your league championship. Gurley's 2017 campaign was unbelievable, as he amassed 19 total touchdowns and 2,093 total yards, dominating opposing defenses in just about every game he played, no matter how unfavorable the matchup was on paper. Gurley also led the league with 51 "big plays" defined as runs of 10-plus yards or receptions of 20-plus yards. The Rams running back racked up 107.1 standard points in Weeks 14 through 16, including totals of 25.5, 42, and 39.6 points in those three games, the most by any player during that span since at least 1950.</p> 10

    James Kenney/Associated Press

    Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams (47.1%)

    You probably made the fantasy playoffs on the heels of Todd Gurley's outstanding season. If so, there's a good chance you won your league championship. Gurley's 2017 campaign was unbelievable, as he amassed 19 total touchdowns and 2,093 total yards, dominating opposing defenses in just about every game he played, no matter how unfavorable the matchup was on paper. Gurley also led the league with 51 "big plays" defined as runs of 10-plus yards or receptions of 20-plus yards. The Rams running back racked up 107.1 standard points in Weeks 14 through 16, including totals of 25.5, 42, and 39.6 points in those three games, the most by any player during that span since at least 1950.

  • <p>When it came to the first overall pick in August redrafts, there were two choices: David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell. If you went Bell, you were handsomely rewarded. The Steelers bell cow led the NFL with 406 touches and was the only back to log 300-plus carries on the season, piling up 1,946 scrimmage yards along the way. His 17.11 FPPG ranked third among running backs and his 85 receptions led the position. Bell posted two 30-point games (Week 4, Week 14) and in the final four weeks of the season, Bell was the fantasy running back owners needed him to be, as he registered outings of 24, 30, 22 and 15 points down the stretch. </p> 9

    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (26.9%)

    When it came to the first overall pick in August redrafts, there were two choices: David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell. If you went Bell, you were handsomely rewarded. The Steelers bell cow led the NFL with 406 touches and was the only back to log 300-plus carries on the season, piling up 1,946 scrimmage yards along the way. His 17.11 FPPG ranked third among running backs and his 85 receptions led the position. Bell posted two 30-point games (Week 4, Week 14) and in the final four weeks of the season, Bell was the fantasy running back owners needed him to be, as he registered outings of 24, 30, 22 and 15 points down the stretch.

  • <p>Back in August, <a href="https://twitter.com/MattFranchise/status/912104969557254144" target="new">I personally bought into</a> the Kareem Hunt hype during a live mock draft on NFL Fantasy LIVE. Apparently, some of my cohorts did not agree, with one of them calling Hunt in the third round the "worst pick" of the entire mock. Well in his rookie season, Hunt led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,327 on the ground and finished the year as fantasy football's RB3 in standard scoring behind only Todd Gurley and Le'Veon Bell. He also led the league with 48 broken tackles, proving draft pundits who lauded him for his excellent balance correct. Despite a mid-season slump, you likely made it into the fantasy playoffs thanks in part to Hunt's blazing start to the season as he racked up 87.8 fantasy points in his first three games, and totaled four games with 20-plus points on the year, more than any other rookie running back.</p> 8

    Joe Mahoney/Associated Press

    Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (20.5%)

    Back in August, I personally bought into the Kareem Hunt hype during a live mock draft on NFL Fantasy LIVE. Apparently, some of my cohorts did not agree, with one of them calling Hunt in the third round the "worst pick" of the entire mock. Well in his rookie season, Hunt led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,327 on the ground and finished the year as fantasy football's RB3 in standard scoring behind only Todd Gurley and Le'Veon Bell. He also led the league with 48 broken tackles, proving draft pundits who lauded him for his excellent balance correct. Despite a mid-season slump, you likely made it into the fantasy playoffs thanks in part to Hunt's blazing start to the season as he racked up 87.8 fantasy points in his first three games, and totaled four games with 20-plus points on the year, more than any other rookie running back.

