7 Most Overvalued Players in 2021 Fantasy Football

By Dan Vasta in Fantasy Sports
| July 15, 2021 7:17 am PDT

The end of summer signals the start of the new fantasy football season. As you prepare for your draft, one obstacle to look out for is overvaluing certain players.

Some players have trendy names, and they may go a full round or two earlier than expected. Those players then become overvalued, and it makes it difficult to draft them at their current price.

To help you avoid paying more for a player than they’re worth, join me as I break down the most overvalued fantasy football players for 2021.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks

The Seahawks signal-caller has the looks of a sure-fire future Hall of Famer with continued success. He would love to have more team success, but the squad has not been playing their best football down the stretch.

Look at how the season ended for Russell Wilson and Seattle.

The offensive line was atrocious, and there was no running room for a dinged-up Chris Carson. Russ was running for his life and was taking a seat for most of the game. In his final seven games, he was only averaging a pedestrian 203.3 passing yards per game with only 1.7 passing touchdowns per game.

Even his rushing numbers fell apart at just 26.9 yards per game. Those pathetic numbers are not even worthy of making Wilson a starter in deep leagues with 12-plus teams.

It got so bad that Wilson trade rumors popped up at one point. His agent even offered potential trade destinations.

Fortunately, Wilson didn’t get traded. It’s not all rosy in Seattle, though.

Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are among the best dynamic pair of wide receivers in the NFL. Wilson still needs more help if he wants to help fantasy owners with his current average draft position.

The future Hall of Famer is inside the top 8 quarterbacks on FantasyPros and Fantasy Football Calculator. That is too high with so many other great options available on other exciting offenses.

Some are taking Wilson over Justin Herbert, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers.

From an overall perspective, Wilson should be taken as a borderline top 10 signal-caller.

This is the deepest class we may have on our hands in the history of fantasy football. There are rookies and second-year performers that bring more upside due to team success and improved weapons.

Players such as Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, and Ryan Tannehill will all have chances to surpass Wilson in points this season. Seattle could be the odd team out of the postseason too. Seattle has some concerns that have not been fully addressed in the offseason, and there could be continued issues like there was last season down the stretch.

It will not be easy to get back to where they were in the first nine games last season when they were widely considered an elite offensive unit. Russ was cooking, and they looked the part until the weather changed. They could be closer to what they showed in the final two months of the season, which was not good enough.

Wilson won’t have a disastrous season in which he doesn’t even crack the top 15-20 spots among quarterbacks, but he is not a lock to finish among the top 10 spots. He is going in the top five of some leagues and is a player I would pass on at his current draft position.

Najee Harris, RB, Steelers

I love the skill set and talent of Najee Harris and believe he is an extraordinary talent that could help turn the Steelers franchise back into a Super Bowl contender. Harris was a superstar at Alabama, and he did it all out of the backfield. He was catching passes in the flats with one hand and was jumping over dudes in the process.

Harris was a menace on the gridiron due to his inability to get tackled by one defensive player. It often took three or four players to gang tackle him. While the overall explosiveness and speed were not Dalvin Cook-like, there is a lot to love about the Steelers bruising back.

The positives might not outweigh the negatives, however.

Pittsburgh must replace four new offensive linemen. Some of the bigger names on the roster are now gone. David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey are both officially gone. DeCastro, a former Stanford elite lineman, was a crucial piece to the offense.

The awful news is the line was already atrocious last season, ranking among the worst in the entire NFL.

They were dead last in yards per game on the ground (84.4), and there may not be much improvement made. Even if they averaged over 100 yards per game, they would still rank in the bottom 10 of the entire NFL.

Take away their best o-linemen, and yeah, there could be a problem here.

Najee Harris can break some tackles to get to the line of scrimmage, but he will see some suffocating defensive fronts like he hardly saw at Alabama. Even with elite competition, he was running behind an amazing line for years in Tuscaloosa. Alabama had NFL wide receivers running routes, and the offense was a cheat code.

I personally cannot take much away from Harris since I was his biggest backer in college. He was a touchdown machine and was worthy of all the accolades. The Steelers have an uphill climb with an aging quarterback that is often injured behind a shaky line.

The talent is there for him to be a star if he had a better team, but he does not. Plus, the schedule ranks as the toughest in the entire NFL, and then you have to factor in the draft position that Harris is carrying.

