The flip side of succeeding with value players is failing with overvalued players. These are players that will not put up stats commensurate to their draft spot, and avoiding them is another of the important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt to point out these players, we asked our staff to look through the Top 150 and identify players that should underperform their draft position.
They gave us 12 names. That's a lot at quarterback.
If you want all of the players, keep on reading. If you just want the top guys, here are some of the players who received the most votes:
NOTE: We know all these different opinions can be a lot. And certainly, not everyone agrees on everything.
If you want to cut straight to the chase and get our "Bottom Line" for where we project every player right down to the last yard, you can see that here. That's our Bottom Line and where we plant the Footballguys Flag for all these players.
If you'd like to see more detail about how the staff sees different players, here is every wide receiver who was mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 6 Votes
Josh Allen, Buffalo
Phil Alexander: Allen is thought of as a set-it-and-forget-it starter in redraft leagues, but you can do better. With running quarterbacks, rushing stats should be the gravy, not the main course. Eventually, Allen will fail to score eight or nine touchdowns on the ground in a season (the addition of bruising running back Zack Moss in the draft doesn't help), and his mediocre passing stats won't be enough to make up the difference.
Andy Hicks: I see where Josh Allen is being drafted and I get nervous. If we look at his rushing stats its easy not to get giddy, but then if we focus on his efforts as a passer and we should get very concerned. Eight or nine rushing touchdowns consistently is a tough ask. The addition of the consistent Stefon Diggs should help, but we have already seen Diggs frustrated with the way the Vikings were winning, playing a consistent 4000 passing yards a season guy. Dropping to 3000 on an even heavier running team and I am worried. Allen could easily show improvement as a passer. He was raw coming into the league and showed improvement from season one to season two. The bar gets higher though and until we see Allen not relying on his rushing stats, he should be treated with caution.
Devin Knotts: If you are taking Josh Allen at his current ADP you're going to be relying on him to likely be a starter for most weeks on your team. While the overall output last season was fine as he finished 10th overall, the week-to-week consistency is the problem for Allen. Propped up by nine rushing touchdowns last year, Allen finished as a top-12 quarterback just 6 times in 2019. While Stefon Diggs should help, Allen's problems are accuracy as he has a career 56.3% completion percentage and with Devin Singletary expected to play a more active role in this offense, it could hurt Allen's upside in 2020.
Jeff Pasquino: Big things are expected from Josh Allen in his third year in Buffalo. The Bills' QB now has a top-notch target in Stefon Diggs to be his WR1, moving John Brown and Cole Beasley down to reasonable second and third options at receiver. Solid running back and tight end options round out the offense for Allen, whose big arm should be able to hit either Diggs or Brown deep. Allen adds extra value (and fantasy floor) with his rushing ability, eclipsing 500 yards and eight touchdowns in both of his first two seasons. All that said, weather can always impact a game in Buffalo and his fantasy playoff schedule screams it (vs. SF, at Denver, at New England). Drafting Allen as a Top 10 quarterback leaves no room for upside, so be cautious here.
Matt Waldman: Allen gets another strong weapon in Stefon Diggs, who should overtake John Brown as the leading Bills receiver in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Also, expect Allen to increase his completion percentage, but the improvement won't be a huge jump forward. If you removed Allen's rushing production from his 2019 output, his fantasy value falls from 10th to 20th. With the addition of Zack Moss in the red zone, the idea of Allen sustaining an output of even half of his 8-9 rushing touchdowns per season is optimistic. Without that, you have a big-armed passer who isn't completing even 60 percent of his passes and makes too many dumb decisions that another good receiver won't do enough to cure.
Jason Wood: Josh Allen improved in every facet last year, proving he has a long-term future in the league after being an athletic runner and erratic passer as a rookie. He finished as the No. 10 quarterback, throwing for 3,089 yards and 20 touchdowns while running for 510 yards and 9 touchdowns. With the offseason acquisition of Stefon Diggs, the enthusiasm is palpable. But drafting Allen at his current price assumes too much optimism. He still completed just 58.8% of his passes last year, which in today's NFL makes him one of the least accurate throwers. And his 17 rushing touchdowns in two seasons is an impossible rate to maintain. Allen is a better fantasy quarterback than a real-life contributor, but he's ideally slotted as a high-end No. 2 than your every week starter.
