Ask the Experts
Posted Jul. 16 at 08:59 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 has been the most underrated player in your fantasy drafts so far?
Torry Holt. Owners are reluctant to pull the trigger on Holt this year. He has dropped to the 10th WR on many cheat sheets based on last year’s disappointing numbers (when his QB missed 4 games!). People forget that dependability is his middle name as he has only missed 2 games in his 9-year career. Look for him to rebound and reward owners with 100 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 TDs in 2008. That makes him a top-5 WR and great value in the draft.
Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook and the recently released Fantasy Football Almanac 2008 which are both available at his website, www.ffguidebook.com, at all major bookstores, and at www.amazon.com. He is an 18-year fantasy football veteran who regularly participates in the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF) and will participate this year in the inaugural season of the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC).
Nate Burleson. Here's a guy coming off a 700-yard, 9-TD season, including 11 red-zone targets as a third/fourth option in 2007. With D.J. Hackett in Carolina and the timetable for Deion Branch's return questionable, Burleson will begin the season as one of the starters (with Bobby Engram) and could post low-end WR2 numbers. His ADP numbers indicate a ninth-round selection and I see tremendous value for this sixth-year player.
Davis is the President of FantasyFootball.com, the home of the All-New BigTourney (www.thebigtourney.com)... a brand new, high-stakes fantasy football competition. Davis is a seasoned fantasy football veteran and has over 15 years experience in the broadcast media. Check out his blog at www.fantasyfootball.com.
The most underrated quarterback so far in drafts is Jake Delhomme. He is most often going around the 7th to 9th round of drafts and yet should be a lock for a top-10 showing if not approach top 5. His stock has fallen thanks to his injured elbow that will not be an issue this year. He also returns to Steve Smith and a much upgraded set of receivers with Muhsin Muhammad back and D.J. Hackett. Add in that the Panthers should produce their best rushing game in years (if not ever) with the addition of Jonathan Stewart and the offense should be clicking for the Panthers this year. Delhomme should be a starter in every league but is ending up a steal in most drafts.
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.
Nate Burleson. He's been going in the later rounds, but he's Matt Hasselbeck's only legitimate deep threat and red-zone target. And he had 9 TDs in limited action last year.
RotoWire.com is a leading independent provider of fantasy sports news on the web, covering all the news as it breaks, combining innovative analysis with an easy-to-use format. The site’s content has won numerous awards and has earned partnerships with ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, FoxSports, XM Satellite Radio, NFL.com, NBA.com and many other sites and networks. To sample site content, take advantage of their free 10-day trial.
People are still sleeping on Jabar Gaffney, who has the inside track on being Tom Brady's No. 3 receiver. Gaffney is a technically sound wideout who Brady trusts in all situations; a 60-70 catch season with 6-8 touchdowns is within reach, given that opposing defenses have to worry about Randy Moss and Wes Welker first.
Pianowski is a Fantasy Expert for Yahoo! Sports. His work regularly appears on Yahoo's Roto Arcade Blog (rotoarcade.com), and you can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My guess is that some of the most underrated players will be quarterbacks. I think Tom Brady has a realistic chance to make a run at 40 TD passes, but I think he’s going to go outside the top 5 in most drafts — people really want to select running backs with those first-round picks. I believe Peyton Manning also will be undervalued, and the two most undervalued players in the top 30 might be the two quarterbacks that come right after those guys, Drew Brees and Tony Romo. Brees and Romo, depending on league size and scoring system, are arguably worth top-10 picks, but I think you’ll see them being selected outside the top 25 in a lot of leagues.
Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index magazine. He’s also one of the main content contributors for that company’s website, www.fantasyindex.com. His IAN ALLAN’S MAILBAG column is posted on Fridays.
QB Donovan McNabb has been slipping into the seventh round of many early 12-team fantasy drafts. He's two years removed from a torn ACL and can be a devastating fantasy force. He showed signs of that late last season. To get him as a starter that late in your draft is a STEAL if his health holds up.
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 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 email@example.com.
Donovan McNabb. He's been drafted as late as the 8th round in one league draft we recently reviewed. That's a huge value; drafters are letting him fall because of 2007's modest performance. You have to remember he was coming off a significant injury, had his TE L.J. Smith injured and a tough schedule. In 2008, the schedule loosens up some and he has Smith back, and a good duo of WRs. Not great, but good enough. He'll return to top-7 QB status and drafters will regret passing on him.
Louis Tranquilli is the founder and the primary "brains" (if you stretch it) of BFDFANTASYfootball.com. BFD is about giving advice to players from a player. Lou's been a highly successful owner in many high stakes contests. BFD is giving away 50 fantasy football teams in 2008.
Rudi Johnson is the most underrated player in fantasy drafts this year, slipping into the fifth, and sometimes sixth, round. From 2004 to 2006 there was no running back more consistent, pounding out workman-like campaigns of 1,350 yards and 12 TDs (he scored exactly 12 TDs in each year in fact). Rudi was a top-10 fantasy back in each of those seasons and garnered a second-round price tag. After a season where Carson Palmer posted a career-worst 20 INTs and the Bengals had their worst record in the five years of Marvin Lewis’ coaching tenure, the Bengals have recommitted to the run and Rudi will once again be the focal point of that attack. Rudi will not be a PPR beast by any stretch but the return of Chris Perry should help -- not hurt -- Rudi get back on track (he had his best season in 2005 when Perry had 50-plus catches). Rudi is just 28, he’s rededicated himself in the offseason (he has bulked back up to 225 pounds) and his hamstring problems from last season are healed. Rudi makes for an attractive value pick in the fifth round.
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.
We've consistently seen LenDale White go in the 3rd or 4th round. He had over 1100 yards last year and should be even healthier this year. White is going way too low in drafts we've seen.
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've been surprised to see Jonathan Stewart regularly going after the top 60 picks. Are people really worried about DeAngelo Williams? If Williams couldn't get DeShaun Foster off the field, he may have a lesser role with Stewart around. Stewart is a three-down back who I think is likely to lead rookie runners in touches and provide solid RB2 value.
Rosenthal is the managing editor of Rotoworld.com, the highest trafficked fantasy news website on the web. He also writes a blog, contributes to NBCSports.com's NFL coverage and appears in the NBC Fantasy Fix three times a week, including a live show every Sunday morning at 11AM.
Darren McFadden has been fairly underrated in many drafts we have taken part in. Al Davis is like a kid on Christmas: He can’t wait to use his new toys. Despite being behind Justin Fargas on the depth chart, you know that the Raiders are going to use McFadden a ton. It just makes sense based on the past history of the Raiders.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creaky old Edgerrin James, who’s been going in the fifth round of most drafts I’ve seen (and ending up on my team in some of them). He’s 30, he’s slowing down, he’s dull as dishwater, and maybe the coaching staff doesn’t like him. And yet, he’s the primary ballcarrier in a very productive offense, and his competition for carries – J.J. Arrington, Marcel Shipp, fifth-rounder Tim Hightower – is far from imposing. (And it’s not that hard to pick up Hightower in the last round of most drafts as protection.) Health permitting, some of the mediocre committee guys going in the third and fourth rounds will be very fortunate to outproduce James this year.
Richardson has been a columnist and contributor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and web site for the past seven 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. For more information go to www.fantasyindex.com.
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