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Matt Waldman on Aug 9: 6.5.2022: I will be filling in my commentary on all listed players by no later than 6.13.2022.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: One of the few workhorses in the NFL, and returns to the same situation that made him elite in 2021, save for an upgrade at quarterback. The easy choice as the first overall pick in most leagues.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Jonathan Taylor is exactly who you want from your elite running back. Youth, durability, touchdowns, rushing yardage, receptions and receiving yardage. As safe as you can get at running back. Perfect in any format, PPR, Best Ball and Dynasty.
Christian Williams on Aug 4: Jonathan Taylor had a bit of an outlier overall RB1 finish in 2021, but the quarterback upgrade gives him even more upside in 2022. Nyheim Hines' presence may limit his pass-catching work, but Taylor should be a touchdown machine and could repeat as the RB1 this season.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Taylor still has untapped receiving upside and Matt Ryan's addition is poised to increase the efficiency of the offense to move the chains, sustain drives, and provide Taylor with red zone opportunities. While not on Christian McCaffrey's level to lap the position in fantasy scoring, Taylor is in the next tier of running backs.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Jonathan Taylor is one of the safest running back picks in the first round of drafts, let alone the best. He has 32 touchdowns in his first two years and he is coming off 1,800 yards rushing. At age 23 he is still young to be concerned with overuse. The Colts have tailored their offense to fit Taylor's game. He is as safe as they come regarding fantasy picks.
Jeff Bell on May 31: Taylor blends youth, home run ability, reliance within the team's offensive structure, and a dominant run-blocking line to stand as the clear top back. Taylor saw nearly double the red zone rush attempts (85) as the second-place finisher (Austin Ekeler, 46), and 51 receiving targets in his second season is in range with a back like Dalvin Cook.
Ryan Weisse on May 23: Taylor was the best running back in fantasy in 2021 and the team got better this offseason. With Matt Ryan running the offense, Taylor can probably expect better usage in the passing game and not take the presumed large step back in touchdowns. He may not find the endzone 20 times again but he won't have to in order to remain the RB1 in fantasy. There is no safer first round pick
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: If McCaffrey stays healthy, he's an elite fantasy producer. After two seasons where he has missed 23 of 33 possible games after earning over 700 touches in two years, I need proof that the 26-year-old McCaffrey can stay healthy to earn an elite starters workload before considering him a safe top-12 pick in re-draft.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: McCaffrey's injury history and the Panthers' dismal offensive outlook should be enough to keep McCaffrey off first-round draft boards. But when he plays, he's capable of more than almost anyone else in the league. I love the risk/reward of him as a second-round pick, but someone in your league probably takes him in the first.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Christian McCaffrey cannot continue to be one of the high draft picks in all formats in fantasy leagues. In the last two years he has finished just over a handful of games fit and healthy. The last time he played in and completed four games in a row was in 2019. Running Back is one position where time moves on quickly. The Panthers wanted to trade him, but other teams baulked at his injuries and price tag. At his best, sure he deserves to be considered as the first running back off the board. In 2022, you risk losing your draft at a higher chance than winning it if he is on your roster.
Christian Williams on Aug 4: The only thing holding Christian McCaffrey back is health. When healthy, he's in the elite tier of fantasy running backs. His upside as a receiver insulates his value, and while the quarterback change could indicate more downfield passing, McCaffrey should remain the offense's focal point.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Injuries have marred McCaffrey for two seasons, but his per-game dominance when healthy is still a fantasy trump card. A player is injury prone until they are not. If McCaffrey is healthy, he has starting-two-players-in-your-lineup upside.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: It's difficult to believe Christian McCaffrey was snake-bitten with injuries in each of the last two years. He conditions himself extremely well and is hellbent on returning to form. He'll be running behind an improved offensive line which should help his rushing game. If he can stay healthy he has the ability to lead all running backs in fantasy points.
Jeff Bell on May 31: Since 2018 McCaffrey has been a force in fantasy when available. That is the rub; he has only played 10 of a possible 33 games in the past two seasons. The team added D'Onta Foreman, an early-down bruiser, and how much of McCaffrey's workload he takes is an open question. Redzone could be the real question; in his dominant 2019, McCaffrey led the league with 17 attempts inside the five; if Foreman can chip into that role, the ceiling may not be what we have come to expect.
Ryan Weisse on May 23: It has been a wild ride for managers drafting McCaffrey over the last two seasons. When he plays, no one is close to him in fantasy. He puts up quarterback numbers from the running back slot. He lets you play Super Flex in a single quarterback league. Unfortunately, he's played just 10 games in that span. He's still worth the gamble in every draft, because injuries are a risk for every one, but not every one can win you your week in a single game.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Kupp likely had a career year in 2021, but it doesn't mean a decline in production takes him below the fantasy WR mark. His route running, YAC, and sure hands make him an excellent target inside and outside the hash. The only thing to monitor is Matt Stafford's throwing elbow, which required an injection this spring. If Stafford's elbow remains a problem and forces him out of the lineup, Kupp's value becomes far more volatile. The upside is still strong, but the downside could be a lot worse.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Kupp just delivered the best fantasy season in NFL history. While regression is almost assured, he could fall back a lot and still be this year's No. 1 receiver. He's an easy first-rounder in every league.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Cooper Kupp almost broke the Calvin Johnson receiving yards record and the Michael Thomas reception record. Add in 16 touchdowns and his lead in fantasy points over the second ranked receiver, Davante Adams, was almost embarrassing. It stands to reason that a historical season like Kupps 2021 year will be impossible to match or even get close to. Allen Robinson comes over and maybe even Odell Beckham comes back. Kupp could drop by a huge number of fantasy points and still be the number one fantasy receiver. A safe investment in all formats.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: While touchdown regression is a strong likelihood after 16 scores a year ago, Kupp is the WR1 for an offense paired with Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay. Also, Robert Woods exits and Allen Robinson, off a career-worst season, enters as a potential replacement.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Cooper Kupp was a tremendous offensive weapon for the championship Rams in 2021. He will once again be the top target for Matthew Stafford and should pick up where he left off. He has a sharp mind for the game which gives him an edge to be leaned on by his team, but he also knows how to take advantage of defenders who face him. He's the top wide receiver in the league and that's not changing in 2022.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 1: Even having Kupp at WR2 after what he did last season feels weird. The fact is that his 2021 was historical and asking to repeat that feels like a stretch. With 60 more targets than he has ever seen in a season, he caught 76% of the balls thrown his way, 4% higher than his career average. Regression seems inevitable. He is locked in as a top-5 wide receiver but a step back keeps him from the top spot.
Jeff Bell on May 31: Allen Robinson should not command much more attention than Robert Woods / Odell Beckham Jr. did in 2021, setting the stage for Kupp as the clear top wide receiver. Kupp's 191 targets were staggering, 22 more than the second-place Davante Adams and Diontae Johnson. He completed the second-highest season in receptions and receiving yards.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: It's understandable that much of the fantasy space regards Ekeler as an elite producer once again in 2022. His proven production and consecutive years of warding off the challenge for playing time from recent draft picks are two big reason. However, I contend none of the late-round picks were really a legitimate challenge. They were bargain attempts. This year, the Chargers added Isaiah Spiller, closer to a premium prospect the team has drafted at the position since taking Melvin Gordon several years ago. While I expect Ekeler to remain an RB1 -- perhaps a top-five RB--but Spiller will lower Ekeler's production ceiling enough to keep Spiller outside the top five across all positions.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Ekeler has no holes in his game, even his durability has improved after a few seasons of spotty availability.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Career highs, by a long way, in rushing attempts, rushing yardage and most importantly touchdowns for Austin Ekeler . Any doubts about his ability to be the lead back were clearly dispelled. The Chargers add another later round running back in Isaiah Spiller, but he poses no threat. A safe proposition in all formats, although in dynasty he is already 27. His light use should prolong him safely with good health
Christian Williams on Aug 4: Austin Ekeler was one of just three running backs to average more than 20 fantasy points per game in 2021, and while the team added Isaiah Spiller on Day 3 of the NFL Draft, the backfield remains mostly unchanged. Ekeler should still receive a high volume of receptions, giving him massive upside in PPR leagues.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The Chargers added Isaiah Spiller in the NFL Draft, but that is more of a statement about the rest of the Chargers running backs than discounting Austin Ekeler's upside. There are easy decisions in fantasy football and targeting the starting running back with big receiving upside for the Chargers offense is one of the easy buttons.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Austin Eleker is a two-way weapon as a rusher and receiver. He's on a strong offense and has shown that he can be relied upon as a scorer, topping 20 touchdowns last year (12 rushing, 8 receiving). He's a top 3 fantasy pick this year.
Jeff Bell on May 31: Ekeler's breakout 2021 was buoyed by touchdowns (20 total, nine more than his previous high). In 2020 the red zone opportunities were split between three backs (Ekeler, Kallen Ballage, and Joshua Kelley, all 24-27). That usage shifted to 65 Ekeler, 25 Justin Jackson, a ratio that mirrored OC Joe Lombardi's time in New Orleans, splitting work between Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. There is reason to believe Ekeler's role can keep up with the addition of Isaiah Spiller.
Ryan Weisse on May 23: The Chargers offense is one of my favorites for fantasy football this year and that translates to another great season for Austin Ekeler. No back in the league outside of Christian McCaffrey does what Ekeler can in the passing game and his rushing numbers caught up to that production in 2021. Remember that yardage is your goal in non-PPR leagues, and don't let Ekeler's perceived role as a receiving-back scare you off.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Jefferson has averaged 98 catches, 1,508 yards, and nearly 9 scores during his first two years in the league. He's a versatile primary option in an offense that plans to spread the field even more than in the past. There's no reason to think Jefferson won't have another elite season.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Jefferson followed up an exceptional rookie season with an All-Pro caliber 2021 with 108 receptions, 1,630 yards, and 10 touchdowns. He's one of a handful of receivers worth a first-round pick.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: After a dynamic rookie season, Justin Jefferson followed up with an even better second season. With a new coaching group, there always has to be a slight hesitation in an established or rising star. Surprisingly Jefferson still has further improvement in bis game and is a safe option at the top of almost all formats.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Jefferson elevated his lofty rookie season game to new heights in 2021, averaging nearly 100 yards per game and logging 10 touchdowns. There is touchdown upside still in play for Jefferson to hit a WR1 overall finish as Adam Thielen devolves into being a quality option, but a clearly secondary one, in the Vikings passing game.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: In two years Justin Jefferson has developed into an alpha receiver with one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the game in Kirk Cousins. Another year of top targets and clutch touchdowns is expected.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 1: For a number of reasons, 2022 seems like the year we see Jefferson take the crown as the WR1 in all of fantasy football. He was 4th in the league in targets last season but his situation feels more stable than the three receivers ahead of him. Adam Thielen seems like regression is a moment away and there is nothing resembling a 1B on this roster. Jefferson could approach 180 targets and it brings a smile to my face to think what he could do with that volume.
Jeff Bell on May 31: No player has accumulated more receiving yards in the past two seasons than Jefferson, with 3,016. Kevin O'Connell brings in elements of a Rams' system that aided Cooper Kupp's record-threatening 2021 season. The stage is set for Jefferson to flirt with an overall WR1 finish.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: 6.5.2022: I will be filling in my commentary on all listed players by no later than 6.13.2022.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Chase had the second-best rookie season in league history (Randy Moss in 1998), and could easily string together a series of No. 1 overall seasons starting in 2022.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: After a phenomenal rookie season, how does JaMarr Chase follow that up in 2022? Opposing defenses will have studied him and will have a plan of attack, but Justin Jefferson proved that a high bar can be cleared and excelled upon in year 2. Safe in all formats with a high draft pick.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Chase's big-play-infused rookie season is regression-worthy with his touchdown rate and yards-per-reception. That said, Chase is attached to Joe Burrow and expect the offense to funnel through Chase and Tee Higgins again. Both with a high floor.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Ja'Marr Chase exploded onto the scene with over 1,400 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns. His longtime rapport with Joe Burrow is paying dividends in the NFL and Chase has proven that he can be a threat against the league's top corners and defenses. He is worthy of being one of the top 3 wide receivers selected in drafts this season.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 9: After a rough preseason in the media, Chase could not have had a better rookie season. Over 1400 yards and 13 TDs is just about as good as it gets, and in fantasy you love seeing a rookie finish in the Top 5. The Bengals did nothing but improve this offseason, especially on the offensive line. If Joe Burrow has more time for Chase to beat defenses, the big plays are likely to continue in 2022. Chase has one of the highest ceilings in fantasy football and should be considered a late first-round pick for fantasy.
Jeff Bell on May 31: Chase finished fourth in receiving yards (1,455) and third in receiving touchdowns (13). He did that on 128 targets, approximately 40 less than anyone who ranked above him in receiving yards. The only question on Chase is volume, the Bengals were bottom half in pass attempts, and he is in a crowded situation with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I'm not expecting Henry to threaten season records this year, but I'm not anticipating a quick demise after an injury-shortened 2021. Tennessee's offense continues to revolve around Henry and the ground game. He's a good bet for 1,600-1,900 total yards.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Henry finally succumbed to a meaningful injury last year, and that may signal the end of his 350+ touch annual workload. But the Titans didn't add anyone credible to spell him for more than a few series. Buy the bounceback.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: With the departure of A.J. Brown and Ryan Tannehill under pressure, expect the Titans to continue working Derrick Henry into the dirt. Missing eight games last year was the first setback in his career recently and given hi advancing age and toll the position takes, those in Dynasty leagues may seek to reap maximum benefit. For redraft and best ball leagues he will be the anchor of your lineup.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Tennessee did not aggressively address the position in the NFL Draft and A.J. Brown is gone in a draft day trade. The Titans offense will run through Henry again in 2022. The biggest question is when the wheels like fall off of the power back at his escalating age and workload.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Derrick Henry was Mr. Unstoppable for several years. Then, a foot injury slowed his progress. What if the foot injury is the beginning of the end of his elite career? If anyone can bulldoze his way through an injury and come out the other side, it's Henry. However, I can also see him being less of a dominant force as a result of his injury and the wear and tear his body is accumulating.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: Derrick Henry's volume seemingly caught up to him in 2021, and while his efficiency before his injury was once again jaw-dropping, a decrease in workload may be on the horizon. Rookie Hassan Haskins will aim to be more of a spell back than previous backups, and the offense may take a step backward.
Jeff Bell on May 31: Henry's usage puts him in the same tier as Taylor in standard leagues, though passing game involvement lowers him in PPR formats. There is little concern about rebounding from the injury that cost most of the 2021 season. The most significant question mark is a passing game that loses A.J. Brown and saw Ryan Tannehill with his lowest passer rating since 2015 and 14 interceptions, the second-highest in his career.
Ryan Weisse on May 23: The biggest concern we all must bake into drafting Henry is what the workload will look like in 2022. After 303 carries in 2019 and 378 in 2020, he was on pace for 418 in 2021. An injury cut that workload in half but it is clear that the Titans have no issue feeding him the ball over and over again. With the loss of AJ Brown and no threat added at running back, it is clear that philosophy shouldn't change much, but can his body handle it?
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The Steelers have a sub-par offensive line, but it didn't stop Harris from earning elite production due to his ability and a high volume of touches and targets. Despite word that Harris won't see as much work this year, look for Harris' volume to remain strong enough to earn fantasy RB1 value. Although the offensive line won't be much better and the quarterbacks are less experienced with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, Harris' receiving chops should be enough to sustain starter production. His floor is RB2 production, which makes him safe despite predictions from some that he won't be elite.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Harris wasn't particularly efficient on a per-touch basis, but that doesn't matter to fantasy managers if he's going to get 20+ touches per game. Monitor training camp as Harris allegedly put on significant weight this offseason. But if he rounds into shape, draft in the first round with confidence.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Najee Harris had a fantastic rookie season with 300 rushing attempts, 10 touchdown and even 74 receptions. The departure of Ben Roethlisberger means he should be even more potent and key to the Steelers success. Greater mobility at quarterback can only help further. Safe near the top in all formats.
Christian Williams on Aug 4: Najee Harris is a product of volume, but volume tends to win in fantasy football. Harris will carry the load for the Steelers, whose transition to a new quarterback may be a little rockier than expected. Efficiency may not be prevalent in Harris' game, but it likely won't matter if he sees nearly 400 touches as he did in 2021.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Harris is one of the few foundation back profiles and the Steelers offense cannot be much worse through the air than the 2021 version with an eyeing-retirement Ben Roethlisberger. Harris' floor is within the top-15 of the position with top-five a strong possibility.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Najee Harris was effective as a rookie, making a splash as a rusher and receiver despite a sub-par Steelers offensive line. At worst he will receive a ton of volume and will contribute on every possession. At best, he continues to develop, the Steelers offense thrives, and Harris is one of the top 3 fantasy running backs in the league.
Jeff Bell on May 31: Harris's 94 receiving targets led all NFL RBs. No back has a firmer grip on a bellcow role in his team's offense. The only thing holding Harris back is questions about his offensive line and quarterback, two significant concerns. Harris's opportunity share gives him a chance at finishing as the overall RB1.
Ryan Weisse on May 23: Pittsburgh's offensive line was as bad as advertised in 2021 and Harris still got the job done for fantasy managers. While his 3.9 yards per carry were not pretty, volume made up for it. A rookie year of 381 touches is what fantasy managers dream of and his 10 touchdowns were icing on the cake. However, expectations of massive improvement may be overblown. While Ben Roethlisberger was bad, are we sure Mitch Trubisky is better? And the Steelers did not do a lot to improve their offensive line. Harris is sure to see the bulk of the carries but if Trubisky doesn't throw to the running back the way that Roethlisberger did, a step back is not out of the question.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I'm drafting early not based solely on which player has the most upside, but which players have the highest floor in addition to high upside. Mixon's skills, offense, age, and supporting cast all make him one of the safest bets in 2022.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The Bengals' improbable run to the Super Bowl came thanks to the Burrow/Chase/Higgins passing breakthrough, but Joe Mixon's value didn't take a hit in the process; it improved. Expect another dynamic RB1 season in 2022.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: With the Cincinnati Bengals having their best season in generations, Joe Mixon welcomed the improvement in the passing game by having a career year. Double digit touchdowns, career highs in receiving and rushing yardage all suggest he may be in for another peak season in 2022. The Bengals offense is young and still improving. One of the safer elite running backs out there.
Christian Williams on Aug 4: Joe Mixon has always been among the NFL's best running backs, and while injuries limited his production through his early seasons, the results from 2021 should remain constant. Mixon is efficient on the ground, but his actual upside lies with a potential increase in receiving work. Mixon's finishing as the overall RB1 would not be a shocking outcome.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Joe Mixon enjoys a depth chart without a strong RB2 presence and leading a high-powered Bengals offense. Mixon hit a career-high in fantasy production in 2021, fueled by 16 total touchdowns. Still, the lone missing piece from an elite finish is improving on his 42 receptions from a year ago.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Joe Mixon quietly finished as the #3 running back in 2021 thanks to 16 touchdowns, 1,205 yards rushing, and 42 receptions. The Bengals offense has arrived and Mixon is gaining steam. I can see him finishing in the top 5 if he stays healthy and the Bengals offense remains one of the best in the AFC.
Jeff Bell on May 31: Mixon saw career highs in rushing yards (1,205) and touchdowns (13). The most considerable improvement may have been in the passing game; he posted an 88% catch rate, ten percentage points higher than his average over the previous three seasons. Through week 14, he saw 2.4 targets per game; from week 15 to the Super Bowl, that increased to 5.33. That usage would add ~35 receptions and ~270 yards to his rec totals. His clear top-back status in an explosive offense primes him for his best fantasy season.
Ryan Weisse on May 23: The Bengals offense was already good in 2021 and got better where it matters most in the 2022 offseason: the offensive line. Last year marked the first top-5 finish of his career but there is no reason to expect a big step back. The lack of elite receiving numbers caps his chance to hit the top spot but another trip to the Top 5 is certainly within his grasp.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Diggs is in his prime on an offense in its prime. An easy first-round target.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: After leading the league in catches and yards in 2020, Diggs came back to Earth in 2021 but was still masterful (103 receptions, 1,225 yards, 10 touchdowns). As long as Josh Allen is healthy, Diggs will be heavily targeted and productive.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The move to Buffalo has definitely worked out for Stefon Diggs. High expectations means little downside. Diggs is probably about as reliable as you can get, but 8-10;touchdiwns for a receiver are difficult to project with confidence. In dynasty it would be tempted to sell a late 20 something receiver, but he is still deserving of a high ranking.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Diggs has 230 receptions over his two seasons with Buffalo. Few receivers have as high of a floor as Diggs, paired with Josh Allen, and no notable additions to the passing game.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase, and Stefon Diggs should be among your top 4 fantasy wide receivers drafted in 2022.
Jeff Bell on Jul 18: No player saw more than Diggs' 330 targets between 2020 and 2021. His "disappointing" 2021 season was discussed when he finished WR7. His targets stayed consistent (166 in 2020 to 164 in 2021), but his catch rate plummeted (76.5% to 62.8%). The volume will be there, and a rebound in efficiency puts him back to his 2020 finish of WR3.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 10: Diggs is one of the best and most consistent wide receivers in fantasy. With the way Josh Allen runs and spreads the touchdowns around, Diggs probably won't finish as the overall WR1, but he is a guaranteed top-10 option with top-5 upside.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Adams is among the top route runners in the NFL and reunites with old college teammate Derek Carr, who is coming off a career year. That said, collegiate rapport between quarterbacks and receivers is different than NFL rapport. Expect Carr and Adams to combine for strong production, but the elite numbers for Adams may not come until 2023. Much of this has to do with the small differences between what Carr can do and what Rodgers does.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Adams leaves the comfortable confines of Green Bay and reunites with his college quarterback, Derek Carr. It would be absurd to expect the same numbers in Las Vegas, but Adams is too talented not to be a No. 1 fantasy option again.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Now into his ninth year, Davante Adams is a guy you rank high, but worry about how he adapts to Derek Carr and the Raiders. Carr is a good quarterback, but he isnâ€™t Aaron Rodgers. He also will hit 30 this year making his dynasty stock start to drop. He probably makes a better best ball prospect than redraft prospect this year, but his timing with Carr needs to be watched carefully in training camp. His huge paycheck may be difficult to recoup for fantasy managers and expectations should be managed.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Adams' trade to the Raiders affects the upside of Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller more pushing down Adams' range of outcomes in 2022.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: I have two concerns regarding Davante Adams with the Raiders in 2022. His volume won't be the same, and his quarterback is a step down. It all points to a drop-off in production compared to what we've seen in the past.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 25: There is no doubt that Adams is one of the best receivers in football. For fantasy, his success has been tied to high target volume and Aaron Rodgers. Will Derek Carr throw to him enough to live up his ADP? I think he will but there is more risk than in previous years with drafting Adams early.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Cook will likely earn a bump for me as the summer progresses, because the Vikings intend to spread the field and use its All-Pro's receiving skills more often. That said, Cooks' best receiving campaign came in 2019: 63 targets, 53 catches, 519 yards, and no touchdowns. He's only had a three touchdowns receiving during his five-year career and he has never played more than 14 games in the NFL. As the years unfold, I'm less likely to project a full 16-game season for a running back who has never done it and I'm hesitant to project more than 60-65 targets for a running back on a team loaded with three good receivers and a capable tight end. Unless you're expecting Kirk Cousins to deliver a top-three fantasy season, which is possible but not probable, I'm not as bullish on Cook as an elite producer. He's a great back in a situation that will lead to good numbers, but not elite production.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Cook has never played more than 14 games and is coming off a 13-game campaign that saw his touchdown tally drop from double digits to just six scores. He needs the touchdown tally to rebound to justify his mid-first round ADP.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Dalvin Cook had a down year and missed his usual few games in 2021. The biggest concern was the significant drop in touchdowns. A new coaching staff is a concern, especially as his salary cap number rises and getting cheap at the position is relatively easy. At his best he is an elite fantasy back. I would still rate him highly, but maybe drop him back in dynasty leagues for future worth,
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: One of the few elite two-way running backs in the NFL, tied to a quality quarterback and two wide receivers to boot. Cook is one of the easy Round 1 picks for 2022
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: I am a bit concerned with Dalvin Cook's lack of reliability when it comes to playing a full season. He has played 11, 14, 14, and 13 games in each of the last four years. He is still a top 15 running back, but top 5 may be a stretch.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: Kevin O'Connell's arrival in Minnesota indicates that the run-heavy approach could be gone. Dalvin Cook may have more involvement in the passing game, but the days of 19 rushing attempts per game may be in the past.
Jeff Bell on Jun 16: Cook had his most disappointing fantasy season in 2018 though it's easy to point to environmental factors. The Vikings offense was down as a whole and the primary driver behind Cookâ€™s drop was 16 touchdowns down to 6. New coach Kevin Oâ€™Connell should revive the offense and Cook is one of the few backs who are not in some level of a timeshare.
