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Early 2016 Fantasy Football Overvalued Players

Feb 24, 2016
It's hard to believe Blake Bortles can repeat his 2015 production

It’s hard to believe Blake Bortles can repeat his 2015 production

In a continuation from last week where we laid out key dates for the NFL along with undervalued players according to our early set of consensus rankings, we’ve invited a new group of featured experts to give us names of players on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Below you’ll find some players who may be a little (or far) too high on draft boards and while timing may feel early, just like the NFL, fantasy football is continuously expanding into a year-round event. Things may change as the season nears, but for now, here are the experts’ take on the names below.

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Overvalued Players (Standard Scoring)

Expert Quarterback Running Back Wide Reciever
Phil Alexander – Footballguys Blake Bortles Devonta Freeman Brandin Cooks
Jake Ciely – RotoExperts Blake Bortles Devonta Freeman Jarvis Landry
Matthew Hill – Fantasy Team Advice Tyrod Taylor LeSean McCoy Dorial Green-Beckham

Q1. What QB is the most overvalued based on the early consensus preseason rankings?

Blake Bortles (JAC)
Positional Rank: #8
“I’d be fine drafting Bortles as an upside backup next season, but the consensus has him ranked as an every week starter. Jacksonville passed on 65% of their offensive plays last season (second-highest rate in the league) and nearly 80% of their offensive touchdowns came via the pass (third-highest). The problem is the Jaguars passed often because they had the eighth-worst average scoring margin in the league (fourth-worst in away games) — not because it was part of their game plan. Jacksonville has some nice pieces on defense, employs a defensive minded head coach, and they invested premium draft capital in a running back last season. We can’t simply assume they’ll fall into the negative game scripts that boosted Bortles’ passing volume (and fantasy production) as often as they did last season.”
Phil Alexander (Footballguys)

“With quarterbacks, it’s tougher to find someone egregiously overvalued, but the one that stands out is Blake Bortles. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a fan. However, Bortles and the Jaguars offense is ripe for touchdown regression in 2016. Bortles had one of the highest Attempts-to-Touchdowns ratios in an offense playing from behind nearly every week. The Jaguars can’t afford to play this way again if they hope to compete, and after all, Bortles did lead the league with 18 INTs. He’s a QB1 not the eighth best though.”
Jake Ciely (RotoExperts)

Tyrod Taylor (BUF)
Positional Rank: #17
“After failing to throw for more than 195 yards in six out of fourteen starts, Tyrod Taylor lacks the consistency to be anything more than a bye-week fill-in. True, thanks to his spectacular rushing and quality supporting cast, Taylor could be counted on for several big games, making him an interesting best-ball option. However, trying to figure out when those big games are coming makes him someone that I will be letting others draft in traditional leagues, opting for any of the four signal caller immediately following him in the early ECR (Ryan, Cousins, Tannehill, Fitzpatrick).”
Matthew Hill (Fantasy Team Advice)

Q2. What RB is the most overvalued based on the early consensus preseason rankings?

Devonta Freeman (ATL)
Positional Rank: #5
“I’d be hesitant to bet on lightning striking twice for Devonta Freeman next year. While he finished last season as the cumulative RB1, Freeman rushed for more than 3.4 yards per attempt only once in his last seven games — production more consistent with the runner Freeman looked like as a rookie. It should also be pointed out that 55% of Freeman’s total 2015 fantasy production came in a five-game stretch from Weeks 3-7. Only one of his opponents over that stretch (Houston) ranked better than a bottom-third rush defense per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metrics.”
Phil Alexander (Footballguys)

“I’m starting near the top here, as Devonta Freeman is not a top-5 running back for 2016. Like Bortles, he’s still an RB1, but from Weeks 7-17, Freeman was just the 11th best running back and 15th in FPPG. In addition, Freeman averaged just 3.14 yards per carry over the last seven games, and it was actually 3.06 after his return if you think the injury game hurt that number. The team’s leadership invested and believes in Tevin Coleman, as seen with him being the lead option to start the season in 2015, so he’s going to share work in 2016, capping Freeman’s upside to mid-to-late RB1.”
Jake Ciely (RotoExperts)

LeSean McCoy (BUF)
Positional Rank: #9
“Staying in Buffalo, McCoy joins Taylor as the most overvalued player at his position in the early rankings. While there was much fanfare concerning his fit and what he brought to the Buffalo offense, the fact of the matter was McCoy was nothing more than a high-profile committee back. McCoy shared the backfield with impressive rookie Karlos Williams, who found the endzone nine times in 2015, nearly doubling McCoy’s five scores. Add in a potential McCoy suspension and early drafters selecting McCoy as a top-ten running back as he is listed in the ECR, and they will be disappointed in their investment.”
Matthew Hill (Fantasy Team Advice)

Q3. What WR is the most overvalued based on the early consensus preseason rankings?

Brandin Cooks (NO)
Positional Rank: #15
“There were six games in which Brandin Cooks finished with less than 10 PPR fantasy points last season, giving him one of the highest week-to-week bust rates among WR1’s. Drafting Cooks as the WR15 is not egregious by any means, but I’d take any of Keenan Allen, T.Y. Hilton, Julian Edelman, or Randall Cobb ahead of Cooks, all of whom the consensus has ranked lower.”
Phil Alexander (Footballguys)

Dorial Green-Beckham (TEN)
Positional Rank: #35
“Yes, Dorial Green-Beckham has the size and athleticism to be a force in the red zone. Yes, Dorial Green-Beckham gave us a glimpse of his potential in his two games where he combined for 232 yards receiving on eleven receptions. No, Dorial Green-Beckham does not deserved to be ranked ahead of the likes of Michael Crabtree, Josh Gordon and several other proven pass-catchers. Green-Beckham would have to improve dramatically on his rookie receiving line of 30/528/3 in order to justify his ranking. As the third option in an uninspiring Titans passing attack, I don’t see that happening in 2016.”
Matthew Hill (Fantasy Team Advice)

Jarvis Landry (MIA)
Positional Rank: #24
“Sorry Jarvis, but 1) you’re way too high and 2) your teammate DeVante Parker will surpass you in 2016. Out of the top 50 receivers from 2015, Landry had the second-lowest fantasy points per catch and reception. Only Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin were lower, respectively. ‘But Landry is great in PPR, Jake!’ Sure, he’s better, but he’ll drop off there too… plus, these are standard rankings. Landry won’t see 160-plus targets next year, and with how little production comes with his targets and receptions, Parker won’t be the only receiver to leapfrog him in 2016.”
Jake Ciely (RotoExperts)

Thank you to the experts for naming their overvalued players according ot our early consensus rankings. For more advice, please be sure to give them a follow on Twitter. Got thoughts on their picks? Leave a comment below.

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