Ask the Experts
Posted Jul. 08 at 09:01 PM
ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them:
Who is the most underrated player you've seen in drafts thus far?
I will go one better and give you one at each position. QB has to be Brett Favre. He is going to play for Minnesota, so stop ranking him 33rd and put him 20th. Reggie Bush was a Top 10 RB in the first half of '08 before his injury, now he is going in the fourth round. He is a steal, especially in PPR leagues. Jerricho Cotchery is finally a No. 1 WR and yet he ranks 30th on many cheat sheets. The Jets will play from behnd and either QB will get him the ball (make him 18th). Finally, Owen Daniels has improved every year going into this his fourth season and yet he ranks eighth at TE. He is a top-5 TE in 2009.
Sam Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Almanac 2009, all available at his website, www.ffguidebook.com, at all major bookstores, and at www.amazon.com. He is a 19-year fantasy football veteran who regularly participates in the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF), National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th overall in the 2008 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC).
Matt Hasselbeck seems like an under-rated player in many drafts we have seen so far. Hasselbeck who has been a top 5-10 QB in the past has dropped greatly in many drafts because of last years injury problems.Hasselbeck is a nice somewhat sleeper pick that should have some increased value with the arrival of T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Kamys is president of Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports. His company, via the web, offers player news, injury reports, cheat sheets, projections, weekly matchups, statistics, and a customized team tracker. Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports also e-mails preseason newsletters and reports throughout the season. For more info visit www.docstats.com or send email to email@example.com.
I believe it's Ryan Grant. He's also one of my obvious sleepers for 2009. In Grant, we have a clear No. 1 RB without competition, one whom is now healthy and ready to rebound off a disappointing full first season as the team's workhorse back. I think 1,500 total yards and upwards of 10 scores is a good possibility with Grant. And despite that, his ADP is close to the 4th round of most drafts. He has the potential to be a top-10 fantasy RB this year!
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers an online rookie draft kit, preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, fantasy auction & regular drafting programs, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its web site. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is the reigning four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a columnist for SI.com. For more info go to www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached at 702-568-7118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on early drafts, Carson Palmer is being very underrated. His average draft position is currently 12th overall among quarterbacks in the seventh round for a player who had always been top five before last year’s injury robbed him of another great year. He’s averaged around 29 touchdowns and 4000 passing yards over the three previous seasons. True, he lost T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but quarterbacks typically make the wide receiver and not the other way around. Besides, the Bengals brought in Laveranues Coles. Looking back at last year drops Palmer – looking at the last four years says Palmer is seriously undervalued.
Dorey is the co-founder and Senior NFL Analyst at The Huddle since 1997. He has produced award winning rankings and has projected the fantasy stats for every game over the last 13 years. David produces the bulk of The Huddle rankings and his “Predictions and Projections” breaks down every single NFL game every week through the Super Bowl. You can find more about David at TheHuddle.com.
Brian Westbrook. We're as leery of aging, injury prone backs as anybody but we've seen Westbrook's ADP value hover around 22 - 3rd round for this guy? No way - he's no longer a No. 1 RB but he's certainly better than the 3rd round.
Endsley is co-owner and a senior fantasy football consultant for FantasyDraftEdge.com offering customizable fantasy football cheat sheets and professional VIP advice all season long. For more info, go to www.fantasydraftedge.com.
I can understand why people are down on Joseph Addai - the Colts just drafted Donald Brown in the first round, after all - but let's not assume Addai will be kicked immediately to the curb. We've seen a bunch of backfield time-shares during the Peyton Manning era (albeit OC Tom Moore is out of the building now), and it won't shock me if Addai keeps about 60 percent of the work. You don't necessarily have to target Addai on draft day; just scoop him up for next to nothing when the rest of your league ignores him. He's not a special back, but he's versatile and on the right team to utilize his talents.
Scott Pianowski has been playing fantasy football for 15 years and writing about it for 12. He joined Yahoo! Sports in 2008 and has been blogging 24/7 on RotoArcade.com ever since.