Ryan Weisse on May 23: Cook is in a weird spot for perceived fantasy value. He has rushed for over 1000 yards for three straight seasons, added healthy receiving numbers in that same span, and scores plenty of touchdowns. However, he has also missed multiple games in every season of his career and is reaching the point where fantasy managers are waiting for the other shoe to drop. You draft Cook knowing that he is likely to miss games and that you probably need to add Alexander Mattison a full round ahead of his current ADP.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I expect Kelce to have a strong season as the leading target-getter for the Chiefs and deliver as one of the top 2-3 tight ends in fantasy football. However, the Chiefs traded away Tyreek Hill, the most dangerous receiving weapon in the game, after the offense failed to force opposing defenses out of Drop-Eight/Cover 2 looks. Expect more of this across the NFL and while Kelce should earn a lot of targets, I'm expecting fewer big plays without Hill. I'm also expecting fewer big plays for most tight ends in the NFL because seam shots aren't as prevalent or advisable against these coverage types.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Father Time is undefeated, but Tyreek Hill's trade to Miami all but guarantees Kelce will sit atop the tight end rankings for at least another season.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Travis Kelce is defying age and continues his unparalleled level of production at the tight end positiom. Six consecutive 1000 yard seasons and with the departure of Tyreek Hill, the sure fire number one target in an explosive offense. Surely at some stage his age catches up to him, so in dynasty leagues you have to decide whether to ride him until the end or trade him for younger options.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Tyreek Hill is gone, leaving Kelce as the most bankable producer on the Chiefs offense. The biggest quibble with Kelce is a potential age fall-off after a slip to 92-1125-9 in 2021. However, Kelce is one of the safest usage projections of the tight end position where finishing outside of TE3/4 is tough to project.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Will Travis Kelce rack up the yards and receptions now that Tyreek Hill is out of the picture or was Hill the catalyst in Kelce's success? I'm predicting a slight drop-off from his regular production.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 1: For the first time in 5 years, Kelce was not the TE1 last season. He didn't fall far, finishing 2nd best at the position. With the Chiefs losing Tyreek Hill, Kelce feels like a good bet to reclaim his throne in 2022 and top-2 is probably his floor. At 32 years old, there is risk but he is still worthy of being the top tight end drafted early in the 2nd Round of fantasy drafts.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Detroit's opponents gave the Lions room to throw the ball in the shallow zones. This is only natural when a defense faces an offense in catch-up mode and/or tight game scripts with inexperienced or underwhelming wideouts. With the Lions forced to dink and dunk to move downfield, Swift reached the ceiling of his potential last year. A high-volume receiver, Swift was among the least effective starters between the tackles in the NFL last year, which was a known weakness of this game heading into the campaign. The Lions had a weak receiving corps to begin the 2021 season and the new additions to the corps weren't match-up field stretchers. D.J. Chark and potentially, Jameson Williams will change that. So will a healthy T.J. Hockenson. Expect Swift to provide starter value, but not RB1 value in 2022.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: We're giving Swift a lot of credit considering he's been unable to stay on the field in either of his first two seasons. 1,069 yards and 7 touchdowns last year hardly justify his current ADP, so if you draft him realize it's because you think he can significantly build off what we've already seen.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Dâ€™Andre Swift looks the part of an NFL running back, but he has missed far too much time in both his first two seasons and when he plays he averages only 10 rushing attempts a game. Sure he does excellent work out of the backfield, but at his draft price you would like a little more.
Christian Williams on Aug 4: D'Andre Swift has had inefficiencies as a runner early in his career and, combining that with his frequent injuries, has created the perception of a risky bet. But an improved Lions offense with higher touchdown upside and the introduction of new weapons to take some attention away from him should result in more efficient, consistent play. Swift is a dynamic pass-catching back, and the Lions could unleash him for the first time in his young career in 2022.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The biggest pause with Swift is if he will be used like a feature back or a complimentary one. If optimized like an Alvin Kamara or Christian McCaffrey type in the passing game, then 150 rushes are enough to get him into the strong RB1 conversation.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: D'Andre Swift is one of few dominant dual-threat running backs in the league. He has proven that he can be a weapon as a receiver but his rushing prowess hasn't reached its full potential. If he can routinely top 100 total yards per contest he will be one of the best fantasy running backs in the league.
Ryan Weisse on May 25: His per game numbers make him a top-5 fantasy running back if he can play the full season. Receptions are a big part of his production but their wide receiver corps is improved and healthy, so that could dip a little. However, he can handle a lot more carries than we saw last year and the competition behind him is not nearly as talented.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Lamb increased his production in every category in 2021 and is poised to do the same in 2022, especially with Amari Cooper gone and Michael Gallup's rehab likely to take him into early fall. Still, there are enough weapons in this offense for Lamb to continue earning a strong target share. Lamb's work from the slot will earn him strong target volume and his YAC and speed will also generate big-play targets.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: With Amari Cooper in Cleveland, CeeDee Lamb is finally ready to ascend into the No. 1 spot on a Cowboys offense that ranked No. 1 last year. Don't be surprised if Lamb becomes a top-3 fantasy option.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The departure of Amari Cooper and ACL injury to Michael Gallup make CeeDee Lamb the clear number one receiver in Dallas. Now in his third year he still has not ranked as a number one receiver. The potential and expected ranking though have him with few receivers ranked higher.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Lamb will be a popular elite breakout candidate for strong WR1 numbers. However, Michael Gallup was a serious hindrance to Lamb before his injury and projects to return in 2022. Lamb has a high floor, but the elite ceiling is still a bit of a projection based on results to date.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: If CeeDee Lamb doesn't rise into an elite fantasy receiver this season, he probably never will. I'm expecting big things from Lamb and believe he will take another step forward. His knowledge of the game and preparation is among the best in the league. He's too good to not ascend to greater heights.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 10: There are questions about Lamb's ability to dominate without Amari Cooper but his numbers speak for themselves. In two seasons, he averages over 1000 yards and five touchdowns, while never crossing the 120-target mark. More volume is going to head his way and if he simply does what he has been doing, he will be a top-10 wide receiver. If he improves, he has an outside chance to be the best receiver in fantasy football.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Jones is one of the most difficult players for me to project this year. A.J. Dillon has shown enough potential that we could see a true split. Dillon is a good receiver and a dangerous runner. At the same time, if the Packers' receiving corps struggles much like the Lions in 2021, we could Jones in a Swift-like game scenario week after week that leads to RB1 value, especially when Jones is a much better inside runner. Yet, I'm more optimistic about the receiving corps in Green Bay, especially the potential rise of Amari Rodgers. It means, I expect more of a split. Jones' value and upside makes him a quality pick but I'm not as bullish at this point.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Jones can do it all, but the Packers had success splitting snaps between Jones and Dillon last year. Given Jones' contract and the Packers need to replace Davante Adams, expect Jones to remain a must-start fantasy asset in 2022, but understand his ceiling is capped as a low-end RB1.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Aaron Jones had his worst season in quite some time, getting nowhere near 1000 rushing yards and with A.J. Dillon recording more carries than his teammate, Jones may only have value if his role as a receiver out of the backfield increases. The departure of Davante Adams opens this door and coming off his best season in this role, more can be expected this year. He maybe only is a bottom end RB1 these days, but skilled pass catching backs can remain a force as fantasy options giving him still some dynasty value
Christian Williams on Aug 4: A.J. Dillon's emergence in 2021 clouded the perception of what Aaron Jones is to the Packers' offense, but his role as a pass catcher could be even more prominent in 2022. Jones amassed 799 yards on the ground while losing 30 carries from 2020, but he improved on his receptions total. With Davante Adams in Las Vegas, the Packers will search for reliable pass catchers, and Jones provides that.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Jones found himself in a firm committee with rising AJ Dillon in 2021. Jones relied more on the receiving game to be a vibrant fantasy option with 52-391-6 through the air. The six touchdowns mark a regression-worthy scoring rate as an area to monitor for 2022. The good news is if Dillon misses time, Jones projects as an elite RB1 play.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: No Davante Adams means Aaron Rodgers will target who he knows. He knows Aaron Jones well. Expect a rather high reception season from Jones in 2022, and he's not giving up the role to A.J. Dillon anytime soon. He's the better side of the two-man platoon.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 25: Without Davante Adams now in Las Vegas, Aaron Jones might be the best receiver in this offense. In fantasy leagues, PPR or non-PPR, a target is worth a lot more than a carry. While Jones will cede carries to AJ Dillon, we can expect better receiving numbers and that will keep Jones in the top-10 conversation.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: 6.5.2022: I will be filling in my commentary on all listed players by no later than 6.13.2022.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Andrews was always touchdown-dependent, but last year he became Lamar Jackson's most reliable option in any down and distance. With Hollywood Brown traded away, Andrews' place among the elite is assured.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Mark Andrews smashed through the 1000 yard season barrier with a whopping 1361 yards and finally usurped Travis Kelce as the number one fantasy tight end. The departure of Marquise Brown needs to be filled to allow Andrews to excel and the Ravens will have a stronger running game after their backfield was decimated in 2021. Andrews presents a safe floor in all leagues and despite lacking 2021 upside he should be one of the first tight ends taken everywhere.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Andrews, like Travis Kelce, saw his team's WR1 from last season exit the passing game. Marquise Brown's departure leaves Andrews uncontested (as if he was strongly contested previously) to potentially lead the position in targets in 2022. Andrews has elevated into an elite producer and is firmly in the position's prime production age window as well.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Mark Andrews should once again be a top target for Lamar Jackson, especially with Marquise Brown now on Arizona. He had 33 more PPR fantasy points than Travis Kelce last season and led the league.
Jeff Bell on Jun 16: Andrews broke out to lead all tight ends in fantasy scoring. The departure of Hollywood Brown leaves him as the clear top receiving threat in the Baltimore offense. The difference between his 17.7 PPG and TE3 Rob Gronkowskiâ€™s 14.3 was the same as WR5 to WR21, presenting a huge positional advantage.
Ryan Weisse on May 23: It had been five years since a tight end not named Travis Kelce took the top spot in fantasy but Andrews managed that feat in 2021. With the loss of Marquise Brown and an obvious connection with Lamar Jackson, there is an almost perfect chance that he leads the Ravens in targets again this season. It's rare for a tight end to cross 100 targets these days, and Andrews bested 150 last season. While he and Kelce are again close, my money is on Andrews to start his own streak atop the fantasy tight end rankings in 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Fournette has earned criticism for his freelancing of his route running and he showed up to camp 10-20 pounds overweight. Not a good sign for a runner whose conditioning came into question early in his career in Jacksonville. Even so, Fournette is a good back when in shape and has proven his value in the Buccaneers' system. I have more questions about him this year due to the conditioning and his value drops slightly as a result, but not out of the realm of choosing him as a starter if his ADP continues to decline without additional news about his behavior.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Fournette was nothing short of spectacular last season, and the Buccaneers are bringing the gang back for one more Super Bowl push.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers let Ronald Jones go in the off-season. The last two third-round draft picks in Keâ€™Shawn Vaughn and Rachaad White are backups only. Itâ€™s an excellent situation for Leonard Fournette to turn patchy moments of excellence into a season of elite production. Ever since the run to the Superbowl win in the 2020 season, Fournette has been a fantasy monster. With elite production as a receiver as well, Double-digit touchdowns are his baseline for 2022, elevating him into one of the better fantasy options.. His reasonable three year contract extension extends life into his dynasty career and I would consider double digit touchdowns his baseline for 2022, elevating him into one of the better fantasy options.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Few running backs project as double-digit touchdown and 50 or more reception upside while on a strong offense. Leonard Fournette checks each of those boxes with top-five overall upside at the position.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Leonard Fournette is coming off a top 12 finish, his highest rank since his rookie season with Jacksonville. Fournette nearly doubled Ronald Jones in carries last season and he was an often-used target from Tom Brady catching 69 passes. Tampa Bay drafted Rachaad White to be an understudy to Fournette but also be a contributor as a pass-catching back. How much will relegated to White in 2022 is unknown. Will White see the field often as a rookie in Brady's offense? The answer to that may give a clue as to how effective Fournette will be as a fantasy back. Either way, Fournette is still the team's top rushing threat, especially on the goal line. Look for White to equal Ronald Jones' 2021 carry share with an increase in targets.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 7: Fournette is being drafted at his floor and presents massive upside. Last year, the 27-year-old running back had his best season since his rookie year, with over 1200 total yards and ten touchdowns. The best part of his game for fantasy purposes was his usage in the passing game. Reeling in 69 catches on 84 targets was the type of volume that makes a good back great for fantasy. While Fournette will lose occasional snaps to Rachaad White, Giovani Bernard, and Ke'Shawn Vaughn, it is not likely to be enough to knock him out of the fantasy Top 10.
Jeff Bell on May 31: Fournette seized the RB1 job in Tampa Bay and used 84 targets to finish as RB4 in PPR PPG. It's worth noting that Fournette only saw 64% of the rushing load but returned his most efficient season with 4.5. With Ronald Jones gone and a rookie in Rachaad White splitting the backfield, Fournette is in a position to exceed his strong 2021.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Word has it Samuel doesn't want to run the ball as much as he did in 2021. The uptick in production came in part due to injuries to the 49ers running backs. This year will likely change Samuel's upside, but the offense does a good job of maximizing Samuel's receiving prowess. Expect 1,200-1,400 yards of production with 7-10 scores in 2022.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Is Samuel's discontent going to make him a risky bet? Keep in mind he was a fantasy stud in the first half of the season as a pure receiver, and then had identical fantasy value in the second half as a hybrid running back. Any way he's used, he remains a top option.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: What the true story regarding Deebo Samuels offseason trade request and now contract negotiations really is remains to be seen. Based on his 2021 output, he will be one of the most valuable wide receivers in fantasy leagues. Like the evolution of the running back to become better pass catchers, wide receivers who are consistent threats running the ball just become dual threat fantasy point scoring machines.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Samuel, unhappy with the team during the offseason, is unlikely to be moved with the NFL Draft long in the rear-view mirror to return a current selection for the dynamic playmaker. Samuel was a big-play maven as a receiver, but his work as a rusher is the cherry on top for fantasy with 365 yards and eight scores on the ground alone.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: I would be surprised to see Deebo Samuel repeat his lofty dual-threat 2021 numbers this season. While it's definitely possible, there is a big change to the formula that worked so well last season - Trey Lance will be under center. Will Deebo still see the same rushing opportunities in the Lance-led offense? The uncertainty makes me a bit wary of a repeat year. Let's not forget that there are whispers of him potentially holding out. If his ADP drops as a result, he becomes a bargain, but until then, you're paying for him to repeat his numbers from last season.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: If the 49ers plan to start Trey Lance, their pass catchers may see decreased efficiency. Samuel was the offense's focal point in 2021, and his displeasure with the team and the departure of offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel should cap his ceiling for fantasy football.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 9: It was a tale of two seasons for Samuel. Two very good fantasy seasons, one where he played wide receiver, one where he was a running back. Credit to Jason Wood for pointing out that Samuel had basically the same fantasy production in both roles. He was the WR4 in the first eight games. He was the WR4 over his last eight games. He was the WR3 on the season. Put the drama aside, if Samuel plays, and he will, he is a top-5 fantasy wideout, no matter which way the 49ers decide to use him.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Tom Brady proved that he's still an elite producer and that won't change during his 2022 swan song. Evans wasn't as dangerous on tape as he has been in the past, but he's still good enough to lead the Bucs in receiving. Expect one more year of excellent production thanks to his connection with Brady.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: With Godwin recovering quickly from a torn ACL and Julio Jones and Russell Gage joining the fray, Evans could see less volume than normal -- but he's so efficient he remains an early round pick in all formats.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Mike Evans is the best receiver from the excellent rookie crop from 2014. He has Tom Brady throwing him the ball and Chris Godwin will be coming off an ACL. Evans has 13 and 14 touchdowns with Brady and has started his career with an unparalleled eight consecutive 1000 yard seasons to start a career. Safe as you can get,
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Death, taxes, and 1,000-yard seasons for Mike Evans have been the guarantees since Evans entered the NFL in 2014. Evans has logged 27 touchdowns over the past two seasons and Chris Godwin likely to miss the start of the season puts even more security in Evans seeing quality targets from Tom Brady.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Mike Evans is the definition of consistent success as a fantasy wide receiver. He is not a 90-catch weapon but he scores often and does enough on a weekly basis to be relied on. Set him and forget him, especially with Tom Brady under center.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 25: With Chris Godwin likely to miss the first six weeks of the season, Evans is in line to have his targets increase. While he has already played like a top-10 receiver with Brady, if 130 or more targets head his way, he could be a top-5 fantasy wide receiver in 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The two ends of the spectrum a fantasy manager can take with Alvin Kamara's off-field event is to rank him as if little or nothing will come of it or rank him based on the worst-case scenario. I'm closer to the worst-case scenario. We all know Kamara is a first or second-round option if cleared to play most, if not the entire season. Until then, I'd rather set my draft board based on how Saints' players perform without Kamara.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Have we already seen Alvin Kamara's best? With the departures of Sean Payton and Drew Brees, it's time to start thinking of Kamara as a quality RB2 and not your fantasy cornerstone.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Alvin Kamara had his most disappointing fantasy season last year. His receptions dropped from the usual 80s to under 50. His rushing touchdowns were a career low, as was his yards per carry. On the bright side he had a career high in carries and shouldnt have to shoulder the burden of the offense with a much improved receiving corp. He is at the stage of his career where dynasty managers should consider their options, but he has demonstrated enough in his career to be given the benefit of the doubt for 2022. A suspension is possible, but until announced and confirmed he ranks here
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Kamara has an off-the-field cloud of legal issues over him, but those project as more 2023 reasons for concern than 2022. Kamara leads a Saints backfield who led the NFL in designed run plays per game last season and did not notably add to the depth chart. Mark Ingram is a solid backup but will not siphon notable work from Kamara, one of the elite receivers at the position in the NFL. Kamara's 67 targets over 13 games in 2021 marked a notable downturn without Drew Brees under center.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Alvin Kamara saw drop-offs in touchdowns, receptions, and rushing yards in 2021, despite seeing 53 more carries than the year prior. With Sean Payton out as the Saints head coach, there are more questions about how the team will function offensively. Have we seen the best of Kamara already? I wouldn't disagree.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: The possible six-game suspension alone should keep him from being a top-10 running back and going in the 2nd or 3rd Round of your draft. I'll add two concerns. First, what if it's longer than six games? Secondly, what if it's a delayed suspension? If you know you've lost him for Weeks 1-6 and that you'll have him for the playoffs, it's an understood risk. But, if he fights it and misses games 10-16, then you lost your RB1 for the most crucial time of the season.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Barkley has elite individual talents. Too often, he also crosses the line between aggressive and reckless decisions and this leads to a lot of boom-bust production in the box score. Even so, the ups and downs still add up to starter value at year's end when he's the focus of the offense. Barkley will be a focus of the offense but I'm not convinced he'll be the focus. Daniel Jones is in a prove-it year and I'm not betting on him proving that he's not the Giants' long-term future. I'll be monitoring the progress of the offensive line this summer and address Barkley's ranking if I see tangible hope.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Everyone is counting on a Barkley bounceback. I'm not so sure we should expect a return to elite status after back-to-back disappointing seasons.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The year was 2019 and Saquon Barkley finishes the last three weeks with 63 carries for 393 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Add in 11 receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown and Barkley had fantasy managers excited for his future. Now, he averages 3.46 yards a carry over the last two years and has to be looking to escape for a fresh start on a much better team. We have to get through 2022 first though and it is with very little confidence. There is always hope, but we need more than that with our second to third-round selections.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Barkley is one of the highest variance plays at the position for 2022. Barkley has elite RB1 upside but has not shown it (or health) in recent seasons. A healthy Barkley is a lock top-12 producer considering his big-play ability and receiving game floor.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: I was completely out on Barkley last year because it often takes a year to return to form from a serious knee injury, not to mention possible compensatory injuries, and that's exactly what happened in 2021. A year later, Barkley is more confident in his knee, the offense is under new guidance with a proven track record, and all signs point to him being a major part of the offense from all angles. Buy the dip in Barkley before he proves it's too late.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: A great back capable of elite production as a talent, especially behind the Browns' offensive line, Chubb won't see this kind of workload with Kareem Hunt still on the team. Even if the Browns trade Hunt sometime this year, a possibility considering the signing of D'Ernest Johnson for one more year and the drafting of Jerome Ford, look for Cleveland to give Johnson Hunt's workload to limit the possibility of overworking Chubb. It's good for the Browns, but puts a low-end RB1 ceiling on Chubb's game for fantasy GMs.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Chubb averages 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns per season, yet always seems to be cast as a consolation prize on draft day. Assuming Deshaun Watson plays a majority of the season, the Browns offense should be explosive and Chubb will have even more opportunities to score.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Nick Chubb is not getting the fantasy stats his talent deserves. He is a rare talent at the position and just needs touchdowns or more work as a receiver to be a fantasy stud. His yards per carry for running backs with over 500 career carries is third all time behind Bo Jackson and Jamaal Charles. Yes he is ahead of Jim Brown. He seems to miss a couple of games every year, but at some stage he is going to be a fantasy monster. Invest now.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Deshaun Watson is poised to aid the entire Browns offense, including the already-efficient Nick Chubb on the ground. Kareem Hunt is a thorn in the passing game upside for Chubb, but with a strong depth chart, it would not be a surprise to see Hunt moved before the season. Chubb is outside the top-10 due to his lack of receiving alone, needing a Derrick Henry-like rushing stat line to break into the top-half of RB1 territory.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Nick Chubb has three consecutive top 10 seasons and he has never had less than 9 touchdowns in his four-year career. Will the Browns remain a run-first offense with Deshaun Watson under center? If not, will Chubb's rushing volume taper off?
Ryan Weisse on Jun 1: Chubb is one of a few backs that is far more valuable in non-PPR formats. The Browns just do not throw him the ball and his value is dependent on rushing yards and touchdowns. The good news is that he averages over five yards per carry even with high volume. Chubb has one of the safest floors in fantasy football, but his ceiling is capped, especially in PPR.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The tendency to overrate Tony Pollard for his athletic ability and highlight reel moments against defenses focused elsewhere sets the stage for us to underrated Elliott's ability to earn hard yards against defenses playing to stop him. Pollard is a good back who could deliver top production with high volume, but the idea he's better than Elliott is rooted in the misguided notion mentioned above. Elliott is still in his prime years, physically. He may not have top-three upside but he still has an top-15 floor. Safe and productive and closer to top-five value than most think.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Elliott has fallen out of favor, with most of the industry ranking him outside the Top 20. Yet, he's coming off another RB1 season. While his per-touch value is on a four-year decline, the Cowboys still need to rely on him as a high volume contributor.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Ezekiel Elliott finished as the 6th-ranked fantasy back in 2021. This was considered disappointing. One of the few big-name backs to play all 17 games, Elliott played through niggling injuries and had five games with ten or fewer carries. Tony Pollard is likely to play more receiver routes. With improvement in the offensive line expected, a fully fit Elliott could, for once in his career, be viewed as undervalued. . For Dynasty leagues he could fall rapidly in value, but as I suspect he has two prime years left I would hold fast.
Christian Williams on Aug 4: Ezekiel Elliott had a down year in 2021, decreasing total carries, targets, receptions, and receiving yards. He played through many injuries but still finished as the RB7 when the year concluded. A refreshed Elliott could once again sacrifice volume in favor of improved efficiency and still manage to finish inside the Top 10 running backs.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Elliott is the starting back, unquestioningly so despite Tony Pollard being a quality secondary option, on one of the strong NFL offenses. That alone is reason for optimism and upside with a vice grip on goal line opportunities and his long-standing profile of quality production.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: The running back many think will hit the wall is becoming a value with RB1 potential as a low-end RB2 draft selection.
