2019 Overhyped Players

This time of year is when Twitter and other media platforms are buzzing with fantasy football analysts talking about their favorite players for the upcoming season. Social media platforms have a reputation for being able to boost players’ ADP based on how many people are talking about each player. Additionally, even some of the most casual fantasy football players who follow analysts on these social platforms are buying into these hype arguments simply due to popularity. These players may be the favorites of some fantasy analysts but I have found countless players who’s hype I believe has gotten out of control. I believe social media is directly responsible for skyrocketing some players ADP or average draft position. Now while some of these players may warrant some excitement, I do not think that the arguments for their hype justifies drafting these players as high as many people are. Once the hype begins for a player, usually there is no stopping it because for there to be hype, a decent number of people have to agree with each other. Some players deserve the hype while others’ arguments for their hype makes no sense.I will go through three of the biggest over-hyped players that I have seen from social media, that I simply cannot find myself drafting. Now usually where there is smoke, there is fire and while there may be some great arguments for these players and each of them are in their own way are very exciting, which explains the hype, in the end I will not be drafting these players at their current ADP.

Overhyped players

Alvin Kamara 1.04

Alvin Kamara is regarded as one of, if not the most, talented RB in the NFL since he was drafted in 2017. Not many people saw this coming for Kamara this early in his career, he was a late round RB who was not thought to be able to be a workhorse back but he has proven many doubters wrong. I am in no way an Alvin Kamara hater, but I do not think that he will be able to return his value while being drafted at the 1.04. It is known that Kamara is on one of the best offenses in the league with Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and himself carrying most of the workload. Combining Kamara’s talent with his high-power offense leads many people to think that Kamara will easily finish within the top 5 running backs this year. It is also a bonus, many people think, that the second RB in New Orleans, Mark Ingram, who may have been stifling some of Kamara’s opportunities and production, left the Saints to become the full time back in Baltimore. These arguments may be logical and would make sense to lead to more production for Kamara’s third year, I believe that if you dig deeper into the player and situation, it may be not be as profitable for your team as many people think.

Kamara has undeniable talent but we need to account for the situation that he is in currently. Although he has great talent such as pass catching out of the back field, he also displays some flaws in his game. Running between the tackles is not the strongest skill that he has, unless the offensive line opens giant holes for him to run through. Kamara last year had 1.07 yards created per carry which ranked as 40th in the league. A low yards per carry shows that Kamara relies on the offensive line to open up holes for him to run through to be consistent.

Mark Ingram did leave the Saints, which could lead to a slightly higher opportunity share for Kamara, but what is important is that everyone remembers Latavius Murray was paid to take over the Ingram role this year. While Murray is a slight downgrade from Ingram, I do believe he is good enough that Sean Payton will not want to give the entire majority workload to Kamara. Alvin Kamara may see a slight bump up in opportunity share but realistically the backfield does not look much different from last year when Ingram was there and Kamara only got a 58.7% opportunity share which accounts for both carries and targets. Kamara last year had his three best fantasy games of the season in weeks #1, #3 and #4. The common theme of these games was that Mark Ingram was suspended at the time so Kamara had the backfield to himself, which will not be the case with Murray there taking volume away from Kamara.

Travis Kelce 2.03

I know that people are not going to be impressed with my fantasy outlook for Travis Kelce this year. The amount of love that I have seen Kelce receiving on social media has resulted in an interesting average draft position for the Kansas City TE. Kelce’s 0.5 ppr (point per reception) ADP has him being taken at the 2.03 for 2019. I personally would not be taking Kelce in the second round of my fantasy draft but what is even more outrageous is that I have seen discussion of him being taken in the first round of fantasy drafts. I get it, everyone wants the top weapon for a quarterback that proved last year he was one of the flashiest and most explosive players in the league. Patrick Mahomes had ridiculous production last year that not many people saw coming. Mahomes had over 5,000 yards and 50 TDs in his 2018-19 season. We have seen the talent from Mahomes that makes many people believe he is capable of doing that every season but i think that there is going to be at least minor regression coming this year for Mahomes. Andy Reid’s offense may be perfectly suited for Mahomes’ skillset but I do not see a scenario where Pat Mahomes can repeat his ridiculous production like last year.

