Fantasy draft preparation looks different depending on the player. Some will pour through article after article, do a mock draft for every possible scenario on the table, and have their target list ready to go on draft day. For the average fantasy player, it’s probably somewhere in between that level of detail and reading a Do/Don’t Draft List, doing a mock or two, and winging it.
Regardless of your strategy, we want to take a look at some players who consistently are undervalued in fantasy drafts based on their on-field performance. All rankings in this piece are based on half-point PPR scoring.
Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears
Whether it’s the fact that he plays for the Bears or had been seen as Allen Robinson’s understudy for the last few seasons, Mooney has not gotten enough love from fantasy players. With Robinson now in Los Angeles, Mooney is now the top target for developing quarterback Justin Fields.
In 2020, he went undrafted in fantasy and finished as WR51. With that in mind, he was drafted as the 53rd best receiver in 2021 and finished as WR24 while snagging 81 catches in his first 1,000-yard season. At his current 2022 ADP of 74, Mooney is being taken as the 31st best receiver on the board. Don’t miss out on him outplaying that projection again.
Melvin Gordon III, RB, Denver Broncos
Gordon sort of became a fantasy afterthought when he began the 2019 season by holding out in the hopes that the Chargers would pay him top running back money. After realizing Austin Ekeler was giving the team a reason to not do this, he returned in underwhelming fashion and has since spent two seasons in Denver after leaving in free agency.
It feels like that is still being factored into how he’s drafted in fantasy leagues. Gordon has finished as RB13 (2020) and RB18 (2021) in the last two seasons after being drafted as RB21 (2020) and RB 30 (2021). Despite splitting time with Javonte Williams, he still carries a ton of value as RB39 in 2022 with an ADP of 99.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans
Cooks is another player who doesn’t get attention despite consistent production, and he carries a large sample size. With six 1,000+ yard receiving seasons in the last seven years, Cooks does not get the respect he deserves in fantasy football. He’s finished as a top 20 receiver each of the last two seasons, including a WR15 finish in 2020.
This outpaced his ADP at the position by nearly 20 receivers a year, and he’s now starting to get some of that respect with a WR23 designation in 2022 drafts. That said, he’s still the unquestioned top option in Houston and will be a threat to outperform expectations once again.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
This one is more for the players who are selecting in the top 2-3 picks of their draft, at best. To make a long story short, if Taylor is available when you are on the clock, take him.
He’s now the top player on the board after an RB6 finish in 2020 and an RB1 finish last season despite not being a top-7 running back in either season’s ADP rankings. Even if the league is full PPR, and we cannot emphasize this enough, pick Taylor and keep it moving.