Bob Henry on Jul 20: It's hard to count out Ezekiel Elliott when we hear that he's fully healthy and we know the investment the Cowboys have in him. He may be just fine and have another couple of RB1 year of production in him, but the eyes don't lie. Tony Pollard has more bounce, explosion and he's more efficient receiver to boot. I'd much rather take swing on Pollard later in the draft and grab a couple other RBs as starters than bank on Elliott returning value at his draft position.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 10: You wouldn't think that 1000 yards, 10 touchdowns, and a top-7 fantasy finish would be a disappointment, but drafters are certainly treating Elliott like he was a letdown. While he is unlikely to ever receive 300 carries again, he is still a high-volume back With Amari Cooper gone, Elliott might even be more involved in the passing game. His touchdowns keep his floor safe and there is top-12 upside.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: With apologies to potentially Ja'Marr Chase, Hill is the most dangerous receiver in the league but he's now on a team with a quarterback who still has a lot to prove as a franchise-caliber starter. Top quarterbacks can support multiple elite options, so the addition of Hill to an offense with Jaylen Waddle gives Miami the potential to become a top passing team if Tua Tagovailoa proves he has the ability to leverage their talents. While possible this happens, the closest projection we can find for Miami's scheme will be the 49ers but without a as strong of an offensive line. If Tagovailoa can support 80 percent of what Deebo Samuel did last year, Hill will earn roughly 1,100 yards. That's what I'm projecting for him.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Hill getting traded to Miami is a shocker, and we need to accept that we've seen Hill's best already. The only question is how close he can come to matching his Kansas City days. Chances are he'll be less productive than his ADP implies.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Weâ€™re not in Kansas anymore. With Tyreek Hill moving to Miami, fantasy managers are expecting similar production. That seems impossible with Patrick Mahomes II replaced by Tua Tagovailoa, one of the greatest offensive minds in Andy Reid replaced by a rookie head coach, and a team that had a rhythm for scoring points at will replaced with a team that will need to learn how to gel as a unit. Hill is still a dynamic force and will make those around him better. The only problem is that Hill himself will disappoint.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: A former college running back, Hill adding two to three points a week via the ground game means he will only need to deliver mid WR2 production to pay off on his WR9 ADP.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Will Tua Tagovailoa being a position or negative for Tyreek Hill? Hill has strong competition for targets among the wide receiver corps in Miami (Jaylen Waddle) compared to Kansas City, plus loses Patrick Mahomes. WR10-20 production for Hill is more likely than the top-10 this season.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Tyreek Hill had impressive fantasy numbers in his career thanks to high touchdown volume and above-average air yards in the Kansas City Chiefs offense. Can Tua Tagovailoa provide those important details to sustain Hill's elite fantasy success? If so, he will need to take a giant leap forward in 2022 and I'm not sure if he is capable.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 7: While Tua Tagovailoa is a good quarterback, he is not Patrick Mahomes. Not in playstyle and certainly not in arm strength. Hill will have to work much harder to be a top-10 fantasy wide receiver this season. Even with Mahomes, Hill was as likely to have a week with below ten fantasy points as he was to have a league-winning monster week. If both his floor and ceiling get lower, his current ADP carries far more risk than what we are accustomed to for the speedy wideout.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I have Allen earning 101 catches, 1,075 yards, and 6 scores--not much off his pace from his WR11 PPR production in 2021. I'm a little lower on his overall value than the consensus in non-PPR formats but that's because I'm giving more value to the ceiling of certain running backs. He's a safe starter worth your investment at or near his ADP.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Allen should age gracefully thanks to Justin Herbert's elite productivity.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: After a troubling start to his career, Keenan Allen has put in a great five year stretch of five consecutive seasons as a top 20 fantasy receiver. Now aged 30, one has to wonder if Allen can continue to be the main target for rising star Justin Herbert. Probably a time to sell in dynasty.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Allen projects as the top option for an elite quarterback in Justin Herbert. Historically, this is a strong equation for fantasy upside. WR3 and tight end are still question marks for upside in this passing game, stabilizing the floor and ceiling for Allen.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: People may be a bit hesitant to target Keenan Allen in redraft leagues because he's 30 years old now, but he's a reliable player missing only two games in the last five years. Allen has over 100 receptions in four of the last five years. The only thing keeping him from being a perennial elite fantasy receiver is his inability to score touchdowns on a consistent basis. He has never exceeded 8 touchdowns in a season.
Jeff Bell on Jun 26: Since 2000, 24 different receivers have topped 1,000 yards and at least 6 touchdowns in their 10th season or later. 13 of those players replicated those numbers twice. Four of those players (Jimmy Smith, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, and Joey Galloway) did it at least three times. Age comes for everyone. The 2021 Chargers showed hints of a changing of the guard toward Mike Williams and gave him a 3 year deal worth $60 million following the season.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Williams is a fine young back on an offense that should be far more efficient with Russell Wilson at the helm. Still, Melvin Gordon is still in line to earn a split of the workload with Williams and don't be surprised if the Broncos are taking a cue from what the Browns have done with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Williams will earn more of the passing-down work which will give him a statistical edge over Gordon. Despite some wishfully thinking Williams will wow the Broncos into giving up a committee rotation, don't count on it.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Melvin Gordon re-signing is a bummer, for sure, because he was highly effective last year in the offense. But with a new coaching staff comes new loyalties, and Javonte should still be in line to emerge as the team's No. 1 while Gordon takes a step back to a high-floor No. 2.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Much will be made of the re-signing of Melvin Gordon as a negative when evaluating Javonte Williams this year. That would be a mistake. Gordon is a 29 year old running back with plenty of wear on his tires. Williams is a future elite back with an experienced quarterback who has great receiving options. Williams is a hard man to bring down and with a full offseason, should make good on a fantastic rookie season.
Christian Williams on Aug 4: The return of Melvin Gordon implies a timeshare for the Broncos backfield, and while that may be the case, more of the share should go to Javonte Williams in his sophomore campaign. Williams excelled as both a runner and pass catcher as his role increased throughout 2021, and with Russell Wilson at the helm, his touchdown opportunities should increase drastically.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: With Melvin Gordon back in Denver, Williams is set to simmer for his strong predictable upside outside of a Gordon injury. Williams might be the 1A as opposed to a full split or 1B role a year ago in the tandem. Williams is a higher RB1 any week Gordon is out.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Javonte Williams is a tackle-breaking force and should be the Broncos top rushing threat in 2022. He won't have full control of the reins though due to the offseason re-signing of veteran Melvin Gordon. One fact to point out, only one running back in Russell Wilson's offense has ever topped 40 receptions. Williams had 43 last year. that total may go down in 2022.
Ryan Weisse on May 23: I am higher than most on Williams heading into 2022. He played very well as a rookie with a perfect 50/50 split with Melvin Gordon. While Gordon resigned with the Broncos, he is also 29 years old with his best days behind him. Williams led the duo in receiving numbers in 2021 and that gap should widen this season. Gordon will vulture some touchdowns, this offense as a whole will be far better with Russell Wilson at quarterback. Williams has the skill, the draft capital, and far fresher legs than Gordon. He will be the feature back in this offense.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Higgins is a favorite among our staff to reach top-12 production at his position. While possible with the riches the Bengals' passing offense offers, Higgins is an excellent possession-plus receiver and that's the limit of his game. He's not a YAC producer of note and his vertical game is not based on speed. In other words, he's not nearly the big-play weapon in all facets of the game that his teammate Ja'Marr Chase. Higgins' 15.6 points per game placed him 14th among fantasy receivers last year. I'm not counting on more. He's a safe pick that probably warrants borderline WR1 draft capital if drafting with safety in mind but his ceiling isn't as high as peers at his ADP.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Higgins built off his excellent rookie season with another stellar season, but Ja'Marr Chase's emergence puts a ceiling on Higgins.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The arrival of JaMarr Chase definitely limited the upside of Tee Higgins. Higgins is a legitimate number one receiver, but his opportunities to dominate will be limited. His current ADP is at his absolute ceiling, making value almost impossible. He is still a strong dynasty prospect at only age 23.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Higgins and JaMarr Chase can both co-exist and be top-12 fantasy options within the same dynamic Cincinnati passing game. Higgins is on a strong career arc path.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Higgins was WR41 from Week 1 to Week 9. He turned it on late and finished WR11 after Week 10. The Bengals offense as a whole improved during that time. If the offense can sustain itself in 2022, Higgins should have a strong year, but his ADP assumes that to be the case, remember that.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 25: Higgins is viewed as the firm 2nd option behind Ja'Marr Chase but it might be more of a 1B situation. Higgins actually out-targeted Chase over the last six games of the season. The two are closer than most think and Higgins is much cheaper in drafts.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Conner's 2021 season was on par with his career year in 2018 and Conner is still young enough to deliver again as the team's RB1. That said, rookie Keaontay Ingram is worth monitoring because he has starter talent and could earn the No.2 role--and a big enough role reduce some of Connor's statistical ceiling. If Ingram proves worthy of an immediate role as a contributor, Conner's ceiling is closer to an RB2 than an RB1. If Ingram isn't the RB2 and that goes to Darrel Williams, Conner's ceiling will remain in RB1 territory.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Conner only averaged 3.7 yards per carry and barely eclipsed 1,100 yards from scrimmage. But he scored 18 touchdowns making him a fantasy star. While he'll remain the Cardinals' No. 1 tailback, he's likely to see major touchdown regression, which puts him at risk if drafted as an RB1.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: James Conner may actually be value this year. With a six game suspension to DeAndre Hopkins, the running game should be used heavily to open up the other receivers. With Chase Edmonds and his 116 carries and 40;plus receptions gone to Miami and no real depth options, Conner could see much more work. As a dynasty prospect though thr countdown fo the end is on
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Conner pushed aside Chase Edmonds as 2021 progressed and the Arizona backfield has question marks at RB2+ with Eno Benjamin and Keaontay Ingram as the current residents. Conner is a sneaky bet to crash the elite tier of the position for a non-elite cost.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: What concerns me about Conner is his extensive injury history. He was lucky last year in a career-year. While it could still happen for him in consecutive years, I am a bit wary.
Jeff Bell on Jul 15: Conner's 34% red zone success rate led all running backs who saw at least 10 attempts. With Chase Edmonds healthy, he only saw 40% of snaps in a clear early down role. He presents a risky option early in drafts if he does not grow into a larger share of the backfield.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: James Conner was a fantasy superstar in 2021, mainly on the back of his fifteen touchdowns. Scoring a touchdown on 7% of his carries is likely unsustainable, mostly because the Arizona offense could take a downturn early in the year with DeAndre Hopkins suspended.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 10: Conner scored touchdowns last season and that propelled him to a top-5 fantasy season. It is unlikely that he repeats that number but it may not regress too far. This offense provides a ton of redzone opportunities and there is no better back to capitalize on this roster. He will be given as much work as he can handle and that will keep his floor very safe.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Pittman, like Higgins, had a strong 2021 campaign and because of their youth, they are getting a push from the fantasy industry as players who will do even more in 2022. I think Higgins is closer to his ceiling based on his quarterback, role, and skillset. Pittman has a little more room for growth thanks to the efficient game of Matt Ryan. However, Ryan has never been a great red-zone quarterback and Pittman isn't a quick-hitting route runner, so I would only expect minor gains in receptions and yardage and minimal gains with touchdowns. Pittman is a solid WR2 and that has appeal. Just don't expect Julio Jones-like production.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Matt Ryan's arrival bodes well for Pittman's breakout. He has the talent, and now only needs to stay healthy and build a rapport with Ryan over the summer to be a fantasy star.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Michael Pittman was an elite receiver for significant parts of the 2021 season. With better quarterback play expected out of Matt Ryan, his ascent to be amongst the best should continue. Still improving and has all the skills to dominate. Underrated.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Pittman has an ideal opportunity to build upon his promising 2021 breakout season. The Colts added Matt Ryan as a stabilizing element at quarterback, plus there were no notable additions to the passing game with pressure on Parris Campbell and Mo Alie-Cox to elevate their play as ancillary weapons.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Pittman is coming off an impressive sophomore season that saw him jump into a top 20 finish that included 1,082 yards receiving with 6 touchdowns. He started hot beginning the 2021 season as the 8th ranked PPR wide receiver through the first 10 weeks, but he dropped off to 34th after Week 10 playing every game. Five of his six touchdowns last season came in a five-week stretch. He failed to score in 12 of the 17 games he played. Matt Ryan should help in this department with a resume that includes at least 20 touchdown passes every year since 2009, reaching the 30-touchdown plateau three times. Indianapolis is a run-first offense and aren't expected to be a receiving-dominant squad, but there is still room for fantasy success for Pittman who should command the majority of the team's downfield targets.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Pittman took a massive second-year leap in 2021, doubling his rookie output and establishing himself as the Colts' WR1. With an improved quarterback situation, a high target share, and better talent around him to take coverage away from him, a top-ten finish could be in store.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 7: Pittman will now catch balls from Matt Ryan instead of Carson Wentz. Even at this stage in Ryan's career, that is undoubtedly an upgrade. After a WR17 finish with a below-average Wentz, Pittman's average draft spot is near his floor. He should be able to best his 2021 numbers with Ryan at quarterback, and a top-12 fantasy wide receiver season is very possible.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I love Moore's ability and individually, his career should be on the rise but the addition of Sam Darnold truncated that trajectory. While Moore's projected value gives him room to deliver mid-range WR1 value, I think the reality will be closer to the cusp of WR1/WR2 because of the volatility of his quarterback play.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: D.J. Moore is among the most overrated fantasy assets year in, year out. He doesn't score touchdowns and while TD production is volatile, the Panthers' quarterback situation makes betting on positive regression difficult.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: D.J. Moore has been remarkably consistent, especially consider the lacklustre quarterback play. 1150 yards and four touchdowns in each of the last three years is a great floor. If he lifts that touchdown number he is a clear WR1. A great dynasty prospect.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Robby Anderson took a step back in 2021 and Terrace Marshall did not contribute as a rookie. Moore posting even an average touchdown rate would challenge for top-12, or higher, production this season. Baker Mayfield's trade acquisition by Carolina in July boosts Moore's upside as an upgrade under center from Sam Darnold as the projected starter.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: D.J. Moore is the Panthers top down field option and despite less than stellar quarterback play over the last three years, he has amassed 1,200 total yards in each of those seasons. On the downside he has only scored 14 times in four years which is the only reason why he is not considered an elite fantasy wide receiver. An improvement at the quarterback position and overall success of the offense would help elevate Moore into heavily coveted fantasy waters.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: D.J. Moore undoubtedly received a quarterback upgrade with the arrival of Baker Mayfield, but how much that impacts him is still in question. He was already a high-volume option, and a healthy Christian McCaffrey may soak up the additional touchdowns the improved offense should see.
Jeff Bell on Jul 8: Moore ranked 6th in targets, at 163 though his 57.1% catch rate was the lowest of any of the top 30 players in targets. Almost every analyst will mention the statistical oddity of three consecutive years of four touchdowns, but Moore still saw heavy red-zone targets leading all team receivers at 13. Moore is a WR1 at a discounted price tag if everything comes together. But back-to-back low catch rates fueled by the absence of Christian McCaffrey in the lineup raise questions about the offense's ability to push him to that height.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I doubt Marcus Mariota will be better than Matt Ryan. Mariota is a worse game manager under pressure. Like Robert Griffin III from years ago, Mariota is athletic but a straight-line runner who makes bad decisions from the pocket under pressure. Atlanta's line must become significantly better for Mariota to have a chance and I don't see how that will happen this year. Drake London is a nice addition, but I'm not expecting him or any of Atlanta's receivers to take the coverage's primary focus away from Kyle Pitts. Pitts will be a fantasy starter of value but he'll need a lot more touchdowns than last year to deliver elite production and I don't think it happens unless we see production of another receiver that mimics the way Calvin Ridley was doing it in 2019-2020.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Pitts had a remarkable rookie season that exceeded my expectations. Breaking 1,000 yards at the tight end position as a rookie portends greatness, and as long as Arthur Smith can find competency at quarterback, the sky is the limit.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: 110 targets, 68 catches and over 1000 receiving yards is an amazing rookie season. The only thing disappointing was the one touchdown for Kyle Pitts. You would have to assume that will be a career anomaly and his ranking will improve significantly with further development. As a dynasty option at the position he is secure as elite as they get
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Pitts' rookie year stat line was historic for a rookie tight end. The lone blemish is a single touchdown on his log, where any reasonable touchdown rate would have fueled a top-half TE1 season out of Pitts. Expect Pitts to crash the TE4/5 threshold this season with a few more touchdowns and being a centerpiece passing game element for the likely-to-trail-plenty Falcons.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Kyle Pitts impressed as a rookie last season but he has not hit his peak. There is more to come for Pitts and there isn't much competition for targets in Atlanta.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: Pitts had an incredibly high yards per reception mark in 2021. With the absence of Matt Ryan, that number may prove to be unsustainable. An increase in volume but a decrease in efficiency (and fewer touchdown opportunities) would mean a more modest jump in his sophomore campaign.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 1: Pitts' rookie year feels simultaneously like a major accomplishment and disappointment. The 110 targets were exactly what we hoped for when he was drafted and it's hard to complain about 68 receptions and over 1000 yards. However, one touchdown scored did not exactly light up the lives of fantasy managers. He finished as the TE6 but four more touchdowns would have put him over 200 fantasy points as the TE4. There has to be a concern about a step back at the quarterback position but volume should not be an issue in 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Brown is an elite talent capable of elite production at his position. The Eagles have an excellent offensive line that can make play-action passing more believable and give the quarterback time in the pocket on other plays. The biggest question about Browns' upside in Philly is the quarterback. Jalen Hurts has the physical tools of a franchise player. If he becomes more efficient as a decision-maker, Brown could deliver elite numbers this year. Expect a high-end WR2 value as his floor and elite WR1 value as his ceiling.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The NFL's new $ 25-million-per-year alpha receiver is going to break a lot of fantasy hearts this year if his ADP doesn't normalize. The Eagles aren't going to have the passing volume to support Brown as a top-8 option. Caveat Emptor.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: On the bright side A.J Brown has proven he is an elite talent in his three years in Tennessee. On the down side the Titans ddnâ€™t want to pay him market rates at the position and shipped him to the Eagles. He may not produce to the level he could have with Tennessee, but he should still see plenty of receptions and is a proven touchdown machine.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Brown's move to Philadelphia is a potential upside limitation considering the Eagles' run-centric offense and Jalen Hurts yet to take a significant step forward as a passer. Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert offer strong competition for targets. Also, Brown has generally been overrated by the fantasy-dynasty community compared to his production for the last 12-18 months.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: I can see A.J. Brown's value staying the same or increasing, if Philadelphia increases their passing volume. If not, he will struggle to sustain the level of production he had with Tennessee.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: While many have been quick to anoint A.J. Brown as the No. 1 option in Philadelphia, DeVonta Smith should still see a fair share of targets. Smith is the best receiver Brown has played with, and he could see his lowest percentage of targets since his rookie year.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: Brown was the WR32 in 2021, WR14 in 2020, and WR32 in his rookie year of 2019. So now, after moving to the lowest passing volume team from a year ago, we are drafting him as a top-12 wide receiver? Fantasy drafters seem to remember the good with Brown every year but forget the bad. He's never started 16 games or caught more than 70 balls. It will take insane efficiency and a lot of touchdowns to make him worth his ADP, and in Philadelphia, that might be hard to come by.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: If the Steelers continue its dink-and-dunk approach, Johnson could earn another high-volume year as a low-end WR1 in fantasy. Still, that is dependent on the decision-making of Mitchell Trubisky, which has never been the quarterback's strength or rookie QB Kenny Pickett. In other words, the odds are lower that Johnson will have the optimal rapport with either quarterback. Expect fantasy starter value, but more in line with a WR2 or WR3.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The debates about Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool seem laughable after last season. Johnson's fantasy value hinges on whether Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett can manage the offense.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Diontae Johnson was magnificent for most of the 2021 season to make JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington expendable. In a crucial contract year, Johnson should still be dominant despite the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger. Johnson is still capable of improvement as well.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Cooks remains in the physical prime of his career. He has proven durable, only missing three games during the past seven seasons. He also earned 90 catches from a combination of a rookie quarterback and an uninspiring journeyman. That rookie, Davis Mills, displayed a good rapport with Cooks that should only get better--and that should lead to another solid WR2 year in fantasy.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Brandin Cooks is undervalued every season. Who else can put up top-25 fantasy numbers year in, year out despite different teams, quarterbacks, and offensive playbooks?
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Every year Brandon Cooks gets passed over by drafters in all formats. Why? Sure he may not have ten touchdowns in a season or 100 catches in his stellar career, but he is good for 80 catches, 1000 yards and six touchdowns. Others will draft that boom receiver that surely will break out this year. Just sit back and get a high-end WR2 at a draft price that will be significantly lower. Making a profit still matters.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Cooks has six 1000-yard seasons in eight years in the league and he is coming off a career best 90 catches on 133 targets. Those numbers may take a slight dip in 2022 but there is also a scenario where that could increase, especially if second-year quarterback, Davis Mills continues to develop and grow as a capable young quarterback in the league. Cooks is a reliable, consistent fantasy wide receiver who has missed only three games since 2015. He has five top 20 finishes and six top 25 seasons. He is expected to put up similar numbers at worst in 2022.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: The Texans drastically improved their offense this offseason, and Davis Mills enters the year knowing he is the starter. Cooks' target share should remain high, but his per-touch efficiency should return (his 7.74 yards per touch in 2021 was the lowest of his career) to the mean.
Ryan Weisse on May 25: There are a lot of similarities between Brandin Cooks and Mike Evans, Both are just about a lock for 1000 yards every season and both are usually undervalued and underdrafted. Cooks won't score the touchdowns that Evans will, but he is also far cheaper in drafts. He is going to hit 1000 yards and likely to score five TDs. He finished in the Top 20 last year and should improve in year 2 with Davis Mills at quarterback.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Robinson has never had a quarterback like Matthew Stafford, if Stafford's elbow isn't a major problem, Robinson's value will remain high on my board. He may ever return to his one glory year in Jacksonville as a performer and Cooper Kupp remains the best receiver on the team. Still, there's more than enough room for Robinson to be a top target in this offense. If Odell Beckham returns it won't be until November so I have fewer fears that Robinson winds up the third option. He's more an adequate of a replacement for Robert Woods.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Allen Robinson went from one of the NFC's most dysfunctional organizations to the reigning Super Bowl champions. Health is always a worry, but if he can stay on the field, Robinson will be a high-volume asset in one of the NFL's top offenses. The arrow is pointing way up.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Three good seasons in eight is hardly the reliability you want from a starting fantasy wide receiver. Now on his third team, Robinson will clearly be second in targets behind Cooper Kupp. Is that enough to justify his asking price? Probably not. In his ninth season as a dynasty option he is also a hard sell.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Robinson is one of the bounce-back candidates for 2022. Matthew Stafford is easily Robinson's best quarterback of his career, Robert Woods is gone to Tennessee, and Van Jefferson has yet to show more than sporadic flashes in an ancillary receiver role. Robinson, even with an elite Cooper Kupp producing on the same depth chart, has top-12 upside.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Allen Robinson has four 150+ target seasons, three 1,000-yard seasons, and three 80-reception seasons and he's played with Blake Bortles, Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, Justin Fields, and Andy Dalton. If we're counting college, it includes Matt McGloin and Christian Hackenberg. So yeah - now he will have a fringe-Hall-of-Famer in Matthew Stafford, not to mention the best receiver in the league drawing the defense's attention. Sign me up for some Robinson this season!
Christian Williams on Jul 11: Allen Robinson was checked out last year in Chicago, but attributing all of his inconsistent play to that may be misguided. He will be the second option in the offense, and his top-twelve weeks may be limited, thus limiting his overall upside.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 7: After leaving the Chicago Bears, Robinson could not have landed in a much better spot. He leaves one of the most dysfunctional offenses in 2021 to play for one of the best from last season. With a ceiling in the top-12 and floor not much past WR24 in his new role with Matt Stafford, Robinson has league-winning potential at his current ADP.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I love Waddle's game. I'm taking a cautious approach with Tua Tagovailoa and this offense as a whole right now. Expect some changes over the summer as I look deeper into the offense.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Is it as simple as targeting Waddle because he's coming off the board after Tyreek Hill? While Hill is far more proven, Waddle has a fantastic rookie season and will have less defensive attention and more space to create in the open field this year. Buy aggressively.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: There have only been 13 1000 yard seasons by a rookie wide receiver in the last 20 years. There has only been one previous instance of 100 catches by a rookie, Anquan Boldin almost 20:years ago. Jaylen Waddle broke that rookie catch record. This magnificent season was eclipsed by Jamarr Chase and his year, but Waddle deserves recognition. With Tyreek Hill arriving, maybe the catches drop, but he will be open and do more with the ball.
Jeff Haseley on Aug 3: Don't forget, Jaylen Waddle and Tua Tagovailoa were teammates at Alabama. The addition of Tyreek Hill may cut into Waddle's target totals, but he should still have a plenty of opportunities and we know Tagovailoa will utilize him when needed.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: Waddle's 7.1 ADOT beat only Hunter Renfrow's 6.5 and Cole Beasley's 5.6 of players who cleared 100 targets. Expect that number to move closer to Brandon Aiyuk's 9.8 as he plays off Hill with his vertical speed.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Waddle is off to a strong career track after a productive Year 1. However, the limitations of Tua Tagovailoa plus the addition of Tyreek Hill siphon unrealized upside from Waddle in 2022. Waddle has more downside than many of the receivers drafted and ranked around him.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Khalil Herbert was good enough to earn significant playing time in 2022 if the Bears decide to use a larger committee split. That said, Montgomery has proven doubters wrong about his supposed lack of burst and ability to become a strong NFL starter and the mentioning of Herbert is a convenient reason to continue to downgrade Montgomery's potential in this space. Although the Bears' offensive line was weak last year, Montgomery delivered RB2 value in just 13 games with an inept coach and rookie quarterback. Expect a strong RB2 fantasy season with legitimate RB1 upside. He's a high-floor value.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The Bears' offense doesn't appear well-positioned for success in 2022, so avoiding David Montgomery may be the smart play. BUt I've always valued his skill set more than most, and will happily target him as an RB2.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: David Montgomery is a running back who gets a high workload, is productive but not elite, His consistency is great if heâ€™s your RB2. Dynasty league managers need to be aware of his contract status and next stage of his career. It is unlikely to be better than it is now.
