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If you ask most fantasy managers why they play this game that we love, their answers will tend to boil down to two things: camaraderie and competition. We like to play with our friends, and we want to win. We here at Footballguys can relate, and that was a motivation for this three-part article.
We reached out to 17 of our friends from the fantasy football industry and asked them three questions that will help you win your league this season:
- Who is the player you are planting your flag for in 2021?
- Name three players who are undervalued based on ADP.
- Name three players who are overvalued based on ADP.
This article is part two of the series and will cover undervalued players. You can find the experts’ responses to which player they are planting a flag for here and their overvalued players here. But, before we dig into their answers, let’s meet the experts.
Kyle Gerard Bauer, The Fantasy Fellowship
Matthew Betz, The Fantasy Footballers
John Daigle, NBC Sports
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports
John Luke Garofalo, Front Yard Fantasy
Tyler Karp, Dynasty League Football
Bob Lung, Dr. Roto
Mike Randle, The Action Network
Jake Trowbridge, Ball Blast Football
Andy Behrens, Yahoo Fantasy
Heath Cummings, CBS Sports
Daniel Dopp, ESPN
Marco Enriquez, 14 Personnel
Ian Hartitz, Pro Football Focus
Sean Koerner, The Action Network
Shane Manila, Dynasty League Football
Jared Smola, Draft Sharks
As mentioned, we asked each expert to give you three players that are currently undervalued based on their ADP. These are the steals of your fantasy draft. Here is a quick rundown of the votes:
In total, 42 different players were selected by our pool of experts. The list consists of four quarterbacks, 12 running backs, 20 wide receivers, and six tight ends.
12 Running Backs
20 Wide Receivers
6 Tight Ends
Antonio Brown received the most selections, with three experts picking him as a value this season. Robby Anderson, Michael Gallup, D.J. Moore, Brandin Cooks, Laviska Shenault, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and T.J. Hockenson were all selected twice.
Six players from this list, Joe Mixon, Mike Williams, Ryan Tannehill, D.J. Moore, Jerry Jeudy, and Chris Carson, also appeared on the flag plant list. While, one player, Julio Jones, was also listed as overvalued.
Name three players that are undervalued based on average draft position.
Kyle Gerard Bauer (@theFellowKGB), The Fantasy Fellowship
James Conner: Conner, age 26, signed a one-year year, $1.75M contract with the Cardinals to replace Kenyan Drake, who finished as the RB15 last season. Chase Edmonds remains the passing down back, with Conner stepping right into Drake’s lead back role. A role that yielded 239 rushing attempts last year. A whopping 58 of those came within the red zone, with Drake scoring nine touchdowns within the 5-yd line. Expect Conner to thrive in this role.
Robby Anderson: Much like D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson’s price tag is too cheap for a top-24 WR. We’re getting the WR20 from 2020 at a discount of WR36 this year. He’s reunited with Sam Darnold in an offense that actually figured out how to use him correctly. With Curtis Samuel out of the picture, I find it easy to see Robby posting similar targets/yards/receptions and more touchdowns in 2021. He’s a Round 7 gem.
Michael Gallup: Gallup is the cheapest of the Dallas wide receiver trio by a mile. He posted 59 receptions, 843 yards, and five touchdowns with Andy Dalton. Gallup finished as the WR38 and currently is the WR52 off the board. OTA reports are buzzing about Gallup finally being moved around the field and inside, which should boost his target and receptions totals and make him more consistent. A 10th Round pick is way too low for a potential 1,000-yard receiver.
Andy Behrens (@andybehrens), Yahoo Fantasy
Antonio Brown: Brown has a clear path to a top-30 positional finish, yet he's been an afterthought in early drafts. In an 8-game half-season for Tampa Bay, as a late arrival in 2020, he caught 45 balls for 483 yards and four touchdowns. Brown produced five games with at least five receptions in the regular season, then did the trick in the Super Bowl as well (5-22-1). He's 33 and clearly past his peak, but he's also the most productive receiver of his era.
