Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Targeting Undervalued Players for High Rankings

When it comes to fantasy football drafts, identifying value picks is crucial for building a winning team. In this article, we will highlight some hidden gems in the AFC that can provide excellent returns on investment. By targeting these players, you can gain an edge over your competition and increase your chances of fantasy football success. Let’s dive into the AFC divisions and uncover these valuable assets.

graph TD; A[Introduction] –> B[AFC East]; A –> C[AFC North]; A –> D[AFC South]; B –> E[“James Cook (RB – BUF)”]; B –> F[“Tyreek Hill (WR – MIA)”]; B –> G[“Mike Gesicki (TE – NE)”]; B –> H[“Breece Hall (RB – NYJ)”]; C –> I[“Zay Flowers (WR – BAL)”]; C –> J[“Irv Smith Jr. (TE – CIN)”]; C –> K[“Elijah Moore (WR – CLE)”]; C –> L[“Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)”]; D –> M[“Nico Collins (WR – HOU)”]; D –> N[“Anthony Richardson (QB – IND)”];

AFC East Undervalued Players

James Cook (RB – BUF)

In the dynamic Buffalo Bills offense, James Cook stands out as a player with immense potential. Possessing explosive speed and exceptional pass-catching abilities, Cook has the talent to make a significant impact. Last season, he displayed his prowess by ranking highly in important metrics like yards after contact per attempt, breakaway percentage, and elusive rating. Cook’s versatility as a runner and receiver makes him an enticing option for fantasy managers. With potential involvement in both early downs and passing situations, he tantalizes as a high-end RB2 on a weekly basis.

Tyreek Hill (WR – MIA)

When discussing the Miami Dolphins’ receiving options, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are the standouts. While both are priced at a premium, Hill’s electrifying playmaking ability and consistent production make him a justifiable investment. Although there might be concerns surrounding Tua Tagovailoa’s injury history, if he remains healthy, he has the potential to elevate Hill’s performance. Additionally, De’Von Achane, a third-round rookie in the Dolphins’ backfield, presents a value opportunity. With his impressive speed and fit within the team’s running scheme, Achane has the potential to outshine more experienced veterans.

Mike Gesicki (TE – NE)

Joining the New England Patriots, Mike Gesicki has an exciting opportunity to revitalize his career. Known for his athleticism, Gesicki’s move to a team that values tight ends could be a game-changer. The presence of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who previously coached Gesicki in college, adds familiarity and potential chemistry. At his current draft position as a low-end TE2 or high-end TE3, Gesicki presents an intriguing option with the upside to deliver TE1 production.

Breece Hall (RB – NYJ)

Breece Hall’s rookie season with the New York Jets was cut short by a torn ACL, but his performances before the injury showcased his potential. Possessing the ability to contribute both in the running and passing game, Hall demonstrated his versatility during a four-game stretch last season. Despite being an RB10 in ADP, Hall’s price remains reasonable due to his placement on the training camp PUP list. If he returns as expected for Week 1, he represents a value pick with RB1 ceiling and the potential to be a versatile asset for fantasy teams.

AFC NORTH Undervalued Players

Zay Flowers (WR – BAL)

Zay Flowers, a standout wide receiver from Boston College, possesses intriguing qualities that make him a player to watch. With impressive college statistics, including a high dominator rating and exceptional route running, Flowers has the potential to excel in Baltimore’s offense. Projected to operate primarily from the slot, his skills align well with the playing style of quarterback Lamar Jackson. At a WR48 price tag, investing in Flowers presents an opportunity for significant returns.

Irv Smith Jr. (TE – CIN)

In the high-powered Cincinnati Bengals offense, Irv Smith Jr. offers a chance to access touchdown potential at a low cost. As the team prioritizes red zone opportunities, Smith Jr. could emerge as a valuable low-end TE1 option. We’ve seen similar success in the past with players like Hayden Hurst, who thrived before an injury hampered his season. Smith Jr. should be on the radar for fantasy managers willing to wait on tight ends and seek potential breakout candidates.

