Helmy’s Fantasy Football All-Undervalued Team

Some day, unfortunately, you will die. Morbid, I know… You will also have to pay taxes, morbid, I know — unless you’re Wesley Snipes — but even then, everything eventually catches up with you….Today, somewhere, Justin Bieber will pose in a picture like this…is morbid the word?

Death, taxes, Bieber selfie — all sure things. Just as “sure” are fantasy football stars who will be under-valued on draft day.

I’ve spent the last few weeks reading blogs, websites, magazines and reports while following beat reporters for each team to get the latest scoop on who is really impressing at camp this preseason. After studying like I’m prepping for the bar, it’s time to put my knowledge to work. If I had to put together a first-string team of fantasy stars as the ultimate under-valued, this would be it:

Quarterback: Tom Brady – New England

He’s going in the fourth round of most drafts, not only because quarterback is crazy deep this year but also because everyone is terrified that Brady won’t have offensive weapons around him. I want to fill you in on a little secret though; you ready?….It’s FREAKING TOM BRADY. He makes everyone better around him. He’s easily one of the top three or four quarterbacks to ever throw a football. Who cares who he’s throwing to.

Remember that season when he made the completely formerly irrelevant Randy Moss go off for one of the best career years a receiver has ever seen? 2006 Moss in Oakland had three TDs. 2007 Moss in New England had 23 TDs — he also nearly tripled his yardage.

Now I’m not saying that there is a Moss-like receiver who is in his prime currently on the roster, but you cannot downplay the athleticism of the kids currently on the team. Danny Amendola is a stud who is going in the first tier or second tier of WRs in most drafts. Rookies Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins are creating more buzz at training camp than Brady’s own wife — and I haven’t even got into rookie stud tight end Zach Sudfeld (more on him later).

And for those worried about his knee brace that he’s wearing in result of his sprain last week — don’t.

Recent tweets from reporters:

Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane: “That’s the Tom Brady we saw during Tues and Weds scrimmages (and, well, his entire career)”.

ESPN’s Ed Werder: “No matter the receivers, Tom Brady is Tom Brady”.

Brady had a nearly flawless outing in the last preseason game, completing 11 of 12 passes for 107 yards and a TD — six of those passes went to Amendola for 71 yards and the score.

I would also like to point out the point totals for starting QBs in standard scoring leagues last season.

Drew Brees: 424 points

Aaron Rodgers: 419 points

Tom Brady: 405 points

The differential from Brees to Brady last season was a measly 1.19 points per game, yet if you want Brees you will have to take him 2-3 rounds ahead of where Brady is going.

Running back: Maurice Jones Drew – Jacksonville

MJD is currently going in the third round when he’s been a first round back the last three years he’s been healthy. In fact, it was just a little more than one year ago when he led the NFL in rushing! And it wasn’t even close! So what gives? The morons who made the draft rankings back in the spring weren’t convinced he had recovered from his surgery last year. Don’t fall into the trap. MJD is fine


The three-time Pro Bowl selection only played in the first series, but appeared to be well on his way to regaining his old form.

Jones-Drew’s biggest play came on a catch. On third-down-and-2, Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert found Jones-Drew on a quick pass near the sideline. He quickly made a defender miss and ran down the sideline for a 20-yard gain to the Jets 6.


Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said he’s not feeling pain in his foot and is back to normal. He missed 10 games with a Lisfranc injury last season and had surgery in December.

“There’s no pain in my foot. I’m cutting great, no swelling. It’s like back to normal again,” Jones-Drew said. He added that this is not the same injury as Santonio Holmes’ and it’s not in the arch of his foot. MJD has been racking up the miles with 1862 touches in his career.

MJD is in a contract year and will get the ball about 13,000 times per game given their question marks at the quarterback position. If his foot really is healthy, he will lead the AFC in rushing.

Running back: DeAngelo Williams – Carolina

He carried the ball 12 times in his last preseason game against Philly while gaining 39 yards. Both the other backs in Carolina are hurt and the Panthers have a new offensive coordinator in Mike Shula who will focus a lot on the run game. Williams has a lot left in the tank given his split time with Jonathan Stewart over the years. He’s going in the 14th round but I would take him in the 9th as a very solid flex play.

Joe Flacco passed for nearly 4,000 yards last season for the first time and this year there is no Anquan Boldin to take away targets. He’s looked very healthy and fast in his preseason games. The coaches love him. I love him. Your mom probably even loves him. Smith is primed for a very big year.

