Free agency frenzy is only a month away. The best opening to any offseason. Where a blizzard of deals hits hard every year. There’s big names for big money, faces in new places, chances to right a ship that veered off course.
For some, like Case Keenum, it’s a day where you just hope for any call. Hope that your belief and game film will be enough to land one team’s desire. For others, like Alshon Jeffery and Terrelle Pryor, it’s a chance to take a gamble on yourself. Whether it pans out or not, you got a big money deal for a small amount of time, just to show your new team if you fit in like they think you will.
Here I picked my three undervalued and overvalued players from the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions.
Top 3 Undervalued Quarterbacks
Josh McCown – New York Jets – 2017 Salary: $6M
McCown led a depleted New York Jets team out of the pit of misery and into playoff contention during the early phases of the season. The Jets would be smart to bring him back for 2018, but any team will have a legitimate chance with this aging quarterback.
Matt Moore – Miami Dolphins – 2017 Salary: $1.775M
It seemed like Matt Moore was finally going to get his opportunity to be a 16 game starter. However, Adam Gase figured his team had a better chance to win with Jay Cutler. Thus, Moore was back to the sidelines. Moore is a backup quarterback that can come in a win you some games. Possibly next year’s Case Keenum, depending on where he lands.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 2017 Salary: $3M
The wily veteran hasn’t seen his last game in the NFL. A team looking for a backup will pursue Fitzpatrick. Given the chance to play on a better team than the Bucs or the Jets, Fitzpatrick could still have a little Fitzmagic left in him.
Top 3 Overvalued Quarterbacks
Sam Bradford – Minnesota Vikings – 2017 Salary: $18M
Bradford had a very scripted season in 2016. That got him a record with the best pass completion in a season – 71.6% (broken in 2017 by Drew Brees – 72%). Bradford found his way back to the injured reserve in 2017. Keeping his 16-game-seasons count still at two. $18 million is a little steep for that track record.
Teddy Bridgewater – Minnesota Vikings – 2017 Salary: $1.712M
Before his gruesome knee injury, Bridgewater had it made. The media loved him, the Vikings loved him. So much so, that it was still his team to come back to when he returned healthy. Albeit, this was before the play of Case Keenum, which ultimately kept Bridgewater on the bench even after returning. I don’t see the hype in Teddy and I think he will get paid a fair share of money this offseason, but fall short as a starter.
Case Keenum – Minnesota Vikings – 2017 Salary: $2M
Speaking of Case Keenum, and the Vikings. I’m just going to make the whole overvalued list, a list of Vikings quarterbacks. It’s not so much a knock on all three of these quarterbacks, but a praise to Pat Shurmur. The now head coach of the New York Giants, Shurmur did a tremendous job with these quarterbacks, and leaving them may cause more of an effect than people think (i.e. Kyle Shanahan leaving Atlanta).
Top 3 Undervalued Running Backs
Orleans Darkwa – New York Giants – 2017 Salary: $1.1M
Boasting some of the best stats for running backs, on a team that won three games. Darkwa faced a stacked defense on 10.5% of his runs. When he didn’t face a stacked front, he flourished. Finishing 4th and 11th overall in average yards per rush, against light and base defenses, respectively. He will succeed at a low cost for some team.
Alfred Blue – Houston Texans – 2017 Salary: $584K
Averaging 3.9 yards per carry over his last three seasons, Blue isn’t the worst candidate for a backup running back. As he has been his whole career, Blue himself can speak to how important a backup is. Running backs take a lot of hits, and this causes more damage. Blue finished with a 90.6 pass blocking rating in 2017, which will surely get you signed by a team.
Jeremy Hill – Cincinnati Bengals – 2017 Salary: $938K
This pick may surprise some of you, but let’s not forget Hill was a beast a few years ago when Andy Dalton was actually good at playing quarterback. Since the red-rifle’s decline, that’s when we see a noticeable drop in Hill’s stats. No passing game, closes up the running holes. Let’s put Hill on a team that can spread the ball out and let Hill run like he used to.
Top 3 Overvalued Running Backs
Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers – 2017 Salary: $920K
This young star will get paid this offseason thanks in part to his dependability in his career. However, Hyde finished 2017 with 14 drops, -.2 yards per carry against stacked defenses. He caught 59 receptions which was spectacular, but he never found the end zone through the air. I am opposed any team paying big bucks for this guy, but it’ll happen.
Isaiah Crowell – Cleveland Browns – 2017 Salary: $2.746M
Crowell didn’t really live up to his hype in 2017. Bad quarterback play, bad defense, bad game script, bad coaching, bad play calling, etc. If Crowell leaves we will learn that even with mediocre to exceptional play from everyone surrounding Crowell, he still won’t burst like he should and will be a colossal waste of a team’s money and time.
Jerick McKinnon – Minnesota Vikings – 2017 Salary: $691K
What would an overrated list be without at least one Viking on it. I couldn’t make all three Vikings this time, but McKinnon is probably going to get a good deal this year due to his role in the Vikings’ turn-around season. Yet, McKinnon fully healthy could be the number one guy when it was just him and Matt Asiata there. He couldn’t do it, when Cook and Murray went down. While he showed flashes of his talent, he will not be worth the money he receives.
Top 3 Undervalued Wide Receivers
Terrelle Pryor – Washington Redskins – 2017 Salary: $6M
You read this correctly. Pryor busted in his first year as big man on campus. He bet on himself, and flopped like a fish out of water. Now that the hype on Pryor has evacuated quicker than LA did before Cloverfield hit, there won’t be a lot of media attention towards Pryor. He’ll sign a contract for a lot less money and be a viable number two guy.
John Brown – Arizona Cardinals – 2017 Salary: $699K
Have you ever just believed in something that you would refuse to believe the blatant truth? Much like a captain on his ship, I’m riding John Brown the bottom of the ocean. If he goes to a team with a quarterback under the age of 40, I think he should be back to his old ways.
Cody Latimer – Denver Broncos – 2017 Salary: $927K
During his tenure in Denver, Cody Latimer was the victim of underwhelming quarterbacking. Get him on a team with a quarterback or pay him, if you’re Denver, and go get Cousins. Latimer should be a deep fantasy option this season if he has a decent arm getting him the ball.
Top 3 Overvalued Wide Receivers
Sammy Watkins – Los Angeles Rama – 2017 Salary: $4.983M
As the number one hater on the Sammy Watkins train, it’s the easiest selection of the article. Whoever goes out and pays Sammy Watkins over $5M will be greatly disappointed. Similarly to all the fantasy owners who go draft him in the top 5 rounds. Wasting money in the NFL and value in fantasy.
Jordan Matthews – Buffalo Bills – 2017 Salary: $1.237M
I don’t expect Jordan Matthews to have a huge payday come March. So to be overvalued, you’d think his name shouldn’t be making this list. However, that’s where you’re wrong. I think Matthews has built the case to receive a decent command in free agency, but I don’t think he matches the payment, whether it’s on a one year “prove it deal”, or multi-year deal.
Donte Moncrief – Indianapolis Colts – 2017 Salary: $702K
The boom-or-bust receiver, did not boom in 2017. Jacoby Brissett wasn’t the best quarterback in the league, however, he had some glimpses of good play. Yet anytime he looked good, it wasn’t connecting to Moncrief. I think Donte made a name for himself with Luck and won’t ever be back to that type of play. He will get a decent contract to go be a wide receiver number two somewhere, only to take their money and run.