Drafting and trading for players is a vital part of fantasy football. If you identify a player who is undervalued and get that player for a bargain, even better. I looked back at the 2021 fantasy football season to find some players who fit that bill.
I’ll be using FantasyPros Dynasty ECR for this article to find players I believe are values. Then we’ll look as to exactly why I’m higher on them than consensus. We’ll be focusing mostly on the dynasty aspect, but there’s an application for redraft here as well. Not all of my personal rankings drastically differ from consensus, but even a few spots difference can move a player up or down a round in drafts.
2022 Undervalued Fantasy Football Players
Trevor Lawrence – QB13
Our first player does lean more on the redraft side of undervalued than dynasty. I personally have him as my dynasty QB11, so I could argue he is undervalued there as well. But in redraft, his rank is QB20. There’s no denying Lawrence had a tough rookie season, he finished as the QB23. But, there are reasons for hope.
First off, he threw only 12 touchdowns on 602 pass attempts. That equates to a 2% TD rate. The league average was 4.5%. Getting to just 4% would mean his touchdowns would have doubled to 24. The extra touchdowns alone would have put him as the QB 15last year.
According to FantasyPros, Lawrence also endured the third most dropped passes of any NFL QB in 2021. Jacksonville likely upgrades their receiving corps this offseason, and that can only help Lawrence. He also got a coaching change in Doug Pederson, who made an MVP candidate out of Carson Wentz. Lawrence still has a lot of potential and I think he’ll start showing it in 2022.
Josh Jacobs – RB19
I have Jacobs up at RB13. It might sound a little on the high side, but is it? His lowest finish was his rookie year in 2019 at RB21. He had only 20 catches on 27 targets that year and only played 13 games. In PPG he was the RB 15 among running backs who played more than 10 games that year. So he’s consistently better than his ECR.
If it’s age were wondering about, Jacobs is only a month older than Najee Harris, who is the dynasty RB2. Harris is locked into a massive workload, but if nothing else his target load will decrease with Big Ben gone. Though Harris may have the volume edge, Jacobs compares closely to Harris in efficiency.
|Att||Yds||YPC||Targets||Receptions||Y/Rec||PFF OL Rank||Fan Pts/Opp|
As bad as the Pittsburgh offensive line was, the Raiders were worse! Jacobs isn’t as bad as his rankings imply. A new coaching system bringing in fresh, new ideas might be just what he needs to get to the next level. Not to mention they likely improve their OL.
Robert Woods – WR41
We all know about Cooper Kupp’s massive 2021 season. But let’s not forget about his teammate Robert Woods. Bobby Trees has been an undervalued and overlooked receiver for the last several years, finishing no worse than WR14 from 2018 to 2020. At the time he was injured before the Rams week 10 game in 2021, he was the WR12.
Odell Beckham Jr may return to LA this offseason, but he tore his ACL in the Super Bowl, his second ACL injury in as many seasons. Woods is dealing with his own ACL tear, but he has several months’ worth of a recovery head start on OBJ. The Ram’s offense is dynamic enough to allow all three guys to produce if needed, and I think Woods, who I have at WR35, makes a strong comeback.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – WR40
Here’s another receiver whose season was marred by injury. JuJu took a team-friendly deal likely trying to boost his real-life value, and because it looked like Big Ben’s final season in Pittsburgh. In short, it didn’t end up working out. He played in only five games due to a shoulder injury. But like Lawrence, not all hope is lost. Look at his 2020 stats compared to his much more popular teammate, Diontae Johnson:
|Targets||Rec||Yards||Y/Rec||YAC/Rec||Air Yards/Rec||Fant Pt/Tgt|
I don’t think JuJu will return to the top 10 fantasy receiver he was back in 2018, but I think a WR2 or 3 season is in the cards for him instead of the WR4 implied by his dynasty and redraft rankings (ECR has him at WR43 for redraft). A change of scenery and/or a QB upgrade could do him some good.
That’s gonna do it for this iteration of 2022 undervalued fantasy football players. As the off-season continues, check back for more dynasty content! We at Fantasy Sports Resource have a bunch in store!