The Batimore Sun:

“Oh, yeah, Torrey is the kind of guy who wants to learn every single day,” Harbaugh said. “With Brandon here and Dallas, I’m sure he’ll be listening to everything they say and watching everything they do. That’s kind of Torrey’s mentality. Torrey, more than anything, gets a lot from Jim Hostler. Torrey listens to everything he’s coached to do and Jim does a great job with him.”

Wide Receiver: T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis

Hilton had an amazing rookie season and his set to make the big jump in his sophomore year but it’s obvious some are a little apprehensive based on his 11th round going price right now.

Hopefully the caution isn’t because of quarterback Andrew Luck. He only broke every major rookie passing record last season with 4,374 yards passing and 23 TDs. Everyone knows those passes are going to Reggie Wayne and Hilton and they’re going to be spot on.

Fox Sports:

“Yeah, we’re all comfortable,” Hilton said after Luck threw two touchdown passes in the Colts’ 20-12 victory. “This is year 2, so the game is really slowing down for everybody that was a rookie last year. That actually helps us out.

“But when Luck is throwing the ball the way he’s throwing it, we can’t be stopped.”

Most writers from large outlets seem to be hopping on the bandwagon daily.

USA Today:

But Hilton’s game continues to glitter like a gold bauble. He is emerging as Andrew Luck’s go-to guy opposite Reggie Wayne. He was spectacular through the last seven games of last season, catching more passes for more yards and touchdowns than even Wayne. Now he has come back to camp even better, his eyes firmly trained on excellence.

“The game is slowing down for me,” Hilton said. “So now I can just play fast.”

Hilton was in the top 11 in yards after catch last year in the NFL — not to mention, yards per reception and yards after catch reception.

Andrew Luck — once called the next John Elway — is probably just that. T.Y. Hilton looks to be the next Jerry Rice.

Wide Receiver: Chris Givens – St. Louis

Every year I get burned by a Rams WR. It’s happened every single season since Kurt Warner left. This year is different.

Rookie Tavon Austin is getting all the hype — and he’s great, but he’ll lineup second to Givens.

Givens led the Rams receiving corps last season, racking up at least eight fantasy points in six out of the 12 games he played. The Rams also have an improved offensive line and are set to throw a ton; Givens is first on the depth chart at the wideout spot.

Just listen to what Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com has to say about him:

There’s track speed and there’s football speed. Givens has football speed. The fourth-round draft pick out of Wake Forest opened eyes early last season after breaking a rookie record with a catch of more than 50 yards in five consecutive games. I watched all of Givens’ 78 targets from last season on Game Rewind: His speed continually surprised deep safeties, who took bad angles when trying to cover him. Even some of the best safeties in the game.

Tight End: Zach Sudfeld – New England

Hard to believe that a rookie that was signed in May is now set to be the next tight end star out of New England, but after Gronk’s injuries and Aaron Hernandez’s legal trouble (to say the least) that’s exactly what is happening.

Erik Frenz of Boston.com:

The Patriots have been without Gronkowski since the start of training camp, and have been preparing for this exact situation. In case you haven’t heard, tight end Zach Sudfeld has emerged in practices and in games, and looks like a lock to be the top tight end when the Patriots take the field against the Bills.

At 6’7″ and 260 pounds, Sudfeld has almost exactly the same frame as Gronkowski, who weighs the same and stands an inch shorter.

Wait, he’s larger than Rob Gronkowski and might have just as good – if not better — pass catching skills? That’s what it sounds like as Frenz goes on to praise Sudfeld’s route running and ridiculous pass catching.

Sudfeld, nicknamed “Flint” in college because of the way he would ignite offense, seems to be the talk in Boston right now. Currently going in the 13th round, the kid seems to be a steal. The only caveat is his blocking, which reportedly isn’t as good as Gronkowski’s, but if Sudfeld is as good as everyone thinks he can easily be a top 10 tight end given the pass happy offense in New England that runs a lot of two tight end sets.


That’s all for now folks. No defenses; no kickers, until the very last rounds. They’re arbitrary. Just keep taking lottery tickets at the skill positions until then, trust me.

Remember, there aren’t many certainties in life, but if you study real hard for your draft and be really good, Santa might just bring you a fantasy championship.

Did I just reference Santa? I’ve been spending way too much time writing this article…

Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports for the latest in sports on your newsfeed.

Photo Credit: Getty (Icon Media for Maurice Jones Drew, Torrie Smith)