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2017 Fantasy Football Draft Kit

48 Contract Year Players Worth Exploring For The 2017 Fantasy Football Season

kirk cousins
Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Superstition runs rampant in Fantasy sports, and literally any potential edge that can be found will be devoured. Sometimes there’s some credence to these claims, but one of my favorite myths is contract year players.

For some strange reason, there’s this thought that professional athletes at the highest level will play at a higher level when there is a future contract on the line.

However, a couple of years ago, this theory was largely debunked for the general player population. At best, contract-year players will produce slightly better than usual. If you are looking for a list of NFL players in their contract years, this is still your place.

However, what is interesting is the psyche of some players, and there are some that are certain players where the money does influence their performance. Some things like age and holdout status will absolutely hold bearing on your Fantasy teams, as opposed to performing better to earn a bigger contract. In this writer’s opinion, these are the kinds of players to look for when looking at contract situations.

This isn’t to say that these players are greedy or undeserving of a payday. They have potential loss of points through holdouts, or face a significant pay decrease if they are no longer effective.

Contract Year Players

Money Grabbers

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Le'Veon BellPittsburgh Steelers


LeVeon Bell holds the only real risk of holdout among contract year players, as he awaits a large payday. He likely will not be participating in any meaningful way for any of the Steelers’ preseason anyway. I wouldn’t worry about his ability to come in and contribute once the contract situation is cleared up. That being said, he runs the risk of not playing early in the season if he decides to extend his holdout. Bell is an elite running back and should be seriously considered in all formats.


Something to Lose

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Jimmy GrahamSeattle Seahawks
Delanie WalkerTennessee Titans
Martavis BryantPittsburgh Steelers
Alshon JefferyPhiladelphia Eagles
DeSean JacksonTampa Bay Buccaneers
Danny WoodheadBaltimore Ravens
Frank GoreIndianapolis Colts
Kirk CousinsWashington Redskins


Here’s where the list gets interesting. Danny Woodhead and Frank Gore are older running backs and the NFL is a young man’s game. These two need to showcase their talents if they want to be employed at this point next year. Woodhead has an exceptionally interesting situation with Kenneth Dixon having some complications. Consider Delanie Walker in the same boat, being a 34-year-old tight end is certainly no small feat.

Meanwhile, Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are very talented receivers with a lot to offer, but only signed one year “prove it” deals to make themselves more valuable on the market next year. Martavis Bryant is in a similar situation, as he needs to show that he can remain on the field and be a force again. Especially after some serious off-field troubles.

Injuries have plagued Jimmy Graham and Keenan Allen over the last few years. These elite talents need to show they can stay healthy long enough for a team to be interested in giving them a contract. Both Graham and Allen are fierce competitors, but they need to prove their worth once more.

Finally, the unique case of Kirk Cousins. He is clearly still upset with how the Redskins have handled everything thus far and relations don’t seem like they will thaw anytime soon. He’s stated that he will play, but how happy he is doing so might be a different story. This will be the story that follows the Redskins all season long, and they are hoping to keep Cousins around for the long term.


True Competitors

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Jordan ReedWashington Redskins
Travis KelceKansas City Chiefs
DeAndre HopkinsHouston Texans
Doug BaldwinSeattle Seahawks
Davante AdamsGreen Bay Packers
Julian EdelmanNew England Patriots
Larry FitzgeraldArizona Cardinals
Pierre GarconSan Francisco 49ers
Jarvis LandryMiami Dolphins
Terrelle PryorWashington Redskins
Allen RobinsonJacksonville Jaguars
Emmanuel SandersDenver Broncos
Willie SneadNew Orleans Saints
Mike WallaceBaltimore Ravens
Tyrell WilliamsLos Angeles Chargers
Robert WoodsBuffalo Bills
Donte MoncriefIndianapolis Colts
Cameron MeredithChicago Bears
Jordan MatthewsPhiladelphia Eagles
Quincy EnunwaNew York Jets
John BrownArizona Cardinals
Kenny BrittCleveland Browns
Devonta FreemanAtlanta Falcons
Isaiah CrowellCleveland Browns
Latavius MurrayMinnesota Vikings
Theo RiddickDetroit Lions
Eddie LacySeattle Seahawks
Terrance WestBaltimore Ravens
Darren SprolesPhiladelphia Eagles
Thomas RawlsSeattle Seahawks
Dion LewisNew England Patriots
Jerrick McKinnonMinnesota Vikings
Carlos HydeSan Francisco 49ers
Giovanni BernardCincinnati Bengals
Drew BreesNew Orleans Saints
Andrew LuckIndianapolis Colts
Sam BradfordMinnesota Vikings
Matthew StaffordDetroit Lions
Tyrod TaylorBuffalo Bills


These are all guys I would not be remotely concerned about. They are all at the prime age, extremely talented, or are obviously loyal to the organization that they play for. I don’t think Drew Brees is worried about who he is playing for next year. He knows that if he wants to play, someone will pay him enough to do so. 

Notice that this list has two of the Top 5 tight ends. Travis Kelce and Jordan Reed are elite; a new contract isn’t going to change their value. Both should be treated no differently being in the last year of their contracts.

Guys like John Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Doug Baldwin, and Darren Sproles are here to win. They know their value, but won’t let their teams suffer because they believe to be worthy of a raise.


2017 Fantasy Football Draft Kit
Positional Rankings | Sleepers | Busts | Player Analysis | Strategy | Preseason Analysis | Mock Drafts | Tools


If you are looking for a place to conduct a mock draft or need assistance with drafting in general, check out the Fantasy Pros Draft Wizard. This is a terrific tool that will help you dominate your league, along with So-Called Fantasy Experts, of course.


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