How many times have you come out of your drafting thinking, “ Yes, I nailed this, give me the title now” or on the flip side have you thought “ Oh man, that drafted sucked”? Both reactions are perfectly normal when you draft players based on their average draft position (ADP). Draft them too soon and you could have a draft bust on your hands and getting a player late could mean you land yourself a steal. Here are some players that I believe are being overvalued and undervalued at each position based on their ADP. Notable omissions you’ll realize from this analysis are rookies, as I believe they are all overvalued, particularly because they have no NFL experience.
Over-valued: Jimmy Garoppolo 49ers – ADP 7:09
Currently Jimmy G is the 9th QB off the board, just after Cam Newton and Kirk Cousins but before Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan. Jimmy started 5 games last year and won all of them. However, most defenses he faced had either wrapped up a playoff spot (thus resting starters) or they were near the bottom of the league. That doesn’t make him a top-10 QB and there isn’t enough tape on him to qualify his ADP. Does he have the potential to break into the top ten? Sure, but he will need his wide receivers Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin to step up big time this year. Be wary of taking take him in the 7th round, it may be prudent to draft a second quarterback if you choose to draft him so high due to the risk he is bringing to the table.
Stat projection: 3,100 yards and 19 Passing TDs.
Under-valued: Eli Manning – Giants – ADP 13:05
Eli is pretty much going undrafted unless you play in 2 QB leagues or a super-flex league. It is really hard to understand why Manning isn’t being drafted higher. If you look at who he will be throwing the ball to in 2018, top-5 WR Odell Beckham Jr, top-25 WR Sterling Shepard, top-5 TE Evan Engram, and potential superstar RB Saquon Barkley. All of that’s without considering the Giants significant acquisitions to bolster their offensive line in the off-season.
All of these factors should add up to Manning bettering his ADP and finishing the season as a QB1. Yup, I said it, Eli Manning’s performances will leave him as a QB1 at the end of the season. He averages roughly 3,700 passing yards and 24 passing TD’s a season. If you tend to draft quarterbacks late, Eli would be a great late-round addition to your roster. He has the weapons and the talent to produce week-in week-out. If you miss out on drafting a top-tier QB then I strongly consider taking him.
Stat projection: 4,500 yards and 30 Passing TDs.
Over-valued: Mark Ingram – Saints – ADP 4:09
Serving a four-game suspension and the Saints bye week falling in week 6 means Ingram will have a tough battle producing like he did last year. He accumulated 1,124 rushing yards, had 58 receptions for 416 yards and scored 12 TD’s last year and those numbers will most definitely go down. In week 5, he could sit-out or be limited by a snap count in order to get him back into game mode after the bye-week. The one thing Ingram has going for him is that he’s in a contract year, so he will try and play lights out to earn the big bucks on his next deal. However, he is going to hit the big 3-0 year mark this year, which usually means the start of the career ending. Mark has always been in Head Coach Sean Payton’s doghouse, so the suspension certainly won’t have done him any favors in getting playing time when he comes back. Oh and don’t forget second year star Alvin Kamara will have started to make it his backfield after his four week audition as the starter. I have no problem drafting Mark Ingram, but doing so in the fourth round is too high for me; I would take him as my third running back after the sixth round.
Stat projection: 850 rushing yards, 5 TDs, 35 receptions for 275 yards.
Under-valued: Isaiah Crowell – Jets – ADP 8:03
Crowell is being drafted after a handful of second-string running backs. When I draft, I tend to take starters, as they will get more playing time and thus improve their chances of getting a good quantity of points. I understand he plays for the Jets, but someone has to run the ball. Coming from the Browns where he put up 853 rushing yards, 2 TD’s and 28 receptions for 182 receiving yards last year. In this coming year, it’s likely he will be called on to carry the load. With an average passing game in the green side at MetLife Stadium, the Jets will have to rely on the run game a lot this year. Crowell will serve as a bye-week filler for your team but don’t be surprised if he puts up RB2 numbers. Pay particular attention to his stats as he could creep up into a starting position as the year progresses. His draft position is ideal after the eighth round; any sooner and you may be reaching.