  • <p>There are definitely some Julio Jones owners out there who feel slighted by the receiver's lack of touchdown production and somewhat inconsistent week-to-week value. And that's fair: Jones scored a career-low three times in 2017 (discounting 2013) and posted his lowest receptions per game (5.5) and receiving yards per game (90.3) totals since 2012. He finished as a top-10 fantasy receiver just three times. Yet Jones finished the year as a top-10 option at his position and posted his fourth-straight season with 1,400-plus yards. In the fantasy championship in Week 16, Jones quietly posted 149 receiving yards, but his best game was a 253-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Buccaneers in Week 12, good for 38.8 standard points. He finished strong too, with five total touchdowns in his final four games of the year.</p> 7

    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (20.2%)

    There are definitely some Julio Jones owners out there who feel slighted by the receiver's lack of touchdown production and somewhat inconsistent week-to-week value. And that's fair: Jones scored a career-low three times in 2017 (discounting 2013) and posted his lowest receptions per game (5.5) and receiving yards per game (90.3) totals since 2012. He finished as a top-10 fantasy receiver just three times. Yet Jones finished the year as a top-10 option at his position and posted his fourth-straight season with 1,400-plus yards. In the fantasy championship in Week 16, Jones quietly posted 149 receiving yards, but his best game was a 253-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Buccaneers in Week 12, good for 38.8 standard points. He finished strong too, with five total touchdowns in his final four games of the year.

  • <p>Melvin Gordon was a workhorse for the Chargers this season, logging 342 touches on his way to a RB5 finish in standard scoring. Gordon posted his second straight season with 12 total touchdowns and broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time in his three-year career. He was an extremely safe option at running back because of his expanded role as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, as he recorded a career-high 58 receptions which helped boost his weekly floor and added to his value as a PPR asset. The yards per carry truthers won't go quietly, as Gordon failed to average above 3.9 yards per carry for the third season in a row, but he did finish second in the NFL with 39 broken tackles. He was solid through the end of the season, too, notching five-straight double-digit outings including 18 points in Week 16.</p> 6

    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (19.7%)

    Melvin Gordon was a workhorse for the Chargers this season, logging 342 touches on his way to a RB5 finish in standard scoring. Gordon posted his second straight season with 12 total touchdowns and broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time in his three-year career. He was an extremely safe option at running back because of his expanded role as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, as he recorded a career-high 58 receptions which helped boost his weekly floor and added to his value as a PPR asset. The yards per carry truthers won't go quietly, as Gordon failed to average above 3.9 yards per carry for the third season in a row, but he did finish second in the NFL with 39 broken tackles. He was solid through the end of the season, too, notching five-straight double-digit outings including 18 points in Week 16.

  • <p>Once again, LeSean McCoy returned on his early-round ADP for fantasy football owners. He registered 12.79 FPPG, 10th among running backs in 2017. McCoy also posted his eighth-straight campaign with 230-plus touches, 1,100-plus scrimmage yards and five-plus touchdowns. Shady's 3.97 yards per carry was the lowest mark of his career but the veteran back more than made up for his five-game touchdown drought to start the season, as he posted five 20-plus fantasy point games between Weeks 7 through 15. It seems like every August, there are concerns about McCoy's durability but he played all 16 games in 2017 and has only missed five of his last 80 games. That's about as reliable as it gets for a running back these days. </p> 5

    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills (19.6%)

    Once again, LeSean McCoy returned on his early-round ADP for fantasy football owners. He registered 12.79 FPPG, 10th among running backs in 2017. McCoy also posted his eighth-straight campaign with 230-plus touches, 1,100-plus scrimmage yards and five-plus touchdowns. Shady's 3.97 yards per carry was the lowest mark of his career but the veteran back more than made up for his five-game touchdown drought to start the season, as he posted five 20-plus fantasy point games between Weeks 7 through 15. It seems like every August, there are concerns about McCoy's durability but he played all 16 games in 2017 and has only missed five of his last 80 games. That's about as reliable as it gets for a running back these days.

  • <p>This one might come as a surprise, because Mike Evans was arguably one of the biggest fantasy busts of the season. He started strong with four touchdowns in his first six games, followed by a seven-game scoreless stretch, basically sinking fantasy lineups on a weekly basis. He didn't eclipse 100 receiving yards in a single game until Week 16. Evans did cross 1,000 yards receiving for the fourth straight season but overall he scored 76 fewer total fantasy points (132.1) compared to last season (208.1). Apparently, Evans' mediocre marks of 13.9 and 10.7 points in the final two weeks of the fantasy playoffs were enough for some of his owners to eke out a championship.</p> 4

    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18.5%)

    This one might come as a surprise, because Mike Evans was arguably one of the biggest fantasy busts of the season. He started strong with four touchdowns in his first six games, followed by a seven-game scoreless stretch, basically sinking fantasy lineups on a weekly basis. He didn't eclipse 100 receiving yards in a single game until Week 16. Evans did cross 1,000 yards receiving for the fourth straight season but overall he scored 76 fewer total fantasy points (132.1) compared to last season (208.1). Apparently, Evans' mediocre marks of 13.9 and 10.7 points in the final two weeks of the fantasy playoffs were enough for some of his owners to eke out a championship.