Jeff Haseley on Aug 3: David Montgomery is the last running back I would select as my RB1 for my roster but I would much rather have him as an RB2/RB3. He'll go as high as his touchdown production will carry him. If scores become commonplace with him, he has Top 10 potential.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Montgomery is one of the underrated three-down running backs for 2022. The key question is if Justin Fields will supply enough in the passing game to maintain a lighter box for Montgomery. Khalil Herbert is a solid RB2 but no threat to Montgomery's workload even after a promising rookie season.
Bob Henry on Jul 20: Montgomery is heading into the final year of his contract, has legitimate competition for touches in second-year RB Khalil Herbert, and a new play caller who has preferred a committee approach on each of his previous teams. Montgomery is solid in all phases of the game, but the offensive line is among the worst in the league and game scripts could make it tough for Montgomery to maintain the touch volume he's seen in his first three years. If Herbert's share increases at all, Montgomery won't be worth his current ADP.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 9: Montgomery was the RB21 last season in just 13 games played. From a points per game basis, he was a top-15 running back. The Bears offense is not going to be great in 2022, but Montgomery's ADP eliminates some of his risk. He is not the most exciting prospect but his floor is safe.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Williams had a career year in 2021 and there's no reason to expect a significant regression. The Chargers offense was at full health last year and with Justin Herbert entering his peak athletic years, expect Williams to remain one of the top two targets on this explosive offense.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: After four seasons of disappointing performance, Mike Williams finally strung together a productive full season. His 11th-ranked finish is likely a career-high because it came on nine touchdowns, but Justin Herbert is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL which gives all the Chargers receivers a compelling floor.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Mike Williams is maybe best in Bestball leagues where his inconsistency can be covered. On a week to week basis, as an example in five of six weeks last year he had games of 1 catch for 11 yards, 2-27, 2-19, 2-58 and 4-33. Of course the monster games happen as well, which makes where to draft him tricky.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Williams finished as the WR12 in PPR in 2021, posting career highs in nearly every counting statistic. His role was significantly different from the previous four years, bringing his targets closer to the line of scrimmage and giving him more of them. Williams should retain that role, and a consistency boost could even provide him with a top-five ceiling.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Brett Farve in Minnesota, Peyton Manning in Denver, and Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. When are we going to learn that elite quarterbacks elevate the production potential of excellent offensive talent? The question is likely less about Sutton and more about Wilson being elite. I'm not questioning it. This year, or next, Wilson will be an elite producer once the offense acclimates to its new passer. Sutton is that primary receiver likely to earn the marquee production that Wilson will generate for the Broncos. I'm expecting a strong run of production from Sutton beginning this year.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Early reports indicate Russell Wilson and Courtland Sutton have chemistry. If Sutton stays healthy, he could far surpass his prior four seasons.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Sutton has career-best upside in 2022 with the addition of Russell Wilson by Denver. Sutton has yet to crash the top-20 in aPPG for his career. Overall volume for the passing attach and if Sutton can be the clear WR1 over Jerry Jeudy, are the critical questions for Sutton's ceiling.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Hall has RB1 upside as a talent and was my top back on the board in rookie drafts. His surroundings aren't as favorable as he skills. If the OL and QB can take another step forward, Hall has RB2 upside this year, but he'll need to earn the majority of the touches.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The Jets have a lot of questions, and Hall's success hinges on Wilson making a massive improvement under center. But if the Jets do show offensive growth, Hall will likely be the new engine.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Breece Hall presents as the number one rookie running back and lands in a situation where he should immediately press for high fantasy production. Only problem is its with the Jets. The pieces are there for team to be better, but will Zach Wilson be up to the challenge? How good a season Hall has is dependant on that. His future as a dynasty option suffers unless the Jets become a decent team.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Hall was the first running back off the board in the NFL Draft as expected. The Jets offer a tempered outlook for Hall initially with Michael Carter a nice RB2 and offensive upside questions with Zach Wilson posting a poor first season. Hall is more of an RB2/3 projection than RB1 in his first season.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: People will shy away from Hall due to Michael Carter's presence on the team, but don't let that deter you from being bullish on the young back who can do it all. His talent scores are off the charts and his production should follow suit. A 50-60 catch season with an additional 1,000 yards rushing is a distinct possibility. His place in the top 10 will be determined based on his ability to score touchdowns. He scored 23 touchdowns in 12 games in each of the last two years at Iowa State. He has the tools to be elite and a nose for the end zone to top it off.
Ryan Weisse on May 25: Breece Hall has the talent to be an immediate three-down back in the NFL. While the Jets weren't seen has the perfect landing spot for that to happen, it is still very possible. Michael Carter had a few good games last year but was far from impressive. He is far better suited to be a solid backup than a starter or even a B option. The Jets are an improving team and if they choose to give the keys to Hall, he has a top-20 floor and an incredibly high ceiling.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Kittle has played a full season in the NFL once in five years and he's missed 33 percent of his potential starts during the past two seasons. He won't be physically ready to go until training camp and the 49ers just signed free agent Tyler Kroft as a minor hedge. There will also be a change in quarterbacks at some point this year. A great football player with elite fantasy upside but enough factors to weigh down my trust in him as a safe pick as early as his ADP requires. Won't blame you if you have him at the top of the board. I'm waiting to see how his rehab goes.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Kittle hasn't played a full season for three years, and most likely will be playing with a new quarterback in Trey Lance. Yet, he's coming off a career-high 6 touchdown season and looked like himself for most of 2021. At a position starved for impact contributors, Kittle is still worth the price.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: George Kittle is the guy that makes the San Francisco offense tick. His versatility allows the running and passing game to flourish. As a receiver he is dangerous and likely ti be one of the few tight ends to approach or crack 1000 yards. His touchdown numbers are consistent, but with a few more he approaches Travis Kelce numbers. Still great as a dynasty option and maybe even ahead of Kelce here
Jeff Haseley on Aug 3: There is a bit of concern for a less productive year from Kittle due to the uncertainty of Trey Lance at quarterback. If Lance shows he can be consistent downfield passer, Kittle will thrive. If not, we could see a drop-off in his numbers.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Missed games have been commonplace for Kittle the past three seasons, 13 total, and a high touchdown season has eluded the 49ers' tight end (career-high six in 2021). Kittle has regularly been the bridesmaid instead of the bride when discussing the TE1/2 overall, instead falling into the next subset.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 9: Kittle is still arguably the best tight end in football, just not the best in fantasy. He is a better blocker than most and with Trey Lance at quarterback, that skill will be invaluable. We just don't get fantasy points for blocking. Last season, he still finished with 94 targets, despite playing in just 14 games. So the volume potential is there, but a good portion of that was with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. It's a small sample but Kittle was at about 6 targets per game when Lance had significant playing time.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Gibson will be the lead back in a three-headed committee and Ron Rivera says that game scripts will dictate the touches. Carson Wentz was statistically better in 2021 than he was in recent years but still nowhere good enough for the Colts to retain him. Wentz is the weak link on this Commanders' offense, which means opponents will prefer to see Washington throw the ball. Gibson is a viable option but I don't see the top-15 upside at his position without significant injuries to the depth chart.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Gibson has handled a much larger workload than I thought possible in two seasons, but Washington appears set to reduce his touches in order to keep him healthy and optimal for the stretch run.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The drop in the fantasy status revolves around an average year given the touches and the addition of a late third round running back in Brian Robinson. Assigning a major role to the 98th pick in the 2022 draft should be treated with caution. Trey Sermon was the 88th pick last year and got a boom rap. Gibson is still learning the position and can increase his production with improvement. Underrated.
Jeff Haseley on Aug 3: A preseason hamstring injury is cause for concern if you believe Gibson will improve on last year's numbers. The Commanders also added Brian Robinson in the draft, who could steal away some of Gibson's goal line carries. There is enough yellow flags and writing on the wall that makes me feel uneasy about Gibson as a weekly starter for my roster this season.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Gibson's two deficiencies have been fumbling and durability. Washington added Day 2 Brian Robinson in the draft, who had zero career fumbles at Alabama and is a power runner. Gibson was already squeezed by J.D. McKissic on the receiving end and now Robinson adds a layer of downside for goal line and early-down work.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 7: Gibson was a top-10 running back last season and didn't do anything particularly unrepeatable. The concern around him stems from the return of J.D. McKissic and the drafting of Brian Robinson. McKissic has been a thorn in Gibson's side since 2020, siphoning 163 targets that could have gone to Gibson. Then, the Commanders drafted Robinson in the 3rd Round of the 2022 draft. The coaches have already said Gibson's workload will vary weekly but it did in 2021 as well. If he makes up for the carries lost to Robinson with more work in the passing game, he still has top-10 upside.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Waller should have even greater production efficiency with Davante Adams in the fold, whether Adams' presence increases overall production is up for debate. Still, it's safe to presume that Waller will be a top-five option at his position.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Waller was a disappointment last year and now target vacuum Davante Adams comes to town. Waller still slots as the No. 2 option in a high-volume passing attack, but the days of thinking Waller had Kelce upside are behind us. He's a tier below, but still one of the better options on draft day, particularly in TE-premium scoring systems.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Darren Waller had a relatively disappointing season after two breakout years preceding it. He has the potential to do it again. There is a little concern as he turns 30 and Davante Adams arrives to be the lead receiver. Waller does have the potential to return to the form that saw him rank as a top two tight end, but his downside is steep and in dynasty leagues he carries risks.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Waller missed games in 2021 for the first time in his elite production string, plus posted a meager two touchdowns. This offseason has Davante Adams added to the Raiders passing game, plus Hunter Renfrow coming off a breakout season. Waller has elite talent, but reaching an elite fantasy ceiling will be tougher than 2020 and 2021 with Waller's competition for targets at an all-time high.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 10: The addition of Davante Adams has called into question Waller's role as a dominant fantasy tight end. While Adams is sure to take targets away, there should be enough to keep Waller around 100 targets for the season. With Adams commanding more attention, Waller may be able to score more touchdowns. We've seen very prolific touchdown scoring by tight ends in a Josh McDaniels offense. He is still on of the best fantasy options at a bad position and anything lowering his ADP is better for the fantasy manager that lands him.
Jeff Haseley on Aug 10: Marquise Brown benefited in Baltimore as the primary wide receiver threat. That won't be the case in Arizona. After DeAndre Hopkins returns from his six-game suspension, Hopkins will be the best receiver on the team and Brown will be relegated to a lesser role. He has been known to struggle against press coverage which was exploited later in the season last year. His numbers suffered as a result. It makes you wonder why Baltimore wanted to trade him. He also hasn't shown the best judgment in offseason activities either. He's not someone I am going out of my way to have on my roster.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Is Marquise Brown the big-time receiver worthy of the buzz he earned at Oklahoma or is he a system receiver with deep speed who lacks the complete route skills and physicality to earn production associated with a passing game's primary weapon? If you're a Brown apologist, you blame the Ravens' offense for limiting his potential. There's truth in this statement when considering the range of routes Lamar Jackson targets. If you're critical of Brown, you look at OU's system, Brown's size, and the likelihood of Brown emerging as the next DeSean Jackson without injuries, and his production ceiling appears narrower. It's clear the Cardinals are all-in on Brown, picking up his fifth-year option so they can be poised to renegotiate in 2024. I'll likely move Brown up my board as the summer progresses but his ceiling may remain just outside WR1 range.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Marquise Brown leaves a run-heavy, vanilla passing offense in Baltimore to an Arizona offense that is wide open and pass-happy. With D. Hopkins suspended and C. Kirk in Jacksonville, Brown should immediately become Kyler Murray's top target.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: A close examination of the 2021 season of Marquise Brown shows us that his worst 11 games totalled 58 catches for 483 yards and one touchdown. The other five games had 33 catches for 525 yards and five touchdowns. Now in Arizona and with DeAndre Hopkins missing for a significant chunk of the season, Brown will be expected to perform as a WR1. Further improvement is possible and he is capable of WR1 stats. His downside is concerning, so treat with caution.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: The Cardinals acquired Brown during the NFL Draft, and his chemistry with Kyler Murray should not need refinement. The two played together in college, and Brown will quickly emerge as Murray's favorite target (especially with DeAndre Hopkins suspended for the first six weeks of 2022)
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: McLaurin has been a reliable option with or without quality quarterback play. Carson Wentz should prove no exception, even if I have concerns that his game won't align well with McLaurin's skill set. Expect low-end WR2 production and you won't overspend.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Armed with $71-million in new money on a 3-year extension, we can safely assume McLaurin will be a happy camper and the alpha target. While Carson Wentz isn't the long-term answer, he's a better quarterback than anyone McLaurin caught passes from in 2021.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Terry McLaurin looks every but the part of an elite wide receiver. He has been drafted high the last two years and will do so again. The only problem is that he ranks as a bottom end WR2 due to a low touchdown count and not as many receptions as his compatriots. Does that change with the arrival of Carson Wentz or will he underperform again? As a dynasty prospect that day will come one day where he ranks as a WR1. Will it be 2022?
Christian Williams on Jul 11: The arrival of rookie Jahan Dotson and a healthy Curtis Samuel gives McLaurin his most challenging target competition yet. Adding that to an inconsistent quarterback in Carson Wentz, McLaurin may see decreased volume and efficiency in 2022.
Jeff Bell on Jun 26: The idea of Terry McLaurin is better than the reality of Terry McLaurin. Through three seasons he has one WR2 seasonal finish, WR20 in 2020. He is currently in a holdout situation and even if he reports he enters a Carson Wentz-led offense that just spent the 16th pick on Jahan Dotson.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Cooper has solid WR2 value with Deshaun Watson missing six games rather than 8-12 games. He should provide a strong connection for Watson this year in a play-action offense with a lot of vertical promise.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Amari Cooper will be the new alpha receiver in Cleveland, but his redraft value hinges on how much of the season Deshaun Watson plays.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Amari Cooper moves his enigmatic career to Cleveland. At times he plays like an elite receiver. At others, 2 catches for 8 yards. In Cleveland there will be no CeeDee Lamb or Michael Gallup to take his targets. Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham are gone. Be it Jacoby Brissett or Deshaun Watson, Cooper will dominate targets and should break 1000 yards. His explosive games make great for bestball leagues and as a dynasty option he has plenty of life left.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Cooper exits a fertile Cowboys offense, but enters a Browns offense where a lid-lifting addition of Deshaun Watson offers upside for Cooper at, or above, his Dallas time. Cooper has a vice grip on the WR1 role with WR2 questions in Dovonan Peoples-Jones, Anthony Schwartz, and David Bell the most likely options. Watson suspended for six games boosts Cooper's upside into the top-18, if not higher.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: Amari Cooper's upside is wholly dependent on the outcome of the Deshaun Watson situation. If Brissett starts most of the season, Cooper should be considered a flex option in most leagues.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Monitor Godwin's progress from a late-season ACL tear. A player with WR1-WR2 production for the second-half of the season is valuable enough to draft earlier than where I rank Godwin. However, compensatory injuries can wreck that plan and they happen a lot to skill players coming off these injuries. I'm preaching caution, for now.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Godwin didn't go on PUP to start camp, a promising sign he'll be back on the field quickly
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Chris Godwin had surgery on his torn ACL in early January. A typical recovery period is at least nine months and potentially more depending on the severity and rehabilitation success. There is talk that he may not be available for the first six weeks of the season if he is placed on the physically unable to perform list. He is too much of a risk to select as your WR2 or even WR3 if he could potentially not play until mid-late October.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: Godwin is likely to miss six games while recovering from a late ACL injury. He could be a much better asset down the stretch, if you can stash him on your IR, but his ADP still feels high.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The Raiders have excellent pieces for its passing game and Derek Carr is coming off a career year. Jacobs played through minor injuries and wasn't efficient as a rusher, but managed 1,220 total yards, which was in line with his career average. Moreover, the Raiders finally leveraged Jacobs' receiving skills. I'm banking on the genie not returning to the bottle and that means another year of rushing in the range of 900-1,100 yards, 8-12 scores, and 300-400 receiving yards. Damien Harris had 1,061 yards and 15 scores in McDaniels' committee offense last year. Don't overreact to a committee approach mentioned in the media until there's evidence that Zamir White is legitimately ready for a significant role.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Josh Jacobs is following the Cadillac Williams career trajectory to a tee. He's been run into the ground by Jon Gruden and it'll likely mean a stiff falloff to irrelevance. Josh McDaniels has always fielded top-tier rushing offenses, but it's almost always come from a three or four-person committee. If you're expecting Jacobs to be a workhorse, you're setting up for disappointment.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: After looking like an ascendant talent, the career of Josh Jacobs has taken a backward step. His numbers have decreased in each season. Adding to concerns about his future with the Raiders are the addition of Kenyan Drake last year and Zamir White this season. His numbers have to take a hit, especially with his fifth year option declined. As a dynasty prospect he is risky. His future depends on this season.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Plenty among the fantasy community will wring their hands with the Raiders not picking up Jacobs' fifth-year option for 2023 and drafting Zamir White. However, White was a Day 3 selection and the franchise tag is marginally more than the fifth-year option for Jacobs next offseason, plus provides the Raiders flexibility. Jacobs will lead a Raiders offense now boosted by Davante Adams. Jacobs is one of the back in the NFL with 10+ touchdowns and 50+ receptions within his sights.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: There is a lot of uncertainty regarding how Josh McDaniels will operate the Raiders offense in 2022. Will it be similar to his time in New England that was run-heavy with timely passing, or will the addition of Davante Adams boost the passing game? How will Jacobs be used? Will he be the primary weapon out of the backfield or will Kenyan Drake and perhaps rookie Zamir White see increased action? Jacobs quietly topped 50 receptions last year and figures to see more of the same duties in 2022, but will he be a consistent force or will we see the Patriots offense in Vegas with multiple contributors. Jacobs is a decent RB2 option especially if he falls outside of the top 20 running backs selected in drafts.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Etienne is having a strong OTA session thanks to his speed and receiving ability. OTA's don't show you much as an inside runner and this is always where Etienne has some inconsistencies that could limit his upside. James Robinson's rehab is going well thus far and when healthy, he's the superior runner between the tackles. The Jaguars couldn't muster much on the ground beyond Robinson's work last year, so I'm going to wait before I get on board with the Etienne buzz, if at all.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Etienne is one of the better values on draft boards currently, but he'll shoot up rankings with a healthy preseason. He's going to be the centerpiece of Doug Pederson's offense, yet people are treating him like an unproven committee back. Enjoy that arbitrage window for the short time it stays open.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: A first-round pick for the Jaguars last year, Travis Etienne missed his entire rookie season. Not only is he unproven Etienne has a new coaching staff and competition from James Robinson. You normally do not like your inexperienced or rookie backs to attract a fourth-round draft price. Even the prize rookie from this yearâ€™s draft in Breece Hall has a lower ADP. Etienne also is likely to be touchdown and rushing attempt deprived on a struggling Jacksonville offense. The upside is there, but compared to the risk a wiser choice needs to be made with a pick this early.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Etienne is coming off an injury before his 2021 rookie season even got started, but so is James Robinson. Etienne has Round 1 pedigree and the Urban Meyer stink is gone from the hoping-to-rebound Jaguars. Etienne has the profile of a breakout candidate especially if James Robinson has a diminished role or is slow on his recovery.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: We finally get to see Travis Etienne and Trevor Lawrence back together for the first time since they were teammates at Clemson. Etienne figures to play a dual-threat role with the Jaguars and has 1,000-yard, 50-reception potential.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: I am confident that Travis Etienne is going to live up to the hype that surrounded him last season. I'm betting he is healthy and James Robinson is not, and that he is going to see around 250 touches, with a decent portion coming in the passing game. He was a great passing outlet for Trevor Lawrence in college, and I think that continues to their first professional season together. The biggest question will be: Will he score enough touchdowns?
Jeff Haseley on Aug 10: The Ravens have two running backs returning from an ACL injury (Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins) which likely will result in both seeing limited action, especially earlier in the season. Also, only one running back in the Lamar Jackson era has eclipsed 200 carries in a season (Mark Ingram had 202 carries in 2019). HE is also the only back to finish in the top 20. Since then no Ravens back has exceeded 144 carries. Baltimore is also ranked dead last in running back receptions since 2018, the year Lamar Jackson entered the league. Dobbins coming off an ACL/LCL injury and not-so-great history for Ravens backs has me out on him this season.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Although a different type of Dobbins was arguably every bit the talent of Jonathan Taylor from their draft class. If he returns to health after his ACL rehab and the Ravens offensive line stays healthy, Dobbins has what it takes to deliver elite fantasy production. Because his injury happened late last preseason, he should be healthy enough that there's lower risk for compensatory injuries that often happen with players rehabbing this kind of tear. We'll likely know by August if he needs to be downgraded but I'm expecting a career year for Dobbins and one he can build on for 2023.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Dobbins' season-ending injury last year provides us with a small window to draft Dobbins at value. As training camp gets underway and the world is reminded of his explosiveness, his ADP will move up to where it should be, as a fringe RB1, high-end RB2.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: J.K. Dobbins was poised for a breakout year in 2021 before tearing an ACL. He averaged 6 yards a carry on 134 rushing attempts and nine touchdowns. His upside is ridiculously high. While Lamar Jackson is scaring defenses, Dobbins will just rack up yardage and fantasy points. Monitor reports out of training camp for progress on his knee,
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The health and recovery status of J.K. Dobbins and/or Gus Edwards is in the crosshairs with Baltimore's signing of Mike Davis this offseason. Dobbins is a strong talent, but Baltimore already had tempered receiving upside for the backfield and now Dobbins might be a slow start to the season or in a committee.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: The Ravens made moves that suggested a return to their run-heavy nature that helped Lamar Jackson win an MVP, and Dobbins looks to be the lead in the running back room. An aging Mark Ingram finished as a top-12 running back within that offense, and while Dobbins still has injury concerns in his recovery from the torn ACL, his per-game performances should warrant a high-RB2 finish.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Metcalf will not see the caliber of targets that Russell Wilson delivered his way and this will lead to tougher catch scenarios. He'll also be playing with quarterbacks who won't be as sophisticated with reading the field. Tyler Lockett is the Seahawk of choice because he can get open in more ways than Metcalf.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Until the Seahawks fix the quarterback void, Metcalf is an easy avoid at his ADP.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: It seems more and more likely that Seattle really is running with Geno Smith or Drew Lock as their quarterback. DK Metcalf should still produce. He is bigger, faster and more powerful than his opponent and while its not ideal, Lock and Smith should be good enough to get Metcalf the ball. He may be better in bestball than redraft and as a dynasty option. I would not lose faith.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The potential stink of the Seattle quarterback room without Russell Wilson is pulling down the fantasy stock of Metcalf. Seattle did not add to their passing game outside Noah Fant via trade, making Metcalf a potential value.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: DK Metcalf's outlook becomes much more appealing if Seattle can squash their concerns about the quarterback position.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: Metcalf was a 50/50 weekly prospect with Russell Wilson. He was a top-12 wide receiver in half his games and could put up week-winning numbers. The other half, he was a fantasy WR3 or worse. Now, we're dealing with some combination of Drew Lock or Geno Smith. Many wide receivers are inconsistent, but none have a worse quarterback situation right now.
