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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:
- Justin Herbert. Easily.
And here are all of the payers mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 5 Votes
Anthony Amico: Herbert looked like the next great quarterback prospect in his rookie season, but his average draft position has jumped the shark. Even if Herbert is a tremendous passer, he doesn't add enough rushing production to be comfortably in the top six of the position. Multiple veterans going after Herbert have better demonstrated elite passing upside, and a few can also run a decent amount.
Andrew Davenport: Herbert faces a few hurdles in his sophomore season. He'll have a new coaching staff, and he will face the league after 15 games of putting out game tape for defensive coordinators to watch. In 2020 Herbert was just 15th in adjusted yards per attempt and only 18th in net yards per attempt. And while he does have some rushing upside, five touchdowns on the ground from 234 rushing yards is also a bit of an outlier. He is still a QB1, but taking him before an established veteran like Russell Wilson is too high, leaving Herbert little room to return value.
Pat Fitzmaurice: The kid has a bright future, but it's silly that Herbert is being drafted ahead of Russell Wilson. Herbert averaged 7.3 yards per pass attempt last year, which is just a so-so figure, and he finished 12th in passer rating. He's certainly not an elite passer yet, he's more of an opportunistic runner than a guy who'll consistently add fantasy value with his legs, and he has to adjust to a new system this year. Herbert is a terrific dynasty asset, but I have zero interest in him in redraft leagues at his current price.
Jordan McNamara: Justin Herbert is an avoid for me in the range where he's being drafted. Herbert was one of the best quarterbacks under pressure last season while near the bottom of the position in clean pocket passing. That is a dangerous formula for regression in 2021. Without an elite ceiling, I'll pass on Herbert in the range because his floor is much lower than Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
Jason Wood: Justin Herbert was revelatory as a rookie and has a long, storied career ahead. But the enthusiasm has gone too far entering his second season, and taking him at ADP is ripe for disappointment. We can't underestimate the risk of the new coaching staff, which will be the youngest in the NFL and, as far as my research shows, one of the youngest in NFL history. Joe Lombardi, the new offensive coordinator, isn't a spring chicken but is woefully inexperienced as a play-caller. I like Herbert as a QB1, but toward the lower end and behind a handful of other quarterbacks available a round or two later.
Players Receiving 3 Votes
Ben Cummins: In three full starts last season, Hurts ran for over 100 yards once and threw for over 300 yards twice. These numbers shouldn’t have come as a surprise after capping off an awe-inspiring collegiate career by throwing for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushing for 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns in his senior season at Oklahoma in 2019. Hurts could easily make me look silly here, but he’s currently being drafted over Mathew Stafford, Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence, and Trey Lance. I prefer all four to Hurts. I won’t have confidence in new head coach, Nick Sirianni, until he proves it, and the reluctance to completely buy into Hurts as the Eagles’ starting quarterback isn’t helping. Throw in what I believe to be genuine rumors of a possible Deshaun Watson trade, and I’m looking elsewhere.
Andy Hicks: It’s easy to be an optimist when ranking Jalen Hurts, but caution may be the wise move. First, there is a new coach. History isn’t kind to young quarterbacks learning a second system in their second year. Next, we have the supporting cast. This side is rebuilding. The offensive line has struggled to hold up. If that continues this year, we don’t have a quarterback scrambling. We have one getting annihilated. How much is the regime in love with Hurts? Are they just dating this season and looking elsewhere next year for their guy? They seem to be looking for a Deshaun Watson trade before this season even starts. Losing isn’t going to help the long-term cause for Hurts should he play. I can even see the team pulling the pin if they want to look at another quarterback on their roster.
Jordan McNamara: With the depth at the position, I don't think I need to take a risk on Hurts in the range. Hurts has a new coach and a questionable set of weapons, and at the cost, I can take a more stable option, with a flier on Justin Fields later in the draft.
Jeff Haseley: For my taste, there are too many questions about Lamar Jackson this year. Which player will we see? The 2019 MVP or the 2020 Jackson who took a downturn? He still finished in the top 10 among fantasy quarterbacks in 2020, but he wasn't the elite version we saw the year prior. He turned it on at the tail end of the year to reach that top-10 finish, but he's likely a player I will miss out on in drafts this year because he will be selected before I become interested. What if his 2019 performance is the best we'll ever get from him? Just like with Cam Newton, if his rushing output decreases, his fantasy value does as well. My guess is that we will see a better performance than last year, but not as great as 2019.
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