Kirk Cousins: You're free to feel any old way about Cousins as a real-life quarterback, but let's not disrespect him as a fantasy asset. His career bests in passing yardage (4917) and touchdowns (35) are exceptional, and his receiving corps is as gifted as any in the league. Cousins is coming off a year in which he averaged 8.3 Y/A and produced a rating of 105.0. If you whiff on the upper-tier dual-threat quarterbacks, target Cousins beyond the tenth round.
Adam Trautman: If you're still a believer in Sean Payton's offense after the close of the Drew Brees era, then you'd better be in on Trautman. The team's quarterback situation is uncertain heading into camp, but the tight end hierarchy is not. Trautman is a gifted 6-foot-6 pass-catcher with an excellent athletic profile. He was exceptionally productive in his senior season at Dayton (70-916-14). Jared Cook has relocated, you might recall, leaving Trautman atop the depth chart.
Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT), The Fantasy Footballers
Michael Gallup: Michael Gallup is the forgotten man in Dallas. Last year was a train wreck, but it’s hard to be productive with Andy Dalton and Ben DiNucci under center. Prior to Dak going down in Week 5, the Cowboys ranked first in pace, first in plays per game, second in no-huddle rate, and third in points per game. This Dallas offense should be churning out fantasy points, especially considering they’ve got a projected bottom-10 secondary again in 2021.
Chris Godwin: Chris Godwin was a consensus second-round pick in 2020 and is now slipping into the 4th round after an injury-riddled season. He’s healthy and figures to be peppered with targets in Tom Brady’s second season in Tampa. For the “He’ll now be competing with Mike Evans AND Antonio Brown for targets” crowd, The team was pass-heavy in the 2nd half of 2020, and Godwin’s splits were actually better with Brown in the lineup.
Tyler Higbee: Tyler Higbee’s TE16 ADP allows us to target him at his floor. At this range, we’re looking for a late-round tight end that has a massive ceiling, and Higbee fits the mold. In 2019 down the stretch without Gerald Everett in the lineup, Higbee posted stat lines of 7/107/1, 7/116/0, 12/111/0, 9/104/0, and 8/84/1 in Weeks 13-17. Despite a down year in 2020, he’s coming off a career-high 8.7 yards per target and ranked ninth among tight ends in yards per route run.
Heath Cummings (@heathcummingssr), CBS Sports
Aaron Jones: Aaron Jones has been a top-five back on a per-game basis each of the past two seasons, and the departure of Jamaal Williams should mean Jones touches will shade more towards the passing game, which is better for fantasy anyway. He has been elite on a per-carry basis and gets into the end zone at a high rate every year. His ADP is where I’d draft him without Aaron Rodgers. There’s only upside from there.
DAndre Swift: DAndre Swift was a star last year whenever the Lions gave him the ball, and his new offensive coordinator has been as good as anyone at creating touches for running backs. Anthony Lynn’s history plus the Lions depleted receiving corps hives the second-year back 80-catch upside, and we’ve already seen him score at an elite rate on a bad offense, which mitigates some of the risk.
Antonio Brown: The Tampa Bay passing game looks like it has too many mouths to feed, but I’m happy to draft Antonio Brown in Round 8. Brown actually led the team in targets and receptions per game in 2020, and his familiarity with Tom Brady in the offense should be even better this year. He’s a solid 3rd wide receiver with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin healthy. If one of them goes down, Brown could be a league-winner.
John Daigle (@notJDaigle), NBC Sports
D.J. Moore: Incorrectly perceived as the WR23 and a 24-year-old who can’t score touchdowns — the least predictable metric in all of fantasy football — Moore has quietly racked up the league's sixth-most receiving yards (2,368) over the past two years and most recently led the Panthers in end zone targets (10). That significant volume combined with his every-down usage under offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who schemed a career-high in passing yards from Teddy Bridgewater (3,733) against the NFL’s toughest slate of pass defenses last year, highlights Moore’s inexplicable dip as one to buy.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire: The public’s perception of CEH has taken on a life of its own since the one game everyone saw, Week 1 in a pandemic-drowned primetime event, featured the 22-year-old failing to record a single touchdown on a team-high seven carries from inside the 10-yard line (and six from inside the five). Zoom out, and you’ll notice the first-rounder averaged 17.8 carries and 5.2 targets through Kansas City’s first six games, receiving 25 touches in three separate instances in that span. With Damien Williams and LeVeon Bell both out of the frame, a second-year breakout with voluminous involvement is more probable than not.
