It is easy to give all of the fame and praise to the popular players that are flashy and score touchdowns. But, there are plenty of players that are the best at their position and you don’t even know their name. They are players so valuable that their whole team would crumble without their efforts. Which player is the most underrated on your team? Take a look and see.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Matt Feiler (T)
There a many players that came out of the wood work for the Steelers last season because of the overwhelming number of injuries that they endured. One player that shined was tackle Matt Feiler. The Pittsburgh offensive line has been one of the best groups in the league for a number of years, and it seems as if this trend will continue in 2020 because of the blossoming productivity of Feiler and his teammates. The Steelers are certainly one of the biggest Wild Cards in 2020, if Big Ben can play like he has in the past, the Steelers are a force to be reckoned with.
Cleveland Browns: J.C. Tretter (C)
Tretter gets a negative reputation because of the overall performance of the Offensive line in Cleveland. Tretter should not be to blame, because he was actually a top tier center in 2019. According to Pro Football Focus, Tretter was the third highest graded center in the league. The Brown’s drafted more talent on the O-Line, which should assist in the productivity of a star-studded Cleveland Brown offense.
Cincinnati Bengals: Trey Hopkins (C)
Hopkins has the unfortunate circumstance of being a part of one of the worst offensive lines in the league. So his name tends to be thrown around as not being elite because he is a member of the group. But, this is not the case, Hopkins has been a light in the darkness and has actually played quite well. He is a tad above average but brings hope to a crumbling franchise. In 2020, the Bengals have already made moves to bring Hopkins help to protect newly acquired Joe Burrow in a division with some scary pass rushers.
Baltimore Ravens: Ronnie Stanley (T)
Stanley was drafted 6th overall and has not disappointed in the slightest. Since he has been in the league he has been above average, and has done a great job keeping his quarterbacks safe, but in 2019, he took another step and is now one of the best tackles in the NFL. He scored the highest grade as a tackle through the 2019 season. Stanley played a large part in the team’s success last season, but because he is part of the offensive line he tends to get overlooked and receives next to no credit for the teams accomplishments.
Buffalo Bills: Jordan Poyer (S)
Poyer is a part of one of the greatest young defensive young cores in the NFL. The Bill’s front office deserves a lot of credit for putting together such a dynamic defensive full of young and emerging talent. Because the Buffalo secondary is full of so many big names like Tre White and Micah Hyde, Poyer sometimes can be forgotten. He makes sure you do not forget about him on the field, he plays loud and hard on every snap, and could be a big reason the Bill’s go farther in the postseason in 2020.
New England Patriots: Joe Thuney (G)
The Patriots were one of the best regular-season teams last year, they started the year with an insane 8-0 record, but their lackluster offensive was soon exposed. Their defense was generational but could only carry their stagnant offense for so long. But it wasn’t all bad for the New England offense. They found a bright spot with offensive guard Joe Thuney. Thuney actually was one of the best guards in the league according to PFF, and Belicheck clearly likes him because he stuck a franchise tag on him which he rarely does. It is clear that New England is going to look a lot differently in 2020, strategically. It will interesting to see how they use Thuney’s extreme talent.
Miami Dolphins: Nik Needham (CB)
After this last draft the Dolphins have provided themselves with a lot of depth in many positions on their team. Last season it seems as if Needham has secured a place as one of the best defensive backs on the team. Miami recently picked up former Cowboys star corner, Byron Jones. The combination of Needham and Jones will be one of the best in the league, and much like the Dolphins as a whole, Needham is very underrated.
New York Jets: Marcus Maye (S)
Maye is the counterpart to one of the best safeties in the league in Jamal Adams, so Maye spends a lot of time living in his shadow. But, what most casual fans do not realize is that Marcus Maye is also a sensational talent in the New York secondary. At the end of the 2019 season, he had tallied up 50 tackles and played a large role in the defense’s success. While the offense sputtered game after game, the Jets defense was actually a bright spot, and will most likely be even better in 2020, due to the fact that CJ Mosely and others would return from injuries.
Houston Texans: Justin Reid (S)
Justin Reid had the unfortunate opportunity to attempt to fill the shoes of Tyrann Mathieu in the secondary in Houston. This is no easy task, but he has been surprisingly successful. Not to say he has reached Mathieu’s level quite yet, but he has been more than serviceable. He ended the season in 2019 with a couple interceptions and 57 tackles as a safety. The future for the Texans is unknown and they seem to be shooting themselves in the foot in the front office, we shall see if the Houston roster can rise above their incompetent franchise executives. Reid will play an important part in the team’s potential success.
Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo (T)
Castonzo is a member of perhaps the best offensive line in the NFL, and for that reason, there are a lot of good players on the squad, including what might be the best guard in the game, Quenton Nelson. Nelson deserves the praise that he gets, but talents like Tackle Anthony Castonzo become a bit underrated. He finished one of the best seasons in his career and will help his Colt’s team turn some heads in 2020.
