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I got into value targets yesterday while walking through each player and their situation. I missed a couple of guys, but let’s get into overvalued players today. It’s a slightly different discussion as summarily dismissing a player for their cost can be detrimental. I usually find the “why” behind my distaste and see if the data supports my thoughts. I’ve got a couple of examples from yesterday’s draft, along with some minor injury updates for Super Bowl LVI.
2022 Overvalued Players
Hold up a second.
Let me guess. You saw the word “overvalued,” scrolled down to the players, rolled your eyes, and wanted to close the article. I get it. But I didn’t use it as click-bait. I just don’t have a better way to describe these guys.
To me, overvalued (roughly) translates to “a cost that I don’t think is right, I have no data to back up my thoughts, but it feels wrong.” See? I can’t put that in a title. But it encapsulates my reaction. It’s not the player but their cost (or cost relative to other players) that short circuits my thoughts.
With my lengthy definition in mind, let’s revisit the best-ball draft I mentioned yesterday.
A couple of names stuck out again, but not in a good way. I don’t know what to do with these two, but I’ll lay out my thoughts for both.
Stefon Diggs – Drafted: 2.09 (WR6)
Stefon Diggs is coming off of his second season with 160-plus targets. He was seventh in fantasy points, receiving yards, and touchdowns. So, a WR6 isn’t egregious by any stretch.
However, I have to ask, does it feel like he was the WR7?
“Underwhelmed” is the first descriptor that comes to mind. I’ll admit that negative memories of Diggs’ 2021 season reinforce my reaction to his cost. His seven (seven!) yards in Buffalo’s final game quickly come to mind, which is the purest case of recency bias. Plus, our focus should be on the regular season anyway. So, I pulled his usage across his two seasons with the Bills to compare.
Deep Target Share
Air yard Yard Share
OK, this makes sense. Diggs’ overall opportunity (TPRR and target share) declined, but he maintained a significant portion of the team’s air yards. His red-zone targets even increased. So, he may not have matched *the* WR1s in the league, but his metrics are well within the Top 12. And the results align with the data.
As Buffalo headed into the 2020 playoffs, Diggs capped the regular season with WR1, WR4, and WR2 finishes. Cole Beasley was the only other pass-catcher typically considered every week. But the Bills’ offense evolved in 2021, with top-12 finishes from Gabriel Davis and Emmanuel Sanders adding to the mix. With the latter being a possible cap casualty, Diggs’ 2022 outlook may not be as bleak.
I’m holding on to the red-zone and air-yard shares as indicators Diggs is still the receiver to roster in Buffalo. We’ll see what happens with Beasley, and I’m looking forward to Davis in his third year. Regardless, I’m less anxious about Diggs’ cost after looking at the data.
Miles Sanders – Drafted: 7.03 (RB29)
I had no issues drafting Miles Sanders at cost last season. Philadelphia was coming off of a drama-riddled season, Jordan Howard was gone, and Sanders’ situation was nothing but positive. I gave some credence to Kenny Gainwell getting drafted but thought Sanders could keep the job. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
My hope for Sanders hinged on his workload expanding. I could explain away his first two years. He shared the backfield with Howard, Jay Ajayi (remember him?), Darren Sproles, and Boston Scott his rookie year. The Eagles’ internal struggles torpedoed his sophomore season. But, even without most of those things this year, Sanders’ opportunity (and what he did with it) hardly changed.
RZ Success Rate
His targets and touches have declined relative to his teammates from efficiency to targets. What’s worse, his metrics aren’t any better than Gainwell’s.
RZ Success Rate
The rookie was more efficient and garnered more intent as a receiver when on the field. With Jalen Hurts also taking carries, the situation I projected for Sanders got flipped on its head. And, we’re looking at a similar outlook for 2022.
Philadelphia’s run-first identity (24th in neutral passing rate) may buoy Sanders’ overall rushing attempts. However, given Sanders’ seventh-round opportunity cost, I’d prefer the cheapest option between him and the other rushers.
I’ve got a couple of quick updates from yesterday. I’m still not expecting any definitive news until next week, but we did get some info.
Good news for the Bengals! Cincinnati appears on the right track health-wise, but C.J. Uzomah is still the wild card for Super Bowl LVI.
Los Angeles Rams
The headline is all we need to know, but there’s still time.