We are in the peak of hype-season, and for every player that shoots up in ADP, there is one who falls. Remember to take all hype with a pinch of salt. This time of year we are inundated with positive reports from beat writers, coaches, and even players. Coaches need to be positive about their players, players are always going to big-up their teammates, and beat-writers need clicks. I will be selecting a starting line-up of currently over drafted/overhyped players and pit them against a team of under-drafted players, position by position. These under-drafted players are players who I think are not only better value but can also out-score their over-drafted counterparts in 2018.
I’m going to be comparing players by current ADP on Fantasyfootballcalculator.com and filling up a QB-2RB-2WR-TE-WR/RB FLEX line-up with full PPR scoring.
My roster thus far, and the reasoning behind it can be found below:
WR1 = Marvin Jones
WR2 = Rishard Matthews
RB1 = Jordan Howard
RB2 = Lamar Miller
Now let’s find my weekly Flex starter!
Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles
ADP: 44 – RB22
Jay Ajayi was been largely underwhelming after he was traded to Philadelphia. Ajayi was used sparingly until week 14, then averaged 14 carries in weeks 14-16. He averaged just 9.8 PPR points per game in the regular season with the Eagles, which was just enough to be the RB32 across his time in Philly. At a glance his numbers did not look too bad, 70 rushes for 408 yards (5.8 YPC) and one touchdown with ten receptions for 91 yards and 1 TD. Look closer, and his game boils down to crippling inefficiency masked by one or two long runs per game if you take away his longest run from each of his games in Philadelphia, his average YPC drops from 5.8 to 3.0.
In the first half of the season with Miami, Ajayi averaged 3.3 yards per carry. He is not alone in this backfield, and the Eagles like to spread the ball around. Corey Clement impressed towards the end of the year, and Darren Sproles is set to return and have a part of the offense in 2018 so Ajayi’s usage does not project to increase. Ajayi was given the lion share of carries in the playoffs, with 15,18 and 9 carries, but failed to reach 75 rushing yards in any game. Without 20+ carries per game, Ajayi will not come close to an RB2 finish.
Fun Fact – almost 1/5th of Jay Ajayi’s career rushing yards came in two games vs. Buffalo in 2016.
Isaiah Crowell, New York Jets
ADP: 90 – RB38
Isaiah Crowell was 2017’s most hyped player by far, propelling him to the late 2nd/early 3rd rounds by draft season. Basic mathematics tells you that Preseason hype + an average season = disappointment, thus creating the ‘post-hype sleeper’. Crowell is the epitome of this entering the 2018 season. In retrospect, 2017 was not a terrible season as far as Cleveland Browns running backs go, averaging 4.1 YPC on 206 carries for 853 yards. It was his TD return that let him down, scoring just two after averaging 6 TDs per year in his first three years in the league. A repeat of his 7 TDs in 2016 would have seen him finish as a middle of the pack RB2 in 2017.
Crowell’s move to the Jets sees him instantly take command of a huge workload, Matt Forte has left behind 103 carries and 45 targets, and Bilal Powell is entering his age 30 season after carrying the ball 178 times last year. Crowell has been very vocal about his desire to be used as a bell-cow and has shown that he is capable in the passing game as well as being solid on the ground. He caught 96 passes in his four years in Cleveland on 131 targets, despite having one of the most dynamic pass-catching backs in football, Duke Johnson, to contend with. Crowell commanding 35-40 receptions in addition to 180+ carries should not be a tall order in New York. If Crowell sees this volume, he should massively out-perform both Ajayi and his draft cost.
The ‘over-drafted’ team is filled with landmines and are too expensive to be combined on one line-up. At their current draft costs, you could draft the entire ‘under-drafted’ line-up from the 3rd round onwards. With your 1st and 2nd round picks to spare, this team could easily lead you to a championship. Be smart with your draft picks, don’t be afraid to go against the crowd when the information tells you to, and whatever you do, do not draft Jay Ajayi.