Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fantasy Football undervalued players

Article By
SportsWiseGuy contributor
Richard Ciancioso

This is the greatest time of year, football season has almost begun. More specifically, fantasy football season. Now that most drafts are out of the way I am going to provide everyone with a list of undervalued players at each position. Now this isn’t a sleeper list, but it is a list of players who are being drafted below where I think they should be and can bring you great value come season’s end.


Matthew Stafford

Stafford is on average about the 8th QB taken in most fantasy drafts with an Average Draft Position of around 60. That means he is being taken in Standard 12 team leagues at the end of the 5th round. Not long ago, being last year, Stafford was being considered in the 1st round in a lot of fantasy drafts, for sure the 2nd. What Stafford had last year was no running game to speak of and a string of bad luck. Lions receivers were tackled inside the 5 yard line a total of 23 times! Calvin Johnson was tackled a total of 8 times inside the 5! This year Stafford has Reggie Bush to run the ball and catch the ball out of the backfield. That’s a significant upgrade over Jacquie Bell and Mikel Leshoure. The touchdowns will correct themselves. Stafford threw for 4,967 yards last year with 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Expect the yards to be around 5,000 again and the TD’s to go up to around 30-32 this year with the INT’s staying around the same at 17. He is also a threat to run the ball in at the goal line, as he had 4 of those last year. That will give you a QB with 5,000 yards passing and 35 total TD’s. Give me that in the 5th-6th round any day.

Michael Vick

Michael Vick is probably the most intriguing QB in fantasy football this year. A lot of people wish he could return to his dominant 2010 form. This year I think people should be ecstatic where they can get him. Vick is on average the 14th QB taken in drafts with an ADP of 108. In 12 team leagues that’s the 9th round. If you got Vick in the 9th round or late, you very well may have hit the fantasy football lottery. He is the only QB2 with the chance to end the season in the top 5. That’s if he stays healthy of course, and that’s a big if. But if he does and starts most of the team’s games he has the ability to end the season with around 3,500 passing yards, 500 rushing yards and 30 total touchdowns, maybe even more. This Chip Kelly offense looks fit for a guy like Vick, so be happy you drafted him where you did.

Running Backs

David Wilson

Hear that? That’s Wilson owners screaming in joy over the fact that Andre Brown will not return to the field until week 10 at the earliest. Wilson is going around the 17th RB in standard drafts and is being picked in the middle of the 3rd round in 12 team leagues. Way too low if you ask me. This guy is as electric a player as there is in the NFL, on a prolific offense and is underrated at the goal line. Wilson is one back that has the talent and opportunity to end the season as a surefire RB1, possibly even the top 5. With Brown no longer taking away the goal line carries, I can realistically see 15 total touchdowns coming from Wilson. Give him 1,500 total yards and you have the makings of a top fantasy running back you were able to get in the 3rd round. Now that’s a steal.

Daryl Richardson

Richardson is a guy that has received much hype, and much speculation. A lot of owners have him on their sleeper list, but a lot of them are still worried that Isaiah Pead and Zac Stacy will steal the job from him, or a lot of his touches. Richardson is going on average as the 28th running back off the board with an ADP in the beginning of the 6th round. Guy’s like Ryan Mathews are going before him, and that is a travesty. Last season Richardson ran for 475 yards on 98 carries and caught 24 balls for 163 yards. Those numbers should at least double this year with him being named the starter, and being the most talented person in the backfield. That would give him on the safe side 1,200 total yards and I would say 6-7 TD’s. He is even more valuable in PPR leagues as he might catch 45-50 passes this year in that offense. Those numbers are great for a guy being drafted as a mid-tier RB3 in most leagues.

Wide Receivers

T.Y. Hilton

Everyone still seems to be sleeping on Mr. Hilton, and I do not understand why. OK, maybe it’s all the news reports out there that are saying Darius Heyward Bey is going to be starting as the #2 WR on the outside where Hilton excelled last year. Playmaking ability will win out folks, and T.Y. showed that ability last year when he became electric during the second half of the year. In fact he only “started” one game last year when he caught 50 balls for 861 yards and 7 touchdowns. Hilton should not be the 30th WR being taken in drafts this year. If you got him there or even later, congrats to you my friend. Even though he might not “start” right away, Hilton will hook up with Luck on a number of deep balls and Heyward Bey will eventually get hurt or Hilton’s talent will push him into the starting lineup. I project for 65 catches and 1,100 yards with 8-9 TD’s, those are not 30th WR number’s, those are around 15th WR numbers. Congratulations on one of the steals of the draft.

Chris Givens

Givens came out of nowhere last year, much like T.Y. Hilton did. Showing a stretch the field ability that reminded many people of a younger Mike Wallace, Givens ended the season with 42 catches for 698 yards and 3 TD’s. With the Rams offense much better with the addition of Tavon Austin and Jared Cook, along with the emergence of Daryl Richardson, expect the Rams to throw the ball even more this year. Given’s is the #1 WR in St. Louis, not Austin right now. Bradford is going to throw the ball, and it will be to his favorite target in Givens. Expect number’s in the range of 60 catches for 1050 yards and 6-7 TD’s for Givens, with a chance to be even better. He is being drafted as the 44th WR in the NFL in around the start of the 9th round in fantasy drafts. That is a travesty. If you got Givens late, that is great. You might have nabbed yourself someone who can give you WR2 value for a WR4 price tag.

Tight End

Jared Cook

Coming from a horrible QB situation in Tennessee with Jake Locker at the helm, Cook finds himself in a much more comfortable environment in St. Louis with Sam Bradford, and many more pieces around him. Last year cook caught 44 passes for 523 yards and 4 touchdowns while only playing in 13 games. As long as he can stay healthy, he will be an important part of this new Rams offense. Defenses will have to pay attention to guys like Chris Givens and Tavon Austin on the field, instead of focusing in on Cook like they did in Tennessee with barely any other weapons. Cook is being taken as the 10th TE in leagues, but has the ability to provide top 5 numbers. 65 catches with 800 yards and 8-9 TD’s is not out of the question if he stays healthy in the Ram’s offense. Not many TE’s will put up those type of number’s and if you can wait on the elite TE’s and snag Cook, your team will be in great shape.

Fred Davis

The injury bug hit Fred Davis last year and he was only able to play in 7 games. Owners are sour on him this year, as they think RGIII will run, pass to Garcon or hand the ball off to Alfred Morris. What they need to remember is that RGIII and Davis had a good thing going last year before he hurt himself. With RGIII needing to rely on his pass catchers even more this year because of his ACL injury, Davis could be in line for a surprising year. There is no other pass catcher on the team worth mentioning other than Garcon, who is injury prone himself. RGIII will need to rely on Davis this year, and I have a feeling he will produce. Just two years ago Davis had 59 catches for 796 yards, and that's with someone not as talented as RGIII at the QB spot. If he can develop a good relationship with RGIII out on the field, approaching 65-70 catches with 800 yards and 7 touchdowns is not out of the question. With Davis going as the 14th TE taken, you might be able to wait until the very end of your draft to draft your starting TE for the year and load up on more valuable RB and WR pieces earlier in the draft.

Well there you have it everyone, those are my undervalued players at the QB, RB, WR and TE position for the 2013 fantasy football season. It should be an exciting year to watch, and be sure to pay attention to the waiver wire for those undervalued and breakout players this year, it can mean the difference between being in the cellar and lifting the trophy at the end of the season.

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