8 overvalued and undervalued fantasy football players based on 2022 ADP

In the latest episode of the PFN's Premier Fantasy Football Podcast, Jason and I break down eight overvalued and undervalued players for 2022.

As NFL training camps continue to fire off around the country, signaling the start of the 2022 NFL season, the latest episode of PFN’s Premier Fantasy Football Podcast breaks down some of the overvalued and undervalued players in fantasy football based on early ADP trends. Which players stand out as we turn the calendar to August and are just five weeks away from football returning to our screens?

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Overvalued fantasy football players for 2022 redrafts

PFN Fantasy Analyst Jason Katz joins me on the latest episode of the PFN Premier Fantasy Football Podcast to discuss some overvalued and undervalued players based on current ADP. These players, while undoubtedly talented, are overvalued based on their current ADP and projections.

Javonte Williams | RB, Denver Broncos

Before I find an angry mod with pitch forks and torches outside my place, let me just say I love Javonte Williams, the player. Efficiency is the name of his game. As a rookie, he was fifth in forced missed tackles, seventh in 10+ yard rushes, and seventh in yards after contact despite being 15th in carries. Weeks 12-14 gave fantasy managers a glimpse of what Williams could do in 2022, as he averaged 23.7 PPR points as the lead back.

Remember that Williams finished 13th in touches last season with 246 (or 14.6 per game) and finished as one of two rookie RBs inside the top 15 in route participation, with Najee Harris (first) and Williams (13th). Add in a rejuvenated offense under Nathaniel Hackett and led by Russell Wilson, and there’s reason to be bullish on Williams.

The concern for me and why Williams is overvalued is his ADP is still reflective of the pre-Melvin Gordon projections. If Gordon went elsewhere, Williams would be ranked inside the top six. However, Gordon, despite saying he wanted to be a featured RB, opted to return to Denver. He will undoubtedly have a significant role after the dead-even 203-to-203 split they saw last year.

Coming off the board as the RB13 with a 19 overall ADP, Williams is being priced as if Gordon is not there. Even in a 60/40 split, Williams would need a monster season to pay this off. Currently my RB17, Williams is overvalued at the moment.

Nick Chubb | RB, Cleveland Browns

As Katz put it, fantasy managers have a blind spot when it comes to Nick Chubb. Yes, he might be the best pure rusher in the NFL, but Chubb is more of a floor player than one you draft for his ceiling. Over the last three seasons, Chubb has put up 15.4, 17.3, and 15.9 PPR points per game, respectively. While no one is writing that off, managers need to be okay with drafting a 16 PPR/game player at 17th overall (RB9).

Whether it’s Jacoby Brissett or Deshaun Watson under center, neither really throws to running backs. In 2020, Watson threw to RBs just 17.1% of the time. As for Brissett, in 2019, he threw to running backs just 18.7% of the time. Kareem Hunt is the passing-down back, and even if he were to get hurt, that job would go to D’Ernest Johnson.

The only hope Chubb would have for a spike season is an outlier TD total. But we already saw that in 2020 when he scored 12 touchdowns in 12 games. He still was at just 17.3 ppg. In the second round, Katz feels managers should look for more upside than what Chubb provides based on his current ADP.

Diontae Johnson | WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

One of the most talented route runners in the NFL, Diontae Johnson is a star for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s also been that for fantasy managers, finishing as the WR21 and WR8 in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Johnson’s 17.2 PPR/game last year was ninth amongst receivers thanks to his insane volume, finishing tied for second in targets with Davante Adams (169) and only behind Cooper Kupp (191).

The only downside of Johnson was that he was not the most effective on a per-touch basis. Amongst wide receivers with 100+ targets (35), Johnson was 27th in yards per reception (10.8), 31st in yards per target (6.87), and 26th in fantasy points per target (1.6 PPR). Now without Ben Roethlisberger, it’s unlikely Johnson sees the same volume or efficiency as he did last year.

Flashback to 2020, and we saw what Johnson looks like without him. His PPR/game dropped 2.4 points (40.5 points over 16 games) compared to last year, and of the 35 WRs with 100+ targets, Johnson was 32nd in yards per reception (10.5), 34th in yards per target (6.41), and 33rd in points per target (1.54).

Yet, with a 39.4 ADP, Johnson is coming off the board as the WR13. That’s right at the 3/4 turn. While I’m not discounting the idea of Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett being better than what we saw from Big Ben at the end of his career, I don’t feel we see the same numbers as last year. For me, Johnson is overvalued at his current ADP in fantasy football and is my WR19 for 2022 redraft leagues.

overvalued fantasy football
Dec 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) runs after a catch against Tennessee Titans cornerback Buster Skrine (38) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes | QB, Kansas City Chiefs

With his worst season averaging 20.7 PPR/game, Katz still believes Patrick Mahomes is the best QB in the NFL. But he’s not the best quarterback in fantasy anymore, according to him. In fact, Katz feels he’s not even second or third.

Mahomes averaged 8.8 yards per attempt in 2018. Since then, his yards per attempt have dropped every season, hitting a low of 7.4 last season. While Mahomes averaged 22 ppg last season, finishing as the QB5, this is not blowing anyone out of the water. Even if we go back to just 2018 (Mahomes’ first season starting), eight QBs averaged over 20 PPR/game. Last season, 11 QBs hit the 20 PPR/game threshold.

It seems fantasy managers are still valuing Mahomes as the clear QB2 in fantasy, taking him in the mid-to-late third round. As he said, Katz just can’t justify Mahomes ahead of Justin Herbert or Lamar Jackson and is considering putting Jalen Hurts ahead of Mahomes as well. Arguments could also be made for Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow.