  • <p>At the beginning of the season, Alvin Karama seemed buried on the Saints depth chart behind Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson, so he was either drafted as a late-rounder or added off the waiver wire once the team jettisoned AP in a trade. Things really opened up for the rookie after Peterson's departure. Kamara averaged 14.59 FPPG on the season, sixth among running backs. He scored 11 scrimmage touchdowns dating back to Week 8, and his 81 receptions were the third most by a rookie running back in NFL history. Kamara quickly became an every week RB1 and finished the season as the RB4 in standard scoring. He'll be in the conversation as a first-round back in 2018 redrafts. </p> 3

    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints (17%)

    At the beginning of the season, Alvin Karama seemed buried on the Saints depth chart behind Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson, so he was either drafted as a late-rounder or added off the waiver wire once the team jettisoned AP in a trade. Things really opened up for the rookie after Peterson's departure. Kamara averaged 14.59 FPPG on the season, sixth among running backs. He scored 11 scrimmage touchdowns dating back to Week 8, and his 81 receptions were the third most by a rookie running back in NFL history. Kamara quickly became an every week RB1 and finished the season as the RB4 in standard scoring. He'll be in the conversation as a first-round back in 2018 redrafts.

  • <p>The first tight end off fantasy draft boards on an annual basis managed to remain healthy for most of the season (he missed one game with injury and was suspended for another). Rob Gronkowski finished the year as the highest scoring tight end in fantasy football. He averaged 11.31 FPPG and 77.4 receiving yards per game, both tops at his position. Gronk finished as a top-10 tight end ten times this season. He was a monster down the stretch, too, with two 100-plus yard receiving games and three total touchdowns in Weeks 12 through 16. Gronk has now finished as a top-two fantasy tight end in each of the last five seasons in which he's played nine or more games.</p> 2

    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (16.8%)

    The first tight end off fantasy draft boards on an annual basis managed to remain healthy for most of the season (he missed one game with injury and was suspended for another). Rob Gronkowski finished the year as the highest scoring tight end in fantasy football. He averaged 11.31 FPPG and 77.4 receiving yards per game, both tops at his position. Gronk finished as a top-10 tight end ten times this season. He was a monster down the stretch, too, with two 100-plus yard receiving games and three total touchdowns in Weeks 12 through 16. Gronk has now finished as a top-two fantasy tight end in each of the last five seasons in which he's played nine or more games.

  • <p>Heading into the season, the jury was out on Tyreek Hill as a fantasy asset following his explosive 2016 season. The narrative that he wouldn't have as many big plays, or that he couldn't sustain his efficiency was rampant, and that sank his ADP into the Round 4 range in August redrafts. Hill did have a kind of whack-a-mole type of season riddled with spike weeks and dangerously low floor games. But when the curtain closed on 2017, Hill was a top-five option at receiver in standard scoring and had a strong finish. He averaged 10.95 FPPG, scored five touchdowns of 60-plus yards (so much for that unsustainable efficiency narrative) and totaled over 1,100 yards on the season. </p> 1

    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (16.7%)

    Heading into the season, the jury was out on Tyreek Hill as a fantasy asset following his explosive 2016 season. The narrative that he wouldn't have as many big plays, or that he couldn't sustain his efficiency was rampant, and that sank his ADP into the Round 4 range in August redrafts. Hill did have a kind of whack-a-mole type of season riddled with spike weeks and dangerously low floor games. But when the curtain closed on 2017, Hill was a top-five option at receiver in standard scoring and had a strong finish. He averaged 10.95 FPPG, scored five touchdowns of 60-plus yards (so much for that unsustainable efficiency narrative) and totaled over 1,100 yards on the season.

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