Willie Snead Fantasy Football Stock Profile: Free Willie to make a splash in 2017 - Roto Street Journal
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Willie Snead Fantasy Football Stock Profile: Free Willie to make a splash in 2017

Willie Snead

Position: Wide Receiver

Team: New Orleans Saints

Talent: 6.5/10

Last season, Willie Snead showed a handful of times just how talented he truly is. It was tough being stuck behind the elite deep threat that was Brandin Cooks and rookie sensation Michael Thomas. However, Snead made the most of his chances and turned himself into one of the NFL’s better slot receivers. What made him so dangerous, was Snead’s versatility and skill against both zone and man coverage. Snead was tied for fifth in the league versus zone coverage, but stood out even more against man, ranking second overall behind only Antonio Brown. Snead was very successful against man coverage because of his ability to create separation. Due to his extensive route tree (which was expanded upon here), he got separation on 72.8% of his routes. Snead has a chance to really break out in 2017.

Opportunity + Usage: 8/10

The biggest boost Snead got in the offseason was in this category after the departure of Brandin Cooks. Snead slides right back into a starting role for one of the NFL’s best passing attacks. Look at the first two games of last year for Snead: he had 9-172-1 and 5-54-1 as the WR2 alongside Cooks, while rookie Michael Thomas was getting comfortable in the NFL. As Thomas developed, Snead started to shift inside to the slot. Now with Cooks gone, he has the possibility to stay in the slot or shift back outside to lineup wide. Cooks leaves 117 targets and 78 receptions that will be up for grabs in the offense.

Coaching Scheme: 10/10

As evidence from the perfect score, Snead is in an ideal location for receivers. The Saints have been raining aerial goodness for years now, making their receivers rack up fantasy points. Last season Drew Brees averaged 42 pass attempts per game while throwing for 325 yards per game. That’s A LOT of stats to go around in the offense that has less receiver mouths to feed now. It’s safe to call the Saints the best passing attack in the NFL, and playing in the dome only helps their production. Head coach Sean Payton won’t be changing up his offense any time soon as long as Brees is under center, so this team will continue to hum offensively while putting up some big time numbers.

Surrounding Talent: 8/10

The Saints have plenty of talent on offense, but playing second fiddle behind Thomas doesn’t help Snead’s score. Plus, New Orleans added RB Adrian Peterson in the offseason, giving the team another back to feed carries to. It’s grasping at straws essentially, but there are flaws in here to prevent a Saints player from having a perfect score. Snead is skillful enough to get his in the offense especially after improved play in the slot. Having future Hall of Famer Brees under center keeps his score very high and in a very good position for 2017.

Risk: 7/10

There’s some risk here with Snead as he’s still relatively unproven. After hovering around 70 catches a year and 950 yards, you can see the talent and potential are there after only two seasons. What Snead needs to do, is increase his touchdown totals above his current career high of four. Playing as the sure fire WR2  in New Orleans is bound to push him past that number, and there’s a very good chance Snead has a career year here in year 3. The stars are beginning to align for this young stud who is quickly rising up draft boards.

Overall Stock Score: 39.5/50 = 79 C+

Ceiling Projection / Scenario: Snead explodes in New Orleans during his third year in the pros. He basically takes over Cooks’ role in the offense and puts up nearly similar stats. Snead and Brees connect on many deep balls as defenses and safeties key in on Mike Thomas. Despite being the #2 receiver on the team, Snead puts up WR2/borderline WR1 numbers on the year.

90 catches, 1,150 yards, 9 TDs

Floor Projection/Scenario (excluding injury): Snead fails to live up to all the hype currently surrounding him and puts up an average season by his standards. He doesn’t really break out as everyone expects, but he’s a respectable WR3 that you feel comfortable having in your lineups. His floor is going to be relatively high due to the fact that he plays in New Orleans.

70 catches, 900 yards, 5 TDs

Bottom Line: With Snead as the #2 receiver in New Orleans, he’s going to be a high ceiling, high floor player. This is why we here at the Roto Street Journal love him so much, because you know you are going to get a quality receiver here at the absolute minimum. His maximum potential though is extremely high based on his surroundings and scheme. Snead is one of our favorite targets in 2017.

2017 Predicted Stat Line: 85 catches, 1,000 yards, 7 TDs

We used this formula to nail David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliott in 2016. Check back for more Fantasy Stock Profiles throughout the off-season to stay ahead of your fantasy football league.

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