FantasyPros has Harris slotted as the No. 15 running back and No. 27 overall. Even in PPR leagues, that ranking is way too rich for my blood.

The ceiling is high for Harris, but the floor is not good enough to demand second and third-round consideration.

There are non-PPR leagues that have him going right away in the second round. That is way too risky for taking a running back on a non-playoff team that may struggle to run for a ton of yards. The points could be limited for Pittsburgh as well, and he has been getting over drafted thus far in the summer.

Fantasy Draft Calculator has Harris at No. 15 among backs and No. 28 overall. The stock is way too high this offseason due to the hype from his college production and landing on a popular franchise.

There are a bunch of other respectable players that people are passing on in favor of Harris. In leagues where you don’t have to start multiple backs, take a look at wide receivers who will bring far more proven production than the Steeler rookie.

Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals

Chase Edmonds showed plenty of flashes last season despite playing behind a suspect offensive line. It looked like it was all perfectly lining up for major success once Kenyan Drake was injured against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football.

The game turned out to be one of the better matchups of the entire season. Edmonds was a machine that night, catching the ball out of the backfield with such ease. Kliff Kingsbury was finally using him, and perhaps the touches were going to increase significantly.

He hauled in 7 passes for 87 yards and ran for a season-high 58 yards rushing that special night where things finally were breaking his way.

He did not score against Seattle at home, and that was a theme for the whole season. Despite being a backup for a good portion of the season, Edmonds only found paydirt six times last season. That is respectable when you look at all the touches Drake, and Kyler Murray stole. Edmonds was able to post 400 yards on the ground and just over that for receiving, which are pedestrian numbers. He was never able to grasp the starting role that Drake vacated for a few weeks during his injury.

Now James Conner is a Cardinal, and many are still pushing for Edmonds to take over and dominate the touches despite way too many glaring weaknesses.

James Conner was running behind a brutal Steelers line that I just went over, and now he will have the same role Drake had last season. The line should make slight improvements, but Edmonds is best utilized in that third-down pass-catching running back that Kliff Kingsbury enjoys so much.

The other issue that has not been discussed too much yet is the play of Kyler Murray.

Murray has such quick and elusive feet that he will steal a ton of yards, touchdowns, and overall touches from Edmonds. There will be so many plays like last season where the play is simply Murray running around trying to create hidden yardage by his creativity.

When the line collapses and does not allow the offense to sustain long drives, Murray often just tucks it and runs for a handful of yards. He lives to play another down but will take away touches from all of his running backs.

Plus, Edmonds has not exactly been a bruising running back when given opportunities.

He has lightning speed when he reaches the second and third levels untouched. The problem is he often gets dragged from behind at the line of scrimmage. The undersized backs have issues running behind porous offensive lines, and that was a problem the entire season for Arizona.

If Kyler was not finding running room to maneuver, then nobody came close to roam freely.

The value is not there, and FantasyPros would back up my sentiment. Overall, Edmonds is listed at No. 64 overall, which is outrageous. Conner is at 83, which is respectable but still too high.

Arizona is not even a traditional running team, and Murray will handcuff both of these players. Edmonds is only listed as the No. 33 running back, but Fantasy Football Calculator has him listed at No. 64 overall (No. 28 RB) as well. That would suggest a sixth-round draft pick is being used on a player that may only receive 150-plus total touches, and over half will be three-yard carries.

A sixth-round pick should be about filling your starting roster and or loading up a premium position. While running back is vital in most leagues, there are players and different positions that can help you put together a championship-caliber of a squad. Look elsewhere than the Arizona backfield that was atrocious a season ago and likely won’t change much in 2021.

Kenny Golladay, WR, Giants

Golladay had a respectable season in 2018 but has since not been able to come close to living up to his lofty expectations.

Many were hoping he could put together an even better season than his 2018 one. The 70 receptions for nearly 1,100 yards and five touchdowns were very respectable. The expectations quickly improved, and many were banking on him coming closer to a top 10 wide receiver.

The next season was solid yet again, thanks to 11 scores, but the reception total was not nearly good enough (65).

So, while the 2018 and 2019 seasons were solid, neither were top 10 worthy of a third-round selection.

Some even ponied up and chose the Lion in the back half of the second round as well. Both were tough mistakes that likely cost your team dearly, and now many are jumping on board with the newly acquired Giants receiver.

