As a fantasy football player, it’s important to go back and evaluate results from previous seasons. One of the best questions to ask: who were the league-winning selections from the previous year? Let’s answer that question for the 2017 season.

To evaluate who returned the most value, it’s critical to evaluate players not just based on total fantasy points but in direct comparison with their position. For example, although Ben Roethlisberger outscored Rob Gronkowski, it doesn’t mean that he’s the superior fantasy asset. Generally speaking, quarterbacks are going to outscore tight ends, so we need to evaluate how much more (or less) Big Ben scored compared to the average quarterback.

For how many players to average at each position, I used Fantasy Douche’s baselines for Apex’s scoring. Apex features PPR Scoring and weekly lineups of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex, K, and D. Defense and kickers were not included in this study. Below are the number of players averaged and the average scores for each position.

Baseline 16 43 60 18
Average Season 269.97 187.2 178.33 156.2
Average Per Game 18.32 12.9 12.3 10.42

Even when comparing players with their position, there is still the question of whether to measure them by points per game or for the entire season. The chart below is sorted by Points Above Average Per Game to give us the opportunity to fairly rank players who missed time due to injury. I also included a column for Points Above Average for the season under “PAA S”.

Another big part of figuring out who returned value is average draft position (ADP). The cost of the players is a big part of how much value they can return. Players like Alvin Kamara, who are drafted late and produce as a first-round pick are league winning players. I have included Fantasy Football Calculator’s ADP from the beginning of September on the table below. Players who were undrafted were given an ADP of 175.

