Fantasy football is filled with undervalued players that many people either forget about, or never really consider “undervalued” which is why we’re going to look at the Top 5 undervalued receivers going into the 2011 fantasy football draft.
Risk aversion is always a common place in fantasy football, but it isn’t always the best approach because of what could be sacrificed.
The best way to deal with this is to look at individual situations, and other hidden aspects that many overlook; not just statistical projections and consensual analysis.
Let's take a look at who's who.
Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers – Week 8 Bye
Jordy Nelson is an intriguing player in the sense that some people feel him to be a risky venture while others feel him to be a solid mid-to-late round grab.
But to be honest there is no risk aversion with Nelson whatsoever, despite the return of Jermichael Finley and the resigning of James Jones—the bulk of the concern here.
Nelson played more snaps than Jones in 2010 (701 for Nelson – 649 for Jones) and that was as the Packers 4th receiver on the depth chart, and the presence of Finley will undoubtedly open up passing opportunities for Nelson and the Packers passing game—gold for fantasy owners.
Nelson is a prime WR3 candidate who will easily be drafted as a WR5 which is an unbeatable price is you ask me.
Mike Sims-Walker – St. Louis Rams – Week 5 Bye
MSW struggled in 2010 as he dealt with double coverage all year long, but fantasy owners only see the drop in numbers and nothing more.
The fact is, it was easy to double up on MSW because at the time, there was no other receiving threat in Jacksonville until Mike Thomas starting emerging, so it isn’t a fair assessment of what MSW can do—and he STILL caught 43 balls for 562 yards and 7 touchdowns.
MSW is in a one-year “prove it” deal with a far more explosive QB in Sam Bradford than David Garrard. But the real intriguing part is MSW is just one of five offensive weapons that the Rams will deploy this season, making it virtually impossible to double team him this year.
MSW is not only undervalued, but he is also primed for a breakout season and if you’re lucky enough to grab him as a WR4, you’re basically paying for the Hyundai, but getting the Benz.
Jacob Ford – Oakland Raiders – Week 8 Bye
There is still a consensus that Jacoby Ford isn’t going to do much this season for fantasy owners which is being reflected in real-time drafts and mock drafts, showing him to be severely undervalued.
A lot of this could be based on the hype surrounding Denarius Moore and the fact that Ford has missed 20 plus days of camp with a broken hand, but the Raiders still list Ford as the starting flanker on this team.
If that’s not enough, the team will also deploy Ford in the slot on their 3-wide sets, and he also carries a ton of value as a return man making him extra valuable for leagues that award return yardage for a WR.
You're looking at one of the best value receivers in fantasy football this season. For a more formal write-up, check out my analysis on Jacoby Ford’s Sleeper Value.
Santana Moss – Washington Redskins – Week 5 Bye
I know, the Redskins seemingly stink, and they have a much undecided QB situation going on right now, but these types of situations often provide fantasy owners with unexpected production and supplemental fantasy points.
The Redskins are likely to play from behind in the majority of their contests which bodes well for their primary receiver no matter who is throwing the ball; an aspect that potentially increases Moss’ fantasy value.
If you are looking for a WR to fill out the back end of your team with a lot of potential upside, then Moss is definitely your man, as he will likely be passed on altogether.
Chad Ochocinco – New England Patriots – Week 7 Bye
When the Patriots scooped up Ochocinco, his fantasy stock significantly increased no doubt.
But many still feel as if Ochocinco will be nothing more than a role player, rather than the once great fantasy stud he was, which in my opinion, is inaccurate and devalues Ochocinco greatly.
The Patriots proved they can literally pass the ball to the Gatorade boy if they needed to last season, but opted to run a good portion of the passing game through double tight-end sets because they lacked a true deep-ball threat which is precisely why Ochocinco was brought in.
Ochocinco has the potential to not only lead this team in catches and touchdowns, and if he is still around in the mid-rounds you’ll be drafting a guy with WR2/3 potential at a WR3/4 asking price.