With his downgraded supporting cast and the improvements other teams have made for their quarterbacks, Mahomes is overvalued at his QB2 ADP for fantasy in 2022.

Undervalued fantasy football players for 2022 redrafts

Courtland Sutton | WR, Denver Broncos

At this point, people are getting sick of me talking about Courtland Sutton. I feel like I should apologize, but I also don’t feel sorry. The only thing I feel sorry about is having a hand in raising his ADP.

Rewind a few months ago, and Sutton was in the going in the late 20s to early 30s at his position. Now, Sutton is the WR20 on Sleeper and climbing (53.7 ADP). Yet, I’m very bullish on Sutton, and because he’s my WR12 in redraft leagues, I think he’s still being undervalued in fantasy football.

In 2019, Sutton had a breakout year with 72 catches, 1,112 yards, and six touchdowns, earning his first Pro Bowl selection. Now, over a full year removed from a 2020 torn ACL, Sutton is Russell Wilson’s new version of DK Metcalf. I think we’re all aware of how fruitful of a role this is for fantasy points.

Last year, only 51% of Sutton’s air yards (1,509) were converted into actual yards (776). Paired with Wilson, one of the most accurate deep passers who led the NFL in intended air yards (9.9 per attempt), and a revamped offense under Hackett, Sutton has the chance to crack the top 10 in scoring.

His ADP is still climbing, and this will not stop anytime soon. For now, I’m still more than willing to pay the premium for an elite talent like Sutton as he makes my list of undervalued fantasy football players for 2022.

Leonard Fournette | RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The “Fat Lenny” talk has gone too far for Katz as Leonard Fournette cracks his list of undervalued fantasy football players in 2022. Currently the RB14 on Sleeper (22nd overall), Lombardi Lenny is his RB7 heading into the 2022 season.

Those who are concerned about Fournette’s weight must forget he does this every year and is always in game shape by the time the season starts. Florida summer weather has a way of trimming the pounds off a person. As Katz said, there’s no great reason to be fading Fournette in 2022. He averaged 18.3 ppg last season — good for the overall RB3 finish — while tying D’Andre Swift for the most targets on a per-game basis (6.0).

The two concerns managers point to are his health, as he did miss the end of last season with a hamstring strain. However, all running backs get hurt, and if you’re worried about injuries, you should never draft the position and just draft mid-round handcuffs. The other concern is the impact of Rachaad White. Yet, while White was a solid player at ASU, he won’t push Fournette into a committee role.

This was the third-highest scoring RB in fantasy a year ago, and now he’s in a situation where the only meaningful changes are a decrease in target competition with Rob Gronkowski retiring, Antonio Brown quitting, and Chris Godwin likely on a snap count at the start of the season. Nevertheless, Fournette is being drafted as an RB2. If on the board, Katz will select Fournette every time he falls to him.

overvalued fantasy football
Jul 30, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) and running back Leonard Fournette (7) participate in training camp at AdventHealth training center Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Robinson | WR, Los Angeles Rams

Fantasy managers hate “old” players. In a way, I get it. But it’s gone too far. The crowd chanting Allen Robinson is done will be in for a rude awakening in 2022. I’ve been on record for the past several years that Robinson is one of the most underrated elite receivers in the game. At one point, the guy made Blake Bortles look like a franchise QB.

Stuck in a stagnant Chicago Bears offense that lacked a stable quarterback, Robinson saw his yearly totals fall. After averaging 152.5 targets, 100 receptions, 1,198.5 yards, and 6.5 TDs in 2019 and 2020, Robinson was the WR82 last year (12 games). He caught just 38 passes (66 targets) for 410 yards with one touchdown. That’s on the situation, not on Robinson’s shoulders.

Meanwhile, in nine games alongside Kupp, Robert Woods averaged 7.7 targets, five receptions, 61.8 yards, 0.56 TDs, and 15.9 PPR points a game. That’s a 17-game pace of 130 targets, 85 receptions, 1,050 yards, 10 TDs, and 250 PPR points, which would have placed him as the WR12 last year ahead of Mike Williams.

Every single report coming out of Rams camp is saying the duo of Robinson and Kupp have been unstoppable. Not only in 7-on-7 but also when going against the 1s in red-zone drills. Clearly, I’m on the more bullish side of things as Robinson is the WR25 (62 ADP) on Sleeper, but he comes in as the WR17 for me.

Adam Thielen | WR, Minnesota Vikings

After playing all 16 games from 2016-2018, Adam Thielen has dealt with some injuries the past three seasons, missing a total of 11 games. He’s also 32 years old. Those are the only real reasons Katz has seen brought up by fantasy managers fading Thielen.

However, Thielen has shown no signs of slowing down. Even though he’s at the age at which receivers typically fall off considerably, he’s not a true 32-year-old in terms of miles. Thielen was a 24-year-old rookie who didn’t break out until his age-26 season. He also has a skill set that should allow him to remain effective into his mid-30s as an over-the-middle option with a significant role in the red zone. That same role allowed Thielen to average 15.4 PPR/game (T-14th in 2021) in his 13 games.

Of course, there’s a chance at age 32 — similar to Julio Jones — Thielen’s body just can’t hold up anymore, and those seasons of double-digit touchdowns are a thing of the past.

But fantasy managers don’t need to take Thielen until Round 6 (71.9 ADP) as the WR29. Even at just 12 games, Thielen would be a massive value as a WR3 for those weeks. In what should be a more explosive offense under Kevin O’Connell, Thielen breaks the age cliff as an undervalued player for the 2022 fantasy football season.

Tommy Garrett is a Fantasy Analyst for Pro Football Network and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can read all of Tommy’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter: @TommyGarrettPFN.

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