With fantasy drafts fast approaching, we continue our position-by-position
analysis of overvalued and undervalued players, this time taking
a look at the quarterback position.
Injury concerns have Nicks' ADP hovering
in Round 5.
The Case For Nicks Being Undervalued:
He's had a productive first three seasons in the league, and he
plays in an offense geared toward his strengths.
The Case Against Nicks Being Undervalued:
Injuries are a constant concern, as he’s never played a full 16-game
Verdict: After tallying consecutive 1000-yard seasons and catching
a total of 24 touchdowns in his first three years in the NFL, Nicks
battled injuries throughout 2012 and caught only 53 passes for 692
yards and three scores. Fantasy owners are certain to have last
year’s disappointment fresh in their minds, which is why he's
the 19th wideout being selected in drafts. But with reasonable health
he should easily outperform that status and get back to being one
of the more productive receivers in football. Nicks has a unique
combination of size, hands and body control—not to mention
a perfect complement in fellow wideout Victor Cruz—that should
help him re-attain his perch in the upper echelon of fantasy receivers.
The Case For Williams Being Undervalued:
Touchdowns, touchdowns and more touchdowns! He has 23 of them in
three NFL seasons.
The Case Against Williams Being Undervalued:
He’s failed to register 1,000 receiving yards in a single season
and had a curious sophomore slump.
Verdict: Williams had a prolific rookie season in 2010, catching
65 passes for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns. With expectations through
the roof, he came up well short of those totals in 2011, and fantasy
owners have held a grudge ever since. Even though Williams bounced
back with 63 receptions for 996 yards and nine scores opposite Vincent
Jackson last season, finishing 18th in fantasy scoring at his position,
fantasy owners are still making him the 39th wideout selected. We
realize Williams has never caught more than 65 passes and hasn’t
quite reached that magic 1000-yard total, but he does the one thing
that fantasy owners rely on the most to win—score touchdowns.
The Case For Floyd Being Undervalued:
He has caught at least five touchdowns and gained more than 700
yards in each of the last three seasons.
The Case Against Floyd Being Undervalued:
He's never quite lived up to the promise that he has shown, and
the Chargers have a plethora of younger options.
Verdict: At 6'5", 225 pounds with speed to burn, Floyd looks
the part of the star wideout but never reached that expectation.
It seems as if fantasy owners have been waiting for him to breakout
for eons, but at age 31, Floyd’s chances of posting a sudden
statistical eruption have come and gone. That said, he’s not
the drag on fantasy owners that some may believe. Floyd has attained
800 receiving yards in the past two seasons and 700 in the last
four, while catching 16 touchdowns over the last three years. He’s
certainly not a star or a starting-caliber fantasy receiver, but
at the end of the season there won’t be 61 receivers with
better numbers than him, even though fantasy owners have drafted
61 other wideouts before selecting Floyd this year.
The Case For Johnson Being Overvalued:
Injuries have slowed him down in recent seasons, and Houston is
far more likely to run the ball when they even sniff the goal line.
The Case Against Johnson Being Overvalued:
He was second in the league in receiving yards last season and should
catch around 100 passes again this year.
Verdict: It’s not that we think Johnson is going to be a bust,
but the facts are these: he’s 32 years old, was previously
plagued by injuries, and the Texans aren’t keen on tossing
the football to score their points. He’s scored six times
over his last 23 games, despite catching 143 passes during that
time. Johnson will continue to be a productive receiver in 2013—of
that we have no doubt. But this early in fantasy drafts, owners
need to try to get more bang for their buck.
The Case For Alexander Being Overvalued:
His knees. They’re basically held together with Silly String.
The Case Against Alexander Being Overvalued:
Production. He scored seven times in 10 games with the Chargers
after walking in off the street.
Verdict: Alexander is 6'5" with speed and a knack for making
big plays, which he has done since his college days at Missouri.
Yet the five knee surgeries he’s undergone have sullied any
traction he could get in a pro career. He was released by the Rams
before last season because he simply couldn’t get on the practice
field, and after being signed by the Chargers, he immediately starred.
That says something about both DX and the San Diego wideouts, but
mostly about Alexander. He’s a talent, to be sure, but he
won’t be playing 16 games this year, and even hitting double
digits is questionable.
The Case For Broyles Being Overvalued:
He’s torn up both knees and has yet to accomplish much of anything
in the NFL.
The Case Against Broyles Being Overvalued:
He set records while at Oklahoma and there is a spot open for a
Lions wideout to break through.
Verdict: No player in the history of FBS football has caught more
passes than Broyles did as a Sooner. Unfortunately, his college
career was cut short by an ACL tear. After rehabbing, he made his
debut with the Lions in the middle of last year and had some impact
before tearing the ACL in his other knee. Broyles is practicing,
but he’s still less than a year from his second ACL tear,
and the Lions may hold him back a bit, at least in the beginning
of the process. Fantasy owners are drafting him with the thinking
that the Lions throw the ball more than any other team in the NFL,
and that they have to find somebody other than Calvin Johnson to
throw to. While this is true, the Lions have a cluster of options
at wideout, and Reggie Bush should also make contributions in this
area. So if we were going to take a chance later in the draft on
a wideout, we’d take one who isn’t making his second
straight rehab from a torn ACL.