2017 Most Accurate Fantasy Football Draft Rankings

Jul 6, 2018

Fantasy football season is about to quickly kick into full gear, and there is no better way to begin than to dive head first into draft prep. When you are ready, we are offering tools, as always, that will help you get that championship in your fantasy leagues. One of our top priorities is to do the brunt of the work for you so that all you have to do is to enjoy the fantasy football season while it’s here. A key tool to help is our annual expert accuracy assessment. With drafts beginning to get underway in just a few weeks, it’s time for us to release the standings on who the most accurate experts are.

Before we jump to the results, here are a couple of quick notes about our annual accuracy study:

  • We analyzed 2017 preseason player rankings from 130 experts and took the results from QB, RB, WR and TE to give the experts an Overall rating.
  • If you remember the PAY %s from a few years back, we have since updated to a new methodology that we feel is more flexible and has increased transparency. You can read more info about the reasons for the change in our FAQ.

Without further ado, below are the experts with the best draft rankings.

Top 10 Draft Experts in 2017

Rank Expert
1. Jake Ciely – RotoExperts
2. Allie Fontana – The Fantasy Fix
3. Jason Moore – The Fantasy Footballers
4. Sean Koerner – The Action Network
5. Robert Waziak – Pyromaniac
6. Pat Fitzmaurice – The Football Girl
7. Jason Longfellow – Razzball
8. Staff Rankings – ScoutFantasy
9. Mike Wright – The Fantasy Footballers
10. Kevin Wheeler – NFL Mock

*View the entire field of 130 experts | Create a 2018 cheat sheet of the top experts

Notes

  • Congratulations to Jake Ciely of RotoExperts for winning our 2017 draft accuracy competition! Jake has consistently finished in the top tier of experts in both our NFL and MLB accuracy competitions. In fact, just last season, he placed 6th out of 145 experts and he has never finished outside of the top quadrant in this competition. In our weekly rankings contest, he has finished top five three times while over in baseball, Jake has two first-place finishes to his name for draft rankings accuracy.
  • Jake was able to accomplish this year’s top spot by placing in the top 25 experts at ranking quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends. He placed number one at assessing running backs, thanks in part to being far ahead of the industry on Alvin Kamara RB55 (+8 vs ECR). Additionally, his insight on Dion Lewis RB56 (+25 vs. ECR), Jerrick McKinnon RB71 (+12 vs ECR), Chris Thompson RB50 (+11 vs ECR) and Jamaal Williams RB36 (+14 vs ECR) all went a long way in helping him rise to the top. Among his many other great takes, Jake’s best may have been his rankings of Derek Carr QB16 (-5 vs ECR) and Marvin Jones WR41 (+10 vs ECR).
  • Joseph Dolan of Fantasy Guru managed to hold to his multi-year lead as the most accurate draft rankings expert. Dolan finished second last season, first the year before and placed in the top 20 yet again in 2017. Joseph remarkably placed in the top 15 at ranking running backs, wide receivers and tight ends last year. Like Jake, even prior to switching methodology, Joseph was a force to be reckoned with, finishing in the top 5 out of over 100 experts. This year, his most impressive rankings were on Alvin Kamara RB39 (+24 vs ECR), T.Y. Hilton WR21 (-9 vs. ECR) and Marquise Goodwin WR62 +24 vs ECR). Well done once again, Joseph!

Surprise Players

As always, there were more plenty of players who produced substantially above what most expected from them last season. The difference between adding one or two of these players to your roster or letting your opponent scoop them up is likely what determined your league’s champion. Below are the experts that had the best read on these players in the preseason (i.e. they had the player ranked higher than anyone else). ECR (Expert Consensus Rank) info is included in the table below to show just how far out on a limb each expert went with their ranking.

Player Pos Top Expert(s) Expert Rank* ECR*
Alex Smith QB Rudy Gamble (Razzball) 13 25
Carson Wentz QB Walter Cherepinsky (Walter Football) 10 20
Jared Goff QB Jamey Eisenberg (CBS Sports)
Matthew Hill (Data Force Fantasy Football)
Emil Kadlec (Football Diehards)
23 33
Todd Gurley RB Walter Cherepinsky (Walter Football) 4 9
Kareem Hunt RB Doug Orth (FFToday) 7 15
Alvin Kamara RB Joseph Dolan (Fantasy Guru)
Smitty (SleeperU)
39 63
Dion Lewis RB Seth Klein (The Fantasy Fix) 41 71
DeAndre Hopkins WR Smitty (SleeperU) 7 13
Tyreek Hill WR Rudy Gamble (Razzball) 3 23
Keenan Allen WR Walter Cherepinsky (Walter Football)
Craig Phillips (FF Prophet)
10 17
Marvin Jones WR Muntradamus (Beast Dome) 31 51
Adam Thielen WR Andy Holloway (The Fantasy Footballers) 29 43
Evan Engram TE Jason Willian (Gridiron Experts) 10 22
Jason Witten TE Dominic Petrillo (Fantasy Hot Read) 8 17

*Ranks & ECR are at the positional level. 

