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The flip side of succeeding with value players is failing with overvalued players. These players will not put up stats commensurate to their draft spot, and avoiding them is another of the important keys to a successful fantasy team. To point out these players, we asked our staff to look through the Top 150 and identify players that should underperform their draft position.
Here is the player who received the most votes:
- Myles Gaskin, easily
And here are all of the payers mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 6 Votes
Phil Alexander: What makes people so confident the Dolphins backfield is not a committee? Malcolm Brown is one of the least-sexy names in fantasy football, but NFL teams sure seem to love him. Brown never stopped earning playing time for the Rams despite the team investing early draft capital at the position. In 2019, the Lions tried to steal him away with a restricted free agent offer. And ultimately, he was targeted by Miami ahead of an early-round draft pick when he finally hit unrestricted free agency. Brown should have a role, most likely on early downs and at the goal-line, which would sink Gaskin’s chances of living up to his ADP.
Andrew Davenport: I've had ample opportunities to draft Gaskin and just haven't been able to do it. Coach Brian Flores comes from New England, where they liked employing a committee, and now they have come out publicly to say this will, in fact, be a committee in Miami. Gaskin is a nice player, but the signings by this staff the last two offseasons say they don't have confidence that Gaskin is their guy. Malcolm Brown should play plenty, and this offense isn't likely to be explosive enough to support two running backs in any meaningful way. Gaskin is an easy fade at his current price.
Jeff Haseley: The Dolphins have a three-headed approach to the running back position this year. Gaskin may be the top option for now, but that could change with a strong outing from veteran Malcolm Brown or Salvon Ahmed. Brown has always been a strong contributor inside the five-yard line scoring 9 rushing touchdowns in the last two years in that hot zone. Gaskin may be the best receiver of the trio, but Ahmed isn't far behind. Gaskin's current draft position is indicative of him being the top back in Miami, and it's not a foregone conclusion that he is.
Andy Hicks: If people are using a fourth or fifth-round pick on Myles Gaskin, they will end up disappointed. Miami will use a committee as none of the backs on the roster can handle the lead-back role. Gaskin has missed long periods through injury in his first two seasons in the league. He doesn’t have that much of a skill set difference with Malcolm Brown and Salvon Ahmed either. There is no upside with drafting Gaskin this high. It seems the case that he is being drafted well above his upside. Never a good idea.
Jordan McNamara: Malcom Brown drew the starter role in the first preseason game, and the team has shown the willingness to change starters against conventional wisdom when Gaskin was a surprise starter in Week 1. At present, I'm avoiding Gaskin because I do not trust the role, especially ahead of projected starters like Mike Davis and other players with higher upside like Travis Etienne.
Chad Parsons: Malcolm Brown looks, at a minimum, like a strong 1B option but did get the start and most of the snaps with Tua Tagovailoa with the first team in the initial preseason game. Gaskin was a revelation versus his cost a year ago but is a buyer beware in 2021.
Player Receiving 4 Votes
Sigmund Bloom: Not that the Texans offense was anything you wanted to go near in fantasy drafts in the first place, but Johnson's ADP needs to adjust by multiple rounds to the news that he will be sharing the backfield with Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram II and no longer in the lead back role. Johnson himself has acknowledged it, and the backs' usage in the first preseason game indicates frustration for anyone wanting to farm this barren land.
Ben Cummins: I don’t want much to do with the Texans at all this season. They’re going to be one of the worst teams in NFL History. Drafters are still grabbing David Johnson due to projected volume, yet in their first preseason game, Houston utilized Phillip Lindsay on first and second downs with the starters while David Johnson was restricted to a third-down role. And free-agent acquisitions Mark Ingram II and Rex Burkhead didn’t even play. The role we envisioned for Johnson is already in question. Even if he receives most of the early-down and passing game work, it still won’t be very valuable on a putrid offense.
Jordan McNamara: Like Gaskin, David Johnson is in a cloudy situation after Philip Lindsay drew the starting role in Houston in week 1. If Johnson is the starter, he is probably a value where he is being drafted, but I'm not taking him at his current cost without some reassuring news about his role in the coming weeks.
Jason Wood: Preseason depth charts aren't perfectly predictive, but the new Texans coaching staff clearly sent a message listing Johnson as the No. 3 back on the depth chart before the first preseason game. Johnson is the incumbent with the largest contract, and yet he's being downshifted in favor of Mark Ingram II -- who did his best work in Baltimore, where Texans head coach David Culley comes from -- and Phillip Lindsay.
Players Receiving 3 Votes
Sigmund Bloom: Barkley may not be 100% to start the season, and he might not truly be 100% until next season. This is more important for Barkley than most backs because he relies on his immense gifts more than most backs. The Giants offensive line, playcalling, and quarterback play give us no faith that they can help create fantasy overachievers. Barkley could hit on pure talent and above-average recuperative ability, but everything else is going against him to return value on his lofty ADP.
Jeff Haseley: It's easy to succumb to the notion that Saquon Barkley is one of the best running backs in the league. He showed elite promise in his rookie year and followed it up with a top 10 season despite a high ankle sprain limiting his ascension. The next season he hit bottom with a knee injury that damaged his ACL, MCL, and meniscus. We've seen running backs repeatedly return from severe knee injuries; very seldom do they return the following year and have a memorable fantasy season. In Week 16 of the 2011 season, Adrian Peterson tore his ACL and returned as the #1 overall running back in 2012. Jamal Lewis rushed for nearly 3,400 yards in the first two seasons back from his ACL tear. Terrell Davis, Edgerrin James, Reggie Bush, Rashard Mendenhall, Jamaal Charles, and recently, Dalvin Cook all took over a season of play to return to form if they did at all. Barkley is a workhorse. He's a workout warrior - I get that, but whether or not he recovers immediately from this injury is yet to be seen, and because there is a doubt, he's someone I am avoiding at nearly all costs.
Jordan McNamara: The news on Saquon Barkley does not reassure me. His week one status is in doubt, and there are reports he may not be ready for 12-15 touch workloads until October. I understand the upside, but I don't want to take a huge miss if I'm drafting in Week 1. I'll pass on Barkley at cost.
Phil Alexander: Beware of drafting running backs based solely on their perceived opportunity. Davis has changed teams five times in the last three seasons. His production waned down the stretch in Carolina last year, and when was the last time we cared about an Atlanta running back in fantasy football anyway?
Andy Hicks: When looking at the Falcons backfield, it is clear there is no one currently there to challenge Mike Davis to start the season. A veteran, a trade, or another team's roster cut is more likely to be the bigger threat. Davis was great in relief of Christian McCaffrey in Carolina last year, but he got tired quickly. It also must be remembered his journey through the NFL before that. There are no guarantees he fits with what Atlanta wants to do or whether he has the endurance to handle a workload after last year's use. By the season's end, Mike Davis will be a case of "I knew it," but the guy who pushes him down or out is pure guesswork at this stage. Preseason may help a little.
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