Nelson Agholor: Surprisingly leading Las Vegas in air yards (1,269) and end zone targets (13) as both an intermediate and deep threat from Derek Carr last year, Agholor’s transition to New England is one that doesn’t include an overlapping threat since Jakobi Meyers’ (10.7) and Kendrick Bourne’s (9.3) average depth of targets remain underneath the former’s (15.5). Reminder: the 28-year-old Agholor received the fourth-most cash annually ($11 million) among this year’s class of free-agent receivers.
Daniel Dopp (@DanielDopp), ESPN
Mike Davis: In a full-time fill-in role last season, Davis finished with 1,015 scrimmage yards, 59 receptions, and eight touchdowns. I would’ve loved more yards, but he was far more efficient per touch than Gurley was last year, and I think he’ll have a similar, if not increased, workload to what he had last season. He’ll hit around 250 touches in this offense and definitively outperform this ADP.
Brandin Cooks: I understand his quarterback situation is up-in-the-air for the season, but Cooks has over 1,000 yards receiving in five of his six seasons in the NFL. Not just that, but he’s been a top-20 wide receiver in all five of those seasons. Cooks is the kind of talent that can still succeed without great quarterback play. He’s just not respected like he should be. Don’t sleep on Brandin Cooks this season.
Marvin Jones: Jones has finished as a top-20 wide receiver in two of the last four seasons, and the worst he finished in those four years was WR28. Now in Jacksonville with Trevor Lawrence, I expect him to continue to produce as he has over the last four years. He was never a target monster in Detroit and doesn’t need to be one in Jacksonville. Jones is a top-30 wide receiver in the 12th Round with a top-20 upside.
Jamey Eisenberg (@JameyEisenberg), CBS Sports
Tyler Boyd: Fantasy managers might be scared of Boyd since he's sharing the field with JaMarr Chase and Tee Higgins, but it wouldn't be shocking if Boyd outscored them. Joe Burrow leaned on Boyd heavily in the ten games that Burrow started last year, with an average of 8.7 targets per game in those outings. Despite inconsistent quarterback play over the past three seasons, Boyd still averaged 82 catches, 972 yards, and five touchdowns over that span.
Jerry Jeudy: The only concern with Jeudy is the potential for bad quarterback play. You also could say there are a lot of mouths to feed in Denver with Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler, and the running backs. But please don't use the drops Jeudy dealt with as a rookie as a reason to fade him. It's a non-issue going into the year, and Jeudy has star potential.
Zach Moss: Moss should be the lead running back in Buffalo ahead of Devin Singletary, and hopefully, he's healthy coming off last year's ankle injury. I don't expect Moss to be a star fantasy option in Buffalo, given how much the Bills throw the ball, but he can be a low-end starter if he earns the majority of touches. He was trending in that direction before his injury, and hopefully, the Bills lean on him this year.
Marco Enriquez (@Marco_14P), 14 Personnel
Chase Claypool: Claypool is in a perfect spot to return value in 2021. His stats and success rates in 2020 were eerily similar to that of DK Metcalf, and while I don't think Claypool is as dangerous of a separator as DK, he does fill a similar role in this offense. Diontae Johnson will see more targets in this offense, but Claypool is the explosive playmaker of this wide receiver group. Take him 20 picks later, and you could land yourself a top-15 wide receiver.
Laviska Shenault: The hype train has come and gone for Viska, but he is still around WR40 in redraft. The addition of Etienne bodes well for Shenault. The Jaguars want to use him as a more traditional wide receiver than the gadget and gimmick he was in 2020. He may line up in the slot for most of his snaps, but with a rookie quarterback and no real threat at tight end, Shenault should feast in PPR formats. I have him as my WR20 heading into this season.
