Before reading this article, I would like you to close your eyes and take a nice deep breath of air. You probably just smelled the greatest scent of the modern era. The smell of the beginning of fantasy football season. If you know me personally at all you may know just how invested I am with fantasy football and all the greatness that comes associated with it. That being said, I am thrilled to become Villen medias first fantasy football analyst/writer. Join me on this upcoming 6 months of a roller coaster of emotions as I’ll be writing about various topics from start/sits on a weekly regular season schedule to draft tips to help you get an edge to the guys in your league that you want to beat so dearly. My first article will be about 3 players who I currently thinking are undervalued in drafts.
So, what defines an undervalued player? The players who are included in my list are guys who I have a very strong feeling will currently outperform ADP (Average Draft Position). These are guys who will have upside but not break the bank when it comes to where they are currently going in drafts. So that begs the question, what do you look for when it comes to finding undervalued players? This is broken into two categories, Talent and Volume. Finding players who are both Talented AND have a clear path to Opportunities to succeed is a winning combination in Fantasy Football and the players I have highlighted fit the mold of what you should be targeting in drafts. So let’s begin.
Current ADP: WR 23, 56th overall
Tyler Lockett is an extremely underrated Wide Receiver in the league. Currently going in the middle of the 5th round of 12 man drafts at the 5.8 spot, Lockett is an extremely good WR2 who possesses low end WR1 upside unlike other wide receivers drafted around his spot. His stat line last year may not seem like anything special, but we need context.
From weeks 1-9 Tyler Lockett had the third most Points of all Wrs in PPR only trailing Michael Thomas and Mike Evans. Lockett was averaging 19 Points per game on 8 targets a game. Suddenly he was dealt with Injuries and was injured week 10 with a shin injury that resulted in him being hospitalized. This hampered his production as he dropped off significantly from his breakout first half of the season. He did not miss any games, but he was limited in practice for weeks all while dealing with the Flu as well. When healthy Tyler Lockett was a clear WR1 and would have finished as with 304 Fantasy points only trailing Michael Thomas. In Fact, even while being injured, Lockett still finished as the highest rated wide receiver of Players who saw more than 90 targets on the year.
ADP WR 17 ,45th overall
Despite only having 2 receiving touchdowns all of last year Robert Woods finished as the WR 14 last year and was only 19 points away from finishing as a top 10 Fantasy wide receiver in spite of early season struggles and missing a game due to personal issues. So, what’s changed? Brandin Cooks has left town which should be a small boost to Woods value, but the biggest bump to Robert Woods stock is the fact that the Rams will probably run more 12 personnel this year, where Woods thrived in last season from weeks 11-17.
Words can’t describe how ridiculous of a stretch Woods went on during weeks 11-17. Which bears the question, how sustainable is this? Robert Woods won’t be putting up crazy numbers like he did to end the season for the entirety of the 2020 season, lets be real. However, he wont be as inconsistent as he was in 2019 and will have positive regression in the touchdown department. Being currently priced as WR17, where he finished last year is you buying Woods at his floor. Woods is a no brainer at his spot and may very well finish inside the top 10.
Current ADP RB21, 48th overall
What do we know about Jonathan Taylor so far? We know he is a very talented running back as he proved at Wisconsin. Hence why he was the second running back taken off the board in the NFL Draft by the Colts. Taylor walks into an offense that has one of the best run blocking offensive lines in the league. The one question we have is at what point will he become the lead alpha overtaking Marlon Mack for early down rushing duties? This is a matter of if not when, because Taylor will at some point overtake Mack and receive the bulk of opportunities. I don’t think this will take long at all because Marlon Mack isn’t a good running back. He has been mostly underwhelming in the league so far and seems like a “just a guy running back”. His stats are good not from the talent he possesses, but from the pure volume he gets behind this offensive line. I think about Marlon Mack and get reminded of how the cowboys went to that gap year at running back between Demarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott was Darren McFadden. McFadden at that point of his career wasn’t anything to write home about ,but had a good year due to the offensive line of Dallas.
Marlon Mack is going to be replaced and Jonathan Taylor may end up with over 250-300 carries behind that offensive line, I expect him to produce strong RB 2 numbers and outperform his ADP. Furthermore, to add to his skillset he has worked on being a viable receiving back in his junior season at Wisconsin he had 26 receptions for 252 yards while the previous 2 years he combined for 16 total receptions. He may not be the third down RB or hurry up offense RB due to Nyheim Hines, but he doesn’t need to be that to return value. Partly because Phillip Rivers is the QB. Phillip Rivers isn’t the player he used to be, but he is the #1 Qb in terms of targets to rbs. Rivers targeted the RB position 180 times last year between Ekeler and Gordon. Are Taylor and Hines going to command this? Probably not. Due to not being mobile at all, at the sense of pressure in the pocket Rivers will immediately find his safety blanket which is most likely the RB position unlike Jacoby Brissett last year. We should still be modest with how much receiving work Taylor will get, but we have reasons to be optimistic of a breakout.