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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
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans
Gary Davenport: When he's healthy and on the field, there's no doubt that Kamara is an elite fantasy running back—his lowest fantasy finish over the past five seasons in PPR points per game is eighth, and the 26-year-old has cracked the top-five three times. But that per-game upside comes with a major caveat in 2022, as Kamara is all but certainly staring at a six-game suspension related to offseason assault charges in Las Vegas. Now, it can be argued that half a season(ish) of Kamara's dual-threat ability and weekly upside is worth more than a full year from a lot of other backs. But Kamara is all but certainly going to miss a big chunk of the fantasy regular season. There's a point where I'm willing to take on the gamble that I can survive that absence without flushing my season. But the middle of Round 2 ain't it.
Jeff Haseley: With rumors foretelling a possible six-game suspension, Alvin Kamara is dropping down the ranks, but without a clear message from the league, people are still selecting him at a discounted draft spot. But is it far enough? Likely not.
Dave Kluge: Kamara is likely to start the season suspended. There’s the chance that he will miss the entire year. Despite that, fantasy managers are still drafting him as a top-10 running back in the early second round. With Aaron Jones, Leonard Fournette, and Saquon Barkley being drafted behind him, there’s no reason to assume the risk in Kamara’s suspension. Until we get clarity on his legal issues, I wouldn’t even consider taking him until the fourth or fifth round.
Ryan Weisse: At this point, everyone has already mentioned the possible six-game suspension. That alone should keep him from being a top-10 running back and going in the 2nd or 3rd Round of your draft. However, I'll add two concerns that were touched on earlier. First, what if it's longer than six games? Secondly, what if it's a delayed suspension? If you know you've lost him for Weeks 1-6 and that you'll have him for the playoffs, it's an understood risk. But, if he fights it and misses games 10-16, then you lost your RB1 for the most crucial time of the season.
Christian Williams: Rumors are swirling of a potential six-game suspension for Kamara, and while an appeal could result in less games (or a delayed suspension), it’s really tough to justify taking him at RB9 without situational clarity. When Kamara does get on the field, the New Orleans passing offense won’t have a dire need for high pass-catching volume from their running backs as they have in the past; they’ve added both Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave to soak up some targets this offseason. Kamara’s output has been fantastic throughout his career, but the mixture of having to wait for that production and the potential for a new role with less volume makes the other running backs in his draft range look a lot more appealing.
Players Receiving 4 Votes
J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore
Kevin Coleman: In J.K. Dobbin’s rookie season, he finished strong as the lead back alongside Gus Edwards. Dobbins would finish the year with 805 rushing yards and nine touchdowns while adding eighteen receptions for 120 yards. Those numbers were good enough to make him RB10 over the last five games of the season. Albeit being a small sample size. He seemed primed for a breakout season early in the pre-season last year until he tore his ACL. There have now been some troubling reports that he hasn’t had a normal recovery and could have had some damage to his LCL and ACL. There is a chance Dobbins starts on the PUP list this season, and he’s too big of a risk in redraft.
Jeff Haseley: The Ravens have two running backs returning from an ACL injury (Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins) which likely will result in both seeing limited action, especially earlier in the season. Also, only one running back in the Lamar Jackson era has eclipsed 200 carries in a season (Mark Ingram had 202 carries in 2019). Since then no back has exceeded 144 carries. Baltimore is also ranked dead last in running back receptions since 2018, the year Lamar Jackson entered the league.
Chad Parsons: The Ravens running back group has finished 31st, 31st, and 32nd in High-Leverage Opportunities (combining goal-line carries and targets) over the past three seasons. This is not a high-upside backfield based on that fact alone. Add in J.K. Dobbins returning from a significant 2021 injury and Baltimore adding Mike Davis as a veteran hedge and Dobbins is far too risky as a mid-range RB2.
Jason Wood: We're all hoping Dobbins bounces back from a lost season and re-established a long NFL career as a feature back. But even if he's healthy, it's hard to justify building your team around Dobbins in PPR-scoring leagues. Lamar Jackson's unmatched mobility and willingness to run has the downside of removing dump-off passes from the running backs. Without receiving targets, and having to share the backfield with at least one or two other tailbacks, Dobbins isn't going to have the rushing volume or receiving optionality to deliver beyond his already optimistic ADP.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City
Andy Hicks: It’s not like the Chiefs have given up on former first-round pick, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but he hasn’t exactly given the team confidence in his ability to take the lead role. He has missed a third of his games to date and he had a massive drop in big carry games, from five in 2020 to only one last year. As a receiver, he had four games with at least four catches in 2020. Last year there were none. The presence of former high draft pick, Ronald Jones II and Jerick McKinnon coming back do not bode well for Edwards-Helaire outplaying his ADP.
Dave Kluge: The Chiefs rode Jerick McKinnon through last year’s playoffs. They signed Ronald Jones II in free agency this year and brought McKinnon back. The Chiefs are essentially screaming to us that Edward-Helaire isn’t the guy. Still, he’s being drafted as the RB26 despite never finishing inside the top 20. The allure of his first-round draft selection is the only reason he’s still being drafted where he is. The team put him in a featured role multiple times, and he failed to produce. It’s possible that he ends up the Chiefs passing-down back and lives up to his fantasy draft stock. But banking on that is risky. The more likely scenario is that Edwards-Helaire, Jones, and McKinnon rotate in a frustrating committee that provides unpredictable fantasy value.
