Thomason: Overvalued/Undervalued Fantasy WRs

Bears receiver Allen Robinson could be in line for a big season.

Jack Thomason
August 22, 2019 - 1:29 pm

(670 The Score) We're taking a look at overvalued and undervalued players in fantasy football to help you get ready for your drafts.

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We evaluated quarterbacks and running backs last week, and now we're diving into receivers.

OVERVALUED

Amari Cooper, Cowboys -- I’m a big fan of Cooper and think he has the potential to be a bona fide WR1 in fantasy this year. That being said, he comes with risk. He’s been inconsistent over the years, with too many bust weeks even though his end-of-season stats have looked good. He has topped 1,000 yards in three of his four NFL seasons and if you extrapolated his nine-game stats in his nine-game stint with the Cowboys in 2018 (53 catches, 725 yards, six touchdowns), he’d have caught 94 balls for 1,289 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Those are excellent numbers, but this is worth noting too: During that nine-game span for Cooper, 18 catches, 397 yards and five touchdowns came in just two games. He had five games with 58 or fewer receiving yards. The upside is there and a full offseason with quarterback Dak Prescott and the Cowboys is going to help, but if you're drafting Cooper as your WR1 (ADP is WR13), you could be in for a bumpy ride given his track record and his lingering plantar fasciitis foot injury. I’d much rather secure him as my WR2.

Stefon Diggs, Vikings -- As with Cooper, I believe Diggs is a great player and one of the league's best route runners. He has improved his game and fantasy stats every year, but this overvalued designation has more to do with the Vikings offense and his opportunities. After the Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo after their Week 14 loss last season, they moved from a pass-heavy attack to a run-oriented approach. That's what coach Mike Zimmer prefers, and offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski is on the same page. While it’s a small sample size, in the Vikings' three games with Stefanski as offensive coordinator to end 2018, quarterback Kirk Cousins' pass attempts per game dropped from 40 to 27. Fewer pass attempts mean fewer target opportunities and with receiver Adam Thielen sharing volume, Diggs will have a hard time coming close to his career-high 150 targets from last year. He’s currently being drafted as the WR14. 

Mike Williams, Chargers -- Williams made his money with 10 touchdowns on only 43 receptions and 664 yards last season. That touchdown number is likely to regress with tight end Hunter Henry healthy and back in the picture. It also remains to be seen if quarterback Philip Rivers can match the pace he set with the third-most passing touchdowns (32) of his career in 2018. It’s not to say that River can’t do it again or have a career year, but it's worth noting when discussing Williams' outlook. He projects to fall short of expectations as the 25th receiver off the draft board.

Other overvalued receivers: Robert Woods, Kenny Golladay, Dante Pettis

Undervalued

Allen Robinson, Bears -- It's been quite some time since Robinson was an elite WR1, but he's now two years removed from his ACL injury. He also had a full offseason program with Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and has more comfort in coach Matt Nagy's offense for the second year. As Robinson’s health and form improved throughout 2018, he saw more targets. From Week 7 on, he had seven or more opportunities in all but one game. Against the Eagles in the playoffs, we saw a flash of the receiver many hoped for when he caught 10 balls on 13 targets for 143 yards and a score. All reports out of Bears camp indicate Robinson being the best receiver by far, and there’s a good chance Trubisky locks in on him as his most trusted and best big-play target. That would give Robinson the opportunity to be a solid WR2, and he’s being drafted as the 31st receiver.

Geronimo Allison, Packers -- Many folks believe Marquez Valdes-Scantling is the Packers' No. 2 receiver, but they’re forgetting about Allison, who has consistently lined up in the slot throughout training camp with Valdes-Scantling playing on the outside. Even Packers lead receiver Davante Adams has pegged Allison as a breakout candidate due to the opportunity he’ll see as quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ slot receiver. In the four games before an injury last year, Allison was quietly on pace for 76 receptions and 1,156 yards. If he’s the No. 2 target -- and he looks to be -- those numbers are obtainable. He’s going off the board as the WR45, while Valdes-Scantling is WR44.

Donte Moncrief, Steelers -- Moncrief is currently being drafted as the WR54, and he’s the No. 2 receiver for the most pass-heavy offense of 2018, when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led the league with 675 pass attempts. While fellow receiver James Washington is having another great preseason, Moncrief has played nine of 14 snaps with the first-team offense and Washington has played just one. Moncrief has always had elite size and athleticism and has shown flashes of what he could be when he was with Andrew Luck and the Colts. After escaping Jacksonville this offseason, he has another opportunity to put it all together with Pittsburgh. I’m buying well before his current ADP.

Other undervalued receivers: Michael Gallup, Jamison Crowder, John Brown

Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.​