Stat prediction: 950 rushing yards, 5 TDs, 35 receptions for 200 yards.
Over-valued: JuJu Smith-Schuster – Steelers – ADP 4:08
Don’t get me wrong I love JuJu, but his current ADP of a 4th round pick is a little too high. That’s WR1 territory and he is not that this year. He is a strong number two wide receiver for your team but definitely not worth of a WR1 spot. He may well finish the year performing at the level of a top receiver, but to draft him before players such as Allen Robinson, Demaryius Thomas, Larry Fitzgerald and Golden Tate as your main receiver will be a huge mistake. I think his significant presence on social media is creating this high draft position. Last year he accumulated 58 receptions for 917 yards and scored 7 TDs. Will he repeat those numbers? Yes and it’s likely to exceed those stats, but taking him in the fourth round is a little too much for me. If he falls to the sixth round I’ll jump on him as a potential WR2 or even for the flex spot.
Stat prediction: 80 catches, 1,100 receiving yards, 10 TDs.
Under-valued: Robert Woods – Rams – ADP 8:12
Considering that Woods was the number one wide receiver on his team last year, seeing him this low is surprising. The Rams dumped Sammy Watkins to the Chiefs and picked up Brandin Cooks from the Pats, resulting in Woods being the number two receiver again this year. But here is the thing, Cooks is coming into another new offense (his third in as many seasons) meaning Woods has the connection with Jared Goff that Cooks doesn’t. However, Cooper Kupp could start to eat into Woods’ fantasy value. I would draft Woods for either the WR2 position or the flex. So for me that would mean taking him in the sixth round. I am fine with that because he will produce for you. If he falls to the eighth round in your draft that is a huge steal, take him there all day.
Stat prediction: 75 catches, 900 receiving yards, 8 TDs.
Over-valued: Jordan Reed – Redskins – ADP 8:02
If you want to take a risk and draft a player with a very high upside take Reed. In fact take him earlier than the eighth round; you will not be disappointed, because he can produce great fantasy numbers for you.
However, (now that the sarcasm is done), he will not be on the field long enough to do so. Reed is a very injury prone player who has never played a full season. This ADP is solely based on his potential and nothing else. If he stays healthy taking him at his ADP in the eighth round would be considered a steal. However, get ready to draft a backup or stream all season as he’s not going to last hence why I’m not drafting him at all this coming season. Reed’s best year came in 2015, when he put up 87 catches for 952 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns. I don’t see that happening even with new quarterback Alex Smith, who likes throwing to tight ends.
Stat prediction: 45 catches, 500 receiving yards, and 3 TDs (predicted only to play 7 games total)
Under-valued: David Njoku – Browns – ADP 13:09
Njoku is coming into his second season in the NFL, after a decent rookie season in which he accumulated 32 catches, 386 receiving yards, and 4 touchdowns, despite having three different quarterbacks. This year will be different, as new quarterback Tyrod Taylor loves to throw to the tight end. Last year he targeted Charles Clay 74 times in Buffalo. There are many weapons this year in Cleveland but don’t worry about Njoku getting lost in the shuffle. Many people will draft him as a streamer but I am willing to take him as starter every week. If he falls this far down the draft board he’ll end up being a great steal and you will not be disappointed. You could even reach for him, say in the 9th or 10th round if the options are bleak.
Stat prediction: 50 catches, 500 yards, and 7 TDs.
There are many players that are overvalued and undervalued and I’ve just touched the players that jumped off the page to me. Proceed with caution for players that are being hyped by the media because you may get burnt. Fantasy football is one of the hardest things to predict so don’t let anyone fool you; even the best analysts get things wrong. All you can do is do your homework and pick what you think is the best player at that spot. Good luck, hope your overvalued players pan out and your undervalued players end up being steals, allowing you to win your league.
By Tyler Belawske – @TylerBelawske
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