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Published: June 29, 2017 at 05:52 p.m.
Updated: July 4, 2017 at 02:54 p.m.

Seven players to declare fantasy football independence from (at current ADP)

Following in the footsteps of our forefathers, who declared their independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, it's high time fantasy owners declared their independence from the tyrannical draft prices of a handful of players. Average draft positions (ADPs) are soaring this time of year as coaches pour hype on players and "best shape of his life" tropes run rampant through training camp reports and beat writer tweets. So, in honor of 241 years of independence, here are 241 fantasy players currently being over-valued in fantasy ... Just kidding. Had you there for a second, didn't I? And if not, well bully for you. Anyway, here are SEVEN players I believe we need to declare fantasy independence from at their current ADPs. These are all great players, but for a variety of reasons each could sink your fantasy championship hopes if drafted at their inflated asking price

7 Photos Total

  • Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans - RB13, second round ADP 7

    Al Messerschmidt Archive/Associated Press

    Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans - RB13, second round ADP

    The hope in 2016 was that an increased workload for Lamar Miller would lead to even more fantasy scoring after back-to-back top-10 finishes. Instead, Miller posted his lowest yards per carry and yards per reception totals of the past three years, while also scoring just six touchdowns in the lackluster Houston attack. He'll still be a safe bet for high volume in 2017, but the Texans offense doesn't figure to make a massive leap in the scoring department with either Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson under center. In addition, the team drafted the big, bruising D'Onta Foreman, who could steal goal-line work. Miller will likely finish as a top-20 fantasy back, but shouldn't be drafted as a fringe RB1.

  • Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots - WR11, third round ADP 6

    Ric Tapia/Associated Press

    Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots - WR11, third round ADP

    Cooks is a fantastic player and should be an integral part of the Patriots offense. However, drafting him as a top-12 wide receiver is not only outrageous, but an historic gamble. Graham Barfield of FantasyGuru.com noted that since Rob Gronkowski joined the team in 2010, only two wide receivers in New England have finished in the top 12 in fantasy scoring. Tom Brady has a plethora of options in the passing game, so Cooks could be hard pressed to hit the 17 to 19 percent target share he's received the last two years in New Orleans. Cooks should be a solid WR2, but is currently be drafted ahead of more trustworthy WR1s like Doug Baldwin and Terrelle Pryor.

  • DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans - WR12, third round ADP 5

    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans - WR12, third round ADP

    I love Nuk as a player, but right now there are too many red flags around his situation to justify him as a top-12 wide receiver pick. For starters, he'll be playing with either Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson (as mentioned above). While it's reasonable to assume both should be an improvement over Brock Osweiler, it'd be foolish to think the gains in quarterback play would be anything more than marginal. Secondly, Hopkins' volume is likely to remain pretty static, and not approach the outrageous 192 targets he saw in 2015. Instead, he'll probably command between 120-150 looks, a reasonable share, but an amount that could make it harder for him to deliver upon his lofty draft price. Even if he bounces back to say, 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns, that puts him more in the WR20 range for overall scoring. Drafting him this high is chasing him at his absolute ceiling, which could end up costing owners in the long run if he doesn't deliver.

  • Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons - RB27, sixth round ADP 4

    Ben Liebenberg/NFL

    Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons - RB27, sixth round ADP

    The Falcons offense was a remarkable scoring unit in 2016, operating near peak efficiency. That was the case for Tevin Coleman, who scored an impressive 11 touchdowns on just 149 total touches for a TD rate of 7.4 percent, second-highest in the league for backs with at least 100 rushes (Mike Gillislee, 8.2 percent). Devonta Freeman should lead this backfield in touches, so to draft Coleman in the sixth round one must either expect him to a) see a healthy increase in touches or b) maintain his TD rate. From 2007 to 2015, 32 backs posted a TD rate over 5 percent, and only two improved upon that in the following season (BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Mike Tolbert from 2010-11, both by .4 percent). The average decline in TD rate over that span is 2.5 percent. However, shrinking the pool to just the eight backs with a TD rate of over 6 percent, the average decline jumps to 4.3 percent. Unless Coleman reverses this trend or sees a bunch more touches, he could disappoint.

  • Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans - RB29, sixth round ADP 3

    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans - RB29, sixth round ADP

    While Coleman has a pretty reasonable workload and role carved out in Atlanta, the Titans are still figuring out just how and when to use Henry. It's likely he increases his paltry 123 touches from his rookie year, but by how much? Head coach Mike Mularkey has repeatedly stated DeMarco Murray will remain the team's workhorse, leaving Henry for a complementary role at best. In re-draft leagues, the sixth round is far too high to take a back who won't likely return weekly starting value unless the guy ahead of him succumbs to an injury. This ADP makes a bit more sense in best ball leagues that don't feature a waiver-wire, but for most drafters, passing on Henry at this price is the right move.

  • Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens - RB37, eighth round ADP 2

    Winslow Townson/Associated Press

    Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens - RB37, eighth round ADP

    Kenneth Dixon's ADP baffles me. Not only is he suspended for the first four games of the season, but he isn't even guaranteed touches, much less the starting role, once he returns from said suspension. Terrance West is still hanging around and out-played Dixon last year, and the team added Danny Woodhead this offseason to absorb the backfield passing targets. I can see taking a stab at Dixon in the double-digit rounds for a depth play, but there's simply too much value still on the board in Round 8 to burn a bench spot for four weeks on Dixon while you wait for him to return from suspension.

  • O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - TE11, 10th round ADP 1

    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - TE11, 10th round ADP

    I get it. O.J. Howard was the best tight end in a talented rookie class and the Buccaneers drafted him in the first round. He's going to be a stud ... just probably not this year. Tight ends historically underperform in fantasy as rookies, and the team has already stated that last year's surprise breakout Cameron Brate will likely be the primary pass-catching tight end, with Howard slated for more blocking duties. Comparisons might be drawn to Hunter Henry from last year, but Henry was in an offense that had suffered multiple injuries to top wideouts, while the Buccaneers have reloaded the position this offseason by signing DeSean Jackson and drafting Chris Godwin. There will be a time when Howard will be an elite fantasy tight end. It just won't be in 2017. Pass on him in the 10th round and grab better values like Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron, or even Brate rounds later.

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