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5 Overrated Players From Each Of The First Five Rounds

Overrated Players
Photo Credit: Richard Savill

Are you like me? I can’t hear the word overrated and not think of the often chanted syncopated college basketball rant–“OH-VER-RATE-ED!”

Chants aside, the word overrated itself, is…uh…well, overrated! Talking heads overuse it. It is one word I will also confess I use more than I should. It’s a description fraught with issues. For one, it’s a very subjective term. Who is deciding what is properly rated? I have yet to hear someone make an argument for something or someone that is overrated and then use evidence that is purely objective. Secondly, if something is constantly overrated, it eventually becomes underrated.

Furthermore, there is some undefined and constantly transforming line of where overrated can’t possibly apply. For example, I am currently unimpressed with Breshad Perriman. When he was drafted, both overrated and its sister term underrated were thrown about. Now years later, his production at the NFL level has been uninspiring and few would argue otherwise. But can we say he’s overrated? Doesn’t really work.

Of course here at SCFE we love to discuss overrated players. But to keep things reasonable, we will exclude players being taken beyond the fifth round this year.

Furthermore, please don’t mistake these players as “busts.” They are all players that are very talented and will likely have strong Fantasy seasons. But I personally think their ADP is just a little high for my tastes and will recommend other players in the range I like more. We’ll go right up the ladder, picking a player in each of the first five rounds who I think is overrated. And I’ll try to keep the Cameron Crazies out of my head as we go and focus just on football.

5 Overrated Players

Round 1: Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs

Hunt is a talented, north-south runner who is hard to bring down with just one tackler. However, his inability to create space for himself has me questioning whether he should currently be a Top 10 pick. But there are other reasons I feel Hunt is overrated. For starters, you know Andy Reid is the still the coach in Kansas City, right?

This is not a referendum on Reid’s coaching ability. It’s about Reid’s offensive philosophy. Reid rarely uses running backs in a traditional manner. Reid’s offenses are based on a low volume of rushes. This is Reid’s 20th year as a head coach. Having done the same thing for the previous 19, I don’t think he’s suddenly going to change. And if you think having the inexperienced Patrick Mahomes behind center is going to change anything, guess again.

 

Be Ware-y of taking Hunt

Additionally, let’s not forget about Spencer Ware. Ware was coming off of a season of over 900 yards (and over 400 receiving) when he was injured before last season even began. Ware is now healthy. Even if Reid gives his RBs 25 carries a game (not likely), don’t be surprised if Hunt gets less than 15 of them.

Speaking of injuries, the Chiefs offensive line struggled to stay healthy last year during the season. This year, however, they have started early as starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif left practice last week with a head injury. He went under concussion protocol; not a good sign for this snake-bitten unit. RT Mitchell Schwarz is one of my favorite OL in the league, but he’s the only one on this unit who has yet to miss a game in his career.  I’m not sure they can stay healthy. It’s just one more reason why I think Hunt might be overrated.

I’d rather go with Melvin Gordon or DeAndre Hopkins.

Round 2: Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers

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I think Allen is very talented but I’m not comfortable spending one of the first 20 picks on him. Allen had a stellar year last year. It was also the first time in his five year career that he played all 16 games. The way he attacks the ball in the air is part of what makes him so great. It is also part of what makes him injury prone. But let’s assume Allen does play all 16 games again. What has me just slightly down on him is the talent around him.

First off, the Chargers have a strong running game. After toting the rock more than 250 times in 2016, Melvin Gordon silenced his critics with an even better 2017. That included an impressive 58 catches. But Gordon is not the only one who can catch on this team.

Both receivers behind Allen have a 1,000-yard season under their belt. (Travis Benjamin’s high is 966 yards. One play shy of 1,000. Picky, picky. Let’s move on). They might not even be the Chargers stealing the most lightning from Allen. That could fall to second-year receiver Mike Williams. I’m less high on Williams than many, but at 6’4 220 pounds, Williams will absolutely be a red zone threat. And all that assumes that the Chargers don’t bring back the popular Antonio Gates, aka the favorite target of Philip Rivers, back to the team before the season starts.

In my most recent draft, Allen went one pick before mine but I gladly took Davante Adams with my next pick who I was even happier to have.

