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Overvalued & Undervalued Best Ball ADP (2021 Fantasy Football)

May 25, 2021

All great hedge funders know how to invest in a company at its lowest point, just before the upward turn. That’s how you secure the greatest return on investment. Similarly, fantasy drafters can gauge public interest in a player and spot values by identifying inefficiencies in the average fantasy manager’s expectations versus the experts’ thoughts.

The top-10 ECR rankers make up the experts for our purposes, while the Best Ball ADP (comprised of mainly average skilled fantasy players) is the public view of the players. Trusting the experts over the public typically pays off, especially early in the draft season when the market is still settling. Try to find values and avoid overpriced players.

Below are two early-round players, two mid-round selections, and two rookies that drafters either overpay for or find value in.

All referenced Average Draft Position data is sourced from Underdog Fantasy as of May 23, 2021. Best Ball Rankings are tabulated using FantasyPros Expert Consensus Rankings.

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Early Round Overpay 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC) ADP 21.8 | ECR 32
Last year’s draft steam machine has cooled off a touch, but CEH still sits comfortably in the first two rounds of best-ball drafts. Edwards-Helaire reeled off 1,100 yards from scrimmage last year, finding the end zone five times. For a first-round investment, he was on the wrong side of boom or bust. Now, Kansas City has thinned out his backfield competition, with the departure of Damien Williams. They have also upgraded the line in front of him by adding Orlando Brown. The experts and public are nearly an entire round apart on their valuation of Edwards-Helaire’s sophomore-season promise. It appears his staunchest supporters are still pushing up his ADP. Although ECR thinks that it’s better to pay a third-round price than a second-round one.

Early Round Value 

D.K. Metcalf (WR – SEA) ADP 26.4 | ECR 20
Metcalf was a fantasy stud over the first 13 weeks of last season, but he struggled when it counted most: the fantasy football playoffs. Perhaps that explains the near one-round gap in expert versus public opinion on the Seahawks’ star wideout. However, it wasn’t all his fault — D.K. faced some stout defenses during that subpar stretch. Washington, the Rams, and San Francisco held him to 123 total yards and zero touchdowns. All three teams finished the season inside the top-five for receiving yards allowed. In 2021, he will match up with the Bears, Lions, and Cardinals down the stretch. Only Arizona landed in the top-10 defenses against receivers from the group, and Detroit finished 30th. There are much brighter days ahead for those who take Metcalf as he falls into the third round of Best Ball drafts.

Mid-Round Overpay 

Chase Edmonds (RB – ARI) ADP 60.3 | ECR 70
Edmonds’ ability to contribute fantasy scoring via the passing game is appealing. However, he hasn’t proven capable of getting the job done on the ground. He topped 50 yards rushing just twice in 2020. Combine that with the Cardinals’ signing of 26-year-old veteran James Conner, and the path for a monster season in 2021 is tough to see. It is still too early to guess how Arizona will split the touches, but a share is undoubtedly in the cards (ugh, I had to pun that). The experts aren’t spending their fifth pick on an uncertain timeshare, and you shouldn’t be, either.

Mid-Round Value 

Noah Fant (TE – DEN) ADP 93.3 | ECR 77
I recently wrote an article, “Tight Ends to Avoid,” that discussing some late-round tight ends who have performed in the past but should no longer be on your radar. Conversely, Noah Fant fits the mold of tight ends to target. On the FantasyPros Dynasty Football Podcast, Kyle Yates and Ray Garvin often reference “draft capital” when discussing rookies. The Broncos spent big on Fant in 2019 by taking him 20th overall. Tight ends tend to come along slower than other skill positions, and Noah Fant’s numbers show a steady progression upward. He increased his catches and yards totals from 2019 to 2020, but more importantly, his target count grew from 66 to 93. Fant (with or without an Aaron Rodgers trade) is set up to command at least 100 targets in 2021. In Best Ball, volume is king, and Noah Fant will earn that crown. The public is lagging behind the experts here, so take advantage and scoop up the Broncos’ tight end everywhere you can.

2021 Rookie Overpay 

Trey Sermon (RB – SF) ADP 72.8 | ECR 107
Sermon landed in running back heaven after he went 88th overall to the 49ers in the 2021 NFL Draft. He could flourish under the San Francisco coaching staff, but the Best Ball helium has taken off. Trey Sermon is off the board one round before his backfield partner Raheem Mostert, two rounds in front of Melvin Gordon, and three rounds ahead of Leonard Fournette! The Niners are notorious for taking a “hot hand” approach, and there are still some familiar mitts in the mix to limit Sermon’s upside. Swinging for the fences is fine, but Round 6 may not be the correct time to do so. The experts have Sermon closer to A.J. Dillon and Zack Moss. That feels far more tolerable. 

2021 Rookie Value 

Kenneth Gainwell (RB – PHI) ADP 189 | ECR 165
Philadelphia scooped Gainwell in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, further than most projected him to slide. The Eagles have a strong lead back in Miles Sanders, but he missed a few games last season and showed some inconsistency in the middle weeks. The appeal for Kenneth Gainwell comes with Sanders’ injury risk. The Eagles recognized it, too, and brought in Kerryon Johnson for depth. Despite the presence of the former Lion, Gainwell could find himself as the frontman when Sanders’ ankle, hamstring, or knee eventually balks. The experts are anticipating that, and you should be, too.

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Aaron Pagliaro is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Aaron, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyTriage.

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