Fantasy Football: Most overvalued players in Rounds 4-10 on Underdog Fantasy

2T30XAF October 21, 2023: LSU's Brian Thomas Jr. (11) runs the ball into the endzone after a long catch and run during NCAA football game action between the Army Black Knights and the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA. Jonathan Mailhes/CSM

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr.: Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. brings a redundant skillset to Jacksonville’s crowded pass-catching corps.

Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams: Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams is likely to lose his committee-lead role in 2024.

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Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Best ball scoring formats have made fantasy football a year-round endeavor and enthusiastic Underdog Fantasy drafters are already pushing fan favorites into precarious average draft position (ADP) territory. The article below breaks down three overvalued NFL players whose current ADPs should be avoided on Underdog Fantasy’s half-points per reception (half-PPR) platform.

6.06, WR38 Brian Thomas Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. is unlikely to return value on his 6.06, WR38 ADP, facing role-based roadblocks and stiff target competition. A dearth of talented NFL wide receivers also remains widely available via later ADPs.

Jacksonville’s front office replaced departed downfield X-wide receiver Calvin Ridley with free agent signee Gabe Davis (6-foot-3, 225 pounds), whose skillset and overall receiving profile directly overlaps with Thomas’ (6-foot-4, 205 pounds). Although Thomas will assuredly start in Week 1 three-wide receiver sets, he must first unseat Davis as the team’s perimeter alpha to gain access to the two-wide receiver sets necessary for a full-time, fantasy-friendly role. 

Thomas’ downfield skillset is also inherently volatile, which bodes positively for high-scoring spiked weeks but bodes poorly for a player stuck in a limited role.

Davis and Thomas’ 2023 receiving usage and results:
JAX Downfield WRs Gabe Davis Brian Thomas Jr. 
PFF Receiving Grade 68.7 75.1
Left WR – Slot WR – Right WR 43.8% – 16.8% – 38.9% 45.9% – 13.2% – 40.8%
aDot  15.6 13.8
Deep-Target Rate 32.0% 25.3%
Yards After Catch/Rec. 4.0 5.7
Yards/Rec. 16.6 17.3

Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson bizarrely forces his X-wide receiver to operate in a limited downfield role, running routes between the painted numbers and the sideline. Unfortunately for Thomas, Davis is among the league’s best in this area, which is likely the primary reason Davis was brought in to replace Ridley. 

Jacksonville’s short-to-intermediate target dominators, slot receiver Christian Kirk and tight end Evan Engram, further reduce Thomas’ target-earning potential. Kirk’s 74.6 PFF receiving grade and 22.4% target rate rank 14th and 13th, respectively, among 34 NFL slot receivers with at least 35 targets when lined up in the slot pre-snap. Engram is one of just five NFL tight ends to earn 100-plus targets in Weeks 1-17 last year; his 127 targets during that span actually led the position and his 73.2 PFF receiving grade rank ninth among 31 NFL tight ends with at least 45 targets

Thomas notably postponed surgery to repair a labral tear in his shoulder until after his first NFL season. The issue is not expected to keep him off the field, however, he is at risk of an aggravation or setback. Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Adam Hutchison details the injury here.

Underdog Fantasy drafters are unfoundedly selecting Thomas ahead of difference-making NFL wide receivers. The shortlist includes Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (69.7 PFF receiving grade), Carolina Panthers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (79.1 PFF receiving grade), Tampa Bay Buccaneers slot receiver Chris Godwin (77.9 PFF receiving grade), Tennessee Titans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (82.3 PFF receiving grade), Seattle Seahawks slot receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (63.9 PFF receiving grade) and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson (70.3 PFF receiving grade). 

As detailed in “Most overvalued players in Rounds 1-3 on Underdog Fantasy,” it can be difficult for rookie wide receivers to earn even 60 targets in a season, and those who do frequently finish as a mid-tier WR3 or worse.

Thomas’ Year 1 variables make him a strong candidate for a fantasy-unfriendly rookie season. 

8.12, RB27 Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams was outplayed by his backfield mates last year and faces even stiffer competition in 2024. His 8.12, RB27 ADP is a high price to pay for a committee running back whose replacements are already in-house.

