5 Players I Won’t Be Taking at Their ADP in 2022

Monday, Jan 17, 2022 at 12:14 pm ET

With the 2021 fantasy season now in the books, popular fantasy sites are already releasing early rankings for the 2022 season. Before getting into these players, I'll caveat that this is all based on the information that we have today and does not speculate on future changes to team landscapes. Between now and fantasy draft season there will be a flurry of new data points, including free agent signings, coaching staff changes, offensive line upgrades and downgrades, and of course the NFL Draft. That said, here are 5 players who may be overvalued heading into 2022.

Item Cooper Kupp

Cooper KuppStay with me. I know the guy is awesome, just won the receiving triple crown, and was arguably the most valuable player in fantasy this season. However, he will likely be drafted top 5 overall and almost certainly as the first WR off the board. I have a few concerns about this...

Kupp will be 29 years old entering next season, which isn't necessarily ancient for a WR but it doesn't scream value either.

Matthew Stafford, after a scorching start, has not been playing particularly well down the stretch and I can absolutely see that carrying into next season. He'll be 34 entering next year, and I would say he is an "old" 34 given the beating he has taken over the years.

Foregoing draft capital may catch up to the Rams, particularly in the trenches. Their offensive line has been good enough, but one of their locker room leaders Andrew Whitworth is nearing the end of the line. The Rams are great at working the glamour muscles at skill positions, but their core worries me as an area which they don't have the draft picks to address. This can slow the entire offense, with Kupp having the most to lose statistically.

Item Joe Mixon

Joe MixonIt finally happened. He was a true workhorse, he stayed mostly healthy, and the offense elevated beyond expectations. Joe Mixon was quietly a league winner this year, finishing as the RB3 in most formats. So why the pessimism? I cashed in on Mixon myself this year but I'm not pressing my luck for it to happen again at his higher price point of late first round/early second round.

Mixon was incredibly efficient with touchdowns but not particularly efficient otherwise. He had an insane stretch of 4 straight games with 2 touchdowns, with at least 1 touchdown in 11 games. His yards per carry (admittedly a flawed metric) was unspectacular at 4.1. He's still a great volume play but his price implies nearing his touchdown production from 2021, which I just don't see happening.

His pass game involvement was sporadic at best. He could easily absorb a touchdown decrease if he was a consistent pass catcher, and he certainly has the talent to do so. However, rotating in 3rd down backs like Samaje Perine and Chris Evans, combined with Joe Burrow's increasing propensity to look downfield to his big time weapons makes me think that pass catching will continue to be an underutilized skill for Mixon.

Item Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Clyde Edwards HelaireCEH's perceived value has probably reached its equilibrium after swaying from fantasy savior before playing an NFL snap all the way to being relegated to fantasy benches, and everywhere in between. He is now considered by most to be a borderline top 20 back.

My concern with CEH is that I just haven't seen an explosive back any time I have watched him. It's hard to even envision him breaking loose for a 40 yard score. While fantasy is just as much about opportunity as it is talent, to me he doesn't have the baseline talent required to take advantage of the opportunity. Over the past two years, every single time I have seen Darrel Williams on the field, he has struck as the superior player, and one who both Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes seem to trust.

In the range of low end RB2s, I'd rather take a shot on the upside of a J.K. Dobbins, the health and continued workhorse role of an Elijah Mitchell, or simply wait and seek out value picks later in the draft.

Item George Kittle

George KittleThe problem with Kittle doesn't get talked about much. He's a fantastic player and perhaps the best real life tight end in the game. His upside can also provide a substantial advantage at the position given how thin the talent pool is around the league. I don't necessarily think his price is too high, but I probably won't have him on any of my teams for the following reasons...

He is occasionally and unpredictably eliminated from the passing game, either through the opposing defense's chosen focus, or due to his vital role in the run game. Any great pass catcher can get double teamed, but Kittle runs the risk of getting double teamed OR running the majority of snaps as a blocker. This essentially doubles the risk of him producing closer to his floor than to his ceiling on any given week. I'd rather take a higher priced option like Kelce or Andrews, or a similarly priced option like Kyle Pitts who I would expect to see considerably more red zone looks in his second year.

Item Josh Allen

Josh AllenJosh Allen was the rare example of a QB who finishes #1 overall in consecutive seasons. He's still young and ascending with a strong supporting cast. The team also seems to have no problems with running up the score even with a big lead, which is great for fantasy. There are still a few reasons why he will not be on any of my teams...

While you are not necessarily drafting him with the necessity of finishing as the top QB for a third straight year, that's where his price will be. In spite of his high floor, that's just not an investment I'm willing to make.

Allen's safe floor is typically attributed to his rushing. While I don't expect his rushing numbers to fall off a cliff any time soon, I do think it is a natural progression for dual-threat quarterbacks to gradually skew their production more from their legs to their arm over time. From a fantasy perspective, I'm far more willing to wait on a quarterback who NEEDS to rely on his athleticism to compensate for an otherwise limited or underdeveloped skill set - such as Jalen Hurts, Trey Lance, or Justin Fields.

Always think of the hidden storylines behind a player's ADP. While it's always a combination of risk and reward, you can make smarter bets when you can consider the relative likelihood of a player finishing at, above, or below their preseason value.

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