I’ve spoken in the past about the concept of fantasy value versus dynasty value. The former is fairly straightforward – players that score more points have more fantasy value, regardless of any extraneous factor (i.e. age). The latter is essentially “user based,” with the value being determined in a more artificial sense. In other words, if the vast majority of owners rate a player highly, that’s what he’s worth, regardless of what he’s done between the white lines.
Now, of course, there are numerous examples of players who possess both types of value. Young studs have the best of both worlds – they’re winning you games right now with their play, while owners simultaneously fantasize about the same thing happening for years to come. Even older “veterans” at the apex of their game, a la Julio Jones and Antonio Brown, remain highly regarded. Once you hit a certain, age-related point, however, there’s nowhere to go but down (Larry Fitzgerald says hi!) and that’s fine, because these players are still scoring you points and doing so at a discount. They may have dwindling dynasty value, but they’re producing where it matters, rendering them as a very useful and cost-effective class of players.
But it’s opposite of this scenario that confounds me the most. I’m talking about the guys who’ve done little to nothing on the field, yet are still thought of a lot more highly than their productive counterparts. I’m talking about the Dynasty All-Hype Team.
Listed below are players who, according to the most recent January ADP, still carry quite a bit of value in the minds of dynasty owners, regardless of their lack of NFL production. I’ll provide a brief synopsis of each, along with listing some players I’d rather own at the price points. Please note, however, that I won’t be including any rookies in this exercise – I’m well aware how talented freshmen are valued, and it’s no surprise if they don’t produce early on.
With that in hand, let’s reveal our overrated all-stars!
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Spencer Ware, RB KC (ADP = 50.3, RB12)
As the PPR RB16 on the year, Ware isn’t exactly useless. However, at just under 200 PPR points during the season, he’s closer to the RB32 (Ryan Mathews) than he is the RB7 (Melvin Gordon). Moreover, after a hot start, he’s decidedly cooled off – 55.4% of his points came in his first six games, and he hasn’t cleared 70 rushing yards or 100 total yards since that point. I think it’s fair to wonder if, despite his size (5’10”, 229 pounds), he’s not cut out to be a feature back. Also, considering the investment the Chiefs have in him (no guaranteed money left on his contract), and the robust class of ball carriers coming in 2017, his future is far from certain. There’s no way I’m spending a top-50 pick on him.
Jeremy Hill, RB CIN (ADP = 70.2, RB19)
A rock star as a rookie, Hill’s stock should have taken a much more significant tumble than it has due to back-to-back replacement-level years (1,633 yards on 445 carries, 3.7 YPC). His value has been completely propped up by touchdowns, and if he’s not scoring he’s completely useless. To that point, though he finished as the PPR RB22 on the year, no player below him had more than his 222 carries, and eight players who finished above him had less. Continuing, no players below him had more than his nine touchdowns, while again eight above him had less. He doesn’t catch passes (63 over three years), and it’s already rumored he’ll be a backup next year. He likely wouldn’t even have had the opportunity this year if not for an ill-timed Gio Bernard injury. To me, he’s much closer to a roster clogger than he is a fantasy star.
Donte Moncrief, WR IND (ADP = 26.0, WR16)
Quick question, which of the two rising fourth-year receivers would you rather own?
If you haven’t guessed, Player B is Moncrief, while Player A is Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry. Apart from scoring at a higher clip, Moncrief doesn’t do anything better than Landry, yet he’s actually being taken higher according to the January ADP. Effectively a less efficient version of Eric Decker, Moncrief’s hype has nonetheless continually risen. Another year like this and the bubble might burst – I’d probably take most rookies who are similarly valued over him.
I’d rather have: Landry (obviously), and quite possibly the next ten players after him
Jordan Matthews, WR PHI (ADP = 38.7, WR25)
Though he’s put a bit more in the box score than fellow third-year Moncrief above, I think it’s fair to classify Matthews’ career thus far as a disappointment. Touchdown-dependent over his first two seasons (16 scores on 232 targets), the gravy train was derailed with only three trips to the end zone in 2016. This left Matthews exposed as essentially having the upside of every other slot receiver who doesn’t score – 11-ish YPR, but without the volume to provide him with a sufficient floor. Only the PPR WR48, I’m amazed Matthews is still as highly rated as he is amongst the masses. Without sounding cavalier, this reeks of a case of owners not wanting to give up on the capital they spent to acquire him. The Eagles will undoubtedly upgrade this off-season, and you should too.
I’d rather have: See Moncrief above
Terrelle Pryor, WR CLE (ADP = 50.3, WR32)
I’m not going to sit here and say that Pryor didn’t have a fantastic 2016, because he did. But what I don’t understand is why his star has risen at a rate that other “late breakouts” (i.e. Doug Baldwin and Emmanuel Sanders) didn’t achieve? After all, he’ll be 28 before the 2017 season begins, and ostensibly either Corey Coleman will get better, or the Browns will bring in some more talent at the position. I honestly believe that his dalliance as a poor man’s Colin Kaepernick years ago in Oakland left the fantasy community tantalized, and as such they were more than ready to prop him back up. Pryor exceeded my expectations, but this is a bit much for my taste.
Marvin Jones, WR DET (ADP = 84.0, WR47)
I understand that Jones’ positional value is palatable, but the 84th overall player still seems a bit high for my liking. After all, this is the guy who started the season with 408 yards and two touchdowns in his first three games, and still somehow only finished as the PPR WR42. In other words, he was virtually useless down the stretch. Much like with Hill above, he was basically a roster clogger you were forced to start on a weekly basis on the off chance he captured his early season form, only that never came to fruition. I’d much rather own veterans for cheap and ride their production off into the sunset.
Ladarius Green, TE PIT (ADP = 118.8, TE11)
Similar to Jones above, it’s not the overall ADP that kills you, but rather his place in the tight end hierarchy. How on earth is a guy who only has 95 receptions for 1,391 yards and eight touchdowns through five years valued this highly? When someone is living off their physical gifts, as well as the prolific offense they play for, that’s the definition of hype. Throw in the persistent concussion concerns and I just don’t get it. Thus far in his career he’s been a limited version of Coby Fleener. He just hasn’t had a chance yet to prove he’s not worth the cost.
So, what players do you think deserve inclusion on the Dynasty All-Hype Team?
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You can find his (typically strong and hopefully reasonable) opinions on Twitter at@EDH_27.