2015 Fantasy Football: Undervalued and Overvalued QBs and RBs
America’s birthday is over, signaling the shift of focus to fantasy football from all of the self-proclaimed junkies who haven’t started researching yet. Fantasy Football is a dangerous time of the year. The summer scent and the green grass starts fading as we anxiously wait for the start of the season. Until draft day, it is crucial for team owners to become familiar with all relevant fantasy players, and form player evaluations on every player who may be drafted.
Busts are being drafted simply because owners don’t apply research to the stock of that player. Anything you read on any player is an advantage you hold over your opponent. Don’t share news you read on a player with opponents. Any information you have about a player is ammunition. Enter your draft with enough ammo to wipe out the competition. The point is that you can never read too much into a player, or hear too many opinions about them. Each sentence you read about a player is ammo you can carry to your draft.
As owners start mock drafting, please be aware of the two quarterbacks and running backs below. Realize which slot you are selecting from in your draft and which picks you have. For example, if you have the fifth pick in a 10 team league, you also have the 16th and 25th picks. This will help you adjust your rankings and get a feel for which players will be available. Don’t reach on bad talent and don’t pass up premier talent. My undervalued QB/RB is someone to draft even if you think it may be a round or two early. My overvalued QB/RB is someone to target at least two rounds after you are thinking of pulling the trigger.
Undervalued QB and RB
- Eli Manning – NYG: The two-time Super Bowl winner is an absolute steal at 94th overall, his current average draft position (ADP). His Expert Consensus Rank (ECR) is 12th among quarterbacks. Manning possesses an incredibly high ceiling, due to three phenomenal receivers in Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle. Eli topped the 4,000 passing yard threshold last year and eclipsed 30 passing touchdowns. Another year working with Beckham and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo will only play to Eli’s advantage. He is a low-end QB1 with mid-level QB1 potential. He is worth a seventh round pick, and would be a blessing as a mid-ninth rounder. For those in a two-quarterback league, Eli is still a low QB1 but would be phenomenal as your QB2. His two-quarterback format ADP is 49th. This is slightly undervalued as Manning could go as early as 37th overall in a two-quarterback league.
- Jonathan Stewart – CAR: After averaging 97 yards over his final seven games in 2014, Stewart is a steal at his current 46th overall ADP. His ECR is 19th among rushers, however, I believe he is locked in as a top 16 ball carrier and a surefire RB2. Stewart looked dynamic to close out 2014, and his stock has only gotten better this offseason. The departure of DeAngelo Williams has Stewart looking at an even bigger role with Carolina. He probably won’t crack the top eight rushers in terms of fantasy production, but his ceiling is around the top 10. With the scarcity at the running back position, I would select Stewart as early as the beginning of the fourth round, or between 32nd and 40th overall.
Overvalued QB and RB
- Cam Newton – CAR: With an ADP of 63 in standard leagues, Newton most likely won’t end up on my team. Newton possesses one of the lowest floors among quarterbacks, as he plays for a middle of the pack offense, and carries injury concerns because he absorbs crazy hits laying his body on the line. His surrounding talent is below average. His ECR is seventh among quarterbacks, however, the drop off after Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson is extremely significant.Those five are in a different league. It feels as if Newton is lucky to be named No. 7, because of how much better the No. 5 quarterback is. Don’t reach for Newton at this position. Stock up your running backs and wait for Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, or Tony Romo to fall in your lap two rounds later. In two-quarterback formats, Newton’s ADP is 23rd, which is way too early to be selecting him. Wait 26 picks and take a quarterback with a higher floor. Looking at you, Eli Manning.
- Carlos Hyde – SF: An ADP of 37th overall is a tad too soon for Carlos Hyde. I believe he will have a solid season but don’t take him with your fourth round pick. With 83 carries last season, he only produced 333 yards, good for 4.0 yards per carry. Not a typical fourth round selection. Hyde’s ECR is 17th among running backs, but I would take Stewart a round later over him 10 out of 10 times. There just isn’t enough on Hyde’s resume. Additionally, Reggie Bush will steal most passing work, and Colin Kaepernick will eat some of the rushing yards as well. Snag Carlos Hyde if he falls to your fifth round pick, but don’t take him with your fourth round selection.
Daniel Oppenheimer is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Daniel, follow him @DanOpp31.