10 Early Overvalued Players (2020 Fantasy Football)
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Here are players that our writers feel are overvalued based on our current fantasy football expert consensus rankings.
Q: Which player do you think is most overvalued by the Expert Consensus Rankings?
Todd Gurley (RB – ATL)
It pains me to say this as a Falcons fan, but Todd Gurley as No. 30 overall and RB14 is a reach. He’s grouped into the third tier of running backs, which means that he’s expected to perform in line with guys such as Austin Ekeler, Chris Carson and Leonard Fournette. I just don’t see it. The whispers about his arthritic knee haven’t been quelled, and I doubt the Rams throttled his usage throughout their Super Bowl run without reason. Yes, he played 15 games in 2019 and finished as the RB12, but his rushing and receiving stats took a significant dive in efficiency, and his tape showed a different back from the superstar of past seasons. There are too many questions here, and I’m betting the medical concerns come to a head with the Falcons in 2020. You’d be better served to take a high-floor receiver such as Adam Thielen or D.J. Moore in the third round than a running back with degenerative knee concerns.
– Daniel Comer (@DanComer404)
Given the remarkable depth at the running back position this year, taking Todd Gurley as the RB14 is almost criminal. Here is the issue — as much as I want to endorse his obvious talent, there’s just not enough volume in the Atlanta offense to sustain more than a very low-end RB2. Since Atlanta already rushed the ball less than 29 other NFL teams last season, and because they project to be behind in games more often than not in 2020, it’s hard to argue that the volume will increase. While Todd Gurley will surely have some value in the passing game, if you draft him as the RB14, you’re taking him at — or above — his ceiling. That’s a surefire recipe for a bad draft.
– Ethan Summers (@AllSummersLong_)
Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE)
I don’t really want to be the one arguing against someone like Beckham, but I’m just not taking him close to 27th overall or as the 11th wide receiver off the board. Beckham is an elite talent but hasn’t finished higher than the WR16 in 1/2 PPR leagues in any of the last three seasons and has already missed 21 games in his career. Even if he does stay healthy, in Kevin Stefanski’s offense, Beckham just is not going to see the targets necessary to justify WR1 status. Under Stefanski, the Vikings ran the ball 48% of the time, fourth-most in the league, and with Kareem Hunt in Cleveland for a full year and the addition of Austin Hooper, there just won’t be the targets to go around. Beckham also hasn’t topped seven touchdowns since 2016, so he’s unlikely to recoup his value in the red zone. Beckham has enormous potential, but I’ll take him as a high-to-mid WR2 rather than a WR1 as he is valued in ECR.
– Dan Harris (@danharris80)
DeAndre Hopkins (WR – ARI)
It’s hard to avoid DeAndre Hopkins in fantasy drafts. He’s one of the best wideouts in the NFL, and he’s on what could be a very favorable offense in 2020. However, no matter how good a wide receiver is, history tells us that wide receivers often disappoint in their first season with new teams, a trend that’s likely to be exacerbated in the era of COVID-19. Hopkins is currently ranked at WR5, which feels steep for his new situation. Brandon Gdula from numberFire found that even of highly-drafted wide receivers in fantasy (WR16 or higher), those who change teams generally produce less with their new team in year one than they did in the prior year, with half of those wideouts dropping by 2.0 or more PPR points per game. Hopkins enters as the clear alpha in Arizona, but there will still be targets directed to Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald, and likely one of last year’s rookies (KeeSean Johnson, Andy Isabella, or Hakeem Butler), as well as the running back stable of Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds, and rookie Eno Benjamin. As much as I love Kyler Murray, he’s still a sophomore quarterback coming off what will likely be a shortened offseason program. Hopkins finished as the WR4 and WR3 in PPR points per game in 2019 and 2018, respectively, but the outlook for 2020 has too many ways to land below that trajectory. We need a perfect storm for Hopkins to pay off at his current ranking.