Players Receiving 4 Votes
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay
James Brimacombe: There is excitement in Tampa Bay with the Brady signing and rightfully so. The Buccaneers have all the weapons on offense as the team has put things in place for Brady to succeed. Entering his 21st season in the league, Brady continues to amaze with his skills and abilities to lead an offense. Over the last two seasons, he has finished as the QB12 and QB13 and has only cracked the top 10 twice in the past seven years. With Godwin and Evans at wide receiver, it is easy to predict Brady to be a top 10 quarterback this year but the asking price is just too high to take that chance.
Drew Davenport: Bruce Arians hooked up with another veteran quarterback named Carson Palmer back in 2015 and their magical season produced 35 touchdowns for Palmer. That is certainly possible for Brady playing for a Tampa Bay team loaded with weapons and a middling running game. But the hurdles for Brady to do so are fairly significant. Brady has commented recently that learning a completely new offense with new verbiage has been a challenge he hasn't had to experience before. And before dismissing his age, it is important to remember that no matter how well he takes care of himself he is entering uncharted territory where not many quarterbacks have been relevant. The number of passing attempts in Tampa Bay should shrink a bit as well, assuming Brady is less turnover-prone than Jameis Winston last year. Can Brady be a top-eight option? Yes. But it is more likely one of the hurdles trips him up and he's a lower-end QB1 or top-end QB2. His draft price is too high for the uncertainty of the situation.
Jeff Haseley: Let me be clear, I have a glass-half-full approach to Tom Brady in that I believe he can still play at a high level until he proves otherwise. What if otherwise comes this season? Expectations are very high for the 43-year-old quarterback this season because the Buccaneers have built such a potent offense with the belief that Brady will come through. What if he doesn't? What if part of the magic formula for Brady's success is based on Bill Belichick's offensive structure? In his last two seasons, he finished outside of the top 10. What if Brady's arm isn't the same as it was in the past and it becomes more difficult for him to make the same routine throws that he made earlier in his career? There's just more "what ifs" surrounding Brady. The Bucs are all-in on this season. The Super Bowl is in Tampa, this is Brady's swan song for his career, he brought Gronkowski out of retirement for this. What if it goes south?
Ryan Hester: There's no need to draft a mid-tier pass-only quarterback in fantasy football. Want a better shot at top-three production? Draft a quarterback earlier. Better yet, draft a couple of quarterbacks later that have a combination of decent weapons and rushing ability. Players like Patrick Mahomes II (two seasons ago), Lamar Jackson (last year), Russell Wilson and Cam Newton early in their careers, and even Robert Griffin III III as a rookie are examples of later-round quarterbacks with passing limitations that ended up winning people their fantasy leagues. Brady isn't getting his fantasy GMs elite quarterback production. Don't play it safe. Aim higher.
Daniel Jones, NY Giants
Sigmund Bloom: Jones could be more consistent this year and already demonstrated a high weekly ceiling in his rookie year. If his targets stay healthy and he takes to the Jason Garrett offense, he might level off as a high ceiling QB1 this year. The question is whether you are willing to hold him through a first three weeks stretch of Pittsburgh, Chicago, and San Francisco on the bench. If you do go this route, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tyrod Taylor, and Ben Roethlisberger could get off to a hot start at a reasonable price.
Drew Davenport: Jones certainly throws up some monster fantasy performances from time to time. But in between those big games, he is a lineup killer. In 6 of his 12 games, he equaled or exceeded his touchdown total with turnovers while also failing to top 240 yards passing. His points per game weren't very enticing as a result, falling into the middle QB2 range despite the big game outbursts. With a full complement of pass-catchers, Jones could be an exciting prospect, but there is a reason his top guys weren't on the field together last year - several of them are injury-prone. The last problem with Jones is his first month of the season. Should an owner select Jones they'll have to deal with an opening slate of: Pittsburgh, Chicago, San Francisco, and the Los Angeles Rams. He is virtually unstartable until October. That means his ADP is currently too high.
