Overvalued Best Ball Players (2021 Fantasy Football)
A playoff hero running back and his former backfield mate kick things off among the overvalued best-ball players. Other overvalued players include a Pro Bowl tight end, a receiver unable to build on a breakout 2019 season, and a running back entering his second season.
Ronald Jones (RB – TB): ADP – 59.65 and Leonard Fournette (RB – FA): ADP – 60.06
Fournette was an integral part of the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl-winning season, but his postseason outburst nearly never happened. He enters free agency on the heels of playing well down the stretch, but there’s reportedly mutual interest in a reunion. The possibility of him returning hurts the outlook for Jones, and gamers are overreacting to his play in the playoffs by selecting Fournette as RB26 in average draft position (ADP) in 12-team BestBall10 leagues.
He was much the same back he’s been throughout his career during the regular season. He averaged a paltry 3.8 yards per carry and even regressed as a receiver. Fournette’s 5.0 yards per target tied for 148th out of 153 qualified players, according to Pro-Football-Reference. Fournette is also responsible for my favorite 2020 stat as a runner: he broke zero tackles on 97 carries. Yikes.
Jones ran well during the regular season. However, being overtaken for the lead-back duties in the playoffs isn’t ideal for his 2021 outlook. Remarkably, he was worse than Fournette as a receiver, posting a horrendous 3.9 yards per target. He’s an easy fade as RB25.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn (ADP 226.71) is an intriguing dart throw late in drafts. He showcased some juice in his limited opportunities, especially in garbage time against the Packers and Lions.
T.J. Hockenson (TE – DET): ADP – 78.71
Hockenson turned in a second-year leap in production. His new offensive coordinator, Anthony Lynn, has loftier expectations for the former top-10 pick. However, he’ll have to succeed with a downgrade from Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff at quarterback.
On the plus side, he could be the top pass-catching option in the offense with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola entering free agency. So it’s not all doom and gloom. My gripe is his ADP relative to others at the position who I believe have similar potential, specifically Robert Tonyan (93.47), Noah Fant (93.71), Hunter Henry (96.35), Dallas Goedert (99.82), and Logan Thomas (101.65).
Also, I’d rather daft free-agent Jonnu Smith (134.35), rookie Kyle Pitts (136.18), Hayden Hurst (140.35) in his second year with the Falcons, and others at their respective ADPs than spend a top-80 pick on Hockenson.
DeVante Parker (WR – MIA): ADP – 88.12
I was firmly on the Parker bandwagon at this time last year. I’m off of it this year. Parker didn’t completely regress to pre-breakout form, but his production left something to be desired. He ranked a ho-hum tied for 82nd in yards per target (7.7) out of 153 qualified pass-catchers.
Parker repeated the 4.5 receptions per game he averaged in 2019, but his receiving yards per game plummeted from 75.1 to 56.6. His touchdowns also cratered from nine to four. The magical connection he had with Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t carry over to playing with rookie Tua Tagovailoa. Fitz is a free agent, and, barring a blockbuster trade for someone such as Deshaun Watson, he’ll almost certainly be paired with Tagovailoa again this year. He could also face more competition for looks, as the Dolphins could be players for selecting one of the top receivers in the NFL Draft with one of their two first-round picks or another early-round selection after the first.
Parker is going as the WR40, but he’ll have to fall to WR50 or later before I’m willing to consider picking him.
Zack Moss (RB – BUF): ADP – 96.18
Moss acquitted himself adequately as a rookie. He shared backfield duties with Devin Singletary, but Buffalo’s run offense underwhelmed as a whole. Head coach Sean McDermott mentioned a need to run the ball better in his end-of-season press conference, and that could mean changes to the offensive line, or it could mean adding talent to the backfield.
Pro Football Focus graded Moss 30th out of 70 qualified running backs, and analyst Ben Linsey states, “the offensive line should be Buffalo’s focus on offense this offseason rather than the running back position.” However, ESPN’s Todd McShay mocked a running back, Najee Harris, to the Bills in a recent mock draft.
The addition of a running back to the team, especially a first-round pick, would limit Moss’s fantasy value. Even if they stick with the Moss/Singletary duo, the timeshare and quarterback Josh Allen’s ability to vulture rushing touchdowns caps Moss’s ceiling. He isn’t worth a top-100 pick.
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