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HomeSports2022 Fantasy Football wide receiver preview: Projections, sleepers, breakouts, busts and more

2022 Fantasy Football wide receiver preview: Projections, sleepers, breakouts, busts and more

Very like at working again, I’ve waffled over who needs to be No. 1 on the huge receiver place. You’d be forgiven for questioning how there may very well be any debate in any respect. Cooper Kupp is coming off a season by which he caught 145 passes for 1,947 yards, and 16 touchdowns. He outscored each non-QB by a minimum of three PPR Fantasy factors final yr. Who may probably problem him? The primary reply is regression, and the second is Justin Jefferson. We’ll work in reverse order.

Jefferson is now a 23-year-old with 196 catches, 3,016 yards, and 17 touchdowns in his profession. In case you have been questioning, the catches and yards are each data via an age 22 season and the touchdowns rank fourth behind Randy Moss, Rob Gronkowski, and Larry Fitzgerald. To say he is had a Corridor of Fame begin to his profession can be an understatement. And we’ve good cause to consider he’ll maintain getting higher.

The most important cause, aside from pure improvement, is his new head coach. Kevin O’Connell was truly Kupp’s offensive coordinator final yr and the thrill round Minnesota has persistently been that that is going to be an offense that veers extra in the direction of the move than it has in Jefferson’s first two seasons in Minnesota. Jefferson’s principal competitors for targets is 32-year-old Adam Thielen, so we should always count on that Jefferson will dominate that improve in targets.

Even so, there was an enormous hole between Kupp and Jefferson (6.3 FPPG). Can a brand new coach and pure improvement make up that hole? No. However we’ve no actual cause to count on Kupp to repeat what he did final yr, and even come shut.

The second-best yr of Kupp’s profession can be the third better of Jefferson’s. And Sean McVay has a historical past of shifting gears yr over yr. It was that the Rams had a fairly flat goal distribution. And keep in mind Tyler Higbee month? Or the Todd Gurley years? Extra than simply about every other coach, McVay retains opposing defensive coordinators on their toes with philosophical adjustments. Now he is added Allen Robinson and has Cam Akers again from harm. Who is aware of what the sport plan will probably be this yr?

The one factor I have never talked about but is the one factor that has pushed this dialog currently; Matthew Stafford’s elbow ache. The explanation I waited this lengthy is as a result of I do not wish to flip this into one other upside (Kupp) versus draw back (Jefferson) debate. I am simply undecided their upsides are that completely different this yr. However I might agree Stafford issues decrease Kupp’s flooring beneath Jefferson’s.

The selection finally comes right down to a 29-year-old coming off of an historic career-year and a 23-year-old generational expertise who remains to be ascending. I am undecided you possibly can go unsuitable. For now I’ve a slight lean to Kupp; they’re each top-five picks for me in full PPR.

Broad receiver draft technique 

Let’s begin with the simple half first: Broad receiver is solely not as massive of a precedence in non-PPR leagues. Jefferson, Kupp and Ja’Marr Chase ought to nonetheless be first-round picks, however there are solely 10 different receivers I would take within the first three rounds. In PPR, that quantity is 17. In non-PPR leagues, construct your self a steady of working backs then search for massive play huge receivers on good offenses. 

In full PPR the query turns into extra what number of huge receivers you can begin. In most of our leagues, you are required to begin three huge receivers and might begin as much as 4. In that format, I would be glad to draft receiver with my first 4 picks, assuming my league offers me that choice. If the draft falls that means, then I am unlikely taking one other till the double-digit rounds and I will not draft greater than six in most codecs.

If the draft feeds you working backs early, stockpile a mixture of high-upside younger receivers and regular veterans. After I say regular veterans, I imply guys with goal quantity locked up like Allen Lazard, Christian Kirk, and Amari Cooper. Simply ensure you lean heavy on the upside. The primary- and second-year huge receivers specifically have nice upside for his or her present ADP and some of my favorites are listed within the sleeper picks beneath. 

Listed here are just a few extra technique tidbits:

  • In half-PPR, lean barely extra in the direction of non-PPR than full. Everybody else will do the alternative early, however there will probably be loads of receivers left late.
  • Should you’re concentrating on receivers late, focus virtually totally on youth and upside. It is uncommon for a veteran receiver to fall to the double-digit rounds and emerge as a beginning choice. 
  • As all the time, draft Brandin Cooks.

Now let’s get to sleepers, breakouts, and busts. One fast observe: ADP right here is present CBS ADP.

Projections powered by

Projections powered by

Projections powered by

Numbers to know

265 — The Chiefs have 265 targets to interchange at huge receiver in 2022, probably the most within the NFL.
71.2% — Almost three-quarters of Josh Allen’s move makes an attempt went to huge receivers final yr; solely the Rams’ receivers noticed the next charge.
8Deebo Samuel had eight speeding touchdowns final yr. Regression and Trey Lance ought to halve that, a minimum of.
17.9Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s common depth of goal final yr on the Packers. That would play properly for Patrick Mahomes, however makes it laborious to venture him for lots of targets until it comes down quite a bit. No participant above 15 had even 100 targets final yr.
11 — Ja’Marr Chase led the NFL with 11 drops final yr, simply in case you have been questioning how little drops matter.
12CeeDee Lamb’s 12 damaged tackles in 2021 have been second solely to Deebo Samuel.
3,525D.J. Moore has 3,525 receiving yards because the begin of 2019. Solely Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, and Travis Kelce have extra.
29% — Targets per route run for Kadarius Toney in 2021, which ranked fifth on the place. If he can keep on the sector, he is a sure breakout candidate.

Format issues

Most of this piece, together with tiers and ADP, are primarily based on PPR leagues. We acknowledge lots of you continue to play in non-PPR. Here is a listing of gamers who we count on to be considerably higher, and worse, in non-PPR:

Higher in non-PPR: Deebo Samuel, Mike Williams, A.J. Brown, Tee Higgins, Courtland Sutton, Treylon Burks, Gabriel Davis, Brandon Aiyuk

Worse in non-PPR: Keenan Allen, Michael Pittman, Diontae Johnson, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Christian Kirk, Amari Cooper, Jakobi Meyers



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