Fantasy Football: 10 Overrated and 10 Undervalued Auction Draft Stars

David SolarCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2010

Fantasy Football: 10 Overrated and 10 Undervalued Auction Draft Stars

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    CHARLOTTE, NC _ AUGUST 28: Running back DeAngelo Williams #34 of the Carolina Panthers rushes for yardage during their preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Bank of America Stadium on August 28, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mary A
    Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images

    I've always been a fan of the auction draft. In fact, long ago I wrote an article detailing why it was better than standard snake drafts. You set the value on players you want. 

    Do you want to save your money and have a team full of solid players? Do you want a few great players and fill in the rest along the way? Each team has a unique construction, set to the owner's preferences. 

    That said, there are some discrepancies between the listed values in CBS fantasy football auction values.

    CBS fantasy bases their prices on a $100 salary cap, and each player has two listed values: one from Jamey Eisenberg and the other from Dave Richard.

    For the sake of simplicity, we will only analyze Dave Richard's pricing guide.

Underrated 10. Rob Gronkowski $0

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    TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 04:  Rob Gronkowski #48 of the Arizona Wildcats runs for a first quarter touchdown in front of Cameron Elisara #99 of the Washington Huskies during a first quarter run on October 4, 2008 at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    I'm going way out on a limb for this one. In fact, Gronkowski isn't even the No. 1 tight end on the Patriots' depth chart. That honor goes to Alge Crumpler. 

    However, anybody who has watched the Patriots' pre-season games can tell that Gronkowski is a special type of player and that he and Brady already have a nice rapport.

    Gronkey Kong is a 6'6", 265 lbs beast-like tight end with phenomenal hands. He lacks great speed, but he makes up for it with an unbelievable ability to use his body.

    I watched him play at Arizona, and quite frankly, he was unstoppable. Gronkowski could be a fantastic goal-line weapon for the Pats with his soft hands and the ability to box out his defender.

    He sells for zero dollars, so if you are looking to fill your roster late in drafts, he is an excellent sleeper.

Overrated 10. Wes Welker $10

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    ATLANTA - AUGUST 19:  Wide receiver Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots reacts during the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on August 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    This one is tough for me. I love Wes Welker.

    Every Sunday, I drag myself downstairs in my red Welker throwback jersey and watch this tiny white man get open time and time again.

    He has unparalleled quickness and elusiveness, yet I have to encourage you to avoid Wes. 

    Part of the reason is his injury. Welker was supposed to miss half the season, so his timely comeback may have been rushed.

    Another issue is that Welker is not an end-zone threat. With Randy Moss on the outside and a slew of new tight ends, it's tough for me to imagine Welker amassing anything close to double digit TDs. 

    The last three seasons, Welker has recorded over 100 catches and 1,100 yards. During those three seasons, he managed a mere 15 touchdowns.

    This is the perfect example of a player having way more real-life value than fantasy value.

Underrated 9. Tony Gonzalez $5

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    ATLANTA - DECEMBER 13:  Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Atlanta Falcons runs for yards after the catch against Will Smith #91 of the New Orleans Saints at Georgia Dome on December 13, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Saints won 26-23. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty I
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Here we have another aging legend in Tony Gonzalez. He is 34 years old with rumors of retirement at the year's end.

    His numbers have dropped for the past two seasons, so why am I so upbeat?

    Because Tony Gonzalez isn't like you or me. He's not normal. 

    Despite his age, he is still in terrific shape. He is a physical specimen who still managed 83 catches for 867 yds last year.

    And that was in his first season with a new team on an offense led by a second-year quarterback.

    Now as Matt Ryan continues his development, Gonzalez should see his numbers bounce back.

Overrated 9. David Akers $2

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    CINCINNATI - AUGUST 20:  David Akers #2 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after kicking a field goal during the NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 20, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    This is more principle than anything. There are actually multiple kickers who sell for two dollars, and I can't understand it. The production of kickers from year to year is unpredictable. 

    One year, Neil Rackers can be tops in the game. The next year he could be right back in the middle of the pack.

    With this level of guesswork involved, you are better off saving your money, even if it is only a dollar.

Underrated 8. Matt Forte $5

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    CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears runs past Paris Lenon #51 of the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    We are so quick to overbid for one-year wonders and so quick to forget one great season.

    As a rookie, Forte shocked the fantasy world by running for 1,238 yards and 8 touchdowns while adding 63 receptions. 

    The next season, Forte was a consensus top five fantasy pick who was quick to disappoint. 929 yards and 4 TDs on 3.6 yards per carry helped him challenge LT for the draft's biggest bust. 

    So which Forte will show up this season? Was his rookie season a fluke, or did Forte simply hit the sophomore slump? For five bucks, I'm willing to find out.

Overrated 8. Aaron Rodgers $18

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    GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 26: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks for a receiver against the Indianapolis Colts during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 26, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Colts 59-24.  (Photo by
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    This isn't so much of a knock on Rodgers as it is a compliment to other quarterbacks.

