The Most Overrated and Underrated Quarterbacks/Running Backs in Fantasy Football

by Angel Maldonado Tejada (3CoSports) and PuffsPicks

 

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Position: Quarterback 

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Overrated: Russell Wilson

Wilson is coming off his third highest season in terms of fantasy output finishing as the third highest QB in 2019. His ADP matches that for this season, assuming he will replicate these numbers in 2020. But I wouldn’t be so sure of that, with the already poor Offensive Line being replaced by an entirely new and inexperienced bunch. There is a possibility of three first year starters which does not bode well for QB play. Wilson will turn 32 this year, and I do not see that Wilson magic of evading Defensive Linemen in his early days continuing much longer.

 

3CoSports

Overrated: Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers is one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen. He was Patrick Mahomes before the reigning Super Bowl MVP started attempting behind-the-back trick tosses, and those gifts have typically translated over to fantasy. In 2011, Rodgers finished the season with an average of 26.5 FPPG, an incredible feat that resulted in an MVP award for the Packers star. However, since then, his best scoring season came in 2016 when he averaged 23.8 PPG. In the last three seasons, Rodgers has been unable to account for 30 touchdowns and I don’t see that changing in 2020. Matt LaFleur has established a run-first offense, catalyzed by Aaron Jones (RB2 overall in PPR formats last season), while making few adjustments to the team’s depleted pass-catching core, which leads us to believe that Rodgers may have a tough time living up to an ADP that has been inflated by his name value for a while now. While he is still a “bad man”, his best fantasy days are behind him and he is the most overrated fantasy QB in the league.

 

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Underrated: Drew Brees

Brees is coming off a 2019 campaign where he only played 11 games due to a thumb injury sustained in week 2. Since his return in week 8, Brees was the 4th highest fantasy scoring QB. Brees is currently being drafted as the 11th highest QB, implying there will be some sort of regression in 2020. I don’t see this happening as the Saints still boast one of the best WR groups in the NFL with one of the top wideouts in Michael Thomas and the addition of Emmanuel Sanders in the offseason.

 

3CoSports

Underrated: Phillip Rivers

The new starting QB for the Indianapolis Colts has been practically free for years now (in terms of his ADP) and yet he always seems to bring borderline QB1 numbers to the table. For a quarterback who can be had in the crapshoot rounds of any draft, Rivers is incredibly consistent thanks to his high passing volume. While he’s not going to finish in the top-five at his position, Rivers will be heading to Indianapolis to play in a dome setting (ask Matt Ryan and Drew Brees how they feel about dome life) with talented weapons like T.Y Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr, Jack Doyle, and Jonathan Taylor, while being protected by the best offensive line in the league. Although he hasn’t averaged more than 18 FPPG since 2013, his discounted price in drafts makes him a prime target if you choose to wait until the later rounds to take a signal-caller. While Rodgers always fails to live up to his ADP, Rivers consistently outperforms his own. 

 

Position: Running Back

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Overrated: Alvin Kamara

Kamara had a noticeable drop-off in fantasy production from 2018 to 2019, but not due to a major regression in his yardage totals. Kamara had just 6 total touchdowns in 2019 compared to the whopping 18 he had in 2018. Some may look at this stat as a case of simple regression, but I think the departure of Mark Ingram was a big loss for Kamara. The two headed monster of Kamara/Ingram in 2017 and 2018 was a nightmare for defenses, especially with Michael Thomas opening up the field for play-action looks. Kamara as the lone serviceable back is still a RB1, but I see him as a fringe top 10 guy, but not as the 4th best back according to his ADP. Likewise, while his battery mate Latavius Murray is no Ingram, he will see his share of the workload, likely punching in a few red zone touchdowns thanks to his 6’3, 235 lb frame. 

 

3CoSports

Overrated: Dalvin Cook

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Dalvin Cook was 2019’s breakout RB, finishing with the fifth-most points among RBs (292.4 total points while averaging 20.9 PPG). As the featured runner in OC Kevin Stefanski’s redesigned offense, Cook thrived as the catalyst for a system that relied heavily on the run game (particularly the outside zone) to set up every other aspect of the offense. Stefanski did a masterful job mixing up run plays while also opening up passing lanes for backs and receivers alike, allowing Cook to do damage as a runner and as a pass-catcher. While the pain of losing Stefanski is mitigated by the integration of Super Bowl-winning HC Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator and the promise of a similar system staying in place, Minnesota’s offensive line is looking like a question mark, particularly after the release of veteran Josh Kline. If the Vikings struggle in the trenches, it will be extremely difficult for Cook to replicate his 2019 numbers, especially if he misses time due to his holdout for a new contract. This prospect is quite daunting for fantasy players when taking into consideration the fact that Cook hasn’t exactly been Mr. Reliable, playing in only 29/48 possible games through three years in the league. We’ve already advised dynasty users to trade Dalvin Cook and considering his injury risk, price, and the question marks surrounding his status with the team, he remains my choice for ‘most overrated running back’ heading into 2020.

 

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Underrated: Kenyan Drake

Fantasy players remember when Kenyan Drake went from afterthought to a fantasy stud after he was traded from Miami to Arizona just prior to the trade deadline last season. Following the trade, Drake was the 4th highest-scoring RB in fantasy football. So why is he being drafted as the RB20 this year?! It makes no sense to me as he proved to be the clear leader of the Cardinals backfield last season, displacing former superstar David Johnson at the top of the depth chart. Despite the hype surrounding second-year QB Kyler Murray and his upgraded receiving core, the offense will need to lean heavily on Drake in the running game if they hope to win games with their talented roster. While Arizona is known as the ‘Air Raid’ offense team, HC Kliff Kingsbury clearly valued his running game once the team acquired Drake from Miami, so there’s no reason why that should not continue to be the case.

 

3CoSports

Underrated: Chris Carson

Chris Carson runs like a man with no regard for his or anyone else’s safety. A 7th-round pick in 2017, there’s nothing special about Carson’s measurables. He’s a shade over 5’11 and weighs in at  220 lbs while running a slower 40 yard dash time than you’d like (4.58) and lacking top-end agility. Despite those limitations, Carson won the starting job his rookie year before an injury ended his season. Finishing no worse than RB15 the past two years, Carson has definitely been hampered by the injury bug like Dalvin Cook. However, the difference lies in their values. While Cook is often being taken ahead of players like Kamara (a player PuffsPicks and I disagree on), Carson is still a great value with an ADP of 3.1. Carson is a consistent, high-upside RB2 and should be drafted as such. Injury woes aside, what you see is what you get with Carson, a quality you love in a RB1 or RB2 for your fantasy lineup.

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