12 Early Undervalued Players (Fantasy Football)

Feb 21, 2018

Jamison Crowder could see his stock go up with Alex Smith throwing him the ball

When it’s this early in the football season like this, it’s natural that things will change as free agency gets underway and the NFL Draft occurs. With that said, early impressions even from the expert consensus rankings are likely going to raise some questions. For that reason, we asked our featured experts below for their thoughts on how the rankings look right now.

Find out which QBs, RBs, and WRs they feel are going too low.

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Q1. What QB is the most undervalued in our early consensus rankings and why?

Jameis Winston (TB): QB #16
“Winston was a top-10 fantasy quarterback in 2016 and ranked 13th in fantasy points-per-game last season, despite a shoulder injury that cost him three games and affected a couple other contests. Once he recovered, Winston had a strong conclusion to the 2017 season and actually led the NFL with 1,584 passing yards in the final five weeks, where he was the No. 1 overall fantasy signal-caller. The Bucs have a solid young nucleus of skill position talent surrounding Winston and Dirk Koetter’s return should assure he’ll contend with QB1 numbers in 2018.”
– Jody Smith (FantasyPros)

Philip Rivers (LAC): QB #15
“Rivers continues to be disrespected. Coming in as the early QB15, despite finishing last year as the QB8 and as one of the more consistently startable guys at the position. With Keenan Allen showing he’s a beast when healthy, and the upside of guys like Mike Williams and Hunter Henry, Rivers is sure to return on draft value.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

Dak Prescott (DAL): QB #11
“There is a lot of recency-bias in the early rankings, and it’s understandable because it’s what’s fresh on your mind. But Dak Prescott is being severely undervalued in the early consensus. Did he struggle towards the end of the year with Ezekiel Elliott on the shelf? Yes, he sure did, but don’t forget that his protector, Tyron Smith, one of the best left tackles in the game was also missing and/or hurt during that time. From Weeks 1-10, there were just four quarterbacks who averaged more fantasy points per game than Prescott. The Cowboys are also sure to add a wide receiver in this year’s draft, which should help both him and Dez Bryant.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Matt Ryan (ATL): QB #19
“Ryan at #19 is significantly too low for me. Let’s not be so quick to forget that he recently completed one of the greatest seasons in NFL history. Sure, Shanahan is gone and Ryan had a bit of a rough season, but we are talking about a guy with 4,000+ passing yards and 20+ touchdowns in six straight seasons. That has always been a top 15 QB at the very least and will be once again this year.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Q2. What RB is the most undervalued in our early consensus rankings and why?

Carlos Hyde (FA): RB #18
“RBs are hard to properly value this early in the process, but Carlos Hyde as a Tier 4 RB is nonsense. It wasn’t his most efficient season, but he was the only RB to finish in the top-10 while playing for a sub .500 team. He’ll either be back with a better 49’ers team or more likely, collecting a nice paycheck for a team that desires his services.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

Alex Collins (BAL): RB #20
“Collins finished as the RB15 in standard scoring despite doing very little in the first month of the season. Once he emerged, Collins looked like an excellent fit, scoring six touchdowns in the season’s final seven games behind a solid Baltimore offensive line. The Ravens have commented that this will be on offensive-centric draft, but if the Ravens don’t bring in another highly-touted rookie runner to compete for carries on first and second down, Collins looks like a nice value as the 20th back off the board. ”
– Jody Smith (FantasyPros)

Joe Mixon (CIN): RB #16
“Remember last year, when Joe Mixon was moving all the way up into the second round of some fantasy drafts? I do, because I was a huge fan of his game, but didn’t understand what people were doing. He was part of a three-headed monster and was a rookie. There was no way they were going to give him 18-plus touches per game with those circumstances. The Bengals offensive line was one of the worst in the league last year, but you saw Mixon grow as the year went on. After averaging just 2.79 yards per carry from Weeks 1-5, Mixon came back after the bye week and averaged 3.95 yards per carry from Week 7-17. He was playing roughly 70 percent of the snaps when he suffered his ankle sprain that caused him to miss multiple weeks, a number that is reserved for the top-tier running backs. Yes, Jeremy Hill was sidelined during that time, but he’s also a free agent this offseason, eliminating a lot of concerns for Mixon. This is the year he’ll break out, especially if the Bengals address the offensive line in free agency/draft. ”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Joe Williams (SF): RB #59
“As it stands now, Joe Williams is ranked as the #59 running back. Meanwhile, everyone has Carlos Hyde leaving town and Saquon Barkley being selected before San Francisco has a chance to add him. You can bet on them using Matt Breida or perhaps a mid-round rookie running back, but I’m expecting Kyle Shanahan to use the player he went out to acquire specifically for his offense. Williams is a top-notch athlete who tore up college football and could be a star in this league if he is healthy.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Q3. What WR is the most undervalued in our early consensus rankings and why?

Jamison Crowder (WAS): WR #42
“It was clear that Crowder was dealing with injuries early in 2017, and we saw him take a big step forward late in the season, finishing as the WR13 in both standard and PPR leagues from Week 8 through Week 16. While some have criticized the move the Redskins made trading for Alex Smith, Crowder is the one who benefits most from the switch, as Smith excels while passing over the middle of the field, hitting his wide receivers in stride. At the very least, Crowder is going to be a weekly WR3.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Marvin Jones (DET): WR #23
“Jones had a career year last season, finishing as the No. 5 wideout in standard scoring. With the Lions bringing back Jim Bob Cooter to run the same offense, Jones looks like a steal at WR23. We can’t expect him to be top-5 again, but Jones has looked good for Detroit and built up an excellent chemistry with Matthew Stafford. With all the same pieces in place, Jones should be in a great position for another solid season in 2018.”
– Jody Smith (FantasyPros)

Pierre Garcon (SF): WR #34
“Garcon went down in Game 8 and finished the year with 40/500. The nice easy math here puts Garcon on pace for 80/1000. That’s without playing with Handsome Jimmy GQ. Garcon still has the chops as a solid possession receiver and will be pushed down draft boards coming off a season cut short by injury.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

Michael Crabtree (OAK): WR #27
“Here we are again, same as last season, the year before that and so forth. Michael Crabtree is being vastly underrated. He is listed as the #27 ECR wideout right now despite having been top 20 in each of the past three seasons including 2016 when he was a fantasy WR1. Even if the Raiders end up cutting Crabtree, the chances are that he will end up with a better quarterback and won’t have to compete with the likes of Amari Cooper for targets.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for naming their undervalued players. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and for more great advice, subscribe to our podcast below.

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