One of the keys to winning any fantasy football league is finding value. While it’s only April, identifying these players early is crucial for draft preparation.
Using fantasyfootballcalculator.com’s PPR ADP, the following players are under-drafted and currently present value.
Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons
Tevin Coleman is a San Francisco 49er. Freeman has thrived without Coleman on the field. We have an eight-game sample size with Freeman without Coleman. In those eight games, Freeman averaged 19 rushes, 80.5 rushing yards, 40 receiving yards, 1.4 touchdowns per game. That is good enough for 18+ fantasy points per game.
Freeman had the following finishes in years before his 2018 injury that caused him to miss almost the entire season:
- 2015 – Freeman RB1
- 2016 – Freeman RB6
- 2017 -Freeman RB13 (14 games played)
While Ito Smith is likely going to jump into the Tevin Coleman role, it is important to note that Freeman never saw more than 55% of the touches in all of the above season. He has proven time and time again that he can be an elite fantasy RB without elite volume.
Atlanta will undoubtedly continue their two-back system, but that should not concern Devonta Freeman owners. If Freeman plays 16 games in 2019, it is hard to see a world where he finishes outside the top 12.
Freeman is currently coming off the board as the RB20, as the 30th overall selection.
Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks
One of the more contentious topics going into the 2018 season was the Seahawks starting running back. 2017 was disastrous in fantasy football terms as no RB rushed for over 240 yards. The Seahawks were determined to fix this by drafting Rashaad Penny in the 1st round and hiring Brian Schottenheimer, known for his run-first approach.
While Penny’s draft stock did not come to fruition, the run-first approach certainly did. In 2018, the Seahawks finished the season 1st in rushing yards and 2nd in rush attempts. Chris Carson finished the season with 247 attempts, 1151 yards, and 6 TDs, on the ground. The 247 attempts are good enough for 7th most overall.
Carson finished the 2018 season as RB18; but he only played 14 games. With his 2018 averages, had he played a 16 game season he would have finished RB14.
The most important aspect of Chris Carson in 2019 is vacated touches. Mike Davis is gone and accounted for 112 rushing attempts and 42 targets. Acknowledging that Rashaad Penny exists, let’s give all those targets and 1/2 the attempts to Penny. Adding 56 attempts with Carson’s averages in 2018 would have seen him finish as the RB9.
The Seahawks coaching staff has remained static, and it’s hard to see the Seahawks adding a difference maker at the RB position in the draft, Chris Carson presents serious RB1 upside.
Carson is currently coming off the board as the RB25, as the 48th overall selection.
Golden Tate – New York Giants
With all the bad press coming the Giants way for trading away OBJ and retaining Eli, it has a created a climate where a few of the Giants players fantasy value is a bit clouded and hazy.
While Eli is a shell of the player he used to be, he still finished 8th in pass attempts in 2018 and Tate is perfectly suited for Eli’s style of play; quick and short passes.
Another reason Tate’s ADP is low: his lack of production on the Eagles. However, his time with the Eagles is the exception, not the rule. Let’s look at his last four years of production in Detroit:
- 2014 – 99 receptions for 1331 yards and 1st in yards after the catch (YAC)
- 2015 – 90 receptions for 813 yards and 4th in YAC
- 2016 – 91 receptions for 1077 yards and 1st in YAC
- 2017 – 92 receptions for 1003 yards and 1st in YAC
There was a (rare) disconnect in Philadelphia between the front office and coaching staff when acquiring Tate.
If you don’t think he can be an impact player, look no further than the impact he had on the Detroit Lions offense and their points per game average in 2018:
- With Tate: 24.4 points per game
- Without Tate: 17 points per game
With the amount of volume and lack of passing options, there is no reason why Tate cannot put up another 90 reception/1000 yards season on the Giants. A year like this would put him squarely WR18-24 range in PPR leagues.
Tate is currently coming off the board as the WR37, as the 113th overall selection.
Find me on Twitter @FFTyler O for more fantasy football analysis and banter.