Mancuso’s Value Based Drafting: All-Undervalued Team
By Marc Mancuso
Either because they are coming off down years, inuries, or are simply overlooked on their own teams, these are players which can be had at a bargain this year and could produce excellent returns for the GM willing to take on some risk. Championships are won in the middle and late rounds of drafts so be sure not to overlook these guys.
QB: Matt Hasselbeck, SEA — A healthy back, and some WR’s this year (TJ Housmanzadeh, and the return of Nate Burleson) combined with a suspect running game means Hass will be putting the ball up a lot this year. In 2007, he was 4th in pass attempts with 562 with fewer weapons than he has now. Hasselbeck has been going very late in drafts (round 12 and beyond) but he has the potential to put up low end QB1 stats.
RB: Larry Johnson, KC – Yes he’s a knucklehead and has a lot of wear on his tires. But at 28 and looking very good in camp thus far, Johnson has plenty left in the tank to put in solid numbers in a contract year.
RB: Ryan Grant, GB — Grant was a first round pick in 2008 in most FFL drafts. After a holdout, minor injuries and a slow start, Grant came on in the second half of 08, still producting 1200+ yards on the ground. Despite this, many owners were scared off by his totals, and he is slipping to round 4 or 5 in many drafts now. Grant is healthy, in camp, and will rebound and should produce numbers which will equal low end #1 level stats.
WR: Chad Ochocinco, CIN — Ryan Fitzpatrick is no longer a Bengal. Carson Palmer is 100% healed from elbow problems. TJ Housyoumomma is in Seattle. To think that #85 will not rebound after an awful 2008 would be a mistake. He’s only 31 years old and capable of turning in monster games. Ochocinco has slipped as far as the 6th round in many drafts, and can be a sweet value pick as your #2 WR.
WR: Eddie Royal, DEN – I’m still seeing Eddie Royal going in round 7 of drafts. In an offense like Josh McDaniel’s which is dynamic and a QB (Kyle Orton) who is not a downfield passer, Royal seems like a lock to produce stats similar to Wes Welker. Coming off 91 receptions in his rookie year, Royal made a very quick transition to the pro game, and runs fantastic routes. He could easily emerge as a low end #1, Top End #2 just like Welker has been the past 2 seasons. Consistency is what wins championships.
WR: Torry Holt, JAX — Last year was dreadful if you owned Holt. This season, he gets a chance to revive his career with Jacksonville. I’m seeing Holt go as late as the 12th round in some drafts. This is a guy who before last year was a lock to produce 1200 yards and 8 TD’s every year. David Garrard has never had a viable WR (sorry Matt Jones) and this seems like an excellent value and 1000+ Yards + 6 TD’s seems very possible.
TE: Jeremy Shockey, NO — With another year of working in Sean Payton’s high powered offense, Shockey has the potential for a nice rebound year. He was becoming a regular target for Drew Brees in 2008 but injuries hampered his development. Fantasy owners have plenty of reasons to pass on Shockey, but in a deep crop of TE’s he represents high upside at a very low price (I have been in drafts where he wasn’t even drafted). If Brees can make Lance Moore, and Billy Miller valuable, imagine what he can do with a talent like Shockey? His biggest competition may be between his ears, but Shockey reportedly has looked great in camp thus far, so the potential to return to 800 yards and 6-7 TD’s makes him a nice late value pick.