The NFL preseason is underway, which means fantasy football draft season is upon us. Your fantasy draft is the single most important event during the fantasy football season, and the Lineups team is here to help you get prepared. In this article we’ve identified a few players at each position that we feel are overvalued based on their current average draft position (ADP). We used FantasyPros Composite ADP data for PPR scoring to compile this list. Remember, these picks for overvalued players are based on their current ADP, which is likely to change between now and the start of the season. We will keep track of changes in ADP and update this list as needed between today and the start of the regular season, when the Buffalo Bills take on the Los Angeles Rams on September 8, 2022.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (QB2, 33 Overall)
From a fantasy standpoint, Mahomes was solid but not spectacular in 2021, finishing fifth at the position in average points per game with 22.01. He enters the 2022 season having lost his dynamic #1 wide receiver in Tyreek Hill, with no obvious replacement to make up for Hill’s otherworldly talent and production. So why is Mahomes being drafted as the QB2 going in the fourth round? The answer has a lot more to do with name recognition than actual production. With the depth at the position, a quarterback taken in the top four or five rounds needs to significantly outperform the competition to justify using premium draft capital on them. In 2021, the difference between the QB1 (Josh Allen, 24.56 points per game) and the QB12 (Kirk Cousins, 19.21 points per game) was just 5.35 points per game. Mahomes is unlikely to justify his current ADP. I would strongly prefer waiting until the seventh round or later to target someone like Jalen Hurts (QB7, 67 Overall) or Tom Brady (QB9, 82 Overall).
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (QB11, 85 Overall)
You might be sensing a theme here: elite QBs who lose their elite #1 WR with no obvious replacements is a recipe for being overvalued. Even with that, it’s hard to say that a guy going 11th at his position in the ninth round is overvalued, but hear me out. Nobody is going to argue with waiting on the QB position and snagging a reliable, high-floor option like Rodgers late in the draft to be your Week 1 starter. You’re not going to lose your league by doing that. But when you get to the middle and late rounds of the draft, you want to find guys that can potentially win you the league with a high ceiling, and that’s the issue with Rodgers. Under Matt LaFleur, the Packers run one of the slowest-paced offenses in the league, which limits Rodgers’ ceiling. When you add in the loss of Davante Adams, you can expect a dip in Rodgers’ historically excellent efficiency metrics. He very well may end up finishing as QB11, but it’s also likely that at least one quarterback taken after him ends up vaulting into the top 10 this year. I would prefer waiting another round or two for a high-ceiling option like Trey Lance (QB13, 103 Overall) or Derek Carr (QB14, 105 Overall).
Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos (RB12, 21 Overall)
Calling Williams overvalued has nothing to do with his talent or his high ceiling and everything to do with his current ADP as an RB1 in 12-team leagues and a late second/high third round pick. There is too much risk with Williams for me to be comfortable spending that kind of draft capital on him. With Melvin Gordon III returning to the Broncos on a one-year deal, Williams will once again be splitting carries with the veteran RB. While Williams should see an increased percentage of backfield usage compared to 2021, when he outsnapped Gordon 551-514, MG3’s presence still lowers Williams’ ceiling. With new head coach Nathaniel Hackett and quarterback Russell Wilson, the Broncos are also likely to rely more heavily on the passing attack than they did in 2021, when they rushed the ball on 43.9% of snaps (11th highest in the league). The presence of Wilson should create more scoring opportunities for the Broncos offense, but Wilson is also a threat to vulture some of those redzone touchdowns by rushing it in himself. The hype around Williams is likely to sustain his high ADP, and while I love the talent and potential, I don’t love the price to acquire it.