Marquise Brown: My heartbreak with Hollywood Brown in 2020 was REAL. That said, I think the pendulum has swung too far the other way. He is going at pick 125 right now, 125! The addition of Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins will help Brown in 2021. He has proven that he struggles against press coverage, but he has always thrived when running nine routes and slant routes. The Ravens allowing him to line up inside more puts him in a position to succeed even in a low-volume passing attack.
(Editor's Note: We asked these questions early in July, before Brown’s recent injury)
John Luke Garofalo (@FYFJohnLuke), Front Yard Fantasy
Tee Higgins: Tee Higgins' ADP has taken a hit since the Bengals drafted JaMarr Chase in the NFL Draft, but the general public may be overreacting. Higgins performed well in his rookie season, finishing with 908 receiving yards and six TDs, despite playing just ten games with Burrow. The Bengals beefed up the offensive line this off-season, and Burrow should be ready to get back to slinging the ball to this dynamic wide receiver trio by Week 1.
Chris Carson: Chris Carson has consistently juked the shade thrown on him by fantasy managers year after year. He's back with the Seahawks this season on a brand new three-year contract. In 2020, he finished as the RB17 despite only playing 12 games, which would've put him on pace to finish as the RB7 if he hadn't missed time. Given that his situation hasn't changed much from last season, he has top-12 potential at an RB20 price.
Corey Davis: Corey Davis could claim enough targets on this Jets offense to be a fringe top-36 wide receiver. Last season, Davis' efficiency improved immensely, and he finished as the WR29. He does have Zach Wilson under center, so there's some uncertainty. I have Davis ranked just behind Tyler Boyd, who's being drafted in the 8th round. That's what we in the biz call a value.
Ian Hartitz (@IHartitz), Pro Football Focus
Gerald Everett: Everett is the favorite to be the Seahawks’ most receiving-friendly tight end, but Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson could make this annoying. Still, Everett has flashed the sort of high-upside ability to warrant some exposure in case a high-volume role comes to fruition. New Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron coached Everett in Los Angeles. Give Russ a talented tight end, and double-digit annual touchdowns are possible; Everett just needs to secure the full-time job.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: FitzMagic worked as the fantasy QB1 in Weeks 1-3, 2018 while Jameis Winston was suspended, the QB2 in Weeks 7-17, 2019 upon taking over full time from Josh Rosen and the QB8 in Weeks 1-6, 2020 before “losing” his job to Tua Tagovailoa. Now entering a truly explosive offense: Fitzpatrick is a bargain at cost and represents the sort of player that would inevitably be ranked higher if looking ahead to Week 1.
Antonio Brown: You might not like AB, but Tom Brady does: Brown was targeted on 26.6% of his routes last season — the third-highest mark in the league. Brown (WR23 in PPR points per game) wasn’t as productive as Chris Godwin (WR15) or Mike Evans (WR23), but the target discrepancy between Brown (74), Godwin (85), and Evans (84) wasn’t very big in our 12-game sample. Even if his WR1 days are over: AB is far too cheap.
Tyler Karp (@DLF_Karp), Dynasty League Football
Javonte Williams: The Broncos traded up in the second round for Williams, and he will likely supplant Melvin Gordon in short order. As a dynasty analyst, I was excited for Williams throughout the pre-draft process, and he had a stellar career at North Carolina. He represents a potential league winner at his current price.
Laviska Shenault: Shenault’s price makes almost no sense to me, given that he finished as the WR46 in 2020 as a rookie with horrific quarterback play. The Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence first overall, and he will completely revitalize the entire passing offense. Shenault has an impressive minicamp, impressing the new coaching staff. He is being drafted at his floor, and I rank him at WR32. If he develops to his full potential, he could easily return top-24 value this season.
