Fantasy: Risky picks to gamble on in 2017

Charles LeClaire / USA TODAY Sports

Gambling with your fantasy picks can be stressful, but it can also be exhilarating. If you're willing to take some chances, here are 10 players who could deliver league-winning performances in 2017 - as long as they don't sink your team first.

Related: 8 sleepers to steal in your draft

Average draft position (ADP) data courtesy of FantasyPros and is based on 12-team leagues with standard scoring.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

Was Roethlisberger crying wolf when he spoke of retirement this offseason? Or was he revealing something football fans should have noticed a while ago: he's breaking down. Roethlisberger has played all 16 games just twice in the last eight years and has frequently rushed back from injuries, perhaps without allowing them to fully heal. When healthy, and when his formidable arsenal of receiving weapons are too, Roethlisberger should be one of fantasy's top passers. But can owners really count on him being available when it matters?

Risk Factor: ☢☢☢
ADP: 7th round (QB11)

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Raiders

Lynch returns from retirement to a plum situation behind one of the NFL's best offensive lines in a city he loves and that adores him back. So, why are we so uneasy about drafting him? It could be that Lynch is 31 and it's rare for a player his age to produce RB1 numbers, let alone one coming off a year away from football. There's also the fact that Lynch wasn't particularly effective when we last saw him on the field. "Beast Mode" averaged a paltry 3.8 yards per carry as he battled a sports hernia in 2015. The risk of him taking a few hard hits in Oakland and remembering why he walked away from football in the first place is real.

Risk Factor: ☢☢☢☢
ADP: 2nd round (RB12)

Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers

Hyde remains an intriguing talent, but whispers out of San Francisco suggest new head coach Kyle Shanahan isn't optimistic about how the power running back will fit in his zone scheme. Shanahan reportedly pounded the table for the 49ers to draft Joe Williams, so Hyde's best-case scenario could be a role in a timeshare. Then again, Shanahan inherited Devonta Freeman in Atlanta and turned him into a star, even after hand-picking Tevin Coleman in the draft. Hyde's range of potential outcomes is as wide as any running back in fantasy football. We can't even rule out a trade.

Risk Factor: ☢☢☢☢☢
ADP: 3rd round (RB14)

Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs

Ware looked the part of a lead back early in 2016, before fading badly over the second half of the season. That may have motivated the Chiefs to select Kareem Hunt in the third round of this year's draft. The rookie is reportedly impressing in offseason sessions and could challenge Ware - not just for touches, but for the starting job itself. If he can hold off Hunt, Ware has the ability to be a high-end fantasy RB2, but taking him at his current ADP seems far too dangerous.

Risk Factor: ☢☢☢☢☢
ADP: 3rd round (RB16)

Ty Montgomery, RB, Packers

The Packers gave Montgomery something of a vote of confidence by not signing a free-agent running back and waiting until the fourth round of the draft to add depth at the position, but it cannot be overlooked that they drafted three tailbacks. A converted receiver, Montgomery has just one game on his career resume with more than 11 carries and none with more than 16. He has tremendous upside in what should be one of the NFL's highest-scoring offenses, but his owners won't rest easy until Montgomery proves he can hold up to a feature-back workload.

Risk Factor: ☢☢☢☢
ADP: 5th round (RB21)

Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars

Most fantasy owners will be reluctant to commit to Robinson after he followed up his 1,400-yard, 14-touchdown breakout season in 2015 with just 883 yards and six scores last year. The Jags' No. 1 receiver failed to top 60 yards in 10 of his outings in 2016, relegating him to the bench in many fantasy leagues. The 23-year-old did end the year on a high note with two solid games, something new head coach Doug Marrone attributed to the coaching staff moving him around the formation more. As long as Blake Bortles doesn't sewer the offense by himself, the Jags will be an improved unit and Robinson should get back to dominating downfield.

Risk Factor: ☢☢☢
ADP: 4th round (WR20)

Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers

There's no bigger risk than a player coming off a year-long suspension. Bryant is one mistake away from potentially losing his career, so he'll need to earn back the trust of the coaching staff before he once again settles in as a starter. When he's on the field, Bryant is the second-best receiver on the roster, and the Steelers have missed his game-breaking ability across from Antonio Brown. You won't find many players with Bryant's upside in the middle rounds.

Risk Factor: ☢☢☢☢☢
ADP: 7th round (WR31)

Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins

When healthy, Reed is the only tight end in the NFL who can challenge Rob Gronkowski as the league's best at the position. Unfortunately, he's missed 18 games over his four-year NFL career and his concussion history is extremely worrisome. Jay Gruden has been very clear about what Reed means to the Redskins - stating in March that their offense runs through their star tight end - so fantasy owners should continue to expect him to put up monster numbers when he's active. The only question will be the number of weeks you'll need to find a replacement.

Risk Factor: ☢☢☢☢
ADP: 3rd round (TE2)

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(Photos courtesy: Action Images)

Fantasy: Risky picks to gamble on in 2017
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