Tennessee Titans: DaQuan Jones (DT)
The Titans shocked the world last season and found themselves in the AFC Championship game. As a team, they were better than projected and did whatever necessary to win. Their run defense was great and one reason was because of DaQuan Jones. Jones is a rising star in this league, and should only improve as he gets older and wiser.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Brandon Linder (C)
Linder is a name that people should learn very quickly, the Jaguars offensive line is middle of the pack, but their center is not. Linder is a shining star on a crumbling and re-building franchise. He is going to look very bad in 2020, but hopefully he will be placed in a situation that will show his greatness in the future.
Denver Broncos: Justin Simmons (S)
Not only is Simmons an underrated part of the Denver Broncos defense, he is also an underrated safety in the NFL. Denver prides themselves in their defensive capabilities and hiring coach Vic Fangio was further prove of this. They have also been experts at drafting young defensive players and Simmons is just another feather in their cap. Simmons finished the year with 65 tackles and 4 interceptions, in 2020, hopefully he will take another leap and become one of the best safeties in the league.
Kansas City Chiefs: Matt Moore (QB)
Moore is the only quarterback on this list because he was greatly under appreciated in the 2019 season. When the beloved Pat Mahomes fell temporarily to injury, Moore took he place and played quite well. In just a few games he threw for 659 yards and threw for 4 touchdowns. His passer rating was over 100 and he didn’t throw one pick. The Chiefs went on to win the Super Bowl and Moore should get a little bit of the credit.
Los Angeles Chargers: Austin Ekeler (HB)
With the devaluation of the running back position, running backs have been extremely undervalued and Ekeler is no exception. Last season, his counterpart Melvin Gordon attempted to hold out for more money, his leverage all but disappeared when Ekeler exploded onto the scene proving that Gordon was extremely replaceable. Ekeler was the definition of a dual threat back and rushed for 557 yards and acquired 993 yards receiving. Altogether he accumulated 11 touchdowns and was a rare bright spot, on a disappointing team.
Las Vegas Raiders: Maxx Crosby (EDGE)
It is safe to say that Gruden and the Raider’s front office know what they are doing. The franchise may not be winning Super Bowls anytime soon, but they have a spark of life that they haven’t had since the early 2000s. Their 2019 draft was extremely successful, proof of that was Maxx Crosby out of Eastern Michigan. Crosby might be one of the most underrated players in the entire NFL. He finished the season with 4 forced fumbles, 36 tackles, and 10 sacks. That is one more sack than rookie sensation Nick Bosa. Watch out for the Raiders down the road, they could be a dynasty in the making.
Detroit Lions: Marvin Jones Jr.
For more than casual football fans, it is clear that Detroit might have one of the most underrated receiving cores in the league. The combination of Golladay and Jones are a quarterback’s dream. Recently, Golladay has finally received some of the credit that has been past due, but Jones still lives in an extremely underrated bushel. Jones racked up nearly 800 receiving yards and pulled in 9 touchdowns as well. Perhaps if Matt Stafford can stay healthy in 2020, the Detroit air raid can meet its full potential.
Green Bay Packers: Kenny Clark (DT)
Clark has been around for a while and has honestly been underrated for multiple seasons now, and deserves more attention than he is getting. He now has some pieces on his defense that have helped him turn the Green Bay defense into one of the best in the NFC. Not only are they good, but for the most part they are young. It is a wonder what direction the Packers are going offensively, but their defense will be ready to tear it up if the season actually happens.
Minnesota Vikings: Eric Kendricks (LB)
Kendricks has slowly and completely under the radar become one of the best linebackers in football. The Minnesota defense has been an absolute problem for a number of years and it is because of players like Eric Kendricks. He ended the year with 70 tackles and 2 forced fumbles and has shown up time after time with the game on the line. The Vikings have a very high chance of digressing in 2020, perhaps Kendricks will have an even better season and lead his team to an improbable playoff birth.
Chicago Bears: Allen Robinson II (WR)
Robinson is a rare talent that has had the unfortunate circumstances of beginning is career with Blake Bortles and now has Mitch Trubisky throwing him the ball. Despite having these poor talents throwing him the ball, he has still managed to shine and help his offenses have somewhat of a passing game. In 2019, Robinson had 1,147 yards receiving and 7 touchdown catches. It is safe to say that he has the potential to be one of the best wide outs in the NFL if he ever gets a decent quarterback.
Dallas Cowboys: Xavier Woods (S)
The Cowboys front office has to give themselves a pat on the back for their recent ability to draft young talent. They selected Woods in the sixth round and he has played quite well for America’s team. Early last season Woods ranked 9th in his position but was continuously overshadowed by cornerback Byron Jones. Now that Jones has left town, Woods will be able to show the world what he can do, and help Dallas get past Philly to secure the NFC East crown.
