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What Receivers are Overvalued by ADP? (2018 Fantasy Football)

by Ryan Melosi | @RTMelos | Featured Writer
Aug 20, 2018

DeAndre Hopkins’ (pictured) value will likely be hurt by Deshaun Watson’s likely regresssion

In my previous article, I had shed light on some wide receivers that are being undervalued by their ADP, so the natural follow up would be looking at who is overvalued. This is not to say these players are bad and won’t be productive fantasy players. The term “overvalued” means you may not get a return on your investment, whether you’re dealing with a traditional draft or an auction draft, and could’ve potentially picked someone better at that point.

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DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)
My Rank: WR4

This is sure to be considered a hot take by some, but hear me out. Hopkins is good…really good. He’s worthy of a first-round pick. But he shouldn’t be the second or even third receiver off the board.

I know everyone is hyped for Deshaun Watson, but there’s no chance he sustains his pace. The numbers have been gone over time and time again, but here’s a quick hit — if you give Watson Drew Brees‘ career-TD rate of 5.5%, his touchdown total drops from 19 to 11. He was averaging over a touchdown more per game than he could realistically be projected for, and that’s even if you match him with the inner circle, future Hall of Famer, Brees.

Watson’s sure regression aside, we also saw the downside of Hopkins in 2016. I know, I know, “But Brock Osweiler!” Spare me. I recognize he’s terrible, but I’ll never be convinced he’s significantly worse than Tom Savage, T.J. Yates, or Ryan Mallett, all of whom Hopkins produced elite numbers with.

So who should you take? The answer is Odell Beckham Jr. Since Beckham came into the league, he’s averaged 14.26 fantasy points per game. Hopkins has had 11.27 over that same time frame. “But Brock Osweiler!” again? That’s still only 12.52 FPPG if you take out 2016.

In the career year we just saw Hopkins have, he averaged 14.25. Beckham’s career average is better than Hopkins best season! Beckham is more Antonio Brown than he is any other receiver in the league and should, without a doubt in my mind, be the second receiver taken off the board with Julio Jones and his four straight 1,400-yard seasons coming in third. For more on Jones, you can see a player debate done back in June between Jason Katz and myself here.

Tyreek Hill (KC)
My Rank: WR17

If you clicked on that link above to the debate and actually read it, you would have seen plenty of Hill talk as well. To recap what I said in that piece, Hill is undoubtedly an insanely talented and dynamic player, but we’re paying for him at basically his ceiling by taking him as the 10th receiver off the board (he finished as the WR10 last year). His previous 13 touchdowns have come from more than 30 yards out. He hasn’t scored a red zone touchdown since Week 12 of 2016! He’s a big play threat, but he’d need to keep up his historically great efficiency to come close to that again as his targets almost surely aren’t going up with the Chiefs signing Sammy Watkins. And, oh yeah, did we mention he is now playing with a quarterback who has played one whole NFL game?

Look at the guys after him. T.Y. Hilton has just as much big-play ability and has an all-world quarterback throwing to him. Adam Thielen was an absolute yardage monster last season, which is much easier to project than touchdowns. Doug Baldwin? He has an MVP-caliber quarterback with a narrow passing tree. Amari Cooper? He’ll see a ton of volume and has just as much upside as Hill. Hill is a good player, but drafting any player at his ceiling is ultimately a bad play.

Stefon Diggs (MIN)
My Rank: WR16

Like Hill, we’re expected to draft Diggs at his ceiling. No thanks. I know he gets the Antonio Brown comparisons and has shown huge games in the past, but what’s he done for us so far? “He’s always battling a groin injury! He’s elite when he’s healthy!” is a common excuse for Diggs’s fantasy disappointments over the last two seasons.

First off, citing someone’s injury history as a positive reason to draft him will always be amusing to me. Secondly, Diggs has played 80+% of the Vikings snaps (an admittedly arbitrary number, but he had more bad games than good if we make the cut off 70%, and that seems too low, anyway) in exactly 16 games over the last two seasons. A full year’s worth. What were his numbers in those games? 90 catches, 1,046 yards, and five touchdowns. His 179.6 half-PPR points would have come in right ahead of Golden Tate’s 178.50 last season. You can get Tate’s production 20 picks later with less injury risk.

With so many good players available in the early stages of the draft I do not want to pay a premium in the hopes of a big breakout. We need to bake the breakout in our price, not pay for it before it happens.

Calvin Ridley (ATL)
My Rank: WR58

This one pains me because I love Ridley as a player and am excited to see what he can do in this league, but being drafted as a WR4? Come on now. Everyone wants to bet on the talented rookies and be the one to “call” the breakout, but based on research I’ve done, rookie receivers are actually less likely to “boom” than their veteran counterparts, even when adjusted for their ADPs.

Ridley, in particular, seems an unlikely candidate to buck that trend despite being drafted in the first round into a great situation in Atlanta. While I’m not the biggest fan of his game, they have an established second wide receiver they like in Mohamed Sanu, two great receiving backs, and tight end Austin Hooper, who is expected to take a big jump forward in his third year. There’s really not much volume to go around for Ridley unless something happens to Sanu, which isn’t out of the question, but I’m not wanting to pay for hopes of an injury.

Like I said in the opener, just because I feel these guys are overvalued does not mean I don’t think they can’t be valuable fantasy assets, with the exception of Ridley. They indeed can and will be. There’s just better value to be had in their respective portions of the draft.

What Wide Receivers are Undervalued by ADP

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Ryan Melosi is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Ryan, check out his archive and follow him @RTMelos.

Correspondent, Featured, NFL, Overvalued