Fantasy Football Overvalued/Undervalued: Week 7
In what can only be described as the most predictable result since the Patriots steamrolled the Dolphins 43-0 in Week 2, I underestimated Lamar Jackson again last week. Apparently, every time I take issue with Jackson being ranked second in FantasyPros’ Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR), that’s precisely where he finishes. And every time I follow the herd and rank him as a top-two QB, he underwhelms. Jackson owners of the world should hope that I keep on hating.
As for the rest of my picks, I just about nailed my rankings for Leonard Fournette (RB13), Courtland Sutton (WR35), and Jason Witten (TE11), while my intense skepticism of Delanie Walker once again proved to be more than justified. My optimistic expectations for Matthew Stafford, Matt Breida, and Dede Westbrook didn’t pan out quite so well, but I will at least take credit for correctly predicting that Westbrook would lead the Jaguars in targets with Marshon Lattimore draped all over D.J. Chark.
Before we get to this week’s undervalued/overvalued players, a quick reminder that I am on Twitter! @andrew_seifter is the name, and answering start/sit questions is the game.
Now on to this week’s picks, and let’s begin with another QB that I apparently love to hate on…
Overvalued: Aaron Rodgers (GB)
My Rank: QB13
There was a time not that long ago where Rodgers at home against Oakland would have been the slam-dunk, number one QB of the week. But that was before he went more than a calendar year (October 7, 2018) without throwing three touchdown passes in a game. Rodgers is only the QB16 in fantasy through the first six games, and before you complain about the small sample size, consider that he was merely the QB15 over the final 10 games of last season. The Packers have morphed into a team that is built around their defense and running game, and that is highly unlikely to change while the receiving corps is littered with injuries. Even if Davante Adams (toe), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee), and Geronimo Allison (concussion) all miraculously manage to get cleared by Sunday, there is still little reason to believe that the pass-happy Rodgers of old will suddenly reappear this week.
Undervalued: Daniel Jones (NYG)
My Rank: QB10
Start Danny Dimes over Mr. State Farm himself? I’m on board. Last week was a nightmare scenario for Jones, who faced the Patriots’ league-leading defense on the road in a short week without his top-three offensive playmakers (Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard). But Barkley and Engram are both expected back this week, and Shepard could return, too. With Jones also displaying chemistry with Golden Tate, we could finally see the rookie QB with his full complement of weapons this week. And while last week was a worst-case scenario for Jones, this week’s matchup against Arizona is close to a best-case scenario, even with the Cardinals welcoming back Patrick Peterson. Arizona’s secondary has given up the third-most fantasy points to QBs, including top-10 finishes to Kyle Allen and Andy Dalton. It’s hardly a reach to expect Jones to provide similar production now that his top pass-catchers are back.
Overvalued: Joe Mixon (CIN)
My Rank: RB21
At first glance, Mixon is a bell-cow back in a terrific matchup, but it’s not so simple. It’s fair to say that Jacksonville is a decent matchup, but the Jaguars did hold a hobbled Alvin Kamara in check last week, and the superhuman Christian McCaffrey is the only running back who has had a really huge game against them so far. But the far bigger issue is Mixon’s usage and his team’s immense offensive struggles. He has been woefully underutilized as a pass-catcher over the last two weeks, and he has played fewer snaps than Gio Bernard when the Bengals have been trailing (which is most of the time). That is hardly the every-down usage that Mixon owners were expecting. With his inconsistent playing time and his few scoring opportunities, it is time to readjust our expectations for Mixon. He’s a low-end RB2 even in an above-average matchup.
Undervalued: Mark Walton (MIA)
My Rank: RB35
The bye weeks are here, and that means lots of fantasy owners are scrambling to find fill-ins, especially at the ever-scarce running back position. If that applies to your team, you could do a lot worse than taking a flier on Walton. A fourth-round pick by the Bengals in 2018, Walton was cut by Cincinnati following a string of off-field incidents, and he eventually landed in Miami. The Dolphins’ offense is obviously a train wreck, but Walton has still been quietly productive, averaging a team-leading 4.4 yards per carry while also proving to be a capable receiver out of the backfield. He earned his first start in Week 6, and while he had fewer touches (11) than Kenyan Drake (16), it’s easy to envision that changing as soon as this week with the contract-year Drake currently the subject of trade rumors. A Week 7 date with Buffalo isn’t an ideal matchup, but the Bills have been susceptible to pass-catching backs, and Walton could benefit from plenty of garbage time production.
Overvalued: Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB)
My Rank: WR50
As a dynasty league owner of Valdes-Scantling who considers himself an MVS-booster, this one hurts. But there can be no doubt that the Packers’ run-heavy approach is taking just as much of a toll on MVS as it is on Rodgers. MVS has finished inside the top-40 wide receivers just once in six games this season, so it’s hard to justify ranking him as a WR3 despite the favorable matchup with Oakland. Valdes-Scantling isn’t even a lock to play after hurting his ankle and knee last week, and even if he does suit up, he may do so at well less than 100 percent. With three-or-fewer catches in four of his last five games, I need to see MVS get more involved in this passing game before I trust him in my starting lineup.
Undervalued: Cole Beasley (BUF)
My Rank: WR36
If you’re looking for a bye week fill-in at WR and your league awards even half a point per reception, give Beasley a look. Beasley has at least nine targets in three of his first five games, and he enters Week 7 as the WR52 despite not having scored a single touchdown and having faced a fairly daunting early-season schedule (his last three opponents all ranked in the top-eight in terms of limiting fantasy points to wide receivers). This week he gets an excellent matchup against the Dolphins, who are one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Beasley isn’t a sexy option given his lack of touchdown upside, but his high floor puts him on the WR3/flex radar in 0.5 PPR and full PPR formats.
Overvalued: Jimmy Graham (GB)
My Rank: TE14
Rather than again urge you to consider benching or cutting Delanie Walker, I’ll use this opportunity to complete my Week 7 fade of the Packers’ entire passing game. Graham’s 14 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns sounds like a massive fantasy line, but the problem is he’s accrued those numbers over six games, not one. I get it, tight end is terrible, and Graham could theoretically benefit if one or more of Green Bay’s wide receivers miss this game. But I still can’t help believing that Graham, like Rodgers, is being slightly overrated in fantasy circles based on his past glory. At this point in his career, there is very little to differentiate Graham from other touchdown-or-bust options like Eric Ebron and Jason Witten.
Undervalued: Darren Fells (HOU)
My Rank: TE13
Fells has come out of nowhere to put himself squarely in the low-end TE1 conversation. Granted, this is a position that falls off a cliff after the first 10 or so options, but it is notable nonetheless. Over his last four games, Fells has 14 catches for 150 yards and three touchdowns, all numbers that are equal or better to what Graham has done in six games. Yes, he is splitting snaps with Jordan Akins, but Fells has played at least 60 percent of the snaps in five straight games, and 79 percent or more over the last two contests. Last week, he didn’t score but still managed to catch six passes for 69 yards, which is more than you often get from the touchdown-or-bust options at the position. This week, he faces a Colts defense that is giving up the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. He’s a sneaky option for fantasy managers with the bye week blues — Greg Olsen owners, I’m looking at you.