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15 Underrated Fantasy Football Players (2023)

By Matt Schauf | Updated on Thu, 11 Jan 2024 . 3:55 PM EST

Target Value. Win Your Draft.

We are all about value here.

Just check the first pillar of our fantasy football draft strategy:

Pursue Value Above All Else

That goes for any format. The best way to gain an edge in your draft is to target players who aren’t being appropriately valued by the market.

We’ve collected 15 such players here.

These guys will vary in just how much they’re “underrated.” And their usefulness might shift depending on which format you play.

But all not only carry upside beyond their current ADPs. They can also serve as keys to unlock your in-draft strategy, allowing you to wait at a position your league mates might be chasing too early.

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Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills

Let’s start this off with a banger.

How can the second QB in ADP be undervalued? Simple.

First off, we have Allen tops at the position by a significant margin in our QB rankings. There’s no reason for Allen to be trailing Patrick Mahomes in ADP.

Uh, didn’t Mahomes outscore him last year?

Yeah, in total fantasy points. Because Allen lost a game to the Damar Hamlin scare. But the Bills QB led the position in fantasy points per game for the second straight year.

Oh, and he did so despite injuring his throwing elbow in Week 9.

Allen’s production dipped after that injury … yet he still delivered 11 top-5 weekly finishes, matching Jalen Hurts for the position lead. 

His three No. 1 finishes beat Hurts and Mahomes – and all came in weeks where Mahomes and Hurts also played.

We’ve gotten questions lately about whether Allen mistakenly sits too high in our fantasy football rankings. Nope.

When he’s recommended in your Draft War Room will differ depending on your specific settings. But the only mistake here is the market undervaluing Allen.

 

J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Dobbins has returned to the team after delaying in protest of his contract. His ADP seems to still be holding out, though.

Dobbins sits just 21st among RBs by our half-PPR ADP. He’s 13th for that format in our RB rankings.

The third-year RB takes more projection than some others because we don’t yet have a full season of him starting. Dobbins missed 2021 with a torn ACL. He missed half of last year with complications related to that injury.

Strong in Return

But from Week 14 on – after his second return – Dobbins averaged 99.2 rushing yards per game, fourth among RBs over that span.

He has averaged 5.9 yards per carry for his career so far. And this year brings his best chance of adding receptions to his scoring profile, thanks to pass-friendly OC Todd Monken.

Dobbins needs only to fend off Justice Hill and Gus Edwards for the backfield lead in a high-ceiling offense. We’re betting he has no trouble there.

 

Rachaad White, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

We’ve already made the case for White in a certain marquee article. So here we’ll simply mention that he’s going 24th or later among RBs across formats.

That’s low risk for a second-year back with a clear path to dominating backfield work. You can read more details on his player page.

 

James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Conner combines two things fantasy players hate to draft:

  • “Old” RBs
  • Injury risks

We won’t even argue that he’s not both of those things. But those factors are more than priced into his ADP.

At 28, Conner presents some risk of hitting the cliff. But he balances that with workload certainty.

Arizona’s enduring a $9.5 million cap hit on the veteran this year. Conner’s coming off a No. 12 ranking in opportunity share. And his nearest backfield competition is Keaontay Ingram, a sixth-round pick who logged 31 total touches as a rookie and split backfield work throughout college.

Conner, meanwhile, finished each of the past two years among the top 10 RBs in fantasy points per game. That’s big upside from an ADP outside the top 24 RBs across formats.

And if you’re worried about him missing time – don’t. Most RBs are a risk to miss at least one game. Draft some quality reserves.

Want to know who the BIGGEST injury risks are?

Our Injury Predictor projects injury probability and games missed for every player.

 

Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert, RBs, Miami Dolphins

We have been touting these guys as undervalued ever since our rankings first came out. And the outlook has gotten even better lately.

That’s because Dalvin Cook decided to join the Jets, after flirting with the Dolphins (among others). In addition, rookie De’Von Achane has been running fifth on the RB depth chart and picked up a shoulder injury Saturday.

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Wilson and Mostert have gone outside the top 40 RBs throughout best ball drafting season. They make plenty of sense in that format, either separately or paired on the same roster.

But they also make sense as reserves for your lineup-setting team. The backfield will score points. And at the least, either has a high ceiling if the other goes down.

 

Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Allen has gotten plenty of play in another of our marquee articles already. He has also risen up the ADP board – just not far enough.

Allen remains just 19th among WRs in ADP, according to our data. We have the veteran projected for the 12th most PPR points per game. And we simply want pieces of a Chargers offense that should rank among the league’s best.

Speaking of which …

 

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

We wouldn’t go trying to pair Williams and Allen in a single lineup in most cases. But there’s room to target both if you’re building multiple rosters.

Williams looks especially interesting in half-PPR and non-PPR formats, as opposed to full PPR.

He’s not as good a weekly bet for target share as Allen. But Williams perennially leads his teammate in average target depth. And he has finished four of the past five seasons among the top 12 WRs in end-zone targets.

We have Williams projected close to Allen (20th vs. 18th) in our half-PPR rankings and ahead of Allen in non-PPR formats.

You’ll find Williams higher in our rankings than ADP across formats.

 

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Welcome to the most evergreen inclusion on any “undervalued” list.

What’s the case for Lockett? How ‘bout this: He has finished 25th or higher in PPR points per game in five straight seasons. That includes a No. 16 ranking last year.

His 2023 PPR ADP: WR28.

