The Most Underrated NFL Players That You Better Start Paying Attention To

  • 10. Golden Tate

    WR, Detroit

    What a breakout year for the Notre Dame alumnus. He has filled in beautifully in the absence of All-Pro Calvin Johnson. Ten games into the season and Tate already has 950 receiving yards, averaging close to 100 yards per game. After having a decent career in Seattle, Tate has absolutely broken loose as a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. The combination of Calvin and Tate is going to be very dangerous.

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  • Antonio Gates

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    9. Antonio Gates

    TE, San Diego

    According to Yahoo! Sports, Antonio Gates was projected as the 146th best player in the NFL. He is currently rated the 37th best player and a top-five best tight end. How disrespectful. Antonio Gates has been doing this for what seems like forever. He is a Hall of Famer that still has some juice left in the tank. Gates is a Tony Gonzalez-type player and will retire when he wants, not because of lack of skill.

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  • Jordy Nelson

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    8. Jordy Nelson

    WR, Green Bay

    I understand that Jordy has Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, but still this guy is arguably the best receiver in the league. If you take a look at his four lowest statistical games of his season, you will notice that the Packers lost three of those four. When Jordy has 100 yards and a touchdown the Packers are basically a lock to win the game. He knows how to ball and will be a significant receiver in this league for years to come.

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  • Brian Hoyer

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    7. Brian Hoyer

    QB, Cleveland

    Sorry Johnny Football fans, this one is going to sting. Brian Hoyer has done an exceptional job with the 2014 Cleveland Browns, especially considering he wasn’t supposed to be the starter after Week 4. The Browns are fighting for first place in the AFC North and Hoyer is the definitive quarterback. Also remember he is putting up numbers without some guy named Josh Gordon, who had 1,600-plus yards last year. Keep silencing the haters, Mr. Hoyer.

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  • 6. Darren Sproles

    RB, Philadelphia

    Darren Sproles had the most all-purpose yards in a single season during the 2011 season. The 5-6 return specialist is now on his third team since being drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2005. It’s almost surprising that a team would be willing to part ways with Sproles. He doesn’t do one specific thing exceptionally well; instead he does everything pretty good. He is a phenomenal return man that seems to improve every team he joins.

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  • 5. Frank Gore

    RB, San Francisco

    The average NFL career span is less than three years. This is Frank Gore’s 10th season in the NFL. For a guy that takes some hard hits from some monster linebackers, you could say Gore has had a nice career. Frank Gore has not gotten the proper credit for how good of a back he has been since joining the 49ers. He has rushed for over 1,000 yards in seven of his nine complete seasons and over 10,000 for his career. The dude simply doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

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  • 4. Odell Beckham Jr.

    WR, New York

    According to Seattle Seahawks boisterous cornerback Richard Sherman, “[Odell] Beckham is a great player.” I agree Mr. Sherman. The New York Giants had to wait a handful of games, because of injuries, to unleash the freakish Odell Beckham. Odell is a rookie out of Louisiana State, selected by the Giants with the 12th overall pick. With the injury to Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham now has the opportunity to prove that he is a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver. He is off to the right start.

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  • Alex Smith

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    3. Alex Smith

    QB, Kansas City

    The dude just seems to know how to win. It took him a long time, but Alex Smith finally understands his role as a quarterback in the National Football League. Alex Smith has a 18-8 record in his first two seasons with the Chiefs and is on pace to lead the squad to a second-straight playoff run. Not bad for a team that went 2-14 the season before he got there. Alex Smith is a great fit for the Chiefs and is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL.

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  • 2. Ahmad Bradshaw

    RB, Indianapolis

    As a Giants fan, I never really understood why we let Ahmad Bradshaw go. I understand he had a semi-high contract, but he was a solid 1,000-yard back. The Colt running back was having a solid year, again, before the team placed him on IR earlier this week. Still, he had a little over 400 yards rushing and 300 yards receiving and was a top 10 fantasy back when healthy. Ahmad does it all. He blocks, runs, catches, and gets red zone touches. Bradshaw is one of the most underrated backs in the last 10 years. I will never forget his Super Bowl touchdown, either.

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  • 1. Le'Veon Bell

    RB, Pittsburgh

    The Pittsburgh Steelers starting running back is quietly having one of the best seasons in Steelers history and it is only his second year in the NFL. His past struggles may have deterred fantasy owners from drafting him in the top 10. Bell became the first back in franchise history to top 100 total yards in each of the team’s first seven games. He also has the most receptions ever by a Steelers running back…and there are still five games left to be played. That’s pretty insane. Bell is easily a top-10 back in the league and has the potential to be a star for a very long time. He’s also making less than $800,000 this year. Talk about a bargain.

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  • Golden Tate
  • Antonio Gates
  • Jordy Nelson
  • Brian Hoyer
  • Darren Sproles
  • Frank Gore
  • Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Alex Smith
  • Ahmad Bradshaw
  • Le

Almost three months into your fantasy season and you are finally patting yourself on the back for drafting those hidden gems late in the draft. Maybe you took Gronk or Gates somewhere in the middle of the draft or held onto an injured player like Odell Beckham Jr.. You entrusted your team to be led by Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning. Or you are like me and forgot to draft a decent receiver. Either way, there are still a few weeks left and everyone will forget about your 3-12 season shortly.

As a society we are infatuated with statistics. We love to dissect and compare numbers in order to help us decide the future. In football terms we use statistics to figure out who is great and who is not so great. Legends are defined by rings. Fantasy players are judged on fantasy points. I personally think fantasy football is kind of strange and takes away from the true passion of the game, but that is the society we live in today.

In this article, I’m breaking down 10 players that I think are considered underrated in their respective positions. I looked at fantasy points, average draft pick, and previous seasons. I also have watched NFL RedZone for what seems like forever, so I also went with gut and who I believe is a vital player on their team.

Scroll through the article and let me know who I missed and who you think is an underrated player in the National Football League. I could have given a spot to the entire Cowboys O-line, so don’t think I left you high and dry, Cowboys fans. These are The Most Underrated NFL Players That You Better Start Paying Attention To.

Follow Jason on Twitter at @imfitterthanyou

image via Jim McIsaac/Getty Images