Let me start by stating that the players listed below are by no means bad football players or bad in fantasy; these are simply overvalued players based on their current FantasyPros’ expert consensus rankings (ECR) as of late June. These players are likely to underperform their inflated ECRs and disappoint fantasy GMs this season, as there are value players available far later in drafts who can provide similar fantasy production.
The Most Overvalued Players of 2022
ECR of 72nd overall – QB7
The hype is sky-high on Joe Burrow after an unexpected Super Bowl run for the Bengals last year. The third-year quarterback has demonstrated his ability to be an excellent passer, and it certainly helps that he has a loaded wide receiver corps and upgraded offensive line heading into the 2022 season. Still, spending a sixth or seventh-round pick on Burrow will likely leave fantasy GMs disappointed this year. To start, the Bengals’ success last season has led to one of the most difficult quarterback strength of schedules for Burrow heading into 2022. And while a lot can change between now and December, Burrow is slated to face an elite passing defense against the Bills in Week 17.
On top of a tough schedule, Burrow vastly exceeded expectations in both touchdown and completion rate last year. He was third among quarterbacks in touchdown rate and scored 13 touchdowns over his expected touchdown rate, and we can expect a minor regression in scoring rate even if he remains an efficient passer. Burrow also led all quarterbacks in completion percentage above expectation by a large margin, which should decline this year even with the talented duo of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins likely to continue winning more contested catches than the average receiver. Even with variance on his side in 2021, Burrow was just the fantasy QB9 in points per game (PPG). I still have Burrow ranked fairly high at the position as the QB11 in my redraft rankings but a couple of rounds later overall. Burrow’s current ECR at the end of the sixth round makes him one of the most overvalued players in drafts.
ECR of 30th overall – RB15
There’s no doubt that James Conner had a phenomenal season in 2021, but his splits with and without Chase Edmonds are concerning. In the first eight games with Edmonds healthy, Edmonds was the PPR RB17 and RB24 in PPG. Even having scored eight rushing touchdowns over that span, Conner was just the PPR RB21 and RB29 in PPG, averaging just 11.8 carries and 0.6 receptions per game. Only after Edmonds’s high ankle sprain in Week 9 did Conner’s usage and production really take off. From Weeks 9 through 14, Conner’s usage increased to 17.0 carries and 4.8 receptions per game, which made him the no. 2 PPR running back both overall and in PPG over that span. It’s worth noting that Kyler Murray was also out in Weeks 9 through 11, which forced Arizona into a much more run-heavy offense featuring Conner for those three games.
This offseason, Edmonds left for Miami, and Arizona re-signed Conner to a three-year, $21 million deal. However, it shouldn’t be overlooked that the Cardinals still have Eno Benjamin on the roster, drafted Keaontay Ingram, and signed Darrel Williams to a one-year contract. In the unlikely event that Conner was to get workhorse usage, the last time that Conner played a full season was…well, never. The more probable scenario would be for Conner to remain the lead back and secure goal-line work but with one of Benjamin, Ingram, or Williams stepping into the receiving role vacated by Edmonds. Without the receiving usage, Conner likely reverts to a touchdown-dependent RB2 in 2022, which makes him among the most overvalued players in drafts. Many fantasy GMs drafting Conner expecting workhorse usage are in for a shock come Week 1 even if the touchdowns are there. I currently have Conner ranked as the RB19 at 47th overall, about two rounds below his consensus ranking.
ECR of 33rd overall – WR15
With Tyreek Hill‘s ECR at WR7 and 20th overall, Jaylen Waddle‘s current ECR of WR15 and 33rd overall makes no sense unless you’re placing money on Tua Tagovailoa to win MVP in 2022. Either Tagovailoa’s ECR of QB16 is way too low, or one or both of Hill are overvalued players right now. There’s an expectation that the hiring of Mike McDaniel to lead the Dolphins’ revamped offense will elevate all Miami players from a fantasy perspective, and while true to an extent, it’s important to manage expectations.
Last season, Deebo Samuel was able to log a fantasy finish as the No. 3 wide receiver in PPR scoring, both overall as well as in PPG, with Brandon Aiyuk still managing to finish as the PPR WR36 and WR53 in PPG. With the addition of Hill this offseason, Waddle is unlikely to see the same 24 percent target share he logged as a rookie. On top of volume concerns, it will be Tagovailoa’s first year in the new offensive scheme, and the Dolphins’ offensive line is still much worse than the top-10 unit that the 49ers fielded last season. It’s far too presumptuous to assume that Tagovailoa will be able to support two top-15 fantasy wide receivers. I have Waddle ranked as my WR28 in the sixth round, and his current third-round price tag is ludicrous.
ECR of 19th overall – TE2
The single most mispriced among the overvalued players right now is Mark Andrews. Since Lamar Jackson became a full-time starter in 2019, Andrews has been a top-5 fantasy tight end in points per game, and he’s never seen less than 25 percent of the target share in Baltimore over that span. However, his ECR in the second round is purely due to recency bias and will surely disappoint fantasy GMs drafting him at that astronomically high price. The Ravens suffered an inordinate amount of injuries to the offensive line and defense in 2021 and lost both starting running backs for the entire season. That led to a very pass-heavy offense that we’re unlikely to see again in 2022.
Since 2019, Andrews has accounted for 25, 26, and 27 percent of the team’s target share, respectively. While his target share will undoubtedly remain high and likely lead all Ravens pass-catchers, especially with Marquise Brown traded to the Cardinals, Andrews’s target volume will almost certainly regress. Baltimore’s offense utilized a 56 percent pass rate in 2021, a significant departure from their 45 and 46 percent pass rate in 2020 and 2019, respectively. That resulted in 610 pass attempts compared to just 405 in 2020 and 439 in 2019. Andrews averaged 9.0 targets per game last season after averaging 6.3 and 6.5 targets per game the prior two years on a similar target share, and he saw a career high 17.8 PPR PPG last season after averaging 12.6 and 13.8 PPR PPG in 2020 and 2019. I still have Andrews ranked very highly as my no. 3 tight end but 41st overall, a solid two rounds below consensus. He’s a strong fantasy tight end option with a safe floor and fair ceiling, but the odds of him being an elite producer and league-winner again in 2022 are very low.
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