Dynasty’s Most Overvalued & Undervalued Wide Receivers
Throughout the next few weeks, I will be looking at each position to find the players who I believe have the most misguided evaluations in Dynasty fantasy football. There are some players who you should be targeting or selling based on ADP (Average Draft Position) as well as consensus from the community. Today’s theme is Wide Receivers, which is not only the deepest position in terms of fantasy relevance but is also the most difficult position to evaluate. After looking over the current ADP of the Wide Receivers I have come up with three players who are most likely to be less valuable and three who are most likely to be more valuable than their ADP suggests this offseason.
Undervalued: Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams - ADP: WR30
(Picture Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports)
Another year goes by, another year that Robert Woods is undervalued. Over the past three seasons, Robert Woods has finished as the WR11, WR14, and WR14 (PPR) and has been the king of consistency. And now he has the best quarterback of his entire career in Matthew Stafford. This might appeal to an owner more if you are contending as he is 29 years old, but he is being drafted as the WR30 in startup drafts, so you literally have nothing to lose and you are almost guaranteed a few more years of high-end production. The Rams are also 8th in vacated targets with 176 following the departure of WR Josh Reynolds and TE Gerald Everett. The additions of Desean Jackson and 2nd round draft pick TuTu Atwell (Louisville) should not affect any of Woods targets as I expect him and Cooper Kupp to eat their fill each week. I also see Kupp as a buy, but he has been less consistent over his career with only one top 24 finish. Kupp is also much more touchdown-dependent as Woods can put up big games without them.
(Picture Credit: Player Profiler)
As you can see, Woods’ situation could not get much better as target share will only go up, and running the 11th most routes in the NFL on a team that is going to be efficient passing the ball is a dream come true for fantasy. Go buy Woods at a discount and enjoy plugging him into your lineups each week to enjoy your free fantasy points.
Overvalued: DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers-ADP: WR11
Do not get me wrong, I love DJ Moore. After a somewhat disappointing WR25 finish (PPR) in 2020, the fantasy community has hyped DJ Moore up to the point that he is being drafted as the WR11 in dynasty startups. The Panthers are fifth in vacated targets (167) following the departure of Curtis Samuel, but now Moore will be competing with an even better receiver after Carolina snagged WR Terrace Marshall Jr. (LSU) in the second round, who was one of the top prospects in the nation before having some injury trouble. The Panthers also got a new quarterback in Sam Darnold which could be argued as a positive or a negative depending on who you ask, but Darnold has never supported a top 24 receiver in his career. You can blame Adam Gase or the Jets organization in general for Darnold’s downfalls, but Moore is being evaluated like Darnold is guaranteed to produce, which he is not. I just do not see how this is enough for him to be drafted above guys like Terry McLaurin or Chris Godwin who I would much rather have on my roster. Although there is a ton to like about Moore, including his off-the-charts athletic profile, and being the premier pass catcher in the offense, he also has some efficiency issues.
(Picture Credit: Player Profiler)
Being second in drops and seventh in drop rate, while being 55th in target separation is not something you want to see from your team's WR1. It may seem like grasping at straws, but the point is that I still have some concerns even if they are minuscule and the concerns are big enough to where I cannot justify WR11. If you own Moore already, see if you can get someone to bite on the hype and get a boat-load for him. If not, I am fine holding him as he will still be a good fantasy asset, I just refuse to pay WR11 prices to obtain him.
Undervalued: Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills – WR56
For a team that was third in yards per game and second in points per game, you would expect people to be all over the receiving options in Buffalo. Except Gabriel Davis is being forgotten about. In his rookie year, he finished as the WR56 (PPR) and in turn is being drafted as the WR56. That may seem fitting, but a second-year leap is almost inevitable. Davis does not jump off your screen in terms of analytics but the opportunity for him in Buffalo is too good to pass up. The Bills seem to believe in Davis since they released veteran John Brown and did not really address the wide receiver position in the draft. Not to mention, in the games where John Brown missed, Davis saw nearly double the targets and receptions than he did when Brown was in the lineup. They did add veteran Emmanuel Sanders but at 34 years old he does not pose as much of a threat as he once did. The hype has started to swirl around Davis in some circles, but for now, his price is still cheap, but I expect it to rise as we get closer to kickoff. For a team poised to put up a lot of points in 2021, you would be mistaken to not jump aboard the Gabriel Davis train, because the ticket is much cheaper than what it has to offer.
