All Undrafted Team (2019 Fantasy Football)
Let’s look at the top players at each position who are currently going undrafted in standard 10-team leagues. All but one of them have a consensus ADP outside of the top 150.
Matthew Stafford (DET)
ADP 166 – QB23
After a disappointing season, Matthew Stafford is currently being extremely overlooked. Based on the quarterback position as a whole, I’m not actively going out of my way to target him, but he’s definitely undervalued. According to the current FantasyPros ADP, he’s the 23rd quarterback off the board and is either going undrafted or taken in the late rounds.
Finishing as the QB20 in 2018, this was not the typical Stafford that we’ve seen in the past. Losing Golden Tate definitely doesn’t help, but he still has a top receiver in the up-and-coming, Kenny Golladay. He also still has Marvin Jones, who played in just nine games last year. The Lions recently signed Danny Amendola, who could possibly have some sneaky PPR value filling Tate’s old role.
Stafford finished as the QB7 in both 2016 and 2017. The receiving group is obviously not the same, but the often undrafted Stafford has a chance to be a solid option if you’re punting the quarterback position. Although I don’t envision elite fantasy numbers, he could finish around the 12-15 range.
Justice Hill (BAL)
ADP 162 – RB60
Landing spots are a major factor for rookies in fantasy football. The Ravens selected Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. That puts him in one of the more appealing destinations for a rookie outside of the obvious names like Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, and David Montgomery. With a current ADP of 162, Hill is someone you can grab with one of your final picks in redraft leagues.
Despite what the box score says, Hill is a natural pass-catcher who has great hands. He didn’t fumble much and is very elusive. He makes great cuts and his lateral movement is fluid. Hill has home-run ability that makes him a threat to do some damage anytime the ball is in his hands.
Duke Johnson (CLE)
ADP 187 – RB64
After finishing as an RB1 in 2017 in PPR scoring, Duke Johnson showed the fantasy world that he’s more than capable when given the chance. The Browns’ backfield has become crowded, however, as Nick Chubb proved he’s a more-than-capable lead back. Kareem Hunt will start the season with an eight-game suspension, but he’s going to get his share of work when he comes back.
In deeper leagues, Johnson has some nice standalone value, not to mention as a handcuff. Getting traded to a team that needs a pass-catching running back would also bump up his stock massively. Landing somewhere like Tampa Bay would be almost too good to be true. Going as the 64th running back off the board, the criminally underrated Johnson should easily out-perform that ADP.
Tre’Quan Smith (NO)
ADP 155 – WR58
The New Orleans Saints have one of the most high-powered offenses in the NFL. With Drew Brees back for at least another year, the biggest question now is who will be the number two receiving option across from Michael Thomas. Alvin Kamara has had 81 receptions and over 100 targets in each of his two seasons. He’ll get his share along with the new tight end, Jared Cook. The guy I’m looking at to take a big step forward in 2019 is second-year wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith.
Smith played 15 games in 2018 and saw seven starts. In 2019, I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts in just about every contest. It’s always good to have the second option across from a high-profile receiver like Thomas, and that offense has plenty of weapons that will require attention from opposing defenses. Smith ended his rookie season with just 28 receptions on 44 targets for 427 yards and five touchdowns. The next man up behind Thomas and Smith is veteran Ted Ginn, but I don’t expect him to produce consistently. As the 58th wide receiver off the board, Smith could easily out-play his current ADP and has WR3 upside.
Deebo Samuel (SF)
ADP 164 – WR61
There aren’t very many rookie wide receivers in the 2019 class with a good chance to put up fantasy numbers immediately. Outside of the high-profile guys like N’Keal Harry and D.K. Metcalf, the rest of the first-year wideouts come with some concerns. One rookie I like to potentially produce right away is South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel.
San Francisco needs a WR1 and as of now, many fantasy owners are looking at Dante Pettis to fill that role. However, Samuel profiles much better with the size and ability to fill that WR1 designation. Kyle Shanahan’s offense loves to feature a number one wide receiver, and Samuel can play both the slot and the outside. He also is arguably the best route-runner in this class and is simply a playmaker. As the 61st wide receiver drafted, I’m targeting Samuel late in re-draft leagues and stashing him on my bench.
Zay Jones (BUF)
ADP 176 – WR66
The Buffalo Bills have an obvious need at wide receiver. Many fantasy owners liked what they saw from Josh Allen in his rookie campaign and expect him to take a step forward in 2019. Allen ended up finishing the season as the QB21 in 12 total starts. Rushing upside is the biggest reason for his instant success and future upside, as he totaled 89 carries for 631 yards and eight rushing touchdowns last season. There’s no clear-cut WR 1 in Buffalo, but I’m targeting Zay Jones in hopes of him filling that role.
After two seasons in the NFL, Jones has played in all but one game. He saw 102 targets last year but caught just 56 of them for 652 yards and seven touchdowns. While the efficiency was not ideal, I expect the connection between Allen and Jones to improve with another year under their belts. Jones is still the most talented receiver in Buffalo, and the team needs someone to step up. John Brown (WR56) is the only Bills receiver getting drafted ahead of Jones, but Robert Foster (WR70) is going just a few spots later. I prefer to buy Jones, the most talented player, at his WR66 cost. He could be worth a flex spot in deeper leagues, so stash him on the bench to see how this third season unfolds.
Chris Herndon (NYJ)
ADP 140 – TE15
With an ADP of 140, Chris Herndon is going just a bit earlier than the rest of the guys highlighted above, but he needs to be mentioned. As a rookie tight end who flew fairly under the radar, he started to makes noise in the second half. He finished his 2018 campaign with 39 receptions on 56 targets, totaling 502 yards and four touchdowns. Sam Darnold looked sharp in his rookie campaign and is a nice breakout candidate. In a receiving group where Robby Anderson is the most exciting name, there is a promising opportunity ahead for Herndon.
Not only was he not a starter, but he also had two games without a single target. Once he showed the team what he was capable of, the Jets began to get him much more involved, and Darnold developed a great connection with Herndon. Thirty-eight of Herndon’s 56 targets came in the second half of the season. He shouldn’t have much trouble returning value on his TE15 ADP. I don’t expect him to be elite, but he has enough upside to target late if waiting on tight end this year.
Editor’s note: Expect his ADP to drop a bit further given the potential two-game suspension.