Draft Strategy

Hype Over Value: 5 Fantasy Players That Are Being Drafted Too High


5 Over Drafted Fantasy Players

It happens every year, the fantasy season rolls around and people get so excited about first and second-round draft picks that we completely forget about the guy who was the starter the year before. When evaluating over drafted players, it is hard not to pick rookies because their ADP often times is far too high due to the lure of the unknown. However, I made a conscientious attempt to include a few players along with rookies in this article, knowing the first-year guys would take up a majority of my list. The following are 5 players that are being over drafted despite where they sit on their teams respected Depth Charts.

Joe Mixon

Average Draft Position: 3.12

Joe MixonWith all the rookie talk, why not start with a rookie? Yes, we are tired of watching Jeremy Hill disappoint. I wrote at length about him in a Gridiron Experts group article earlier this year if you want to check it out. I’ll summarize what my Hill part of the article says real quick just to let you know. Ever since his rookie season, Hill has been a bust. A touchdown-scoring bust at that, and for this reason, he still holds value and puts a cap on Mixon’s during his rookie campaign.

As for Giovani Bernard, people want to cast him aside due to a torn ACL last season, but he is still just 25 years old and has plenty of athleticism left to burn. A fact many people either don’t know or are soon to forget is that Bernard has put together a 1,000-yard season every year he has been in the league, prior to last year. During his four-year NFL tenure,¬† Gio has posted two seasons of 1,200 yards plus, with the other 1,000-yard season coming to a total of 1,029. After climbing the ranks and steadily becoming one of the best PPR backs over the past five seasons, all of a sudden the fantasy community at large forgets just how incredible Bernard can be when he is healthy and on the field serving as a complimentary back to Hill.

Let’s not forget Mixon’s off the field transgressions as well. Players with marks on their record this early on in their career often times become repeat offenders. His landing spot in Cincinnati also doesn’t bode well for his future availability. Should everything fall the way Mixon lovers foresee, a ceiling somewhere around 600 rushing yards to accompany about 350 receiving yards seems reasonable. The Bengals ranked 13th in the league last season in rushing yards per game at 110.6. With a season total of 1,769 team rushing yards in 2016, 600 rushing yards for Mixon last season would have him at a near 34 percent share of the team rushing yards. While serving as a “lead” back last year, Hill accounted for 47 percent of the teams’ yards. I don’t foresee a young Mixon, who had a career-high 187 carries last season at Oklahoma, coming to an average of 15.58 carriers per game, touching 15 per game at the pro level. Jordan Howard, who set the Bears’ rookie rushing record last season, started after week three and averaged 15.75 carries per game. With an ADP of 3.12, my mind has officially been blown with rookie hype. Give me about the next 23 players with lower ADP’s over Mixon, with the exception of a few.

Derrick Henry

Average Draft Position: 6.6

Derrick HenryNo, he’s not a rookie, but he still has the feel of a rookie because he spent last season in DeMarco Murray’s shadow. There is obvious upside when it comes to Henry: He is a power back with an offensive line that gives him the ability to be an elite tailback one day; He plays for a team that loves to run the ball; He is the backup to an arguably injury prone running back that is only getting older. Then, there are the downsides: The Titans look like they want to pass more this season; Murray has been relatively healthy as of late; Even if his workload increases, Murray’s presence provides a cap for Henry’s numbers.

If someone has the chance to snatch Henry for a reasonable price in a start-up league or a keeper league, he may be a logical option. His current ADP sits at 6.06, premium pricing for a keeper league or a league that offers the opportunity to hold on to the former Crimson Tide standout until Murray calls it quits. As it stands, Henry’s ADP has him coming off the board ahead of Jamison Crowder, Willie Snead, Frank Gore, Stefon Diggs, Danny Woodhead and Jonathan Stewart to name a few. All guys with 1,000 yard plus upside. Henry did manage to gain 627 all-purpose yards last season, which he is bound to improve on, but by how much can he improve on those numbers?

The fantasy community is getting excited thinking the Titans are going to split the backfield touches between Henry and Murray in 2017. This is due to the fact that Henry appeared to be getting more carries down the stretch of the 2016 season. The Alabama product averaged 7.3 carries per game at a clip of 4.5 yards per carry for the year. The 4.5 YPC ranked Henry as the 12th back in the league in the respective category, but the names around him paint the bigger picture. One name ahead of him is Carlos Hyde, one name behind him is Tevin Coleman. Just after Coleman sits Murray. There have been rumors that Hyde may not make the 49ers’ final roster, Coleman is a passing down back and Murray averaged 4.4 YPC. Why are people so quick to phase out Murray when he is still just as, if not more, productive.

In week 15 last season, Murray ran for just 42 yards on 14 carries. Then to close the season, Murray rushed for mere 21 yards on 11 carries. In the meantime, Henry went for 15 carries and 65 yards with a touchdown in Week 16. Therein lays the hype, but in week 15, Henry ran the rock four times for 13 yards. In weeks 13 and 14, before Murray finished the season on a downward slide, he posted games of 89 yards and 92 yards, averaging 4.9 YPC and 4.4 YPC respectively with a touchdown.

