As fantasy GMs there are some things we’ll never learn. One of them: forgiveness. Be it a bad stretch of games, a down season, an injury-riddled year, or even just a dropped catch on a would-have-been big play, we often put names on our never-again-draft list. That happens every year in fantasy football.
You might draft a wide receiver expecting big numbers in touchdowns given the volume of passes he received in the past, and he finished with a paltry four scores over the year. Maybe you got a running back expecting production on the ground and the passing game, but he ended barely seeing the field at all. Or you banked on a rookie quarterback and he was benched for long just two games into the season.
The good thing about all of those players is that when they fall out of favor for other GMs, they also become available for you at a steep discount during this summer’s drafts. Today, I’ll hand out some names of players that fit that profile and that are currently being undervalued and drafted with really high ADPs that make them great mid-to-late round additions. Let’s get to it!
QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
It doesn’t make much sense to look at Stafford’s 2019 numbers and compare them to those of other quarterbacks over the full season. Stafford missed eight games entirely but just in the other eight he appeared in he still racked up 168.6 FP and averaged 21.1 FPPG. That last mark ranked fourth among QBs with at least eight games last year. Stafford (8.59) only trailed late-season phenom Ryan Tannehill (9.58) in yards per attempt and scored 19 touchdowns. Only Lamar Jackson (11.1), Ryan Tannehill (13.0), and Drew Brees (14.0) had better TD-to-attempt ratios than Stafford (15.3 pass attempts per touchdown). Stafford should be healthy to start the season and projects to 271.0 FP (QB8) while being drafted as the QB14.
QB Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
It is not that I like Cousins that much, but he more than deserves a mention here. Cousins is the QB22 these days. That’s barely a QB2 valuation he’s getting. Cousins, though, projects to finish 2020 as the QB17 (not much better, but still with upside to entering the QB1 realm). Cousins was overly efficient last season on a system that favored the run. He averaged 8.11 yards per attempt (7th-best mark) while throwing just 444 passes over the year yet reaching 26 touchdowns against only six interceptions. Cousins scored the 6th-most fantasy points over expectation in passing plays. He might be a little bit of a reach in one-QB leagues, but a must-have in two-quarterback leagues and a pure-upside player if you feel like making him your QB1.
RB Sony Michel, New England Patriots
While Michel is clearly a one-dimensional running back (forget about the passing game) and he’s been a little disappointing, New England never was the best place for him to excel with Tom Brady manning the helm. Even in that situation, Michel racked up 912 yards on the ground and scored seven touchdowns over the season. Only 12 running backs were able to pair those numbers in 2019. Now with Cam Newton at the quarterback position (should bring a more fluid and mixed game-plan to the equation) and no changes in either the receivers or the backfield depth charts, Michel should put on a show in 2020. Michel projects to 150.4 points while being currently drafted as the RB39 behind teammate James White (RB35).
RB Tevin Coleman, San Francisco 49ers
Everybody has put his eyes on Raheem Mostert for the 2020 season when it comes to San Francisco’s backfield. Truth be told, Mostert projects to log 260 opportunities compared to Coleman’s 217, but that difference is way smaller than both players’ ADP (Mostert is RB24 to Coleman’s RB42). Judging by 2019 numbers, they weren’t that far from each other either. Moster (10.3) only scored 0.6 more FPPG than Coleman (9.7) on the full season. Both players finished with 180 receiving yards and Coleman should be used more on the passing game. Coleman projects to 146.5 PPR points in 2020.
RB Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints
With a stud like Alvin Kamara as his primary rival to get touches, it makes sense to fade Latavius Murray in fantasy drafts. That is what is happening, as Murray is just the RB45 at the time of this writing. Even with that situation going against him, Murray projects to rush the ball around 150 times for 630 yards in 2020. Rushing and receiving stats considered, he projects to 154.2 PPR points. Last year, taking advantage of Kamara’s missing games due to injury, Murray was able to rack up 157.2 points for an average of 10.2 while scoring five touchdowns. Murray finished second (637) in rushing yards among players with fewer than 150 carries that scored 5+ touchdowns, only behind Raheem Mostert (772). Among those in that group, he was first in receiving yards with 235 and one touchdown.
WR Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit Lions
The fact that Jones isn’t getting drafted inside the first half of 12-team league drafts these days is mind-boggling. While Detroit has Kenny Golladay projected as the No. 1 wide receiver of the team, Jones himself racked up 193.9 PPR points last year in 13 games averaging 14.9 FPPG, just 0.6 shy of Golladay’s mark. Even missing a few games, Jones finished the year as the WR28 in 2019, which comes down to being a very close thing to a WR2 over the season, and a surefire one on a 16-game stretch of play. Oh, and Matthew Stafford should be back on full-force from Week 1 come next season. All of that for the current WR38 in redraft leagues... and a projected 207.2 PPR player next year.
WR N’Keal Harry, New England Patriots
Harry had a middling rookie season, not going to lie there. He was on the field only from Week 11 on finishing with seven games played and seeing more than two targets in just five games. In those five outings, though, he always caught a pass and logged at least 10 receiving yards. Those numbers aren’t otherworldly, but we’re talking about a rookie barely used here. All in all, Harry finished the season with 105 yards on 12 receptions and scored a couple of touchdowns. New England looked dead but the addition of Cam Newton and a slim wide receiver corps will boost and force Harry into the passing game as a key factor for the Pats to succeed in 2020. Harry is currently the WR63 and projects to 137.6 PPR points over the year.
WR Preston Williams, Miami Dolphins
How quickly can things change. One year ago no one wanted shares of DeVante Parker, and 12 months later fantasy GMs are fighting over his rights drafting him as the WR25 this offseason. Taking Parker’s position in the pile of broken toys: WR54 Preston Williams. More a result of injuries than bad production, Williams could only get 90.8 PPR points in 2019. His FPPG of 11.4 ranked 42nd, but his 428 yards on just 60 targets ranked 8th among players with 60 or fewer passes thrown their way (all of the rest except John Ross and Demaryius Thomas played at least 13 games). Even on that low volume, Williams scored three touchdowns. Preston Williams is the WR2 of the Dolphins and projects to reach 157.4 PPR in 2020.
WR Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts
While Campbell’s game log of 2019 tells the tale of a 7-games-played rookie, the truth is that he was only used properly in four matches. In those in which he was targeted at least three times, he went on to catch 16 of 21 targets (76.2%) for 114 yards. He would even score a touchdown as part of the 18 catches he got through the year. Campbell will battle Michael Pittman for the WR2 role in Indy, but on a full 16-game season Campbell is projected to finish with 146.1 PPR points good for WR47 in the NFL. He’s currently getting off draft boards at WR68 though.