Chad Parsons: Jones is a tough player to target amidst a highly competitive mid-position zone for quarterbacks. The wide receivers for the Giants lack a true alpha and Evan Engram could very well be the de facto WR1 if he is healthy. Jones finished as a low-QB2 for fantasy last season. Similar Year 1 results from a non-1.01 first-round quarterback have finished in the top-10 the following season just 15% of the time historically. Also, Jones was below the NFL average across the board for adjusted passing statistics outside of touchdown rate last season. Almost all of the veterans beyond Jones in quarterback ADP I prefer over Jones.
Matt Waldman: Jones had a good fantasy year for a rookie, and he should increase his yardage and touchdown outputs this year based on his volume of snaps. The addition of rookie offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, an excellent technician, and elite athlete, should pay dividends for the offense. However, there's only so much that Thomas and the Giants offensive line can do to help a quarterback with a faulty pocket clock for gauging pressure, area-code accuracy in the vertical game, and one-read-and-throw decisions. None of these flaws are easy to correct but easy for the opposition to exploit. Jones will have big weeks and serve as a viable second-string fantasy passer but he's closer to Josh Allen in flaws than Lamar Jackson and won't be flirting with a QB1 fantasy year in 2020.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland
Chris Allen: Baker's draft cost doesn't pose any risk, but the upside relative to his peers isn't there. While we don't know how Kevin Stefanski will change the Browns' offense, there's nothing to suggest it'll stay the same or increase from a passing perspective. Cleveland ended 2019 with a 61.8% neutral passing rate (above league average) while Minnesota's was sixth-lowest at 55.7%. Minnesota also passed at just 39.4% in the red zone last season. Again, it's not a foregone conclusion that the 2020 Browns will be the 2019 Vikings, but their coaching staff, free agent, and draft acquisitions align with Stefanski's tendencies in Minnesota. With a scheme most likely to lean on the rush, there are better options with clearer paths to weekly upside at Mayfield's ADP.
Sigmund Bloom: It feels like Mayfield is a potential value at a deep discount from last year's highly inflated by unreasonable expectations ADP. There's a new regime, his receivers should be healthier, and the team made substantial upgrades at both tackle positions. The problem with that thinking is that the new head coach Kevin Stefanski is likely to institute a color inside of the lines offense that will limit Mayfield's season-long and weekly upside the same way it limited Kirk Cousins last year, who is far more accomplished and had receivers who were just as good as the Cleveland duo. Mayfield is not the cheap breakout quarterback you are looking for.
Dan Hindery: Mayfield finished as the QB16 last season despite playing a full 16 games. He did so while attempting 534 passes, which was close to league average for starting quarterbacks. His attempts are likely to fall this season. Kirk Cousins had just 444 in Kevin Stefanski's run-heavy offense last year. The Browns seem to want to recreate that offense, so it is hard to see Mayfield having enough passing attempts to put up huge fantasy numbers.
Jeff Tefertiller: I will pile on the others and add that I am unsure Mayfield is better than Case Keenum, his backup. The Browns will be more conservative offensively this year and require Mayfield to be more efficient. It remains to be seen whether he can run Stefanski's offense efficiently like Cousins in 2019. With an expected run-heavy offense, the ceiling is much lower than many of the quarterbacks drafted after Mayfield.
Cam Newton, New England
David Dodds: Are we certain Cam Newton will start for the Patriots in 2020? He was signed to a minimum contract that has tons of bonus payments for playing time. Cam is betting on himself, but there were literally no other takers after his career was derailed by multiple injuries. Cam was elite before, but a lot of his game was predicated on his running prowess. At age 31, he is being asked to learn a new offense and rely on his passing more than ever.
Andy Hicks: The Patriots signing of Cam Newton had the fantasy community buzzing. Caution has to be advised. For a start, can Cam Newton manage to stay fit? If he passes that obstacle, can he beat out Jarrett Stidham for the starting role? If he passes that obstacle can he produce in a different offense with different coaches and players? His contract is a warning sign as well. There are over a dozen kickers getting paid more. Could he be cut before the start of the season? The upside is definitely there, but don’t bite if his draft price gets out of hand.
