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Undervalued Fantasy Football Draft Picks to Target (2024)

I’ve long been a proponent of holding all fantasy football drafts close to the start of the season, in an effort to potentially avoid camp injuries, battles over starting roles, and late free-agency signings. And I’m hardly alone in this mindset; the majority of managers wish to avoid unnecessary risks and variables, ensuring the team they drafted maintains its core until Week 1.

That said, holding a draft earlier in the offseason can be beneficial to savvy owners in some instances, as they can capitalize on drafting players at a value before their ADP shifts due to beat reports or breakout preseason games. More invested managers can be open to selecting players earlier on, knowing full well that the rookies they have been endorsing will ascend the depth chart or that a post-hype sleeper selection will finally pan out.

To aid managers who happen to hold drafts earlier on, I’d like to point out a handful of players that I feel are undervalued compared to their existing ADP, based on our FantasyPros ECR or expert consensus rankings. Here are fantasy football undervalued draft picks to consider targeting in your upcoming drafts.


Undervalued Fantasy Football Draft Picks


Jayden Daniels (WAS)

Currently ranked as the QB15 amongst experts, Daniels is a dual-threat nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators to scheme against. Selected with Washington’s second pick in this year’s NFL Draft, the former Heisman Trophy winner will immediately slide in as their starter. Daniels will benefit tremendously from having several proven veteran offensive players surrounding him, such as Terry McLaurin, Zach Ertz, and Austin Ekeler. To make his transition even more manageable, he will have the opportunity to play under offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, who is familiar with scheming plays for a hyper-mobile quarterback. Expect this offense to cater to Daniels’ strengths in the form of quick play-action passes coupled with the occasional deep ball, where he can look to Jahan Dotson or Dyami Brown. I’ll echo the sentiments of my colleague Derek Brown; if Daniels manages to make it through the entire season healthy, his rushing upside alone will push him into the QB1 discussion. This is a quarterback who isn’t scared to move the ball downfield and has the physical tools to allow him to escape defenses at a whim. His slight frame is cause for concern, but a significant emphasis will be placed on avoiding unnecessary contact as a runner. His upside is massive.

Running Back

Isiah Pacheco (KC)

I can envision Pacheco standing next to a microphone in front of an audience, quoting the legendary Rodney Dangerfield: “No respect, no respect, I tell ya.” A rise in overall touches (even with a reduction in games played) allowed Pacheco to finish as the RB17 in 2023, and he easily could have finished within the top 10. Kansas City’s decision to not address the running back position in the draft, coupled with the imminent departure of Jerick McKinnon, has his arrow pointing sky high. All he needs to do now is remain healthy (easier said than done, considering his violent running style). Another key point is Pacheco’s increased usage as a passing outlet; his 44 receptions in 2023 was more than three times higher than his rookie season. Pacheco is currently ranked as the FantasyPros RB10, while his ADP data has him closer to RB13. He is projected for his first season of over 1,000 rushing yards and is a player fantasy managers can draft as an RB2 with a clear path to RB1 relevance. The Chiefs offense is in serious flux with the pending suspension to Rashee Rice and the acclimation of Marquise Brown and rookie Xavier WorthyPatrick Mahomes will look to someone he is familiar with in Pacheco.

Wide Receiver

Mike Evans (TB)

If you look up “consistency” in a dictionary, you’ll find a headshot of Mike Evans. Considering the volatility of production around the league as more teams favor spreading the ball around, you’d think that Evans’ high floor would become more valued, but apparently not. ECR has Evans pegged as the WR14, with early ADP data sliding him back to the WR18, and this is after he finished as the WR4 last season. Evans has caught 13 or more touchdowns in three of the past four seasons and has yet to finish with under 1,000 receiving yards since entering the league in 2014. One can point to his middling reception totals (he’s averaged 75 catches since 2018) as the main culprit for his depreciation, but I don’t think that should drop him down boards this precipitously. Having recently inked a two-year, $52 million deal to stay in Tampa Bay, Evans will retain his alpha status atop the Buccaneers depth chart at receiver and will continue to be the 1A option on all passing situations for quarterback Baker Mayfield. Fantasy managers shouldn’t be so dismissive of this future Hall of Famer.

Tight End

Juwan Johnson (NO)

I see that raised eyebrow. That exasperated expression, wondering why Johnson would make the list of all the tight ends I could have covered, but here is my sales pitch. Yes, on paper, Johnson’s stat line from last season of 37 receptions, 368 yards, and four touchdowns isn’t going to blow anyone away. He finished as the TE24 in what was supposed to be a breakout campaign. So why the optimism? While on the field in 2023, Johnson was a featured compliment more than at any other point in his career, and additional targets are now freed up following the departure of Michael Thomas. New Orleans will continue to utilize Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed as their intermediate and downfield threats, but Johnson has the opportunity to become a more significant factor in the red zone and short-yardage situations if he can stay healthy. Johnson also exploded during Weeks 15-17 last year, ending an otherwise-frustrating season on a high note, catching 14 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns throughout those three games. We have our collective fingers crossed that this stretch made an impression on the Saints coaching staff to make him a bigger part of their game plan each week. Johnson finished as the TE8 overall in 2022 and is still just 27. I’m willing to add him as a TE2 with upside on my rosters this year.

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