2017 Fantasy Football: Risers and Fallers for Every NFL Team this Off-season (NFC)

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Geoff Lambert

Founder at GoingFor2
I started this site in January of 2015 and never thought it would grow as it has. I'm an avid sports and fantasy sports fan from the Greater Washington D.C. area, but my teams are the S.F. 49ers and the N.O. Pelicans. I hope you enjoy the site and continue to visit us for all your fantasy sports needs.
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There were a lot of changes this offseason for every NFL team, and those changes affected a lot of players’ fantasy football prospects. Whether you are a dynasty team owner or a redraft owner, knowing who was affected the most could make or break your season. Here are my 2017 Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers for the NFC…

NFC East

Washington Redskins

Rise | WR Josh Doctson

With Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson gone, the door is open for second year WR Doctson to carve out a role in this offense. He will have to battle for targets with some pretty good pass catchers in Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder and newly acquired Terrelle Pryor, but the Redskins used a first round pick on this kid and won’t give up on him that easy. 

Fall | RB Robert Kelley

There is already talk in Redskins nation that rookie RB Samaje Perine will eventually replace Kelley as the starter this season. Kelley had a very good season last year after Matt Jones proved ineffective, but if he struggles early, Perin could slowly eat away at his touches. 

Dallas Cowboys

Rise |RB  Ezekiel Elliot

I’m not sure there is much room for Elliot to rise as he will likely go in the top 5 of all fantasy drafts, but there was a worry that pass-happy head coach Jason Garret would attempt to lighten Elliot’s load this season. Having not drafted a wide receiver in the draft, it looks like the Cowboys are content with riding Elliot again this year. 

Fall | QB Dak Prescott

For all the reasons that caused Elliot to rise are the same reasons that Prescott has fallen. The Cowboys did very little to improve Prescott’s pass catchers and are content with an oft-injured Dez Bryant, a smallish unspectacular possession receiver in Cole Beasley, aging TE Jason Witten, and a career underperforming Terrance Williams

New York Giants

Rise | RB Paul Perkins

A lot of draft experts had the Giants taking a running back early in the draft, and yes, they did draft a running back, but not until the fourth round. Perkins will get the first crack at the starting position and if his biggest competition is a fourth round rookie, then I like his chances.

Fall | WR Sterling Shepard 

With the addition of Brandon Marshall in free agency and first round selection TE/WR  Evan Ingram, Shepard stands to lose the most in the passing game. The Giants love to pass te ball so he will still have value, especially in PPR formats, but he takes a hit nonetheless.

Philadelphia Eagles

Rise | None

Fall | RB Wendall Smallwood 

Fourth-round draft choice Donnel Pumphrey may not threaten Smallwood for the starting position right away, but he could cut into his workload somewhat, especially on passing downs.

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers

Rise | 49ers Defense

The 49ers, as expected, went defense heavy in the 2017 draft. When you combined them with some of the young talents they’ve accumulated over the last few years, they could eventually become a decent defense. I don’t know if that will happen in 2017, but if you have room to stash them in a dynasty league it could pay off in 2018.

Fall | RB Carlos Hyde

Outside of the addition of WR Pierre Garcon, the 49ers didn’t upgrade much on offense, meaning Hyde will likely see a lot of eight-man fronts again. There are some things that head coach Kyle Shanahan does on offense that could help Hyde, but if there is no threat in the passing game, Hyde will have a tough time finding space.

Arizona Cardinals

Rise | QB Carson Palmer

Many experts expected the Cardinals to take a QB in this draft that would eventually replace Palmer as the starter. They did not. The fact that Palmer’s backup is Drew Stanton means the Palmer will have zero chance to lose the starting job, barring injury. Depending on how deep your league is, Palmer could be a decent bye-week fill-in.

Fall | None

Seahawks Seahawks

Rise | Seahawks Defense

The Seahawks went defense with four of their first five picks in this draft, and while none of them are game-changers on paper, the Seahawks have a history of drafting guys that no one considered drafting and turning them into stars. see also Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson

Fall | QB Russell Wilson

The Seahawks needed to upgrade the offensive line, and while they did draft a lineman, it wasn’t until the second round — and they only drafted one. Wilson was running for his life for much of 2016 and there is no reason to think that won’t be the case again this year.

L.A. Rams

Rise | RB Todd Gurley

Gurley suffered a sophomore slump in 2016 due in large part to the Rams anemic passing game. They drafted a TE and a WR with their first two picks, and if Jared Goff can make a sizable jump in his second year, maybe Gurley can recapture his rookie season magic.

