Links to similar discussions on other positions:
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 4 Votes
Mark Andrews, Baltimore
Sigmund Bloom: Andrews was outstanding last year, but he was much more productive with Tyler Huntley on the field than Lamar Jackson. Marquise Brown is gone, which could mean more volume for Andrews, but it will also mean more attention from defenses, at least until the young wide receivers demand otherwise with their play. The Ravens are reportedly going back to the 2019 game plan, which was extremely run-heavy. Greg Roman's offenses have been predictable, so the high-efficiency passing game from 2019 might not come back this year since defenses will be able to see it coming. Andrews could transcend the constrictions of the situation, but a second-round ADP is very rich for a player who isn't going to have a lot of help to keep pass defenses honest.
Drew Davenport: After supplanting Travis Kelce atop the tight end rankings at the end of 2021, Andrews is now being overvalued in drafts this summer. In 2020 everyone expected Andrews to see a sharp uptick in targets when the Ravens got rid of Hayden Hurst, but that didn't happen. He actually saw a slight dip in targets to only 6.4 targets per game in 2020, as compared to 6.5 per game in 2019. Fast forward to 2021 and Andrews explodes for 154 targets (9.1 targets per game) as the Ravens threw the ball at a much higher clip to compensate for a defense wracked with injuries. What changed in 2021? The defense was terrible and they had an injury to Lamar Jackson. Counting on those unusual factors instead of looking at how Baltimore has historically run their offense seems like a sure way to be disappointed when using an early draft pick on Andrews.
Gary Davenport: There's no denying that Andrews is an excellent football player. Or that he had an outstanding 2021 season. With that said, it's a lot easier to dispute the idea that he's going to repeat last year's numbers—or come close. With their running back corps in shambles last year, the Ravens were forced to attempt 611 passes—ninth-most in the league. But the year before, the Ravens attempted just 406 passes—dead-last in the NFL. Given that Baltimore traded Marquise Brown in the offseason and did exactly jack-squat to replace him, it certainly appears like the Ravens are heading back to their run-heavy ways. And even if Andrews leads the team in targets, it's more likely than not that he'll post numbers similar to his TE6 finish in 2020.
Sam Wagman: There’s a thin checklist of things that make you a year-to-year fantasy TE1 these days: being one of the two main targets on your team, not having to block a ton, and yards-after-catch (YAC) ability. Andrews has all three of those for sure, but the Ravens are coming off a season where they passed a TON, following the injuries to Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins in training camp last July as well as multiple defensive injuries. These understandably forced the Ravens to be significantly more pass-heavy and participate in shootout games. However, both running backs will be back this season, and Marquise Brown has been traded. It’s a sign that the team will be back to their run-heavy ways, and I just don’t see Andrews commanding 60 more targets over his career-high again like he did last year.
Players Receiving 3 Votes
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit
Jeff Bell: Hockenson has hit a sliding doors moment at the position. On the one hand, he seemed to be trending towards a Year 3 breakout the former eighth overall pick deserves. His 12.1 PPR points per game tied Darren Waller to finish TE6. On the other, he showed the limitations in the Lions' offense and missed the final five games with an injury. The team addressed the wide receiver position with DJ Chark in free agency, Jameson Williams 12th overall in the draft, and Hockenson's absence coincided with Amon-Ra St. Brown's breakout. The young talent could allow the offense to emerge. But there is also a chance a crowded target tree causes Hockenson to finish in a large group of tight ends. At his ADP, he's trending at a sixth-round pick, offering minimal production over what you gain later at the position.
Kevin Coleman: While T.J. Hockenson has been a consistent tight end in fantasy in his career, he has failed to ever live up to expectations or his ADP. His best finish was in 2020, but even as TE5 overall, he only averaged 11 FPTS/G. Before his injury in 2021, he was TE3 overall; however, he averaged just 12.1 FPTS/G. Those numbers don't give you a positional advantage over your league-mates, and drafting Hockenson at his current ADP limits your roster’s overall ceiling. The Lions added Jameson Williams and D.J. Chark Jr to their offense, leading to more target competition. There are plenty of other late-round tight ends targets to draft rather than paying a premium for Hoceknson at his current ADP.