Life after Matthew Stafford may not be the same, and despite traveling to a much larger market where everybody will be aware of him on and off the field, it could be a true struggle. Competing for enough targets will be one issue that will be difficult to overcome, but executing on those limited touches will be even tougher.

The Giants have a bevy of weapons this season, and all of them have some weaknesses in their game. Evan Engram, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, Kadarius Toney, Kyle Rudolph, and Saquon Barkley could all cut into the looks that Golladay sees this season.

Daniel Jones has struggled under center taking care of the ball, and he is not regarded as a prolific passer either. The offense will heavily rely on Barkley to bail them out of tough situations, and the passing game will still be a mystery heading into the season. Every game could involve a different target that receives the most targets, and this is not an offense I would consistently trust.

All the additional pieces they have improved upon will likely diminish and prevent any of them from turning into weekly starters. Barkley remains the first-round selection in all formats, but everybody else is up for grabs.

Golladay is No. 57 overall and No. 21 among wide receivers on Fantasy Draft Calculator. FantasyPros also has Golladay as the No. 21 wide receiver, but they have him slotted in at No. 54 overall.

Both are nearly identical, and both are a bit too high.

Of course, it’s worth noting that Golladay is a polarizing fantasy asset going into 2021. Brad Evans is literally looking at his value from the other side.

I still think you need to look elsewhere for top targets in the first handful of rounds. Golladay is over a year removed from a relevant season and is now entering a muddled situation with several other options.

There are too many concerns about spending a starting roster spot on a guy who may or may not even haul in over 70 receptions and 1,000 yards. No thanks.

D.J. Chark, WR, Jaguars

Chark is currently slated at No. 74 overall and No. 29 among wide receivers. As a sixth or seventh-round selection, other options bring just as much upside as Chark. It does not help that Travis Etienne, Laviska Shenault Jr., and Dede Westbrook will all get their looks to take a hit into the overall numbers of Chark.

Speaking of Shenault Jr., he stands out as a superior value and is a big reason why Chark makes this list of overvalued fantasy players for 2021.

See what I had to say in my 2021 fantasy football sleepers post.

10 Fantasy Football Sleepers You Should Draft in 2021

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Trevor Lawrence spread the ball so well during his time at Clemson under Dabo Swinney, and now he should do the same with another college coach (now turned pro) in Urban Meyer.

Lawrence will also keep the ball on the ground with James Robinson, so clearly, this offense will be different from the past several seasons.

Chark has decent numbers these past two years combined, but he may never turn into a true number one wideout with Jacksonville. There are growing pieces that are just as young and explosive as the former LSU Tiger. Chark hauled in 126 receptions for 1,714 yards and 13 scores. Shenault Jr. will continue to be peppered with targets that could push Chark as the top target, and we know how much attention perimeter receivers demand compared to players in the slot.

The slot is still a position that the NFL has not adjusted to accordingly, and it seems as if it is free coverage. When compared to the consistent double teams we see out wide, the slot players are given free completions at times. The routes may not be run for a ton of yardage, but the throws can be made for easy completions.

Jerry Rice once upon a time lined up everywhere on the field and made it look so effortless.

Many Hall of Famers followed, but so many New England Patriot wide receivers next to Tom Brady had success. From Wes Welker to Julian Edelman to now Jarvis Landry and Cooper Kupp, several players have made a name for themselves. It helped that Welker had Brady and Peyton Manning tossing the pigskin to him for most of his career though.

Look for Chark to have a decent season, but it will be tough to match the lofty expectations many have already placed on him.

This is a player you may have to draft as a flex starter with upside to start consistently when players in your lineup are on their bye week. Take a pass on his current value and look elsewhere for solid production.

D’Andre Swift, RB, Lions

A season ago, one of my favorite rookies did not live up to his expectations due to some missed games and tough game scripts that changed abruptly.

There were times that Swift was benched essentially in favor of Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson. It was rough to watch the Lions last season with Matthew Stafford under center when he was healthy, but Matt Patricia made things even worse.

The talent level is there with great speed that is capable of bursting past second and third-level defenders. He was able to scamper in the end zone for double-digit scores, which are impressive considering all those other issues.

Stafford is now gone, though, and Jared Goff is not going to be an upgrade.

Well, insert Dan Campbell in for Patricia, and you might just have a mess on your hands. Seriously, he’s instantly a great candidate to be the first NFL coach fired in 2021.

