Fantasy Football

2018 Fantasy Football Overrated Players


Well, we have to do it. Talking down a player doesn’t feel as good as talking him up. If you prefer the better side of things, check out my piece from last week to see the 2018 Fantasy Football Underrated Players.

The 2018 Fantasy Football Overrated Players here aren’t necessarily poor players. Even good NFL players can fail as fantasy point producers. Overrated and over-ranked are two different things. Not much different, but overrated tends to encompass the player with strong name recognition and past fantasy accolades. The definition extends into hype and other areas.

When I go through the rankings, these guys remain locked in the slow side of the fantasy highway for other players in the passing lane to move ahead. We want upside and when a guy lacks it, we just cannot draft him with confidence.

2018 Fantasy Football Overrated Players

Want to dominate your Fantasy Football Draft? Sign up to use the Fantasy Pros Draft Wizard.

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Embed from Getty Images
One of the popular favorites for the late-round quarterback drafter. Most enthusiasts draft Ryan knowing what’s in the package, but in 2016 they got a big bonus out of him.

Ryan’s overall 2016 fantasy performance increased by an enormous 48.5 % from 2015. Ryan had just three games under 15 fantasy points and eight over 20. All the rest were in between. His MVP season included 38 touchdown passes and 4944 yards. His seven interceptions were far lower than his norms.

The upsurge inflated his ADP in 2017. Granted, few naively expected an encore of 2016 and just a reasonable regression going into the following season. Unfortunately, it was dramatic. A regression of 34% with eight games under 15 fantasy points and not a single game over 20. In fact, last year, Ryan fell lower than his 2015 season with only 20 touchdown passes and 12 picks, while just scraping over 4000 yards.

Well, now here we are in 2018. Somehow, “bounce-back” is the phrase a few in some fantasy circles apply to Ryan. I have to ask, what is he exactly bouncing back to? We know it cannot be the 2016 levels, but let’s stay objective and not put Ryan on a bust watch without some fair assessment.

Let’s consider 2016 the ceiling, 2017 the floor, and take the middle ground. Ryan then should manage somewhere around his 2015 totals of around 4500 yards and 25-30 touchdowns. Ryan’s norm for interceptions is in the mid-teens. Basically, we’re back to the same old Matt Ryan.

For a late round drafter of quarterbacks, it might make sense to go for someone with upside. Ryan has little, if any, left.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders

Embed from Getty Images
I suppose the once-retired Lynch deserves some fair due. Topping 1000 all-purpose yardage with seven touchdowns in 2017, Lynch went on to exceed the expectations of doubters.

We can ride the Lynch RB2 train until he falls off the rails, which is fine, but how soon is it until we see Doug Martin encroach further on the backfield carries?

Doug Martin is one of the most frustrating and meddling running backs in fantasy. He comes into a situation that makes the position of Marshawn Lynch unstable and adds to our speculations of a decline – predicted too soon for 2017.

We should take the hint. Neither is trustworthy in Oakland. We cannot simply draft the aging Lynch (32) and expect the Frank Gore style of late-career production. Martin’s presence puts paid to that idea with a cherry on top. In fact, it is Martin that owns all the upside volume from any time lost by Lynch.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

Embed from Getty Images
Hard to imagine that Sanders at one time held very high regard in fantasy. The bottom fell out in 2017 because of a poor offense with low-level protection for low-level quarterbacks. Sanders also missed some time last season because of persistent ankle problems. Taken together, all this reflects his 47-555-2 statline.

There are positives for Sanders coming into 2018 and some room for optimism. Is there enough?

The Denver offense continues to improve. Case Keenum is at minimum a competitive bridge quarterback and the running game could start opening up things for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

The downside is the injury bug is starting to bite Sanders harder at age 31. Courtland Sutton is now arousing strong fantasy interest stemming from his quick development. So now the target share for Sanders is an open question.

It is true that after last season the only way is up for Sanders, but his ceiling remains low. There is reward, but risk here too and I would prefer putting stock on another receiver in his range.

George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

Embed from Getty Images
Kittle acquired his portion of hype from somewhere. If you asked me which tight end between Kittle and Garrett Celek I’d prefer owning in December 2017 for fantasy (minus Week 17), I’d choose Celek on the stats.

Celek: 8-160-2 on 12 targets in three games.
Kittle: 11-122-1 on 13 targets in four games.

Celek may have slightly won the numbers, but Kittle won the eye test. This is one of those rare instances where I would give the statistics the nod. Not overwhelmingly, because Kittle does have strong TE1 potential. Nevertheless, it is clear that Celek remains in the mix for tight end targets.

Kittle is recovering from a separated shoulder injury, but in fairness, I’ll give that a pass in my assessment of the situation.  The one thing I will say is that Kittle falls into the category of hope. One of the twitter fantasy sages, Eric Moody is often quoted as saying, “hope is not a strategy” in Fantasy Football.

Some Other Overrated Players in Brief…

Embed from Getty Images

Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

The main plus for Collins is that Kenneth Dixon is a minor threat and Javorius Allen is happy to find work where he can get it. This means Collins has upside for volume, but little else. A one-year contract speaks for itself.

Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Not overrated so much as perhaps over-ranked. Fortunately, the ADPs are starting to settle where most might find him acceptable to draft. Thus, he is the one guy that I expect is most capable of proving me wrong. DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin are threats to his target share. O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate just add more to the crowd Evans needs to rise above.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Similar to Mike Evans in early off-season ranking disparity. At least we know better of where Cooks stands in fantasy today. Were he the stuff of high WR1 consideration, the Patriots and Saints would never dare part with him. If he gives you more boom than bust games during the season, just take it.

Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

I’m getting the sense now that Edelman might be on his way out. A four-game PED suspension curtails any grand return to football after his 2017 injury. His sluggish camp could also portend a setback, and all the while Chris Hogan continues building confidence with Brady. For Edelman, his one saving grace is that Eric Decker is having trouble finding the handle.

Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins

The jury still deliberates. I do think however that the reason Cousins wasn’t finding Doctson enough in 2017 is that he still needs to work on separation and getting open. The speed is certainly there, but we really need to see steady consistency and a chemistry with Alex Smith. I’d rather put my later round chips on Paul Richardson for that.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Oakland Raiders

You might think Bryant is a great late round bargain at WR66 with an ADP of 163. He is not. Of all overrated players I mention in this article, Bryant bothers me the most and I suggest avoiding him. He had every chance in the NFL as a big play major receiver, but off-field issues and a declining work ethic give his value a real smackdown.

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football Draft Kit Page for more advice to prepare for the 2018 season.

2018 Fantasy Football Draft Kit Categories
RankingsPosition PreviewsTeam PreviewsSleepersBusts

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. Winner of the 16-Team 2015 FSWA challenge.

Recommended for you

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Monday, August 20, 2018 – Fantasy Football Links |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.