It's All About Value in Fantasy Leagues

Just like in the NFL, you should always draft for value in fantasy football leagues. There is no reason to reach for a player when you can find one of greater value later on in your draft. One of the key elements in becoming a good fantasy football owner is being able to find value when all of it seemingly is gone.

Lets take a look at what players are looking undervalued in fantasy drafts this year.

Quarterback

1. Chad Pennington / New York Jets

A broken wrist limited his play to only nine starts last season. The fifth-year signal caller had 12 TD passes in his five games but struggled mightily in his final four games (1 TD pass/6 INTs).

Once teams started to take out WR Santana Moss out of his options, Pennington had no one to go to and it showed. However, he'll finally have a big and talented WR to go to in Justin McCareins who along with Moss should form quite a duo. Those two WRs should combine for at least 20 TDs and Pennington is a lock for at least 25 TDs. The good news is that fantasy owners seem to have a bitter taste in their mouths after Pennington's late season swoon in 2003 which is why he's lasting until the 6th-7th rounds. That's a great area to get him if you can and that's what makes him a solid value there.

2. Joey Harrington / Detroit

Sure he didn't post good numbers last season but when you have to throw to Bill Schroeder, Reggie Swinton, David Kircus and a whole host of scrub WRs, what QB could really expect to do well? Now add veteran WR Tai Streets, a healthy second-year WR Charles Rogers who missed most of his rookie campaign, and first-round pick WR Roy Williams. Harrington will also have an improved running game behind him with first-round pick RB Kevin Jones added to the mix.

We're not advocating Harrington as your starter but selecting him in rounds 10-12 in a normal 16 round draft is a good area for him as your backup based on the potential of their offense. If things go right for him, there certainly will be weeks where you'll want to consider starting Harrington.

Running Back

1. Correll Buckhalter / Philadelphia

You probably wouldn't know it without looking at his numbers but he finished with nine total TDs last season. Now with veteran RB Duce Staley out of the picture, Buckhalter should see a lot more playing time and he should also see a majority of the goalline carries. Unless he gets hurt or the team signs another RB to compete with him and Brian Westbrook, Buckhalter should have no problem hitting 10 TDs or more in 2004.

The good thing is that fantasy owners seem so enamored with Westbrook that they're letting Buckhalter drift in to the seventh round or later and that makes him a great value for your third back.

2. Charlie Garner / Tampa Bay

Like veteran RB Warrick Dunn, Garner is coming off an injury. Because Garner is an older RB (32) and is coming off a disappointing and injury plagued season, he's going a little later than usual (generally mid-fourth round and in some drafts, early fifth). In some instances, you can get Garner as your third back and if you can, he makes an excellent value in that role because he will touch the ball a lot and he'll post excellent yardage numbers.

In our next installment, we'll take a look at some undervalued wide receivers and tight ends.

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