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One of the best things about Footballguys is the sheer number of analysts we have on staff. With so many different and well-formed opinions to sift through, our subscribers can always get a 360-degree view of player analysis, strategies, rankings, reactions to breaking news, and everything else that goes along with winning at fantasy football.
Each summer, our staff articles on Undervalued and Overrated players are among the most heavily viewed on the site. But what should you do when the competing opinions of so many analysts inevitably land a player on both lists?
Ideally, you want to take in all the information you can and come to a decision on your own after considering every side of the argument. You may even do some statistical research to break the tie. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time to dig deeper.
The goal of this article is to help both types of fantasy gamers. If you want in-depth player analysis beyond the blurbs in our Undervalued/Overrated features, there is plenty here for you. And if you need someone to cast the deciding vote on the industry’s most divisive players, you also came to the right place.
Are the following players undervalued or overrated? Let’s decide once and for all.
*The ADPs shown below are from Fantasy Football Calculator’s PPR data.
Staff Votes for Undervalued - 3
Staff Votes for Overrated - 2
Why He’s a Value
Matt Waldman: There are concerns Urban Meyer is showing the NFL that he's on his way to becoming the next Steve Spurrier or Lou Holtz--excellent college coaches who were not prepared for the realities of pro football. Even so, Lawrence is an excellent prospect who wins in and outside the pocket. Think Andrew Luck with better wheels. Luck was not the early master of coverages that many made him out to be, which is why I'm comfortable with the comparison. Expect the Jaguars defense to generate a lot of garbage-time scenarios. With this young and talented cast, Lawrence should deliver top-12 fantasy production.
Why He’s a Value Trap
Ryan Weisse: There is a lot of hype behind being the first overall pick, but there are too many unknowns to make him your fantasy quarterback in 2021. First, we have no idea if Urban Meyer's system will work in the NFL. The Jaguars have an established offensive coordinator, but Darrell Bevell was in Detroit the last two years, which wasn’t exactly a hotbed of fantasy production. Second, the wide receivers are still unproven for the most part, and who is their tight end? Basically, Lawrence’s weapons are questionable. In redraft, he’s not worth gambling on. Wait until he's on waivers four weeks into the season.
Which is it?
Lawrence is UNDERVALUED at his current ADP, and Waldman hit the three key reasons why:
- There is more to getting drafted first overall than hype. Lawrence has it all -- size, pocket awareness, athleticism, accuracy, improvisational talent. And best of all...
- He’s got legs. Lawrence possesses the short-area quickness and burst to excel on the option plays Meyer called frequently for his quarterbacks near the goal-line during his college coaching career. And that same mobility allows Lawrence to extend plays and create long gains as a passer. These are traits we should actively seek out in our fantasy quarterbacks.
- Jacksonville’s defense allowed 30.8 points per game last season, which ranked second-to-last in the NFL. While they made some additions in the off-season, the Jaguars field the league’s youngest defense and will be changing schemes in their first year under defensive coordinator Joe Cullen. Lawrence should enjoy garbage time opportunities galore and see additional passing volume, in general, due to Meyer’s plan for the offense to play up-tempo.
As for Weisse’s concerns:
- We don’t know if Meyer’s offense will translate. But it will likely take some time for opposing defenses to adjust to his fast-paced spread attack. You’ll recall Chip Kelly’s Eagles offenses finished inside the Top 5 in scoring in each of his first two NFL seasons before falling off a cliff.
- Bevell is an accomplished offensive coordinator with 14 years of NFL experience. He oversaw a Top 6 scoring offense for five consecutive seasons in Seattle (2012-2016). His last two years in Detroit went poorly because Matthew Stafford was either missing games or playing injured. If anything, Bevell lends credibility to Meyer’s operation.
- Most of Lawrence’s weapons are young, but they also ooze upside. D.J. Chark Jr topped 1,000 yards and had eight touchdowns in his second season, at age 23. Laviska Shenault Jr might be the most athletic wide receiver in the entire league, 31-year-old Marvin Jones Jr still has plenty left in the tank, and 6’6” skyscraper Collin Johnson eliminates the need for a pass-catching tight end.