Players get overlooked and undervalued for a lot of reasons. This can be due to injury concerns, inexperience, mob mentality on a player's outlook, and many other reasons. While these concerns can be valid at times, they often will present you with amazing buy-low opportunities in your draft.
Let’s take a look at 3 wide receivers that I believe are must-drafts at their current average draft position (ADP):
Michael Thomas - New Orleans Saints:
The first guy that comes to my mind is veteran Saints wide receiver, Michael Thomas. He is currently the WR27 according to FantasyPros Half PPR rankings, and his ADP sits at 57th overall. That means you can get a guy who finished as a top 8 WR for 4(!) consecutive years (2016-2019) near the 6th round of your drafts as a WR3/flex option. That’s pretty wild, no? The injury concern is obvious as he hasn’t played much since his WR1 overall finish in 2019, not playing a single snap last year. Yet, the risk-to-reward ratio is one I am definitely willing and want to take at this price. And make no mistake, the guy is an absolute target hog when he’s out there – proven by his massive 27.9% target share and 42.5% air yards share the last time we saw him in 2020. With Jameis slinging the ball around and a solid supporting cast of weapons to take attention off of him, I don’t see how the talented MT isn’t a top 15 WR so long as he stays healthy.
Rashod Bateman - Baltimore Ravens:
Rashod Bateman is another guy in that same range that I love this year, sitting at WR30 in ECR and being taken way down in the 8th or 9th round of fantasy drafts. Bateman is a popular breakout candidate amongst the fantasy community and for very good reason. He is coming into the season as Baltimore’s clear WR1 following the departure of Hollywood Brown. Brown represented 23% of the Ravens’ targets, so Bateman has a good chance to seize a nice chunk of those. On top of the potential opportunity, the Minnesota product is super talented. He boasts first-round NFL draft capital along with an amazing 40% dominator rating in 2020, both key indicators of potential fantasy success. Despite some up-and-down numbers that could’ve been due to his injury early in the year, his inconsistent QB play, or an inconsistent role as a rookie, he showed tons of flashes in his first NFL season. He boasted a super efficient 63.6% contested catch rate, which was good for 5th in the entire league and is a nod to his natural receiving ability. With Lamar Jackson healthy and Bateman poised to garner a large role in this offense, the super-talented sophomore looks to have all the makings of a breakout heading into year 2.
Treylon Burks - Tennessee Titans:
The last guy on this short list is a rookie, but his inexperience may be the only negative thing you can say about his outlook for the 2022 season. That guy is the Tennessee Titans' 2022 1st-round draft pick, Treylon Burks. He is currently the WR 40 in ECR and being taken as the 126th player off the board, so the investment is close to risk-free while the upside is nothing short of massive. Burks will come into this offense replacing A.J. Brown, with virtually no competition for targets. And the guy is uber-talented. He stands at 6’3, 224 lbs, and is an absolute YAC monster similar to his predecessor A.J. Brown. I encourage you reading this to go watch some of Burks’ college highlights. He is a beast. He also had a 32% dominator rating in college and his 3.57 yards per route run were good for number 1 in his class. 77% of his college snaps were from the slot, but his 6.08 yards per route run lined up on the outside were number 1 in the entire nation last year and bode very well for his fantasy outlook. He can do it from all areas… even the backfield. Deebo vibes? We’ll see. Nonetheless, he should come in and immediately assume a large portion of A.J. Brown’s former role. Burks being ranked outside the top 36 WRs is an absolute sin in my eyes, but I am more than happy to accumulate as many shares as possible at his current price. These three are major values for me at this point. Whether it’s these guys or others, it’s always wise to identify players who have high upside in comparison to where they are being drafted.