Elijah Moore (WR – CLE)

Elijah Moore made a strong impression as a rookie, showcasing his skills during a six-game stretch where he ranked fourth in PPR fantasy scoring among wide receivers. Despite some concerns about his role in New York, Moore’s move to Cleveland and an upgraded quarterback in Deshaun Watson present an exciting opportunity. With a current WR47 ADP, Moore offers great value and the potential for significant profit if he can replicate his rookie success.

Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)

Diontae Johnson’s previous season might have been disappointing, but there’s strong evidence to suggest a bounce-back campaign is on the horizon. Johnson has consistently been a target machine, ranking highly in targets, receptions, and target share over the past three seasons. His ability to command targets, along with his expected positive regression in scoring, positions him as an undervalued asset in fantasy drafts. Johnson represents a prime buy-low opportunity with WR30 ADP.

AFC SOUTH Undervalued Players

Nico Collins (WR – HOU)

Nico Collins, with a WR59 ADP, is an enticing option with significant profit potential. Expected to assume the role of the Texans’ starting X receiver, Collins demonstrated promise last season, averaging nine targets per game in the four matchups following the bye week. His rapport with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud adds further excitement, making Collins a potential breakout candidate. As a late-round selection, he offers fantastic value with potential for significant returns.

Anthony Richardson (QB – IND)

Among the AFC South rookie quarterbacks, Anthony Richardson stands out as a player with immense potential. Blessed with exceptional athleticism, Richardson possesses the skills and playmaking ability to make an immediate impact. With the possibility of securing the Day 1 starting position and limited competition from Gardner Minshew, Richardson represents an intriguing option. His rushing ability and off-script playmaking provide fantasy managers with an excellent chance to capitalize on his potential. Richardson’s ADP makes him a value pick with great upside.

AFC WEST Undervalued Players

Javonte Williams (RB – DEN)

Javonte Williams, the talented rookie running back for the Denver Broncos, has the potential to be a breakout star in the AFC West. With an explosive running style, Williams showcased his playmaking ability in college and has the opportunity to earn a significant role in the Broncos’ backfield. As the season progresses, he could emerge as the lead back, making him a valuable asset for fantasy football managers. With an ADP in the RB25 range, Williams offers excellent value and upside.

Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR – JAX)

Laviska Shenault Jr. had a solid rookie season and is poised to take a step forward in the AFC West. With Trevor Lawrence entering his second year as quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the chemistry between the two could elevate Shenault’s production. As an athletic and versatile playmaker, Shenault has the potential to contribute in various ways, including receiving, rushing, and even taking snaps out of the backfield. At his current ADP, he presents a value pick with significant upside.

Jerry Jeudy (WR – LV)

Jerry Jeudy had an up-and-down rookie campaign, but he possesses immense talent and is primed for improvement in the AFC West. With quarterback Derek Carr leading the Las Vegas Raiders’ offense, Jeudy has a chance to establish a strong connection and become a reliable target in the passing game. As a precise route runner with big-play potential, Jeudy’s fantasy value could soar. Considering his ADP in the WR30 range, he offers excellent value and is worth targeting in drafts.

Josh Palmer (WR – LAC)
Josh Palmer, a rookie wide receiver for the Los Angeles Chargers, is an intriguing late-round option in AFC West fantasy drafts. He impressed during his college career at Tennessee and has caught the attention of the Chargers’ coaching staff in training camp. With Keenan Allen and Mike Williams as the primary receiving options, Palmer could carve out a role and become a valuable red zone target for quarterback Justin Herbert. At his current ADP, he presents a low-risk, high-reward selection for fantasy managers.

graph TD; A[Research ECR & ADP] –> B[Identify Undervalued Players] B –> C[Strategically Draft Undervalued Players] C –> D[Monitor Training Camp Updates] D –> E[In-Season Management] E –> F[Compete for Championship]


Uncovering hidden gems in the AFC for fantasy football drafts is a crucial strategy for building a winning team. The AFC East, North, South, and West divisions offer numerous value picks with significant upside. By targeting these players, such as Javonte Williams, Laviska Shenault Jr., Jerry Jeudy, and Josh Palmer, fantasy managers can acquire valuable assets at reasonable draft positions. Stay vigilant, conduct thorough research, and make smart decisions to gain an edge over your competitors in fantasy football.