Regardless of which drafting strategy you prefer, finding undervalued players throughout your draft is important for every fantasy owner.
Based on this exercise, our strategy will be to load up on running backs early (a long-standing strategy that is popular for many drafters) and then take advantage of the many values that can be found at wide receiver.
For single-starter positions (QBs and TEs), we continue to prefer to wait.
With that said, here are 12 players that we feel are currently undervalued (half-PPR ADP in parenthesis):
Coming off multi-year lows in completion percentage (60.8, six-year low), TD% (3.9, 11-year low) and Y/A (6.6, 18-year low), things are looking up for Brady in terms of his fantasy outlook as he replaces Jameis Winston in Tampa's high-powered offense. While the team should play with more leads and Brady likely won't lead the NFL in pass attempts (like Winston did in 2019), he inherits a supporting cast loaded with talented pass-catchers -- Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, (an unretired) Rob Gronkowski, etc.
While the Jags are the early favorites to win the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes, there is little competition for Minshew in 2020. As a rookie, Minshew threw for 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions. An underrated aspect of his game is his rushing ability as Minshew averaged 5.1 YPC and gained 344 yards on the ground. Only four quarterbacks -- Lamar Jackson (1,206), Kyler Murray (544), Josh Allen (510) and Deshaun Watson (413) -- rushed for more.
Perennially undervalued in fantasy drafts, it was White, not Sony Michel, that has led the Patriots running backs in fantasy scoring in both of Michel's first two seasons. One of the league's best pass-catching backs, White has more than 70 catches in back-to-back seasons and that trend should continue in 2020.
The Human Joystick set career lows in efficiency (3.3 YPC and 5.8 Y/R), but he set career highs in both targets (104) and receptions (79). Given his role in the passing game, Cohen is a much better option in (full) PPR formats as he's finished no worse than RB30 in PPR scoring -- 27th in 2019, 11th in 2018 and 30th in 2017 -- over his three NFL seasons.
While he's always been efficient on his touches (4.4 career YPC and 9.2 Y/R), Johnson averaged only 7.94 touches per game in his first season with the Texans. On a positive note, James White (315) and Christian McCaffrey (303) are the only two running backs with more receptions than Johnson (279) since he entered the league in 2015. Better in PPR formats, Johnson has finished as a top-30 PPR running back in four of five seasons including 2019 (RB29).
Woods scored only three touchdowns -- two receiving and one rushing -- in 2019, but he posted very similar numbers in other categories -- 9.3 targets per game (8.1 in 2018), 6.0 receptions (5.4) and 75.6 yards (76.2) last season. After the team's bye (Week 9), Woods had a minimum of nine targets every week and averaged 11.3 per game to yield 7.4/94.7/0.3 receiving per game. Woods is one of my favorite WR targets in fantasy drafts this year.
While the Seahawks rank near the bottom of the league in pass attempts every year, Lockett is one of the most efficient receivers in the NFL and saw a significant uptick in target share (21.3% in 2019 vs. 16.4% in 2018) with the retirement of Doug Baldwin. Despite playing through injury in the middle of the season, Lockett set career highs in targets (110), receptions (82) and yards (1,057) in 2019. The 5'10" receiver led the NFL in red-zone targets (23) in 2019.
It was the unconventional fifth-year breakout for Parker, who shattered previous career highs with 72 catches on 128 targets for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns. Over the final eight games with UDFA Preston Williams sidelined, Parker was at his best -- 44/802/5 on 76 targets in eight games without Williams; 28/400/4 on 52 targets with him. Given the opt outs of the 2020 NFL season by Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns, the duo of Parker and Williams may see an even larger target share with Wilson and Hurns sitting 2020 out.
Crowder led the Jets in targets (122), receptions (78), yards (833) and touchdowns (six) last season. With Robby Anderson and Demaryius Thomas no longer on the roster, Crowder could be even better in 2020 if Sam Darnold can stay healthy. The slot receiver's ADP has been steadily rising in August.
WR - Preston Williams, Miami Dolphins (ADP: WR51, 11.09)
The Dolphins made a number of roster improvements through free agency and the draft, but there were no significant additions in terms of pass-catchers. In fact, the group is worse off with Wilson and Hurns opting out. More talented (four-star high school recruit) than his UDFA status (due to off-field reasons) would imply, Williams made an immediate impact for the Dolphins with 32/428/3 in eight games before tearing his ACL. After observing training camp practices open to reporters, Adam Beasley from the Miami Herald wrote that Williams may be "potentially better than ever."
Gesicki is athletic freak -- 4.54 forty and 41.5" vertical -- at tight end and he had a breakout second season, aided by additional opportunities with the season-ending injury to UDFA receiver Preston Williams. Gesicki had five-plus targets in all eight games without Williams but only five-plus in just three of eight with him. More big slot than tight end, Gesicki finished his sophomore campaign as fantasy's TE11. Especially considering the team's WR3/WR4 are sitting 2020 out, Gesicki has the potential to take another significant step forward in year three.
Due to injury and suspension, 2019 was a lost season for Herndon. As a rookie in 2018, however, he emerged to become a factor -- sixth-most fantasy points from Weeks 6 to 16. An intriguing upside play for those that punt or stream the position, Herndon has had a "stellar camp, picking up right where he left off after a promising rookie season," per The Athletic's Connor Hughes.
2020 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football QB Rankings
- Fantasy Football RB Rankings
- Fantasy Football WR Rankings
- Fantasy Football TE Rankings
- Fantasy Football Top 200 Cheat Sheets
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