Rodney Dangerfield and Aretha Franklin made fortunes off it, but there are some fantasy football players who aren’t getting enough right now.
With the season right around the corner, we take a look at one player from each offensive position who is being undervalued in dynasty league circles.
While some of these players may not be considered “elite,” they’re all capable of helping a team win games in both the short and long term.
Jason Campbell, QB, OAK
Campbell has been left for dead in some dynasty leagues.
In fact, he was taken at #208 in the recent experts league draft we participated in with other prominent fantasy sites.
More than anything, Campbell was a product of his environment in Washington. He was constantly learning a new offense, yet expected to carry a team with few offensive weapons.
His career numbers of 10,860 yards, and 55 touchdowns against just 38 interceptions are pretty impressive considering his past surroundings. Throw in a quarterback rating of 82.3 percent and you have a surprisingly solid player to those not paying attention.
A fresh start in Oakland is exactly what Campbell needs. He’ll have a learning curve again, but won’t be looking over his shoulder this season.
Help from Darren McFadden and Michael Bush would help. As would the evolution of his receiving corps, outside of emerging star Zach Miller.
Regardless, Campbell enters the season as an underrated fantasy quarterback.
Expect him to emerge as a solid No. 2 option in dynasty leagues.
Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
Elimination of a pesky short yardage back. Check.
Experience in the offensive scheme. Check.
Faith of the coaching staff. Check.
Respect of fantasy owners as a potential top-10 back. No check?
His 793 yards and six touchdowns in 2009 don’t excite you much. His opportunity for improvement should. Mike Bell has taken his 654 yards to Philadelphia. His potential short yardage replacement in Lynell Hamilton is out for the year. Reggie Bush is, well, Reggie Bush.
There’s no question that Thomas will be counted on to be the prime running back for New Orleans this season. It’s really the opportunity of a lifetime for him.
The Saints offense is extremely explosive and should set Thomas up for a ton of scoring opportunities this season. If he stays healthy, there’s no reason to believe he won’t post his first 1,000 yard, double digit touchdown season.
The stars are aligned for Thomas to finally have his breakout season for the Saints.
Steve Smith, WR, NYG
The talk around dynasty leagues in regards to the wide receiving corps of the Giants typically starts and ends with Hakeem Nicks. It should revolve around Smith.
His breakout season of 107 catches, 1,220 yards, and seven touchdowns in 2009 was incredible. His reception total was good for 2nd in the NFL, his yardage total was eighth best in the league, and his touchdown total placed him in a tie for 20th.
So, how does someone fly this far under the radar? It’s most likely a combination of speculation and disbelief.
Many owners don’t think Smith can repeat those gaudy numbers with such talented receivers on the team like Nicks, Mario Manningham, and Ramses Barden. We didn’t even mention the new lightning bug, Victor Cruz.
Smith developed into Eli Manning’s best safety valve last season. While a small dropoff could be expected, Smith isn’t going anywhere.
John Carlson, TE, SEA
Carlson started last year like a house on fire with 95 yards, and two touchdowns in the Seahawks opener against St. Louis. Unfortunately, those were his highest game totals of the entire season.
He’s been placed on the third tier of tight ends by a lot of dynasty league owners. He should be squarely on the second tier after the likes of Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley, Antonio Gates, and Jason Witten.
Pete Carroll and his coaching staff have already fallen in love with his ability. They’ve certainly noticed he finished last season strong with a touchdown in four straight games.
Matt Hasselbeck has constantly been singing his praises of late as well. It’s been reported that Hasselbeck told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that Carlson’s photo will be on the wall at team headquarters after the season as a tribute to the Seahawks’ best player.
While that may be exaggerating just a little, it’s a sure sign that Carlson should be squarely on the radars of dynasty league owners as a player who could break into the top seven or eight tight ends in scoring this season.
Each of these players seems to be undervalued in many dynasty leagues across the country. While they may not win you a championship on their own, they could each certainly win you a game or two.
Unfortunately for them, they currently sit on “Fantasy Island” as lonely players being disrespected.