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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 are the players who received the most votes:
- DK Metcalf
- Gabriel Davis
And here are all of the players mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 5 Votes
DK Metcalf, Seattle
Jason Wood: With either Drew Lock or Geno Smith starting, drafting Metcalf this high is unjustifiable. Receivers cannot overcome poor quarterbacking, regardless of their talent. Metcalf has been exceptional at leveraging his speed and nearly-unmatched strength to dominate on vertical routes, but neither Smith nor Lock will remotely match Russell Wilson's deep ball accuracy.
Ben Cummins: Tyler Lockett’s ADP has plummeted without Russell Wilson, and rightfully so. Yet drafters remain bullish on DK Metcalf, with the main reasoning being his freakish frame is more suitable to whoever will be throwing him passes in 2022. Still, Metcalf plays for Pete Carroll and an organization committed to running the football, and the quality of targets he’ll see will be drastically worse than they were with Wilson. Until further notice, this looks like a Geno Smith vs. Drew Lock competition all season. No thanks.
Will Grant: Metcalf was electric to watch in 2021, but aside from some impressive touchdowns, his overall stats took a step back. He didn't even crack 1,000 yards receiving and had his lowest reception total despite career-high targets. Now he has Geno Smith or Drew Lock at quarterback instead of Russel Wilson. It's hard to see how Metcalf won't take a step back this year. At his current ADP, Metcalf is being drafted several rounds higher than he should be.
Ryan Weisse: Metcalf was a 50/50 weekly prospect with Russell Wilson at quarterback. He was a top-12 wide receiver in half his games and could put up week-winning numbers. The other half, he was a fantasy WR3 or worse. Now, we're dealing with some combination of Drew Lock or Geno Smith. Many wide receivers are inconsistent, but none have a worse quarterback situation right now. To make matters worse, Seattle seems like a sure thing to finish 32nd in passing this season. Fewer targets from worse quarterbacks do not bode well for last year's WR14.
Matt Waldman: Metcalf will not see the caliber of targets that Russell Wilson delivered, leading to tougher catch scenarios. He'll also be playing with quarterbacks who won't be as sophisticated with reading the field. Tyler Lockett is the Seahawk of choice because he can get open in more ways than Metcalf. If anything, I'd be closer to flip-flopping where Metcalf and Lockett are valued right now.
Player Receiving 4 Votes
Gabriel Davis, Buffalo
Gary Davenport: Speaking ill of Gabriel Davis in 2022 is heresy punishable by burning at the stake to many fantasy managers. So bring marshmallows. The issue isn't Davis as a player—we saw quite clearly what he's capable of in the playoffs last year. The problem is that fantasy managers are still high on the vapors of what may well be the best game Davis ever plays. Davis has yet to catch 40 passes or hit 600 receiving yards in a season, but after that game against the Chiefs (and some preseason hype a year ago), he's being slotted as a top-25 fantasy wideout in as many drafts as not because…hope? As the great American philosopher Mark Wahlberg said in Deepwater Horizon, hope is not a strategy.
Andy Hicks: Sometimes you wonder what you are missing. With Gabriel Davis, his fantasy ranking is now that of a starter in leagues requiring three wide receivers, despite dropping in production from a solid rookie season. Maybe factoring in third-year improvement is fair, but with a clear elite target in Stefon Diggs, it is hard to see Davis going far beyond his expected ADP. The Bills sniffing around Odell Beckham Jr Jr isn’t comforting either. Chances are Davis disappoints, especially with a sixth-round draft price. Higher upsides with similar downsides are available much later.
Ryan Weisse: Gabriel Davis is basically A.J. Brown-light. Drafters remember the good but forget the bad. His best games always come at the end of the year—the right time to give the fantasy world hope for the following season. If you look at his first two seasons, Davis has never scored 15 fantasy points before Week 12. In 32 career games, 39% of his career fantasy points have come in just six games played after Week 12. Not enough has changed in Buffalo to make me think that his early-season lull improves this season.
Matt Waldman: Davis may be the WR2 on the team, but I don't trust him to be the second option in the passing game consistently. I think he will often be the third or fourth option behind Stefon Diggs, Dawson Knox, and even James Cook. There's way too much excitement about Davis due to his playoff performance where his big plays came as the third read against defenses that defended Knox and Diggs first, hoping to reach Josh Allen with pressure before Allen could find Davis. This won't happen weekly in 2022. It might happen monthly. The box score watchers don't factor coverage and game plan context into their analysis enough. Also keep an eye on Khalil Shakri, a more dynamic prospect having a stellar camp who should force his way into the rotation by season's end.
Players Receiving 3 Votes
Amari Cooper, Cleveland
Ben Cummins: Amari Cooper is being drafted as a target hog. Yet, he only averaged 6.9 targets per game last season and now joins a Browns team that will play without Deshaun Watson for the foreseeable future and possibly the entire season. His price would have to drop multiple rounds for me to consider him.
Christian Williams: Cooper's arrival in Cleveland came with tons of excitement. His inside-outside skill set is the ideal fit for the Kevin Stefanski offense that has not traditionally been friendly to wideouts. That excitement was mainly on the back of competent starting quarterback play, and it's looking like that may come few and far between for the 2022 Cleveland Browns. Cooper has always been a boom or bust option, but his ADP of WR26 fails to acknowledge that. His 13.5 points per game mark ranked 32nd in 2021 with Dak Prescott at the helm, and volume alone won't make Cooper a worthwhile selection at that draft position.
Chad Parsons: Much of this recommendation aligns with Deshaun Watson's availability in 2022. With six games the minimum and the NFL pushing for more as of publication, Cooper is priced close to, or beyond, his ceiling if Jacoby Brissett is under center for more than half of the season. Cooper's connection to a strong quarterback is key to out-produce his mid-WR2 ADP. Insert Jacoby Brissett (or another quarterback), and Cooper is more of a WR3/4 valuation. Despite some pairings with quality quarterbacks, Cooper has yet to show a big seasonal ceiling in his career.
DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona
Jason Wood: DeAndre Hopkins will miss the season's first six games for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. That's to say nothing of his ever-increasing injury risk; he also missed six games last year. In 10 games last season, Hopkins finished as WR45 in PPR scoring, yet his ADP this year is higher than that. Even if Hopkins plays the ten games he's eligible for, there are reasons to think he can't match last year's eight touchdown catches. Arizona traded for Marquise Brown -- who played college ball with Kyler Murray, and the receiving corps is deep beyond him. Hopkins has been a great player, but he's on the downslope of his impressive career.
Will Grant: Hopkins had a great start last season but faded after an injury and posted just seven receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown in his final two games before tearing his MCL and being placed on IR. He starts the season suspended for six games due to performance-enhancing substances and will be brought on slowly as he battles back from the knee injury. His stats from last season would be the high mark, and carrying him for six weeks for average performance makes him a liability to anyone who drafts him.
Christian Williams: DeAndre Hopkins won't play in the first six games of 2022. In the past, unavailable players typically experience a course correction in their ADP, but this has yet to happen here. When considering what the team added in the offseason with the addition of Marquise Brown and the retainment of A.J. Green, it's difficult to imagine Hopkins returning and dominating the target share as he once has. At WR36, when considering the missed time, managers are drafting him with hopes he will be elite from Week 7 and beyond. It's a risky bet.
Players Receiving 2 Votes
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