Jeff Haseley on Aug 10: I have more pause than excitement for Akers despite his return from an Achilles injury late last season with decent but not outstanding results. The list of running backs who have done anything worthwhile after an Achilles tear is incredibly small, if not absent completely. The explosion just isn't there and it may never be there. Akers is on my do-not-draft list.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The Rams have two worthwhile running backs on the roster this year and Akers is that top dog. As long as Matthew Stafford's elbow doesn't become a serious issue, Akers is poised to have a career year. In this offense, that likely translates to strong RB2 production.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Cam Akers is forcing us to redefine what a torn Achilles means for future performance. His ADP suggests most think he'll be back to a full-time workhorse, and maybe he will. But I'm still reluctant to pay for pre-Achilles value.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Cam Akers had a miraculous recovery from a torn achilles to see significant stats in the playoffs. 67 carries and a handful of receptions. He looked ok, but maybe not at his best. At this stage I would see how he is in training camp and assume he will be the lead back for the Rams. If all is good in training camp, take with confidence.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Akers was a feel-good story to even play in 2021 after a summer Achilles injury. Akers did not look good, however, and Darrell Henderson is another quality option on the depth chart. The Rams have not thrown to running backs enough to see two-way production of note. At least Akers has double-digit touchdown upside in a best case.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: Our case study for Akers was Marlon Mack. Mack was a healthy scratch for most of 2021 and managed just 28 carries and only 3.6 yards per carry. Yes, Akers' recovery was super-heroic, but his performance was not. Between the regular and post-season, Akers carried the ball 72 times for 175 total yards. He scored zero touchdowns and fumbled the ball twice. While he was very hot for five games as a rookie, I do not see a top-20 value over a 17-game season.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Dillon is one of those talents capable of top-five production if given a feature back's workload, but this won't happen with Aaron Jones still in the picture. Expect a similar split between Dillon and Jones as last year with perhaps a slightly greater share for Dillon than before.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: If Aaron Jones misses significant time, A.J. Dillon becomes a fantasy stud. In the meantime, he'll be a viable RB3/flex option even in suboptimal game scripts.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: With the departure of Davante Adams and the presence of two very good running backs in Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, Green Bay may run the ball more. Dillon saw his carries increase to almost 200 and he even managed significant work as a receiver. Jones is far from washed up though so Dillon may not get the most if his ability just yet. He has top 12 running back ability, he just needs the chance.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: At worst, Dillon is a flex play with RB1 upside on a weekly basis. Any game Aaron Jones misses Dillon vaults to a must-start.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The Bears offensive line doesn't appear much better than it was last year, which is a bad sign. Still, Much of what Matt Nagy did last year as a play caller exacerbated bad line play. Expect a far more sensible scheme that gives Justin Fields more time this year. Also expect Fields to improve, which means Mooney should also earn more quality targets.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The Bears didn't do much to improve one of the league's worst offenses, and Justin Fields may be hamstrung by the front office's decisions. But if there's a path toward Fields breaking through, it involves Mooney playing like an unstoppable alpha receiver.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Belief in Justin Fields means belief in his top receiving weapon, and Mooney has established himself as precisely that. His production increased in 2021 from his rookie campaign, and the 2022 iteration of Fields will be the best quarterback he's played with to date. His target share has room to grow, and a boost in efficiency is inevitable with Luke Getsy's new offensive scheme.
Amon-Ra St. Brown
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Perhaps St. Brown is more Robert Woods than Sterling Shepard as a talent. However, I don't expect Brown to deliver Woods' like numbers -- at least not this year. The addition of D.J. Chark to a stable of options that includes T.J. Hockenson and contributor Justin Reynolds likely means that St. Brown will switch between slot and flanker as the No.2 or No.3 priority on more routes than he is the No.1 priority in the progression. While this will still lead to enough opportunities for 800-1,000 yards of production, he's not taking a giant production leap from is rookie year.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: St. Brown belayed his draft stock (4th rounder) to become the Lions only reliable receiver in 2021. His role should be secure entering Year 2, but don't get overexcited about his prospects given his pedigree, unimpressive per-catch average (10.1), and unsustainable catch rate (75%).
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Based on the last six weeks of the 2021 season, Amon-Ra St. Brown would be a great addition to your fantasy roster. This is why you should look forward and not back when you evaluate the 2022 season. St. Brown could easily fall to fifth in the pecking order for targets in Detroit behind free agent acquisition D.J. Chark Jr, first-round rookie Jameson Williams, Dâ€™Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson. St. Brown ultimately will need some luck to get anywhere near his draft, meanwhile, the other wide receivers mentioned are being drafted six to seven rounds later and have higher upsides.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: I don't understand the hate St. Brown is receiving this offseason. He is going to play big-slot role with a quarterback that loves the big slot. He's not Cooper Kupp but that is the role he fills for Jared Goff. Yes, there will be more competition for targets, but he averaged 5 targets per game with Swift and Hockenson playing last year. In those same games, he also managed multiple instances of 7-8 targets. It is far from impossible that he hits 110-120 targets again in 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Thielen is older and he hasn't played a full 16-game season in three years. Yet, he's earned as many touchdowns (24) during the past two years as he did during his first six in the league. With the Vikings spreading the field, expect Thielen to have a 100-target campaign. I'm not banking on the peak years of 140-150 targets but 100-110 is realistic for the changes Minnesota has in store.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Thielen missed a month, but still caught 10 touchdowns. With the new coaches installing a pass-happy offense, he's a sure bet to outperform his ADP as long as he's healthy during training camp.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Mitchell gets the first crack at maintaining the role he had in the 49ers' backfield last year, but Kyle Shanahan is a lot like his father when it comes to personnel management. This is not a backfield I trust when it comes to pinpointing the production leader this early in the year.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Excitement for Trey Sermon gave way to Elijah Mitchell after a stellar preseason, and he ended up the most productive part of Kyle Shanahan's reliable committee. Expect more of the same, if he can stay healthy.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Mitchell's knee surgery in the offseason plus the drafting of another Day 2 running back in Tyrion Davis-Price makes one of the most fantasy frustrating running back depth charts in the running again for 2022. Mitchell is the penciled-in starter for Week 1, but that pencil is light with the eraser handy.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: There may be some early uncertainty surrounding the 49ers lead running back this year, but I'm here to tell you that won't be the case. Mitchell is the lead back and it all stems from his speed. He is the fastest running back on the roster and Kyle Shanahan loves to utilize players who have speed. He had nine games with 17+ carries last year. In those nine games, he scored at least one touchdown in six of them. Mitchell is the guy you want in the 49ers backfield and he is an excellent RB2 or RB3 who can produce consistent results.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Mitchell carried the football at an incredibly high rate as a rookie, and the injury has skewed the perception surrounding the Kyle Shanahan backfield. Mitchell must be more involved in the passing game and retain some level of goal-line work to finish inside the Top 12, but mixing talent with volume is traditionally suitable for fantasy football. Mitchell has both of those working in his favor.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: A skilled underneath option against zone coverage, Schultz will likely be one of the top 3-4 targets in the passing game, especially with Amari Cooper in Cleveland.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Schultz lacks the athleticism of his TE1 peers, but no one can argue with his role or productivity. Dallas franchised him because he's become a vital piece of the league's No. 1 scoring offense.
Andy Hicks on Aug 8: Dalton Schultz has excelled since stepping in unexpectedly to the lead role in Dallas. He presents no value in 2022 and probably has more downside than you would like from your starting fantasy tight end. He plays like just another guy. Not a dominant elite receiving tight end. The fact Dallas couldnâ€™t reach a long-term deal with Schultz adds doubt to his viability in the future. I expect him to fall to bottom-end starting numbers at best.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 9: Schultz broke out in 2021 and there is no reason to think that changes this season. He was a top-5 tight end last year on 104 targets, and with Amari Cooper now playing in Cleveland, there is a solid chance Schultz's targets see an uptick. A high-volume tight end with high touchdown upside is a dream come true in fantasy right now.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Hockenson only played 12 games last year but if he maintained his 11.9 fpts per game average in PPR formats for a full 17, he would have been the No.4 option at the position and the No.3 option if he simply played 16 games. With D.J. Chark on the perimeter and Amon Ra-St. Brown a year wiser, look for Hockenson to earn better opportunities in the Lions offense and continue producing at a high enough rate per game to join the top-five options at the position in 2022.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Hockenson only played 12 games last year, which is the second time in three seasons he's missed a big chunk of the season. Until he proves more durable, it's hard to invest a high pick in him despite transcendent talent and All-Pro upside.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The performance of T.J. Hockenson in 2021 was disappointing considering his ADP and lack of a decent receiver in Detroit. Now with multiple options in the offense, will that help or hinder the fantasy prospects of Hockenson in 2022? He is too talented not to give another shot to, but given his ADP there is little margin for error. Dynasty managers can afford a little more patience.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: T.J. Hockenson was the TE6 in points per game in 2021 while scoring just four touchdowns on the year. An increase in touchdown opportunities and a fully healthy season would place him in the top five at his position.
Jeff Bell on Jun 27: The team addressed the wide receiver position with DJ Chark in free agency, Jameson Williams 12th overall in the draft, and Hockenson's absence coincided with Amon-Ra St. Brown's breakout. The young talent could allow the offense to emerge. But there is also a chance a crowded target tree causes Hockenson to finish in a large group of tight ends. At his ADP, he's trending at a sixth-round pick, offering minimal production over what you gain later at the position.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: Hockenson was averaging seven targets per game last year before his injury. That volume translated to 12.1 fantasy points per game, which would make him a top-5 fantasy option. Every number he put up last year is repeatable, even with new competition for targets. Hockenson is one of the best options at fantasy tight end, he just needs to stay healthy.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Renfrow is the most intriguing receiver of the summer because of the skills he has displayed as a pro and the arrival of Josh McDaniel, whose offense made Wes Welker and Julian Edelman fantasy studs. Derek Carr is on the heels of a career year and Davante Adams provides a massive upgrade to the passing game. If Carr's production continues to climb with the addition of talent and scheme, Adams could be an approximation of Moss; Waller and Foster Moreau can be an approximation of Gronkowski and Hernandez, and Renfrow could be the approximation of Welker. And of all these approximations, Renfrow has the skills where we might one day say that Welker was an approximation of Renfrow. Think of Renfrow as a fantasy WR3 with lottery-level WR1 upside in PPR leagues.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Renfrow is being grossly overvalued by some analysts. Not only is Davante Adams aboard and sure to command a massive target share, Renfrow scored nine touchdowns last year on 103 receptions -- a rate he's unlikely to ever match again. Fewer targets and touchdown regression leave him as a middling WR3/WR4 in 12-team leagues.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: While many expect Davante Adams to cut into Hunter Renfrow's stellar production from 2021, his role should remain separate and only slightly impacted. Renfrow's work in the slot should see him continue to dominate the short and intermediate areas of the field, and his route-running prowess should keep him as one of Derek Carr's top-two targets.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I'm not expecting Tyler Allgeier to be a factor and Damien Williams essentially fits the Mike Davis role. It leaves Patterson the opportunity to repeat what he did for Atlanta this year and if I were the opposing defensive coordinator, I'd let Marcus Mariota check the ball to Patterson all day. Considering the receiving corps, look for opponents to focus on Kyle Pitts, and get pressure on Mariota behind a weak OL unit. This will lead to game scripts where Patterson is leading the dink-and-dunk parade as a receiver.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Patterson is more of a receiver, but the Falcons did next to nothing to bolster the running back roster, leaving the veteran with another viable fantasy season ahead.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: At age 30 Cordarrelle Patterson had a fluke season. A repeat is unlikely, although the Falcons may think a fifth round rookie will help. Highly unlikely. Patterson has always had talent that hasnâ€™t been utilized correctly, so maybe one more season can be squeezed out, but 31 year old hybrid running backs are a rare breed.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Atlanta added Damien Williams and Tyler Allgeier to the running back depth chart this offseason but subtracted Mike Davis. Patterson is their most dynamic running back option and plays all over the offense, scoring multiple ways.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: People will tend to overlook Patterson due to his age (31), but he has only 320 career carries, averaging 5.1 yards per tote. That's fewer than almost any other fantasy back in the league. To make things more appealing, he was drafted as a first-round wide receiver talent. He has the tools to be the ultimate weapon and Atlanta has figured out how to best utilize him. Don't be afraid of Tyler Allgeier or Damien Williams. Patterson is the guy they want and the one they will utilize. He was a fantasy weapon last year and this year will be no different.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Kirk delivered borderline WR2/WR3 production last year with Kyler Murray. Trevor Lawrence may be a notch or two below Murray in perceived quality, but I expect Lawrence to make up a lot of ground this year and that should lead to Kirk delivering similar production from his 2021 season as Jaguar.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: We've all become so fixated on the Jaguars' overpaying of Christian Kirk, that we've lost sight of the reality he's stepping into the unquestioned No. 1 role in Doug Pederson's offense. If you're a Trevor Lawrence believer (I'm not), you have to love Kirk at his depressed ADP. You can't have it both ways.
Jeff Haseley on Aug 3: I believe in Doug Pederson's ability to get the most out of Trevor Lawrence. Christian Kirk is in a perfect situation for his skill set. I see him being the alpha WR on that team.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: Kirk somewhat broke out in his final season with the Cardinals and banked a massive payday from Jacksonville. He turned 103 targets last year into a 77/982/5 stat line, good enough to finish as the WR26 in fantasy. While the move to Jacksonville is an upgrade in the pecking order, it is a downgrade at quarterback. He may end up with more targets but less efficiency. That will likely lead to a repeat of his 2021.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Jerry Jeudy is not an Antonio Brown type of receiver in playing style. My pre-draft comparison was an aspiring Reggie Wayne. With Russell Wilson joining the Broncos, the opportunity for Jeudy to elevate his production is there. At the same time, Courtland Sutton offers more to Wilson when comparing the two receivers and Sutton will likely be the leading producer. Also, keep an eye on Tim Patrick, who could cut enough into Jeudy's target share that trying to match a 1:1 transfer of Seattle's receivers with Wilson to Denver's will be futile.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Russell Wilson will ignite the Broncos offense and everyone on the roster has fantasy value depending on the cost. Early reports point to Courtland Sutton being the better fit with Wilson's preferences, but Jeudy can show off in the preseason and calm the skeptics. He's certainly talented enough.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Once again Jerry Jeudy is being drafted on potential rather than actual production. If his zero touchdown season with an average of 46 yards a game is any guide, he shouldnâ€™t sniff a fantasy roster until much later. A troubling offseason isnâ€™t helping matters. Add in a new coach, a new quarterback and Jeudy being drafted as a borderline WR2 is one of the easiest decisions to pass on in the fifth or sixth round.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: Jerry Jeudy is in a crowded receiver room, and while he may become Russell Wilson's favorite target, it doesn't seem probable. Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick have shown more as receivers in the intermediate and deep areas of the field, two of Russell Wilson's favorites to throw to.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: If Thomas' rehab is successful, he should lead the Saints in receiving and deliver top-15 production at his position. Until we know more about his rehab, the length of time that he has missed generates concern.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Thomas is still not 100% healthy. That's baffling. How can anyone reliably draft him under that pretense? If he is a fixture at practice and the preseason, then we can start to let our minds wander into a return to glory.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: There is a possibility that Michael Thomas' ankle won't ever be the same which would mean his best years are behind him. According to those in the know, he isn't close to where he was expected to be in terms of his recovery and return to form. The Saints may know how bad it is, which may be why they signed Jarvis Landry and drafted Chris Olave. It's getting to the point where he is a dart throw in the later rounds of your draft long after securing your starting wide receivers. Selecting him in the middle rounds is too much of a risky proposition.
Jeff Bell on Jun 26: A wholly lost season to injury is the easy way out on Thomas, but the more significant concern is the window when he did play in 2020. His 13.2 PPR points per game from weeks 9 to 14 ranked him WR30, his current rank. With a new quarterback, a new play-caller, and the 11th overall pick on Chris Olave, it is fair to question if the player who captivated fantasy in 2019 is gone forever. And that is assuming he plays.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The Chiefs passing offense will be radically different without Tyreek Hill. If Hill's tape was the football equivalent of the Exorcist for opposing defenses, Mecole Hardman and Marquez Vadles-Scantling are Weekend at Bernies' II and III. With opposing defenses playing more drop-eight/Cover2, expect Smith-Schuster to be one of the top two target getters on the squad and most efficient producers on the team.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: In a year when every receiver is breaking the bank, Smith-Schuster signed another prove-it deal in Kansas City. It's a bold and smart choice given Tyreek Hill's departure. Expect the Chiefs to spread the ball around more, but if there's one receiver who could shatter that plan and become a star, it's JuJu.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: JuJu Smith-Schustet could be in for his best season since 2018 with the move to Kansas City. The departure of Tyreek Hill leaves a huge hole at wide receiver, one that Smith-Schuster cannot fill on his own. He could be an excellent buy low, especially in dynasty formats as although he wore out his welcome in Pittsburgh, he has the ability of an elite receiver and is still only 25 years of age.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: How quickly the consensus forgets how good Smith-Schuster was just a few years ago. He definitely has had his down moments as well, but if he is healthy he'll be a key piece to one of the best offenses in the AFC. There is some risk involved because he has missed 12 games last year with a shoulder injury. However, the reward outweighs the risk. He can be the top WR on the Chiefs this season for a WR30 price tag.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: The dispersal of targets in Kansas City is one of the most difficult to project for 2022, and while viewing Smith-Schuster as the favorite to lead the pack is plausible, a more even distribution may be in store. Like the AFC West teams, the Chiefs receivers may detrimentally eat at each other's production.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Bateman has a blend of skills and potential along the lines of Michael Thomas and Keenan Allen with big-play speed and open-field prowess. He's a good receiver in the middle of the field, which fits the M.O. of the Ravens' passing game. However, the Ravens' passing game, even during the peak production of its 2019 campaign doesn't thrive on perimeter routes that can expand a primary receiver's production. Unless you think Bateman forces Mark Andrews into the No.2 role in the passing game, expecting more than 1,000 yards from Bateman is too much.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Shipping Marquise Brown to Arizona dramatically alters the calculus for Bateman. He should be Lamar Jackson's new alpha receiver, and even in a run-heavy offense he could provide enough fantasy value to warrant an every-week roster slot.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: Bateman was almost universally loved coming out of college and a favorite rookie prospect. Then he ends up as the WR2 in a low passing volume offense and he was written off. With Marquise Brown in Arizona, the WR1 role is now Bateman's and his ADP is not reflecting that change. Brown was targeted 100 or more times in each of the last two years and finished with 146 last year. With almost no competition for targets at wide receiver, those targets will funnel to Bateman.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I'll likely bump Davis up my board to the cusp of WR3-WR4 value, at best. Even so, I'd keep expectations low. Most likely, Davis will be the 3rd or 4th option in the passing offense behind Stephon Diggs, Dawson Knox, and at best, splitting volume with James Cook. There's way too much excitement about Davis due to his playoff performance where his big plays came as the third read against defenses that defended Knox and Diggs first, hoping to reach Josh Allen with pressure before Allen could find Davis. This won't happen weekly in 2022. I might happen monthly. The box score watchers don't factor coverage and game plan context into their analysis enough.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Gabriel Davis scored an improbable 7 touchdowns on 35 receptions as a rookie, and nearly matched the feat in Year 2 (6 touchdowns on 35 catches). But unless Davis' snaps, targets, and receptions skyrocket in Year 3, he's in danger of regressing to little more than a deep roster option and emergency bye week fill-in.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Sometimes you wonder what you are missing. With Gabriel Davis, his fantasy ranking is now that of a WR3, despite dropping in production from a solid rookie season. Maybe factoring in third-year improvement is fair, but with a clear elite target in Stefon Diggs, it is hard to see Davis going far beyond his expected ADP. Chances are he disappoints, especially with a sixth-round draft price. Higher upsides with similar downsides are available much later.
Jeff Bell on Jul 18: Davis was the primary beneficiary of the Bills' offensive shift during the Tampa Bay game; half his 64 targets and six touchdowns came between weeks 13 and 17. His snap rate jumped from 64% to 85% when the team committed to involving him over Emmanuel Sanders, and his performance peaked with four touchdowns in the Bills' playoff loss to Kansas City.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: Drafters seem to remember the good but forget the bad with Gabriel Davis. His best games always come at the end of the yearâ€”the right time to give the fantasy world hope for the following season. If you look at his first two seasons, Davis has never scored 15 fantasy points before Week 12. In 32 career games, 39% of his career fantasy points have come in just six games played after Week 12. Not enough has changed in Buffalo to make me think that his early-season lull improves this season.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I could see the Browns trading Hunt to a team that needs a starter and that team wants the first shot to re-sign him after the season. This would increase Hunt's value immediately. Presently, Hunt has solid RB2 value with elite RB1 upside based on his current split with Nick Chubb behind a top OL and the potential for Hunt to be the lead back due to a Chubb injury. Many underrate Hunt's high ceiling, role, and supporting talent because they are overvaluing upside in the early rounds from lesser talents without the supporting talent and/or role.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Hunt has only played 8 games in two of the last three seasons, which masks how effective he can be in the Browns system when healthy.
Jeff Haseley on Aug 4: As long as Kareem Hunt keeps a decent touchdown to games played ratio, I am taking advantage of his discount. Hunt has 44 touchdowns in 59 career games. I'll gladly take that as my RB3 or RB4. His calf and ankle injury slowed him last year which is another reason why he's falling. I'll buy at the discounted rate.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Hunt is a running back to watch with no guaranteed money and a quality depth chart (D'Ernest Johnson, Jerome Ford) behind him. Hunt's elite upside if Nick Chubb misses time is in some doubt with Johnson's strong showing as a spot starter last year. Hunt being moved by Week 1 would not be a surprise.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: If Ezekiel Elliott remains healthy, Pollard offers more upside in PPR than Non-PPR. Pollard is a good young running back, but there's a slew of fantasy analysts kidding themselves about Elliott not being as good of a running back as he once was. His offensive line isn't as good as it once was but he's still an excellent player who handles difficult scenarios better than Austin. They see Austin's highlight touches or data without appropriate context for the position and it distorts their valuation of the players. Pollard has top-15 upside if Elliott gets hurt but until then, I'd rather risk undervaluing him. I don't think he's going to be D'Andre Swift to Elliott's Jamaal Williams.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Tony Pollard didn't show much growth last year despite many calling for a more equal footing with Ezekiel Elliott. If Elliott is healthy, Pollard is overvalued.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Pollard is in the small subset of must-start running backs if the starter is out. Ezekiel Elliott has provided zero such games for Pollard to-date despite playing dinged up on numerous occasions. Pollard has flex appeal at times even with a healthy Elliott.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: The Cowboys lost Amari Cooper, and while many project a receiver to step up behind CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, it's reasonable to believe Pollard will receive a more prominent role. With Ezekiel Elliott healthy, Pollard will provide value as a change-of-pace back, with continued 2RB sets giving the Cowboys matchup advantages. Pollard could even see some slot receiver work in those situations and could provide high-upside flex plays weekly.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: A.J. Brown's presence will soften coverage for DeVonta Smith. Expect the second-year option to earn more production because he won't be forced to defeat primary corners up the vertical boundary. Smith's upside won't be reason to take him, but his floor should be high enough to consider him a solid contributor in a starting lineup.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: DeVonta Smith was miscast as the Eagles' No. 1 receiver given his size, but A.J. Brown's arrival pushes Smith into a perfect No. 2 role. He has the explosiveness, aggression, and route precision to make mincemeat of opposing No. 2 cornerbacks. Don't be surprised if Smith's year-end fantasy value isn't much different than Brown's, particularly in PPR formats.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: DeVonta Smith quietly had a fantastic rookie year in Philadelphia. He commanded a 22% target share and finished just under 1,000 yards. A.J. Brown's arrival complicates his ceiling, but the offense should filter through the two star wideouts.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Harris had an excellent year and will remain the safest option in the Patriots' rotation considering half of the projected depth chart could be rookies. If there's a threat to that lead role or significant playing time, Rhamondre Stevenson is capable. I expect Stevenson or a veteran like James White to make inroads with more playing time that limits Harris to high-end RB2 value this year.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Harris emerged as the best back in New England, but the Patriots aren't going to give anyone an every week, workhorse role as long as Bill Belichick is running the show.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Eighteen running backs cleared 200 carries in 2021; of those players, Harris's 27% 1st down rate finished second, and his 4.6 ypa was fourth. Passing game work limits upside, but he finished RB18 on a ppg basis and carries an RB26 ADP.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The Patriots are back to playing the hits with their running back collecting. Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris were both notable Day 3 selections with their quality profiles, added to Rhamondre Stevenson, James White, and Damien Harris. It is tough to trust the most expensive Patriots running back and that is Damien Harris for 2022.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Damien Harris finished 2021 with 15 rushing touchdowns in 2021 which led to a Top 10 finish. Expected touchdown regression is pushing him down the ranks this season and second-year back Rhamondre Stevenson also figures to play a role on offense. Harris may not have the same load as 2021 but he's more than capable of producing when his number is called.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: The Patriots have shown everyone what they want to be: a defensive-focused team that runs the football, controls the clock, and asks their quarterback not to lose the game. Harris was effective on the ground in 2021, running for nearly 1,000 yards and leading the backfield with authority. He should lead the committee in 2022, and the intrinsic volume associated with that should keep him within the top 24 running backs.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 7: Harris scored 15 touchdowns last season and still finished as just the 14th best fantasy running back. If that number were to regress too far, Harris' current ADP could quickly go from moderate value to an all-out bust. The team drafted Pierre Strong Jr in the 4th Round of the 2022 draft, and James White is set to return. That means Harris is unlikely to see an uptick in the passing game and could even lose more carries to Rhamondre Stevenson as he grows into this offense.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Woods is an excellent football player coming off a mid-season ACL tear after 30. I'm not expecting Woods to be in peak form this year. There's a potential that Woods won't return to form considering that he's closer to the end of his career based on age. Of course, Jerry Rice proved an exception and it's possible that a technician like Woods can do the same. I'm expecting WR3-WR4 value from Woods as long as there are no setbacks, but his situation bears monitoring before investing.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Woods is coming off a season-ending injury but finds himself as the presumptive No. 1 in Tennessee now that A.J. Brown is gone.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: While the knee injury has created concern for Woods' early-season outlook, his weekly upside remains as a WR1. Treylon Burks may take time to develop as an outside receiver, and Woods' versatility should give him the upper hand in targets. Furthermore, Woods is a very talented receiver that fits exactly what the Titans want to do on offense.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Goedert had a nice points per game average last year and while it's possible that the addition of A.J. Brown will be a net positive for Goedert's target efficiency, it could also be a net negative for his target volume. I'm expecting the efficiency gain to be smaller than the volume decline and it makes Goedert a borderline TE1/TE2 rather than a clear-cut TE1 in many formats. August developments will factor into my assessment of Goedert's upside.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Goedert is good, but not great. He does most things well, but with A.J. Brown added to the mix along with 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith progressing, Goedert's ceiling is capped. The Eagles won't have the passing volume to support multiple receiving options on a weekly basis.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Dallas Goedert puts up great numbers consistently. The only problem is that his touchdown numbers do not approach the level you want from an elite fantasy tight end. With the arrival of A.J. Brown and further development of Devonta Smith, Goedert should be able to operate underneath and continue his bottom end TE1 numbers. More if the touchdowns come.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I like London's skills, but I'm bearish on the Falcons' quarterback depth chart. Marcus Mariota struggles as a decision-maker when he has to extend plays from the pocket. Desmond Ridder is a hard pass when it comes to knowing when a target is too dangerous to attempt. London's potential is higher than Michael Pittman's as a talent but the Atlanta offense makes his fantasy value too volatile for my taste -- at least at this point of the summer.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: If Desmond Ridder surprises everyone, wins the job, and plays well, London could be the best rookie of the crop. But that's a lot of ifs. Most likely, London flashes but suffers the inconsistencies of playing for a team without a good quarterback.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Atlanta doesnâ€™t really have a running game or a quarterback, but it does have two high draft picks to catch the ball. It would be three if Calvin Ridley was available. Kyle Pitts already demonstrated high usage in his rookie season and Drake London should do the same in 2022. There really is little else on offer for the Falcons outside Pitts and London so expect London to grab a huge share of targets, as poor as the offense could be. As a dynasty prospect he is elite....once he gets a quarterback. And a running game. And a good offense
Ryan Weisse on May 25: With the loss of Calvin Ridley for 2022, the Falcons were just about the best spot for a rookie wide receiver to land in this draft. London should immediately be the WR1 on a team that should be throwing a lot and he is really only competing with Kyle Pitts for targets. The table is set for well over 100 targets and I will not be surprised if London is the rookie WR1 by season's end.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The production we saw from Moore when Joe Flacco started last year is indicative of what he can do if Zach Wilson improves. I'm buying, because he should earn a lot of opportunities from the slot that Wilson won't miss this year.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: There were glimpses last year as Moore struggled to build consistency with a revolving door of quarterbacks and overall offensive malaise. Until the Jets decide Zach Wilson isn't the answer, you have to draft Moore at his baseline value, not his upside potential.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Lockett is the most versatile route runner on the Seahawks and that leads the easiest targets for quarterbacks. Look for Lockett to be the receiving leader on a team with quarterback play dependent on easier looks compared to Russell Wilson.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Until the Seahawks solve their quarterback situation, both Lockett and DK Metcalf are grossly overvalued.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Edwards-Helaire hasn't offered the returns that the Chiefs envisioned and the addition of Ronald Jones signals that Kansas City wants a runner who can break tackles in the box that Edwards-Helaire can't. Look for a clearer delineation of roles with Edwards-Helaire as a receiver and two-minute back and Jones as the early-down runner. Keep an eye on Isaih Pacheco as a young option with potential to be become a lead back of the future.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: 10 games played. 646 total yards. 6 touchdowns. Those numbers aren't going to justify his draft ADP, and now Ronald Jones is on the roster ready to compete for snaps.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Itâ€™s not like the Chiefs have given up on former first-round pick, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but he hasnâ€™t exactly given the team confidence in his ability to take the lead role. He has missed a third of his games to date and he had a massive drop in big carry games, from five in 2020 to only one last year. As a receiver, he had four games with at least four catches in 2020. Last year there were none. The presence of former high draft pick, Ronald Jones and Jerick McKinnon coming back do not bode well for Edwards-Helaire outplaying his ADP.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Edwards-Helaire had troubling separating from Darrel Williams for feature back usage at times last season. Williams is gone, but Ronald Jones a notable signing and Isaih Pacecho on offers strong athleticism from Day 3 in this year's draft. Edwards-Helaire is one of the shakier starters in the NFL outside of a strong opening stretch of the season.
