As NFL coaching camps proceed to fireplace off across the nation, signaling the beginning of the 2022 NFL season, the most recent episode of PFN’s Premier Fantasy Football Podcast breaks down a number of the overvalued and undervalued players in fantasy football based on early ADP tendencies. Which players stand out as we flip the calendar to August and are simply 5 weeks away from football returning to our screens?
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PFN Fantasy Analyst Jason Katz joins me on the most recent episode of the PFN Premier Fantasy Football Podcast to debate some overvalued and undervalued players based on present ADP. These players, whereas undoubtedly proficient, are overvalued based on their present ADP and projections.
Javonte Williams | RB, Denver Broncos
Before I discover an indignant mod with pitch forks and torches outdoors my place, let me simply say I really like Javonte Williams, the participant. Efficiency is the title of his sport. As a rookie, he was fifth in pressured missed tackles, seventh in 10+ yard rushes, and seventh in yards after contact regardless of being fifteenth in carries. Weeks 12-14 gave fantasy managers a glimpse of what Williams might do in 2022, as he averaged 23.7 PPR points because the lead again.
Remember that Williams completed thirteenth in touches final season with 246 (or 14.6 per sport) and completed as one among two rookie RBs inside the highest 15 in route participation, with Najee Harris (first) and Williams (thirteenth). Add in a rejuvenated offense below Nathaniel Hackett and led by Russell Wilson, and there’s purpose to be bullish on Williams.
The concern for me and why Williams is overvalued is his ADP remains to be reflective of the pre-Melvin Gordon projections. If Gordon went elsewhere, Williams can be ranked inside the highest six. However, Gordon, regardless of saying he wished to be a featured RB, opted to return to Denver. He will undoubtedly have a big function after the dead-even 203-to-203 cut up they noticed final 12 months.
Coming off the board because the RB13 with a 19 general ADP, Williams is being priced as if Gordon will not be there. Even in a 60/40 cut up, Williams would want a monster season to pay this off. Currently my RB17, Williams is overvalued in the intervening time.
Nick Chubb | RB, Cleveland Browns
As Katz put it, fantasy managers have a blind spot in relation to Nick Chubb. Yes, he could be the perfect pure rusher within the NFL, however Chubb is extra of a ground participant than one you draft for his ceiling. Over the final three seasons, Chubb has put up 15.4, 17.3, and 15.9 PPR factors per sport, respectively. While nobody is writing that off, managers have to be okay with drafting a 16 PPR/sport participant at seventeenth general (RB9).
Whether it’s Jacoby Brissett or Deshaun Watson below middle, neither actually throws to operating backs. In 2020, Watson threw to RBs simply 17.1% of the time. As for Brissett, in 2019, he threw to operating backs simply 18.7% of the time. Kareem Hunt is the passing-down again, and even when he have been to get harm, that job would go to D’Ernest Johnson.
The solely hope Chubb would have for a spike season is an outlier TD whole. But we already noticed that in 2020 when he scored 12 touchdowns in 12 video games. He nonetheless was at simply 17.3 ppg. In the second spherical, Katz feels managers ought to search for extra upside than what Chubb supplies based on his present ADP.
Diontae Johnson | WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
One of essentially the most proficient route runners within the NFL, Diontae Johnson is a star for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s additionally been that for fantasy managers, ending because the WR21 and WR8 in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Johnson’s 17.2 PPR/sport final 12 months was ninth amongst receivers due to his insane quantity, ending tied for second in targets with Davante Adams (169) and solely behind Cooper Kupp (191).
The solely draw back of Johnson was that he was not the simplest on a per-touch foundation. Amongst extensive receivers with 100+ targets (35), Johnson was twenty seventh in yards per reception (10.8), thirty first in yards per goal (6.87), and twenty sixth in fantasy factors per goal (1.6 PPR). Now with out Ben Roethlisberger, it’s unlikely Johnson sees the identical quantity or effectivity as he did final 12 months.
Flashback to 2020, and we noticed what Johnson seems like with out him. His PPR/sport dropped 2.4 factors (40.5 factors over 16 video games) in comparison with final 12 months, and of the 35 WRs with 100+ targets, Johnson was thirty second in yards per reception (10.5), thirty fourth in yards per goal (6.41), and thirty third in factors per goal (1.54).
Yet, with a 39.4 ADP, Johnson is coming off the board because the WR13. That’s proper on the 3/4 flip. While I’m not discounting the concept of Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett being higher than what we noticed from Big Ben on the finish of his profession, I don’t really feel we see the identical numbers as final 12 months. For me, Johnson is overvalued at his present ADP in fantasy football and is my WR19 for 2022 redraft leagues.
Patrick Mahomes | QB, Kansas City Chiefs
With his worst season averaging 20.7 PPR/sport, Katz nonetheless believes Patrick Mahomes is the perfect QB within the NFL. But he’s not the perfect quarterback in fantasy anymore, in keeping with him. In reality, Katz feels he’s not even second or third.
Mahomes averaged 8.8 yards per try in 2018. Since then, his yards per try have dropped each season, hitting a low of seven.4 final season. While Mahomes averaged 22 ppg final season, ending because the QB5, this isn’t blowing anybody out of the water. Even if we return to simply 2018 (Mahomes’ first season beginning), eight QBs averaged over 20 PPR/sport. Last season, 11 QBs hit the 20 PPR/sport threshold.
It appears fantasy managers are nonetheless valuing Mahomes because the clear QB2 in fantasy, taking him within the mid-to-late third spherical. As he mentioned, Katz simply can’t justify Mahomes forward of Justin Herbert or Lamar Jackson and is contemplating placing Jalen Hurts forward of Mahomes as effectively. Arguments is also made for Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow.
