Overvaluing a material item or thought is a common occurrence in our regular lives. Maybe there is something you hold to a higher regard than other people do. That can sometimes lead to heartbreak or a disappointing outcome, which can also take place in fantasy football. There are always players that we think highly of during the offseason and we tend to value them a certain way. At the wide receiver position, there’s a surplus of players to choose from. Given the depth we have at the position, there are a few guys that are being overvalued in drafts right now.
ADPs courtesy of FantasyPros’ ADP Consensus.
D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks — ADP: 21st Overall, WR6
In no way, shape, or form am I saying that DeKaylin Zecharius Metcalf isn’t one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL. There aren’t many wideouts built like Metcalf, and he’s put his uncanny size to good use in his first two seasons in the league, totaling 15.6 yards per reception and 17 receiving touchdowns. Metcalf has become one of Russell Wilson’s favorite targets, making him an intriguing player to have in fantasy football. But we do need to ask ourselves, is there a case for Metcalf to finish as a top performer at his position in 2021? Seattle is one of the few teams in the NFL that has a lump sum of their targets funneled through two wide receivers in Metcalf and Tyler Lockett — who can be had for a much more reasonable price. With Metcalf being selected as the fifth or sixth wide receiver overall, it leaves no margin for error for him to finish as anything less than WR5. In his first two seasons, Metcalf has finished as WR32 and WR7 respectively. As for Lockett, he’s been a WR15 or better every year since 2018, concluding last year as WR9. Despite how close Metcalf and Lockett have been in their production, Lockett is being taken as WR20 on average. I’d much rather have Lockett at a discounted price rather than take a chance on Metcalf early in drafts, which makes me believe Metcalf is being slightly overvalued.
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings — ADP: 23rd Overall, WR7
What a rookie season it was for Justin Jefferson in his debut campaign with the Minnesota Vikings in 2020. After being selected after the likes of CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and Jalen Reagor, Jefferson set the all-time rookie record with 1,400 receiving yards. The LSU product also recorded 88 receptions on 125 targets and found the end zone seven times. Jefferson brought excitement to a team that didn’t have many bright spots a season ago. As much as I like Jefferson’s long-term outlook in the NFL, I think we need to pump the brakes on him being a consistent source of production in fantasy football entering the 2021 season. Make no mistake about it, as long as Dalvin Cook is healthy and Mike Zimmer is breathing, the Vikings want to pound the rock and play stout defense. Plus, with Kirk Cousins under center, Minnesota would rather not be a pass-reliant team. The Vikings improved their defense this offseason and Cook figures to be the focal point of their offense. Adam Thielen is also still expected to have a prominent role, along with the emergence of Irv Smith Jr. Even with an added game to the schedule, while I believe Jefferson has another great year, I think he falls short of repeating what he did as a rookie.
Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans — ADP: 39th Overall, WR14
One of the biggest moves of the offseason came after the draft when the Tennessee Titans acquired Julio Jones via trade from the Atlanta Falcons. Jones is unmistakably going to be remembered as one of the greatest wideouts in NFL history. The veteran wide receiver holds the all-time record with 95.5 receiving yards per game, which is a whopping 9.4 yards ahead of second place, who happens to be a guy named Calvin Johnson. All that being said, while Jones is still a talented wide receiver, he’s not going to be playing for a pass-first team anymore like he was with the Falcons. The Titans are a run-oriented team that runs their offense through Derrick Henry. While Ryan Tannehill has become a trustworthy quarterback, Jones will compete for targets with A.J. Brown. The addition of Jones does help Tennessee do more than just replace the departure of Corey Davis in free agency. But at the same time, Jones has endured injury woes in recent years, missing eight games in the past two seasons as he turned 32 years old earlier this year. While I see Jones being able to put together a WR20-esque season in 2021, it’s hard for me to like him at his current ADP, especially with the options that are in the same range as him.
Ja’Marr Chase — ADP: 70th Overall, WR27
Early in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals surprised many when they elected to take Ja’Marr Chase instead of fortifying their offensive line by taking Penei Sewell. Joe Burrow is coming off of a serious knee injury, and the idea of keeping him upright should be a priority for the organization. Nevertheless, the Bengals couldn’t pass on the opportunity to pair Chase with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Despite not taking a single snap in the NFL, Chase is typically the first wide receiver on the Bengals to be taken in fantasy football drafts. No, I am not concerned about the reports about Chase having troubles creating separation at training camp. If you watched Chase in college, he didn’t excel on the field by getting open—he mainly dominated by using his physicality to make plays down the field. What I am concerned with is Chase catching passes from a quarterback returning from a season-ending knee injury, and the fact that he has to compete for targets with Higgins, Boyd, and Joe Mixon. Just because Jefferson was historically good in his rookie season in 2020 does not mean that Chase will be the same in 2021. Even though Chase could very well become a valuable player to have in fantasy football, I believe we are a year or so away from him being worth his current price. In the event that you are adamant about taking a wideout in Cincinnati, just draft Higgins or Boyd later in drafts.