Week one is finally upon us! It is time to officially set our lineups and gear up for the first Sunday of the new year. Each week, I will look at the NFL consensus and staff rankings to pinpoint some overvalued and undervalued players. With week one here, it is time to see where the experts got it wrong, and which players should be moved around! Enjoy Week 1 Undervalued and Overvalued Players!
Week 1 Undervalued and Overvalued Players
Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins (RB33)
“Fat Rob” is nobody’s favorite, we all know. But at some point, we have to acknowledge that he is a starter. The Redskins run a strong offense, and Kelley is the number one back on the team. Rookie Samaje Perine has yet to make a significant impact and Chris Thompson will only take passing downs away.
The Philly defense is respectable but finished just middle of the pack against the run in 2016. And Kelley totaled 88 yards and a score in his one matchup against them last season. Kelley is primed to receive at least 15 touches plus goal line work, making him a solid RB2 in a neutral matchup.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (WR37)
This one is all about the matchup. Adam Thielen and Sam Bradford ended the year with very good chemistry in 2016. Entering 2017 Thielen is option 1A or 1B with Stefon Diggs. And while Diggs is ranked all the way up at 12, Thielen is all the way down at 37!
The Saints gave up the fifth most receptions last year to wide receivers and 17 touchdowns. Couple that with Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux being out, and there is a recipe for targets in Theilen’s direction. The combination of a better Vikings offense, a poor Saints defense, and a number two target is enough to make Thielen undervalued in week one.
Robby Anderson, New York Jets (WR48)
First off, I love nothing about the Jets this season. But this week I am willing to make an exception. The Jets are playing a Buffalo team that isn’t exactly stacked either. And despite how bad they will be, they have to throw the ball to somebody.
Anderson looks to be the number one wideout and with a negative game script, Anderson has a chance to be peppered with targets all season. Anderson may not be sexy, but he has decent upside as a WR3 and should have more opportunity than many guys ahead of him, making him one of the more undervalued players in week 1.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (TE20)
This has more to do with his position than anything. A combination of injuries and tough matchups make tight end a pretty dreadful position this week. But Clay presents some upside that makes him very undervalued at this spot.
First off, he matches up against an extremely poor Jets team. Tyrod and the Bills should be able to put up points and win this matchup. Second, Tyrod is starving for weapons. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews is playing but banged up, and rookie Zay Jones is just that, a rookie. Clay will provide a solid option with touchdown potential at a weak tight end position.
Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (WR14)
A perfect matchup, a strong offense, and talented player, what’s not to like? Well, history, really. Bryant hasn’t played a real NFL football game in over a year. And while the Steelers will want to get him involved early, there is a chance that this game gets out of hand early, and Bryant never even gets his chance.
Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown a target hogs in this offense and will definitely be the opening week. While Bryant’s upside is real, his floor is just not nearly as high as some of the other options in this range. Even in a good matchup, I think Bryant is slightly overvalued with his 14 ranking, coming ahead of safer options like Larry Fitzgerald (15) and Demaryius Thomas (16).
LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles (RB24)
Unfortunately for everyone, LeGarrette Blount is no longer with the Super Bowl champion Patriots. And with that, spells the end of Blount’s fantasy relevance. Blount looked terrible in preseason, and running backs Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood are going to cut into his workload, if not take it all.
Blount’s career record away from the Patriots is pretty suspect, and without consistent goal line touches, it is about to get even worse. Blount is not guaranteed a great workload, and the Eagles aren’t guaranteed goal line looks like the Patriots had, making Blount an extremely risky venture.
Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (TE11)
As we talked about earlier, the tight end position is extremely volatile, especially in week 1. And Eric Ebron does not make matters better. He has consistently let fantasy owners down with injuries and failure to reach his potential. With a week one matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, I wouldn’t look for that trend to end quite yet.
Ebron spent most of the preseason sidelined with a hamstring injury. Combined with an Arizona defense that gave up only two catches per game to tight ends in 2016. If there were more options at tight end, I would move Ebron down even further. But considering, Ebron is probably just slightly overvalued.
Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (RB25)
Another Lion, another bad matchup. Facing off against one of the best defenses, the Lions offense would be a good one to avoid in week one. The Lions spent most of the preseason hyping up their use of fellow running back Ameer Abdullah. Plus, Riddick receives very few carries as it is.
In what could be a low scoring affair, especially for the Lions, Riddick’s opportunities to put up points could be very limited. Unless you are in a PPR league, Riddick should be planted on your bench. Even in PPR, Riddick is a low end RB3 with minimal upside.