Fantasy Football: Cowboys’ Tony Romo leads 2014 All-Value Team

tony romo

(Anthony J. Causi/Icon SMI)

Every year, there are players who go much lower than they should in fantasy football drafts.

The Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo and New York Giants’ Rashad Jennings are two examples of players who are undervalued in 2014 fantasy football drafts.

Like Romo and Jennings, these players are often veterans who have been around for multiple seasons. They don’t have the same “upside” or provide the perceived excitement. However what these players do typically provide is tremendous value based upon draft position.

Value can be lost however if owners get too aggressive on draft day. Grabbing the following guys a round or two before their typical ADP should allow owners to take the players they covet and still maintain value.

All of the average draft position data is pulled from FF Toolbox.

Tony Romo (91st Overall/12th among QBs)

Tony Romo is often overlooked in fantasy football. Owners tend to lower him in their rankings, remembering his struggles late in the season and the playoffs. He typically will get drafted outside the top 10 among quarterbacks but usually finishes inside the top 10 at his position.

This should be one of, if not the best season for Romo, with massive numbers likely coming from a combination of necessity and the offensive talent surrounding him.

The Cowboys defense was atrocious last season and probably got worse. They lost DeMarcus Ware during free agency and their “do everything” linebacker Sean Lee, who was a leader on defense.

The addition of new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan should help the Cowboys offense be much more productive as well. Linehan helped Matthew Stafford have his best season as a pro in Detroit. Establishing the run game should allow Romo to utilize play action and his big play receiving threats.

Tony Romo makes my quarterback ranks at number 5, over guys like Cam Newton, Stafford and RG3. I would feel comfortable taking him in round six or seven. Owners can wait until round eight or nine if they feel their league mates are not Romo fans. Maximizing value is the goal.

Rashad Jennings (63th overall/24th among RBs)

Rashad Jennings showed in Oakland that with an awful offense, he could still be productive. He gets a chance to play behind an improved offensive line and offense by making the move to the New York Giants this season. The Giants love to run the football, especially when they get in close. In the last five seasons the Giants have the second most rushing touchdowns with 74.

While I think Andre Williams will be used this season, the hype is getting too crazy, too soon. Both backs are 230 pounds and Jennings is the taller back by two inches at 6’1”. The thunder and lightning prediction feels lazy and forced.

Jennings is a top 15 running back for me and has top 10 potential. The Giants will try and relieve some of the pressure on quarterback Eli Manning. Establishing the run is one of the best ways to do so.

Fred Jackson (115th overall/40th among RBs)

tony romo

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Fred Jackson is the king of being overlooked and under-drafted. He consistently produces value above his draft day value. Fred Jackson was a top 10 running back in fantasy football last season. Take a second while that sinks in. Top 10! He caught almost 50 balls last season too. If you play in PPR leagues, don’t assume he isn’t as useful.The return of C.J. Spiller is not a bad thing for Jackson either. If Spiller can provide an electric change of pace threat, Jackson should stay healthy and productive all season.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone also employs a running scheme that is more conducive for the power running back. While I’m not planning on Jackson being a top 10 back, a guy who is going 40th among running backs provides tremendous value.

I have Jackson inside my top 30 at running back. I would be just fine grabbing Jackson starting in round six or seven as my second running back. He will provide stability and allow owners to grab running backs as the draft goes along.

Joique Bell (67th overall/25th among RBs)

Joique Bell is being selected almost 30 picks after his teammate Reggie Bush. They are separated by eight picks at running back. The two to three round difference is pretty big considering Bell had 60 less rushing attempts and yet was only four spots behind Bush at the end of the season in standard scoring.

Owners in PPR formats assume Bush is the better pass catcher and draft him as such. However last season Bell had one less catch, 53, than Bush, who had 54. Bell also had 41 more yards receiving.

If owners are getting basically the same running back from both players, why not wait a few rounds and get the extra value.

I expect Bell to be the more productive back and have ranked him as such. Bell is inside my top 20 at running back with Bush on the outside looking in.

Riley Cooper (118th Overall / 48th among WRs)

With DeSean Jackson gone and Nick Foles is coming into his second full season in Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense, Cooper is primed for a really nice season after proving last season that not only could he be productive but has the potential to explode.

Cooper is going to be the featured receiver in Philadelphia. Rookie Jordan Matthews has been impressive in camp and will likely start on opposite side . Jeremy Maclin is returning from injury and should see most of his work in the slot.

I have Cooper inside my top 25 at receiver and expect big things from him this season. As a guy going after round 10, he should provide tremendous value for owners that late in the draft. He is more than a lottery ticket, which is what is typically taken down that far.

Jarrett Boykin (141 Overall/56th among WRs)

(Al Bello/Getty Images North America)

(Al Bello/Getty Images North America)

Jarrett Boykin is another receiver who is severely undervalued. Boykin showed tremendous promise in spots last season filling in for injured receivers. This season he should have plenty of opportunity especially with James Jones and Jermichael Finley leaving via free agency.

The Packers show year after year, they can have three or more pass catchers who can put up good numbers. Boykin will not replace Jones in terms of the routes he ran but should have the opportunity to be targeted consistently.

He is in my top 40 at wide receiver. He will be a solid flex option or bye week fill in most weeks. If Cobb or Nelson go down he could be much more than that.

Charles Clay (127th Overall/15th among TEs)

Charles Clay is versatile player that lines up in a multitude of spots. His versatility allows for points to be scored in many different ways. The Dolphins will even have Clay line up in the backfield on the goal line.

He was the 7th best tight end last season and caught almost 70 balls. Clay doesn’t have the upside of Jimmy Graham or Julius Thomas but he is very reliable and comes at a much cheaper price.

Clay is easily in my top 10 at tight end. I expect him to continue to be utilized in Miami. His numbers should improve with new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor calling the plays.



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