2023 Fantasy Football Undervalued Players

by Ryan Kirksey
2021 NFL Week 9 ThriveFantasy Prop Bets Picks

Heading into the busiest draft weekend of the year, let's look at some 2023 Fantasy Football Undervalued Players.

In the end, all we care about is supply and demand. Fantasy Football demand is determined by a combination of our draft position, who is already on our roster, and who our competitors have rostered. The supply is a finite number of Fantasy points. The more Fantasy points we can generate out of each draft position, the better our teams should perform.

To find players who are undervalued, I have looked at the consensus average draft position (ADP) after pick 90 and selected the players in each position I think can significantly outperform their draft position. These players have the talent and opportunity to be long-term starters on our 2023 Fantasy Football rosters.

2023 Fantasy Football Undervalued Players

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Quarterback

Derek Carr, QB New Orleans Saints

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Derek Carr and Chris Olave coming together is going to be like peanut butter and chocolate. Or maybe like bacon and eggs. It's going to be magical. Chris Olave, who was a rookie last year, had the ninth-highest average depth of target (ADOT) at more than 14 yards. Derek Carr ranked fifth in quarterback air yards and fifth in deep ball attempts last season as he really likes to sling the ball downfield.

Yes, Derek Carr had all-world receiver Davante Adams last season, but the ultra-deep ball is just not his game. Adams ranked 39th in ADOT last season despite seeing 180 targets. With all of New Orleans' weapons, it's unlikely the Olave will see 180 targets in 2023, but the point is Carr now has playmakers at every level of the field. He has (fingers crossed on health) Michael Thomas and Juwan Johnson in the middle of the field, Olave running deep, and Alvin Kamara getting the dump-offs.

New Orleans ranked 21st in pass play percentage last season (54%) with Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston splitting time. Now I expect them to be closer to the 60% Derek Carr and the Raiders produced in 2022.

Running Backs

Khalil Herbert, RB Chicago Bears

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After a disappointing performance in camp so far, there are whispers that D'Onta Foreman may be a surprise cut as the regular season approaches. Why would the Bears do that? Because incumbent Khalil Herbert and rookie Roschon Johnson have been so impressive, it renders Foreman superfluous. Johnson will surely work his way into a significant role as the season rolls along, but Herbert is the man to have right now.

Because it was in a backup role, many forget just how dominant Herbert was with the ball in his hands last year. As far as surface stats, Herbert averaged 5.7 yards per carry and scored five times on just 138 touches. But deeper than that, there is an even better story to tell. He was number nine in yards created per touch, number five in true yards per carry, and number seven in juke rate. He can make guys miss all over the field, which we saw when he completely obliterated the Houston Texans after a David Montgomery injury last year.

The Bears were number two in the league in team run plays per game and number one overall in rushing play percentage in 2023. That means even if Justin Fields piles up over 1,000 rushing yards again, there will still be plenty left over for Herbert in the backfield.

Rachaad White, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

You don't have to look very hard this year to find plenty of people pumping up Rachaad White as an ideal Zero RB or Hero RB candidate for Fantasy rosters.

Count me in as one of the Fantasy managers who see White in an ideal situation combined with vacated opportunities, level of competition, and quarterback tendencies. There has been chatter lately about undrafted rookie Sean Tucker sharing some first-team reps with White this week, but that's typical training camp patterns. You can't have a guy on your roster who has no reps with first-team familiarity.

White is a do-it-all back who averaged more than 90 rushing yards and 40 receiving yards in his final year of college in 2021. He led all rookie running backs with 50 catches in 2022 and now has the weak-armed Baker Mayfield as his quarterback.

Mayfield targeted his running backs at a 20% clip last season, which should give White a huge boost in PPR leagues.

Wide Receivers

Jordan Addison, WR, Minnesota Vikings

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For Jordan Addison, his opportunity to rise to stardom in his rookie season is a simple formula of addition by subtraction. With Adam Thielen and Irv Smith, Jr. gone, there are 144 non-running back vacated targets available for whoever steps up to fill those shoes. Some of the Irv Smith targets will surely go to T.J. Hockenson, who is also a great pick.

But my money is on Jordan Addison separating himself from K.J. Osborn rather quickly and taking a big piece of this Vikings' passing pie.

Last season, the Vikings had the third-highest passing play percentage in the league (64.4%). Their defense was atrocious (and not much better this year), so they were forced to sling it to stay in games that became shootouts. Minnesota was also top-ten in seconds per play, yards per pass attempt, and passing touchdowns per game.

Yes, Justin Jefferson is still going to get his 150+ targets in 2023. However, if Kirk Cousins throws anywhere close to 643 passes again, Addison should clear 100 targets with ease.

We have Jordan Addison ranked as WR37 heading into this season. With a prolific passing attack, it would not surprise me one bit if Addison jumped into the top 30 in his rookie season.

Marvin Mims, WR, Denver Broncos

Rookie Marvin Mims may not be on lists like this for long. After Jerry Jeudy left Thursday's practice with a hamstring injury, Mims may be forced to take his #2 spot on the wide receiver depth chart. Mims, a burning rookie out of the University of Oklahoma, was already a nice sleeper pick in drafts. Now, he could end up being a straight star if he and Russell Wilson can complement each other's strengths.

Mims averaged 19.8 yards per catch in college last season, one of the top 20 numbers in the nation. While Russell Wilson had players like Jeudy and Courtland Sutton at his disposal last year, he did not have the fast deep threat he loves so much. Wilson, despite his flaws, still threw the most deep passes of any quarterback last season (87).

Without Tim Patrick, he lacked the guy who could go get them. Mims should provide him with that weapon this year, especially with increased opportunity. With a 95th percentile speed score at the combine, these two should hook on long passes beginning right out of the gate.

Tight End

Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams

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I have two questions to ask you about tight ends from 2022. The first is, after Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews, which tight end had the most targets in 2022? That's right, it was Tyler Higbee with 108. That's 10 more than the next two tight ends behind him and only five behind Andrews. He was fourth at the position with a 20.9% target share and, more importantly, was seventh with 15 red zone targets.

The second question I have is if you add up the total tight end targets from each team's top two options, who had the largest piece of that pie? In other words, who had the least competition from the tight end directly below them on the depth chart? Once again, the answer is Tyler Higbee. After Higbee, the Los Angeles Rams threw 11 times to Brycen Hopkins. Higbee's 89% share of those tight end targets was higher than George Kittle (88%), Dawson Knox (84%), and Cole Kmet (84%).

Say what you will about the quality of the targets coming from old man Matthew Stafford these days. It's going to be the Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee show once again for Los Angeles. Cam Akers (4.0%) doesn't catch passes and only Hopkins is back again on the Rams tight end depth chart.


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