Fantasy Football Overvalued/Undervalued: Week 2
Welcome to another edition of Overvalued/Undervalued, our weekly look at players I like more or less (in 0.5 PPR) than FantasyPros’ Expert Consensus Rankings. In last week’s column, I swung and missed on Ben Roethlisberger, Tyler Eifert, and Mark Andrews, but nailed my picks on Russell Wilson, Jordan Howard, Emmanuel Sanders, and Mike Williams. James White was basically a push.
Not a bad start, but I’ll keep striving for greatness. As always, don’t take my opinions as absolute truth, but do consider the facts and figures I bring to bear. Hopefully, I can help you out with some sticky lineup decisions. Speaking of which, if you have start/sit questions — or know whether I should start Tyler Boyd, Cooper Kupp, or Tyrell Williams — I’m always available on Twitter @andrew_seifter.
Undervalued: Jared Goff (LAR)
My Rank: QB4
Goff’s 2019 season got off to a rough start last week in Carolina, but let’s not overreact here. Goff was the overall QB6 last season, and he was markedly better at home, averaging 342.1 passing yards with a 22-to-3 TD-to-INT ratio across his eight home starts. This week he’ll get a home matchup with the Saints that has one of the highest projected point totals (52) on the entire Week 2 slate. It’s tempting to think of New Orleans as a shy-away matchup because of the presence of Marshon Lattimore, but Pro Football Focus rates their secondary as a whole as merely average. The Saints are fresh off a shootout with Houston, and Goff and the Rams shouldn’t have much trouble putting points on the board against them this week.
Overvalued: Lamar Jackson (BAL)
My Rank: QB8
Look, I get it: Lamar looks legit. But QB2? Over Deshaun Watson? Over Tom Brady, who gets to face off with the same Dolphins D that Jackson embarrassed last week? Over Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz, who will face off in what Vegas expects to be a closely-contested shootout? Jackson has another nice matchup of his own, to be sure. The Cardinals just made Matthew Stafford look like Dan Marino. But we still don’t have a great feel for how often Lamar is going to throw the ball, or who he’ll be throwing it to. Nor do we know how much value Jackson will produce with his legs (he ran for just six yards last week). It’s easy to imagine the Ravens letting the running backs do a lot of the heavy lifting against Arizona, especially if the score gets out of hand. I have Jackson as my QB8 this week, so I’m hardly hating on the guy. I just think there are more proven elite options who are in equally favorable spots.
Undervalued: Leonard Fournette (JAX)
My Rank: RB10
Week 1 provided confirmation that Fournette is set to serve as a true three-down back. He played 86 percent of the offensive snaps against Kansas City, while rookie Ryquell Armstead barely saw the field. With 94 total yards and no touchdowns, Fournette’s Week 1 stat line doesn’t jump off the page, but he was highly involved in both the running and passing game. He should see as much volume as he can handle going forward with inexperienced rookie Gardner Minshew under center, and the Texans just allowed Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray to combine for 140 rushing yards on only 19 carries last week, so this isn’t a matchup to run away from. Fournette is a good bet to see 20+ touches this week, and that makes him a reliable RB1 in my book.
Overvalued: Phillip Lindsay (DEN)
My Rank: RB37
Lindsay is a player who was somewhat under-appreciated last year (a la Chris Carson), but a series of unfortunate events leave me wanting nothing to do with him this week. The biggest concern is that Lindsay appears to be in a much closer to 50-50 timeshare with Royce Freeman than he was last season. That concern is further amplified by the overall struggles of Denver’s offense, which had trouble consistently moving the ball in Week 1 despite a favorable matchup with Oakland. Now Lindsay is faced with a much more brutal matchup against the Bears, who completely shut down Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams last week. This ranking discrepancy may not seem all that big, but in a lot of leagues, it is the difference between sticking with Lindsay this week or putting him on your bench. I’d look elsewhere for a flex option if at all possible.
Undervalued: Allen Robinson (CHI)
My Rank: WR17
Robinson appears to be the rare player who is underrated coming off a big opening week performance. Maybe the Thursday game is just too far back to remember? All kidding aside, Robinson’s lukewarm standing among the fantasy industry probably has something to do with the fact that he hasn’t been a high-end fantasy asset in four years — and that Mitch Trubisky looked…not good. But Robinson is still just 26 years old, so he’s hardly past his prime. And his 149 air yards in Week 1 were more than he had in any regular-season game last year. There is little doubt after watching the Bears first game that Robinson is miles ahead of any other Chicago receiver in terms of expected volume, and this week he gets a solid matchup with a Broncos defense that looked pretty helpless against Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller last week. Don’t let your skepticism about Trubisky convince you to avoid Robinson.
Overvalued: T.Y. Hilton (IND)
My Rank: WR22
Hilton had a terrific performance in his first game of the post-Andrew Luck era, catching eight of his nine targets from Jacoby Brissett for 87 yards and two touchdowns. But Hilton has always been a boom-or-bust player, and he may not blow up quite as often now that the Colts are seemingly deploying a more conservative, run-heavy scheme. After all, the only time Hilton has failed to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in the last six seasons was in 2017, when Brissett was his quarterback. Hilton has a long enough track record to merit weekly WR2 consideration, but he’ll need a very favorable matchup in order for me to ever consider him a particularly high-end one. A Week 2 road game against an underrated Titans D that just got after Baker Mayfield does not qualify.
Undervalued: T.J. Hockenson (DET)
My Rank: TE7
This one is less about Week 2 matchups and more about the general landscape at tight end. Unlike all of the rookie wide receivers that went off in Week 1, the bar to weekly fantasy relevance is much lower for Hockenson. With Hunter Henry now staring at an extended absence, there are only a handful of tight ends you can count on to be a focal point of their respective offenses — and perhaps even fewer now that O.J. Howard is looking like a real question mark. The Lions spent a lot of draft capital on Hockenson — he’s the first tight end to go in the top-eight picks in 13 years — and they clearly are eager to get him involved right away. Matthew Stafford isn’t going to drop back to pass 45 times every week, but the Lions have the third-most targets to replace from last season, and they’re not all going to Danny Amendola. Hockenson may have some growing pains, but he has week-winning upside, which is a true rarity at the tight end position.
Overvalued: Delanie Walker (TEN)
My Rank: TE13
Walker is a popular fantasy option after scoring two touchdowns in Week 1, but he’s still just a borderline TE1 in my book. He only played 48 percent of the snaps against Cleveland, fewer than Jonnu Smith and (checks notes) MyCole Pruitt. And that’s not because the game was a blowout — it was a nine-point game entering the fourth quarter when Walker scored both of his touchdowns. I’m not disputing that Walker is the top tight end in this offense, but how valuable is that role, really? The Titans are going to rely on their running game and defense as much as they can, so Walker will rarely if ever get more than the six targets he saw against the Browns. He’ll just about always need a touchdown to pay off as a TE1.