Fantasy Steals on Underdog: Dumpster Diving for ADP Values

by Matt Babich · Best Ball Plays & Strategy

They say “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well, this is true every single season in fantasy football. Each season, the new, incoming talent takes hold of our attention, and we forget about seasoned veterans who still have a prevalent role in their respective offenses. These players offer depth and stability early on in the season, allowing your high-upside dart throws time to develop.

There’s a reason drafts are as long as they are. Hitting on your late-round draft picks can catapult you to a championship. Achieving this doesn’t have to be difficult. It simply requires the patience to draft unappealing veterans alongside your many youthful upside plays.

The Archetype

For receivers, we’re looking for a veteran with a WR3 or better role in a high-volume passing offense or a WR2 or better role in a low-volume passing offense. These types likely have depressed value due to historically low upside and/or the presence of a rookie. We can apply this same logic to running backs and offensive run volumes, with the obvious preference on backs with pass-catching upside.

With this in mind, the following players are my favorite veterans to target.

Mack Hollins (Underdog ADP: 214.3, WR97)

This is particularly fitting because Mack Hollins proudly eats his meals with his hands. Despite his primitive lifestyle, Hollins is the WR2 on the Falcons’ depth chart. He worked as a starter for the Raiders last season, earning over 93 (No. 39) targets and 1,208 (No. 25) Air Yards.

Mack Hollins Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

He was targeted in fantasy-friendlty situations, corralling a 14-percent Red Zone Target Share and 18 (No. 27) Deep Targets. He’s never been a route-winner or an efficient producer, and that remained constant in 2022. Nevertheless, his role carried him to 9.1 (No. 52) Fantasy Points per Game with 7 weeks of 10+ fantasy points. Despite a starting role and little target competition, Hollins has been tossed to the curb.

Jeff Wilson (Underdog ADP: 174.5, RB55)

Jeff Wilson was the leader in the clubhouse after being traded to the Dolphins, out-carrying  and out-targeting Mostert when healthy. Wilson continued to flash his efficiency as a playmaker in 2022, putting up 4.6 (No. 22) True Yards per Carry and a 7.4-percent (No. 9) Breakaway Run Rate. He also performed restpectably as a pass-catcher, compiling 0.91 (No. 29) Yards per Route Run. Further, he was the go-to back at the goal line, totaling 16 carries inside of the 10 yard line and right carries inside of the five yard line.

Devon Achane is not only the third string back on the depth chart, but has an archetype that is much closer to the aging 31-year-old Raheem Mostert. Nearing age 28, Wilson has plenty of tread on the tires and has immense value in the early weeks of the 2023 season. Any running back of relevance in a Mike McDaniel’s run scheme is worth rostering in fantasy. He’ll likely finish as a top-36 back through the first half of the season, a pace he could maintain as his role as the short-yardage back is secure in Miami.

Isaiah Hodgins (Underdog ADP: 168.5, WR73)

The Giants’ top-listed wide receiver is free in drafts. Let that sink in. I don’t care what your priors were before last season, Isaiah Hodgins is here to stay. He flashed as a separator in his true rookie season, posting a 53-percent (No. 1 ) Route Win Rate. His fluent route-running led to his inevitable breakout in Week 13. From then on, Hodgins was a full starter, earning 6.4 (1 red zone) targets per game. The icing on the cake? He finished as the WR15 over this stretch, chalking up 15.2 fantasy points per game.

He is not some dusty veteran who has given targets because no one else was available. Hodgins is a player the Giants drafted just two seasons ago. There’s clearly a trust in Hodgins. The Giants added no one of significance in the receiver room this offseason outside of Jalin Hyatt. In a futher evolving offense, there’s an easy path to 100 targets for Hodgins going into his second full season. I’ll stake my reputation on him beating his ADP.

Devin Singletary (Underdog ADP: 156.7, RB49)

The Houston Texans, who are now led by a new coaching regime, have more invested this season in their new running back Devin Singletary than they do in Dameon Pierce. Pierce’s 74-percent Opportunity Share was a nifty rookie season achievement, but it was a result of the Texans’ horrific lack of depth.

Pierce was fine as a rusher, plodding to the tune of 4.0 (No. 47) True Yards per Carry and a 4.1-percent (No. 36) Breakaway Run Rate. He also failed to earn targets in an offense throwing to Nico Collins, drawing a Singletary was a slightly more-effective rusher last season and an equally effective receiver. In many ways, the two are similar talents.

The Texans signed Singletary to lock-down the pass-blocking role. With RT Tytus Howard out for a while with a hand injury, the ex-Bill will be earning snaps in pivotal passing situations.

The Texans are going to be playing from behind often in 2023, opening the door for Singletary to carve out a minimum 9-percent Target Share (~40 targets) and 40-percent Opportunity Share. With Singletary’s talent as a playmaker, he has a good shot at contributing RB3 numbers early on in the season.