Joseph Addai. One bad season, behind an injured offensive line and a hobbled Peyton Manning makes FF owners run for the hills. Addai has consistently been drafted in the late 6th or early 7th round of fantasy drafts and that is ridiculous value for a guy that will see 65 percent or better of the Colts RB carries, add in the expected 35 receptions and you have a RB No. 2 with potential for 9 TDs. He's been left on draft boards way too long, and wil make the passing owners pay.
Tranquilli is the founder and the primary "brains" (if you stretch it) of BFDFANTASYfootball.com. BFD is about delivering the information players want, not fluff, just opinions that matter to fantasy football players. Lou has worked with NFL players and gives a unique perspective because of it. We'll be giving MORE teams away in 2009 to BFD subscribers!
For drafts occurring right now, I expect the most underrated players to be Ray Rice, Derrick Ward and Anthony Gonzalez. All of those guys, I think, are going to be very good players, but fantasy leaguers are reluctant to select players until they’ve actually shown they can be productive in full-time starting roles. In the experts poll we did in the magazine, for example, only three experts even ranked Gonzalez among their top 20 receivers. Only one (Bo Mitchell) put Ward in his top 20, and only one (Louis Tranquilli) listed Rice. I think there’s a very good chance all three of those players will rank in the top dozen at their positions, and those with the cajones to select them a couple of rounds before the masses are going to have very good seasons.
Ian Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index. He’s been in that role since 1987, generating most of the player rankings and analysis for that publication. His work can be seen in Fantasy Football Index magazine, and also at the company’s website, www.fantasyindex.com.
No quarterback has a clearer shot at joining the elite in his class than the Houston Texans' Matt Schaub. What a set of targets in wideouts Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter as well as tight end Owen Daniels and dynamic back Steve Slaton. The offense's leader, entering his third year in head coach Gary Kubiak's offense, was on pace for 4,426 passing yards last season. True, Schaub has missed five games in each of the past two seasons, but the potential for injury is his only glaring pitfall. The Philadelphia Eagles' Donovan McNabb, often taken a round or two earlier, carries similar risk. Per ADP, the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan frequently precedes Schaub yet doesn't have nearly the same upside.
KFFL.com offers fantasy football, fantasy baseball and fantasy NASCAR content. We have captured well more than a dozen expert league championships. Founded in 1996, KFFL offers award-winning daily news feeds, preseason draft guides, player rankings, sleepers, busts, weekly newsletters and more. KFFL is completely free! For more information, visit www.kffl.com.
Brent Celek is currently the 17th TE off draft boards (MyFantasyLeague.com average draft position) yet will be a Top-10 fantasy TE in 2009. Mark it down. The Eagles love to include the TE in their game plan and felt comfortable enough with Celek's development to let L.J. Smith walk after six seasons. In 2008, Celek was recovering from a torn labrum, playing behind L.J. Smith, and staying in to help a makeshift O-line block. In 2009, he's 100% healthy, the unquestioned starter, and the O-line has been dramatically upgraded. Celek breaks out this year. Last year, he and Smith totaled 64 receptions and 616 yards which is a reasonable starting baseline target for Celek who has been spending the off-season studying Jason Witten film.
Heck is a founding partner at Dynasty Rogues, a fantasy football website filled with football enthusiasts, run by football enthusiasts. The company provides year-round dynasty and redraft fantasy football coverage and analysis, including Dynasty Rogues Radio and the Rogues Forum. The site can be reached at www.dynastyrogues.com.
In a point-per-reception league the answer is Reggie Bush! He is currently ranked by experts 25-30 overall RBs. In '06 he finished as the No. 8 overall RB, in '07 he finished No. 11 (in 12 games) and in '08 he finished No. 26 (in 10 games). In all 3 seasons if he would have played in just 15 games he would/did finish in the top 10 overall RB’s. In a non-PPR league the answer is LaDainian Tomlinson! He is currently ranked by experts as around the No. 10 overall RB. Based on a bad year in '08 (playing with injuries) he still finished as the No. 7 overall RB when the Chargers went a disappointing 8-8. In '07 and '06 LT finished as the #1 overall RB and the Chargers finished with a combined record of 25-7. I believe in “09 LT and the Chargers will get back to what won them games in '06 and '07…RUN THE ENTIRE OFFENSE THROUGH LT!!!
