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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.
Here are the players who received the most votes:
And here are all of the players mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 5 Votes
Patrick Mahomes II, Kansas City
Sigmund Bloom: There's no way that losing Tyreek Hill can make the Chiefs offense better, and it might make it a lot worse. The Chiefs struggled with Hill in the lineup last year for a month before "taking what the defense gave them" and finding their form at times in the playoffs. Without Hill, they will need to reinvent themselves, and there's no guarantee that Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Mecole Hardman will force defenses to give as much they gave with Hill on the field last year. Mahomes isn't worth a premium pick with that uncertainty attached to his outlook.
Alex Caruso: Since finishing as the QB1 in 2018, Mahomes has finished as the QB4, QB3, and QB5 in PPG. Now he has lost one of the most dynamic weapons in the NFL (Tyreek Hill) and he has been replaced by a second-round pick (Skyy Moore), a field stretcher (Marquez Valdes-Scantling), and a wide receiver whose efficiency has declined in four straight seasons (JuJu Smith-Schuster). The Chiefs boast a great offensive line but no one to trust in the run game to keep defenses honest. This is not going to be the same dynamic offense of years past, and frankly, Mahomes may not put up the fantasy numbers that we are used to.
Drew Davenport: It's not that Mahomes is a bad pick now that Tyreek Hill is gone, it's just that his QB2 draft slot means he's got to shake whatever was limiting the offense over the latter part of 2021. Through six weeks he averaged three touchdowns per game and was over 270 yards passing in five of those six games. The storyline after that point was well circulated in fantasy and NFL circles. The narrative was that opponents had figured out how to limit the formerly unstoppable Kansas City offense. That narrative may have been closer to the truth than most thought at the time. In the final 10 weeks of the fantasy season (Weeks 7-17), Mahomes hit 270 yards passing only two times, and he had two or fewer touchdowns in seven of ten games. He still managed to have two huge games during that stretch and was far from a poor producer, but it seems more reasonable to expect Mahomes to take a small step back without his star wide receiver instead of seeing a resurgence to push him up to QB2. Mahomes should still produce 30 touchdowns, but that won't justify the current price tag.
Ryan Weisse: Like Drew, I don't think losing Tyreek Hill destroys Patrick Mahomes II as a fantasy quarterback, but QB2 is a stretch. Drew did a great job explaining, so I'll just add this: Over the last three seasons, the dropoff from QB2 to QB5 was 1-2 fantasy points. From QB2 to QB10 were 2-4 points lost. So while the loss isn't terrible, it illustrates two things. First, why pay a premium for Mahomes when a 4-point fantasy drop is firmly on the table? And second, don't pay a draft premium for any quarterback when the gap that separates them is so small.
Jeff Bell: Staff members have already addressed all the environmental concerns about Patrick Mahomes II. The departure of Tyreek Hill and the ceilings of rushing quarterbacks are legitimate. The primary concern is the league seems to have caught up with him for the first time in his career. His last game was a complete breakdown against the Bengals; a first-half QBR of 98 dropped to a second-half 1.4. Mahomes set career highs in interceptions (13) and sacks (28), and despite seeing fewer blitzes, his pocket time of 2.3 was a career-low. The Chiefs need to show a counterpunch to combat coverage shifts that see teams dropping more defenders and Mahomes forcing throws, as his 18.8 bad throw percentage from ProFootballReference was a career-high. AFC West competition could put him into shootouts, but ignoring concerns and placing him QB2 off a QB5 finish is aggressive.
Player Receiving 3 Votes
Matt Ryan, Indianapolis
Anthony Amico: A bit of low-hanging fruit here since he is QB20 on our ADP list, but Ryan is probably not even draftable in single-quarterback formats right now. He has shown a decline in skills -- posting the lowest yards per attempt in 2021 since 2013 -- and offers no rushing upside. Now he goes to a Colts team that loves to pound the rock and lacks meaningful weapons in the offense behind Michael Pittman. Ryan seems like a poor bet for both opportunity and efficiency in 2022.
Jeff Bell: There are tiers in the quarterback rankings: dual-threat players who could finish as the overall QB1 ending at Jalen Hurts, followed by veterans sure to see passing value to close out the top 12 ending with Aaron Rodgers, and lastly, a group of uncertain players with high ceilings ending at Deshaun Watson. Ryan’s ranking is fair because you are likely to see a cluster of quarterbacks scoring similarly, and he could lead that group. But his inclusion as an overvalued player is a game theory concern. Ryan is a competent veteran, but he led the NFL in completions in 2019 and 2020 and was barely a fringe QB1. He will be tasked with a ball-control offense in Indianapolis that leans on Jonathan Taylor. Quarterbacks at this level should not be rostered in shallow bench leagues as their production is easily replicated.
Kevin Coleman: The concern with Matt Ryan’s fantasy outlook in 2022 lies more within the Colts' offensive scheme than the player. Last year, the Colts were 27th in team passing attempts, and the team had effectively transitioned to a run-heavy system behind All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor. Ryan scored a career-low 13.8 FPTS/G in 2021 and has taken a beating behind poor offensive lines the past three seasons in Atlanta. Ryan also has no rushing upside. Based on his current ADP and his limited upside, there are better options to draft in your redraft leagues.
Players Receiving 2 Votes
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