T.J. Hockenson: To me, Hockenson is the clear TE4 behind Kelce, Kittle, and Waller. The Lions have no effective alternative receiving options, and Hockenson is the only tight end outside those three who could lead their team in targets. I don’t understand why Mark Andrews and Kyle Pitts are ahead of Hockenson in this ADP. Andrews failed to out-target Marquise Brown last season, and Pitts is a rookie who is the second target behind Calvin Ridley.
Sean Koerner (@The_Oddsmaker), The Action Network
Daniel Jones: It's a make-or-break season for Jones, and he will have no excuses if he's unable to post top-15 quarterback numbers. The Giants brought in Kenny Golladay via free agency and spent a first-round pick on Kadarius Toney. In addition, Saquon Barkley's return will make it challenging for defenses to account for every weapon in this offense. Daniel Jones offers sneaky rushing ability, but a late-season hamstring injury robbed him of that last year. He is a no-brainer late-round target in 2QB/Superflex formats.
Gus Edwards: The timeshare between J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards was much closer than people realize. From Weeks 8-17 last year, Dobbins had a 33% share of rush attempts while Edwards saw a 26% share. However, Edwards edged out Dobbins in both rush attempts inside-the-5 (Edwards 9, Dobbins 7) and targets (Edwards 11, Dobbins 10). There is no question that Dobbins is the better talent and should see his role grow in year two. However, Edwards shouldn't be going nearly seven rounds later, even in PPR.
TreQuan Smith: TreQuan Smith is flying under the radar heading into 2021. However, he is set to be the unquestioned #2 wide receiver for the Saints following the departure of Emmanuel Sanders. Assuming Jameis Winston will beat out Taysom Hill to be the Week 1 starter, his playing style will overlap with Smith's vertical route tree. I love getting Smith's upside in the later rounds as a low-risk, high-reward lottery ticket.
(Editor's Note: We asked this question in July, before Michael Thomas' injury news)
Bob Lung (@bob_lung), Dr. Roto
Derek Carr: Calm down, I hear ya! Yes, he’s not going to be your starter on your fantasy teams. However, value is value. Carr’s current ADP is QB24. Now, look at his fantasy numbers last year. He was Top 14 in BOTH total points and consistency. It’s not like that team has improved greatly on offense or defense, so I’d expect Carr to be a tremendous value as your backup or 2nd quarterback in Superflex leagues.
David Montgomery: Montgomery finally had his breakout season in 2020. It’s truly amazing that the fantasy community is down on Montgomery as his current ADP is RB17. Over his last 12 games last season, Montgomery earned ten Clutch Games for a consistency rating of 83%. That would have ranked him sixth overall at running backs. He is certainly worth grabbing as your 2nd running back in the third round this season.
Robert Tonyan Jr: Robert Tonyan Jr came out of nowhere to take the tight-end fantasy world by storm. Tonyan ranked fourth in total points and seventh in consistency, and he’s not getting the respect he deserves. His current ADP is TE12 in Round 10. If you don’t want to take one of the big names early, Tonyan combined with Logan Thomas or Mike Gesicki in Rounds 10-12 would be a great value.
Shane Manila (@ShaneIsTheWorst), Dynasty League Football
Julio Jones: Julio Jones’ new quarterback Ryan Tannehill is coming off his third straight season with a touchdown rate of at least 6.2%, a rate that Matt Ryan has hit once in his career. The departure of Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith leaves from Tennessee also leaves 157 vacated targets from last season. The Titans largely funnel their targets to their top receivers, so I expect Jones to easily clear 130 targets with increased receiving touchdowns.
T.J. Hockenson: After Hockenson in drafts, you’re left with the likes of Logan Thomas at tight end. Hockenson is now tied to a quarterback (Jared Goff) who has targeted the tight end position on 23% and 25% over the past two seasons. His biggest target competition is running back DAndre Swift. Hockenson should see 125+ targets, which would have been the third most at the position in 2020, and challenge for the Top 3 at the position.
