The TFA team is at it again, highlighting eight undervalued PPR targets that fantasy owners should pay attention to in upcoming drafts. These are players that we believe will outperform their current ADP and cost you less draft capital. Basically, more bang for your buck. Let’s take a look at the players we deem undervalued at each skill position.
ADP data is from FantasyFootballCalculator.com. Pulled from PPR formats and 12 team leagues.
Honorable mentions were written by Kevin Steele.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans (FFC ADP – 9.04, QB11)
Marcus Mariota’s statistics are already attractive on their own. Before going down in the last regular-season game to injury, he had passed for 26 touchdowns compared to only nine interceptions. He also amassed 349 yards and a couple of scores on the ground. When you consider the run-heavy attack the Titans employed and the lack of outside receivers at his disposal, one could think Mariota’s best seasons are still ahead. Rishard Matthews, who very few would consider a number one receiver, had 65 receptions and nine touchdowns. Delanie Walker also had 65 receptions with seven touchdowns. Beyond those two, the receiving corps was below average at best.
Enter Corey Davis. Davis was considered to be the best wideout in the draft and at 6’ 3” and 209 lbs., he has all the measurables to be a top-flight receiver. The Titans also used another premium draft pick to add Taywan Taylor at pick 92. And last but not least, Tennessee signed Eric Decker to a one-year deal. Decker brings seven years experience and has four seasons of at least eight touchdown receptions. Injuries are always a concern with Decker, but he has claimed to have made a full recovery from last season’s surgeries.
Mariota is entering his third year in the league — a time frame when players typically take the next step in their game. He’s currently the 13th ranked quarterback according to FantasyPros and is a perfect example of why you should wait to draft a quarterback. For many, he is viewed as a backup fantasy option, but with the upside he possesses running the football and the new receivers at his disposal, Mariota has the potential to be in the top five at season’s end.
Matthew Stafford – QB, Lions (FFC ADP 10.10 or QB15)
Matthew Stafford is being drafted at his floor currently, so fantasy owners could get the upside of a top 10 fantasy quarterback in the 10th round if they’re paying attention. This is exactly the kind of value I search for when I wait to draft my quarterback until later rounds, choosing to stock up on running backs and wide receivers first. Stafford finished the past two seasons as the No. 7 and No. 8 overall fantasy QB. In fact, dating back to 2011, the lowest finish for Stafford was No. 15 (2014).
Though the Lions claim that they intend to emphasize their run game with a healthy Ameer Abdullah in tow, they’re historically a pass-heavy team. I don’t think that will change dramatically this season. The past three years, Detroit threw the ball at least 62% of the time and were top 10 in pass attempts each of those years. Stafford averaged 4,200+ yards and 26 TDs the past three seasons and hit a career low in interceptions (10) in 2016. With Tate and Jones returning, the addition of rookie Kenny Golladay, and hopefully a healthy Ebron, Stafford has a clear path to beat his current ADP. — Jen Smith @FF_Female920
Andy Dalton, Bengals (FFC ADP – 11.02, QB17)
Andy Dalton will never be a sexy option in fantasy football, but he certainly continues to fly under the radar. Dalton has finished as a QB1 in three of the last five seasons. He also has a top five finish and would have had another QB1 finish had he not gotten hurt against the Steelers in 2015. The Bengals certainly have question-marks along their offensive line, but the addition of John Ross should bring a viable deep threat the team missed last season without Marvin Jones. Additionally, Cincinnati now boasts one of the strongest RB stables in the league and Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard, and Joe Mixon will help open the field and take pressure off Dalton.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals (FFC ADP – 13.06, QB20)
He’s one of my favorite late-round targets. After a brutal start to the season, Carson Palmer finished as QB7 over the final eight games. It’s obvious that Palmer missed John Brown and his deep ball potential after finishing 22nd in yards per attempt. With a healthy Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, JJ Nelson, and David Johnson out of the backfield, the sky is the limit for the 37-year-old signal caller. His ADP is laughable and very well make Palmer this season’s Matt Ryan. I’ll gladly take him as my QB1 at his current ADP.
Danny Woodhead, RB, Ravens (ADP – 4.07, RB18)
Read anything I write this summer and you’ll know how I feel about elite pass-catching RB, Danny Woodhead. For starters, he’s a PPR monster on a team absolutely starving for reliable targets. Both of Joe Flacco’s key check-down guys, Dennis Pitta and Kyle Juszczyk, are no longer around. And that’s only 170 of the 390 targets missing from last year’s Ravens roster.
