Fantasy Football: Best values in Rounds 11-20 on Underdog Fantasy

2T8BBX3 Chicago Bears running back D'Onta Foreman (21) rushes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Miami Dolphins tight end Jonnu Smith: Smith should routinely produce positional top-12 finishes on his new team.

Cleveland Browns running back D’Onta Foreman: Foreman is the dark-horse candidate to lead Cleveland’s backfield in rushing attempts, and Underdog Fantasy drafters should target him at his affordable ADP.

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Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Best-ball scoring formats have made fantasy football a year-round endeavor, and high-value average draft position opportunities are already taking shape in Underdog Fantasy’s half-points per reception platform.

We break down three NFL players whose early-May ADP should be exploited aggressively by savvy drafters.

15.10, TE22 Jonnu Smith, Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins free agent signee tight end Jonnu Smith thrived as an efficient center-field dominator for the Atlanta Falcons last year, playing behind No. 1 tight end Kyle Pitts. Miami’s smartly designed passing game puts weekly top-12 positional finishes squarely in his range of outcomes.

Smith’s 15.10, TE22 ADP is far too low. His 60.0 PFF offense grade in 2023 ranked 25th among 37 NFL tight ends with at least 500 offensive snaps. Pitts’ 68.4 PFF offense grade ranked 15th.

The table below ranks in parentheses Smith’s receiving data among 36 NFL tight ends with at least 40 targets.

NFL TE Receiving Jonnu Smith
PFF Receiving Grade 63.5 (No. 29)
Target Rate 18.4% (No. 19)
Yards/Route Run 1.55 (T-No. 11)
Yards/Rec. 11.6 (No. 7)
Yards After Catch/Rec. 7.3 (No. 1)
Missed Tackles Forced/Rec. 0.28 (No. 3)
Explosive Pass Play Rate 24.0% (No. 9)

Smith was one among just 13 NFL tight ends to earn at least 12 targets thrown 10-plus yards downfield and between the painted numbers last year — in the high-value area of the field. Among qualifying tight ends, Smith ranked second and first in yards per reception (21.4) and yards after the catch per reception (9.0), respectively, turning all five of his qualifying receptions into explosive 15-plus-yard gains.

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel aggressively targets this area of the field, thanks to his time studying under Mike and Kyle Shanahan as a member of the Washington Commanders’ early-2010s coaching staff. Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s 116 regular-season passing attempts thrown to this area of the field ranked first among NFL quarterbacks, leading the pack by 21 such attempts. His 92.4 PFF passing grade on targets thrown at least 10 yards downfield and between the painted numbers ranked 10th among 32 NFL quarterbacks with at least 30 such full-season attempts.

The Dolphins' 59.6% pass play rate is a helpful increase over Atlanta’s 56.1% clip. This coupled with Smith’s sizable role increase should yield substantially more opportunities than the 69 targets he earned in 2023.

Smith’s 43.7 PFF run-blocking grade fails to impress but is not meaningfully worse than No. 2 tight end Durham Smythe’s 50.2 PFF run-blocking grade, which should keep Smith on the field for tight end-critical play-action pass plays, the importance of which was detailed in Best Tight End Landing Spots in the 2024 NFL Draft. Smith’s 38.2% target rate and 3.26 yards per route run on play-action targets in 2023 ranked second and sixth, respectively, among 25 NFL tight ends with at least 15 play-action targets.

Smith has week-winning upside in 2024.

19.09, RB69 D’Onta Foreman, Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns offense features a high-volume rushing attack keyed by superb blocking from the offensive line. Age and injuries caught up with long-time Cleveland running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt last year, resulting in a season-ending Week 2 knee injury and a restructured contract for the former and an offseason free agency tour for the latter.

Backup running back Jerome Ford’s 2023 fill-in performance failed to stave off new competition; the front office signed free-agent running back D’Onta Foreman to a $1.15 million contract in March. Foreman is the dark-horse candidate to lead Cleveland’s backfield in rushing attempts, and Underdog Fantasy drafters should target him at his affordable ADP.

Among 42 NFL running backs with at least 1,200 offensive snaps from 2019 to 2022, Chubb's 93.8 PFF grade ranked first and Hunt’s 80.8 PFF grade ranked 16th. Among 59 NFL running backs with at least 250 offensive snaps, Foreman's 74.0 mark ranked 27th and Ford’s 68.3 figure ranked 39th.

Chubb fully tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee last year — the same knee in which he fully tore the PCL, MCL and LCL in 2015. Chubb was already due for a sharp decline in performance at 28 years old. Even the elite All-Purpose+ running backs, as defined by doctor of physical therapy Adam Hutchison, drop off after age 27.5. The debilitating injury makes him a candidate for the physically unable to perform list to start the year, per doctor of physical therapy Edwin Porras via his show, The Injury [Pro]ne Podcast.