Justin Howe: Newton keeps coming off draft boards at his ceiling, which is never a good proposition. He's not guaranteed the starting job, and even his best-case scenario isn't very enticing. The Patriots sorely lack talent and upside at receiver, and this has the look of a bottom-tier offense. More than ever, fantasy players will be deeply dependent upon Newton's legs and praying weekly for short touchdowns. That's not the worst thing in the world - Newton did finish top-10 just 2 years ago. But it's a big ask of a QB1, especially with such a wide pool of QB options on the table.
Jason Wood: Stop the madness! Two months ago Newton was viewed as droppable in most dynasty leagues, now he's crept into the redraft conversation. Newton will forever be remembered as an impact fantasy quarterback, thanks mainly to his legs. And, yes, he has a chance to be the Patriots new starting quarterback. But Bill Belichick signed him to a veteran minimum contract, which is something he does all the time with aging veterans. Newton is just as likely cut in a few weeks as the starter.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
Sigmund Bloom: Rodgers still has a lot of name brand value, but there was little difference between his and Daniel Jones' fantasy profile last year and there is no reason to think Rodgers' situation will change. The Packers are going to be a conservative, structured offense that will offer Rodgers fewer chances to post big games except when he plays the weakest defenses in the NFL. His weapons were not upgraded in any way and the team invested in his future replacement and a power running back in the first two rounds of the draft, a clear statement of purpose and direction on offense.
Drew Davenport: Rodgers' final stat line for 2019 looked pretty solid. He threw the ball 569 times, 8th in the NFL, and he recorded 27 total touchdowns against eight turnovers. The problem is, in 9 of his 16 games he recorded 1 or fewer scores. If this had lead to the Packers going 7-9 and missing the playoffs Matt LaFleur might have felt compelled to let his quarterback help the cause. But they went 13-3 and then doubled down on the running game in the draft with their selections. Rodgers will be a solid option, but there are other quarterbacks behind him with more exciting prospects, and his name automatically inflates the prices a bit more than normal. Rodgers doesn't look like a value at his current ADP.
David Dodds: The situation in Green Bay has train-wreck written all over it. The Packers may have won 13 games in 2019, but they were smashed by the 49ers in the NFC Championship game and sorely lacked explosive pass-catchers outside of Davante Adams. So when Green Bay traded up in the draft, the expectation was to add an elite receiver. Instead, they used that first-round pick on the heir-apparent quarterback Jordan Love and their second-round selection on the dynamic running back A.J. Dillon. Rodgers will be the starting quarterback for the Packers this year, but he is likely going to be running an offense that runs the ball a significant amount of time.
Dan Hindery: Rodgers has a good shot to finish as a low-end QB1, which matches his ADP. So he is not vastly overrated. Still, there is no reason to just settle for mediocre production when there are so many higher-upside options available. Rodgers has questionable upside for a few reasons. First, as he has aged, his rushing production has dropped substantially. He added just 1.5 PPG with his legs last season. Rodgers also historically benefitted from an offense that was extremely pass-heavy in the red zone. That script flipped last season, with Aaron Jones racking up the touchdowns while Rodgers threw for just 26. The Packers have built a team that looks to win with great defense, a strong running game and getting just enough from Rodgers. They doubled down on that approach this offseason with the drafting of A.J. Dillon while ignoring the wide receiver position in the draft.
Player Receiving 2 Votes
Drew Brees, New Orleans
James Brimacombe: It is hard to not like Drew Brees the quarterback but it is also hard to draft him based on his name value right now. Brees has finished as the QB10, QB8, and QB24 (missing 5 games) over the last three seasons and now has Taysom Hill looking over his shoulder each game. Now entering season 20, we have to start worrying about Brees' role on the team and how many passing attempts he will really see. It used to be a given that Brees would pass for over 600 attempts as he cleared that number from 2010 to 2016, but since then, his highest attempts over the last three seasons was back in 2017 with 537 when he finished as QB10.
