We’ve already gone over how there might be regression from New Orleans Saints #1 Wide Receiver Michael Thomas, but what about projection in the other direction? Rotoworld named Saints WR Willie Snead as a possible breakout candidate for 2017:
In MFL10 best-ball leagues, Snead’s Average Draft Position in the month of May is WR32.
Given a reasonable assumption of health, Snead’s floor should be WR32. And his ceiling is much higher. Let’s lock in Michael Thomas as the Saints’ 2017 target leader. Last year’s second-leading New Orleans receiver (Cooks) finished as the PPR WR7, while Pro Football Focus’ Scott Barrett identified Snead with this year’s third-softest strength-of-schedule expectation among NFL wideouts. Snead’s first-three-years rate stats place him in elite company. Among pass catchers with catch rates above 65% and over 60 receiving yards per game in their first three NFL seasons, Snead is joined by only Rob Gronkowski, Jarvis Landry, Keenan Allen, and Cooks. Set for restricted free agency in 2018, Snead is another player on this list who won’t lack 2017 “motivation” with a forthcoming extension on the line.
Snead has an elite catch rate and is one of Quarterback Drew Brees’s most trusted targets to get critical third downs. If Snead’s production last year had him as one of the Top 35 WRs in fantasy football, it’s safe to assume his production might actually improve in 2017. Snead could see a season-high in targets, and with his aforementioned catch rate, that could lead to career best numbers across the board.
We can only hope a career year in 2017 doesn’t mean Snead prices himself out of New Orleans as a free agent in the 2018 offseason.
The only other NFC South player named in the Rotoworld article was Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston.