Fantasy drafts are all about value. Reaching for the wrong players can set owners back early in the season. The following players are being overvalued based on their current ADP. Don’t take them too early on draft day or it could be costly.
ADP is taken from My Fantasy League draft data as of August 21 and is based on a 12-team league.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB Cowboys (ADP 8)
You can make a strong argument for every player with an ADP in Round 1. The one player with the most question marks is probably Elliott. There’s no denying the rookie’s talent and the Cowboys are going to give him the ball. Dallas still has Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden around though to steal away some touches from Elliott. Elliott has a ton of potential but he feels more like a second round pick, rather than a Top 10 selection. When you put Elliott up against guys like Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, Julio Jones and Todd Gurley, he comes with the most risk for a top pick.
Jamaal Charles, RB Chiefs (ADP 24)
Charles is coming back from his second ACL surgery in four years. Perhaps it won’t have an impact on him but for a guy whose game is predicated on speed and quickness, multiple knee injuries can start to add up. Charles owners will have another concern this year: Spencer Ware. Even if Charles is healthy, Ware is going to be a factor near the goal line. You may as well start calling Ware “The Vulture” because he’s going to steal some of those short touchdowns away from Charles. A Top 25 pick is a bit steep for Charles when you can get Eddie Lacy, Mark Ingram, LeSean McCoy and Doug Martin a round later.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR Panthers (ADP 35)
The players going in the third round appear to be pretty well slotted. Ingram, McCoy, Randall Cobb, Demaryius Thomas, Jarvis Landry and Aaron Rodgers are all worthy third round selections. Benjamin is the pick because you can make the argument that coming off a knee injury, he’s going a round too early. Benjamin did post a 73/1,008/9 line as a rookie. He’s always a threat in the red zone because of his size and leaping ability. The Panthers do have Greg Olsen and an emerging Devin Funchess, so Benjamin may not dominate targets at the receiver position like he did two years ago. He’s not a bad pick at the end of Round 3 but Benjamin certainly isn’t a player owners want to reach for in their drafts either. Benjamin is better value if he falls to the fourth round.
Thomas Rawls, RB Seahawks (ADP 43)
Rawls is one of the toughest players to call for fantasy owners. He suffered a serious ankle injury in December and just recently started practicing again. Christine Michael has looked good in training camp and preseason. Even Pete Carroll said Rawls and Michael will each get carries this season. Now that Marshawn Lynch is gone, the Seahawks backfield faces a lot of uncertainty heading into the 2016 season. In situations like that, it’s best to avoid drafting a player too high. Rawls is coming off a bad injury and he’s likely to share touches. Pass.
Kevin White, WR Bears (ADP 60)
White is one of the most overvalued players of 2016. He certainly has potential but White is being drafted in the same neighborhood as Larry Fitzgerald, Allen Hurns, Eric Decker, Michael Floyd and Jordan Matthews. Projection and upside are nice but this is the fifth round were talking about. White plays on a team with a coach in John Fox who likes to run the ball, an erratic quarterback in Jay Cutler and a receiver in Alshon Jeffery who is already a target hog. White has the physical skills to be a future beast but he’s being over-drafted this year.
Josh Gordon, WR Browns (ADP 71)
The sixth round has a couple of receiver landmines like Gordon and Emmanuel Sanders. Gordon gets the nod because once he was reinstated, too many owners overreacted to his name. Let’s look at the facts. Gordon is suspended for the first four games. He hasn’t played football since 2014 and when Gordon was last on the field he wasn’t exactly an All Pro. The Browns now have talented young receivers that will get a chance to build chemistry with Robert Griffin during the first month of the season while Gordon is suspended. Oh, and Gordon obviously showed up to training camp out of shape. No way should you draft this guy in Round 6. It’s at least two rounds too high.
Arian Foster, RB Dolphins (ADP 78)
The running backs with ADPs in the seventh round are Foster, Danny Woodhead, Ryan Mathews, Melvin Gordon and Jonathan Stewart. Only one of those players has missed 23 games over the last three seasons. Yes, Stewart missed 18 but 23 is more than 18. The difference between Foster and Stewart is one is the clear starter for his team. The other is 30, his body is starting to give out on him and he’ll likely share touches with Jay Ajayi. Foster is a unique talent when he healthy but he hasn’t played 16 games since 2012. Actually, he’s played more than eight games just once in the last three years. Foster will start the year as Miami’s top back. Ajayi, or someone else, will likely finish it.
Laquon Treadwell, WR Vikings (ADP 91)
If you’re drafting a rookie receiver in Round 8, make sure he’s going to be a starter. Treadwell is still behind Charles Johnson on the depth chart heading into the third preseason game. That could change but what won’t change is Treadwell is a rookie receiver playing on a defensive, run-first team. Treadwell will help the Vikings offense this year. This is a situation though where Treadwell will be more valuable in the real world than he will in fantasy football. Expect to see some two-catch, 30-yard days in Treadwell’s future. Stefon Diggs is going in the same round as Treadwell. He’s much more likely to be the Vikings top receiver this season.
Sammie Coates, WR Steelers (ADP 107)
Coates’ ADP is just bizarre. Martavis Bryant is suspended for the year. Apparently the fantasy community has really gotten behind Coates and hyped him up. Whatever the reason, his Round 9 ADP is ridiculous. Coates is struggling so badly this preseason he’s just trying to hold off Eli Rogers to be the Steelers No. 3 receiver. So there’s a chance some people are drafting Pittsburgh’s fourth receiver just outside the Top 100 picks. You want advice on the Steelers receivers? Draft Antonio Brown. He’s going to break records this year.
Ladarius Green, TE Chargers (ADP 116)
Normally the 10th round would be a good spot to nab Green. As mentioned above the Steelers are hurting at receiver and with Heath Miller retiring, Green has a chance to finally live up to his potential. However, recent reports saying he’s on PUP because of headaches and his future is uncertain are a red flag for fantasy owners. Green denies the reports and insists he’s on PUP because of an ankle injury. Either way, Green hasn’t practice and there’s just too much doubt about his status for the upcoming season. Owners can still get Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota, Travis Benjamin, Tavon Austin and Kamar Aiken in the 10th round. It’s too early to roll the dice on Green.
Josh Doctson, WR Redskins (ADP 132)
Doctson may start the year on reserve/PUP, yet he’s being drafted ahead of fellow rookies Tyler Boyd and Malcolm Mitchell. Boyd has been tearing it up for the Bengals and he’s going into a situation where he could start early in the season. Mitchell may start in Week 1 if he’s healthy. Doctson will be the Redskins fourth receiver at best to open the year. There’s a chance Doctson will still make a fantasy impact in 2016 but it won’t come right away. He’s more of a future waiver wire pick up than a selection in the 11th round. Tyrod Taylor, Matthew Stafford, Devin Funchess and Theo Riddick are all better picks than Doctson in Round 11.
C.J. Prosise, RB Seahawks (ADP 140)
There aren’t many reaches in Round 12 but Prosise’s early summer buzz still has him being overvalued. Prosise has missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury. Pete Carroll stated that Prosise was behind because of the injury. As mentioned above, Rawls and Michael are locked in as Seattle’s top two running backs. The best case scenario now for Prosise is he carves out a Robert Turbin/Fred Jackson-like role at some point in the Seahawks backfield. How much fantasy value did those two have in Seattle? Owners are better off using a late-round selection on Boyd, Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Bilal Powell or Jerick McKinnon.