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 a 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. You can find the rest of my roster, as well as links to the previous articles in this series, below:
WR1 = Marvin Jones
RB1 = Jordan Howard
Now it’s time to fill my RB2 slot.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
ADP: 36 – RB18
Despite a hype-filled offseason, Derrick Henry found himself in a 50/50 timeshare with Demarco Murray in 2017, carrying the ball 178 times to Demarco Murray’s 184 carries. Henry was more efficient with the ball, however, producing 744 yards and 5 TDs. Henry is currently being drafted with the hope he will become the workhorse back in Tennessee, but he has only exceeded 20 touches in a game once in his career. In Week 17 last season Henry saw 29 touchers. Henry saw less than ten touches in seven games in 2017. Not only did Murray out-touch Henry on the ground, but he was also vastly preferred in the passing game, seeing 47 targets to Henry’s 17.
The Titans spent $19.8 million to bring in Dion Lewis for the next four years to replace Demarco Murray. Dion Lewis carried the ball 180 times in New England in 2017, producing 890 yards and 6 TDs. Lewis also showed prowess in the passing game, catching 32 of 36 targets for 214 yards and 3 TDs. Lewis is more than capable of stepping straight into Murray’s role, and between himself and Henry he is the only one who has shown the ability to lead a backfield in the past. Even if the Titans skew the carries 60/40 in Henry’s favour, his lack of involvement in the passing game makes me think that you are not going to see top 18 RB production from Henry in 2017. Henry’s ceiling is an RB2 even if he leads this backfield.
Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
ADP: 58 – RB28
Here is a list of Lamar Miller’s PPR Fantasy Finishes since 2014: RB9, RB6, RB20 and then RB16 in 2017. Not a lot of things are certain in Fantasy Football, but Lamar Miller finishing as an RB2 is close. Through 7 games with Deshaun Watson last season, Lamar Miller carried the ball 119 times for 426 yards and 2 TDs, adding 18 receptions for 194 yards and two more TDs through the air. This was good for an average of 14.9 PPR points per game and saw him ranked as the RB13 up until that point. If he had have continued that pace over 16 games, he would have finished as the RB8 on the season. Even with Watson out of the picture, he managed to end the season as the RB16 with a respectable 12.1 points per game.
D’onta Foreman is Miller’s only competition for touches in Houston. When healthy in 2017 Foreman out-carried Miller just once, with 11 to Miller’s 10 in a week 8 14-20 loss to the Colts. In every other game in which Foreman received double-digit touches, Miller averaged 18.5 carries per game. As it stands, Foreman is still on the comeback trail from his ruptured Achilles, with him questionable to be able to play in week 1. At the back of the fifth Miller is an insane value, with Watson healthy Miller, has a legitimate chance of finishing as an RB1, with RB2 almost an inevitability.