Overrated, Underrated, Adequately Rated: July 2017

Continuing with this monthly series, I now turn my attention to July ADP from DFF. In reviewing the ADP, I have identified three players (who all happen to be wide receivers) that I view as either overrated, underrated, or adequately rated based on their current ADP price.

Overrated: DeVante Parker (WR27, ADP = 54)

I know, I know, hashtag third-year breakout. I want to believe, we all do, but I cannot get on board. Parker is still consistently an overhyped asset in the dynasty community, and the ADP is proof. Parker’s draft position is the middle of the fifth round. Now, by that time he will most likely be your team’s WR3, which is still not ideal in my eyes but I can abide it. The problem I have with Parker’s ADP are the players that go off the board just after him: Namely, Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and Golden Tate. And Parker is being drafted only two spots behind Jamison Crowder. Personally, I think this is absurd.

This is a receiver who, at best, is the second option in the passing game in Miami. Not to mention the Dolphins are shying away from the passing game with the emergence of workhorse back Jay Ajayi. Between Weeks 6-16, when Ajayi became the prominent workhorse in 2016, Parker only caught 41 receptions for 452 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 6 of those games, Parker failed to catch more than 3 passes or even break 30 receiving yards. To add to that, Parker only started in 4 of those 11 games according to NFL.com.

In his two seasons in the NFL, Parker has only caught 82 receptions for 1238 yards and seven touchdowns. He has yet to see over 90 targets in a single season, and his career high in receptions and yards is 56 and 744 (albeit a two-year sample). In PPR leagues, Parker finished as the WR50 in 2016 and performed even worse in 2015.

But there is good news for Parker owners. He is currently worth a first-round rookie pick or more in many leagues. Using DLF’s trade finder, I found some crazy trades made for Parker over the last couple of months. Parker and 1.10 for Allen Robinson. Parker for Jordan Reed. Parker for a 2018 first. Parker for Isaiah Crowell. Parker and a 2018 second for Jordan Howard. As you can see, Parker still holds immense trade value; you just have to find the right person. Can he still break out? Possibly, but I am not holding him any longer to find out. Sell now while the value is still high before he loses all value with another bust performance in 2017.

Players behind Parker I would rather own (ADP): Michael Crabtree (56), Greg Olsen (58), Willie Snead (59), Golden Tate (70)

Adequately Rated: Michael Thomas (WR7, ADP = 12)

I believe Michael Thomas is one of the safest wide receivers to own in fantasy. Some may think that taking Thomas at the end of the first is drafting him at his ceiling. While this may be true, the WR1 for a Drew Brees is nearly a guaranteed lock as a yearly WR1 in fantasy, barring injury. However, Thomas’ upside is not due to just catching balls from Drew Brees. Thomas is an immensely talented receiver and a skilled route runner – Brees just elevates his game to the next level. It is a perfect combination of talent and situation.

In his rookie season, Thomas caught 92 receptions for 1,137 yards and 9 touchdowns, good for WR7 on the year. I do not expect Thomas to improve drastically on his rookie campaign. I expressed my expectations for Thomas for 2017 and beyond in this article. In short, he’s a sure-fire WR1 in fantasy.

Finally, I believe Brees will play at an elite level for another two or three years. With that, Thomas is almost a guaranteed top-10 receiver for the next two or three years as well. If you are in a startup right now, Thomas is fair value at the end of the first or even early second. Two to three years is a long time, especially in fantasy football. Grab him now before he repeats his performance from 2016 in 2017 and his value increase even more.

Underrated: Robert Woods (WR66, ADP = 157)

A Rams receiver? Underrated? Gross,right? But hear me out. Woods is a 25-year-old wide receiver who has played second fiddle to Sammy Watkins his entire career. However, last year we were able to see Woods in action as the Bills WR1 for an extended period. Through seven games, Woods caught 37 receptions on 53 targets for 463 yards and a touchdown. Extrapolating that out to a full 16 game season, Woods would have recorded 84(121)/1058/2. Those totals would equal 201.8 fantasy points, which would have been good for WR22 in 2016. That is an immense value for a receiver drafted in the 14th round in start-up drafts.

Fast forward to 2017. Woods signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Rams, and the man got paid. The Rams signed Woods for 5 years for $34 million, nearly $7 million a year. The Rams cannot get any worse than they did in 2016. New head coach Sean McVay is an offensive guru (per ShaneSays) and is poised to develop Jared Goff into becoming the quarterback the Rams think he can be. With that said, who is Goff going to throw to? Woods is the de facto WR2 on the Rams at worst, but his game is different than Tavon Austin’s. Austin is the gadget/speed guy whereas Woods is a chain mover and a PPR receiver.

In fact, you can compare Woods’ new role in the McVay offense to Pierre Garcon’s role under McVay. In the three years Garcon played under McVay, he never saw less than 105 targets in a season. Furthermore, throwing out his 2014 season (Redskins went through three quarterbacks that season), Garcon never caught less than 70 receptions or 750 receiving yards under McVay. His worst finish was under McVay was WR48 in 2014 (again, the Skins cycled through three QBs). However, in 2015 he finished as the WR31, and in 2016 he finished as the WR22. Sure, Goff is no Kirk Cousins (yet?), but if Garcon’s numbers tell us anything about Woods’ role and ceiling under McVay, what is not to like?

Another appealing aspect of Woods is his price. As mentioned above, his current ADP is in the 14th round as the 66th receiver off the board. His draft position is around players like Marqise Lee, Jonathan Williams, James Conner, and Jonathan Stewart. That is immense value in a startup draft for the ceiling Woods has under McVay. As for trading, his price is just as low. You can acquire Woods for a 3rd round pick or cheaper. You can acquire Woods for the 3.05, 4.03, 4.07, or a 2018 3rd, according to DLF’s trade finder. Why not take a chance on a guy who has the potential to finish as a WR2 in fantasy, whose cost is a 3rd or even 4th round rookie pick?

Players in front of Woods I would take him over (ADP): Jonathan Williams (156), Chris Godwin (154), Coby Fleener (152), Juju Smith-Schuster (151), Tyler Lockett (150), Jamaal Williams (149), Curtis Samuel (148)


Penn State college student and Steelers fan. Been playing fantasy football since 2009 and dynasty football since 2016. Numbers don't lie, people do. Co-Host of the Super Flexible Podcast. @Amazehayes_DFF on Twitter.

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