Williams delivered modest 2023 results in his return from the ACL, LCL and PLC injuries he suffered in 2022. His 64.9 PFF rushing grade, 61.9 PFF receiving grade and 27.8 PFF pass-blocking grade all trailed fellow Denver running backs Jaleel McLaughlin and Samaje Perine

McLaughlin proved himself as a talented change-of-pace player who will take on a larger role in his upcoming second NFL season. Among 59 NFL running backs with at least 75 rushing attempts and 38 NFL running backs with at least 35 targets, McLaughlin’s 82.8 PFF rushing grade and 85.2 PFF receiving grade rank 12th and third, respectively. Both his 0.25 missed tackles forced per rushing attempt and 1.54 yards per route run (YPRR) likewise rank top five. 

Perine remains a capable contributor entering his age-29 season. His 71.3 PFF offense grade ties for 28th among 49 NFL running backs with at least 340 offensive snaps.

Williams failed to secure a top-30 finish among qualifying NFL running backs in missed tackles forced per reception (0.16), yards after contact per rushing attempt (2.7), first-down and/or touchdown conversion rate (18.8%), average depth of target (aDot, -1.6), yards per reception (4.8) and yards after the catch per reception (6.5). 

Williams ironically ranked third and ninth, respectively, in target rate (30.9%) and YPRR (1.27) but head coach Sean Payton limited him to just 7.5% of the third- and fourth-and-long snaps and 4.2% of the two-minute drill snaps.

Payton’s offense typically features a big-bodied rusher with moderate passing-game versatility and a passing-game specialist who possesses sufficient run-game chops. While McLaughlin’s (5-foot-9, 187 pounds) year one successes align him with the latter role, Williams’ (5-foot-10, 220 pounds) grip on the former, entering his final year under contract, is no longer secure. Denver selected former Notre Dame running back Audric Estimé (5-foot-11, 227 pounds) in the 2024 NFL draft’s fifth round.

Estimé dominated Power Five defenses en route to a No. 1-ranked 94.0 PFF rushing grade, ranked among 45 Power Five running backs with at least 150 rushing attempts. His 6.4 yards per rushing attempt and 4.3 yards after contact per rushing attempt both rank first overall as well, while his 0.31 missed tackles forced per rushing attempt (tied for seventh) and 33.0% (third) trail closely behind. 

Estimé’s passing game profile is limited but astonishingly efficient. He produced a perfect 100.0% catch rate on 24 total targets from 2022-to-2023. Among 75 Power Five running backs to earn at least 17 targets in 2023, Estimé’s 72.1 PFF receiving grade and 1.30 YPRR both rank top-18. His 63.6 PFF pass-blocking grade ranks 10th among 55 Power Five running backs with at least 350 offensive snaps.

Williams enters a make-or-break season with talented youngsters encroaching on his touch volume. He is unlikely to return value at his 8.12, RB27 ADP. 

9.09, WR51 Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Romeo Doubs has a tenuous grasp on the team’s No. 3 wide receiver role yet Underdog Fantasy drafters are drafting him as such with a 9.09, WR51 ADP. Doubs faces multiple challengers for the role while talented running backs and tight ends work to further reduce his potential target volume. Doubs’ 74.0 PFF receiving grade ranks fourth among nine Green Bay pass catchers with at least 25 targets

As detailed in “Best values in Rounds 11-20 on Underdog Fantasy,” Green Bay wide receivers Dontayvion Wicks and Bo Melton qualify as high-upside must-draft players given their affordable ADP and excellent production profiles. Wicks’ 77.0 PFF receiving ties for 29th among 74 NFL wide receivers with at least 60 targets Melton’s 82.6 PFF receiving grade ranks 18th among 125 NFL wide receivers with at least 25 targets.

Green Bay’s new No. 1 running back Josh Jacobs ranks 13th or better in both target rate (21.9%) and YPRR (1.24), ranked among 33 NFL running backs with at least 40 targets. Third-round rookie running back MarShawn Lloyd saw intermittent passing-game usage at USC but among 75 Power Five running backs to earn at least 17 targets in 2023, his 17.9 yards per reception and 16.3 yards after the catch per reception both rank No. 1

Green Bay’s front office drafted a pair of quality starters at tight end in the 2023 NFL draft, selecting Luke Musgrave in the second round and Tucker Kraft in the third. Among 31 NFL tight ends with at least 45 targets, Musgrave’s 69.6 PFF receiving grade ranks 17th and Kraft’s 65.1 PFF receiving grade ranks 24th.

Doubs appears largely replaceable among qualifying Green Bay pass catchers, ranking fifth in target rate (18.9%) and eighth in yards after the catch per reception (3.1), catch rate (65.7%) and catchable pass catch rate (87.3%). 

Underdog Fantasy drafters should fade Doubs until players like Wicks and Melton gain ground on Doubs’ ADP.


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