1Todd GurleyRB383.325.55196.1012.6519.4
2LeVeon BellRB341.622.77154.409.872.3
3Antonio BrownWR310.322.16131.979.863.7
4DeAndre HopkinsWR309.820.65131.478.3531.7
5Ezekiel ElliottRB203.220.3216.007.426.2
6Alvin KamaraRB314.419.65127.206.75140
7Odell Beckham JrWR7418.50-104.336.206.4
8Rob GronkowskiTE227.416.2471.205.8218.1
9Deshaun WatsonQB168.924.13-101.075.81175
10Kareem HuntRB295.218.45108.005.5518.7
11Travis KelceTE233.515.5777.305.1538.9
12Melvin GordonRB288.118.01100.905.1110.1
13Keenan AllenWR278.217.3999.875.0925.8
14Leonard FournetteRB230.217.7143.004.8127
15Mark IngramRB27817.3890.804.4857.6
16Larry FitzgeraldWR261.416.3483.074.0448.4
17Zach ErtzTE202.414.4646.204.0472.8
18Jarvis LandryWR26016.2581.673.9564
19Michael ThomasWR258.516.1680.173.8613.3
20Tyreek HillWR239.215.9560.873.6545.5
21Davante AdamsWR222.515.8944.173.5944.9
22LeSean McCoyRB263.616.4876.403.587.8
23Dalvin CookRB65.416.35-121.803.4527.5
24Julio JonesWR251.915.7473.573.445.7
25Russell WilsonQB347.921.7477.933.4264.3
26Carson WentzQB281.721.6711.733.35132.3
27Adam ThielenWR239.714.9861.372.6898.6
28Chris ThompsonRB151.415.14-35.802.24175
29A.J. GreenWR226.814.1848.471.8810
30Stefon DiggsWR198.214.1619.871.8654.8
31Marvin JonesWR225.114.0746.771.77106.3
32Golden TateWR224.514.0346.171.7347.8
33Carlos HydeRB233.814.6146.601.7135.2
34Doug BaldwinWR223.313.9644.971.6622.4
35Brandin CooksWR221.213.8342.871.5317.1
36Devonta FreemanRB200.214.3013.001.407
37JuJu Smith-SchusterWR191.713.6913.371.39175
38Christian McCaffreyRB228.614.2941.401.3922.9
39Alex SmithQB295.219.6825.231.36175
40Robert WoodsWR163.313.61-15.031.31175
41Mike EvansWR203.113.5424.771.247.9
42Evan EngramTE173.611.5717.401.15175
43Jack DoyleTE16911.2712.800.85132.6
44Sterling ShepardWR144.513.14-33.830.84152.3
45Duke JohnsonRB216.113.5128.900.6194.2
46Demaryius ThomasWR205.912.8727.570.5734.5
47Delanie WalkerTE174.510.9118.300.4979.9
48Cam NewtonQB299.518.7229.530.4089.9
49Jimmy GrahamTE17110.6914.800.2757.6
50Robby AndersonWR20012.5021.670.20143.4
51Aaron RodgersQB129.618.51-140.370.1923.4
52Tom BradyQB295.918.4925.930.1729.6
53Rex BurkheadRB129.812.98-57.400.08113.4
54Michael CrabtreeWR171.812.27-6.53-0.0343.7
55Alshon JefferyWR195.912.2417.57-0.0639.1
56Devin FunchessWR19512.1916.67-0.11175
57Chris HoganWR109.612.18-68.73-0.1276.5
58Jordan ReedTE60.110.02-96.10-0.4054.1
59Jordan HowardRB199.712.4812.50-0.4216.8
60Cooper KuppWR176.911.79-1.43-0.51121.3
61Kyle RudolphTE158.29.892.00-0.5383.6
62Nelson AgholorWR187.511.729.17-0.58175
63Dion LewisRB19712.319.80-0.59155.9
64Dez BryantWR186.411.658.07-0.6520.5
65Mohamed SanuWR174.311.62-4.03-0.68162.9
66Lamar MillerRB193.512.096.30-0.8135.2
67Ben RoethlisbergerQB260.717.38-9.27-0.94101
68Kirk CousinsQB277.617.357.63-0.9786.3
69Will FullerWR113.211.32-65.13-0.98175
70Amari CooperWR158.411.31-19.93-0.9921.3
71Pierre GarconWR9011.25-88.33-1.0566.4
72Rishard MatthewsWR156.211.16-22.13-1.14116
73Matthew StaffordQB273.617.103.63-1.22116.5
74Jason WittenTE1479.19-9.20-1.23150.5
75Jared GoffQB255.317.02-14.67-1.30175
76Jermaine KearseWR17611.00-2.33-1.30175
77T.Y. HiltonWR175.610.98-2.73-1.3328.8
78Hunter HenryTE126.99.06-29.30-1.36106.1
79Kenny StillsWR174.710.92-3.63-1.38175
80Philip RiversQB270.416.900.43-1.42108.7
81Charles ClayTE116.88.98-39.40-1.44175
82Ty MontgomeryRB91.611.45-95.60-1.4532.6
83DeMarco MurrayRB171.511.43-15.70-1.4715.2
84Cameron BrateTE143.18.94-13.10-1.48175
85Alex CollinsRB17111.40-16.20-1.50175
86Jamison CrowderWR160.310.69-18.03-1.6161.2
87Ted GinnWR159.610.64-18.73-1.66175
88Randall CobbWR159.410.63-18.93-1.6792.2
89Tevin ColemanRB167.711.18-19.50-1.7273.2
90Marqise LeeWR147.910.56-30.43-1.74175
91Marquise GoodwinWR168.610.54-9.73-1.76175
92Jerick McKinnonRB178.111.13-9.10-1.77175
93Ben WatsonTE137.28.58-19.00-1.85175
94Drew BreesQB262.616.41-7.37-1.9141.7
95Marshawn LynchRB164.210.95-23.00-1.9536.4
96C.J. AndersonRB175.110.94-12.10-1.96175
97Dak PrescottQB260.716.29-9.27-2.03112.8
98Frank GoreRB173.610.85-13.60-2.0586.1
99Jared CookTE132.88.30-23.40-2.12175
100Eric EbronTE132.48.28-23.80-2.15124
101Mike WallaceWR151.210.08-27.13-2.22125.9
102DeVante ParkerWR13010.00-48.33-2.3051.9
103Allen HurnsWR99.49.94-78.93-2.36175
104DeSean JacksonWR138.69.90-39.73-2.4090.4
105Case KeenumQB237.915.86-32.07-2.46175
106Javorius AllenRB166.110.38-21.10-2.52175
107Josh McCownQB205.415.80-64.57-2.52175
108Sammy WatkinsWR146.39.75-32.03-2.5570
109Austin Seferian-JenkinsTE101.77.82-54.50-2.60175
110Kelvin BenjaminWR135.29.66-43.13-2.6438.6
111Tyler KroftTE124.47.78-31.80-2.65175
112Blake BortlesQB249.715.61-20.27-2.71175
113Dede WestbrookWR66.99.56-111.43-2.74175
114Emmanuel SandersWR114.59.54-63.83-2.7673.9
115Jameis WinstonQB201.715.52-68.27-2.8082.4
116Joe MixonRB141.310.09-45.90-2.8142.5
117Vernon DavisTE121.87.61-34.40-2.81175
118Matt ForteRB120.410.03-66.80-2.87132.6
119Paul RichardsonWR150.39.39-28.03-2.91175
120Austin HooperTE119.67.48-36.60-2.95146.6
121Danny AmendolaWR138.99.26-39.43-3.04132.2
122Latavius MurrayRB157.59.84-29.70-3.06154.4
123Jordy NelsonWR137.29.15-41.13-3.1511.4
124O.J. HowardTE101.27.23-55.00-3.19152.7
125Bilal PowellRB145.29.68-42.00-3.2248.6
126Jay AjayiRB135.19.65-52.10-3.2513.8
127Theo RiddickRB1549.63-33.20-3.2883
128George KittleTE106.57.10-49.70-3.32175
129James WhiteRB1349.57-53.20-3.33102.7
130Albert WilsonWR1168.92-62.33-3.38175
131Giovani BernardRB151.79.48-35.50-3.42159.6
132Julius ThomasTE97.86.99-58.40-3.43175
133Martavis BryantWR132.58.83-45.83-3.4740.9
134Zach MillerTE55.66.95-100.60-3.47175
135Tyrod TaylorQB222.714.85-47.27-3.47162.4
136Jimmy GaroppoloQB87.914.65-182.07-3.67175
137Tyrell WilliamsWR137.88.61-40.53-3.6995
138Carson PalmerQB102.414.63-167.57-3.69142.3
139Kenny GolladayWR94.68.60-83.73-3.70151.6
140Orleans DarkwaRB137.79.18-49.50-3.72175
141Jeremy MaclinWR1028.50-76.33-3.8083.4
142Tarik CohenRB144.19.01-43.10-3.89175
143Martellus BennettTE58.66.51-97.60-3.9187.6
144Isaiah CrowellRB143.58.97-43.70-3.9329.8
145Jamaal WilliamsRB142.88.93-44.40-3.98114.3
146Keelan ColeWR132.88.30-45.53-4.00175
147Kenyan DrakeRB142.38.89-44.90-4.01175
148Ameer AbdullahRB124.48.89-62.80-4.0153
149Matt RyanQB228.114.26-41.87-4.0656.4
150T.J. YeldonRB87.78.77-99.50-4.13175