Darlington is the owner of MyStartEmSitEm.com and has been an owner, commissioner and consultant in Fantasy Football since 1992. MyStartEmSitEm.com provides weekly advice based on your league, your scoring system, with custom emails about your team, preseason cheat sheets, draft day assistance and much more.
This season's most underrated is easily Kurt Warner: Last season through the first 13 weeks which comprise the meat of the fantasy football regular season, Warner was the No. 1 producer in all of fantasy football. This season he has an average draft position in the 40s behind Jason Witten and Ochocinco. With the exception of his OC becoming a head coach in Kansas City, what has changed? Warner has proven time and again that given protection and weapons, he will put up ENORMOUS numbers. Unless father time has caught up quickly to Mr. Warner look for big things from Kurt again.
The May brothers have more than 16 years of combined fantasy football experience and are the co-founders of FantasyDraftMaster.com. The cornerstone of FDM is the UberRank which is a revolutionary approach to the traditional fantasy football cheat sheet. FantasyDraftMaster.com also offers insightful and humorous commentary on football happenings as well as recommendations on waiver wire pickups, line up submissions and weekly pick em' pools. For more info, visit www.fantasydraftmaster.com or email us at email@example.com.
Larry Johnson. In 12-team leagues his current ADP is 57 (6.05) as the 27th running back off the board. Since mid-April his ADP has dropped from mid-third round to where it is now - despite the fact that it "appears" he has his act together and will stick on the roster. I realize LJ has burned his owners (injuries and suspensions) in each of the past two seasons, but for a 29-year-old back he has low mileage (1,243 carries) and averaged 4.5 per carry last year. Also, Kansas City's runners collectively averaged 4.8 yards per tote last year, tying for second in this category with the Panthers and Broncos. The subtraction of Tony Gonzalez leaves LJ as the second-best offensive weapon on the team, and I think he represents solid value as a No. 3 running back with upper echelon RB2 potential.
Hawes is the Managing Editor of NFL content at Fanball.com. Fanball.com and OwnersEdge.com offer league management software, daily play fantasy games, Live Advice, up-to-date news, free and premium content, player rankings, custom projections and cheat sheets, in-depth IDP analysis, Fantasy Buffet Radio Show, NFL Draft Kit, Fanball Blog Network, daily newsletter, a vast array of fantasy football tools, including Draft Analyzer software and five magazines featuring the Pro Football Draft Preview, as well as four Fantasy Football publications. For more information send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maybe I have a bias because I own him in a dynasty league, but Marshawn Lynch, who is available in the fourth round more often than not, seems underrated to me. He's going to miss three games, but then he should return as a feature back getting anywhere from two-thirds to three-quarters of the work, in an offense that could be opened up with the addition of Terrell Owens. Just because the Bills signed Dominic Rhodes doesn't mean there's going to be any "three-headed monster" in Buffalo; Lynch is the clear best runner there. I like Lynch as a No. 2 back after grabbing a couple of top wideouts, and then covering his suspension by taking Fred Jackson in the late rounds.
Richardson has been a columnist and contributor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and web site for the past eight years. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections, as well as various site features. He has run the magazine's annual draft and auction leagues since their inception. His A DAY OF FOOTBALL wrap-up column appears Mondays during the NFL season.
Posted by Jered Ottenwess | Jul. 09 at 11:26 PM
I love the Lynch call. In my PPR league, he was the 3rd best RB through week 13 last year, the end of the regular season. He's outstanding value, especially if you can land Fred Jackson later.
Posted by Scott Kopischke | Jul. 10 at 06:25 AM
While I enjoy reading Ian's comments before all others, the website will not allow me to read the comments of the experts listed before him in the article. Is this a website problem, or mine?
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Jul. 10 at 10:51 PM
Hi Scott - I wish I could help you but I'm not sure what the problem is. I haven't heard such a concern from anyone else, so it must be a you problem. Sorry...
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