Andy Hicks on Aug 10: By process of elimination from the 2021 roster, it is being assumed that Allen Lazard steps into the lead receiver role in Green Bay. Amari Rodgers, Romeo Doubs, Sammy Watkins and Christian Watson all will share the spoils with Lazard in Green Bay, making a Davante Adams type lead receiver difficult in 2022. Maybe one emerges, but the undrafted Lazard is not the player with the most upside on this roster. Use your picks wisely.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Lazard gets a lot of love because of past production, his size, and Aaron Rodgers' praise of him as a worker. That said, Lazard is a high-floor, low-ceiling talent whose game has to benefit from zone routes or Packers' alignments that create assignment confusion and gets Lazard wide-open. The young receivers who do more against single coverage without scheming have more upside in this offense--even if their age, experience, or injury history create more volatility.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Betting on Lazard to break out hasn't panned out in prior seasons, but with Davante Adams gone and the Packers standing pat at the position, someone has to emerge, right?
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: The Packers' wide receiver room has a lot of questions. They skipped over another first-round wide receiver in the draft and wound up selecting Christian Watson in the early second round. Watson has the tools to make an impact but it may take some time to develop rapport with Aaron Rodgers. Lazard already has established a growing rapport and he maintains the safest option for Rodgers downfield. We've seen Rodgers turn good receivers into great ones. Jordy Nelson and James Jones come to mind. What if Lazard is the next in line of a long list of productive wide receivers under Rodger's tutelage? If anyone is going to fulfill that role this year, Lazard has the resume.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Singletary will likely remain the early-down back in Buffalo but expect him to lose targets to James Cook and potentially split more time as a runner with Cook and Duke Johnson.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: When the Bills give Singletary a starter's workload, he thrives. But the coaches seem reluctant to use him that way and are constantly searching for a complementary back.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Singletary is coming off his best NFL season and more touchdowns (8) than his previous two seasons combined (5). Singletary projects as the lead back for Buffalo to start the season, but taking James Cook in Round 2 is an ominous sign for any job security of strong touches for Singletary.
Bob Henry on Jul 20: Singletary took over the backfield in the second half of last season. The Bills added James Cook in the draft, who will certainly carve out a role in the passing game and potentially even as a runner. However, it's far more likely to come at Zack Moss's expense. Singletary's ADP is much closer to hi floor than it factors in his high-end RB2 upside with 10 TDs and 1100 yards well within his expected range of outcomes.
Jeff Bell on Jul 18: Singletary's season flipped in week 13. Before that week, he averaged 51% of snaps, 11.1 opportunities, and 53.9 yards. After that week, he played 83% of snaps and averaged 21.5 opportunities for 98.8 yards. The addition of James Cook will swing his already small passing game usage, but he is the primary ball carrier for the Bills' high-scoring offense.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The Eagles have a good OL and while I like the talents of Boston Scott and Kenneth Brooks, Sanders will earn the first crack at featured touches. Sanders' ability to stay healthy is a big reason I have him projected lower. His inconsistent decision-making and ball security are also factors behind my desire to stay away from him as a fantasy option. I'd rather take shots on Scott and Brooks late if I want to piece of the Eagles' backfield.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Sanders is far and away the most talented tailback on the Eagles roster, but his durability clearly soured him in the coaches' eyes. If anyone is going to become a reliable fantasy star, it's Sanders. But the baseline expectation should be as a middling committee contributor.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Sanders has yet to see a foundation back workload through three seasons and his receiving work saw a pronounced cut in 2021 with the addition of Kenny Gainwell to the depth chart. Sanders is the starter on paper, but one of the lower upside NFL starting options.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Miles Sanders has never exceeded 180 carries in a season and he had zero touchdowns last season, rushing or receiving. Inside the 20 yard-line, he had 20 carries and averaged 1.35 yards per carry. To make matters worse, two other running backs also had at least 20 carries inside the 20. Eagles running backs alone scored 14 rushing touchdowns in the red zone last season. Sanders had 0 of those 14. Maybe Sanders just isn't that good of a back. It would not surprise me to see Boston Scott or Kenneth Gainwell get more meaningful carries this season. Combined they had 11 of those 14 red zone rushing touchdowns.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: Miles Sanders was efficient with his touches in 2021, but injury concerns and the committee mindset may limit his upside. Jalen Hurts taking goal-line value away doesn't help, either.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Penny is an athletic terror of a back, but injuries and lack of experience with zone schemes have held him back. Last year's excellent run of production indicates that Penny still has the potential to become a strong NFL starter and fantasy value. Penny's tenure in Seattle likely ends this year and Ken Walker is slated as the future, if not a big part of the immediate present. Expect a committee situation similar to Denver's duo of backs but without as good of an offensive line.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: After three and a half forgettable seasons, Penny finally got a shot at the starting role and rattled off four 100-yard games in the final five, along with six touchdowns. But with Russell Wilson gone and rookie Kenneth Walker added to the RB room, we may have seen the best Penny has to offer.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Penny showed his elite upside with (finally) a healthy stretch to close the 2021 fantasy season, carrying teams to titles. Penny's return to Seattle is clouded by the drafting of Kenneth Walker and the possibility of Chris Carson returning from a career-threatening neck injury. The perfect storm for Penny is an impact player, but he has sparsely been healthy for long in the NFL as a high-variance play.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: The offense will be awful, but they will run the ball. Over the last five weeks in 2021, Penny was the best back in fantasy, and you can land him in the 7th Round.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Aiyuk is the third option behind target hogs George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. And if Kittle stays healthy, Aiyuk's production may be less than what he earned last year. The one factor that could change Aiyuk's production potential beyond injuries to teammates is the possibility that Trey Lance favors different play calls and/or decision patterns than Jimmy Garoppolo and it leads to more targets for Aiyuk. Until we see this happen, Aiyuk is a fantasy contributor but more of a match-up starter in the most common formats with 2-3 receivers in starting lineups.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Aiyuk started the season in Kyle Shanahan's dog house, and slowly dug himself out. But the end result was the same -- a fantasy finish outside the Top 30. Don't expect much more unless the team moves Deebo Samuel.
Jeff Bell on Jun 16: Brandon Aiyuk was WR16 after week 8, with a full season pace of 73-1,128-6. Many will point to Deebo Samuel shifting to a run game role opening up this opportunity, but Aiyuk opened the season in coach Kyle Shanahan's doghouse and his targets went to players like Trent Sherfield and Mo Sanu. The only thing holding him back is an ambiguous quarterback and target situation but the talent is evident.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Ertz will be the lead tight end and one of the top three passing game options while DeAndre Hopkins serves as six-game suspension. That said, Trey McBride should not be overlooked as a factor who won't overtake Ertz this year, but he could shave a little off the top of Ertz's production upside. Ertz is a low-end TE1 on the cusp of TE2 territory, depending on league size.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Ertz looked like his old self after a few weeks in Arizona, and the Cardinals decided to keep him around for a few more seasons. Arizona spreads the ball around, but with Christian Kirk gone and Deandre Hopkins suspended for half the season, Ertz could have a strong start to the season.
Andy Hicks on Aug 8: When you draft a tight end expected to be your starter, you are looking for possible top-six production. Upside. With Zach Ertz, his current ranking is his ceiling. The Cardinals will throw and run the ball across the depth chart. Maxx Williams returns after looking like a breakout season was on the cards. Arizona drafted Trey McBride in round two as a receiving specialist. Maybe Ertz has a good game or two. He is most likely to disappoint your expectations.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Ertz took over the red zone role when he arrived in Arizona; his 14 targets after week seven finished third, but extrapolated to an entire season, the total of 21 would lead the team by five. The suspension of DeAndre Hopkins leaves the team light on big-bodied targets, and Ertz has a fantastic opportunity to grow his role throughout the whole field.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: I do not like mid-round tight ends in fantasy. Ertz was all they had at the position last year. That changes in 2022, and his volume will suffer.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Hopkins is a WR2 value when his suspension ends. The ageists will fear that he has fallen off the side of the square earth, but the steroids weren't used to make him faster as much as facilitating faster healing.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Hopkins is suspended for six games, and that could be just the beginning of a disappointing season given the addition of Marquise Brown and a full year of Zach Ertz.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The idea that Javonte Williams will be the featured back is magical thinking at this point. Denver wants to split the load similar to Cleveland. Expect Williams to earn the majority of the split, but not enough that Gordon isn't a fantasy factor as a strong RB3 or flex.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Melvin Gordon tested free agency and then re-signed with Denver. Expect another 1a/1b season alongside Javonte Williams.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Gordon returning to Denver limits his weekly appeal beyond a flex play but also puts him in play for strong upside any week Javonte Williams is out.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 10: I'm as excited as anyone for Javonte Williams in 2022, but we should not be burying Melvin Gordon. The new coaching staff is known for 2-back systems, and Gordon's role is very defined. The new scheme and quarterback should significantly improve this offense, and Gordon will be the primary redzone back. He was a top-20 fantasy back last year in a 50/50 split. There is no way he does not perform his current ADP.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Breece Hall gets more love, but there's a good chance that the Jets' offense isn't much better than the Seahawks despite a lot of optimism with early-round picks who haven't been around long enough to pan out. Seattle has a strong receiving corps and enough OL talent to support Walker, who is an excellent talent in his own right. Like New York, Seattle's quarterback is the question mark and ultimately the driver of the offense. Walker should offer enough production for the public to understand that he's a future fantasy starter of note despite taking a back seat to Rashaad Penny in an offense lacking top quarterback play. Walker has big-play quickness and he's a patient runner. You'll have to draft him earlier than this to get him as insurance to Penny.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Walker landed on a team committed to a power running game, but right now Seattle has no answer at quarterback and several veteran tailbacks vying for snaps.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Walker secured No.41 overall pedigree out of the draft and a Seattle depth chart ripe with uncertainty. Chris Carson has a murky outlook with his neck and Rashaad Penny has sparsely strung together a healthy stretch in his NFL career. Walker's range of outcomes ventures from strong injury-away option to clear-cut starter with a lack of health around him.
Ryan Weisse on May 25: Walker was pretty firmly the rookie RB2 behind Breece Hall entering the draft but may have ended up in a better landing spot. The Seahawks offense wants to run the ball a lot and the running backs ahead of Walker, Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson, both have injury concerns. With Carson's future still up in the air, Walker will be the 1B to Penny from Day 1 and may claim the primary job, through talent or injury, by season's end.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Edmonds will likely be part of a 1-2 punch with Raheem Mostert and then Sony Michel if Mostert gets hurt again. That said, the Dolphins under Mike McDaniel may not have as much work for the No.2 of that 1-2 punch if we go by his tendencies with the 49ers. When the No.1 has been healthy, the No.1 is the dominant production option on the team. Therefore, I'm lower on Edmonds' role than some project it.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel wants to run the ball as effectively in Miami as they have in San Francisco, and Chase Edmonds was brought aboard in free agency to be the 1a of a multi-back committee.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Miami has a crowded backfield with Chase Edmonds joined by Sony Michel and Raheem Mostert in free agency, with Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed already there. The new coaching staff made it a priority to upgrade the moribund offense. The key to this was adding Tyreek Hill in a blockbuster trade. Hill creates opportunities for all others. If we follow the money at running back, Edmonds has the biggest paycheck and should be given the first opportunity to start. At his current draft price, grabbing Edmonds is high-reward, low-risk.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: Edmonds' 3.6 yards before contact led all running backs, converting 28% of his attempts into first downs, ranking fourth. He uses speed to gain yardage but lacks physicality, as his 1.5 yards after contact were one of the lowest.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Edmonds was in line for the 1A role in Miami until Sony Michel was added to the depth chart, now one of the more ambiguous pecking orders in the NFL with Edmonds, Michel, and Raheem Mostert populating the three top spots.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Toney's value is lower than his ability because Daniel Jones and the Giants OL and reports concerning immaturity off the field that could lead to bigger problems. All I ever hear mentioned is one report from his sophomore year and Brian Daboll's regime has been complimentary of Toney's work habits and personality. On the field, Toney can play inside and outside and he's easily the best receiver on the team and the only one who has a shot at defeating top cornerbacks in any situation. If he continues to move efficiently so he's not slipping and risking injury -- a problem he had at Florida that initially carried over to his rookie camp -- Toney has WR1 upside if the Giants' pieces all come together. At the same time, there's enough mentioned above that keep his value in the WR3-WR range.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Toney has too many red flags to draft as anything other than an end-of-roster lottery ticket.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: The Giants have constructed a strange receiver room, and Toney may be left out if Sterling Shepard is healthy to begin the year. Rookie Wan'Dale Robinson should compete for starting slot receiver snaps, and Shepard and Golladay will assume the outside roles in three-receiver sets. Toney's role is difficult to forecast.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Olave is the most technically proficient receiver in this draft class while also possessing first-round athletic ability. If Michael Thomas doesn't return to form, Olave could become the top option for the Saints this year. If Thomas' rehab is successful, Olave has the skills to be a compelling WR3 in fantasy if Jameis Winston plays to his potential. There's no volatility with Olave's talent, but plenty of it with his role in New Orleans this year. Still, the talent and floor as the Saints' No.3 WR are compelling enough to draft and hope for the upside scenario.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Michael Thomas' health. Jarvis Landry's assimilation. A new head coach. Jameis Winston's healthy and consistency. That's a lot of unknowns we need to be answered before confidently projecting rookie Olave. His long-term value is sky high, but don't overpay for 2022.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Olave was likely the most pro-ready of the top 2022 wide receiver prospects, which fits well with his projected role with the Saints. Jameis has shown he can stretch the field with accuracy, and Olave's speed and route-running profile should immediately make him one of the better deep threats in the NFL.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 1: While I love Olave as a player and think he his dynasty value is high, year one may not show his full potential. In New Orleans, he will be competing for targets with Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and the newly signed Jarvis Landry. On top of target share, there are still major concerns at quarterback, with Jameis Winston not fully healthy and uninspiring backups. I like his touchdown upside, especially if Winston is at quarterback, so he may be a better non-PPR play as a rookie.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Claypool burst onto the fantasy scene thanks to defenses rolling zones to account for Pittsburgh's other receivers and Claypool's coverage playing soft on the rookie. Once opponents realized they had to play physical against Claypool or roll the focus of zone coverage to Claypool, first, Claypool's value imploded. There's a chance that Ben Roethlisberger's dwindling arm strength was a significant factor in Claypool's decline, but velocity was a bigger issue than distance and Claypool's vertical targets required distance more than velocity. Expect this to be Claypool's last year in Pittsburgh and maintain a healthy skepticism with a rebound in production that hasn't happened for the past two years.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Claypool regressed in Year 2, and it's hard to decipher how much of it was his lack of route discipline and Ben Roethlisberger's inability to throw downfield. Until we know whether Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett can sling it vertically with confidence, Claypool should be viewed as a high-upside fantasy backup.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The reception and yardage numbers for Chase Claypool were almost identical from his rookie season to year two. The big problem was that the receiving touchdowns dropped from nine to two. Others perhaps saw things differently, but in every game, Ben Roethlisberger and Claypool missed huge plays by small margins. These were connecting in his rookie year. While his maturity issues are genuine, his talent on the field is that of an elite receiver. This year will see whether a new quarterback has better timing. Claypool gets open. At his current draft price, I want to take the upside.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: The introduction of George Pickens to the Steelers' offense presents a strange dynamic. Claypool's role may differ in 2022, moving inside the slot and getting targets closer to the line of scrimmage. The offense should throw less, too, with a better defense and to ease the load on the combination of Trubisky and Pickett.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Big, strong, and fast for his size, Burks has work to do against press and zone coverage. He lacks a clear plan in both situations and even his catch-point technique has occasional lapses that can be the difference between good and great. Combined with his struggles with asthma and weight, I want to see Burks prove his value in re-draft leagues before I jump on board.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Burks is raw, and miscast as A.J. Brown's replacement. Treat the rookie as a "show me" player. Draft him for whatever you see as a baseline outcome, and don't count on upside.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 1: Burks finds himself in a position to be the Titans WR1 in his rookie year. He was extremely productive in college and, with the team trading AJ Brown, there is a huge need in Tennessee. Early training camp reports have been rough for Burks, but as long as he's healthy by the preseason, he has every chance to lead this team in targets in 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Wilson is a dynamic prospect, but has some work to do with his hand positions at the catch point as well as defeating press coverage against patient and physical press defenders. He should have quality weeks as a rookie, but don't expect him to put it all together this year. At best, project rookie numbers approximating Devonta Smith's rookie production.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Corey Davis is on the decline, and Wilson and Elijah Moore could be a dynamic 1-2 tandem for years to come. But it all starts with Zach Wilson and he's not the guy. At least I don't think he is.
Ryan Weisse on May 25: Wilson was my rookie WR1 before the draft and landing with the Jets does not change that for me. While he has tougher competition for targets than Treylon Burks or Drake London, he has the talent to establish himself as the alpha over Elijah Moore.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Dawson Knox is a complementary piece of the Bills puzzle, not someone who presents matchup nightmares for opposing defensive coordinators. But as long as the Bills continue to sling the ball around at a breakneck pace, Knox will have low-end starter value.
Jeff Bell on Jun 20: Knox finished as TE9 on a PPR per game basis. Heâ€™s a third-round pick, plays a position we know takes some developmental time, and improved across the board (targets nearly doubled from 44 to 71, catch percentage rose 54% to 69%). He plays in one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league, his 88% of available snaps were the second most of any skill player, and he plays video games regularly with the best quarterback in fantasy football. And people will look for any reason to fade. 184 targets are leaving this offense with Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders, more than enough for popular breakout player Gabe Davis to build upon his 63. If he maintains his catch rate and yards per target while adding just two additional targets per game, heâ€™s a near-lock to deliver a top 5 TE season despite potential touchdown regression.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 7: Knox's fantasy value relies on touchdowns, and there are some obvious concerns. The Bills added a few wide receivers this offseason and even brought in O.J. Howard at tight end. Perhaps more importantly, they drafted a running back in the 2nd Round of the NFL Draft, and James Cook presents a threat to Knox's touchdown count. If Knox ends up with fewer targets and touchdowns, you'll want no part of him and his TE24 floor in fantasy football.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Cook will have a definite role in the Bills' offense. Expect Devin Singletary to be the early-down runner to begin the year or a split between Singletary and either Duke Johnson or Zack Moss. Cook will see a lot of his field time as a detached receiver this year. Still, don't be surprised if he earns an increasing amount of work between the tackles as the season progresses. He's a modern era Eric Metcalf for the Bills, who had three years out of six as a top 20 running back and spent another seven years as a slot receiver with one top-12 season at that position.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Expectations for Cook vary from forgettable rookie backup to the Bills' new lead slot receiver. Neither is likely to prove true. He'll be a complementary piece and have a few eye-popping games, but will be maddeningly irrelevant in others.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: The Bills have traditionally excluded the running back from the passing game (18.1% target share for the position was 29th). Still, it is essential to note the team attempted to sign J.D. McKissic and was rumored to inquire about Christian McCaffrey in trade. Dorsey served as Carolina's QB coach in 2017 before coming to Buffalo; the team jumped from a 3rd worst 9.7 target percentage to 37.5, 2nd in just one season. Cook is an exceptional receiver who could see work in the slot with his talent.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Cook secured Round 2 pedigree, but a murky depth chart in Buffalo with Devin Singletary coming off his best season to-date and Round 3 Zack Moss also still looming. Cook is a better bet later in the season rather than early.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 7: All preseason rumblings are that Cook will be heavily involved in this offense immediately. I'm a notorious hater of Buffalo running backs with Josh Allen. Allen is the best redzone back on the team and it caps all other's value. However, if the rumors are true that Allen is going to run less, then there could be a double-digit touchdown season out there for Cook, even splitting time with Devin Singletary.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Kenny Pickett will eventually earn the starting job and Pickett does a good job targeting the tight end position. Freiermuth's rookie year will have fantasy analysts worried that his production was too TD-dependent. Catching 60 of 79 targets should be the counterargument. Expect another year similar to 2021 for the young tight end, even with the instability at quarterback.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Based on talent and career progression, Freiermuth deserves to rank higher. But until we have clarity on whether Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett are up to the challenge of guiding a high-efficiency passing offense, we have to treat Freiermuth more as a high-ceiling TE2.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Pat Freiermuth had a great rookie season. The hard work starts now to follow up on that with Ben Roethlisberger gone and the wide receiver room loaded. Touchdown numbers elevated his fantasy ranking. He has risk heading into 2022, so another option is necessary. As a dynasty prospect he has consistent starting fantasy tight end in his future, but elite top three? Probably not.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Stevenson is a skilled runner and receiver who is also a strong short-yardage option in the red zone. If Stevenson pleases the coaching staff with low-error football, he could command a greater split with Damien Harris -- even with the potential return of James White to the Patriots' committee. New England wants to run the ball and Stevenson offers the potential for consistent production in multiple ways: an injury to Harris, strong play that forces a greater share of touches, and a consistent red zone role. He's a valuable mid-round option in leagues with rosters with at least 17-20 spots.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Stevenson only played 12 games but amassed 729 yards and five touchdowns. Like most Patriots backs, he looks capable of fantasy stardom in those rare game scripts when he gets a full workload. But will he earn more than a smattering of snaps?