How much worse can it get for Detroit fans? The Pistons were the worst team in the NBA last season (thank goodness for the top pick), the Red Wings were awful, and the Tigers are not much better.

All four professional teams are stuck in sports hell right now, and it doesn’t seem like any of the four are getting to stardom anytime soon.

The Lions are among the worst of the local teams, and the schedule does not limit any potential damage entering the season. Detroit may finish dead last in the entire NFC, and they too could be on the clock before you know it. This is all going to impact the touches for Swift even if mop-up duty time produces good fortune.

Suffice to say, there are plenty of questions surrounding Swift in 2021.

The major credit Swift is receiving this offseason is a bit bonkers since the Lions may go 2-15 at best. Swift is listed as a top 15 running back on most publications and some have him right there towards the Top 10.

Fantasy Football Calculator has Swift as the No. 31 player overall, which is a third-round selection, and that is a bit much in PPR leagues. Many leagues force you to start a pair of running backs, which is odd since we are in the year 2021.

Still, Swift could be a respectable RB2, but there are too many great players that he is ranked ahead of.

Michael Thomas, Allen Robinson, Terry McLaurin, Julio Jones, and Mike Evans are all players that will easily outscore Swift in PPR leagues. I laugh every season when a running back who may not even be featured gets taken ahead of All-Pro wide receivers that end their year with 100-plus receptions.

Swift will be splitting time with former Packer Jamaal Williams, who is another capable pass-catching running back that would hurt the production of Swift.

Take a pass on Swift, and most of the running backs after the first dozen or so are taken off the board. If you must start two every week, I suggest you go heavy with your top two picks and take guys such as Cam Akers or Antonio Gibson in the back half of the second round instead of wasting away a third-round selection on Swift.

Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks

Well, the run of running backs continues here, and I will gladly do my best to explain why there is so much risk with running backs after the top 10-12. The health of bruising backs starts to fall apart once the season gets underway.

Look at Chris Carson and the career he has endured. He will have a handful of respectable performances in a given season, but then he will have a handful of average to awful performances.

Plus, he is a near-lock to miss or be limited for at least two games as well.

Carson can run tough between the tackles but will be on the bench in due time. The guy has been made of glass, and the Seahawks offensive line has also been atrocious at blocking.

Russell Wilson enjoys tucking it and running himself when the pocket collapses. That will happen a ton yet again, and don’t forget DK Metcalf wants the ball 10-15 times a game as well. There aren’t enough plays to go around to make everybody happy, and I don’t have any confidence in the Seahawks playing relevant football either.

Rashaad Penny is the projected backup, and he has had his injury concerns for years now, and you wonder why the Seahawks backfield has had issues churning out production. Travis Homer and Deejay Dallas are more like practice squad performers. They are solid emergency options when Carson or Penny are inactive. Carson has solid talent, but it truly comes down to his health, opportunities, and team’s game plan.

All three are negatives that could be costly based on his current average draft position.

FantasyPros has Carson at No. 38 overall, which is absurd. They do have him down in the top 20 among running backs, but that does not soften the blow much. Fantasy Football Calculator has Carson at No. 36 overall.

That would require you to spend a late third or early fourth-round draft pick on a Seattle runner that hardly gets targeted in the passing game and has also been getting goal-line vultured by the teammate that stands right next to him. Wilson is always a threat to score once the ball gets near the end zone.

I will gladly pass on Carson and take elite to very good options at wide receiver or even healthier, more productive backs. Similar to what I mentioned about Swift (No. 31 on ADP’s Fantasy Football Calculator), there are far too many reliable studs that can help your team out more than Carson (No. 36 overall on ADP).

Avoiding Overvalued Players in 2021 Fantasy Football

This post is all about trying to properly assess player value and incorporate it into your draft plan.

While I stand by these players being overvalued going into 2021 fantasy drafts, you’ll want to consider two things.

  • Your own thoughts on each player
  • How each unique draft changes value

The information is there for you to see, but the value is in the eye of the beholder, and people disagree about player talent, environment, and value all the time.

On top of that, your league’s roster and scoring settings could downgrade or boost any of these guys, or the flow of your draft could make them better picks than I am suggesting here.

Everything should be taken with a grain of salt when preparing for your fantasy draft. Ideally, however, you can stay away from the overvalued fantasy football players in 2021.

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