Busts

On the opposite end of the spectrum, here are the players whose performance obliterated a fantasy team’s chance of winning. Listed below are the experts that went against popular opinion with their rankings and wisely encouraged fantasy owners to stay away. Note that some players are not listed if their seasons were completely derailed by unforeseen injury circumstances. Give yourself a pat on the back if you somehow managed to avoid everyone on this list!

Player Pos Top Expert(s) Expert Rank* ECR*
Matt Ryan QB Anthony Amico (RotoViz) 15 5
Marcus Mariota QB Dominic Petrillo (Fantasy Hot Read)
Rudy Gamble (Razzball)
16  7
Derek Carr QB Anthony Amico (RotoViz)
Dominic Petrillo (Fantasy Hot Read)
17  11
Jay Ajayi RB Chris Heil (Fantasy Sports Rants) 16 6
DeMarco Murray RB Rudy Gamble (Razzball) 15 7
Isaiah Crowell RB Smitty (SleeperU) 23 12
Joe Mixon RB Rudy Gamble (Razzball) 32 20
Jordy Nelson WR Smitty (SleeperU)
Muntradamus (Beast Dome)
9 6
Dez Bryant WR Brad Evans (Yahoo! Sports)
Kyle Holden (Dynasty League Football)
17 8
Amari Cooper WR Dominic Petrillo (Fantasy Hot Read) 19 9
Terrelle Pryor WR Matt Schauf (Draft Sharks) 35 15
Martavis Bryant WR Rudy Gamble (Razzball) 32 21
Martellus Bennett TE Anthony Cervino (Gridiron Experts) 18 11
Coby Fleener TE John Halpin (RotoWire) 28 14

*Ranks & ECR are at the positional level

That wraps up our analysis of Draft Accuracy from 2017. Congrats yet again to Jake Ceily of RotoExperts for his continued success in our contest and another first-place finish. To view the entire standings, including breakouts by position and IDP, please check out the accuracy section of our site.

What’s next? See how you rate vs. the top experts in a 5 minute mock draft >>

What's your take? Leave a comment

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1Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
2Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
3Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
4David Johnson (ARI)RB
5Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
6DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
7Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
8Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
9Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)WR
10Kareem Hunt (KC)RB
 View All Rankings 
11Julio Jones (ATL)WR
12Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
13Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
14Michael Thomas (NO)WR
15Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
16Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
17A.J. Green (CIN)WR
18Davante Adams (GB)WR
19Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
20Mike Evans (TB)WR
21Jerick McKinnon (SF)RB
22Jordan Howard (CHI)RB
23Rob Gronkowski (NE)TE
24Doug Baldwin (SEA)WR
25Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
26T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
27Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
28Travis Kelce (KC)TE
29Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
30LeSean McCoy (BUF)RB
1Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
2Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
3Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
4Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
5Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
6Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
7Manny Machado (LAD)3B,SS
8Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
9J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
10Giancarlo Stanton (NYY)LF,RF
 View All Rankings 
11Jose Ramirez (CLE)2B,3B
12Chris Sale (BOS)SP
13Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
14Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
15Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
16Trea Turner (WSH)SS
17Bryce Harper (WSH)CF,RF
18Andrew Benintendi (BOS)LF,CF
19Joey Votto (CIN)1B
20Carlos Correa (HOU)SS
21Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
22Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
23Luis Severino (NYY)SP
24George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
25Kris Bryant (CHC)3B,RF
26Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
27Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
28Christian Yelich (MIL)LF,CF
29Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
30Jose Abreu (CWS)1B,DH
1Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
2Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
3James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
4Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
5Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
6Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
7Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
8Kawhi Leonard (SAS)SG,SF
9LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
10Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
 View All Rankings 
11John Wall (WAS)PG
12DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)PF,C
13Chris Paul (HOU)PG
14Damian Lillard (POR)PG
15Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
16Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
17Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
18Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
19Myles Turner (IND)PF,C
20Paul George (OKC)SG,SF
21Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
22Draymond Green (GSW)SF,PF
23Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)PF,C
24Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
25CJ McCollum (POR)PG,SG
26Mike Conley (MEM)PG
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Klay Thompson (GSW)SG,SF
29Marc Gasol (MEM)C
30Gordon Hayward (BOS)SG,SF