2020 Fantasy Football Overvalued and Undervalued Players: Average Draft Position Deep Dive

by Nick Spencer
Fantasy Football Overvalued and Undervalued Players

Who doesn’t want to have the best possible draft for the 2020 fantasy football season? If you want to avoid overvalued players and pick up some undervalued ones keep the following in mind.

The effect that Average Draft Position (ADP) has cannot be understated. Whether we like it or not when we see a player sitting atop the draft board it becomes difficult to ignore them until they are selected.

In fact, I know some casual players who will not even scroll down past the small selection of players viewable in the draft window. On the flip side, I’ve met very talented fantasy football players who intentionally hide ADP from their screens just so they are not tempted. I believe this to be a mistake.

ADP is the average position that any given fantasy football player is selected. It is supposed to provide a general idea of a player’s value. However, the majority of fantasy players are casual players who play purely for fun. If you don't play just for fun, perhaps you would be interested in making some bets too, you can find some great places to do that at 4njbets.

These casual players contribute massively to the average position players are drafted despite not having much knowledge of why they are picking who they are picking. By understanding this, we can recognize the cumulative errors in the ADP and use them to our advantage to identify undervalued and overvalued players.

2020 Fantasy Football Overvalued and Undervalued Players

Fantasy football players are overvalued and undervalued for any number of reasons. It can be an overreaction to their performance last season, failing to properly account for injury concerns, or even just offseason hype. Using data from fantasy football calculator, I took a look at some players whose ADP doesn’t quite line up with what I believe their actual value is.

Undervalued

Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers - ADP: RB16

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Austin Ekeler was the RB6 in Half PPR last year, and now Melvin Gordon is out of town, so what’s happening here? Why the huge drop? I understand that there are concerns about the offense with Philip Rivers in general, specifically with all of his dump-offs gone. I do think Ekeler’s targets will decrease from the 108 he saw last year (2nd only to McCaffrey).

However, I don’t think his total touches will decrease by as much as this ADP indicates. While the targets will almost certainly decrease, especially if Tyrod is starting, his carries should go way up. During the first four games with Gordon holding out, Ekeler averaged 14 rushing attempts and 6 receptions a game, that’s a huge workload and he could approach similar numbers again this year.

Justin Jackson is still around but he is unproven at this point. The Chargers also drafted RB Joshua Kelley in the 4th round who profiles as a bigger back to complement Ekeler. While he will be a nuisance stealing touches on the goal line, Ekeler is efficient enough to make up the TDs elsewhere considering that he scored only two of his eight receiving touchdowns inside the 10-yard-line, and two of his three rushing touchdowns from inside the 5-yard-line last year. I think he could be a sneaky backend RB1.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals - ADP: RB19

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Finally escaping the Dolphins bleak situation, Drake quickly made his mark in Arizona. After being traded in Week 9, Drake went on an absolute tear to the tune of 18.2 fantasy points per game, making him the RB3 in that time frame.

I know he hasn’t proven that he can carry the load for an entire year yet, but the Cardinals liked him so much they shipped David Johnson off to the Texans and didn’t draft another RB until the 7th round. With little competition in the backfield and a 1-year tag, you can bet that Drake is going to be fed all season long.

He’s got the talent and the opportunity to be an RB1 and you can get him for the price of a back-end RB2.

Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants - ADP: TE17

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Yes, he’s risky, but outside the top-4 TEs who isn’t? He’s missed 14 of the first 48 games of his career with injury concerns but when he’s healthy he is a force to be reckoned with.

Before his injury in Week 9 he was the TE6, in 2018 he was the TE7 on a PPG basis. In his rookie year he was the TE4 on a PPG basis. The Giants didn’t add anyone noteworthy to steal targets away from him. Basically, he’s a talented kid, and you’re injury-prone until you’re not.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns - ADP: WR28

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I had to triple check this ADP because I could not believe my eyes. Was Odell a train wreck last year? Yes, but so was everyone else on the Browns. Freddie Kitchens could not turn this talented group into a competent team - enter Kevin Stefanski.

Stefanski seems to prefer a run-first mentality which is great for Chubb but potentially bad for the volume to the receivers. Considering when he coached Diggs and Thielen they still ended up having good seasons due to higher efficiency, I think Odell could slide into the Diggs role beautifully in a bounce-back year.

Odell also still managed to play a full 16 games despite dealing with a sports hernia all season. Worst case scenario, it’s a repeat train wreck of last year, where Odell finished as the WR26, still two spots ahead of where he is going now. Best case scenario, the combination of a new coach and a healthy body puts the Browns in the playoffs as Odell returns to peak form. There’s not many WRs that give you a shot at a top-3 WR in the 6th round.

Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers- ADP: WR32

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Similar to Odell, Juju deserves a mulligan. Juju’s quarterbacks weren’t just bad last year, they were downright awful. Out of the 37 QBs with enough snaps to qualify, Mason Rudolph and Devlin “Duck” Hodges finished as the 35th and 37th last year according to Pro Football Focus.

In the two games, Big Ben played in last year, Juju had 78 yards and 84 yards. It’s a very small sample size but that would project out to just under 1300 yards.

The Steelers selected WR Chase Claypool in the second-round which some people are interpreting as a bad sign for Juju. It very well might hurt his chances of a contract extension but for this year it allows Juju to move back into the slot role where he can dominate nickel corners again.

The only cause for concern is if Big Ben has lost a step. However, at this price, I’m more than willing to gamble on the talented youngster.

Overvalued

Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins - ADP: RB26

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Guice put up an efficient 5.8 YPC in very limited work (42 carries 245 yards). This was inflated by one big game where he had 129 yards. It was also against the worst per carry defense in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers.

He’s a very talented player, but he’s only played in five games in two years, he’s had a slew of injuries including both knees, and now not only does he have to compete with Adrian Peterson for touches but also Peyton Barber, rookie Antonio Gibson, and possibly Bryce Love as well if he is healthy.

The Redskins offense doesn’t project to be great which limits Guice’s upside even if he can stay healthy this year. There are too many serviceable starters and high upside dart throws at RB going after him that I’d rather have at this point.

Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns - ADP: TE6

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Hooper broke out last year and was the TE1 before suffering a knee injury in Week 10. He leveraged that performance into a deal with Cleveland to become the league’s highest-paid TE.

While his talent shined last year, I have trouble seeing a path where he can see the 8.7 targets per game he was seeing in Atlanta. He will have to compete for touches with Odell, Landry, Chubb, Hunt, Njoku, and rookie TE Harrison Bryant. I just don’t see the volume here to justify his early 6th round ADP. 

Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos - ADP: WR13

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If you want to take your shot on this guy I’m not going to argue with you. He’s talented, he’s produced, and he’s done it with multiple QBs.

That being said, this Broncos offense looks a lot different than last year, they added: Jeudy, Hamler, Melvin Gordon, Okweugbunam, and Noah Fant is entering year two as well. That’s a lot of mouths to feed and I don’t trust Drew Lock to feed them quite yet.

Sutton was the WR17 last year with 124 targets. Even if his efficiency improves in this revamped offense it's not going to make up for the lost volume needed to justify his price.


Check out the rest of our offseason Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

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