Overvalued and Undervalued Fantasy Football Offenses
Overvalued and Undervalued Offenses In Fantasy Football
Projecting year-over-year changes in the NFL is the largest question that the fantasy football market tries to solve. Every year, a team like the 2017 Rams or 2018 Chicago Bears takes a significant leap in terms of not only wins but fantasy football points as well. Sometimes, a new quarterback spurs on a revitalization. Other times, a new head coach or offensive coordinator is able to rejuvenate a team. What follows are six teams that I feel the fantasy football market is slightly missing the mark on in 2019.
Overvalued Fantasy Football Offenses
Via PlayDRAFT ADP, Carson Wentz, Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Alshon Jeffrey, and Zach Ertz all have top-100 ADP's. Expecting the Eagles offense to return to 2017 heights does feel a little irresponsible. My projection would have Wentz/Sanders/Ertz all being fine targets at their ADP but my overall sense is that going all-in on the Eagles might be disappointing. In the impressive 2017 season for the Eagles, only one player saw more than 100 touches (LeGarrette Blount) and no player had more than 74 receptions. Doug Pederson's offensive scheme is at it's best when spreading the ball around. In particular, I feel the investment in Jordan Howard will lead owners to disappointment as he projects to be very reliant on touchdowns for fantasy production.
New England Patriots
Sony Michel, Julian Edelman, James White are all going in the top 100 of Average Draft Position. I'm not suggesting that the Patriots are going to be bad on offense in 2019 but there is a risk with all of these players. I'd rather own Rex Burkhead, Austin Sefarin-Jenkins and Damien Harris than Edelman and White. Edelman is now 32 years old and is reliant on sheer volume to create fantasy value. James White is coming off of a career-high in touches and the Patriots drafted yet another running back in 2019. Thinking in terms of probability, there is some health risk associated with Edelman and White whereas there is upside with Burkhead, Harris, ASJ/Ben Watson, and even Phillip Dorsett.
New York Giants
I can say for 100% certainty that not all of Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram will possibly live up to their current ADP's. Saquon Barkley is the consenus number one overall pick and that might even go south. The Giants offense projects to be one of the worst in football in 2019. The Giants got markedly worse on offense in the offseason after finishing right about league average in terms of yards per play and total points scored in 2018. Eli Manning averaged only 7.3 adjusted yards per attempt and is a year older while also losing his best receiver. Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard are both average players who are better in the slot than on the boundary. The same can be said of Evan Engram who actually lead the Giants in yards per target last season. The one player of this whole group who I am drafting at cost is Tate who our projections view favorably compared to ADP.
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The Dallas Cowboys are going to be a better offensive team in 2019 than they were in 2018 and they were a fairly good offensive team in 2018. The organization finally did away with Scott Linehan and hired Kellen Moore from in-house. Are they likley to be the Los Angeles Rams in teams of creativity? Probably not. However, Linehan was one of the most minus EV coordinators in football in terms of playcalling and route combinations for the Cowboys wide receivers. Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliot have appropriate ADP's but Dak Prescott and Michael Gallup are both available for free essentially. Dallas finished below league average in yards per play and points scored per game but still an RB1, a WR1 and a QB with 28 touchdowns and 305 rushing yards. Gallup is the player the market seems to most undervalue. With Cole Beasley gone, Gallup projects for around 90 targets (with the ceiling for much more) and Dak has shown he can support multiple fantasy-viable options.
There are going to be fantasy viable players on the Baltimore Ravens. Mark Ingram is currently RB25 despite being the feature back on a team that projects to run more than any other team in the NFL. No Ravens wide receiver is inside the top-50 of wide receiver ADP and Lamar Jackson is QB20. Not one of these makes sense. Lamar adds a rushing floor that we haven't seen from a QB since Cam Newton and should easily be inside the top-12 of fantasy quarterbacks. Ingram should be drafted ahead of Tarik Cohen and Derrius Guice. Marquise Brown is an ideal best ball candidate at wide receiver but should still record 100 interactions over the course of the NFL season and he's available for almost free. The market seems to think Baltimore is a tire fire on offense and our projections don't bear that out.
New York Jets
After Le'Veon Bell, no New York Jet is going inside the first six rounds of fantasy football drafts. Robby Anderson is WR33 and going off the board at 79 on average. After that, Sam Darnold is not picked in most 12-team fantasy football leagues, Christopher Herndon is TE16 and the secondary Jets wide receivers aren't being drafted at all. If Sam Darnold proves to be the quarterback he was in December when he lead the NFL in QBR, Herndon, Jamison Crowder and even Quincy Enunwa are going to be fantasy starters (in Herndon's case) or flex plays. I'm a long term believer of Darnold and find his rookie profile to be mostly encouraging. I'll be investing in Jets pieces heavily later in drafts this year.
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