The fully torn meniscus is a particularly large concern, as the tissue can regularly experience swelling, scar tissue and general irritation for up to a year. Fantasy managers should fade Chubb and his 9.03, RB29 ADP and instead target Foreman 10 rounds later.

Cleveland’s ground game is led by a mauling interior trio whose team-level 77.8 PFF run-blocking grade in the combined 2022 and 2023 NFL seasons tied for fourth among NFL teams.

Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski’s high-volume run game produced 519 regular-season rushing attempts last year, the fourth most among NFL teams. His 41.1% run play rate ranked 14th.

Underdog Fantasy drafters are showing far more confidence in the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Ford (12.10, RB43 ADP) than the 6-foot, 235-pound Foreman (19.09, RB69 ADP), but the two performed similarly last year, with Foreman separating in scoring position and working further downfield pre-catch and Ford excelling in pass protection.

The table below compares Foreman and Ford’s 2023 performance data.

NFL RB Rushing & Receiving D’Onta Foreman Jerome Ford
PFF Rushing Grade 77.4 73.5
Yards/Rush Att. 3.9 3.9
MTF/Rush Att. 0.19 0.20
Yards After Contact/Rush Att. 2.8 2.9
Explosive Run Play Rate 11.0% 10.8%
Red Zone Conversion Rate 23.5% 18.8%
PFF Receiving Grade 58.3 55.3
Target Rate – YPRR 15.6% – 0.80 18.3% – 0.96
aDot 1.4 0.5
Yards After Catch/Rec. 6.3 6.8
PFF Pass-Blocking Grade 29.5 64.8

Foreman and Ford will duke it out for the team’s fruitful leading rusher role, and they profile very similarly from a performance perspective. This backfield battle is far from decided, yet Underdog Fantasy drafters are allowing a potential rushing-attempt leader to fall to the 19th round. Aggressively exploit others’ mistake.

12.11, WR65 Dontayvion Wicks and 24.8, WR119 Bo Melton, Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers wide receiver corps offers Underdog Fantasy drafters convenient access to high-upside players in the 12th round and beyond. Wide receivers currently make up 24 of Underdog's top 36 draft picks, thanks to the position’s weekly upside and shallow talent pool.

The Green Bay wide receiver corps’ 79.8 PFF receiving grade in 2023 ranked seventh among NFL teams, and the unit makes a strong case for the league’s deepest, most talented group. Fantasy managers should aggressively target the Packers' two most affordable players in the back half of Underdog Fantasy drafts. Both wide receivers possess weekly upside that is difficult to find in the double-digit rounds.

Wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks’ 77.0 PFF receiving grade tied for 29th among 74 NFL wide receivers with at least 60 targets, and he quietly profiles as the team’s best downfield dominator.

Bo Melton’s 82.6 PFF receiving grade ranked 18th among 125 NFL wide receivers and first among Green Bay Packers wide receivers with at least 25 targets. Melton also led his wide receiver corps with a 28.6% target rate (minimum 25 targets), a 32.8% first-read target rate (minimum 18 first-read targets) and a 2.68 YPRR average. His 24.0% play-action target rate ranked second (minimum five targets).

Melton is sporadically drafted as a 20th-round pick. Fantasy managers should aggressively exploit both Wicks’ and Melton’s inappropriate ADPs, regardless of their roster construction correlation.

The table below compares the Green Bay wide receiver corps’ ADPs.

Green Bay Packers WRs Underdog ADP
Jayden Reed 5.11, WR34
Christian Watson 7.11, WR44
Romeo Doubs 9.09, WR51
Dontayvion Wicks 12.11, WR65
Bo Melton 24.8, WR119

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was also part of the aforementioned early-2010s coaching staff and subsequently features center-field targets in his passing attack. Quarterback Jordan Love’s 85 regular-season passing attempts thrown at least 10 yards downfield and between the painted numbers tied for the fifth most among NFL quarterbacks, and his 88.1 PFF passing grade when doing so ranked 17th among 32 NFL quarterbacks with at least 30 such attempts.

The schematic feature gives all rotational Packers pass catchers a leg up in best-ball formats because it increases their explosive-pass-play potential. Among 52 NFL wide receivers with at least 15 such targets, Wicks’ 16.20 YPRR on qualifying targets in 2023 ranked eighth, towering over Green Bay No. 1 wide receiver Christian Watson’s 8.00. Melton (six such targets) fails to qualify, but his 12.67 YPRR and 19.0 yards per reception on qualifying targets should not be ignored.

Watson is extremely talented, but his recurring hamstring strains (four strains in two seasons) and inconsistent play (53.6% catch rate) increase Wicks’ odds of stealing the starting downfield X wide receiver role. Wicks’ 22.1 yards per reception on aforementioned center-field targets closely trail Watson’s 22.7-yard average.

Wicks and Melton are Underdog Fantasy draft targets at their affordable ADPs.


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