Monday, June 2, 2014

2014 Underrated Players - Running Backs

The key to fantasy football is finding value where others don't see it. You have to dig into the stats, check player situations, and account for average draft position
 to find value where other owners are missing out.  Below is a list of underrated players and where they are currently being selected (ADP) in redraft leagues.   

Fred Jackson - RB - BuffaloMost owners have been on the C.J. Spiller bandwagon for the last few years. This year is no different, as Spiller's ADP is around 34 and Jackson's is at 136.  The problem is, when looking at their stats for each of the past the years, one can see there shouldn't be such a discrepancy. As the data below indicates, when both are healthy, they produce the same stats. Only when one goes down to injury, does the other turn into a fantasy stud. Now, no-one knows who will catch the injury bug, but if we have the chance to pick a player with RB1 upside in the 11-13th round, we'd take it.

Joique Bell - RB - Detroit - Bell, coming off a solid 2013, signed a new three year, $9.3 million dollar contract extension to stay with the Lions. The signing makes us wonder whether the Detroit Lions running back by committee approach may shift in 2014 and will Bell get the bulk of the carries in 2014? Due to Reggie Bush's injury history, we feel like Bell is the better option in Detroit and since you can get Bell around pick 74 instead of Bush at 41, we see it as a win for those who snatch Bell.  

Danny Woodhead - RB - San Diego -The Chargers offense made a jump forward from 2012 to 2013 and a major contributor to that was Danny Woodhead. The man compares favorably to R.Mathews (ADP 53), F.Gore (ADP 79), and A.Morris (ADP 35) in production, but Woodhead's ADP is much lower at 109. Wait on him and reap the benefits in 2014.

Pierre Thomas - RB - New Orleans -Over the last three years the New Orleans Saints have leaned on Thomas to produce, and he has responded. He has been incredibly consistent, with a line around 1000 total yds and 5 TDs a year. Additionally, with Sproles is out of the picture, Thomas should get his hands on a few more receptions which only increases his value.  Thomas's ADP is 115, well below his RB2-RB3 counterparts.

Mike Tolbert - RB - Carolina -Mike Tolbert may not be on most fantasy owner's radars due to his ADP of 270, but he has become a nice secret for some TD production. Over the last four years, Tolbert has never scored less than 7 TDs, and since the Panthers have lost plenty of wide receiver weapons this offseason, Tolbert could get his hands on a few more receptions.  Look at possibly swiping him off of the waiver wire for bye weeks and handcuff situations.  

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