2023 Best Ball Football Overrated Wide Receivers

by Davis Peng
2023 Best Ball Football Overrated Wide Receivers

Welcome to my 2023 Best Ball Football Overrated Wide Receivers article. If you have not joined Underdog yet, what are you waiting for? Join today by using this link, and you'll get your first deposit matched up to $100.

I do these segments annually and cover every Underdog Best Ball Formats position. I aim to help you avoid some players who will not hold up to their current ADP value and provide solutions in their place. This doesn't mean these players won't be "good," but I believe there are better choices from a value standpoint. You can use these for other best ball leagues, such as RTSports, as the rationale is the same, but the ADP data is from UD.

I draft hundreds of teams every season with high advance rates and deep finishes in all the Best Ball tournaments. If you want to follow my journey and how I view Best Ball, you can do so by checking out my profile. There will be past articles from previous seasons that hit the mark, rankings, and a beginner's guide to Best Ball.

Now that has been explained, let's start with what you are here for. I will give you some over-drafted 2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Overrated Wide Receivers.

2023 Best Ball Football Overrated Wide Receivers

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Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

Underdog ADP - 16 (WR11)
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As a Miami Dolphins fan, this pains me to talk negatively about one of our star players. Waddle is a fantastic player and, overall, is a relevant fantasy player. He performed well in 2022, but at this point, his ADP is truly excessive. In Underdog tournaments, he is being drafted in the early second round. Waddle is overpriced for what he will likely return in Best Ball tournaments. Waddle is more for the Weekly Winner tournaments than the standard Best Ball tourneys at the current price.

Targets, Targets, Targets!?

Given the subtitle, this section will cover Jaylen Waddle's targets. Waddle is an anomaly with his targets these past two years. During their rookie season, he was used as a possession receiver, finishing with a 74% catch rate on 141 total targets. He was able to achieve this while missing one game in 2021. Now we fast forward to 2022 with the addition of Tyreek Hill, Waddle's targets on 17 total games dropped to 117. He played more games on the season and found a way to shed 24 targets. To break down further, Waddle had nine games on the season where he had five targets or less. This is while having the abnormal game in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens, where he had 19 targets.

Not to kick a man while he is down, but we need to talk about Waddle's red-zone targets. Waddle finished the season with eight red-zone targets on the season. Half of those targets came from the Raven's Week 2 game. I am not expecting wide receivers to get numerous red-zone targets per game, but Waddle didn't even get a red-zone target from Week 13 onward. Over 16 separate games, Waddle only mustered four end-zone targets. The upside will be hard to predict, and you're banking on home-run plays only.

When you put the information together, you get the WR23 in total targets and the WR62 in red-zone targets. I understand that efficiency is the main selling point for Waddle, but wide receiver YPC/YAC leader is one of the hardest stat-lines to repeat from year to year. To top it off, even if you do repeat the efficiency numbers. Most of the time, it doesn't mean a strong season. Deebo Samuel is a strong example of someone who finished two seasons as a top-two YAC leader but didn't repeat the finish. 2021 he finished as WR2 on the season, but in 2022, he finished as WR38. Waddle is a boom-bust player, which is fine when the price is right, but as a top-16 pick, you're overspending.

Alternatives To Waddle

Waddle is a top 12 pick in his position and top 16 in the draft. The players being taken this high need a high floor along with their upside, and I would much rather take any player around him. Nick Chubb, Saquon Barkley, Davante Adams, and even Amon Ra are people that interest me more due to their consistency while providing upside on the season. I would be willing to scroll down for Devonta Smith and Tee Higgins, who are going a little after Waddle. The main saving grace for Waddle is the Week 17 game of Miami vs Ravens. While the matchup does look good, we can't expect them to repeat what they did in 2022.

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers

Underdog ADP - 51 (WR28)

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This one is going to be a personal sting. One of my biggest pushes last year was Brandon Aiyuk. He was significantly pushed down in 2022 due to his disappointing season while being second fiddle to Deebo Samuel. I drafted him so much that I had over 32% exposure. This season though, I can't get behind his current ADP and, to an extent, his positional ADP.