He’s trailing Jaxon Smith-Njigba in most tournament ADP rankings.

JSN certainly has a chance to make life tougher for Lockett this year. But we’ll gladly keep taking the veteran at a discount … and making an annual profit.

 

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Confession time: We’re just as concerned about the Buccaneers’ QB situation as you are.

We expect far less passing than Tampa did with Tom Brady the past two years. And efficiency will almost certainly drop, whether it’s Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask.

But the market is over-correcting with Godwin’s draft position.

He sits 27th among WRs in our PPR and non-PPR ADP; 28th for half-PPR drafting.

It’s fine if you want to just pass on Godwin outside of PPR, where the efficiency drop has the potential to frustrate. But the guy finished 18th among PPR wideouts in both total points and points per game last year, despite coming off a late-December ACL tear and suffering a Week 1 hamstring injury.

Last time he played without Brady, Godwin finished 2019 with the second-most points among all WRs – in just 14 games.

 

Marquise Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Including two Cardinals might seem excessive. And we wouldn’t recommend starting them in the same lineup. But the market seems a little too worried about the Arizona offense.

Brown’s fantasy-scoring averages in games without DeAndre Hopkins last year would have ranked him 14th among WRs in PPR and 20th in non-PPR.

He’s set to spend all of this year without Hopkins – and in an offense whose No. 2 wideout appears to be third-round rookie Michael Wilson.

Sure, a full-strength Kyler Murray would be nice.

But Brown’s ADP at the bottom of WR3 territory already incorporates that factor as well. And if the Cardinals prove to be as bad as everyone expects, they’ll likely pass quite a bit while playing most games from hopelessly behind.

Sounds like another upside path for the team’s No. 1 WR.

 

David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns

With the recent ADP climb of WR Elijah Moore, Njoku might wind up being the cheapest way to buy into the Cleveland offense.

And if the whole unit takes a big step forward, the TE should benefit.

That’s because TE scoring tends to swing more on TDs than RB or WR, because TEs generally draw fewer touches.

Even in last year’s lackluster version, though, Njoku emerged for the eighth most PPR points per game at the position.

Pay Attention to Rankings Tiers

That’s where you’ll find him in our TE rankings – just two spots ahead of his positional ADP. More importantly, though, you’ll likely find Njoku sharing a tier with George Kittle, Pat Freiermuth, and Evan Engram in your Draft War Room.

All three of those guys lead Njoku in ADP. So you can afford to wait for your league to draft those other guys, and then snag Njoku with no loss in value.

Note that we also have Njoku projected for a higher ceiling than Freiermuth and Engram, who go in a similar draft range.

Ceiling factors heavily into our 3D projections

 

Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams

We’re officially into “boring TE” territory of the list … and that’s kinda the selling point.

If you’ve read C.H. Herms’ TE strategy guide, then you’ve seen how there’s kind of a dead zone after the high-end options. That’s where drafters can often:

  • over-trust a player who finished in that range the year before, or
  • get over-excited about a player who might break out this season.

Oftentimes, you can help your team by simply waiting through that range and taking a later guy with no glitter but plenty of role certainty.

That’s Higbee

He finished sixth in PPR points last year on the position’s fourth-most targets.

Now WR Allen Robinson’s gone. The biggest pass-catching import was fifth-round WR Puka Nacua. And Vegas has the Rams projected for 6.5 wins.

Sounds like plenty more passing in a situation still favorable to Higbee’s target outlook. Yet he’s going TE12 or later in drafts.

 

Hayden Hurst, TE, Panthers and Hunter Henry, TE, Patriots

We’ll pair these last two so the boredom doesn’t put you to sleep – but also because they profile similarly but work better in different formats.

Receptions > TDs

Hurst signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Panthers in free agency that give him an outlook similar to Higbee’s. We’re not sure the Carolina offense will be any good. And the team is projected for just 7.5 wins.

But a questionable corps of WRs leaves targets available. And even if Bryce Young progresses slowly, he should mark an upgrade vs. the committee of sadness that played QB for last year’s Panthers.

From an ADP outside the position’s top 20, Hurst presents nothing but upside. We have him ranked 16th in PPR but just 23rd in non-PPR.

TDs > Receptions

If you’re looking for a similarly late TE pick for non-PPR formats, consider Henry.

We’re still not betting on the Patriots’ passing game being strong. But an actual, professional OC (Bill O’Brien) should at least help over last year’s “solution.”

Henry has always been adept at scoring TDs, finding the end zone on 11.1% of his career receptions. And last year was way out of line with the rest of his career in fantasy scoring.

Check his annual finishes in half-PPR to date … 

2022: 21st
2021: eighth
2020: 14th
2019: 9th
2018: n/a (ACL tear)
2017: 15th
2016: 15th

Henry has been an easy best ball value all year. There’s a chance he even turns into someone you can just start weekly in your non-best ball lineup.

  

The Best Way to Find Value in YOUR Draft

We've talked value picks across fantasy formats in this article. But your draft follows one specific format.

You need a draft tool that accounts for your scoring and lineup settings.

You've found it. Watch the video to learn more about the Draft War Room. Or create yours right now.

Matt Schauf Author Image
Matt Schauf, Editor
Matt has earned two Fantasy Pros accuracy awards for IDP rankings and won thousands of dollars as a player across best ball, dynasty, and high-stakes fantasy formats. He has been creating fantasy football content for more than 20 years, with work featured by Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon, Sirius XM, and others. He's been with Draft Sharks since 2011.
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