Early Overvalued Players (2021 Fantasy Football)
Reaching or overextending for players is a no-no when it comes to fantasy football drafts. Selecting a player ahead of what their value is projected to be can send your season down the drain before it even starts. In the same breath, taking players early in drafts that seem like safe bets – but are far from it – can be a detriment to your success.
Using the ADP of players, we can get a better sense of how others view certain players. With that information, we can manufacture our own opinions on those players, whether it be to pass or select them at their current price. By taking a look at the current ADPs of players thus far, using FantasyPros Consensus ADP rankings, these are a few players that I believe are being overvalued by members of the fantasy football community.
Alvin Kamara (RB – NO) ADP: 3
Over the course of the offseason, I’ve been asked multiple times to discuss early-round players that I’m avoiding in the majority of my drafts. One name I’ve constantly mentioned is Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints. There’s no denying that Kamara has been a fantasy darling since he entered the NFL in 2017, racking up 1,300+ yards from scrimmage in each of his first four seasons, along with 58 total touchdowns in that same span.
The dynamic running back of the Saints has finished outside of the top 10 running backs in scoring just once in his four seasons. Just this past season, Kamara was RB1 in half-PPR formats after a historic Week 16 performance that saw him produce 54.7 fantasy points. By looking at Kamara’s stellar production in his first four years, which includes four straight seasons of 81+ receptions, it seems as if he’d be one of the safest options at the running back position.
However, Kamara is going to be heading into an unknown situation entering the 2021 season. Drew Brees is no longer feeding check downs, and it will be either Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston replacing Brees. In the four weeks we saw Hill start for the Saints in place of Brees in 2020 (Weeks 11-14), Kamara was 16th among running backs in fantasy points per game with 13. Given the uncertainty at the quarterback position for New Orleans, it’s hard for me to pull the trigger on Kamara as a top-three pick in fantasy football drafts.
Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG) ADP: 6
At the running back position, injuries – especially leg injuries – are something that can derail a player’s value immediately. We’ve witnessed Todd Gurley go from being a superstar in the NFL to currently being unsigned due to knee concerns. David Johnson has experienced a similar fate after dealing with knee issues during his previous tenure with the Arizona Cardinals. Knee ailments aren’t something to scoff at for any position, but running backs have proven to have a track record of having a tougher time returning to form following a knee injury.
In light of that, it’s peculiar to see that Saquon Barkley’s value hasn’t taken much of a hit this offseason. The consensus No. 2 running back in fantasy football a season ago is still being selected around the sixth-overall pick on average. There seems to be a ton of confidence in Barkley defying the odds and immediately showing that his knee injury from last season isn’t something to be concerned with. Seeing that Barkley is a well-built running back, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him overcome his recent injury quicker than others.
Even so, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan recently reported that the New York Giants could ease Barkley back into action early in the 2021 season. Besides the torn ACL he suffered last season, Barkley also had damage done to his meniscus and MCL. With Barkley not expected to get his usual full workload early in the upcoming campaign, I’m straying away from selecting him at his current ADP.
D.K. Metcalf (WR – SEA) ADP: 23
In the first half of last season, it seemed as if we were in store to witness D.K. Metcalf to finish as WR1 in fantasy football. Through Weeks 1-9, Metcalf was WR2 in half-PPR scoring with 146.3 fantasy points, second to only Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs. The rapport that Russell Wilson and Metcalf built early in the 2020 season looked to be one for the ages.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end – some end sooner rather than later – and the offense of the Seattle Seahawks came crashing down in the second half of the season. Metcalf would be WR25 from Weeks 10-17, compiling just 10.4 fantasy points per week, which was less than guys like Marquise Brown and Nelson Agholor in that span. I’m not saying that we should expect to see a WR25 season from Metcalf in 2021, but there are reasons for concern due to Seattle’s offensive outlook.
Following the end of the 2020 season, Pete Carroll made it clear that the Seahawks intend to run the ball more often in 2021. While Metcalf will still be productive with his vertical targets, his ceiling could be somewhat limited, especially with Tyler Lockett still being in the mix. Unless Seattle deploys a similar offensive system as they did to begin the 2020 season, I’m not enticed to select Metcalf at his ADP of 23.
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