    Rodgers ranks ahead of Manning and Brees, who are much safer bets for 4,000 yards and 30 TDs. 

    As much as I like Rodgers and the entire Packers' offense, I still can't justify taking him ahead of the reigning MVP.

Underrated 7. Johnny Knox $2

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    SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 12:  Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears in action against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 12, 2009 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won 10-6.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Coming into training camp, nobody had ever heard of Johnny Knox. He was a fifth-round pick out of Abilene Christian, a school so unheard of I typed it into google, and it came back "why?"

    Yet as a rookie, Knox managed 45 catches for 527 yards while displaying track star speed.

    In his second season, he has emerged as the No. 1 option on offense and with Cutler better acclimated to this new system, Knox could be in for a breakthrough season.

    A 65 reception, 900 yard season with 6-8 TDs is within his grasp and should make for excellent value late in drafts.

Overrated 7. Reggie Bush $5

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    NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 21:  Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints jumps over Brice McCain #21 of the Houston Texans at the Louisiana Superdome on August 21, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Why do people still love Reggie Bush? Despite being a tremendous athlete, Bush has not done a single thing as a pro. Well, except tap Kim Kardashian's badonkadonk.

    In four seasons, Bush has amassed a mere 1,940 rushing yards. As for his receiving? It has actually dropped every single season since entering the league.

    Bush is backing up Pierre Thomas, yet he sells for the same price as starting RBs Clinton Portis and Jahvid Best. If you have the choice between those three backs, I would avoid Bush.

Underrated 6. Clinton Portis $5

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    LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 18:  Mike Brown #30 of the Kansas City Chiefs tackles Clinton Portis #26 of the Washington Redskins during their game October 18, 2009 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.The Chiefs won the game 14-6.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty I
    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    He is the starting running back on a team that loves to pound the football. That's really all you need to know.

    He's just turning 30 and is only a year removed from 1,487 yards and 9 TD. For five dollars, he will provide a good safety net.

    I wouldn't recommend starting Portis, but he makes a great bye-week play and can fill in well in case of injury.

    Late in the draft, picks like Portis can win you the league.

Overrated 6. LaDainian Tomlinson $5

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 27:  LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets looks on before the game against the Washington Redskins on August 27, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Today is a sad day. A five dollar Tomlinson is no longer a good investment. 

    Four seasons ago, LT set the single-season touchdown record.

    Three seasons ago, LT had nearly 1,500 yards and 15 TDs.

    Two years ago, LT barely cracked a thousand yards.

    Last season, LT struggled to the tune of 3.3 yards per carry.

    Even on a team that may rush the ball 450 times this season, LT is a bad bet. He's lost a step, is on the wrong side of 30, and backs up a young RB who ran for 300+ yards in his three playoff games last season.

    I'd rather spend those five bucks on a Subway footlong than take LT.

Underrated 5. Michael Bush $4

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    CHICAGO - AUGUST 21: Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders breaks away from Danieal Manning #38 of the Chicago Bears during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Raiders defeated the Bears 32-17. (Photo by Jonath
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Two years in and it's beginning to look like Darren McFadden is more or less a running back version of JaMarcus Russell.

    The former No. 4 overall pick has managed only 856 yards on 3.9 yards per carry in his first two seasons. 

    Bush, on the other hand, has been a revelation. In his two seasons, the 6'1" 245 pound wrecking ball has totaled 1,010 yards on 4.6 yards per carry.

    Management has been intransigent about giving Bush the starting gig, but sooner or later, that job is his.

    With Jason Campbell at the helm and an improving offensive line, Bush could give your team some serious bang for the buck.

Overrated 5. Miles Austin $16

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    NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19:  Miles Austin #19 of the Dallas Cowboys runs with the ball against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Do you really trust a player based on one season? The experts seem to think so, but I'm skeptical.

    Austin plays on an offense with plenty of weapons, be it Felix Jones and Marion Barber or Jason Witten, Roy Williams, and Dez Bryant. 

    To put a one-year wonder on par with Reggie Wayne and ahead of Calvin Johnson is perplexing.

    His stats from last season are undeniably good: 81 receptions, 1,320 yards, and 11 TD.

    Unfortunately for this undrafted free agent out of Monmouth, it may have been a career-best.

Underrated 4. Pierre Thomas $10

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    NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 21:  Pierre Thomas #23 of the New Orleans Saints scores a touchdown against the Houston Texans at the Louisiana Superdome on August 21, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    For 10 dollars, you could do a lot worse than Pierre Thomas. He may not have had an impressive season last year with only 793 yards, but upon closer inspection, he is a potential gold mine. 

    Those 793 yards came on a sterling 5.4 yards per carry. He also split carries with Mike Bell yet managed 39 receptions.

    Now that Bell is gone, Pierre will have to shoulder the load, and with defenses gearing up to stop Drew Brees, Pierre could have a field day. 

    1,200 yards and 10 TD is not out of the question, and at 10 dollars, you can afford to draft him.

