Welcome back for week 3 of our dynasty divisional breakdowns! This week we have the AFC West on tap. If I had to pick a key takeaway or theme for this week’s breakdown it would be that its important to separate how we may feel about a players talent from where their value sits. I found myself listing some players who’s futures I’m very excited about as “Overvalued” simply because the hype has gotten out of control. Similarly, players I don’t necessarily love, found their way into the “Undervalued” category because they’re being forgotten about. Often, the community or a given league can get carried away about a player in one direction or another. I stay tuned into the larger dynasty community and my own leagues, but obviously I can’t know how your own league market values players. So always keep in mind your fellow owners and try to feel out which players are being hyped to far one way or another.
And with that in mind, let’s get started!
Undervalued – Demaryius Thomas, WR
I mentioned Thomas as a buy candidate before last season as well and he performed all right, but certainly wasn’t a league winner. This year he’s a year older (crazy right?), but also with the best quarterback that he’s played with since Peyton Manning. Elite players often fall off the table and not slowly decline and that hasn’t happened to Thomas yet. A bounce back remains possible.
Overvalued – Royce Freeman, RB
I actually really like Freeman. He’s not a flashy prospect, but he is extremely well-rounded with solid size and athleticism to be a 3 down workhorse back. However, he seems to be viewed as a lock to be the Broncos workhorse out of the gate and I’m not sure we should be so sure of that. Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson are still lurking to potentially steal some carries.
Deep Sleeper – Carlos Henderson, WR
Henderson was a 3rd round pick last year and has reminded some people of Golden Tate for his ability after the catch. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders won’t be in town for much longer and you shouldn’t forget about Henderson just because the Broncos drafted Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton.
Kansas City Chiefs
Undervalued – Sammy Watkins, WR
Sometimes we just need to listen to what teams are telling us about players. I’ve been a Watkins fan for a long time. I just refuse to believe he isn’t incredibly talented – his profile as a prospect, early career production, and flashes of brilliance stand out in my mind. But, it has been a while since fantasy owners were pleased with Watkins in their starting lineup. The doubts had begun to creep in. And then the Chiefs went and committed $16 million a year to the wideout and I’m right back on the Watkins train. He should be at least a solid fantasy option this year and he’s still only 25.
Overvalued – Pat Mahomes, QB
Mahomes is well-known for his sky-high upside and everybody knows he has a bevy of talented offensive weapons at his disposal. But, that’s kind of the problem. Everybody already expects Mahomes seems to already expect Mahomes to become the next great franchise QB. The odds of that though? Maybe 50/50 – if we’re feeling optimistic. A lot of fantasy football and dynasty, in particular, is simply admitting we can’t predict much. We’re wrong ALL the time. So if everybody seems to be leaning one way on a player who’s a toss-up, in reality, there’s likely a profit to be made in betting against popular opinion.
Deep Sleeper – DeMarcus Robinson, WR
The Chiefs are loaded with young high upside talent at all 4 offensive skill positions so finding a sleeper is tough. Their starters are pretty much locked in making it hard for a breakout player to find the opportunities necessary to actually break out. DeMarcus Robinson could find his way onto the field as a slot option, however, and has the athleticism to be a very good player. There’s almost know way he gains significant relevance without at least one injury to the players in front of him, but there is enough talent that if it happened he could produce.
Los Angeles Chargers
Undervalued – Mike Williams, WR
Williams first season of his career was an absolute disaster. But as I’ve written a million times before, draft capital is a huge factor in predicting young players career arcs. Even if Williams is no more talented than fellow Chargers WR Tyrell Williams, that the Chargers selected him with the 7th overall pick last year guarantees he’ll continue to see more chances. And his nearly guaranteed chances will come in a great situation. Los Angeles has a great veteran QB to distribute the ball, a solid running back to keep teams honest, and a dominant WR on the other side to draw defense’s attention. With Hunter Henry out for the season, Williams also has a chance to see more targets and red zone opportunities. Even if you aren’t a fan of Williams talent (I’m lukewarm myself), he’s the sort of unexciting prospect that will go completely overlooked by RB and rookie crazed owners. Yet, it would be completely unsurprising to see him break out.
Overvalued – Hunter Henry, TE
I usually like buying injured players, but I would have preferred to see more from Henry before he suffered his torn ACL. Which isn’t to say he’s been bad. In fact, he’s been solid at worst. But tight end is a position where I prefer to roster dominant players or cheap fill-in options and Henry is neither. Will he ever be dominant? It’s possible – but he’s expensive and you’ll have to wait at least a year to find out.
Deep Sleeper – Justin Jackson, RB
Justin Jackson is the very definition of a deep sleeper. Little known out of college, drafted late, to play behind an entrenched starter. The odds are stacked against him. Jackson does have 3rd down value though which is important to find a way on to the field for a player like him. I’d keep an eye on him through training camp, but he likely isn’t rosterable unless you play in very deep leagues.
Undervalued – Amari Cooper, WR
Cooper is another young WR who’s struggled. Like Watkins, I can’t give up on him. Even if he never becomes a Julio Jones or Odell Beckham level WR, I’m confident he’s still a #1. Players don’t just luck into back to back 1000 yard seasons at age 21 and 22.
Overvalued – Jordy Nelson, WR
Nelson had 482 yards in 15 games last season (7 of which were with Aaron Rodgers), will now be playing with Derek Carr for a coach who wants to “throw the game back to 1998”, and just turned 33. At this point, Nelson is just a big name.
Deep Sleeper – Jalen Richard
Jon Gruden is going to try to run the ball and I mean – do you trust Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin? Lynch is 32 and hasn’t had 900 yards since 2014. Martin is 29 and has had back to back 130 carry, sub 3 yards per carry seasons. I’ll take a shot on Richard there.
Tune in 2 weeks from now for a look at the NFC West!