Who is too high, too low and just right?
Much like Goldilocks, we are looking for the players who are in the right position to draft with confidence.
If the hype is overwhelming, a player can go too high and disappoint. If a player is under the radar, sometimes we can find that late-round steal who turns into a league winner. But usually, players are priced just right and you need to decide if they best fit your team.
Looking at some early offseason ADP data from NFFC (yes, drafts are going on right now — lots of them!), we will look at a few players who are going too high, too low or just right.
Bijan Robinson, RB, Pick No. 15
We have no idea where Robinson is going to be drafted. He could find a wonderful landing spot, like Philadelphia or Buffalo. But he could also find himself in a logjam in a place like San Francisco. Using a high second-round pick on such a crapshoot is not smart business. And taking him a spot higher than Derrick Henry makes even less sense.
We all know what Robinson can do. In his final season at Texas, he ran for 1,580 yards and 18 TDs on 258 carries. He also added 314 yards and two touchdowns on 19 receptions. He is a powerful, elusive, multifaceted running back. I might regret not taking him at this point in drafts. But until we know where he will be playing, taking him as RB5 is too much.
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins, No. 23
Though Hill can open things up for Waddle, it will still be difficult for him to improve upon his stats from 2022 — 1,356 yards and eight TDs on 75 receptions. Those are solid numbers, but they do not rise to the level of a WR10.
With the uncertainty surrounding Tagovailoa’s health and what, if any, plans the Dolphins have in his absence, 2023-24 could be a down season for Waddle and the Dolphins offense. Coach Mike McDaniel comes from a Kyle Shanahan system, which relies heavily on the run game. To keep Tagovailoa or whichever QB is behind center upright, even more running might be a key factor. This will limit all receivers, including Waddle and Hill, when it comes to fantasy reliability. I am not telling you to avoid Waddle. I am just telling you to tread lightly.
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals, No. 35
This is simply based on the fact Mixon is likely to be a cut candidate.
Cincinnati has a great offense, and with a competent offensive line, Mixon could be great as well. But will he be there?
The Bengals are cheap, and they need to find room under the salary cap to sign Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. To keep the band together, the Brown family will need to make tough decisions. Letting Jessie Bates III walk and releasing Mixon and his bloated RB contract could be the first steps.
Now, this all being said, if Mixon ends up with the Bengals again, this could be a steal at the end of the third round. If he ends up having to take a split back role on a new team, this would be far too high a price to pay for him.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints, No. 73
After being a perennial first-round draft pick, having Kamara fall to the seventh round is ridiculous. Especially with Derek Carr now in New Orleans as the quarterback.
In his final season in Las Vegas, Carr still was able to help Josh Jacobs become the leading rusher in the NFL with 1,653 yards and 12 TDs on 340 carries. Though Kamara is never going to eclipse the 300-carry threshold, he can easily eclipse the 300-touch mark with his ability to catch passes out of the backfield.
With 57 receptions on 77 targets in 2022, Kamara proved he is still one of the best dual-threat running backs in the NFL. This ability will make him far more valuable than a seventh-round draft selection in fantasy drafts this summer.
George Pickens, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers, No. 80
Despite taking over as the WR1 for Pittsburgh by the end of the 2022 season, Pickens is still going behind Diontae Johnson in fantasy drafts.
Johnson is going as the first pick in the seventh round, while Pickens is being taken as the eighth pick in the same round. I would rather have Pickens. Not only does he have a connection with Kenny Pickett, but, unlike Johnson, he also does not need 12 targets to gather five catches in a game.
With 801 yards on 52 catches, an average of 15.4 yards per catch, Pickens was a big-play threat for a Steelers offense that was severely lacking in that area throughout the season. Now that he is fully healthy and recovered from the ACL injury he suffered at Georgia, Pickens could be in store for a significant leap in 2023 after a full offseason of work with the rest of the offense.
Pittsburgh has always had the defense. But when it finally gets its offense in stride? That’s when it has its special seasons. If Pickens and Pickett can find the connection — and Najee Harris returns to his rookie form — there could be something in the air in the Steel City … other than the Primanti Brothers sandwiches and stale beer.
AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers, No. 91
With Aaron Rodgers all but gone from Green Bay, the Packers will be forced to rely on their offensive weapons to help Jordan Love transition into the league and be successful. One of those weapons he will count on is Dillon.
Though Aaron Jones is the better all-around RB, he will get a majority of his production from the slot and as the passing-down back. While this happens, the 6-foot, 250-pound Dillon will start getting more run out of the backfield and short-yardage plays from the goal line.
This does not bode well for many 100-yard games or a 1,000-yard season, but it does bode well for the ability to get a lot of TDs in the Green Bay offense against a division with relatively weak defenses in Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota.
With 770 yards gained on 186 rushes in 2022, Dillon showed his ability to be a two-down back in the NFL. Despite Jones being the major passing-down back, Dillon still put up admirable receiving numbers, with 206 yards on 28 receptions. These numbers would make for a great addition as a fantasy RB4. And with a draft price currently sitting in the middle of the eighth round, this is wonderful value.
Allen Robinson, WR, Los Angeles Rams, No. 208
By “just right” in this case, I mean a last-pick flier on someone who, although still talented, has not shown it in recent years.
Robinson had a difficult first season in Los Angeles. It looks to be his only season in L.A., as the Rams have given him permission to seek a trade with another team, hoping to get him off the books.
Robinson, who started his career in Jacksonville before going to Chicago, played in 100 career games before last season. In those games, he had 495 receptions for 6,409 yards and 40 TDs. In 10 games for the Rams in 2022, Robinson managed only a paltry 33 receptions for 339 yards and three TDs. As you can see, three was not a lucky number for Robinson, who now hopes to rejuvenate his career on a fourth team.
If he can find an ideal landing spot and settle in as a WR2 or 3, the talent is still there to thrive in the NFL. And with his draft price being where it is, he would make a great last-round flier to take a chance on. Who knows? Maybe he can go back to Jacksonville to pair with Christian Kirk and Calvin Ridley.
(Top photo of George Pickens: Eakin Howard / Getty Images)