For @RotoPat’s list of overdrafted players, click here.
This is it. Draft week is officially here. Every pick counts…which is why you shouldn’t let guys you want to keep falling and falling until they fall right onto someone else’s team. Here are 10 players who have been falling too far this summer.
Just a quick note on underdrafted players: Anyone can be underdrafted. A first-round pick can be underdrafted if he’s going at No. 12 when he should be going at No. 6. Without further ado.
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Off The Board: 21st amongst running backs.
One day, we’ll find out how the universe was formed. But even that won’t explain why Gore is going behind Darren Freaking McFadden in fantasy drafts this summer. Yes, Gore is old. But that simplistic “Do Not Draft” logic ignores two simple things: Gore is managed and manipulated as well as any running back in the league, and still pops off the screen on film.
There are going to be weeks where Gore’s workload leaves something to be desired, and he doesn’t produce like an RB2. But that’s going to be every week for McFadden. The same could be true for Maurice Jones-Drew (ADP: 25.3), and possibly even DeMarco Murray (ADP: 26.1). Gore is a safe pick, but not safe to the point of sorry. He is going to produce, and right now, it’s at a discount price.
Off The Board: 46th amongst receivers.
Here’s the deal: Wherever Thompkins is going, it’s too low. Forget the fact that Thompkins is an undrafted free agent, however hard that may be. He’s a deal so real, he’s locked himself in as the Patriots’ starting “X” receiver. That’s a position a fading Brandon Lloyd was able to wring 74/911/4 out of last season. With New England rebuilding its offense, Thompkins has played more snaps than any other Patriots receiver this preseason, and drawn the most targets from Tom Brady.
It would be silly to call Thompkins a guarantee to match Lloyd’s numbers. He didn’t play mistake-free football this summer, and as the cliché goes, hasn’t seen anything yet. But even 60/800/5 isn’t production you typically find out of the 132nd pick of a fantasy draft, and while it’s not a guarantee Thompkins will match Lloyd, it would be far from surprising if he surpassed him. Thompkins isn’t a sure thing, but he’s a dice roll whose “Yahtzee” odds are far higher than his ADP would suggest.
Off The Board: 29th amongst running backs.
Richardson’s ADP has predictably skyrocketed, but he’s still a bargain in the latter RB3 range. The runners directly behind him — Montee Ball, Rashard Mendenhall, Le’Veon Bell and Chris Ivory — are all riddled with question marks, while he’s foolishly going behind a gaggle of quarterbacks and mid-range WR2s. There’s nothing harder to find in fantasy football than starting runners, and D-Rich enters the season as a potential three-down back. Worries that he may eventually settle into a timeshare with Isaiah Pead….stuff them in a sack. Worry about what you know now, and not what might happen in November. Richardson has soundly out-played Pead this preseason, and needs to be treated like what he is: An every-down back with upside to spare.
Off The Board: 39th amongst receivers.
Givens is going 19 spots behind teammate Tavon Austin. In this business, that’s what we’d call “lunacy.” Givens was almost as effective of a deep threat as T.Y. Hilton last season, and has shined in the preseason, getting behind secondaries for five catches, 156 yards (31.2 yards per catch) and a touchdown.
Givens isn’t a one-trick pony, either, as he was Sam Bradford’s favorite check-down target during Danny Amendola’s many absences last season. A sure pair of hands simmering with big-play ability, Givens could and likely will take the lead in the Rams’ repurposed offense this season. He’s a legitimate threat for 1,000 yards, and a far higher-upside pick than some of the wideouts going in front of him (Kenny Britt, Lance Moore and Miles Austin, to name a few). Austin has the highlights, but Givens has the role and the NFL tape.
Off The Board: 14th amongst quarterbacks.
Vick is nearing the “just right” area of the draft board, but is still a major bargain for those intent on waiting on quarterbacks. Vick’s upside makes him a QB2 gamble worth taking over many of the RB4/5 fliers going directly ahead of him, including Bernard Pierce, Fred Jackson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Ronnie Hillman.
Vick is three years older and perhaps 2-3 steps slower than he was during his revelatory 2010, but showed in the preseason he still has top 6-7 upside. Considering Chip Kelly’s offense is predicated on racking up snaps — and his defense is likely to give up the most points in the NFC — Vick is going to find himself in weekly shootouts, and there’s almost nothing better for fantasy quarterbacks. Vick is never going to be a mistake-free player, but it would be a mistake not to take the plunge when his ADP remains north of 100.