To top it off, the only back left ahead of Woodhead on the depth chart is Terrance West, following the loss of Kenneth Dixon to injury. Woodhead could easily see a career-high in carries (currently 106) and is nearly a lock for 70-plus catches. Especially in PPR leagues, “Woody” could vie for RB1 status, despite hovering around the fifth round in drafts. — Matt Okada (@FantasySensei)
Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings (FFC ADP – 4.10, RB19)
Dalvin Cook’s college production and market share are elite, but his value is still getting discounted due to poor testing at the NFL Combine.
The 41st overall pick in the NFL Draft, Cook has a clear path to his team’s RB1 volume on an underrated offense and a system that matches his strengths. His redraft PPR ADP of 5.10 places him at RB19, just ahead of Carlos Hyde and Spencer Ware, fourth among the rookie RBs and a full round behind Christian McCaffrey, who will battle Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart for touches and TDs. Volume and opportunity alone give Cook a chance to outperform RB19. When adding his immense talent, he is my pick for undervalued player to target. — Frank Gruber (@threedownhack)
Ty Montgomery, Packers (FFC ADP – 3.09, RB16)
He’s bordering on undervalued already, but with the Jamaal Williams getting first team reps news, I wouldn’t be shocked to see his ADP fall. “TyMo” has the ability to be an RB1. There’s no reason Christian McCaffrey should be going ahead of him. Over his final six games, he finished as RB12 with 381 rushing yards and 185 receiving yards on 28 receptions while finding the end zone three times. In 2017, TyMo figures to carry the load, despite the additions to the backfield through the draft. He has the skill set to be David Johnson-lite, and at his current ADP, could pay off in a big way.
Jonathan Williams, Bills (FFC ADP – 13.10, RB59)
If anything happens to LeSean McCoy, Jonathan Williams becomes that winning lottery ticket. Regardless, he possesses some stand-alone value on his own and should be considered a major steal at his current ADP running behind of the league’s most run-heavy and dominant offensive lines.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills (FFC ADP – 3.10, WR17)
Sammy Watkins just turned 24 in June. He’s an electric playmaker, averaging over 16 yards per reception in his career. Granted, he’s had some issues staying on the field during his first two seasons, but he’s now gotten the second of two required surgeries for a Jones fracture. Other players to come back from a Jones fracture? Julio, Demaryius Thomas, and Dez Bryant. I like that company. The procedure has a 93% success rate, and you should not be scared of Watkins’ foot issues anymore.
He’s entering his fourth year in the NFL and is poised for a huge season with top five upside. Going at the end of the third round with no real competition for targets, he’s going to be a league winner for teams this year. — Kent Weyrauch (@CCNP_Kent)
Golden Tate, WR, Lions (FFC ADP – 4.12, WR25)
Over the last three seasons, a total of six WRs have 280+ receptions. The first five are PPR studs Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr, Demaryius Thomas, and Jarvis Landry. The sixth guy on the list? Golden Tate.
Since Calvin Johnson retired, the Lions have shifted their offensive philosophy to focus around Tate. No longer is Matthew Stafford chucking YOLO bombs, but frequently utilizes Golden Tate and his yards-after-the-catch ability. Tate’s 1,077 receiving yards ranked 14th in the NFL, but his 619 yards after the catch ranked first. Tate is not a prolific TD scorer with only 14 TDs in three seasons with Detroit. With Eric Ebron and a (hopefully) healthy Ameer Abdullah helping against defenses, Tate should feast in 2017. Tate is being drafted as a WR3, behind unproven, volatile options like Tyreek Hill, Terrelle Pryor, Martavis Bryant, and Davante Adams. This criminally underrated WR is a near lock for 90 catches and 1,000 yards — a WR 2 season. — Ben Howell (@shadowfire71)
Cameron Meredith, WR, Bears (FFC ADP 8.12 or WR42)
Heading into the 2016 season, Cameron Meredith was on no one’s radar. He entered the season fifth on the depth chart behind players such as Alshon Jeffrey, Eddie Royal, Kevin White, and Josh Bellamy. His road to success wasn’t one that many would have bet on. However, after not even logging a single snap the first two weeks, and very limited action during Weeks 3 and 4, he finally got a shot. Once Kevin White went down with a leg injury. Cameron Meredith was called upon, and he came up big. He hauled in nine of 12 targets for 130 yards and a touchdown against the Colts. He would go on to see a much more meaningful role the rest of the season. He logged 888 yards on 66 receptions (on 97 targets) and also found the end zone four times. From Week 5 on, he scored 14.1 PPR points per week and finished with the ninth highest YPRR (yards per route run). He also did all of this with a “star-studded” group of QBs in Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, and Matt Barkley under center.
As for 2017, Cameron Meredith will be the WR1 with Alshon Jeffrey and his 94 targets moving on to the Eagles. The Bears brought in the land of misfit WRs with Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, and Victor Cruz all getting signed this offseason. The team still has Kevin White and Eddie Royal under contract as well. Cameron Meredith figures to receive the lion’s share of the targets and should see somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 total. — Kevin Steele (@FantasyWrath13)
Tyrell Williams, WR, Chargers (FFC ADP – 9.03, WR43)
I honestly can’t understand why Tyrell Williams is being so criminally undervalued. He finished his rookie campaign as WR18 in PPR formats after posting 69 receptions (111 targets), 1,059 yards, and seven touchdowns. Now, I get that Keenan Allen will resume his role as the WR1 in the offense, but Philip Rivers isn’t going to just forget about Williams. In my opinion, he has one of the highest ceilings of any player around his ADP.
Kenny Britt, WR, Browns (FFC ADP – 11.02, WR50)
Last season Kenny Britt experienced a bit of a career resurgence. He finished as WR27 in PPR formats with 1,002 yards and five touchdowns. He did this while playing within a Jeff Fisher offense and tethered to Case Keenum and Jared Goff. On paper, the Kenny Britt signing doesn’t excite anyone. However, if Cody Kessler wins the job, it could mean big things for Britt. He’s a perfect fit within Hue Jackson’s offense and his skill set translates well to what Cody Kessler does best. Per Scott Barrett, Britt had a perfect WR rating on crossing routes, while Cody Kessler led all QBs on crossing routes last season. Kessler finished 26th in the league in air yards and should look Kenny Britt’s way early and often. He has a WR2 ceiling but can be had as your fourth or fifth in the draft. I’ll take that all day.
Cole Beasley, Cowboys (FFC ADP 12.03 – WR55)
Josh Doctson, Redskins (FFC ADP 12.06, WR56)
Robert Woods, Rams (FFC ADP 13.06, WRWR60)
Paul Richardson, Seahawks (FFC 14.06. WR69)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Jets (FFC ADP – Undrafted)
Remember the 6′ 6″ athletic phenom tight end that everybody loved coming out of the University of Washington in 2014? Well, despite some apparent anger and drinking problems, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is still in the league and isn’t being drafted until the early 14th round in fantasy. The Washington product has not been written off because of poor play on the field, he’s been written off for not being on the field at all. So why take a shot on him in your draft? Because grabbing ASJ that late comes with zero risk and tons of upside. Seferian-Jenkins is allegedly sober now, and the Jets have expressed full confidence in the tight end all throughout the offseason. Pair his glowing reviews with an obvious opportunity for volume, and you get a possible TE1 for free. ASJ is still the same athletic specimen he always has been, he doesn’t seem to be on a significantly short leash, and now has the potential to pace the Jets in all receiving categories. When we’re looking for undervalued tight ends, what more can you want than low investment capital, great opportunity for volume, and uber athleticism in an offense that should be throwing the ball often. — Derek Womack (@DerekJWomack)
Eric Ebron, Lions (FFC ADP – 11.02, TE12)
Despite calling for his breakout season the last two seasons without success, Eric Ebron is firm atop my most valued target among TEs this season. His current ADP makes him a steal in the 11th round and can return 2015 Tyler Eifert-type value. Ebron finished as the TE14 in PPR formats, with 61 receptions (on 85 targets), 711 yards, and only one touchdown. With Anquan Boldin gone, Ebron should absorb a healthy target share inside the red zone. The biggest question for Ebron will be his health, however, if he can avoid major injury, then he should have a shot at sniffing out top five tight end production in 2017.
Vance McDonald, 49ers (FFC ADP – Undrafted)
Tyler Higbee, Rams (FFC ADP – Undrafted)