Identifying underrated players and avoiding overrated players is the new key to Fantasy Football. In competitive leagues, there are just not “sleepers” anymore. It’s all about maximizing the value you get with your draft or waiver capital.
Some of the underrated players I will highlight can be seen as “sleepers” still. There are also some that everyone knows and will be drafted in the first few rounds in every draft. They are still underrated players.
Underrated players are your league winners. These are the guys that outperform their Average Draft Position (ADP) drastically.
These underrated players are being undervalued for many different reasons. Some have an injury history while others failed to live up to the hype last season.
So here is an entire team of under-rated players for the 2020 Fantasy Football season. The data used below is for PPR leagues and the ADP data is per Fantasy Pros as of August 10th.
2020 Fantasy Football Underrated Players
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Dak Prescott, DAL – ADP: 58.3, QB4
Russell Wilson, SEA – ADP: 57.3, QB3
I couldn’t pick just one guy. I’ve been lauding this second tier of quarterbacks all preseason. I do not want to get into the streaming game at quarterback this year.
I have these two guys projected to score just two points per week behind Lamar Jackson. Jackson is going at the top of some second rounds while Prescott and Wilson are available at the end of round five.
I would make the bold statement that one of these two outscores Jackson. Either way, they will be closer to him than he will be to Patrick Mahomes, and you are getting them over three rounds later.
Le’Veon Bell, NYJ – ADP: 36.3, RB18
I have already pushed Bell as being a post-hype sleeper this season. Long story short, Le’Veon Bell is one of the most underrated running backs because of the ample opportunity that he receives. Only Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette matched his carry and catch totals last season.
Bell finished as RB17 last season with terrible quarterback and offensive line play and a team that was generally disinterested in winning. That was the absolute floor for his production. And you can draft him later than that.
His upside makes him a prime target of the underrated players.
Ronald Jones, TB – ADP: 78.3, RB30
I’ve been #TeamRoJo from the start and LeSean McCoy is not changing my mind. Just a few years back, Bruce Arians brought in an aging Chris Johnson when he already had David Johnson. He is just covering his bases, especially in the COVID19 season.
Speaking of COVID, rookie KeShawn Vaughn is on the COVID list already. So you have a rookie running back already completely behind on hands-on time, now might be recovering from a pandemic illness.
I predict Ronald Jones will be a Top 20 running back if he stays healthy.
Julio Jones, ATL – ADP: 14.8, WR5
I know, it’s hard to say the WR5 is one of my under-rated players. However, his overall ADP of the middle of the second round is too low.
I wrote about the ridiculousness of Julio’s recent production in my blind resumes. In Jones’ last six seasons his receiving yardage ranks have been: 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, and 2nd.
I get that he has touchdown issues. But with a late first or early second-round pick, I need someone that is guaranteeing me elite production. Jones does that better than any receiver in NFL history (all-time leader in receiving yards per game, 96.2).
He is my WR2b (to DeAndre Hopkins as WR2a) and I will be taking him at the end of every round one that he is available.
Robert Woods, LAR – ADP: 47.3, WR19
Only five wide receivers have at least 85 catches and 1,100 yards each of the past two seasons: Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, and Robert Woods. Allen is obviously entering an unknown quarterback situation after being with Philip Rivers for every catch of his career. The other three guys are being drafted in the first 15 picks or so. Meanwhile, you can get Woods in round five in some leagues.
From Week 9 on last year (when the Rams started really using 12 personnel), Woods averaged 18.6 PPR Fantasy Points per game and never had less than four catches. His touchdown luck was ridiculously bad. Woods had TWENTY-EIGHT more catches last season than the next highest player with just two touchdowns. If he had scored even five touchdowns last season, he would have been WR7.
Jalen Reagor, PHI – ADP: 132.3, WR 51
There will be a full take on Reagor soon, so stay tuned. For now, just know that he is the WR1 in Philly. Alshon Jeffery will be on the PUP list while DeSean Jackson is on the wrong side of 30 and who knows if he even makes it to the season.
Reagor is in line for over 100 targets and I think he will creep into the WR2 territory.
Hayden Hurst, ATL – ADP: 105.4, TE11
Hurst’s ADP has gone up a few rounds recently as the masses are finally coming around. Hurst enters one of the best few situations for a tight end in the league.
Austin Hooper was the top-scoring tight end before his injury in Week 10 last season. The 17.2 PPR points he scored per game were 1.3 points higher than both George Kittle and Travis Kelce averaged last year.
Even if you think Hooper is just flat out better than Hurst, the opportunity is too great to pass on. Hooper got 97 targets in just twelve and a half games. That’s a 125-target pace. Hurst can fart and fall down to 75 catches and you can get him after people are already reaching on defenses.
A few other under-rated players that at least deserved to be mentioned
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Ben Roethlisberger, PIT – ADP: 128, QB17
Ben threw for more than 5,000 yards the last time he was healthy.
Jared Goff, LAR – ADP 117.3, QB19
He has thrown for more than 4,600 yards in back-to-back seasons and just lost Todd Gurley.
James White, NE – ADP: 105.7, RB37
Tarik Cohen, CHI – ADP: 127.4, RB41
These two pass-catching backs give you a great weekly floor with solid upside still.
Kerryon Johnson, DET – ADP: 89.3, RB35
If De'Andre Swift can’t get up to speed, Kerryon becomes a solid option.
Odell Beckham Jr., CLE – ADP: 32.3, WR12
OBJ has WR1 overall upside and will bounce back from a disappointing 2019.
A.J. Green, CIN – ADP: 68.5, WR28
If he’s healthy, he’s a WR1 that you are getting in round seven.
Deebo Samuel, SF – ADP: 85.6, WR35
I know he’s hurt to start the year, but at this price, you can sit him on the bench until he is ready.
Chris Herndon, NYJ – ADP: 195.3, TE21
For the price of free, you can get the player that might lead the Jets in targets.