Tuesday - Apr 23, 2019

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PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Players to Pass On

A lot of factors need to be considered when drafting your team. An important part is to be aware of how the general fantasy player values players. Identifying players who are undervalued or overvalued compared to how you view them, helps a lot when making decisions on draft night. You need to know where you are comfortable taking certain players. Going into a draft with a list off a website or a magazine and going down the line is not the best way to build your team. I wanted to identify a few players I feel are currently being overvalued by the general fantasy population.

To be clear, I am not saying that these players are bad or I would never draft them. I am not comfortable with where they are currently going in fantasy drafts. If they continue to be picked where they currently are, they are not going to be on any of my teams after my drafts this year. I am not going into the draft saying I will never pick any of these guys, because if they fall to the right spot I will not hesitate to take them.  Here are a few players to proceed with caution on:

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Hilton is coming off his best season in the NFL. This year he has been going too high in drafts for me to be comfortable taking him. Hilton is a talented receiver, but picking him in the second round is drafting him at his ceiling. One of my main concerns with Hilton is he puts up better numbers when Donte Moncrief is out. In 2016 his 16-game pace when Moncrief played was 1,314 yards and 3.5 touchdowns; without Moncrief it was 1,621 yards and nine touchdowns. He is still capable of being a solid contributor when Moncrief plays, but his touchdown potential is limited. When you include the uncertainty around Andrew Luck’s status to start the season, Hilton is too risky a pick for me. He would need to drop out of the second round for me to consider him even with healthy Andrew Luck. I am much more comfortable with him as a WR2.

Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots

Cooks is generally going in the early third round, but I think the move to New England is more of a downgrade than people think. In 2016, New Orleans threw 675 passes. New England threw 550. He goes from being the top target on a high-volume offense, to most likely being the third option in New England. With Tom Brady there all season, it is likely the pass attempts will go up, but as long as Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman are playing, Cooks is going to see lower volume and will be more reliant on the big play to produce fantasy value. He will be more valuable in best ball leagues. Another thing working against him is how much running backs are targeted in New England. Last season 130 targets went to the running backs and it is possible that even goes up this season. New England has a loaded backfield with multiple players who can catch passes. Cooks is another talented wide receiver, but without injuries I do not see how he gets enough volume to return value on his draft position. Cooks is a player I do not expect to be on any of my teams in 2017.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders

I consider Marshawn Lynch the player I consider to be the most overrated going into 2017. He is a 31-year-old running back coming back from a year not playing football. His last season in Seattle he only played in seven games and averaged 3.8 yards a carry. He is being drafted based on name value and a good situation. There are too many factors working against him being a reliable fantasy option. Oakland is likely to limit his workload. It is unlikely he will play 16 games. He is going to be reliant on touchdowns to have fantasy value even if his body does hold up. The Oakland offense should provide good opportunities, as Latavius Murray did score 12 touchdowns last year behind Oakland’s great offensive line. At this point in his career, I do not think Lynch is the most talented running back in Oakland. Coming back to football after being completely away from the game for a year is not likely to yield great results. Drafting Lynch as someone to rely on in fantasy is something I think many players will come to regret.

About Michael Wallace

Michael is one of our summer guest writers this season. He specializes in draft strategy and player stats. In his spare time, he is co-authoring a fantasy novel. We hope you enjoy his perspective.