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That means you need to nail your picks. FTN subscribers can access the award-winning projections from the most accurate ranker in 2021, Jeff Ratcliffe. In this article, I'm going to look at what players are being overvalued by calculating the most significant discrepancies between Underdog's ADP and FTN's projections for each position. You can track ADPs and rankings using the Underdog tool on FTN Fantasy. Sign up for Underdog Fantasy with promo code "FTN" for a 100% deposit match up to $100.
The 49ers traded three first-round picks to move up nine spots and select Trey Lance with the fifth overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. In his lone full season at NDSU, Lance led the Bisons to a 16-0 record and the 2019 NCAA Division I Championship. He threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also rushed for 1,100 yards, finding paydirt 14 times. Despite giving up significant draft capital to acquire Lance, the 49ers opted to redshirt the rookie for most of the 2021 season. He appeared in just three and a half games but flashed game-breaking upside in a limited sample. Lance was thrust into the flames in Week 4 after Jimmy Garoppolo was ruled out at halftime with a calf injury. He threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns while adding 41 yards on the ground. In his two games as a starter, Lance averaged over 220 passing yards and 60 rushing yards. Although Kyle Shanahan has made it clear that Lance will be the starter in 2022, the 49ers restructured Garoppolo's contract making him the highest-paid backup in the league. Drafters on Underdog have no problem shooting for upside, selecting Lance in the sixth round as the QB7 off the board. Jeff Ratcliffe's projections are more conservative for the second-year quarterback, stated out right outside of QB1 territory as the QB13. Lance is projected for 558.3 rushing yards, 3,641.1 passing yards, 13.8 interceptions and 27.7 total touchdowns on the season.
Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans
Dameon Pierce was the seventh running back off the board in this year’s draft, taken by the Texans in the fourth round. He found himself in an ideal landing spot without a clear lead back. During the offseason, the Texans re-signed their leading rusher in 2021, Rex Burkhead, and brought in Marlon Mack via free agency. Mack is the only running back on the roster to eclipse 430 rushing yards in a season. However, he's only had 127 rushing yards since tearing his Achilles in 2020. Pierce's fantasy stock has continued to rise since Week 1 of the preseason. Although he did not start the game, he made the most of his limited opportunities, carrying the ball five times for 49 yards (9.8 YPC) in the second quarter. His outlook continued to climb after the Texans rested him in Week 2 because they had already liked what they've seen from him. The window to buy low on Pierce quickly shut in Week 3 on the heels of another dominant performance. Pierce started the game, carrying the ball six times for 37 yards and a touchdown on his lone drive. Among all backs who saw five or more carries in the preseason, Pierce ranked top-two in PFF rushing grade (91.9), PFF elusive rating (221.5), yards per carry (7.8) and yards after contact (6.1). His ADP has skyrocketed to the seventh round on Underdog (82.1), where he is the 27th running back off the board. Jeff Ratcliffe's projections are much more tempered on the rookie running back. Pierce is projected for 754.1 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns, coming in as the RB43. He may be the lead back in Houston, but there's no telling how the backfield touches will be split. It's also worth noting that in 2021, the Texans ranked dead last in PFF's team rushing and run-blocking grade, finishing bottom of the league in yards before contact per carry (0.7).
Romeo Doubs, WR, Green Bay Packers
After trading away All Pro wide receiver Davante Adams and letting Marquez Valdes-Scantling walk in free agency, the Packers enter the 2022 season ranked in the top five in vacated targets (248) and air yards (2,807). They re-signed Allen Lazard and brought in Sammy Watkins in free agency but ultimately turned to the draft to address their receiving depth. With the 34th pick, the Packers traded away two second-round picks (No. 53 and 59) to move up 19 spots and select Christian Watson out of North Dakota State. They doubled up at receiver on Day 3 and selected Nevada product Romeo Doubs in the fourth round. Doubs has been turning heads at training camp while a knee injury has sidelined Watson. Aaron Rodgers had high praise for the rookie stating, "Every single day, there's been at least one, 'Wow!' play from him. That's kind of rare for a young guy like that. Now, we've had some guys over the years do that, but they're all in the top 10 in Packers receiving history." The hype on Doubs has only elevated after he caught two touchdowns and started all three games in the preseason. Drafters on Underdog have bought into Doubs as the WR2 in Green Bay, drafting him inside the top-60 among receivers (WR59). However, Jeff Ratcliffe's projections still have Doubs below Watson and the WR98 overall. Doubs is projected for 28.8 receptions, 340.3 receiving yards and 2.4 touchdowns on the season. Based on preseason usage, Doubs will likely open the season as the WR4, behind Lazard, Watkins and Randall Cobb. Despite rostering the back-to-back league MVP in 2021, the Packers were below the league average in pass attempts (593, 17th) and dead last in situational pace of play (31.3 seconds). With a depleted receiving core, it's fair to assume that the Packers will skew even more run-heavy, leaning on Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.
Tyler Higbee was in line for a breakout year in 2021 after the Rams let Gerald Everett walk in free agency and made a significant upgrade at quarterback, replacing Jared Goff with Matthew Stafford. Unfortunately, Higbee failed to live up to expectations, finishing as the TE14 on the season. He saw the second-most targets of his career (83) but averaged only 6.6 yards per target, his lowest since his 29-target rookie season in 2016. Only 3.7% of Higbee's targets were thrown 20 or more yards downfield, which ranked 43rd among tight ends with at least 25 targets. Despite a disappointing season, Higbee had the peripherals of a TE1. He was second in snap share, seventh in red zone targets, and fifth in end zone targets. During the offseason, the Rams traded Robert Woods and let Odell Beckham walk in free agency. In 2021, the two combined for 19.3% of the team's targets, 17.7% of catches, 17.6% receiving yards and 22.0% of receiving touchdowns. As a result, they signed Allen Robinson in free agency. Although Robinson is coming off a down year, he's had at least 95 receptions, 1,100 receiving yards and 6 TDs in two of the past three seasons. It's hard to imagine Higbee carving out a meaningful role in fantasy, competing for targets behind two alpha wide receivers. Drafters on Underdog are comfortable getting a cheap piece from the Rams' offense, selecting Higbee as a top-20 tight end. However, Jeff Ratcliffe's projections have him just outside the TE2 range, coming in at TE26. Higbee is projected for 51.2 receptions, 474.6 yards, and 3.7 touchdowns on the season. He profiles as a touchdown or bust TE with the potential for spike weeks on a Rams team that finished at the top of the league in passing touchdown percentage (80.39%).
Bio: Sam Choudhury is a former data analyst, reviewer, and recorder for Pro Football Focus. He was also a fantasy contributor for RotoViz. Choudhury is a DFS expert with multiple GPP takedowns. You can follow him on Twitter @SC_FFB.