By: Kyle Williams (Twitter: @betonthegame )
Fantasy football is a game of skill. The stocks of players rise and fall constantly. It’s your job as the general manager to sift through the positives and negatives and see what’s real and not real. Finding players who are undervalued and acquiring them is the biggest thing that can help you win. It’s about now, it’s about 3 weeks from now, its about the playoffs. In this article ill be breaking down 5 players that I believe are currently undervalued. Making moves for some of these players could help change the fortunes of your fantasy team. Now let’s dive in.
David Johnson, RB, Houston Texans
After getting trashed all offseason long, David Johnson is one of my favorite players to trade for right now. The asking price paired with the high floor to ceiling ratio is super desirable in fantasy football. Just think about it, were trading for a starting running back on a high volume offense who can catch the ball. And for what? Almost nothing honestly.
People are to down and out on David Johnson through the first 3 weeks of the NFL season. Here are Johnsons fantasy performances through the first 3 weeks.
- Week 1: 11 Carries – 77 Yards – 1 Touchdown – 4 Targets – 3 Receptions – 32 Yards = 20.9 Fantasy Points [RB10]
- Week 2: 11 Carries – 34 Yards – 0 Touchdowns – 4 Targets – 2 Receptions – 16 Yards = 7.0 Fantasy Points [RB50]
- Week 3: 13 Carries – 23 Yards – 1 Touchdown – 3 Targets – 2 Receptions – 23 Yards = 12.6 Fantasy Points [RB23]
The numbers arent sexy by any means, that’s why he’s a buy-low candidate. But who else has played the daunting schedule that Johnson has so far? The carries are there, and so is are the receiving targets, but most importantly the redzone work. Johnson has 2 touchdowns this season so far which is a great sign for fantasy football. Having no competition behind him to challenge him makes him that much more valuable.
The matchups only get easier for Johnson as the season goes on as well. Buying low on him now is perfect considering this week he opposes the Minnesota Vikings who have struggled against the run. They’ve allowed opposing running backs to average 23.8 fantasy points per game against them. Look for Johnson and the Texans to return to form this week versus this bottom 10 defense in the league. Buy him now at a cheap price, the upside and work are there and things are getting a lot more clear ahead for Johnson.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals
This is an obvious one for many reasons. If your the owner of the Kenyan Drake you clearly invested capital of up to third round in your fantasy league. With Drakes production so far several owners are getting sick of his lack of high-end production. I’m telling you to let the Drake owner pay the premium for the capital at the draft and now you swoop in and reap the benefits. Trade low for Drake if you can, although the numbers don’t look great they aren’t terrible. Honestly, they are only going to rise, and here’s why.
Drake is clearly a phenomenal running back, so great the Cardinals made sure to trade for him last season and made the extent to keep him this offseason. He has the talent and the skill to be the guy in this offense. Last season in his very few games with the Cardinals he was arguably one of the league’s top 10 running backs in fantasy. if you stretched last year’s numbers over the course of 16 weeks you would have had yourself and RB1.
Drakes stats all and all haven’t been that bad, he hasn’t really had a game in which he truly busted or broke out. Here are his fantasy points through the first three weeks of the season.
- Week 1: 14.5 Fantasy Points
- Week 2: 11.5 Fantasy Points
- Week 3: 8.9 Fantasy Points
Not bad, but not good either. Another case in point of why he is a buy-low candidate. The volume for Drake is there and the fantasy points will come. Drake isn’t getting the touchdowns he needs to be the fantasy star he was but that will come. His workload is off the charts so far, he’s averaging 18 carries per game so far.
With his huge workload and lack of touchdowns, I believe it will turn around especially with his upcoming schedule. Pro Football Focus has the Cardinals schedule versus the running game as the 4th best in the entire league. This week is another perfect week to buy low on Drake before he explodes versus a bottom 5 run defense in the league. Grab Drake for the cheap now before the price goes up after this week.
Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
I’m not a huge Lamar Jackson guy, and honestly, as a whole I’m not a big Ravens guy either, So why am I telling you to trade for Mark Andrews? Its simple, the stock is down major after last week versus the Chiefs and from week 2 versus the Texans. Don’t read into these too much, everyone has bad games.
The volume for Andrews has been there on the season as a whole. He has 17 receiving targets this season and 8 of them coming last week versus the Chiefs. The problem was he only caught 3 of those 8 targets. What Andrews has done with those targets is what is enticing to me. He leads all tight ends in air yards at 111 so far this season.
It’s not just the amount of targets, its the redzone usage as well. He leads all tight ends with 5 redzone targets on the season as well. With such high volume and redzone targets, I think Andrews is the perfect guy to target in fantasy. Especially seeing his upside in week 1 after he scored 23.8 points. Andrews is a clear cut TE1 in all formats. Look for him to get right this week against a banged-up Football Team that gives up the 6th most fantasy points to TEs per game.
Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team
Why? Just why? Why does the Football Team even try and get cute and give carries to the likes of J.D. McKissic? They have Antonio Gibson and he’s clearly the best back they have. His flashy runs and big plays have been super exciting so far and he’s just getting started.
Gibson hasn’t seen much-receiving work on the season so far only racking up 7 targets. That will change, his snap counts continue to rise weekly from just a 26% snap count in week 1 to a 40% snap count in week 3. The Football Team is clearly starting to gain confidence in him as he continues to push Peyton Barber out of the rotation.
The schedule hasn’t been kind for Gibson to start and might not be this week as they square off against the Ravens. But this is why he’s a buy-low candidate. Even against tough competition Gibson has found a way to remain fantasy relevant. he’s scored 12.2 and 13 fantasy points in his last 2 matchups.
As the workload is starting to increase so is the fantasy production. His yards per carry have jumped from 4 YPC in week 1 to 5.4 in week 3. You’ve also seen the goal line work be inclusive to just him as well. Gibson is clearly becoming the teams leader as he’s increasing his workload in every aspect of the game from receiving targets, rushes, and goal-line work. Gibson is a great buy-low candidate before the stock rises up. The talent will prevail versus guys like McKissis and Barber.
D.J. Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Its no secret the Jaguars really missed him in week 3 versus the Dolphins. Lack of playmaking at the position leads to an inefficient Gardner Minshew. Also leading to an absolute blow out loss on Thursday Night football in there own stadium.
Chark hasn’t seen the work so far this season only calling for 7 targets to go his way through 2 weeks of play. But what he’s done with those minimal targets is impressive. He’s hauled in 109 yards and a touchdown, pretty impressive for only 7 targets.
A thing to note is that Chark has played 2 good defenses in the Titans and the Colts in his first to weeks. This week you could see him go crazy against a lackluster Bengals defense who allowed Baker Mayfield and the Browns to carve them up. I would try an acquire Chark now with the low-end value, his schedule outlook rest of the season is good. It’s rated 15th best, but he does have 3 elite-level competition matchups per the metrics. To subset that number he has 3 of the league’s worst defeneses to square up against as well.
Buying low on a team’s number 1 receiver is always a great idea, talent will prevail and water will become level for Chark. Buy him while the stock is low.