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders (RB20, 42 Overall)
There are two potential – and conflicting – storylines for Josh Jacobs in 2022. One says that in a more high-powered offense featuring new #1 wide receiver Davante Adams and coached by offensive guru Josh McDaniels, Jacobs figures to have plenty of opportunities to improve upon his 2021 season, which saw him finish as RB15 on a points-per-game basis with an average of 15.1 points. The other storyline sees Jacobs’ production being hampered by increased competition for touches, more red-zone targets going to Adams, and McDaniels bringing his Patriots-style running back committee approach to the Raiders. Jacobs’ fantasy production has been very dependent on volume, as he has at least 260 touches in each of his first three seasons, but McDaniels has not had a RB get over 260 touches in the last five years. If Jacobs maintains his excellent receiving production from 2021, and if McDaniels uses him in the red zone the way he used Damien Harris last year, then Jacobs should be fine. But McDaniels didn’t have red zone weapons like Adams, Darren Waller or Hunter Renfrow on the Patriots, and considering his track record of RB usage, I don’t see Jacobs cracking the top 20 RBs in 2022.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (WR1, 4 Overall)
It feels blasphemous to mention Cooper Kupp in this spot after he turned in one of the greatest fantasy seasons ever and was the fantasy football MVP in 2021. After putting up those numbers, he deserves to be the first wide receiver off the board in the first round this year. But I included him here just to say this: temper your expectations. As unexpected as his 2021 numbers were, it would be even more unexpected if he replicated similar numbers in 2022. Regression is inevitable, especially when you consider the addition of wide receiver Allen Robinson II and the healthy return of running back Cam Akers. Wide receiver is still the deepest position in fantasy, and I would not argue with a fantasy owner choosing a bona fide RB1 like Derrick Henry or Najee Harris over Kupp this year.
Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins (WR14, 39 Overall)
Waddle had an exceptional rookie season, breaking Anquan Boldin’s rookie record with 104 receptions and finishing tied for WR14 with 15.4 points per game. The big question with Waddle is what impact the Dolphins’ acquisition of Tyreek Hill will have on his role and his production. Can an offense led by Tua Tagovailoa really support two top 15 wide receivers, not to mention a potential top 10 tight end in Mike Gesicki? Color me skeptical. Waddle relied on a 23% target share to amass those 104 receptions, and Hill is sure to take a large chunk of those targets in 2022. The Dolphins’ 2021 offense was also the 10th most pass heavy in the league with a 60%/40% split. When new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was the offensive coordinator for San Francisco last season, the 49ers had a much more balanced 51%/49% split. McDaniel is expected to employ a similarly run-heavy scheme in Miami, especially after the Dolphins bolstered their offensive line with pro bowl left tackle Terron Armstead and brought in a slew of veteran running backs including Raheem Mostert, Chase Edmonds and Sony Michel. Between Hill’s presence and the new offensive system, there are too many reasons not to trust Waddle to live up to his current ADP.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions (WR25, 65 Overall)
St. Brown was the key late-season addition that helped many fantasy owners win their league in 2021, but let’s put some perspective on his eye-popping numbers during weeks 13-18 of last season. During that stretch, St. Brown saw a whopping 33.5% target share, more than Cooper Kupp had last season and trailing only Justin Jefferson during that timeframe. That volume came his way largely out of necessity, as T.J. Hockenson and D’Andre Swift missed five and four of those six games, respectively. Prior to Hockenson’s injury, St. Brown saw a still respectable 21% target share, but with the additions of D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams, he will see even more competition for targets in 2022.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (TE1, 14 Overall)
Kelce was the highest-scoring fantasy tight end for five consecutive years before Mark Andrews surpassed him in 2021, yet he is still the first tight end going off the board. With Tyreek Hill now in Miami, Kelce has less competition for targets, but he also has less competition for the attention of defensive coordinators. Kelce has thrived working the middle of the field when Hill stretched the defense. Now as the clear-cut top pass-catching option for the Chiefs, Kelce will draw even more double teams. It will be interesting to see whether the increased target share or increased attention will have a bigger impact on his production. Kelce’s longevity has been impressive, and he shows no signs of decline entering his age-33 season, but he also no longer deserves to be the consensus TE1 in fantasy. That honor belongs to Andrews, and would anyone be surprised if Kyle Pitts also leapfrogs Kelce this season? With the scarcity at the tight end position, he still warrants a high pick, just not as high as 14 overall when Andrews and Pitts are going at 22 and 34, respectively.