It’s clear that Todd Gurley was 2017’s MVP – averaging 12.65 points above average per game, and he didn’t even require a first-round selection. Teammates and first-round picks Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell round out the top three.

DeAndre Hopkins had an incredible bounce-back campaign after a disappointing 2016 season. He was helped by Deshaun Watson who was stunningly providing first-round value per game at quarterback. Watson would have likely been a league winning player had he remained healthy.

Ezekiel Elliott was unsurprisingly extremely productive when active, providing the 5th most value per game. Unfortunately for his owners, his season was limited due to his six-game suspension.

Previously mentioned Kamara was electric as a rookie, finishing as the 4th best running back on a per game basis. He would likely move up in the per game rankings if his average only included games after Adrian Peterson was traded.

Although he only played four games, Odell Beckham Jr. was his normal self when healthy – finishing as the third best wide receiver on a per game basis. He’s safe to draft as a WR1 again in 2018.

Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce both provided enough points above average to finish with first-round grades. Both provide owners with a big weekly positional advantage at the tight end position.

Although his ADP is high on our chart (due to the timing of the September drafts), Kareem Hunt was fantastic as a rookie. Providing many in early drafts with a league winning pick outside of the early rounds.

Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz provided nearly identical per game value, finishing 25th and 26th – the big difference is where they were drafted – 64th and 132nd on average, respectively.

Other great values include Adam Thielen, Chris Thompson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Alex Smith, Robert Woods, and Evan Engram.