Sam Wagman: Edwards-Helaire sticks out as someone who at first glance may have been in for some additional work with the departures of guys like Darrel Williams and Tyreek Hill. When you look deeper though, the addition of Ronald Jones II and the re-signing of Jerick Mckinnon spell trouble for Edwards-Helaire to be much more than an RB3 with a limited floor. Jones is a more efficient early-down runner than Edwards-Helaire is and Mckinnon was very solid down the stretch last season, so color me worried about Edwards-Helaire at his current ADP.
Jason Wood: Edwards-Helaire enters his third season without a top-20 fantasy finish, despite being drafted as the new feature back and being afforded the opportunity to take -- and keep -- a heavy volume role. He misses too much time, isn't featured as a receiver, and hasn't been given a reliable role at the goal line. What's to be excited about? Layer in the addition of the underrated Ronald Jones II, and the re-signing of Jerick McKinnon -- who was a star in the late season and playoff run -- and Edwards-Helaire will be lucky to lead the team in rushing attempts much less deliver every-week fantasy value.
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas
Anthony Amico: The new regime for the Raiders is not particularly reassuring of Jacobs' role with the team. They did not pick up his fifth-year option and took Zamir White in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Additionally, Brandon Bolden -- a member of Josh McDaniels' Patriot teams -- is with the club. Bolden and Kenyan Drake could take away tons of receiving work, while White is capable of obtaining shots around the goal line. Jacobs could easily wind up as a player who does a lot of work between the 20s with no meaningful fantasy production.
Jeff Bell: John Gruden used a first-round pick on Josh Jacobs and topped his snap share out at 57%. If the coach who invested a Round 1 pick never fully bought in Jacobs as the clear alpha back, why would we expect Josh McDaniels and an offense notorious for situational running back usage to deliver a favorable situation? Since McDaniels took over, the Raiders have flooded the backfield with receiving specialists in Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah before using a draft pick on Zamir White. Expecting anything but a committee approach is too risky for the 43rd overall pick for your fantasy draft.
Ben Cummins: The Raiders’ offense should be fun this season with the additions of Davante Adams and new head coach, Josh McDaniels. That makes me want to high on Josh Jacobs but it appears the masses are higher as his current cost ahead of Travis Etienne, Breece Hall, Elijah Mitchell, A.J. Dillon, etc. is too rich. McDaniels and the Raiders declined to exercise Jacobs’ fifth-year option this offseason and drafted Zamir White in the fourth round. Kenyan Drake returns from injury to muddy up this backfield even more.
Drew Davenport: Jacobs put together an overall PPR RB12 finish last year and was ranked RB15 in points per game, so it may seem like he's a value going off the board as the RB20. The problem is that things have changed drastically in Las Vegas. Last year, Jacobs saw a significant jump in his targets and receptions which largely kept his value afloat during games when his carry totals dipped or he failed to score. But now there is a guy named Davante Adams in town to command the football, a new rookie the coaches seem to like, and a new coaching staff. There is already talk of a committee with Kenyan Drake returning from injury and Zamir White being important to the future of the backfield, so it doesn't seem likely that Jacobs will have the same volume of receiving work to fall back on this year. That makes him an unexciting, touchdown-dependent flex play, not the RB2 he was last year.
Javonte Williams, Denver
Gary Davenport: For a minute there, it looked like a Williams breakout in 2022 was almost a certainty. Backs were slapped. Champagne was opened. And then the Broncos re-upped Melvin "Buzzkill" Gordon and spoiled the fun. Williams is the better talent at this point to be sure. And we may well see the workload split more favorably toward him in 2022 after both backs had the exact same number of carries a year ago. But it's not like Gordon was awful last season—he actually average slightly more yards per carry than Williams and had twice as many rushing touchdowns. Provided that Gordon's level of play doesn't careen off a cliff, he's going to eat into Williams' touches enough to make a solid ROI on his current ADP unlikely. What a party pooper.
Jeff Haseley: The hype on Williams is growing to a fever pitch, yet Melvin Gordon is still in the picture. There is virtually no value on Williams right now. He is being drafted based on his expected increase in production. To make matters worse for his fantasy outlook, Russell Wilson has only had one running back in his tenure with 40 receptions or more. Is that Seattle-driven or Wilson-driven? Perhaps a bit of both but it's definitely something to be aware of.
Chad Parsons: The price has vaulted up on Javonte Williams after a quality rookie season. However, Melvin Gordon returning is the lynchpin for tepid upside expectations outside of a Gordon injury. Even if the split is swapped with Williams as the slight 1A to Gordon's now 1B, achieving a top-12 result will hinge on Gordon missing a chunk of the season. There are plenty of clarified RB1 types later in the draft to not take the variable shot on Williams.
Jason Wood: Williams has the talent to be a top-10 fantasy back for years to come. But the Broncos re-signed Melvin Gordon which cannot be interpreted as anything short of a re-commitment to a 50/50 committee. Given Russell Wilson's historic propensity to score rushing touchdowns in goal-line situations, it's hard to get overly excited about Williams, particularly in PPR formats.
Players Receiving 3 Votes
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