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You don’t want to overpay for a company in the stock market, and you certainly don’t want to invest in overrated players in your 2015 Fantasy Football league.

Of course, that is easier said than done. How can you protect yourself from being into hype, but also make the right risks necessary to become the champion of your league?

A trap to watch out for is just assuming that one player can provide solid results just because he is replacing someone else. Outside of the Philadelphia Eagles, there aren’t too many teams where you can just throw a player in and have them find success. Fantasy Football success occurs when talent meets opportunity, and Fantasy players found out last season how dangerous it was to assume that Carlos Hyde could just serve as an instant replacement for Frank Gore.

It’s also important to look at what is driving the price up of certain players.  Are your opponents just zigging because you zagged, or is there data that the stats they are focusing on from last season are not relevant for 2015?

Let’s take a look at three overrated players entering the 2015 Fantasy Football season.

1. Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys

Although his role has been limited the past two seasons, Randle averaged 6.7 yards per carry in 2014 on his 51 attempts in 2014. He also has a great line that helped DeMarco Murray reach 1,845 rushing yards. So, the 23-year old back should just be able to steamroll through defenders like Murray did, right?

News out of Dallas seems to change by the month, however, and we will still have an unclear picture until we actually see the backfield in action. At one point the organization expressed its full confidence in Darren McFadden as a starting running back, and there were even rumors that the Cowboys were still looking at the free agent market and have worked out backs Ben Tate and Felix Jones.

Round 4 is filled with dicey running back choices on FantasyFootballCalculator.com: Carlos Hyde, Latavius Murray, Jonathan Stewart, Todd Gurley and C.J. Spiller, and Randle obviously fits in as a high-risk-high-reward option. We have at least seen what Spiller and Stewart can do when they are healthy, but Randle’s limited work only provides a brief insight into how he may perform.

Drafting Randle depends on your risk tolerance, but I’m not sold with him because of the Cowboys seemingly still wanting to tinker with the lineup.

2. Golden Tate, Detroit Lions

Jen Ryan makes a very interesting case for Golden Tate being more productive in 2015 Fantasy Football leagues than Calvin Johnson, and our own Bob Lung believes Tate will have another productive season because of his wide receiver consistency rankings. All good things must come to an end, and Johnson will eventually suffer from Father Time’s ill effects. His injury last year absolutely terrified Fantasy players, and Odell Beckham Jr. is being selected before the elite veteran. I also understand the concerns that Johnson receives extra attention, and theoretically that should leave Tate open for more opportunities and allow him to create mismatches.

The idea of double coverage for Johnson seems to be tied into the value of Tate, so I wanted to review Megatron’s 2012 season where he posted 1,964 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Matthew Stafford’s targets that year included Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Titus Young, Ryan Broyles and Nate Burleson. There wasn’t a single player who caught passes on the Lions who finished with 600 receiving yards outside of Johnson. Granted, the 29-year old receiver did have an insane amount of targets with 205, but even with a weak supporting cast, it didn’t matter if Johnson was the primary focus of the defense. He still produced. The other reason why Tate appears to be a part of the overrated players collection is that his main production was during Johnson’s absence.

I first looked at the games when Johnson was not very involved despite being on the field.

Week 4- Calvin Johnson: 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards

Week 4- Golden Tate: 8 receptions, 116 receiving yards

Week 5- Calvin Johnson: 1 reception, 7 receiving yards

Week 5- Golden Tate: 7 receptions, 134 receiving yards

What about the weeks where Johnson did not record a reception?

Week 6- Golden Tate: 7 receptions, 44 receiving yards

Week 7- Golden Tate: 10 receptions, 154 yards

Week 8- Golden Tate: 7 receptions, 151 yards

Four of Tate’s five 100-yard performances were when Johnson was extremely limited in his reception totals or when he wasn’t on the field. I like the idea of hedging your investments (finding a way to limit risk) by pairing Johnson and Tate in best ball leagues. If something where to happen to Johnson then Tate has obviously shown he receives a major boost in production. But, with a healthy Megatron on the field, I believe Tate belongs on the list of overrated players heading into the 2015 Fantasy Football season.

3. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills

The second-year receiver finds himself in a situation where a run-heavy coach has just took control of the team, and the quarterback situation is still not settled. It can pay to zig when others zag, and some Fantasy players are hoping that Watkins becomes a steal with an ADP in Round 5.

Quarterback E.J. Manuel only spent a limited time on the field last season, but let’s take a look at Watkins’ production when Manuel was on the field.

Week Opp Rec Yds TD
1 @CHI 3 31 0
2 MIA 8 117 1
3 SD 2 19 0
4 @HOU 4 30 1

 

A very mixed bag of results to say the least. If you focus on running backs early in your draft, it will be hard to rely on Watkins if he is the second receiver you pick up in your draft. Watkins may offer solid NFL numbers like he did last season (982 receiving yards, six touchdowns), but his Fantasy production is extremely limited because of the quarterback play and Rex Ryan giving LeSean McCoy as much work as he can handle.

Don’t pay too high of a price for these three overrated players in your 2015 Fantasy Football leagues.

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Jack Delaney

Jack's love of craft beer and gangster rap is only surpassed by his love of pass-catching running backs. He was a top-40 finisher and $1,500 prize winner for the 2014 RotoBowl, a top-50 finisher in the 2015 Mock Draft Online Championships, finished first in draft accuracy for quarterback rankings in 2015 on Fantasy Pros, and was a contributor to the 2015 and 2016 The Fantasy Football Guide.
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