Fitz on Fantasy: Most Overrated Fantasy Players Based on Current ADP
We’re inching closer toward the heart of fantasy draft season. Most drafts still lie ahead, but many have been conducted already, and each day brings us useful new draft data. Based on the most recent Average Draft Position (ADP) data from Fantasy Football Calculator, a few commodities stand out as being overvalued in the current market. These ADPs are ever-shifting and will no doubt shift again with the next wave of preseason games. But at least for now, these players should be avoided at anything close to their current cost.
Colin Kaepernick (QB11, 8.07) — It’s not that I don’t like Kap as a fantasy prospect, but among the top 15 quarterbacks, I like him the least relative to ADP. (Sorry, Melissa.) He threw for less than 200 yards in 10 regular-season games last year and only exceeded 300 passing yards twice, in Week 1 and Week 17. Yes, his rushing ability enhances his fantasy profile, but the 49ers’ offensive conservatism and Kaepernick’s relatively modest passing talents put a lid on his upside. I’d rather have Russell Wilson, who comes at a lower ADP and who, as Rotoviz noted here fared better against good pass defenses last season.
Arian Foster (RB11, 2.08) — When a player admits to having contemplated retirement in the offseason before deciding to return, that player is best avoided in fantasy drafts. Foster’s body has been through the sausage grinder, so it’s hard to blame him for thinking about daiquiris on the beach and long afternoon naps. He had back surgery in the offseason, he has an irregular heartbeat, and he’s had knee and hip injuries. Now he’s dealing with hamstring issues. Foster has always been a beast whenever his body has cooperated, but the retirement talk is a strong hint that his body and his mind are at loggerheads. A second-round price tag is way too steep for this type of risk.
Chris Johnson (RB26, 5.09) — Many fantasy owners will see him as reasonably priced. Hey, he once ran for 2,000 yards and has run for 1,000 yards every year since, right? The problem is that CJ amasses huge numbers in a small handful of games, completely no-shows in several others and fills in the rest with unremarkable performances. The no-shows are murder on a fantasy team, and we might get them more often this year. Johnson went from a team that ranked 13th in run blocking, according to Pro Football Focus, to one that ranked 30th.
Shane Vereen (RB23, 5.01) — I’m struggling to see the attraction. Sure, a healthy Vereen can be a PPR asset. But he won’t get a high volume of carries, he won’t get goal-line work, he could conceivably lose snaps to versatile rookie James White, and he gets hurt a lot. Vereen has rushed for more than 50 yards exactly once in his three-year career. In his last seven games, he’s rushed for 107 yards. He’ll have to catch a lot of passes to justify the cost.
Maurice Jones-Drew (RB31, 7.04) — Like Foster, Jones-Drew contemplated retirement in the offseason. He’d also copped to thinking about retirement during training camp last year. After an injury-marred 2012 and a lackluster 2013, MJD is now No. 1 on the depth chart for his new team, the Raiders. The idea that MJD is in for at least a half-share of Oakland’s rushing load is propping up his ADP. But Jones-Drew averaged only 3.4 yards per carry last season, and after more than 2,100 career touches, he might not be able to hold off Darren McFadden and/or Latavius Murray. I’m not willing to bet a seventh-round pick that MJD still has it.
T.Y. Hilton (WR23, 5.07) — He’s establishing himself as the Chris Johnson of wide receivers, with a few really big games sprinkled in amongst a lot of duds. He’s good at running past defenders and hauling in the occasional bomb, but at 5-9 and 178 pounds, he isn’t built for the red zone. There are a lot of mouths for Andrew Luck to feed in Indianapolis, and the Colts figure to use a lot of two-TE sets, which could cost Hilton snaps.
Brandin Cooks (WR29, 6.10) — The Brandin Cooks hype train went barreling past me so fast while I was standing on the platform at the station that my coffee spilled and my necktie flapped in my face. It’s easy to understand the enthusiasm for the rookie. He had 128 receptions at Oregon State last year, and with Drew Brees slinging it to him this year, Cooks could be a PPR demon. Expectations were further inflated by an electrifying 25-yard TD catch in the Saints’ first preseason game. But Cooks currently has a higher ADP than Marques Colston, Mike Wallace, Golden Tate, Kendall Wright and Eric Decker. That isn’t a hype train, it’s a crazy train. (Cue Randy Rhoads guitar riff.)
Kenny Britt (WR53, 11.11) — Conveniently, “Britt” rhymes with “quit,” a helpful mnemonic that fantasy owners should remember at their drafts. Britt is big and fast, and he strung a few good games together at the end of 2010 and 2011, which has left some fantasy owners obsessed with the idea that he’s on the verge of a triumphant return. The problem with that little reverie is that Britt completely checked out on the Titans last year, and there have long been questions about whether Britt gives a damn. After the way he half-assed it in Tennessee last season, do you really believe he now has the eye of the tiger in St. Louis? Pffffft. Don’t waste the pick.
Eric Ebron (TE14, 12.09) — Rookie tight ends make terrible investments. Rarely do they meet expectations, no matter their NFL Draft pedigree. Ebron is being drafted ahead of productive veterans Charles Clay, Antonio Gates and Heath Miller, which is hard to justify. If you’re hell-bent on investing in a young TE, wait a couple of rounds and take the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce instead.