Overrated 4. Steve Smith $13

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 27: Steve Smith #12 of the New York Giants runs past Richard Marshall #31 of the Carolina Panthers at Giants Stadium on December 27, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    The other Steve Smith finds himself in an interesting situation, as he is actually selling for more than the original Steve Smith.

    SS surprised a lot of people last season by busting out for 107 catches and 1,220 yards only a season after grabbing 57 catches for 574 yards. 

    Truth be told, I think Hakeem Nicks is the better long-term option, and Smith should see his numbers from last season drop.

    At 13 dollars, he is valued the same as Larry Fitzgerald. Given the opportunity, I'd take Fitzy, question marks at QB and all.

Underrated 3. Beanie Wells $8

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Runningback Beanie Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against  the Green Bay Packers at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Let me get this straight. Wells rushes for 793 yards and 7 TD as a rookie. Kurt Warner retires. Anquan Boldin leaves.

    The team shifts from an aerial attack to a ground game. And yet, Wells gets valued as if he won't improve on last season's figures?

    I don't get it, but you can benefit from their oversight. Wells is a well-built 6'2" 230 pound back, capable of rushing 20 plus times per game.

    Factor in a 16-game season with 20 carries per game and you have 320 carries. Multiply his 320 projected carries by his 4.5 yard per carry average, and you have 1,440 yards. 

    Now I'm not guaranteeing those figures, but it is not out of the realm of possibility. He's got Stephen Jackson upside at a Brandon Jacobs price.

Overrated 3. DeSean Jackson $19

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 11: DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles tries to get around Will Allen #26 and Geno Haynes #54 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field on October 11, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelev
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Jackson ranks as the second-best receiver. That error jumps right off the page at me. 

    This isn't meant as a knock on Jackson. He is one of the most explosive big-play receivers in the NFL.

    However, I cannot justify spending more on Jackson than Reggie Wayne or Randy Moss in a contract year. These are more complete receivers with a track record of success.

    Jackson is the type of player that could have a huge game and then follow it up with 2 catches for 30 yards.

    If you want consistency and overall production, you will pass on Jackson come draft time.

Underrated 2. Brett Favre $5

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    NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts after the Vikings scored a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Sa
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Seriously? Five dollars? That's less than Eli Manning. Hell it's less than Jay Cutler, and he tossed as many interceptions as he did touchdowns last year. 

    Favre might have lost Sidney Rice for the first half of the season, but with Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, and now Greg Camarillo and Javon Walker, he will have no shortage of options.

    And sure, Favre is old. As a matter of fact, I'm fairly certain he farts dust.

    But the man threw for 4,202 yards and 33 TDs last season. Pretend he's the Jeffersons and your draft sheet is the East Side, and just move him on up.

Overrated 2. Cedric Benson $15

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    CINCINNATI - AUGUST 20: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the NFL preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Paul Brown Stadium on August 20, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    It looks strange seeing Cedric Benson atop the value board. After all, it was only a year ago he was considered a bust. 

    Now the 5'11", 227-pounder is coming off a 1,251 yard season and has supplanted fellow draft class running backs Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams as the top dog. 

    So why do I hesitate to draft Benson? Maybe it's his career high 4.2 yards per carry. Maybe it's the improved passing game. Maybe I think last season was a fluke.

    Truth is, there are much better bets at the 15 dollar range than a one year wonder with a career 3.8 ypc on 935 carries.

Underrated 1. Malcom Floyd $2

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    SAN DIEGO - AUGUST 21:  Wide receiver Malcolm Floyd #80 catches a pass against Terence Newman #41 of the Dallas Cowboys during their preseason NFL football game at Qualcomm Stadium on August 21, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Here it is, the steal of the draft. With Vincent Jackson likely destined for Seattle or the bench, Floyd will step into the No. 1 receiver role on a team that likes to air it out. 

    The 6'5" Floyd caught 45 balls for 776 yards as a complimentary receiver last year.

    Now with Tomlinson gone and a rookie running back in the backfield, expect Rivers to air it out often this season.

    Floyd will be the lucky recipient on the other side and could exceed 75 catches, 1,000 yards, and 8 touchdowns.

    I would pay nearly 10 dollars for Floyd, and he is listed for only two. This could be one of the biggest thefts since Winona Ryder visited Saks.

Overrated 1. DeAngelo Williams $17

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    CHARLOTTE, NC- AUGUST 21:  DeAngelo Williams  #34 of the Carolina Panthers looks down field as he runs for yardage during a preseason game against the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium on August 21, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mary
    Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images

    Why buy Williams for $17 when Jonathan Stewart sells for only $8? Granted, Williams had a nice season last year with 1,117 yards, 7 TD and a 5.2 ypc.

    But look at Stewart. J-Stew rushed for 1,133 yards and 10 TD on 5.1 ypc. In all likelihood, these two will split carries again, so why spend big on one member of an equal platoon? 

    In fact, ultimately I would not be surprised to see Jonathan Stewart get a majority of the carries, leaving DeAngelo as a high paid bench player, similar to a fantasy version of Albert Haynesworth.