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11 Overrated Players to Avoid (2023 Fantasy Football)

11 Overrated Players to Avoid (2023 Fantasy Football)

Projections and rankings are valuable resources to utilize throughout the NFL offseason, especially as fantasy managers are preparing for their upcoming drafts. But those projections and rankings aren’t 100% accurate. Otherwise, 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 overrated player on every team. The results and accompanying justifications are below.

For more fantasy draft advice, our analysts previously looked at the Safest Draft Pick on Each NFL Team.

Overrated Players to Avoid in Fantasy Football Drafts

Dalton Kincaid (TE – BUF)

Kincaid is a terrific TE prospect, but his early ADP seems unwisely aggressive, given the historical performance of rookie tight ends. The first-round draft pick from Utah has an overall ADP of TE11, and an Underdog best-ball ADP of TE12. Kincaid’s rookie snap and target shares might not be substantial enough for him to finish as a low-end TE1. – Fitzmaurice

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – NE)

JuJu Smith-Schuster has been consistently overrated since his third season, despite his initial hype and a WR9 overall finish in 2019. Unfortunately, he has failed to live up to expectations as a true No. 1 wide receiver, and even as the top projected pass-catcher for the New England Patriots, that trend is unlikely to change. Last season, despite playing alongside Patrick Mahomes, Smith-Schuster only commanded an 18% target share, placing him as the WR28 overall and WR42 in points per game (with a meager 9.1 in half-PPR). Realistically, the best-case scenario for Smith-Schuster is offering a weekly WR3/4 floor, similar to what Jakobi Meyers achieved in 2022. Considering his years removed from top-tier fantasy production, it’s safe to say that Smith-Schuster’s fantasy ceiling is almost non-existent. – Erickson

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – BAL)

Odell Beckham Jr. is currently being drafted as a top-50 fantasy wide receiver, despite missing the entire 2022 season due to a torn ACL. While Beckham may be deemed healthy, expecting him to make a significant impact in a completely new Ravens offense alongside Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman, and Mark Andrews, is an enormous leap of faith. It’s worth noting that his yards per route run has been on a downward trend over his past three healthy seasons. In 2021, Beckham managed just 1.68 yards per route run with the Rams, ranking him 42nd among all wide receivers. Furthermore, it’s important to consider that Beckham will be turning 31 years old in November, raising questions about his durability and ability to regain his previous form. – Erickson

Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)

The Bengals have a shortage of candidates for the overrated category now that drafters seem to be (wisely) fading Joe Mixon. Higgins is typically drafted as a low-end WR1 or high-end WR2, which seems slightly aspirational considering that the presence of Ja’Marr Chase caps Higgins’ ceiling. Higgins’ fantasy finishes in the two seasons since Chase joined the Bengals: WR22 (14 games) and WR17. Higgins is a terrific player, but it’s hard to see him turning a profit for investors at his current cost. – Fitzmaurice

George Pickens (WR – PIT)

Despite his potential, there are reasons to view Steelers wide receiver George Pickens as an overrated fantasy football player. While Pickens is highly valued, it’s worth noting that his teammate Diontae Johnson had a superior target share in 2022, receiving 27% of the targets compared to Pickens’ 16%. Additionally, Pickens’ role on the team cannot be expected to increase significantly, as he already ran a route on 91% of dropbacks last season. In terms of target rate per route run, Pickens ranked last among wide receivers who ran a route on 80% or more of dropbacks, tying with Parris Campbell and Tyler Boyd at 14%. While Pickens may receive hype due to his age and highlight-reel catches, such as leading in FiveThirtyEight’s catch rate metric, it’s important to remember that consistently ranking in the top three for receptions on 20-plus air yard targets is no easy feat. – Erickson

Anthony Richardson (QB – IND)

FantasyPros has tracked Richardson’s ADP at QB15, and his ADP on Underdog is all the way up to QB15. With his rare physical traits and a better handle on the subtleties of playing quarterback than he’s given credit for, Richardson has a chance to become a star. But it seems unlikely that he’s going to have a good season as a passer in Year 1, which means his running ability might have to float his rookie-year fantasy value. Richardson is 6-4, 244 pounds with 4.43 speed, so a 1,000-yard rushing season with double-digit TD runs isn’t out of the question, but his ADP is blowing up so quickly that he’ll almost need to post extraordinary rushing numbers just to pay off. – Fitzmaurice

Dak Prescott (QB – DAL)

Seeing Dak Prescott as a top-ten fantasy quarterback in ECR was shocking. Even if we gloss over Kellen Moore’s departure, we can’t escape the pace and passing rate worries surrounding Mike McCarthy. Last year Prescott was the QB13 in fantasy points per game and QB21 in expected fantasy points per game. Splitting the difference here with a mid-QB2 valuation on Prescott feels more appropriate. – DBro

Jameson Williams (WR – DET)

Despite my initial admiration for Jameson Williams as he entered the NFL, his rookie season left much to be desired. Coming off a torn ACL, it was understandable that he was eased back into action. However, finishing the season with just one catch on eight targets, albeit a 41-yard touchdown, is underwhelming. Adding to the concerns, Williams is set to serve a six-game suspension to open the upcoming season, making it challenging to justify his top-100 overall ADP, particularly in non-best-ball formats. – Fitzmaurice

Mike Evans (WR – TB)

It pains me to pin the “overrated” label on Evans, who might eventually have a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he’s a dicey fantasy investment this year. After catching passes from either Jameis Winston (who was never afraid to make a risky throw to Evans) or Tom Brady for most of his career, Evans will spend the 2023 season trying to catch passes from either Baker Mayfield or possibly Kyle Trask. D.J. Moore‘s prediction withered in Carolina last season when he was paired with Mayfield, only to perk up against when the Panthers dumped Mayfield and reinserted Sam Darnold at quarterback. Evans himself endured an 11-game touchdown drought last season, the longest of his career. Even after he ended the drought with a three-TD game in Week 17, Evans finished the season with six touchdowns, third-fewest of his career. Evans has been one of the most reliable fantasy assets in the game for a long time, but he’s an easy fade for 2023. – Fitzmaurice

Deebo Samuel (WR – SF)

Deebo Samuel’s role in this offense has been neutered. He’s been regulated to low aDOT empty volume on a run-heavy offense. Samuel hasn’t crested 14.0 fantasy points per game in either season in this role. Samuel is a WR3 being drafted as a top-20 option at the position. – DBro

DK Metcalf (WR -SEA)

While DK Metcalf possesses undeniable talent and the potential to be the Seattle Seahawks’ primary wide receiver, it’s important to consider his value in fantasy football drafts. Selecting Metcalf significantly earlier than his teammates may not be the most strategic move. In 2022, Tyler Lockett outperformed Metcalf, finishing as the WR12 overall and WR15 in points per game, despite both players having identical target shares in 2021. The emergence of rookie WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba further adds to the target competition in the offense. For Metcalf to justify his WR15 average draft position (ADP), he heavily relies on a bounce-back in touchdown production. In 2022, he recorded a career-low of six receiving touchdowns, despite posting personal bests in receptions (90) and targets (141) – Erickson

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