The Quarterback Matters

This might sound unbelievable to people, but for 2022, I had Trey Lance pegged as the Quarterback I would want at the helm to maximize Brandon Aiyuk. I wrote about it in my article last year against teammate Deebo Samuel. Now, we have Brock Purdy at the helm this year, and he isn't a Quarterback that screams upside. Purdy's numbers from 2022 will be subjective, as he was a rookie thrown into the fire. Therefore I assume that the scheme changes to fit Purdy, and he could be better as a player.

That said, the 2022 numbers for Purdy feel closer to Jimmy Garoppolo than they do to a gunslinger-style quarterback. This means that Purdy will take what is given him more than fitting the ball into tight windows. This type of playstyle is very safe. Plays are scripted to your first read; balls are thrown within the five, and generally low upside fantasy option. Purdy's ADOT was tied for the fourth lowest in the league. Next to Daniel Jones, Matt Ryan, Justin Herbert, and Colt Mccoy. None of which produced upside wide receivers in the 2022 season. The ADOT also doesn’t coincide with the types of routes that Aiyuk runs. Throw in Purdy’s QBR of 40 and below when throwing to the deep right side of the field, it doesn’t add up to a good combo.

Better In Best Ball?

People will point to Aiyuk and say, "he's better in Best ball; he has a high upside." When you pull up the stats, it's untrue. We're talking two games at 20+ points and two others at 15+ points on a 17-game season. Purdy and AIyuk only had five in-season games with each other, although they had three usable games. Two of them were barely ahead of replacement points, and only one game went above 15+ points. This is while Deebo Samuel was side-lined for three of these games. Fellow teammates Christian McCaffery and George Kittle didn't skip a beat and had amazing games weekly. My expectations for Aiyuk are the 3rd/4th on the team if all pass-catching options are available, with likely minimal play designs built around Aiyuk.

Alternatives To Aiyuk

The wide receivers around Aiyuk overall feel better. You have players who are the WR1/2 option, such as DJ Moore, Christian Kirk, Chris Godwin, and Diontae Johnson. You have two elite tight ends, T.J. Hockenson and George Kittle, who will be more invaluable for the regular season advance rate and the play-off advance rate—followed by three elite QB options Joe Burrow, Justin Fields, and Justin Herbert. All of which have the potential to challenge the big four every week. Aiyuk feels out of place in comparison to the players around him and should be approximately around Tyler Lockett/Mike Evans range.

Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars

Underdog ADP - 125 (WR57)

Redemption story Zay Jones continues his 2021 bounce-back season with a solid follow-up. One of the significant sleeper picks in 2022 that paid off, the fantasy community has now escalated his ADP into an expensive price range. I will admit that ADP 125 isn't the most expensive price tag, but he's going too close to many weekly usable players at three different positions. When I look at Zay, I find myself pivoting to the QB, RB, and TE almost every time.

Chasing The High

Jones overall had an excellent Best Ball finish, but at the same time, it was good for his 17th/18th round price. He had three spike weeks, with two coming at the season's end. This high-note finish left a good taste in people's mouth, and now they are chasing this upside as if it's repeatable. I believe Jones has fantasy relevancy, but if you compare it to other late-round flyers of 2021, such as Devin Duvernay, Donovan People Jones, Corey Davis, Mecole Hardman, and KJ Osborn. They all have Jones's same range of outcomes but are being drafted numerous rounds later. This isn't even addressing the elephant in the room, Calvin Ridley's addition to the team. Jones is priced too much for his end-of-season finish rather than his actual body of work.

Alternatives To Jones

Like Aiyuk, I would much rather have any other positions here over Jones. You have prospective top 12 QBs Kirk Cousin and Daniel Jones. You got RB3+ players such as Brian Robinson, Damien Harris, and Khalil Herbert. A plethora of tight-ends, such as Greg Dulcich, Dalton Kincaid, or Dalton Schultz. Jones is that "better in Best Ball" type of player, but at this going rate, it's excessive.

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