Last week I went over 3 players I thought would go overlooked in fantasy drafts next year. This week I am looking at 3 players I think will be drafted too high next year.
Matt Ryan, Quarterback, Atlanta
Ryan had an outstanding year by any measure. He finished 1st in yards per attempt and quarterback rating. He was 2nd in yards and touchdowns. He also finished 3rd in completion percentage and had only 7 interceptions. He was 2nd in fantasy scoring behind only Aaron Rodgers. As if all that isn’t enough he will likely take home the MVP award too. He’s played outstanding in the Falcons 2 playoffs games thus far and will likely be drafted as a top 5 quarterback next year. Still, anyone who spends an early pick on him should do so with some trepidation.
First, this year looks like a complete outlier for Ryan. Prior to 2016 his highest touchdown percentage (touchdowns per attempt) was 5.2. He blew that away with a 7.1 percentage this year. His 9.3 yards per attempt also blew away his previous career high of 7.9 which he accomplished his rookie year. If that’s not enough he also had the highest completion percentage of his career. If those numbers drop down closer to his career averages he will be in line for major regression.
Second, he is likely going to lose his offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan after the season. Most reports have Shanahan taking the head coaching job for San Francisco though he won’t make a decision until after the Super Bowl. Not only is Shanahan a great coordinator, but this was the second year he and Ryan had together and it showed as Ryan and this offense clicked in a major way. Likely having to learn an entirely new playbook next year will be a major hurdle for this entire offense.
If Ryan regresses to his career averages, or worse, he will go down as one of 2017’s biggest busts. Don’t think it can happen? See Newton, Cam.
Tyreek Hill, Wide Receiver, Kansas City
Hill was one of 2016’s breakout stars and some are already asking if he should be a first or second round pick. He finished 61st overall in standard scoring leagues and 72nd in PPR. Most of that was on the back of 12 touchdowns as he only totaled 860 yards from scrimmage. Still as a multi-dimensional player (receiving, rushing and special teams) the hype is real and people can’t wait to draft him next year. I would caution you not to use an early round pick on him.
As a receiver he saw just 84 targets which ranked him 77th. He had less targets then players like Adam Humphries (89), Ted Ginn (94) and Anquan Boldin (99). Typically targets equal opportunities and opportunities equal fantasy points. If you just take his receiving numbers he finished as WR49 in PPR (tied with Brandon Marshall). There is no reason to think he will see a large bump in targets next year either as the Chiefs are not a pass heavy team and Jeremy Maclin still has 3 years left on his current deal.
But what about his rushing and kick return abilities you ask? He saw just 24 carries and turned that into a ridiculous 267 yards and 3 touchdowns. That is 11.1 YPC and a touchdown every 8 carries. That would make him the greatest running back humanity has ever seen by a wide, wide margin. Unless he is suddenly going to get 100+ carries next year we can expect major regression in the run department. As for kick and punt returns he finished with 3 touchdowns. While that isn’t an impossible feat only 9 players have had 4 in a season and only 1, Devin Hester, has had more than 4. Don’t expect Hill to add to his touchdown total on special teams.
If Hill regresses in the touchdown department, which seems probable, owners who drafted him early will be regretting their decision in 2017.
DeMarco Murray, Running Back, Tennessee
Murray was a draft day steal in 2016 paying off his 4th round ADP with a top 5 finish at his position in both standard and PPR leagues. Murray will likely be drafted as a top 10 running back in 2017 but he comes with some concerns.
First there is the issue of Derrick Henry. He looked good in limited work in his rookie year rushing for 495 yards, 4.5 YPC and 5 touchdowns while adding 137 yards receiving. As the season went on he carved a bigger role in the offense as well. It seems likely Henry’s role will only increase in 2017 which will hurt Murray’s value.
Murray will be entering his age 29 season in 2017. Running backs begin to decline around age 27 and often fall off a cliff. According to a study done in 2014 running backs peak at age 27, decline 15% the next year, 25% in 2 years and almost 40% by age 30. Murray had a bit of a comeback year last year (age 28) but declined as the season wore on while dealing with a toe injury. He had only 2 games with over 4 yards per carry the last 6 weeks of the season. If he continues to decline next year or battles injuries Henry could really have a big role in this offense. Regardless, Murray’s age alone is cause for concern.
After a bounce back year Murray will likely be a second or high third round pick in 2017 but has serious concerns entering the season.
Disagree with my picks? A player you feel I missed? Let me know in the comments below.