New York Giants: Dexter Lawrence (DT)
Lawrence is a part of one of the best collegiate defensive lines in recent history, and out of his teammates you can make the argument, his game has translated best to the pro game. He has found his home at nose tackle and is a walking tank at a whopping 340 pounds. Lawrence could be a big reason why the Giants could find themselves back in the winner’s column in the next couple of seasons.
Philadelphia Eagles: Dallas Goedert (TE)
Much like a lot of the players on this list, Goedert is a terrific player that happens to be a counterpart to one of the best at their positon. Goedert can sometimes be overshadowed by the talents of Zach Ertz. Though Ertz is deserves all of the attention he gets, Goedert needs some credit for some of the offensive success the Eagles found, despite the tsunami of injuries that fell upon them. If the Eagles can finally have a healthy season, perhaps that could make another run at a second Super Bowl.
Washington TBA: Matt Ioannidis (EDGE)
Ioanndis has improved his game every season that he has been in the league, in 2019 he transformed into one of the best edge rushers in the league. He doubled his number of tackles and brought down the opposing quarterback 8.5 times. The combination of Ioannidis and Ryan Kerrigan were beginning to be a nightmare for offenses, now that Washington has added rookie Chase Young, it will be fun to see their defensive line begin to look a lot like San Francisco’s last season.
New Orleans Saints: Marcus Williams (S)
One of the highest graded safeties in the game isn’t one of the household names you would expect. Williams was a core piece on a championship caliber team, he had four picks and 40 tackles, which is among the top tier at his position. The Saints are a team that are always favorites, but cannot seem to finish the job, perhaps 2020 will finally be there year to take it to the next level and win New Orleans another ring.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carlton Davis (CB)
The Buccaneers are obviously going to be one of the most-watched teams in 2020 due to the acquisition of the best quarterback to strap them on. What a lot of people do not realize is that if it were not for the insane amount of turnovers committed by their former quarterback they would most likely be a playoff team. Their defense came alive in the second half of the season as well, one player that assisted in that turnaround greatly was cornerback Carlton Davis. He had a whopping 54 tackles and ended the season as the leader of the Tampa secondary.
Atlanta Falcons: Grady Jarrett (DT)
Many of the players on this list are young and rising stars, Jarrett has been in the NFL for years now but improved tremendously in 2019. He tallied 7.5 sacks and was a problem stopping the run. Atlanta is not known for having amazing talents on their defense in recent years, but Jarrett might be an exception. In a division that is full of offense powerhouses, the Falcons will needs Jarrett and the rest of the defense to step it up in 2020.
Carolina Panthers: Curtis Samuel (WR)
Samuel is not only an underrated star on his own team, but he is an underrated wide receiver in the NFL. His quarterback, Cam Newton, fell to injury early in the year in 2019, and Samuel had to rely on the arm of some ill equipt quarterbacks. He still managed to shine and might even break out next season with some fresh blood at the quarterback position. As a smart fantasy football owner, it may be a good idea to keep an eye put for Curtis Samuel in 2020.
Los Angeles Rams: Troy Hill (CB)
Recently, the Rams added what potentially could be the best cornerback in the NFL in Jalen Ramsey. But, what people do not realize is that statistically, Ramsey is not even the best corner on his new team. After week 6, Hill became the highest-graded corner in the league by PFF. Now, with a combination of Hill and Ramsey for a full season, the Rams pass defense is going to be scary. Then you add in the best pass rusher in the NFL Aaron Donald, it makes for terror for offensive coordinators.
San Francisco 49ers: K’waun Williams (CB)
In 2020, the Niners are coming off of a terrific year and a Super Bowl appearance. Their defense was ferocious and was one of the best in the league. They are a team of few weaknesses, but some might argue a weakness could be their secondary. Though it is not their strength they still have some under the radar players that play above average. An example of this player is K’waun Williams. Williams was an essential part of Robert Saleh’s defense and will continue to increase his role as he continues to get better.
Seattle Seahawks: Shaquill Griffin (CB)
Seattle’s defense played better than a lot of people could have predicted in 2019, they did their part to capture a whopping 11 wins with a roster that is sub-par. In 2020, if they do improve their pass rush it will be extremely difficult for the Seahawk secondary to cover for long periods of time. The secondary for Seattle as a unit is underrated, but Shaq Griffin is a corner that deserves more respect. He had 45 tackles and became the leader of the Seattle secondary. It will be interesting to see how the Seahawks fare with limited talent on their defensive line.
Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Thompson (S)
The Cardinals are one of the most intriguing teams this next season, their offense had the uncertainties at first but seemed to adjust and solve their issues midseason. Their defense however did not, and even with the addition of Isaiah Simmons, the defense looks to be the team’s leadership. With Patrick Peterson coming off of a bad year, they needed others to step up, and Jalen Thompson answered the call at safety. He may not be a star in this league yet, but he is certainly on his way.