5 Underrated Fantasy Football Players Based on ADP


5 Underrated Players Based on ADP

Every year as more and more fantasy managers play fantasy football on a multitude of platforms, we gain access to draft data collection. In particular, “Average Draft Positions” (ADP) materialize in various formats giving us a somewhat moving target of where players are selected on average. This can be very useful data in preparation for upcoming drafts as you can formulate strategies to capture value. ADP is a fluctuating snapshot of large samples and there will always be value available for some players at those ADPs. This is another example of the importance of knowing your league mates. Most platforms now have ADP built into the draft board, and knowing if your league mates are drafting based on that can be used to your advantage.

It won’t always work. For example, if you see David Montgomery with an ADP of RB20 (which is value…hint), he might not fall to that in your draft. Like any fantasy football analysis, this is another way to try to increase your likelihood of getting something positive, in this case, a value draft pick. In other words, a draft pick that has a good chance of beating his ADP. This is not to be confused with the concept of “league winners” that is often thrown around. While trying to figure out value on ADP during the draft can lead to league-winning type players, that’s not the intent of this article.

In this article, I highlight five players who are valuable if you can get them where they are on average in the draft. ADP data courtesy of MyFantasyLeague.com. I looked at this from the seasonal makeover format with the following settings:

  • Points Per Admission (PPR)
  • 12-team leagues
  • 1QB, Non-Tight End Premium (TEP)

5. David Montgomery (RB, Chicago Bears)

David Montgomery enters his fourth NFL season the same way he entered his third. Like an unsexy, underrated RB who will likely beat his redraft ADP. Since his rookie season in 2019, Montgomery has finished the last two seasons as RB8 and RB14 in points per game (PPR). Montgomery’s current ADP is 47th 20 in totalth RB selected. I believe Montgomery will surpass this ADP and is a good value if you can get him at that draft price.

The big question mark for the Bears offense in 2021 is second-year QB Justin Fields. The offense, in general, is relatively lacking in offensive weapons. Adding that to Fields’ dismal rookie season has many looking at the Bears as the proverbial dumpster fire in 2022. To be clear, I’m not going to pick the Bears to win the NFC North, I’m probably going to have them in the basement. But, as everyone should know by now, that doesn’t automatically mean there aren’t more fantasy-relevant values ​​on the team.

We don’t have much experience with Fields and Montgomery playing together last year. Fields earned his first start in Week 4, in which Montgomery suffered a sprained knee, missing the next four games. In that game together in Week 4, Monty rushed for over 100 yards but didn’t have a target. In the other two games the two played together (Weeks 13 and 14), Monty had 11 catches on 13 targets, sandwiched between two games (Weeks 12 and 15) where Monty saw nine target in each. Throughout the season, Monty averaged 4.0 targets per game, ranking 14thth among RB. After returning from injury, that number jumped to 4.7 targets per game from Week 9 onward, and during a four-game stretch between Weeks 12 and 15, he averaged 7.8 targets per game.

I realize I’m picking sample sizes here, but the point isn’t that Monty is a top 5 dual-threat RB. Rather, it’s to show he has pass-catching in his skill set and has shown he can be a productive, but not necessarily efficient, 3-down back. And he has no real competition for catching passes out of the backfield. Khalil Herbert has a decent wrist and played well in Montgomery’s absence last season. But Montgomery continued his above-average work after returning in Week 9. Tarik Cohen is long gone, and the only other pass-catching RB in his skill set is 6th round by Baylor freshman Trestan Ebner. Montgomery’s advanced stats don’t jump off the page, except in one key area: Chance Share (% of team rushing attempts plus RB targets):

  • 2020: 75.7% (5thth)
  • 2021: 77.6% (3rd behind only Najee and Henry)

To put this into perspective, the following shows the RBs who hit 75%+ chance share from 2012 (47 total), and where they finished in fantasy points per game:

The average PPG finish is RB8, and these are the “hit rates” of the 75%+ share of RBs finishing in the Top 20, Top 15, and Top 10 based on this data:

  • Top 20: 91.5%
  • Top 15: 85.1%
  • Top 10: 72.3%

With no injuries to the RBs ahead of him in the NFL pecking order, I don’t foresee Montgomery finishing as a Top 10 RB. I also don’t see anything significantly reducing Montgomery’s share of chances, and he was still able to maintain a 75%+ rate in the train wreck that was the Bears offense last season. I project a high probability that he will end up as a Top 15 RB, and I’m taking him ahead of several RBs ahead of his ADP (James Conner, Cam Akers).

4. Cole Kmet (TE, Chicago Bears)

Yes, I’m starting with two Chicago Bears. But that’s not so surprising. ADP values ​​can often be found on players on teams coming off a poor offensive season and/or projected to struggle offensively next season (both in this case). My thoughts on Kmet (and Montgomery) are based on thinking Justin Fields will take the next step this season. Kmet is currently drafted as the TE13, behind Mike Gesicki (TE12), Pat Freiermuth (TE11) and Dawson Knox (TE10). I’d take him ahead of Gesicki and Freiermuth, and maybe have him ahead of Knox when all is said and done.

Kmet had a quiet rookie season in 2020, and he didn’t turn out to be a TE25 in fantastic points per game in 2021 either. But there were signs of a potential breakout and his situation only improved entering the third season. For starters, Kmet earned 93 total targets, an impressive number for a second-year TE. As you can see, since 2000, only 12.5% ​​of TEs in their first or second seasons have had 90+ targets, which is an impressive list.

The serf had 6th in the fast share (83.7%), 12th in yards per game (43.4) and is now the top-2 passing option in the Bears’ offense (behind Darnell Mooney), so those numbers, along with his target share, should rise in 2022. Kmet hasn’t made any more fantasy noise last year because of a TD, or in his case, zero TDs. And while veteran red zone TE Jimmy Graham no longer provides any competition, it didn’t have much of an impact last season. A serf’s zero TDs should be seen as an exception. His five end zone targets matched George Kittle and were one more than Travis Kelce received. We can’t compare the 0% TD% to anything, but we can look at the average TD% to see what an average season would have looked like for Kmet last year without the anomalous goose egg. Over the last 10 seasons, the average TD% for the top 24 TEs is 6.1%. If you apply that to Kmet’s 93 targets last year, you get 5.7 TDs. With just a 10-year average TD, Kmet would finish as TE17, eight spots higher. This is a hypothetical exercise, but applying a 10-year sample size average TD rate certainly falls within the realm of Kmet’s range of outcomes.

The uptick in TDs and a clear path to 100+ targets, combined with what I project to be a big step forward for Justin Fields, is why I have Kmet closer to TE10, making his TE13 ADP a good value.

Check out this previous article I wrote for FantasyData for more TD data


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Scott Rinear

My name is Scott Rinear and I live in Seattle, Washington with my wife, two daughters and a golden retriever (Jasper). Our biggest family passion is camping. We camp at least 10 times a year. My biggest passion personally is fantasy football. I have been playing fantasy football since 2006 and started producing content in 2020. I am a lifelong Seahawks and Mariners fan and will continue my fandom for the SuperSonics when they return to Seattle. I love everything about football, especially analytics and data analysis, and I’m a fan of a good scoreboard. I am a proud member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA).


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