Round 3: Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders

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I remember watching highlights of Cooper before he was drafted. I knew immediately he would be worthy of his first-round NFL draft grade that year. He’s a great player. But is he worth a third round pick?

Coming off his worst year, I do think Cooper will improve on last year’s stats. But my biggest problem with Cooper this past year is the same issue that Cooper has had his entire NFL career: inconsistency. I’ve heard the excuses regarding last year, but inconsistency has plagued him year after year.

He had the monster 2-TD game and 200-plus yard game against Tampa Bay. But he also had five games of single-digit yards! In 2016, he had four games of over 100 yards; and another four of under 30 yards. In 2015, he had five games of over 100 yards; but he also had four games of 20 or less yards! That’s a trend ladies and gentlemen.

Of course, some of you gentlemen (the ladies are smarter than that) will point out that Cooper will get his now that Michael Crabtree is gone. Riiiight. Because all the Raiders did was sign not one, but two talented receivers. Jordy Nelson alone will be a threat to Cooper producing more consistently. Add in Martavis Bryant and Cooper is just too inconsistent based on his ADP for my liking.

Cooper’s ADP seems to fluctuate daily, but I’d take any of the half dozen receivers before him that he seems to bounce between including Larry Fitzgerald, Doug Baldwin, Brandin Coooks, Demaryius Thomas, and the two Viking receivers.

Round 4: Royce Freeman, RB, Broncos

If you can trade out of the fourth round, do so. At least half the picks in this round I feel very “meh” about. Royce Freeman, however, might actually have one of the highest ceilings of any player in this round. Yet last time I checked this was a split backfield. Isn’t the fourth round a little early for a back that is likely to get only 50% of the touches? Plus, are we so sure the Broncos won’t turn the duties over to Devontae Booker? Hold on, why stop at Booker? Are you that sure that Denver won’t turn to someone else on the roster? If D’Angelo Henderson can stay healthy, he too could see over 100 carries.

Fine, if I had to pick a pony in this race, I’d take Freeman. But less than a month ago Freeman’s ADP was closer to the seventh round. I’d be very happy taking him there. Does 58 yards on 10 carries this preseason warrant a three round jump? I say no. Give me Marshawn Lynch or even Josh Gordon instead. At least with each of those alternatives, the floor and ceiling are known.

Round 5: Marvin Jones, WR, Lions

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The only reason to take Marvin Jones in the fifth round is because I have been wrong many times before. I have been right more than wrong, but wrong often enough that picking against me has merit. But I double-dog dare you to do that here.

If you force me to choose only one overrated player, Marvin Jones is the pick. Yes, some of that is because I am a  Kenny Golladay fan. Many are predicting a breakout season for Golladay , including fellow receiver Golden Tate, who described him as a “WR1 kind of guy.” Yet even if Golladay doesn’t break out, I still don’t have the confidence in Jones repeating his numbers from last year.

Jones was actually the fifth best WR in standard leagues thanks to his amazing touchdown rate. But the old axiom is true–you don’t pay for the preceding career year. He put six points on the board every 11.9 targets. That is nearly twice the average rate (one every 22.8 targets) for wide receivers. He scored only four touchdowns in the same Lions offense in 2016. You think we might see some negative regression this year? Furthermore, Jones has never caught more than 65 passes. When he did, that was during his time in Cincinnati.

Marvin Fails To Keep Up With The Joneses

I’m at an utter loss why Jones is being picked this high.

Finally, have you noticed that Jones usually starts fast but fades down the stretch? In the last three years, he has one touchdown from Week 13 or later. The last thing I want is to spend one of my first five picks on a guy who fades during the Fantasy playoffs. I’d rather take pretty much anyone else in the fifth round.

Because calling Jones overrated might be an understatement.

 

Looking for a tool to help you discover other overrated players during your draft? Try FantasyPros DraftWizard!

Mark Strausberg

Mark Strausberg

Mark Strausberg remembers making Jerry Rice his first round selection as well as taking a flyer on a young pitcher named Doug Drabek. His Fantasy analysis has spanned multiple sports including football, baseball, basketball, and even golf. A FSWA finalist, his fantasy analysis has been featured in various outlets including but not limited to SI.com, USA Today national magazines, Yahoo! and RotoExperts.
Mark Strausberg
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