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Stevenson's 8.3 attempts per broken tackle was second, only behind Javonte Williams. Early camp buzz has him seizing the passing down role, creating an exciting personnel group of two complimentary power backs.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Stevenson showed well as a 2021 rookie, but the Patriots splashed the depth chart with Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris, both notable profiles now with Day 3 pedigree. Stevenson's clarity as an injury-away option to Damien Harris is no longer there.
Bob Henry on Jul 21: The addition of two running backs in the draft and the potential return of James White are suppressing Stevenson's value. Damien Harris is proven lead runner and goal line asset, but Stevenson is capable of splitting carries with Harris and carving out a role in passing situations. James White return is not a given. Pierre Strong may prove to be the best over time, but if Stevenson earns even half of those targets, he'll go from a flex to a RB2 with upside.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Boyd's upside is dependent on injuries to the two receivers ahead of him in the Bengals' passing offense, but he has a high enough floor to deliver no worse than WR3-WR4 value.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Boyd has finished outside the Top 30 in back-to-back seasons, and with Chase and Higgins entrenched, Boyd's career is on the decline. He's not without value, though, particularly if either young star gets hurt.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Gesicki should earn more efficient targets this year, but I'm skeptical he earns the same volume as previous years. If Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle stay healthy and Gesicki earns strong volume, it's because Tua Tagovailoa is playing above expectation. Gesicki earns higher marks from most because they think of the 49ers offense and presume Gesicki earns George Kittle's role but Kittle is a far more versatile option with greater athletic upside as a ball carrier. The likely answer is that Gesicki maintains a low-end TE1 upside. If I increase Tagovailo's production, Gesicki will be a beneficiary.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Gesicki set career marks for targets, receptions, and yards last season but the touchdown luck (2) offset his growth. Assuming positive touchdown regression, Gesicki could sneak into the top-10 conversation. However, adding Tyreek Hill to the mix makes Gesicki a low-priority target in most game scripts.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Mike Gesicki has posted good numbers for the last three years in Miami. The only variable is touchdowns. Will the arrival of Tyreek Hill help or hinder the cause of Gesicki? Will an improved running game force Gesicki to do more blocking. At his current price, he is worth the risk of better touchdown numbers and improving on his ADP.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: Gesicki played 15% of his snaps inline and is a slot with tight end eligibility. This versatility led to heavy usage of 1-2 personnel, and his 112 targets ranked 30th overall. He is a different player with the ball in his hands than George Kittle, evidenced by 3 yards after catch vs. 6.3.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I'll progressively add more to Gallup's projections as there's good news about his recovery.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Can Gallup recover from the torn ACL and step into a starting role? The Cowboys believe so, and given Dallas is the reigning No. 1 offense in the league, Gallup should see a heavy target share upon his healthy return.
Jeff Haseley on Aug 10: Pick a flag, any flag. Kenny Golladay has a history of soft-tissue injuries, he has trouble separating, he has a quarterback who has struggled to get a grasp of his position, who is now learning a completely different offense. He appeared to show a lack of effort after signing a new contract. Kenny Golladay is more about potential than current excitement. He has played enough seasons for me to know that he's just not going to reach expectations.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Golladay's best production came in scenarios where his offensive personnel could minimize his need to be a technician and maximize his raw athletic gifts. Without the likes of Marvin Jones and Golden Tate to protect him and paired with a quarterback who wasn't as good as Matthew Stafford, Golladay struggled as the primary outside receiver in New York. I don't think it will change much this year. Kadarius Toney is a better fit for the Stefon Diggs role and Gollady strikes me more as a Gabriel Davis type -- before the overkill of buzz hit Davis. Golladay has WR2 upside if the Giants offense plays great, but I'm not banking on this happening. I won't be drafting Golladay anywhere near his ADP.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Fading Golladay last year was an easy call, but the hate has gone way too far and now he's an enticing value pick. If Brian Daboll can turn the offense into a league-average unit, Golladay could smash his ADP.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: The upside of the Giants' offense is a big question mark, and Kenny Golladay's uninspiring 2021 leaves a lot to be desired. Daniel Jones will have to take massive steps forward for Golladay to be fantasy-relevant in 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Carter has strong RB2 upside if Breece Hall falters and perhaps RB3 value if Hall simply isn't ready to assume enough passing down duties for the offense. The current projection is that Carter and Hall will begin as a 1-2 punch. I have Carter projected for roughly 1,000 yards of offense with Hall at about 950 total yards. This is not far off from the two year average of running back production for the Jets' RB stable. Considering the Jets' offensive line, one of these players is going to have to be adjusted downward a little big and I'm banking it it being Carter. Still, Carter will likely be the one to get the most opportunities early in the season so if you want a sell-high candidate backed into your drafts, Carter might be one.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Carter had 964 yards and 4 touchdowns as a rookie on an otherwise ineffective Jets offense. Unfortunately, the Jets added Breece Hall which relegates Carter to the minority portion of a committee, at best.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Carter pulled a Tre Mason as the Jets drafted Breece Hall as the RB1 off the board. Carter also saw Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson play a decent amount last year amidst Carter's moments of prominence. Carter ultimately projects as an injury-away option in 2022 with Breece Hall being the starter in short order, even if Carter sees the most touches in Week 1.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I was never that impressed with Gage's game in Atlanta, a product of desperation with Atlanta's offense than a legitimate match-up talent. I'm banking on Tampa Bay finding this out by midseason and rolling with other options.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Gage couldn't muster consistent fantasy value with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley out of the picture in Atlanta, so expecting him to do much in Tampa Bay as a role player in multi-WR sets is a risky proposition.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: Not sure what better endorsement there is than being the guy Tom Brady petitioned to have on the team. Chris Godwin is likely to miss six or more games, and Antonio Brown is gone. That's almost 20 vacated targets per game, and a lot of unproven wide receivers behind Gage and Mike Evans. Gage was a top-50 wide receiver with seven targets per game in a bad Atlanta offense. He's being drafted like he's still there. There is a good chance he is a 10 target per game player for two months. It's up in the air after that, but take those early wins.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I'll likely be bumping Hines a bit up my rankings based on the news that Matt Ryan's work with Hines is better in OTAs than what the Colts ever saw with Carson Wentz. Still, I don't expect Hines to have a strong year statistically unless Jonathan Taylor gets hurt. Look for this offense and Hines to be more efficient but that also means less work for the passing down back.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Hines doesn't get the volume to factor into every-week fantasy lineups, but there will be a handful of games when he breaks a big play, particularly as a receiver.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Hines is the J.D. McKissic of the Colts depth chart - a PPR hindrance to others on the depth chart more than a standalone fantasy starter.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Hines' strength is as a receiving back and change of pace rusher who keeps his game-day carries to a minimum. Hines will still play a role on the Colts offense, but in the event that Taylor misses time, he will share duties with newly signed veteran Phillip Lindsay. Hines has at least 40 receptions in each of his three seasons in the league.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Frank Reich has indicated that the Colts will utilize Hines more in 2022, returning him to his prominent role from 2020. Jonathan Taylor was effective as a pass-catcher, but Hines is a proper pass-catching back with route-running ability and the ability to work downfield. Working with Matt Ryan, a more pocket-confined quarterback, should make Hines valuable for fantasy in 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Henderson has fantasy RB3 upside if Matthew Stafford's elbow issue doesn't get progressively worse. I'll be moving him up my board if Stafford's health is a non-issue.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Cam Akers' Achilles injury opened the door for Darrell Henderson until Sony Michel was acquired. Henderson had a career year with 864 yards and 8 touchdowns, but Akers is healthy and ready to resume the top role.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The Rams has an upside-capping lack of usage for running backs in the passing game, but Henderson is a sneaky bet considering Cam Akers did not look good with his early return from an Achilles injury last summer. Henderson has limited competition from lower on the depth chart and Akers is a massive question mark entering 2022 health-wise.
Bob Henry on Jul 20: If you are on the fence with Cam Akers, then you simply can't let Henderson fall past you at ADP. He demonstrated an ability to produce last year and if Akers isn't able to recapture his juice after tearing his Achilles, then Henderson will easily return value at ADP. Henderson can be added as a RB4 in many cases where his bust factor is low risk and you have a viable piece in one of the league's most prolific offenses at the very least.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Travis Etienne is the future if not the immediate present, but I still like the potential for Robinson to deliver starter production for a span of 10-14 games this year. He's a superior inside runner and the Jaguars need that from a back.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: James Robinson provided a story for the ages, but last year's injury, a new coaching staff, and the return of Travis Etienne as the No. 1 option likely mean Robinson's days as a fantasy star came and went in the blink of an eye.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Travis Etienne is being drafted higher than he would have been in his rookie year. After an ACL, new coaching staff and competition, he is a huge risk. James Robinson isnâ€™t a picnic either coming off an achilles injury and having to prove himself for the third time to a new coaching staff. Take the value with Robinson who has at least proven himself for two consecutive years.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Jacksonville, like Baltimore, has health as the major watch list item for the respective backfields. Robinson and Travis Etienne are both returning from season-ending injury. If both are healthy, expect Robinson to lose out to the Round 1 pedigree of Etienne. Robinson has top-12 upside on a likely-better-than-2021 Jacksonville offense if Etienne is still on the mend.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: You'll typically find my ranking of Robinson lower than most for one simple reason: I don't think he bounces back well from his Achilles Tear. Last season, we saw Cam Akers return after 4-5 months out, and gift us with 2.4 YPC when he came back on just 75 carries. Marlon Mack missed the entire 2020 season, then only played six games in 2021 with just 3.6 YPC on 28 carries. If Robinson does play, I think he misses at least six games, and won't be able to handle the workload or provide the efficiency that endeared him to us the last two years.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: There are a lot of questions about the Patriots' offense after Josh McDaniels' departure, but expect Henry to be a top target for Mac Jones. When you see the number of trust-throws in contested scenarios that Jones made with Henry, it's safe to view Henry as one of the safest offensive options for the team and among fantasy tight ends.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Hunter Henry's early career injuries cast a shadow over him, and provide a compelling discount on draft day. The Patriots threw huge money at Henry and Jonnu Smith last offseason, but 2021 proved it was Henry who deserved the paycheck. In an offense without bonafide playmakers, Henry remains a viable TE1 in most league formats.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Much was expected from the two tight ends acquired in free agency by the New England Patriots. Jonnu Smith had the bigger wallet and produced disappointing numbers. Hunter Henry ended up leading the league in touchdowns, tied with three others. There is room for improvement in Mac Jones and the Patriot offense, with more receptions and yardage highly likely. Henry isnâ€™t going to threaten the leading tight ends, but should outperform his draft slot.
Jeff Haseley on Aug 3: Hunter Henry averages approximately 60-600-6 and yet he is drafted like he is 40-400-3. If Mac Jones takes a big leap forward this year, Henry could leap into the top 6. Jones had 22 TD passes last yr. Nine went to Henry.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Henry has strung together three consecutive 600-yard seasons and spiked to a career-high nine touchdowns. He sits as a fringe TE1 in 12-team leagues, but adding DeVante Parker may limit targets.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Cole Kmet failed to score a touchdown last year. If he scored 5-6 with the receiving production earned in 2021, Kmet would have been a TE1. This tells you that if Justin Fields and the coaching staff improve their quality of work in the red zone, Kmet has TE1 value. Chicago tight ends scored 10 times in 2020 with similar production in other receiving categories when comparing to 2021. Kmet is worth consideration as a second tight end in drafts who could wind up your TE1 if Fields and the Bears gain efficiency as decision makers.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The Bears' inept offense hid impressive underlying growth for Kmet last season. If the new coaching staff can unlock Fields' passing prowess, Kmet could be this year's emergent star.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: If Justin Fields doesn't improve at all in his second season, we're looking at an approximation of what Cole Kmet produced last year, which was a 60-600 season. Interestingly enough, Kmet did not score a single touchdown. It was the first time since 1985 that a tight end with 60+ receptions did not score a touchdown. That most likely will change in 2022. Chicago has few options in the receiving game led by Darnell Mooney and Kmet with little else as a threat. The volume will be there for Kmet to see decent production. If Fields can show improvement, Kmet's potential could skyrocket.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 7: My concerns for Kmet stem from a new offensive scheme. Chicago's new head coach comes from a Green Bay staff that hasn't targeted the tight end position more than 100 times in the last two seasons. That's the entire group; no single player has crossed even 60 targets. Last season, Kmet could not crack the Top 20 or score even a single touchdown, despite 93 targets. Mid-round tight ends almost always disappoint, and Kmet has a floor outside the Top 20.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: This is a prove it year for Smith and the Vikings want to accommodate Smith's skills with a spread offense. Even so, it will take injuries for Smith to be anything more than the third option in this passing game. He might not even be a strong third option if Dalvin Cook and K.J. Osborn earn a bump in targets. The volatility of offensive role and injury history makes Smith an option with TE1 upside but a much lower floor.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Injuries are a massive concern, but Smith has flashed in limited playing time. The Vikings remain committed to him based on their lack of alternative moves in free agency or the draft. If Smith is healthy and productive in the preseason, he's worth targeting as a breakout. But he has to stay on the practice field, or he's ignorable.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Seattle tight ends averaged 102.5 targets, 74.5 catches, 728.5 yards and 5.5 touchdowns during the past two years. That's the entire tight end room, not one player. Fant is certainly capable of increasing these totals with the work he can command, but he requires a lot more scheming from the offense to generate that production. In contrast, the best tight ends do more with one-on-one matchups than Fant has shown capable despite his excellent athletic gifts. I'm probably too low on Fant, but even if I am, he shouldn't be mistaken as a TE1 this year if the quarterback depth chart remains as it is.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Noah Fant's fates lie entirely in what Seattle does at the quarterback position. If it's Geno Smith, Drew Lock, or Baker Mayfield, Fant should be avoided in all but the deepest leagues.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: He's at that scary age of 29 for the ageists, but he's joining an offense that should open the field significantly for him to return to his high-volume potential of 115-130 targets. And, there are multiple scenarios where this outcome could happen: 1. Turning Jameis Winston loose and let him throw caution to the wind. 2. Michael Thomas returning to form and opening zones for Landry on easy looks. 3. Alvin Kamara's potential suspension forcing Landry to be a part of replacing the short passing game targets Kamara commanded.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Landry found his way to New Orleans, but questions abound from the coaching staff to the quarterback room to the projected roles among a deep, but flawed set of receivers.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: With Michael Thomas barely visible over the last two years and rookie Chris Olave likely to need time, Jarvis Landry presents as good value as a possession receiver. Outperforming his ADP should be easily achievable
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Give me a name of a receiver on the Patriots' roster that's taking his job...I'm waiting...nope, not the rookie.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Meyers has two touchdowns in three seasons but is coming off an 83-catch, 867-yard campaign. With uncertainty surrounding the New England offense, including the play-caller, Meyers is little more than a WR4/WR5 in PPR formats.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Meyers saw heavy volume in 2021, with his 126 targets ranking 22nd. However, he is a limited athlete and failed to convert many big plays, with his 2.7 YAC the second-fewest of any receiver with 100 targets.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: If Moore's production improves this year, he could limit Marquise Brown's upside because of his big-play speed and YAC skills. Kliff Kingsbury has Moore replacing Christian Kirk's role in the offense, which could give him WR2 value. While DeAndre Hopkins serves a six-game suspension, Moore should get an enhanced workload. However, the volatility of Moore's potential is great enough that he could yet again become a minimal factor in the offense if Brown, Zach Ertz, and Hopkins finish the year as the top-three target getters. There's also A.J. Green, who isn't in his prime by any stretch, but held off Moore with his contributions in 2021. There's a strong chance I'll be elevating Moore above Green in the pecking order within the next month or two. Kingsbury is bullish on Moore's route running.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The industry is far too down on Moore; not every player breaks out as a rookie. Moore's ability to gain yards after the catch fit perfectly with Marquise Brown's outside dominance.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: With DeAndre Hopkins suspended for six games, someone will be forced to play the role of the possession receiver and it probably won't be Marquise Brown, that's just not his strength. While I don't love this role for Moore, the volume will most certainly come with it and he has the skill set to be a dual-threat option as a rusher/receiver. His role with the team should increase dramatically compared to last season. I am not sure how he will handle it just yet, but again, it's the volume I covet. Moore has the potential to be an every-week fantasy starter and he's being selected long after fantasy starters are drafted. He's the definition of a value pick.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The No.2 role in Kansas City is up for grabs and Valdes-Scantling has the big-play ability to generate strong production with Patrick Mahomes. Although there is some data that suggests Valdes-Scantling didn't earn enough quality targets last year, it's likely that the receiver didn't get open early enough in first-progression assignments to be a difference maker. If you're wary of Valdes-Scantling, I'd recommend being a lot higher on Smith-Schuster and Skyy Moore.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Savvy fantasy managers will acquire pieces of elite offenses up and down their drafts. Valdes-Scantling fits that bill and could be Patrick Mahomes' new favorite deep target. It's risky, but the price is right.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Moore is known for his short-area explosion and work as a slot. I actually thought he was underrated with perimeter routes and making tight-coverage plays at the boundary and a little overrated in the middle of the field after the catch. Even so, he probably reminds Andy Reid of Jeremy Maclin, which isn't a bad thing for fantasy football GMs if it's the healthy Maclin. Expect Moore's production to build as the season unfolds.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The Chiefs are throwing a lot of darts at the wall in hopes of finding Tyreek Hill's replacement. It's always tempting to go for the rookie, but too many veterans were added to expect Moore to make his mark early in the season.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 9: Going into the draft, we all wanted the Chiefs to spend early draft capital on a wide receiver and they selected Moore in the 2nd Round. Moore showed blazing speed at the Combine and is a solid route runner. It may take some time and development, but he could easily be the WR1 in Kansas City, even by the end of 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: D'Andre Swift may look like a cheat code by certain numbers based on cooperative game scripts last year but I expect those game scripts to change enough that Swift isn't an elite fantasy back in 2022. That means we'll see more of Williams between the tackles.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Five seasons into his career, and Jamaal Williams is consistently counted on for approximately 700 yards and 3-to-4 touchdowns. That's not enough to move the fantasy needle.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Williams is one of the underrated primary backup running backs, capable of carrying the load if needed. Williams is unstartable as long as D'Andre Swift is healthy.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: When healthy, Marlon Mack is competent when there's a clear lane for him to set up and hit. He's also a decent receiver and has big-play speed. Even so, Dameon Pierce has superior contact balance, ball-tracking as a receiver, and enough agility to challenge for the lead role by year's end. Expect Pierce to deliver as a solid flex all year with Mack as the lead back or to take over mid-season and deliver fantasy RB2 totals during that stretch of play.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Rex Burkhead and Marlon Mack aren't daunting roadblocks, but they're roadblocks nonetheless. Pierce doesn't have the draft pedigree to assume he'll be a star if he wins the job. But his ADP could skyrocket if he turns heads early in camp. Caveat emptor.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Pierce slipped to Day 3 in the draft and Houston has Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead as sturdy veterans on the depth chart. Pierce was a relative non-producer in college and assuming he will outright win the starting job is a stretch.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Dameon Pierce at 5'10, 218 pounds fits the role of a typical NFL running back. He has the tools to perform well despite not taking flight at Florida due to him occupying a part-time role with the team. He has good vision and the size to move forward after contact. He is a physical back with adequate receiving skills, but he is not going to accelerate out of trouble or be an elusive type of back who can easily evade tacklers. He will battle Rex Burkhead and Marlon Mack for carries but it may take a few weeks before his role increases. Any running back with draft capital potential is one to watch for fantasy purposes and Pierce fits that category well as we head into the 2022 season.
Ryan Weisse on May 25: Pierce was solid runner in college but never a high volume guy. That is why I caution against a stance that he will become a full-time starter right away in Houston. I doubt the Texans move away from the committee approach from last year and that limits his upside. As long as his ADP stays low, he's worth the risk, but if he creeps up, don't overpay.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Kenneth Gainwell is the passing-down option of choice, but Boston Scott is the better overall running back. Gainwell is not a good contact runner and his explosion was more pedestrian than many thought. If Miles Sanders falters, Scott likely earns a bigger fantasy workload than Gainwell. Also seriously consider UDFA Kennedy Brooks as a potential option.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The coaches quickly gave up on Gainwell in favor of several veterans on the practice squad. He'll need a stunning preseason to re-gain momentum and fantasy relevance.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Gainwell is more of a thorn in the PPR side of Miles Sanders (and Boston Scott) than a standalone fantasy viable running back.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Spiller is the first legitimate starter candidate at the position the Chargers have selected in the middle routes or higher of the NFL Draft since Melvin Gordon. Spiller's lack of elite long speed and some occasional decision-making gaffes are the only real areas requiring improvement. Expect Spiller to not only earn a contributing role, but an opportunity to build on that role. If he impresses enough, Austin Ekeler may not be a priority to sign to a new deal. While remote as a chance at this time, Spiller's skills give this scenario potential to become more realistic.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Given Austin Ekeler's consensus ADP (top-3 overall), Spiller has to be drafted in every league particularly if he cements the No. 2 role with a strong training camp.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Spiller slipped to Day 3 of the draft but landed behind Austin Ekeler with an open opportunity to win the RB2 job to start his rookie season. Spiller has quality injury-away upside if he wins the role.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 10: Spiller was my third favorite running back coming into the draft but dropping to Day 3 dropped him to 4th in my rankings. I still like the landing spot. There should be plenty of work behind Austin Ekeler and Spiller is better than any back on the current roster.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Dotson is a nice prospect for dynasty leagues. This year, he's no better than the fourth or fifth option in a Carson Wentz-led passing game. The best shot at production will come if there are injuries to the 2-3 receivers ahead of him on the depth chart
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Dotson has the all-around game to become Terry McLaurin's running mate, but the Commanders appear set to give Curtis Samuel one more shot at earning his contract.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 7: Dotson feels like a forgotten man in rookie drafts. He is not getting the same kind of respect that most 1st-Round wide receivers get in fantasy football. Washington will throw the ball plenty and Dotson should slide right into the WR2 role opposite Terry McLaurin. The team still has Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas, but both are recovering from 2021 injuries and may not be ready for Week 1. Dotson's role is immediate and can be effective for fantasy managers.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: A quality backup who can deliver starter production in all facets of the position. He'll offer no less than weekly fantasy RB2 value if Dalvin Cook misses time.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Mattison set career-highs in touches (166), yards (719), and touchdowns (4) last year but his efficiency plummeted and no longer looked like a fantasy star in those few games each season when Dalvin Cook sits.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Mattison has been one of the most clarified and highest upside injury-away running backs in the NFL since his drafting in 2019. That continues in 2022 behind Dalvin Cook. Any game Cook misses, Mattison is an auto-start player.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Williams is on record saying that his initial timetable for recovery was 5-7 months, but "he is ahead of schedule." While that seems aggressive and unlikely, a return within the season's first month is realistic. Williams has game-changing speed when on the field and should immediately be a focal point of the Lions' offense.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: Williams certainly has the talent and the speed to make it in the NFL. For his rookie year the questions will be about his health and where do his targets come from? Detroit ran a lot of three wide receiver sets last year, but not many with four. With almost 90 targets to the 4th wide receiver or worse, most of those targets should funnel to the top-3 guys, if they all stay healthy. There is enough for everyone to see a fair share, but efficiency and scoring will be key. Jared Goff needs to improve to help these wide receivers become fantasy relevant.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Parker's availability is the biggest question with his profile. A minor question is whether he still leans so much on his athletic traits that he's not enough of a student of the game to function well in the Patriots' offense. We've seen this with better receivers joining New England at the end of their careers. Parker has WR2 upside but a much lower floor.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Parker lacks durability, and could be the kind of veteran Bill Belichick releases shortly after acquiring to make a point. But for now we'll assume he works his way into the No. 1 spot on the Patriots depth chart.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: An experienced big-body receiver, Parker has spent much of his career as a disappointment, with only one season in his seven-year career over 800 yards or four touchdowns. His size does set him apart in this room.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Higbee is more than capable, but he has to stay healthy. Although he has only missed five games during the past three years, he has played with an assortment of nagging injuries that have limited his potential in the receiving game. His touchdown totals have increased during the past two season despite the injuries. Even so. he's used as the third or fourth option, at best in the passing game and that's unlikely to change in 2022. Higbee is a good bye-week option with upside if the profile of the offense has to change due to injury.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Higbee had another solid season, and his role as a complementary piece should be intact for another few seasons. But he's far enough along in his career to know the chances of a TE1-breakout campaign are unlikely.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Itâ€™s hard to get the memory of his late season 2019 performance out of your mind sometimes when evaluating Tyler Higbee. He has been slightly disappointing over the last two seasons and ranks just outside the top 12 in each year. He offers a very safe floor, with the possibility of higher.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Njoku is an excellent physical talent and he was a top draft prospect at his position. However, he didn't work at his craft well enough to prevent a lot of unforced errors with his game as a blocker and receiver. Before the season where the Browns went deep into the playoffs, Njoku asked for a trade. A year later, Njoku -- or perhaps his agent -- generated buzz for working harder in the offseason. If, like Jared Cook, Njoku matures as a professional with his approach to his job, he could become a strong fantasy TE1. Until then, I prefer to wait and see. Harrison Bryant isn't as athletic as Njoku but he's a savvier route runner who doesn't commit as many errors who could earn more targets with a new passer at the helm.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The Browns made Njoku one of the league's highest-paid tight ends, which speaks to his opportunity. But a litany of injuries and subpar season totals leave me disinterested at the asking price.
