Every year in fantasy football, we see players drafted in later rounds that end up matching, or surpassing the production of players drafted in early rounds. Here is a list of 10 undervalued fantasy football players that will prove their worth in the 2017 NFL season.
1. Kirk Cousins (Redskins)
Cousins has performed as a top-tier quarterback since becoming a starter, but has lacked fantasy appeal. In the last two seasons, he has averaged 27 touchdowns, and hasn’t thrown for under 4,000 yards. Terrelle Pryor is coming off of an 1,000 yard season and is now added to Cousin’s arsenal. He also has a healthy Jordan Reed, combined with a second-year receiver that holds a plethora of talent in Jamison Crowder. The departures of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson won’t affect his value in the slightest. If anything, it boosts his value due to his youthful replacements.
2. Carson Wentz (Eagles)
Wentz found himself as a bench stash in most leagues last season, he was merely used during the starting quarterback’s bye week. He looks to slide himself into a starting role while avoiding a sophomore slump. He had a bad touchdown to interception ratio in his rookie campaign, but still managed a 62.4 completion percentage. The Eagles added Alshon Jeffrey to his onslaught which will boost his value as he comes into year two. He has the respect of his teammates and is treated like a franchise player which should help raise his confidence and boost his game. Look for him to slide into a top 10 fantasy quarterback.
1. Mike Gillislee (Patriots)
Gillislee spent the last two seasons playing behind LeSean McCoy for the Buffalo Bills. In the last two seasons, he’s averaged an impressive 5.7 yards per carry. When McCoy was injured last year, Gillislee took full advantage and ended the season with eight touchdowns. With the departure of LeGarrette Blount, Gillislee finds himself the biggest back on the Patriots depth chart at 220 pounds. That gives him the looks in goal-line plays, and could make him the every down back with James White and Dion Lewis playing more of a passing role.
2. Paul Perkins (Giants)
Perkins spent his rookie season sharing snaps with veteran Rashad Jennings. He had 112 attempts and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. With the departure of Jennings and no major offseason signings, Perkins finds himself currently number one on the depth chart. He’s earned Coach McAdoo’s trust for the starting position, and with Shane Vereen playing more of a passing back role he won’t be cutting into a lot of Perkin’s snaps.
3. C.J. Prosise (Seahawks)
Prosise had a few games to show his worth during his rookie season with starter Thomas Rawls injured. He had a massive game against the Patriots showing both his rushing and receiving skills while managing produce 153 yards from the line of scrimmage. He is a large running back standing over six-feet-tall and, weighing 220 pounds. He can play as a power back with speed or line up as a receiver. He will quickly move past an underwhelming Thomas Rawls on the depth chart and compete with Eddie Lacy who has yet to prove himself as a starter. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him earn the starting role by week two or three making him a late round steal.
1. Cameron Meredith (Bears)
Meredith is a larger receiver that has the speed to compliment his size. Last season he proved his worth and was targeted 96 times for 888 yards, and four touchdowns. When Alshon Jeffery was suspended four games in the middle of the 2016 season, he took full advantage as the number one receiver on the team and averaged 13.5 yards per catch. The departure of Jeffery to the Eagles should leave him as the number one receiver over Kevin White.
2. Adam Thielen (Vikings)
Thielen started the season behind Stefon Diggs on the depth chart, but proved to be just as valuable by putting up 967 receiving yards and scoring more touchdowns than Diggs with five. Diggs will still be the first receiver drafted from the Vikings in most leagues, which leaves Thielen undervalued and a late-round bargain.
3. Robert Woods (Rams)
Woods was signed by the Rams this past off-season onto a depth chart filled with unproven receivers. Tavon Austin is the only competition he has for targets. Austin has not yet met the expectations the team had for him, and that puts Woods in conversation to reach more targets this upcoming season. He still has trouble finding the end zone during the season, but has been heavily targeted which makes him valuable in PPR leagues especially.
4. Eric Decker (Titans)
Decker proved his true talent with the Jets, and that he is not just a product of Peyton Manning. In 2015 he caught for over 1,000 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns with the Jets. He looked to repeat a similar stat line last season, but unfortunately faced injury during week three. Luckily for him, he’s had enough time to fully rehab for his first season with the Titans. Marcus Mariota has shown great talent at quarterback, but lacked receivers. Partnered with Rishard Matthews, Decker has found a great fit for his talents and will look to bounce back as a productive fantasy football wide receiver too.
1. Hunter Henry (Chargers)
Antonio Gates has always had the tight end position locked down, but due to an aging body he’s left the door open for young talent to step in. Henry has been the talent needed to replace Gates. Last season he proved to be the perfect fit within the offense scheme. The rookie tight caught eight touchdowns, one more than Gates. More notably he was targeted 54 times as a rookie who shared the field with a future hall of fame tight end. He also averaged 13.3 yards per catch which was more than Gates. Tight end is the one position in fantasy football that lacks depth, which sets Henry up to be a late-round pick with great potential.