Over-Valued Based on Name
by Alan Seslowsky
One of the most interesting things about following fantasy football all year round is monitoring the player value changes throughout the offseason. Player values are linked to free agency fallout, trades, an influx of rookie talent via the draft, and coaching changes to name a few. One of the most common mistakes drafters make is paying more attention to the name on the back of the jersey rather than the story of the player since the last season concluded. Below is a list of players that may get over-drafted based on their name value, rather than their current actual value.
Tom Brady (ADP 137, QB10)
Most agree that Tom Brady is either the best to have ever played QB, or at least the most accomplished. Let’s put all of that aside to talk about his 2020 fantasy football outlook. Brady is currently being drafted as the QB10. There is understandable excitement about Brady going to Tampa with the upgraded pass catchers he has inherited. Brady should be able to take advantage of the middle of the field utilizing both Chris Godwin and long-time teammate Rob Gronkowski when he is healthy. Entering his age 43 season, Brady lacked the zip on deep passes the last couple of years and may struggle to take advantage of Tampa’s most consistent player over the last 5 years, Mike Evans. Brady adds virtually nothing as a rusher, and even those “Brady Sneaks” at the goal-line we used to be able to count on have gone away. In order for Brady to be a top 10 QB we would need to project a 5,000 yard 28 TD season. Players going after him that could plausibly outperform him in fantasy are Daniel Jones, Aaron Rogers, Mathew Stafford, and maybe even Gardner Minshew. RosterWatch believes Tom Brady will be a very functional fantasy QB but is almost certain to be over-drafted based on name value.
DeAndre Hopkins (ADP 12 WR4)
Hopkins has been the definition of a rock for fantasy production over the past half-decade. He has produced top 5 WR finishes even when paired with poor QB play. Since 2015, Hopkins has seen no less than 150 targets in a season, peaking at a whopping 192 targets one year. In a stunning trade, Hopkins now finds himself in Arizona where the second-year coach and QB (Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray) are expected to take a massive step forward. The issue is that Arizona has capable pass catchers that they invested in. Presumably, Arizona will want to spread the ball around to their young pass-catchers. Hopkins can safely be projected to lead the team in targets, but it’s possible he sees closer to 130 targets, not his usual 165. Add to that a new QB and WR connection traditionally takes time to develop, even more so in this unique offseason. It’s enough to identify Hopkins as a prime candidate to be over-drafted based on his name value.
Rob Gronkowski (ADP 132 TE9)
If you are a fan of football, you are likely very excited about the return of Gronk. The future first ballot hall of famer was one of the most dominant players ever at TE. Gronkowski is currently getting drafted as the TE9. There is understandable optimism since he will be playing with his long time teammate Tom Brady. Chemistry should not be an issue in a season where there is extra concern about off-season practice time. However, Gronk did not play in 2019, and looked to be declining in 2018, where he posted a 47/682/3 line. In 2018 his yards per target and yards per catch hit a three year low. Advocates of Gronk will say the year out of football to heal up serves him for the better. Still only 31 years old, TEs tend to age better than WRs or RBs. The greats like Tony Gonzales and Antonio Gates played effective (for fantasy) into their late 30s. RosterWatch is comfortable with Gronk if he falls to the double-digit rounds, but he is a player that will likely get over-drafted based on name value in 2020.