– Mark Leipold (@LeipoldNFL)
Sony Michel (RB – NE)
The first knock on Michel is his 2019 season. It was a down season for the Patriots’ offense with Tom Brady, though they still almost earned a first-round bye, and Michel ranked as the RB24. He recorded 912 yards, six touchdowns, and 4.4 yards per carry on 247 attempts. Along with that, his passing game work was non-existent. Going into the most uncertain season in 20 years for New England, there’s no chance that I take Michel over players like D’Andre Swift, Cam Akers, or even Kareem Hunt (in PPR formats). Most notably, New England has one of the hardest schedules in the entire league. Not only do they have to face the AFC East defenses, but they face both Super Bowl participants, the Ravens, and the Seahwks in Seattle. I am not touching Michel in any format this season
– Brandon Torricella (@Btorricella3)
Amari Cooper (WR – DAL)
Are we really going to rank Cooper a full round ahead of D.J. Moore, Courtland Sutton, and Robert Woods? Couldn’t be me. While Cooper certainly has week-winning upside, over 49% of his yardage came across four games last season. He was particularly bad when owners needed him most as he faded badly down the stretch and was almost unstartable from Week 11 on. He had a goose egg in a Week 12 clunker against New England and a 1/19 line in Week 15 that likely cost owners brave enough to start him a playoff win. I get the love for the Dallas offense which is suddenly loaded with the addition of CeeDee Lamb and the emergence of Michael Gallup (and, to an extent, Blake Jarwin) but the exposure to the Cowboys’ offense should come in the form of Zeke Elliott and Dak Prescott. I find it hard to believe Cooper will garner enough targets on a weekly basis to even be a high-end WR2 despite the fact he is being ranked as a top-10 option at the position. He is unlikely to return value on his current ECR of 22 overall, and I would much prefer any of the aforementioned trio of Moore, Sutton, and Woods.
– Jason Kamlowsky (@JasonKamlowsky)
Leonard Fournette (RB – JAC)
Fournette had so much promise when he entered the league, posting 1,342 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns in his 2017 rookie season. The last two years have been filled with injuries, a one-game suspension, and inconsistent play. Last year he was third in the league in touches with 341, but he posted just 4.9 yards per touch and he scored only three touchdowns. The Jaguars declined the fifth year option on Fournette’s contract, and they tried to trade him for a Day 3 pick. That’s the NFL equivalent of a ham sandwich, and they could find no buyers. They have a new offensive coordinator in Jay Gruden, who they’ve tasked with fixing this offense. There’s no reason to believe that the Jaguars are going to be committed to Fournette, and they could employ a committee approach featuring Chris Thompson, Ryquell Armstead, and Devine Ozigbo. When I see Fournette as the 14th-ranked running back and the 27th-ranked overall player, I cannot imagine why he is that well-liked by fantasy experts when he is that hated by his NFL team. I would be more suprised if Fournette was a top-10 fantasy back this year than I would be if he was not in the top-40. I see no reason to invest the type of draft capital that Fournette is commanding given his contract situation, the failed trade attempts, and the new offense. Fournette no longer fits into the Jaguars’ plans, and he shouldn’t fit into fantasy owners’ plans, either, at least not as a top-30 overall player.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)
Mike Evans (WR – TB)
While I believe Tom Brady is an upgrade at the quarterback position in Tampa Bay, I don’t believe both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin can achieve top-eight fantasy status at the wide receiver position this season. Brady, who will enter the 2020 regular season at the age of 43, has seen a steady decrease in his passing yards per game over the last five seasons. He has gone from 298 yards per game in 2015 down to 254 yards per game last year. Jameis Winston, on the other hand, averaged 319 yards per game in 2019 for the Buccaneers. It’s unknown yet if Winston’s inflated average was based on new head coach Bruce Arians and his air raid attack offense, or if Winston was just comfortable with Evans and Godwin. It remains to be seen, but the facts are the facts, and Evans is now going to be playing with a new quarterback that likes to spread the ball around the field. Looking back over the last few years in New England, the passing attack always included a running back catching the ball out of the backfield (James White), a tight end named Rob Gronkowski, and a slot receiver named Julian Edelman. Brady figured out a way to jostle Gronkowski out of retirement to play for the Bucs, and he has his new slot receiver in Godwin. So where does that leave Evans? Last season, both Evans and Godwin received nine targets per game. Meanwhile in New England, Edelman saw almost 10 targets per game, but no other Patriots WR saw more than six. This isn’t to say that Evans is now suddenly incapable of drawing targets from Brady, but I certainly don’t see an imbalance of targets going to just two players on offense. It will take time for Brady to adjust to a new offense after 20 years with the same team. I’m having a hard time seeing how Evans will return WR8 value with a new quarterback, whose yards per game has been trending in the wrong direction and who likes to spread the ball around to a multitude of receivers. At a similar ADP, I’d rather role with his teammate Godwin, Kenny Golladay, or Amari Cooper.
– Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler)
DeVante Parker (WR – MIA)
After disappointing fantasy owners the first four years of his career, DeVante Parker finally broke out in 2019. He hauled in 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns across 16 games last season. Parker hit paydirt only nine times combined in his first four seasons. The 27-year-old is currently the 20th-ranked receiver in the latest expert consensus rankings. Parker did most of his damage in 2019 once Preston Williams was ruled out for the season. In eight games with Williams, Parker pulled down 28 catches for 400 yards with four touchdowns on 52 targets. Without Williams, Parker grabbed 44 receptions for 802 yards and five touchdowns on 76 targets. He built a rapport with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second half of last year, but the Dolphins are expected to start rookie Tua Tagovailoa in 2020. With the expected quarterback change and Preston Williams’ return from injury, I would rather have DK Metcalf, Ty Hilton, DJ Chark, Terry McLaurin, who are all ranked just a few spots below Parker in the latest consensus rankings.
– Brad Camara (@beerad30)
Zach Ertz (TE – PHI)
Ertz’s production dropped in every category last season. This was expected after the unrepeatable heights he reached in 2018. While he was still very good, and he should be once again this coming season, there are reasons to be cautious. Ertz finished 2019 with a receiving line that’s almost identical to his average over the past five seasons. Although this demonstrates his consistency and reassures owners of his high floor, there’s limited upside with Ertz this year. The Eagles experienced a significant number of injuries to key pass catchers last season, and Ertz will face much greater competition for targets with the return of DeSean Jackson and the drafting of Jalen Reagor. Further, breakout candidate Miles Sanders is expected to be heavily involved in the passing game, and fellow tight end Dallas Goedert commanded a 15.6% target share of his own. Considering the Eagles stockpiled depth at receiver to provide injury insurance and still have Alshon Jeffery on hand, Ertz will find difficulty justifying his current Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR) of 32nd overall in PPR leagues. Owners looking to target a tight end early may find similar production in Mark Andrews, currently ranked 45th overall, and they would be wise to turn their attention to receiver Calvin Ridley, who enjoys a much clearer path to elite production in 2020 despite his ECR of 40 (eight spots behind Ertz).
– Mark McWhirter (@mmcw19)
Chris Godwin (WR – TB)
Chris Godwin comes in at the WR6 in our expert consensus rankings for both standard and PPR formats. It’s a fair ranking. The 24-year-old just posted over 1,300 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in only 14 games a season ago. Now he gets to catch passes from the best quarterback of all time. Godwin will very likely become Tom Brady’s new Julian Edelman, dominating the intermediate areas of the field while mixing in the occasional deeper routes and YAC opportunities. He’s a very safe pick. The issue is that receiver is so deep in the first five rounds of drafts this year, and Godwin just doesn’t have the same upside without Jameis Winston putting the Bucs into shootout game scripts every week. This new Tampa offense will likely be a bit slower-paced and more risk-averse, which hampers Godwin’s ceiling. He’ll still be a very strong fantasy asset, but there are better ways to construct your roster with your second-round pick.
– Brendan Tuma (@toomuchtuma)