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Most Underrated Player on Each NFL Team (2023 Fantasy Football)

Most Underrated Player on Each NFL Team (2023 Fantasy Football)

Projections and rankings are valuable resources throughout the NFL offseason, especially as fantasy managers prepare for their upcoming drafts. But those projections and rankings aren’t 100% accurate. If they were, fantasy football would be easy. The data shows that some players are overrated, and some are underrated. Identifying these players can be the difference between winning your league and missing the playoffs altogether, especially if you have that knowledge prior to your draft and can use it to your advantage.

Our analysts combed through the NFL rosters and identified the most underrated player on every team. The results and accompanying justifications are below.

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West

To read the complete breakdown of every team’s most OVERRATED players from a fantasy perspective, check out our complete Most Overrated Player on Each NFL Team article.

Draft Wizard

Most Underrated Player on Each NFL Team

AFC East

Damien Harris (RB – BUF)
If anybody can be this year’s Jamaal Williams, my money is on Damien Harris. Just one year removed from a 15 TD campaign in 2021, the former Patriots’ nose for the end zone cannot be ignored. He joined Buffalo this offseason to add more size to the backfield, and you better believe he’s got a shot to win the red-zone role. In 2022, former Bills RB Devin Singletary totaled just four rushing TDs inside the 10-yard on 16 carries. Harris scored just as many times from inside the ten-yard line as Rhamondre Stevenson (three times) despite being out-carried in that area of the field 19 to six. And we have seen quarterbacks run less at the goal line as they get older, so there’s still a chance that Harris flirts with double-digit scores should his arrival mean the team leans on him more as their preferred rusher near the pylon to protect their franchise quarterback in the long term. – Erickson

Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB – MIA)
The Dolphins opted to bring back both Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson for the 2023 season, but Wilson’s contract is worth more and has more guaranteed money. Plus, at just 27 years old, Wilson has a longer runway for his career. He will be competing with rookie Devon Achane for snaps in the backfield but given his experience and demonstrated ability to produce in the Dolphins offense – he immediately took on a sizable role after being traded to Miami last season – Wilson should be considered the better option than Mostert among the two veterans. His ability to contribute to the passing game and his larger role in the offense make him a strong late-round flier option for fantasy managers looking for running back depth. – Erickson

Hunter Henry (TE – NE)
After beginning the season stuck in a part-time role with Jonnu Smith stealing routes and snaps, Hunter Henry reemerged as a full-time player in the back half of 2022. While the Patriots brought in Mike Gesicki to fill the Smith void, Henry could operate full-time in 2023, with Gesicki operating in only 12 personnel packages. Henry logged 70% or higher route run rates in five of his finals, six full games played last year with three top 12 fantasy weeks. New England’s offense might feel gross to buy into for 2023, but the bar for a tight end to secure a weekly starting spot in your lineup en route to a top-12 finish is low. Henry has three TE1 seasons in fantasy points per game and could add a fourth this year. – Dbro

Tyler Conklin (TE – NYJ)
Remember when TE Robert Tonyan came out of nowhere to score 11 touchdowns for the Packers in 2020? With Aaron Rodgers joining the Jets, Tyler Conklin could be the 2023 version of Robert Tonyan. Conklin has quietly averaged 59.5 catches and 572.5 receiving yards over the last two years and could become more of a TD threat now that he’ll get competent QB play. – Pat Fitzmaurice

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West

Dynasty Rookie Draft Kit

AFC North

TEAM Andrew Derek Pat
Baltimore Ravens J.K. Dobbins Rashod Bateman Rashod Bateman
Cincinnati Bengals Irv Smith Jr. Irv Smith Jr. Chase Brown
Cleveland Browns Elijah Moore Jerome Ford Jerome Ford
Pittsburgh Steelers Diontae Johnson Diontae Johnson Diontae Johnson

J.K. Dobbins (RB – BAL) 
J.K. Dobbins left a sour taste in people’s mouths after his sluggish start last season, returning from mulitple injuries. He required another knee surgery after Week 6 and was placed on IR until Week 14. However, when Dobbins finally returned later in the year, he showed why he’s such a highly regarded talent. In his last five games, including the playoffs, he averaged an impressive 6.6 yards per carry, 92 rushing yards, and 14 carries per game. This strong finish is a promising sign for his 2023 prospects in an offense that should light the league ablaze under the QB/OC combination of Lamar Jackson/Todd Monken. – Erickson

Irv Smith Jr. (TE – CIN)
Irv Smith Jr. has still yet to turn 25, but injuries have plagued him over the last two seasons. His impressive sophomore campaign seems like a distant memory, more than an actual way to project him moving forward. At least Smith was able to return from the high-ankle sprain that placed him on IR in 2022, and he will get the chance to be fully healthy during off-season activities. Before his injury in Week 8, ISJ was the TE23 in points per game (5.7) and caught at least two passes in all but one game. The former second-round pick still has talent and could easily rebound on a high-powered Bengals offense that features tight ends plenty in the passing game. His 20% target rate per route run ranked 12th among all tight ends with at least 30 targets in 2022. – Erickson

Jerome Ford (RB – CLE)
The Browns are not expected to re-sign Kareem Hunt, and D’Ernest Johnson is gone, leaving Ford as the clear backup to Nick Chubb. Ford ran for 1,300 yards and scored 20 touchdowns in his final season at the University of Cincinnati. He has good size (5-11, 210 pounds) and 4.46 speed. This is a potentially valuable asset who can be acquired very inexpensively. – Pat Fitzmaurice

Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
Diontae Johnson remains the WR1 in the Steeler’s offense. While he had a disappointing season in 2022, the stage is set for a massive bounce-back campaign this season. Johnson was the WR20 in expected fantasy points per game last year. He had no issues earning a 27.0% target share (13th-best) thanks to his ability to get open at will. Last year Johnson ranked first in open rate (per ESPN analytics), which illuminates that his talent and supreme route-running chops haven’t fallen off at all. – Dbro

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West

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AFC South

TEAM Andrew Derek Pat
Houston Texans Nico Collins Dameon Pierce Dameon Pierce
Indianapolis Colts Jelani Woods Jelani Woods Alec Pierce
Jacksonville Jaguars Travis Etienne Jr. Tank Bigsby Christian Kirk
Tennessee Titans Ryan Tannehill Ryan Tannehill Treylon Burks

Dameon Pierce (RB – HOU)
The Houston Texans’ should be a run-focused offense this year as they ease C.J. Stroud in. Dameon Pierce should be the engine of their offense. Pierce should build upon a rookie season in which he was the RB20 in fantasy points per game in a broken offense. If Stroud can hit the ground running, Pierce could be a dark horse RB1 this season. He definitely has the raw talent to pull it off. Pierce ranked 23rd in yards created per touch and 11th in evaded tackles last season. – Dbro

Jelani Woods (TE – IND)
Jelani Woods is a late-round smash. He could reach TE1 production in the Colts’ new-look offense. Last year Woods ranked 14th in YPRR while playing 58.1% of his snaps in the slot or on the perimeter. Hopefully, the love affair with a multi-prong approach at tight end has been scrapped with Frank Reich gone. Woods remains an athletic freak with untapped upside in the receiving game. In the later rounds of drafts, I’ll keep betting that this new coaching staff can unlock him. – Dbro

Travis Etienne Jr. (RB – JAC)
When a player does not reach prior expectations, they are viewed as a disappointment. And that’s the feeling I am getting around Travis Etienne Jr. He entered the league with these lofty and likely unrealistic presumptions that he would be heavily used as a receiver. But like a lot of younger RBs, it has yet to transpire. And too many are just harping on his “meh” receiving usage when he still finished second in YAC/reception and sixth in yards per reception among RBs. And what should be discussed more is how great Etienne was as a rusher in his first NFL season. The only other RBs to post 1,100 rushing yards averaging at least 5.0 yards per carry at age 23 or younger include Saquon Barkley, Ray Rice, Frank Gore, Darren McFadden, Johnathan Taylor, Clinton Portis, and Barry Sanders. Great company to be a part of. – Erickson

Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN)
If Ryan Tannehill doesn’t get hurt at the end of the 2022 season, there’s no chance that the Titans would have missed the postseason. He went 6-6 as the starter last season and has boasted a 36-19 record as the Titans’ starting QB. His passer rating ranked 10th last season (94.6), and his yards per attempt ranked 5th (7.8). Those are vastly underrated numbers when considering he was throwing to a complete hodgepodge of WRs. – Erickson

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West

2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

AFC West

TEAM Andrew Derek Pat
Denver Broncos Marvin Mims Courtland Sutton Courtland Sutton
Kansas City Chiefs Skyy Moore Skyy Moore Kadarius Toney
Las Vegas Raiders Hunter Renfrow Michael Mayer Michael Mayer
Los Angeles Chargers Keenan Allen Quentin Johnston Quentin Johnston

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN)
Courtland Sutton is coming off a disappointing season, but when we peer at deeper efficiency metrics, it’s easy to see the problem wasn’t him. Sutton ranked 21st in total route wins and tenth in win rate against man coverage (per Playerprofiler.com). If Sean Payton can get Russell Wilson and this offense back on track, Sutton’s stock will surely rise. – Dbro

Skyy Moore (WR – KC)
A lackluster rookie season has everybody writing off 2022 second-round WR Skyy Moore. But the young WR showed bright spots as the season progressed. After JuJu Smith-Schuster got hurt in Week 10, Moore went on to lead all Chiefs WRs in targets over the next two weeks (12 targets, 10 catches for 99 yards, 3.19 yards per route run) as the team’s primary slot receiver. Moore was hyper-targeted on 36% of his routes (25% snap share, 4 targets) in Week 17 vs. the Broncos when, again, he saw high usage from the inside. And in the conference championship game, Moore once again commanded 6 targets, while running 12 routes from the slot (second-most in 2022). Many draft pundits and Chiefs beat writers are crowning Kadarius Toney as the heir to the KC WR1 chair, but Moore looks like the dark horse to earn starting slot duties that Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman left behind. Simply put, Moore saw 6 targets in the games where he ran at least 10 slot routes. He also had at least 2 receptions in five games where he ran at least 7 slot routes. Hardman and Smith-Schuster averaged 13.5 slot routes per game last season. Therefore, don’t count Moore out quite yet. Recall, Moore ranked second in college football in his final year in yards per route run from the slot. – Erickson

Hunter Renfrow (WR – LV)
Hunter Renfrow is this year’s Curtis Samuel. Everybody is just going to completely forget that Renfrow leveraged his savvy route-running to a 111-1096-9 stat line in 2021 because he was never healthy at any point in 2022. Don’t be that person who overlooks Renfrow. He showed in Week 18 that he still had “it” going a perfect 7-for-7 for a season-high 63 yards and 1 TD. – Erickson

Keenan Allen (WR – LAC)
Keenan Allen is perennially underrated. He got hurt last season but was hyper-targeted and productive whenever he suited up. The WR10 in points per game. Over his last 9 games played healthy, Allen averaged 84 receiving yards, 7.3 catches and just south of 10 targets per game. – Erickson

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West

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