Ben Cummins: Hockenson is a solid player but he’s being drafted too early for my liking. Amon-Ra St. Brown broke out toward the end of his rookie season and appears entrenched as a go-to receiver for Jared Goff in 2022. And then there’s D'Andre Swift, one of the best pass-catching running backs in the league. In addition to St. Brown and Swift, rookie Jameson Williams was selected in the first round and will command targets once he returns from his ACL injury and D.J. Chark Jr was signed in free agency. Hockenson has too much target competition to overcome playing in an offense that ranked 28th in pass DVOA last season in order to pay off his current draft cost.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo
Gary Davenport: Two years ago, Robert Tonyan Jr of the Green Bay Packers exploded for a top-five finish in PPR formats despite just 59 targets and an 11.8-percent target share thanks to 11 touchdown catches. Last season, Knox turned 71 targets and an 11.4-percent target share into 49 catches, 587 yards and nine scores and a TE1 finish of his own. Knox's 18 red-zone targets in 2021 were more than Travis Kelce and every other tight end not named Mark Andrews, but as we saw last year with Tonyan, the odds of a player repeating a big year with such a paltry target share are slim to none. Knox barely cracked the top-20 in tight end targets in 2021. He'll need a massive spike in that regard to have any real chance of meeting ADP.
Chad Parsons: Among tight ends with at least 30 targets, Dawson Knox tops the tight end list from 2022 in points-per-target at a balmy 2.28. Historically that level of efficiency erodes by 26% on average the following season. Also, Knox has been slightly below the NFL average in efficiency in his career previously. Add O.J. Howard to the depth chart, James Cook as a pass-catching back, Jamison Crowder in the slot, and Knox will need another high-efficiency season considering his 71 targets from a year ago are unlikely to surge upward.
Ryan Weisse: The Knox to Robert Tonyan Jr comparison makes itself. Too many touchdowns on not enough targets. Gary explained it better than I ever could, but there are a couple of other things to consider. First, the team added O.J. Howard this offseason. Knox played 76% of the snaps in 2021 with Tommy Sweeney as a backup. Howard is likely to cut in that playing time in 2022. The team also brought in some wide receiver talent and a second-round running back. These new pieces will further cut into Knox's touchdown opportunities. He missed the Top 10 last year with nine touchdowns. Now, we're drafting him as the TE9 when regression is going to hit? Please don't do it.
Darren Waller, Las Vegas
Jeff Haseley: I don't mind the player at all but I am concerned about his volume of targets taking a dip with the incoming presence of Davante Adams and the increased usage of Hunter Renfrow. Add in a new coaching staff and it's a recipe for uncertainty that could have a negative impact on Waller's expected volume this season. It's all about volume and there are several changes factoring into a possible drop-off.
Chad Parsons: Waller is priced within the elite of the tight end position as if nothing changed for Waller in the past 12 months. Hunter Renfrow broke out last season plus, the elephant in the room is Davante Adams bolstering a thin Raiders' wide receiver corps. As a true alpha, Adams calls into question the ceiling of Renfrow and especially Waller to log enough targets to be an upper-end starter at their positions. Of the big names at tight end, Waller carries the most risk of not finishing in the top six in 2022.
Christian Williams: The Las Vegas Raiders overhauled their offensive roster this offseason, adding Davante Adams and a flurry of wide receivers competing for the WR3 job behind him and Hunter Renfrow. The offense should be extremely good, but Darren Waller's role within it looks a bit uncertain. In the past, he primarily won from the X position, consistently lining up out wide and creating mismatches. And in certain formations, it's within reason to believe he'll still get snaps out there. But with Davante Adams in town, Waller's optimal usage will likely be as an in-line tight end. While he can certainly create matchup nightmares from there, as well, the 17-target performances operating as a wideout may be few and far between. Waller has touchdown upside - arguably more now that the offense should be even further along - but his ADP of TE4 makes it worth considering alternative options.
Players Receiving 2 Votes
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