Undervalued & Overvalued NFL Players – Week 3 Preseason

Undervalued & Overvalued NFL Players – Week 3 Preseason

What a hiatus! My fantasy focus has been largely on selecting some best ball teams and refining my projections for the upcoming 2018 NFL season since mid-July. I’ve participated in several best ball drafts, season long mock drafts, and yes, even two season long league drafts since I last produced some content for an audience. Time to rectify that!

A major key to  setting yourself up to win your fantasy league in August is knowing where to find value on the draft board when draft day comes.

We’re at the height of draft season – expert rankings and the court of public opinion is running rampant, dictating ADP and thus draft outcomes. I’ve done the work of putting together projections for all 32 teams based on their schedules, and I have some thoughts on which players are being either over-drafted or undervalued this preseason.

Important: I am not saying a player will be bad just because they are being over-drafted (although in some cases they may just be bad and over-drafted, yeeesh!). Over-drafted generally means they aren’t worth the price you have to pay for a similarly tiered player.

All cited ADP’s are for 12 team .5 PPR leagues via Fantasy Football Calculator. On to it!

Quarterbacks

Undervalued: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys – QB5 (ADP: 155.5)

Over 45% of Dak’s targets from 2017 will be going to new options in 2018 thanks to the retirement of Jason Witten and the release of Dez Bryant. Is this scaring owners off Dak far more than it should? I say yes – resoundingly so. Rookie WR Michael Gallup and free agent acquisition Allen Hurns should be quality options for Dak to look for in the passing game right out of the gate this season.

A healthy offensive line and access to Ezekiel Elliott as a threat out of the backfield for a full 16 games should help Dak to a QB1-worthy season this year. I feel very comfortable filling out my roster for 10-11 rounds and selecting him as my starter in fantasy leagues this season.

Over-drafted: Tom Brady, New England Patriots – QB13 (ADP: 56.8)

The reigning NFL MVP is undoubtedly the greatest QB of all time in the mind of this Bostonian, but he’s not the best 2018 fantasy option from a roster construction standpoint. Most leagues reward only 4 points per passing touchdown, while rewarding rushing production and touchdowns more than passing production. Therefore, I’m going to consistently rate mobile quarterbacks with rushing upside over pocket passers for full season projections.

I just do not think Brady’s ADP is justifiable – I have him at roughly 17 fantasy points per game, while the four tier one QBs ahead of him in the same ADP range are all 21+ points per game. I’d rather wait for Marcus Mariota 4-5 rounds later, or Dak Prescott as mentioned above.

Running Backs

Undervalued: Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans – RB11 (ADP: 55)

Lewis joins Tennessee for the 2018 campaign after a monstrous season in New England, where he put up 1,680 all purpose yards and scored 9 total offensive touchdowns.

He’s a much more dynamic offensive weapon than recently retired DeMarco Murray was last season, and should really open up the offense for new play caller Matt LaFleur. LaFleur himself is coming off a successful 2017 campaign coaching Todd Gurley and the Rams offense. Look for him to utilize Lewis in as many ways as he can, which is bad news for…

Over-drafted: Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans – RB41 (ADP: 33.8)

I do not see a role for Derrick Henry as a pass catcher out of the backfield for the Titans this season – they didn’t sign Lewis to a 4 year/$19.8 million deal to not utilize him as the primary passing down back. I might be a little aggressive ranking these two with an even carry share of 40%, but to me, odds are it’s a lot closer to an even split of volume than not. I see Henry as the clear loser of these two if Lewis stays healthy.

Wide Receivers

Undervalued: Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams – WR12 (ADP: 99.9)

The Rams traded a first round draft pick to the Patriots to add Brandin Cooks to their wide receiver room. That transaction has led to Cooks leading the Rams’ WRs in ADP this offseason.

I still think Woods brings a lot to the table for Sean McVay’s team, and as a round 9 pick, there’s tremendous upside for the 26 year old out of USC who had a 22.2% target share per game played last season.

Over-drafted: Chris Hogan, New England Patriots – WR37 (ADP: 46)

Did you know Chris Hogan played lacrosse in college? *eyeroll*

Hogan enters the 2018 season as the lead dog in an extremely thin WR corps in New England thanks to Julian Edelman’s four game suspension. In 9 healthy games last regular season, Hogan rated as a WR1 in 4 of them. He’s got tremendous fantasy appeal for daily fantasy early in the year I think, but is being drafted ahead of many players I’d simply rather have. Is he WR1 on the Patriots depth chart? Yes. But the real #1 option for this offense is Rob Gronkowski. Hogan simply doesn’t feel worth the price of admission at this point.

Tight Ends

Undervalued: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts – TE6 (ADP: 121.3)

The Colts added former Detroit Lion Eric Ebron to their tight end room this season, scaring many fantasy owners away from the Pro Bowl tight end who led the Colts in reception yards, receiving touchdowns (tied), and targets per game in 2017. Not me!

I’ll take Doyle at his round 11 ADP, particularly after a preseason where Andrew Luck has looked afraid to push the ball deep downfield and really test his arm. Doyle should see a healthy amount of volume as the year gets underway next month.

Over-drafted: Evan Engram, New York Giants – TE5 (ADP: 70.7)

Here’s a case of what I think is just a mis-priced asset this season. I’m ranking Engram as a top five tight end; he’s being drafted ahead of both my TE4 in Delanie Walker by a full round and ahead of Doyle by 4-5 rounds. With staunch competition from the likes of Odell Beckham, Saquon Barkley, and Sterling Shepard for touches, I’d prefer to take a player at another position over Engram and wait for the next TE tier (or for Doyle’s ADP range) instead.