Ryan Hester: The middle tier of quarterbacks offers safety, but why play it safe when there's a positional safety net already built in? Players that profile like Brees does this season are likely to be low-end QB1s for their fantasy GMs. But we shouldn't play for the low-end when the high-end is available later. Historically, elite quarterback production can be had in the later rounds (QB16 and below). Pass on Brees and find a quarterback whose passing ability might not be as obvious but whose rushing ability offers the kind of upside that has allowed fantasy footballers to hack the system for years.
Players Receiving 1 Vote
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore
Chad Parsons: Jackson had a truly historic 2019 season amidst his Year 2 breakout. However, touchdown regression in fantasy football goes along with death and taxes and the certainty phrase goes. Jackson lapped the quarterback field with a 13.6% touchdown rate (of his completions) in 2019, where anything above 9.5% has a 94% regression rate historically and typically by 25-30% or more the following season. Pair Jackson leading the league with 36 touchdowns despite a meager 401 attempts and this is the perfect regression storm. Either Jackson's volume skyrockets through the roof or his passing touchdowns crash through the floor. As one of the top drafted quarterbacks in 2020 and a strong collection of challengers behind him, Jackson is an easy avoid player.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta
Ryan Hester: Quarterback drafting in fantasy football is all about upside. There’s a long history of being able to draft a top-three quarterback in the double-digit rounds. And we know we can play the waiver wire each week to the tune of top-right production. These two factors add up to a strategy that suggests we need to shoot for elite quarterback upside whether it’s early, middle, or late rounds. While the ideal scenario is finding the hidden gem late, it’s far from a lock. We know that Patrick Mahomes II and Lamar Jackson have a clearer path towards overall QB1 status. So while it’s preferred to draft a quarterback late, fantasy GMs who want one early can’t be blamed. The middle ground is the territory to avoid, and it’s always littered with pass-first quarterbacks who have a high likelihood of finishing in the QB8-12 range but a low likelihood of a top-3 finish (think Philip Rivers for the majority of his career). Ryan is a great quarterback who will have some top-three weeks, but he’s not an every-week, locked-in starter. So he’s not worth this pick when a player with a higher ceiling can be had later and a mix of players with similar potential can be had on the waiver wire.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit
Andy Hicks: In the last two years, Matthew Stafford has either struggled or missed games with back injuries. Given the number of times he will be hit, I would expect more of the same in 2020. His salary cap situation made it almost impossible to trade him in the current offseason, but given the likelihood of a new coaching group in 2021, we could see Stafford playing elsewhere next year as a new regime puts its stamp on the team. Trading or cutting him becomes a reasonable cap hit for the 2021 season. Stafford may be productive when playing, but as age and his body start catching up to him, he becomes a risky choice this year. I would prefer to see him play and not have back issues before I can trust him again.
Deshaun Watson, Houston
Devin Knotts: Watson is currently overvalued at his current ADP. Watson poses a significant amount of risk heading into this year as he loses his top overall weapon in DeAndre Hopkins someone who Watson has never played a game without and was the physical receiver on this team who could be relied upon on third down to make a big play. Brandin Cooks while talented is not an adequate replacement for this role and will leave the Texans with a hole in their offense. The other risk with Watson is touchdown regression as he scored seven rushing touchdowns last season four of which came in two games. If you're drafting Watson at his current ADP you are going to rely on those staying in the 6-8 range or he could fall to the next tier of quarterbacks.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia
Jeff Pasquino: Carson Wentz put up impressive numbers in Philadelphia's playoff push last season, posting a career-high 4,039 yards passing, but he still has not topped the 30-touchdown pass mark since his MVP season in 2017. Wentz has had some issues staying healthy as well, and there is now a reasonable threat to his playing time with the addition of second-round pick Jalen Hurts. Hurts will be used in a Taysom Hill-style role, and he could also be used to burn down the clock late in games to protect the health of Wentz - great for the Eagles' playoff hopes, but not so hot for fantasy production.