- 10 guys who offer great value in the spot they're currently being drafted.
The value of anything may be what someone is willing to pay for it, but imbalances exist between what someone should pay and the actual current cost.
When we are talking about “cost” in terms of fantasy football, we are referring to a player’s average draft position (ADP). In other words, how high of a pick we will have to “spend” to select that player.
Looking at current draft-day costs, I’ve compiled a list of 10 players at the four major fantasy positions that I believe are currently undervalued.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (ADP: 130, QB10)
A shoulder injury slowed and then prematurely ended his season last year, but Newton was third in fantasy scoring through Week 13. Before 2018, he had finished as the QB4 or better in five of his seven seasons in the league. Perhaps Newton rushes a little less in 2019, but a young, talented group of playmakers that excel after the catch has made life easier for the dual-threat signal-caller. Currently the 10th quarterback off the board, Newton is the QB4 in my 2019 fantasy football rankings.
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers (ADP: 30, RB15)
Injuries and/or suspensions have cost Jones eight games (four each) in his first two seasons. Staying on the field will be key for his 2019 outlook, but Jones averaged 5.5 yards per carry for a second consecutive season in 2018. Performing as a top-15 fantasy back when active last season, there is reason for optimism that Jones will see a per-game volume bump with the new coaching staff in town. If so, the upside is much higher than his current RB15 ADP in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense and Jones currently sits at RB12 in my rankings.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos (ADP: 59, RB29)
From UDFA to Pro Bowler, Lindsay vastly exceeded the expectations as a rookie. Expectations are that there will a more equitable workload split between Lindsay and Royce Freeman in 2019, but Lindsay rushed for 1,037 yards (5.4 YPC), added 35 catches for 241 yards and scored a total of 10 touchdowns as a rookie. Even as the workload narrows, Lindsay was highly efficient on a per-touch basis and should perform as a top-24 back in 2019 despite his RB29 ADP.
Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 51, RB25)
With Andrew Luck deciding to hang up his cleats, it’d be reasonable to move Mack down in fantasy rankings. That said, Frank Gore finished his age-34 season (2017) as fantasy’s RB18 with Jacoby Brissett under center. Durability has a been an issue in his first two seasons, but Mack was highly productive last season with 119-plus rushing yards and a touchdown in five of his final 12 games, counting the playoffs. Running behind one of the league's best offensive lines, Mack can outperform his current ADP if he’s able to stay healthy.
Damarea Crockett, RB, Houston Texans (ADP: 220, RB75)
With Lamar Miller tearing his ACL (and D’Onta Foreman released during training camp), Duke Johnson is “going to get all the playing time he can handle.” Even so, a massive amount of opportunity exists beyond what Johnson can handle. More than likely, the Texans will sign a free agent (perhaps after roster cuts) or explore trade possibilities, but until then, Crockett appears to be the favorite for the most work after Johnson.
Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 93, WR45)
Highly productive after the team's Week 11 bye, Pettis had a four-game stretch through Week 15 last year with at least 80 yards and/or a touchdown each week. During that four-game span, Pettis had 17 catches for 338 yards and four touchdowns to score the fifth-most fantasy points among receivers.
Pettis has drawn some criticism from Kyle Shanahan late this offseason, but it may be “just a tactic” to motivate Pettis as the Sacramento Bee’s Chris Biderman notes that the second-year wideout is “noticeably better than last year.” That has pushed his ADP down some, but I still have Pettis inside my top-35 wide receivers for 2019.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (ADP: 88, WR42)
Fitzgerald is coming off a disappointing season (69/734/6) and will turn 36 in just a few days. It was a one-and-done season for head coach Steve Wilks and an even shorter tenure for offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Before last season, Fitzgerald posted three consecutive 100/1,000 seasons and he benefits from the increased pace and creativity of the offense.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (ADP: 100, WR47)
In spite of missing four games last year, Jackson still scored the 36th-most (half-PPR) fantasy points among wide receivers and was better on a per-game basis (top 30). Now back in Philadelphia, D-Jax gives the Eagles the deep threat they have lacked as he has led the NFL in Y/A three separate times—2018 (18.9), 2016 (17.9) and 2014 (20.9). Chemistry between Carson Wentz and Jackson has been strong and NJ.com's Mark Kaye recently wrote that the duo is "clicking like they’ve been together for years."
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets (ADP: 117, WR55)
Despite his appearance on my list of 2019 fantasy football sleepers, perhaps I’m sleeping on Crowder myself. My projections for Crowder (66/818/4) leads to a top-45 ranking in 2019. But am I too conservative? The Athletic’s Connor Hughes thinks that Crowder “creeps near or past 100 catches” in 2019. I’m not sure that I’d go that far, but his early chemistry with second-year quarterback Sam Darnold combined with the success slot receivers have had in Adam Gase’s offense makes Crowder a nice late-round value.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Green Bay Packers (ADP: 164, TE20)
Last season’s 55 catches, 89 targets and 636 yards weren't the problem for Graham; his two touchdowns were. A year removed from double-digit scores, Graham reached pay dirt just twice. Aside from an 11-game season (2015), it was the only other time in his career that he finished with fewer than five scores, but fantasy owners should expect some positive regression in 2019.
Kevin Hanson joins SI for the 2019 season. His fantasy rankings have placed him in the Top 20 in each of the past two seasons among all the industry experts tracked by FantasyPros.com, and he has been in the Top 25 in six of the past eight years.