Overvalued: Ja’Maar Chase, Cincinnati Bengals – ADP: WR8
(Picture Credit: Josh Auzenne /WAFB-TV)
Before you get angry at me for calling Ja’Maar Chase overvalued, hear me out. He has never taken an NFL snap and did not run a single route in 2020 (Covid-19 holdout). He essentially only has one season of college production, even though it was a dominant one. My issue is not with the prospect, but with the startup ADP, as he is being drafted as the WR8. That is ahead of Calvin Ridley (WR5 in 2020) and DeAndre Hopkins (WR4 in 2020). I think that Chase is probably going to succeed at the NFL level, but when I am looking to draft my team's WR1, I am taking the known commodity 100/100 times. Since 2010, 45% of the consensus WR1’s didn’t have a top 24 finish their entire career. While I still think that Chase is different and has a much smaller chance of “busting” than 45%, I am still taking guys like Calvin Ridley ahead of him. Despite being reunited with his former college QB (Joe Burrow), Chase finds himself on an offense that was 29th in yards per game and points per game. I expect the overall offense to improve, but it is still a concern. In rookie drafts, I am looking to take Chase early and often as his ADP proves that he will be even more valuable after you draft him. This comes down to the way that you choose to manage your dynasty roster. If you want to take the risk on a guy like Chase for a chance at the next Calvin Johnson, I will not fault you in the slightest, it is just a risk I will not be taking that early in startups. Everyone wants to find the next Justin Jefferson, but it is not an exact science and if I am on the clock in the back of the 2nd round of a startup, I do not see myself reaching for Chase when there are more proven options available.
Undervalued: John Brown, Las Vegas Raiders – WR96
Now this one may seem counterintuitive as John Brown just turned 31 years old and has struggled with injuries for a good portion of his career. When healthy last season, he was averaging 13.8 points per game, which put him on pace to be the WR22 had he played all 16. He was also the WR20 in 2019. Free Agency also put him in a favorable landing spot with the opportunity to be the Alpha wide receiver on the offense with no serious target threats outside of Darren Waller (who is the real Alpha). The best part about it is that he is being drafted as the WR96 (216th overall). To put that into perspective he is being drafted next to Todd Gurley (not even on a team), Jakobi Meyers, and Scott Miller. If you are looking to compete this year John Brown is someone I would be targeting, he may even be on the waivers in some shallow leagues, but he is most certainly worth picking up. I highly doubt that he will have fantasy relevance for long, but at his current price tag getting one year of high-end WR3/low-end WR2 production is well worth it for a contender.
Overvalued: DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks – ADP: WR3
Although DK exploded onto the scene this year finishing as the WR7 (PPR) and breaking a franchise record for yards in a single season, there is more to the story. For one, he is currently being drafted as the WR3 only behind Justin Jefferson and AJ Brown. Teams seemed to learn quickly and although he was the WR3 through the first 8 weeks, through the final 5 games of the season he was the WR38 (PPR). Defenses learn about tendencies and weaknesses quickly in the NFL, and once they found ways to stop him and take away the long ball he became much less of a threat. Despite his targets never going down, his yards per reception (Y/R) dropped off a cliff, because averaging 25 yards per catch is impossible to maintain.
Once his Y/R was brought back down to earth because of defensive adjustments he was not able to have the monster games he was having early on. See the graph above which shows his yards per reception slowly declining each week. I think DK is a beast and will be great for fantasy for many years, but WR3 still seems high. Like DJ Moore, I believe in the talent but sometimes players can be overhyped and that is what is happening here. Even though DK is an elite football player (and fantasy football player) I think he falls short of that projection. The best time to sell him is now if you can get WR3 value for him because he will never have as much value as he does this offseason.