Courtland Sutton | WR, Denver Broncos
At this level, individuals are getting sick of me speaking about Courtland Sutton. I really feel like I ought to apologize, however I additionally don’t really feel sorry. The solely factor I regret is having a hand in elevating his ADP.
Rewind a number of months in the past, and Sutton was within the going within the late 20s to early 30s at his place. Now, Sutton is the WR20 on Sleeper and climbing (53.7 ADP). Yet, I’m very bullish on Sutton, and as a result of he’s my WR12 in redraft leagues, I believe he’s nonetheless being undervalued in fantasy football.
In 2019, Sutton had a breakout 12 months with 72 catches, 1,112 yards, and six touchdowns, incomes his first Pro Bowl choice. Now, over a full 12 months faraway from a 2020 torn ACL, Sutton is Russell Wilson’s new model of DK Metcalf. I believe we’re all conscious of how fruitful of a task that is for fantasy factors.
Last 12 months, solely 51% of Sutton’s air yards (1,509) have been transformed into precise yards (776). Paired with Wilson, probably the most correct deep passers who led the NFL in supposed air yards (9.9 per try), and a revamped offense below Hackett, Sutton has the prospect to crack the highest 10 in scoring.
His ADP remains to be climbing, and this won’t cease anytime quickly. For now, I’m nonetheless greater than prepared to pay the premium for an elite expertise like Sutton as he makes my checklist of undervalued fantasy football players for 2022.
Leonard Fournette | RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The “Fat Lenny” speak has gone too far for Katz as Leonard Fournette cracks his checklist of undervalued fantasy football players in 2022. Currently the RB14 on Sleeper (twenty second general), Lombardi Lenny is his RB7 heading into the 2022 season.
Those who’re involved about Fournette’s weight should neglect he does this yearly and is at all times in sport form by the point the season begins. Florida summer time climate has a approach of trimming the kilos off an individual. As Katz mentioned, there’s no nice purpose to be fading Fournette in 2022. He averaged 18.3 ppg final season — good for the general RB3 end — whereas tying D’Andre Swift for essentially the most targets on a per-game foundation (6.0).
The two issues managers level to are his well being, as he did miss the tip of final season with a hamstring pressure. However, all operating backs get harm, and in case you’re anxious about accidents, it’s best to by no means draft the place and simply draft mid-round handcuffs. The different concern is the impression of Rachaad White. Yet, whereas White was a strong participant at ASU, he received’t push Fournette right into a committee function.
This was the third-highest scoring RB in fantasy a 12 months in the past, and now he’s in a state of affairs the place the one significant modifications are a lower in goal competitors with Rob Gronkowski retiring, Antonio Brown quitting, and Chris Godwin seemingly on a snap rely at first of the season. Nevertheless, Fournette is being drafted as an RB2. If on the board, Katz will choose Fournette each time he falls to him.
Allen Robinson | WR, Los Angeles Rams
Fantasy managers hate “old” players. In a approach, I get it. But it’s gone too far. The crowd chanting Allen Robinson is finished might be in for a impolite awakening in 2022. I’ve been on report for the previous a number of years that Robinson is without doubt one of the most underrated elite receivers within the sport. At one level, the man made Blake Bortles appear like a franchise QB.
Stuck in a stagnant Chicago Bears offense that lacked a secure quarterback, Robinson noticed his yearly totals fall. After averaging 152.5 targets, 100 receptions, 1,198.5 yards, and 6.5 TDs in 2019 and 2020, Robinson was the WR82 final 12 months (12 video games). He caught simply 38 passes (66 targets) for 410 yards with one landing. That’s on the state of affairs, not on Robinson’s shoulders.
Meanwhile, in 9 video games alongside Kupp, Robert Woods averaged 7.7 targets, 5 receptions, 61.8 yards, 0.56 TDs, and 15.9 PPR factors a sport. That’s a 17-game tempo of 130 targets, 85 receptions, 1,050 yards, 10 TDs, and 250 PPR factors, which might have positioned him because the WR12 final 12 months forward of Mike Williams.
Every single report popping out of Rams camp is saying the duo of Robinson and Kupp have been unstoppable. Not solely in 7-on-7 but additionally when going in opposition to the 1s in red-zone drills. Clearly, I’m on the extra bullish aspect of issues as Robinson is the WR25 (62 ADP) on Sleeper, however he is available in because the WR17 for me.
Adam Thielen | WR, Minnesota Vikings
After taking part in all 16 video games from 2016-2018, Adam Thielen has handled some accidents the previous three seasons, lacking a complete of 11 video games. He’s additionally 32 years previous. Those are the one actual causes Katz has seen introduced up by fantasy managers fading Thielen.
However, Thielen has proven no indicators of slowing down. Even although he’s on the age at which receivers usually fall off significantly, he’s not a real 32-year-old when it comes to miles. Thielen was a 24-year-old rookie who didn’t get away till his age-26 season. He additionally has a ability set that ought to enable him to stay efficient into his mid-30s as an over-the-middle possibility with a big function within the crimson zone. That similar function allowed Thielen to common 15.4 PPR/sport (T-14th in 2021) in his 13 video games.
Of course, there’s an opportunity at age 32 — much like Julio Jones — Thielen’s physique simply can’t maintain up anymore, and these seasons of double-digit touchdowns are a factor of the previous.
But fantasy managers don’t have to take Thielen till Round 6 (71.9 ADP) because the WR29. Even at simply 12 video games, Thielen can be an enormous worth as a WR3 for these weeks. In what ought to be a extra explosive offense below Kevin O’Connell, Thielen breaks the age cliff as an undervalued participant for the 2022 fantasy football season.