D.J. Moore: Being drafted as the WR21, you're getting Moore at his floor. Despite having the eight-most unrealized air yards, he finished as the WR24 (PPG). Used as a deep threat in 2020 caused Moore's catch rate to fall from 64% in 2019 to 55.9%, and he saw 1.13 fewer targets per game. If Moore reproduces his 2020 production levels (WR27), he’s a solid draft pick. If he improves to 2019 form (WR14), he’s a steal.
Mike Randle (@RandleRant), The Action Network
Damien Harris: All signs point to Harris being the lead running back in New England. Per PlayerProfiler, Harris ranked Top 10 in yards created per touch and juke rate before a season-ending ankle injury. A lack of passing game work (five total receptions) has led to a suppressed ADP, but his college production indicates the opportunity for greater receiving work. As the top running back on last year’s second-most run-heavy offense, Harris is a fantastic value going outside the Top 30 fantasy backs.
Parris Campbell: Someone will emerge as the Colts WR1, and it could very well be the still 23-year old Parris Campbell. Despite an injury-riddled two years in the NFL, Campbell possesses elite 4.31 speed and should be an explosive slot weapon on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. So I’m passing on the slow-separating Michael Pittman and 31-year old T.Y. Hilton in favor of the cheap, high-upside talent of Campbell.
(Editor's Note: We asked these questions in early July, before the news of Carson Wentz's injury)
Mike Williams: New offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi brings a New Orleans-based passing attack that is favorable to the X-receiver role of Williams. Lombardi officially went on record in early June, projecting a big role for Williams this season. With tight end Hunter Henry’s 60 receptions now in New England and quarterback Justin Herbert settled in for a big sophomore season, Williams is set up to smash his WR48 ADP.
Jared Smola (@SmolaDS), Draft Sharks
Joe Mixon: There are a lot of Mixon haters out there, which is why he’s regularly falling into the mid-second round of fantasy drafts. Yes, he let folks down last year. But remember that Mixon finished 10th among running backs in PPR points in 2018 and 13th in 2019. He has upside beyond that this season. Mixon will be a workhorse on the ground and take on an expanded passing-game role in an ascending Bengals offense.
Robby Anderson: Anderson finished Top 13 among wide receivers in targets, catches, and yards last season. He got unlucky to score only three touchdowns-- but still finished 20th at his position in PPR points. He’ll play a similar role this year and has established chemistry with new QB Sam Darnold from their time together with the Jets. Regularly going in the 8th round of fantasy drafts, Anderson is a full two rounds undervalued.
Rondale Moore: The Cardinals need a secondary option in their passing game behind DeAndre Hopkins. Neither A.J. Green nor Christian Kirk is the answer. Both guys were among the least efficient wide receivers in the NFL last year. Enter rookie Rondale Moore. The electric, run-after-catch dynamo is a perfect fit in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. Look for Moore to quickly emerge as the #2 wide receiver in Arizona’s fast-paced offense.
Jake Trowbridge (@JakeTrowbridge), Ball Blast Football
Ryan Fitzpatrick: "He's an old journeyman who throws a lot of interceptions." That's the argument against Ryan Fitzpatrick in a nutshell. And here's the even simpler argument in his favor: In the last three years, Fitzpatrick has rewarded those brave enough to start him with elite fantasy production. The problem was you never knew how many games he'd actually play. Now with a chance to start the entire season, he's a dynamite value.
Brandin Cooks: What more does a guy have to do to get some respect? Put up 1,000+ yards on 100+ targets and finish as a top-20 receiver? Cooks has done that in five of his last six seasons on four different teams. (The outlier season was derailed by concussions). As the primary target on a bad team that'll have to throw a lot, Cooks is a bold-faced value, regardless of who's passing him the ball.
Jared Cook: If you miss out on the elite tight ends, promise me you won't panic-draft one of those middle-round guys. They're a trap. They're always a trap. So instead, punt the position until the bitter end and scoop up Cook. He supplants Hunter Henry, who tied for the 6th-most targets among all tight ends last year, despite missing two games. Cook is walking into a pass-happy offense and should have plenty of scoring opportunities.