Additionally, I have seen all over the internet, the argument for Kelce that because Tyreek Hill may not play this year, Kelce is the automatic #1 pass-catcher on the team and will have an enormous target share. I do understand that this argument is viable in some cases, but I also believe that this argument can be used sometimes by people who just do not want to dig past the surface to look at the real numbers. Kelce in the 2018-19 season averaged 9.4 targets per game, which is 26.6% of the target share. Yes, Hill may be gone this year (he accounted for 8.6 targets per game) but I do not understand why so many people are assuming that these targets are going to go to Kelce. I believe that if anything, most of these targets will be spread out between the current wide receivers such as Demarcus Robinson and Sammy Watkins. Kelce may see a slight uptick in targets this year without Hill’s presence but if anything I think that Hill’s absence will actually hurt Kelce. Hill is probably the fastest and most explosive player in the NFL, respectively. Defenses no longer having to account for Hill over the top which will allow them to close down the field and focus more in the middle of the field which is where Kelce operates. Kelce is going to be a monster this year, there is no doubt about that. The only issue I have with him is that the hype may push Kelce’s ADP into the end of the first round. If I could get a decent value on him in the late second or early third, then I would be willing to take a shot on Kelce.

Kenyan Drake 5.03

Kenyan Drake has a great opportunity to take over the Miami Dolphins’ backfield this year and potentially have an enormous amount of volume. I know there are some pretty hardcore Drake truthers out there given all of the praise I see him getting on social media. Drake finds himself with a backfield available for the taking, my problem with him is that I do not believe he is built to be the workhorse back that the Dolphins want him to be. There is a reason that Gase did not want to give him the job last year. Drake is not built to be a workhorse but more of a third down pass-catching back in my opinion. Two years ago in the 2017-18 season, Drake did display the ability to run between the tackles but after watching his film from  last year, I do believe that he is better suited just to be a complimentary back. The amount of hype that Drake is getting on social media will cause him to continue rising up draft boards as we get closer to the start of the season. Some of the running backs going behind Drake that I would rather have include Derrius Guice and Lamar Miller. I may also take a shot on players such as Miles Sanders or Tevin Coleman who came at least two rounds behind Drake. Kenyan Drake may have a good year if he gets the volume, but I would rather watch how his role in the offense develops this year with a new head coach and let one of my league mates draft him in the beginning of the fifth round.

Given the regime change in Miami this year, Drake’s role in the new offense has not yet been determined. Many people I have seen talking about Drake as a value have just assumed that Drake will automatically take the job and assume a workhorse role for the team. Kalen Ballage who was a rookie last year is still there and I believe that he may have more of a chance of being the first and second down back who runs between the tackles while Drake excels in the pass catching game. Drake had almost as many receiving yards per game as he did rushing yards per game last year. He also caught 53 targets last year which was 13th in the league even though he had extremely limited snaps in Gase’s offense. Drake also is weighs in at 210 lbs. which is a better body type for a pass-catching back. If Drake did end up getting the entire workload for the upcoming season, I think that he may end up having to deal with injury because of the way he is built. I do not have the confidence that someone of Drake’s stature would be able to hold up under the volume that it would require for him to take over Miami’s backfield. The Dolphins also drafted Ballage in the fourth round of the 2018 draft. Ballage has not yet had the opportunity to prove himself in the NFL but he was regarded coming out of college as a talented prospect. Ballage is also built to handle more of a first and second down workload for a team coming in at 6’3” and 228 lbs. I think that Drake may struggle to hold a backfield all on his own without it being a RBBC, so please calm the hype surrounding him until we see the role that he carves out for himself on the new Miami offense this year.