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Christian McCaffrey

Average Draft Position: 3.05

Christian McCaffreyI get it, Christian McCaffrey is fast and his footwork video is tremendous. Still, let’s keep in mind that he has barely played a handful of snaps at the professional level.

Currently, there is a back ahead of him on the depth chart that has put together three-straight seasons with over 800 yards rushing. That man, Jonathan Stewart, is injury prone, there is no doubt about it, but he is still a bulldozing back with the body made for a feature running back role.

McCaffrey is going to do work in PPR leagues, all of the intangibles seem to be in place for it. However, I don’t see McCaffrey coming close to touching David Johnson’s incredible 879 receiving yards last season. That would make his 3.05 ADP a lot more reasonable if he did. I could see something like 550 receiving yards for him, which would have ranked him as the fourth-best back in terms of receiving yards last season, but how many carries will he see is the real question we all want to know.

Let’s say he catches 55 passes for 550 yards and three touchdowns. Add in another 475 yards rushing and two more touchdowns. Those 187.5 points in a PPR league would have made him the 21st highest scoring back according to ESPN last season. McCaffrey’s 3.08 ADP makes him the 16th back off the board, ahead of starters such as Spencer Ware, Carlos Hyde, LeGarrette Blount, Doug Martin and Ameer Abdullah just to give you a clue. McCaffrey, much like the prior hyped names on the list, is a great dynasty stash, but with Cam nursing a sore shoulder and with J-Stew still in town, don’t expect any records to be set this season by the Stanford product.

Christian McCaffrey ADP

C.J. Anderson

Average Draft Position: 5.02

[the_ad id=”72106″]C.J. Anderson is the perfect example of a guy who seized the opportunity, only to let is slip the following season. Remember when the Broncos drafted Montee Ball out of Wisconsin and he was supposed to be “the guy” teamed with Peyton Manning? Well, that didn’t last long and although Ronnie Hillman seemed to be ready when presented his opportunity, in the end, it was Anderson who carried the mail for Denver. After coming on strong in week 10 of 2014 with a 90-yard performance, averaging 6.9 yards per attempt, it appeared the Broncos had found their man.

Anderson continued his strong play throughout much of the 2014 season, putting together games of 167, 168, 85, 83, and 87 yards. He also had two games with three touchdowns, obviously drawing the attention of the fantasy community. Anderson did alright during the postseason, but nothing spectacular enough to send Denver to the Super Bowl. The following season Anderson was praised as a back with elite potential in fantasy drafts. During 2015 before week 8, Anderson failed to crack 43 yards. The rest of the season he had just one 100-yard game.

Last season Anderson again laid an egg. He played in just seven games, collecting one 100-yard game, before finishing the season on the IR with a torn meniscus. Why in the world would anyone want to spend a fifth-round draft pick on a guy who hasn’t produced the past two seasons? Anderson is being selected at the beginning of the fifth round. Players going after him include Blount, Martin, Jarvis Landry, Jordan Reed, Matt Ryan and Brandon Marshall, although the list could go on. I understand to win a fantasy championship sometimes you have to roll the dice on a guy and hope it pays off, but for me, Anderson is not that guy.

DeVante Parker

Average Draft Position: 8.05

DeVante Parker FantasyHow in the world is DeVante Parker overrated when he isn’t going until nearly the 8th round? I’ll tell you.

At some point in time in life, you have to look past the draft day talk. Stop thinking about what could be in terms of “size, “raw talent” and “massive upside” and think reality. Parker is a guy that has been dealing with foot injuries since his college playing days. According to sportsinjurypredictor.com, Parker fractured the 5th metatarsal in his left foot during practice in college and missed the first seven games of the 2014 season. His massive upside landed him an NFL contract, but during his rookie year he re-injured his foot and had surgery, pushing his return back until the final week of preseason. The same season he missed more time because of his foot, this time dealing with a scar tissue issue.

Last season, Parker was hampered with hamstring injuries during the preseason and a back issue later in the season. All of the injuries could be used as an argument for why he hasn’t produced over a 750-yard receiving season despite playing in 14 games his rookie season and 15 last year, but why do you want to build an argument for a guy based on his injury history? Parker has three games over the course of his career in which he accumulated 100 yards.¬† He also has just seven career touchdowns and 82 career receptions. In my mind, this is a make or break season for Parker and trying to put that season together with a guy like Jay Cutler may be an issue. Instead, give me potential going even later such as Marcus Mariota, Randall Cobb, John Brown, Tyrell Williams, Cameron Meredith and Marvin Jones.

DeVante Parker ADP

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ed Flaherty

    August 22, 2017 at Tuesday, August,22

    Ethan,
    What football are you watching????
    Is this just a post to get comments.
    McCaffry, for one is definitely an RB2, with added potential for scores on special teams.
    Have you ever gone up against a 6-3 RB at 235 lbs ?
    D Henry is a beast.
    Do more homework.
    Get back to me in about week-5

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