NFL training camps have officially begun which means that fantasy football draft season is right around the corner. For those playing in best ball and/or dynasty leagues, perhaps you have already embarked on a number of drafts. As always, obtaining optimal value with each of your draft picks is key. Of course, a big part of this focus involves drafting sleepers. When it comes to the wide receiver position, there are certainly plenty. However, it is just as important to avoid overpaying for overvalued wide receivers in the early rounds of your draft.
Like any other position, there are a handful of fantasy football wide receivers whose average draft position (ADP) has gotten out of control. Avoiding overvalued players at their preseason ADP could make or break your fantasy football season. Here are three wide receivers to steer clear of at their current price tags in your fantasy football draft.
Fantasy Football Draft 2022: Overvalued Wide Receivers
ADP values taken from Fantasy Football Calculator and are for 12-team PPR leagues.
A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles
Current ADP: 3.05 (WR11)
Among the numerous fantasy football stars who changed teams in the offseason was A.J. Brown. Many were caught by surprise when the news broke that Brown had been dealt from the Tennessee Titans to the Philadelphia Eagles on the first night of the NFL Draft. Although Brown’s status as the alpha receiver on his team did not change as a result of being traded, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about his fantasy outlook this season.
Last year with the Titans, Brown played in 13 games and finished as the WR32 in fantasy football PPR scoring. Two spots ahead of him in those rankings was Philadelphia’s DeVonta Smith. While it was a fruitful rookie campaign for Smith, the fact that he played all 17 games and was only five fantasy points better than Brown speaks to the Eagles’ lack of production in the passing game.
To say that the jury is still out on that taking place in Philly. Jalen Hurts may have finished as the QB9 in fantasy football last year, but it was much more due to his rushing abilities than his passing prowess. Hurts finished the season with only 3144 passing yards and 16 touchdown passes. To put those numbers into perspective only three of the top-23 fantasy quarterbacks had fewer yards passing. Only one threw for fewer touchdowns than Hurts.
Given the uncertainty surrounding his QB and the Eagles’ entire passing offense, it’s impossible to agree with the current fantasy football draft ADP that pegs Brown as a top-12 player at the wide receiver position.
DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
Current ADP: 4.02 (WR14)
Although DK Metcalf did not change teams this offseason, the man who has been throwing him the football ever since he came into the NFL did. With Russell Wilson now in Denver, the Seattle Seahawks are poised to take a significant step back offensively. Current fantasy football draft ADP has Metcalf as the 14th wide receiver off the board in the early fourth round. That WR14 status matches where he finished out last season in PPR scoring.
While it’s true that Wilson did not play in every game last year for the Seahawks, he was still on the field for 14 of them. Despite all of the struggles that Seattle’s offense endured a season ago, both Metcalf and Tyler Lockett (WR16) finished with over 240 PPR fantasy points. With a combination of Geno Smith and Drew Lock under center, both receivers will undoubtedly see a drop in production in 2022.
It should also be noted that Metcalf owed much of his fantasy football production from last season to touchdowns. His 12 receiving scores ranked fourth among all players. With every touchdown equating to six fantasy points, Metcalf effectively scored 72 of his 244.3 points via the end zone. Thanks to having so many touchdown grabs, he was one of only two WRs with less than 1000 yards receiving to finish top-25 in fantasy football scoring at the position.
Given the quarterback change in Seattle, a top-15 finish at the position feels more like Metcalf’s ceiling in 2022 than a realistic expectation. Unless the Seahawks drastically exceed expectations, Metcalf will fall short of a 1000-yard season and also see a major decline in touchdowns from a year ago.
DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
Current ADP: 4.12 (WR19)
Last season can only be characterized as a disappointment for DeAndre Hopkins. The Arizona Cardinals’ top receiver was limited to playing in just ten games due to injury. After four straight seasons finishing with over 1100 receiving yards, Hopkins struggled his way to 572 last year. The disappointing season saw him finish as the WR45 with 147.2 PPR points. Despite last year’s struggles, Hopkins has been tabbed with a top-20 fantasy football draft valuation at his position.
What really makes Hopkins’ ADP surprising is the fact that he won’t even be available to begin the season. The NFL suspended the 30-year-old for the first six games due to PEDs. This is massive considering that the fantasy football regular season is only 14 weeks long. Unless the suspension gets reduced, the six weeks plus the Cardinals’ team bye in Week 13 adds up to half of the fantasy football season. Thus, drafting Hopkins at his current valuation means one of your first five draft picks will only be available for half of the season!
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has been in the headlines recently after inking a massive contract extension. We’ll leave the debate as to whether Arizona overpaid for another time. What is worth noting here is that the Cardinals’ offense is hardly predicated on airing it out. In fact, the team would prefer to run the ball successfully as opposed to relying on the passing attack.
In addition to the above discussion points, the Cardinals also traded for Marquise Brown in the offseason. He joins a receiving corps that already includes A.J. Green and Rondale Moore. Needless to say, Hopkins will hardly be the only option when he is actually on the field.