Over/Under Market: Offenses I’m Over the Market for Fantasy Football
We are starting an Over/Under the Market series to identify teams, offenses, players, or player groups that we are either over or under the market. In this article, I’m targeting these three offenses more than the market suggests. I base where the market or other fantasy players stand based on these players’ ADPs in redraft and best ball drafts and general discussion or “buzz”.
If you agree with these points for why I am overweight on these players, then you can use them to find value in your redraft or best ball drafts. You can also use it for Week 1 in Daily Fantasy on DraftKings or Fanduel, and in Sportsbook Futures bets.
A couple of these offenses may have you scratching your head, but the point is to find value and gain leverage against the public’s general opinion. This will sound obvious, but just as a reminder, we are not re-simulating the 2021 season. These are new teams with coaching and personnel changes that can have major ripple effects on the offense. Also, remember the best time to be contrarian is early in the season when we don’t have actual data from the current season.
So here are three offenses I’m targeting in all formats to start the 2022 season.
I have been bullish on the Vikings offense all summer, so I’m not going to slow down heading into Week 1. Here are the highlights from that article:
- I love the head coaching hire of Kevin O’Connell. I think he will open this offense up to be more pass heavy and play to his skill position players’ strengths. It also helps that he worked with QB Kirk Cousins in Washington as his QB coach in 2017.
- Kirk Cousins had one of his best statistical seasons in 2021 and I think he will build on that in O’Connell’s offense. One struggle for the Vikings in 2021 was 3rd down percentage, as I noted in a past NFL Futures article. The Vikings were ranked 26th in 3rd down percentage, while the Rams ranked 7th with O’Connell as the Rams offensive coordinator. If that statistic is vastly improved, that could go a long way to keeping the offense on the field for more statistical juice.
- Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, KJ Osborn, and Irv Smith. Just pure offensive firepower!
-Redraft and Best Ball Drafts – As they should WR Justin Jefferson and RB Dalvin Cook are being drafted in Rd. 1. I am taking Jefferson as often as I possibly can (given what draft position I’m slotted), as I think in O’Connell’s offense he will eclipse last season’s already impressive season of 1600+ yards and 10 TDs.
Where you can find value is with QB Kirk Cousins, WR Adam Thielen, and TE Irv Smith Jr. Cousins is ranked QB15 despite being QB11 last season in what we believe was a much more run-heavy offense than the 2022 offense will be. Thielen’s consensus ranking on Fantasy Pros is WR31 and Thielen was WR27 in just 13 games last season. TE Irv Smith Jr. recently had thumb surgery, but the hope is he’ll still make it back in time for Week 1. Smith Jr. has breakout candidate written all over him. Last year TE Tyler Conklin, who filled in for Smith, was targeted 87 times and caught 61 passes for 593 yards. Smith is thought of by analysts as a much more gifted athlete than Conklin. So even as the 3rd target, Smith will see a lot of targets that should yield a big increase in receiving yards and TDs from his 2020 campaign, in which he caught 5 TDs and racked up 365 yards.
-Daily Fantasy – I am targeting the entire Vikings offense heavily Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers in what could be a shootout against Aaron Rodgers. Jefferson could garner heavy ownership, but at this point, I think the rest of the offense will be very low-owned. Given their upside, you can find huge leverage here.
QB Baker Mayfield‘s stats plummeted in pretty much every possible category in 2021 from 2020. But he was playing through several injuries, most notably a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. If Mayfield’s stats can be closer to 2020, where he had a 62.8% completion rate, 5.3% TD rate, and 1.6% INT rate, then that will be a significant upgrade over QB Sam Darnold. Darnold’s 2021 stats include a 59.9% completion rate, 2.2% TD rate, and 3.2% INT rate.
In addition to the upgrade at quarterback, RB Christian McCaffery will be back. McCaffery has dealt with several injuries the last two seasons and only has played in 10 games total in 2020 and 2021. A healthy McCaffery will add back that dynamic weapon the Panthers need back. In 2019 he had over 1300 rushing yards and 1000 receiving yards. That is a huge missing piece they were so desperately in need of the last two years.
The offensive line has also been upgraded this offseason. They signed G Austin Corbett and C Bradley Bozeman and drafted LT Ikem Ekwonu with the 6th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The best part is an improved offensive line, upgrade at QB, and return of CMC could finally truly unlock 5th year WR DJ Moore. Moore has been consistent despite poor quarterback play, with three consecutive seasons of over 1100 receiving yards. He only has 4 TDs in each of the last three seasons, but expect that number to jump significantly with all the improvements around him in 2022.
-Redraft and Best Ball Drafts – McCaffery and Moore are obvious at their respective ADPs. I’m personally taking CMC with the 1st overall pick when I’m given that and I’ll happily take Moore in the 3rd round. I’m also interested in late-round flyer picks on QB Baker Mayfield and WR Robbie Anderson.
-Daily Fantasy – More importantly, I’m interested in targeting this offense in general in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns. I smell revenge cooking!
This one may really have people confused. But hear me out.
- The Lions have the 3rd best offensive line and ranked in the top tier of offensive lines according to PFF.
- They play the 5th easiest schedule according to CBS Sports.
- They did NOT use one of their two 1st round picks this year on a quarterback (which would have been a reach in this year’s draft class). Instead getting DE Aidan Hutchinson and WR Jameson Williams (returning from injury).
- QB Jared Goff actually had his highest completion percentage of his career last season at 67.2%. If Goff can get his TD rate back up above 5% like it was in his Pro Bowl years with the Rams, then this offense will surprise people.
- It shouldn’t really be that much of a surprise with the weapons this offense has – RB D’Andre Swift, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR Jameson Williams (when he returns from injury), WR D.J. Chark, and TE T.J. Hockenson give a loaded arsenal of weapons for Goff.
- Maybe most intriguing is the hiring of Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson. Last season he was Tight End’s coach and then essentially became the passing game coordinator for the 2nd half of the season. During that time, the passing game notably improved, getting rookie WR Amon-Ra St. Brown more involved. OC Johnson is getting very positive reviews from Lions’ players and coaches per a Michigan Live recent article. It also seems like the 2022 Lions could play with a little more pace under Johnson.
-Redraft and Best Ball Drafts – While RB D’Andre Swift is understandably being drafted in late 1st rd/early 2nd rd of drafts, you can draft WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and TE T.J. Hockensonin the mid-rounds. WR Williams overall ADP is around 146. And the rest of the Lions skill players you can get for peanuts. I am interested in all Lions at their current ADPs. I do not usually draft Swift due to price in Rd. 1/early Rd. 2. But with the value you get for the rest of the Lions’, I think it’s low risk, high reward move to draft them often.
-Daily Fantasy – Week 1 the Lions play the Eagles. If you think they will play with more pace and be playing from behind, they make an intriguing DFS play because they will be an incredibly low-owned stack or one-offs (outside of Swift). This is an excellent leverage spot, especially in the 4 p.m. only DFS slates where everyone will be just full game-stacking the Chiefs vs. Cardinals.
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