Fall | WR Robert Woods

Woods could still become a big part of the Rams passing game, but his value took a hit when the Rams drafted WR Cooper Kupp in the third round.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

Rise | None

Fall | RB Ty Montgomery 

Fourth round selection RB Jamaal Williams could eventually replace the converted WR  in the backfield permanently, but in the short-term I’d expect him to take away the goal-line touches.

Chicago Bears

Rise | WR Kevin White

White gets a bump by default. The Bears did not take a single WR in this year’s draft and they lost Alshon Jeffery in free agency to the Eagles. White likely becomes the team’s No. 1 WR. The only question remaining is, can he stay healthy?

Fall | RB Jordan Howard

The Bears did nothing to upgrade their pass catchers and will be likely starting a career backup or a rookie QB, meaning Howard will see a lot of eight-man fronts. It will be tough for Howard to repeat his rookie season.

Minnesota Vikings

Rise | QB Sam Bradford

The upgrades at the running back position should take the pressure off Bradford in the passing game. With the threat of the run, Bradford’s play-action will be more effective and should improve his production.

Fall | RB Jerrick McKinnon

The biggest need for the Vikings going into the offseason was their running backs. Adrian Peterson was never expected to re-sign and Jerrick McKinnon didn’t show the Vikings staff that he was ready to be the team’s No.1 back. The Vikings not only signed free agent Latavius Murray, they also drafted RB Dalvin Cook in the second round, burying McKinnon on the depth chart.

Detriot Lions

Rise | TE Eric Ebron

Ebron has shown flashes of what the Lions hoped he could be when they drafted him, but a lack of consistency and the inability to stay healthy led a lot of experts to believe the Lions would draft a tight end in the 2017 draft. Well, they did, in the fourth round they picked up Michael Roberts out of Toledo, but he isn’t the athlete that Ebron or a field stretching receiving-type tight end. Roberts projects more of an inline blocker than the playmaker that many believe Ebron is capable of.

Fall | WR Marvin Jones

The Lions drafted WR Kenny Golladay in the fourth round of the draft, and while he may not threaten Jones for the starting spot opposite Golden Tate early on, it’s possible that he could late in the season especially if  Jones has a second half like he did last year where he pretty much fell off the map.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Rise | TE Austin Hooper

The Falcons did not draft a tight end, so Hooper rises by default, but he is probably nothing more than a late-round flyer — at best.

Fall | None

New Orleans Saints

Rise | WR Michael Thomas

This is an obvious one. Last year’s No. 1 wide receiver, Brandin Cooks, now dons a Patriot uniform leaving Michael Thomas as the defacto No. 1 WR in a high-powered, Drew Brees-led Saints team.

Fall | RB Mark Ingram

The Saints made a splashy move in free agency when they signed Adrian Peterson to a contract which hurt Ingram’s stock some. And even if you are like me and think Peterson is done being a serviceable running back in this league, they Saints also went out and drafted RB  Alvin Kamara out of Tennesee making this a backfield situation to avoid.

Carolina Panthers

Rise | WR Kelvin Benjamin 

Benjamin had a decent return in 2016 after missing all of 2015 with an injury, but anyone who drafted him last year probably expected a little more from him. Now a full two years removed from the injury, coupled with the fact that the Panthers did not take a wide receiver in this years draft, Benjamin could be in for a good season.

Fall | RB Jonathan Stewart 

Anytime you are the incumbent starting running back, and the team you play for drafts two running backs in the first two rounds, you have to be wondering if your job is safe. Neither running back drafted is likely to replace Stewart completely, as neither are the downhill runners that Stewart is, but they will, however, get plenty of snaps out of the backfield and cut into Stewart’s workload. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rise | QB Jameis Winston

As risers go, Winston may have risen the most on my fantasy draft board. He was already a borderline Top 10 fantasy QB, but the Bucs go out and sign deep threat speedster DeSean Jackson in free agency and they drafted what many call, “the best tight end in this year’s draft.” Winston could be this year’s breakout QB. 

Fall | TE Cameron Brate

Brate was a surprise fantasy relevant tight end last season, but the moment the Bucs drafted  TE O.J. Howard in the first round of this year’s draft his stock plummeted. Rarely are there two fantasy relevant tight ends on one team, so Brate may have gone from top 10-12 tight end to undraftabe. 

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I started this site in January of 2015 and never thought it would grow as it has. I'm an avid sports and fantasy sports fan from the Greater Washington D.C. area, but my teams are the S.F. 49ers and the N.O. Pelicans. I hope you enjoy the site and continue to visit us for all your fantasy sports needs.

Geoff Lambert

I started this site in January of 2015 and never thought it would grow as it has. I'm an avid sports and fantasy sports fan from the Greater Washington D.C. area, but my teams are the S.F. 49ers and the N.O. Pelicans. I hope you enjoy the site and continue to visit us for all your fantasy sports needs.

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