Christian Williams on Aug 1: With a bare receiver room and a lack of weapons, yet the introduction of Deshaun Watson in Week 7, David Njoku should be Option B in the Cleveland passing attack. Watson's efficiencies as a passer should allow for a massive leap forward for the athletic tight end.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Njoku is an upside-centric TE2 for fantasy team-building with streaming, or better, potential. Deshaun Watson's suspension of six games aids Njoku later in the season as well as shedding Austin Hooper from the depth chart in free agency this offseason.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: A well-built athlete with speed, excellent hands, and tracking ability of the ball, White has gaps with decision-making that could be exacerbated in the tight-gap Duo run scheme that is a prevalent part of the Buccaneers' run game. White presents a boom-bust value as a rookie based on Leonard Fournette's conditioning and White's own developmental issues. He's worth consideration late in drafts but he's prone to being overvalued as a mid-round option based on his metrics and not his film.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: White secured Day 2 pedigree and has a Matt Forte-light profile as a prospect. Ke'Shawn Vaughn has shown little through two seasons and the RB2 job in Tampa Bay is wide open behind Leonard Fournette. The trust of Tom Brady with pass protection assignments will be key for White and Vaughn.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: White is a skilled pass-catcher who could see immediate work as the Buccaneers' third-down back. He has reliable hands and provides more after the catch than returning starter Leonard Fournette. The pass-catching back in Tom Brady-led offenses tends to be fantasy-relevant, and combining the standalone value with the handcuff value if Fournette were to miss time with injury puts him in the Top 30.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: We all know Engram is physically capable of TE1 value. We also should all know that Engram doesn't stay healthy, drops a lot of passes, and has underachieved after making his mark as a rookie. Perhaps the light comes on for Engram, but I'd rather wait and see than invest substantial draft capital on him.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Evan Engram never panned out in New York, but the Jaguars still believe the best is yet to come. Don't count on it.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Evan Engram is not the only player to suffer from offensive issues on the New York Giants. Now with Jacksonville, he should be a key focus for Trevor Lawrence and the passing game under Doug Pedersen. Engram had one of the best seasons for a rookie tight end. The talent is there. If we combine that with the ability of Pedersen to use the tight end position, Engram is in a great situation to not only exceed his ADP but become a fantasy starter
Jeff Bell on Jul 3: The last offense Doug Pederson coached that did not finish with a tight end as a top-two receiver was the 2013 Chiefs, his first season as offensive coordinator. Pederson knows Engram as an old NFC East division rival. Engramâ€™s 722 rookie yards were the ninth highest rookie total since 1961, but he has failed to deliver on that rookie promise fully. Engram finished as a TE1 in PPG each of his first three seasons but has fallen out of those standings, hitting a career crossroads, but he has the talent and opportunity to finish top two in yards on the Jaguars. Hitting that threshold almost assures finishing as a TE1.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: Engram has always had the tools to succeed, but his health, and far too many drops, have held him back. Lawrence is an upgrade to Daniel Jones, and Doug Pederson's offense loves throwing to the tight end, he just needs to capitalize on the opportunity. We haven't seen a fantasy relevant season from him since 2017 despite being targeted over 60 times in every season since his rookie year. Regardless, you have to chase volume on lower-end tight ends in fantasy, so if you plan on drafting a tight end late, Engram should be on your radar.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The Commanders' passing down back is a quality player with fantasy potential when he has a quarterback who can get him the ball. The Colts have indirectly criticized Wentz's inability to feed Nyheim Hines effectively last year based on their praise of Matt Ryan doing a much better job of this task in OTAs. I'd keep expectations modest for McKissic until we see how the depth chart shakes out in training camp and what we learn about Wentz's acclimation.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: McKissic agreed to leave Washington to join the Bills but reconsidered and re-signed with the Commanders instead. Pencil him in for a heavy receiving role and an insignificant rushing output.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: McKissic shifted from Buffalo back to Washington in free agency. McKissic is more of a PPR thorn in the side of Antonio Gibson (and Brian Robinson) than a standalone strong PPR play. McKissic's role largely stays the same whether Gibson is healthy or Robinson is the early-down option.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I was never a big fan of Hardman's game. Speed is his calling card and when Tyreek Hill was in the fold, there was always the potential of opponents focusing too much on Hill for Hardman's benefit. However, Hardman never developed his game to the point that he could become a skilled match-up player and there's only so much scheming that an offense can do to make a player a viable producer at a high level. At best, I expect Hardman to remain the producer he has always been in Kansas City. At worst, he's passed by.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The Chiefs made wholesale changes to the receiving corps this offseason, which suggests Andy Reid no longer sees Hardman as capable of maturing into an every-down starter.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Okwuegbunam has TE1 upside and could emerge as such this year because of his red-zone prowess and Russell Wilson's skill with seam routes. He's a speedy player with proven NFL-caliber contested-catch skills and an underrated feel for underneath routes. Rookie option Greg Dulcich could factor early in the Denver offense as a heavily schemed speedster in the open field, but not enough for him to overtake the veteran. Okwuegbunam's blocking is far superior and this will not only keep him on the field, but it will also lead to some excellent play-action opportunities, which is a staple of Wilson's game.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Okwuegbunam is the latest in a long line of middling tight ends the fantasy analyst community tries to talk themselves into loving.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The departure of Noah Fant and the arrival of Russell Wilson opens up a huge opportunity at the tight end position in Denver. Although Denver used a reasonably high pick on a rookie at the position in Greg Dulcich, this is a position where little should be expected of a player just coming out of college. Albert Okwuegbunam will be in his third year and has flashed elite athletic potential. Add in opportunity and although there is a risk, especially with the new coaching staff, the current price is worth the upside.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 10: When trying to predict a new offensive scheme, I focus on two things: the coach and the quarterback. Hackett's scheme in Green Bay has produced a top-10 tight end, but that was purely based on touchdowns, which is a hard stat to predict. Russell Wilson hasn't given us a fantasy-relevant tight end in five seasons. He has instead been leaning on his top wide receivers. This Broncos team has a very talented wide receiving corps. So, there is a good chance that there will not be enough volume to make Okwuegbunam anything more than a weekly streaming option.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Another year, another season for underrating Marvin Jones. This year, the reason is the disastrous performance of the Jaguars offense under Urban Myer and the addition of Christian Kirk. I'll continue betting on quality route running, contested-catch skill, and deep speed. It's not like I'm ranking him to be a WR1 or WR2, but the idea that he won't be a WR3-WR4 is an overreaction.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: Jones did lead this team in all receiving categories last season but still finished outside of the Top 30 for fantasy wide receivers. He's a year older and unlikely to operate as the team's WR1 this season. While he is the best outside receiver on the team, the targets may be spread too thin in 2022 and he is unlikely to score enough touchdowns to even repeat his ranking from last season.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Chark's 1,008-yard, 8-score campaign in 2019 seems all but forgotten in fantasy circles. However Chark averaged 63 catches, 857 yards and 6.5 scores in 2019-2020 -- before he had to cope with Urban Meyer's amateur hour and an injury-riddled 2021 campaign. Chark as strong WR2 upside in fantasy but it may take injuries to the Lions receiving corps for him to realize it during this one-year deal. He's likely the big-play, No.3 option in the passing attack behind T.J. Hockenson and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Look for Chark and D'Andre Swift to have similar target volumes in this pass game as the 3rd and fourth options. It makes Chark a decent flex or bye-week value at this point.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Can Chark stay healthy and carve out an important role in Detroit? Bet against it, unless it's a deep league and the price is shockingly low.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Coming into his fifth season, D.J. Chark Jr still has to prove his worth. Expected to be the focus of boom rookie Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville, an early-season injury to Chark ruined a chance at a monster contract that his peers were signing in the offseason. Chark signed a one-year, play and prove it deal on a Lions offense that struggled without a focus. Jameson Williams was drafted, Amon-Ra St.Brown was a surprising rookie last season and T.J. Hockenson and DeAndre Swift are other potent options. Chark has worked diligently with Jared Goff in the offseason. At his current draft price, Chark should present significant value. If his fitness holds up, he will be a steal.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: I've always been lower on Chark than most, but the Lions need a deep outside threat and that is his best possible role. He is big guy that handles contested catches well. More importantly, he is a very different player from their other receivers. It will be harder to take him off the field, which hopefully leads to plenty of scoring opportunities.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Davis hasn't played a full season in fours and while his production efficiency has grown during those five years, his spotty availability may open the door for another receiver to step into Davis' spot and shut out the veteran by year's end. More likely, you'll get WR3-WR4 value from Davis for much of the year before his body fails him again.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Davis' first year in New York was a disaster, as he missed half the season and couldn't make plays consistently otherwise. The Jets are continuing to add talent, and Davis is on the downside of his career.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The Jets have a long track record of failing to draft wide receivers that become regular starters. Elijah Moore had a nice rookie season, but is undersized and will not be a true number one. This year's high draft pick, Garrett Wilson, could be that man, but I will believe it when I see it. Until presented with information otherwise, give me Corey Davis over either of the Jet's high draft picks in the last two seasons who have much higher ADPs. Davis over the first six games last season had 24 catches for 349 yards and four touchdowns. Then he got injured. If we play with numbers his 2021 season would have been high-end fantasy production. At his current price, give me Davis.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: At USC, Jones was a big-play speedster who ran with an elusive style. In Tampa Bay, Jones was a big-play rusher with a tackle-breaking style. Expect the rugged version of Jones in Kansas City as a two-down option who cedes time to Clyde Edwards-Helaire on passing downs. That said, Jones' error-prone ways makes him more volatile of a weekly contributor. He has more fantasy upside than Edwards-Helaire due to his work between the tackles, but more downside due to his lack of passing-game value and past issues with tentative decision-making. If he's slow to adjust to the Chiefs' scheme he could fall out of favor because Andy Reid isn't afraid to go with less proven options on the depth chart.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Ronald Jones has a limited skill set, but the Chiefs prioritized him in the offseason. There's no reason he can't put up better numbers than Damien Williams did as a starter, particularly if Edwards-Helaire struggles early.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Ronald Jones II is a young back with four years of experience in the NFL. After breaking out in 2020, he was overtaken by Leonard Fournette in Tampa Bay. Kansas City is the perfect team to get the best out of Jones. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been disappointing to date and the Chiefs backfield projects as a share situation. Given the injury issues for Edwards-Helaire, Jones will have his moments. Darrel Williams ranked as a bottom-end RB2 in 2021. Jones is a much better back. Highly underrated this year
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: In a best case, Jones challenges Clyde Edwards-Helaire and eventually wins the lead role in Kansas City. Neither has shown particular acumen in pass protection with Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady in recent seasons, hence seeing Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams dominate in those situations.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Herbert, a Dalvin Cook starter kit, saved a lot of fantasy GMS's 2021 seasons with his starter-level performances behind a lackluster Bears' line when David Montgomery got hurt. Cook made Damien Williams expendable and could carve out a recurring role in Chicago's offense. Even so, expect Montgomery to be a strong fantasy starter and Herbert to be the reserve with fantasy starter upside, if needed.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Herbert was effective in David Montgomery's stead last year and should be viewed as one of the more compelling handcuffs at the position.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Herbert projects as a David Montgomery injury-away option in Chicago. Darrynton Evans is a wildcard addition to the depth chart but has struggled to stay healthy and Tennessee swiftly moved on from the former Round 3 pick.
Jeff Bell on Jul 5: David Montgomery is facing a contract year, and the Bears are a team in a rebuild. Herbert received an opportunity with Montgomery missing and rushed for 90 yards per game between weeks six and eight. New OC Luke Getsy has a deep college background, and the Packers experimented with two back sets at points in 2021. With Justin Fields' athleticism, using both backs in RPO looks is on the table, potentially pushing both to fantasy utility.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Collins has a WR2 ceiling if Davis Mills and the Texans OL can support the production in the passing game. I think they can but it will also come down to Collins improving his route running to expand his overall target profile. He's a worthwhile WR4-WR5 with a bye-week/flex floor and WR2 upside.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The Texans were a pleasant surprise in 2021, but they weren't productive enough to stand pat in free agency, yet they did. If Collins can emerge as a second-year breakout, the GM's decision to run it back could prove savvy.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 24: Collins was the 2nd best on the team last year. HE was targeted 61 times last season in 14 games. Not great numbers, but 30 of those targets came in the last five games, as did his lone touchdown. If he averages six targets per game, we are looking at 100 or more targets for the season. With John Metchie missing the season, Collins will only be battling Brandin Cooks for significant targets. At 6'4", he could become a redzone favorite for Mills based on size alone.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Van Jefferson played hurt last year. Most NFL players play hurt. I don't think Jefferson's injury forced the Rams to lean heavily on Cooper Kupp as much as Kupp was wide open. The addition of Allen Robinson isn't going to help Jefferson's cause. The Rams are also likely to re-sign Odell Beckham by mid-fall.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Jefferson's opportunity to finally become a major factor in Los Angeles was gone before it started, as the Rams acquired Allen Robinson to pair with Cooper Kupp.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Contemplating retirement, take a cautious approach with Anderson's value. This is where I would take him if he changes his mind quickly. Even so, when doubt enters a player's mind at this high of a level of a competitive field and Anderson's age, it's probably time to downgrade his value.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Anderson toyed with retirement briefly but is back in the fold. He has no chemistry with Sam Darnold, so all eyes are on the Panthers' quest for a new starter. If they get one, even Baker Mayfield, Anderson is worth a late-round flier.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Anderson fell off a cliff in 2021 from his typical productive self. Now the clear WR2 to D.J. Moore in Carolina, Anderson has to worry about losing targets to Terrace Marshall as the WR3 more than challenging for the lead role in the passing game.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Robby Anderson is currently the #2 option in the Panthers wide receiver corps heading into the 2022 season. A career year in 2020 that included 95 catches for 1,097 yards and 3 touchdowns is sandwiched in between two much less productive 52 and 53-catch seasons. Interestingly enough, Anderson has 13 touchdowns in three years, eight of which came with Carolina. If the quarterback position improves and the offense becomes more consistent, Anderson has the potential to produce fantasy appeal as a flex option.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Osborn showed legitimate contributor skills after injuries hit this Vikings passing game during the year. With Minnesota spreading the field more this year, expect Osborn's value to remain stable this year as the No.3-No.4 option in the passing game for a quarterback delivering 4,300-4,500 yards and 30-35 touchdowns of production.
Christian Williams on Aug 2: The Vikings are set to implement a ton of 11-personnel (three wide receivers) sets with the coaching staff changes, and K.J. Osborn is set for an increased role. Add in the upside he could have with injuries to one of Thielen or Jefferson and he's a great value at the end of drafts.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: Osborn showed flashes in 2021 and finished as the WR40 in fantasy despite being his team's 3rd-leading receiver. In 2022, with Adam Thielen entering his age-32 season, Osborn could move up to WR2 in the Vikings' offense. Thielen was targeted 13 more times and scored three more touchdowns than Osborn last year. Thielen was also the WR28 in fantasy. Basically, Osborn was a WR40 floor and WR28 ceiling and is not being drafted in the Top 50 at his position. There is a ton of value there for fantasy drafters.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I'm probably too low on Tonyan at this point of the year. After all, the Packers' tight ends earned 93 targets, 75 catches, 819 yards, and 15 scores during Tonyan's 2020 campaign. This year, I have the depth chart earning 94 targets, 56 catches, 595 yards, and 6 scores. I'll be increasing Tonyan's production as we learn more about his progress rehabbing a Week 8 ACL tear. If he's ahead of schedule, expect Tonyan to earn low-end TE1 production. If not, he might have a rockier season due to his recovery time table.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Tonyan's 2021 was lost to injury, but with Davante Adams gone, Tonyan could re-emerge as a high-TD producer.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Jared Cook was on his last legs in 2021. Look for Everett to provide an upgrade. He's a strong player after the catch with enough speed to win up the seam and track the ball over his head. Look for him to deliver as a strong TE2 in most formats as Justin Herbert's No.4 option.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Everett will catch what's thrown to him but lacks the dynamism to do more after the catch or break big plays downfield. He'll have a role in Los Angeles, but his target share won't support a role in most fantasy leagues.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Everett's talent has always been apparent, but his production has never quite lived up to it. He now enters an offense that threw to tight ends 137 times in 2021 and gave a 34-year-old Jared Cook 61% of such targets. Everett's sure hands and dynamic ability after the catch could have him reaching career highs in efficiency and production now that he's tied to Justin Herbert.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Counting on Mostert to stay healthy is a risk He has only two seasons out of seven where he has playing in 11 or more games and he has missed 24 of the past 33 starts during the past 2 years. Still, he's the best option in Miami when healthy and he's on schedule to be ready no later than September.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Raheem Mostert is already 30 years old and is three seasons removed from his one relevant campaign. With Chase Edmonds and Sony Michel added to the roster, as well, Mostert is probably more like an on-field coach-in-waiting than a regular contributor.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: The book is out on Mostert, his game breaking speed has played very well in this scheme but his inability to stay healthy is well documented. He's worth a late round flier.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Mostert was a non-factor in 2021 after a Week 1 injury and is on the wrong side of the age curve. The good news is an unsettled Miami depth chart gives Mostert a puncher's chance at clarified starts in 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Like Jalen Tolbert, I like Watson as a singular bet for a rookie WR that could pop early on but like Tolbert, be very selective about this. Watson is going to need some work with reading coverage at a higher level of football. It's good that he has experience with a West Coast Offense, but the reads aren't as complex and detailed against FCS teams as they will be for the NFL. Expect Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Amari Rodgers, and likely, another veteran to join the crew. Emmanuel Sanders would be a good fit for one year.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 9: After they traded away Davante Adams, wide receiver was at the top of every Green Bay fan's wishlist. It took until the 2nd Round, but the team drafted Christian Watson. Watson is tall and fast, he will remind most of Marquez Valdes-Scantling. No one was going to step right in and replace Adams, but Watson is an immediate fit with Valdes-Scantling now in Kansas City. He will have ups and downs, as will any rookie wide receiver, but he could still lead this team in targets as a rookie.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The argument against Jones, in addition to his age and production in Tennessee, is that the Buccaneers signed Russell Gage to a nice contract. While true, it's a misdirected argument. Gage is replacing Antonio Brown's role to the extent that he can. Jones is more likely a reaction to Rob Gronkowski confirming that he is not coming out of retirement. Where Gage will begin and end routes in the middle of the field, Jones will run a lot of the Gronkowski routes that begin inside and break outside as well as vertical shots. Don't expect top-15 value from Jones but he could sneak into the top-24 at his position if he stays healthy. Otherwise, consider him a fantasy WR4.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Jones is the clear No. 4 receiver in Tampa Bay, so look at his signing more as a boost for Tom Brady than for him.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Jones' late-July signing with Tampa Bay keeps him on the fantasy perimeter and possibility starting lineup radars for 2022. The passing game is packed for targets in Tampa Bay and Jones' best case for consistent usage is early in the season if Chris Godwin is still in recovery mode.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Michel has the all-around skills of a starter but the injury history of a reserve. He provides solid depth for Miami and likely pushes Salvon Ahmed, and Gerrid Doaks off the roster. He might also push Chase Edmonds for playing time.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Michel was added to the new Dolphins committee, but it's hard to envision him as anything more than the No. 2 or No. 3 option.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The Dolphins appear to have a crowded backfield. Chase Edmonds has the money and the explosiveness. Raheem Mostert is now 30 and often injured. Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed are carryovers from the previous regime. That leaves Sony Michel as the likely workhorse back. Over the last six regular-season games with the Rams, Michel logged over 500 rushing yards and three touchdowns. At his current draft price, Michel offers bottom-end RB2 possibilities.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: Michel's 45 red zone rushing attempts ranked third and will be his best path to value. His production profiled similarly to Elijah Mitchell, with 1st downs on 24% of carries and 13 attempts per broken tackle vs. 23% and 12.9 from Mitchell.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Michel joins a Miami depth where any of Michel, Chase Edmonds, or Raheem Mostert could be the Week 1 starter or start multiple games this season.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The Commanders envision Robinson as the close-out back for leads and a short-yardage option who can occasional earn targets from the backfield. While the dynamic with Robinson and Antonio Gibson is labeled a 1-2 punch, don't expect a true split in volume unless Gibson falters. Instead, think of Gibson as the lead back whose elite ceiling has dropped a floor and a half thanks to the roles parceled to Robinson and JD McKissic. Robinson has high-end RB2 upside if Gibson gets hurt. He's shifty for his size and a good passing-down option for his experience level.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Robinson enters a Washington depth chart where Antonio Gibson has struggled to stay healthy and avoid fumbles. Robinson had zero fumbles in college and has a lead-back profile. J.D. McKissic hurts the PPR upside of either, but Robinson is, at worst, an injury-away option.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Drake has proven he can be an electric, albeit inconsistent, RB2 in fantasy when afforded the touches. The Raiders will likely implement a committee approach and that means Drake and Zamir White will be battling it out to earn the No.2 role behind Josh Jacobs. Drake has the advantage of experience and pass catching. White is a smarter runner at this stage of his career than Drake was as a rookie and may acclimate quickly and earn a chance to usurp Drake in camp.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Drake's role in Las Vegas paled in comparison to his usage in Arizona, and with a new coaching staff aboard that's not likely to change given Drake's age and injury history.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Drake lost clarity as an injury-away back in 2021 when Peyton Barber had moments of clarity. The Raiders added Zamir White to the depth chart, further clouding Drake's chances for streaming starts in 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Palmer has enough red-zone prowess and underneath route skills to earn the No.3 receiver role in the offense and generate bye-week production. An injury to a teammate could elevate Palmer's production significantly, especially if it is Mike Williams.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are entrenched with big contracts, so Palmer is locked into a WR3 role barring injuries. Keep in mind, Palmer is a more talented and well-rounded receiver than Williams, so if he gets the opportunity, he may never hand the job back.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: The transition from Jalen Guyton to Josh Palmer quietly happened over the last five weeks of the 2021 season. During that time, Palmer out-snapped Guyton 66% to 33%, out-targeted him 27 to 16, and out-caught him 18 to 13. The Chargers operated out of 11-personnel (one running back, one tight end, and three wide receivers) 64% of the time last year, and the odds that Palmer has standalone flex value without injury are high.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Edwards has RB3 upside if the Ravens' offense returns to 2019's form or RB2 upside if his rehab goes well and Josh Dobbins' rehab doesn't.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Edwards and J.K. Dobbins both missed 2021, and both should be back to form a powerhouse committee in 2022.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Edwards' healthy is the primary watchword heading into the season. J.K. Dobbins is also working back from a season-ending injury. Edwards, if the healthier option, could be the Week 1 starter. On the downside, Edwards could be slower back to health than Dobbins to siphon any clarified opportunity. Plus, Baltimore has eluded to concerns with Mike Davis signed.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Hooper was a TE1 with Matt Ryan for two years before joining a crowded tight end room in Cleveland with a sub-par starting quarterback who didn't read the field well. Ryan Tannehill isn't as accomplished as Ryan, but he's a notch better than Baker Mayfield. Hooper has potential for borderline TE1 value but will likely be most serviceable as a bye-week matchup option with TE2 value.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Middling numbers in two seasons in Cleveland, but has a massive target share opportunity in Tennesse if he can quickly build rapport with Ryan Tannehill.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: After an excellent 2019 in Atlanta, where he paced as the overall TE3 in fantasy and finished as the TE6 playing only 13 games, he chased the money to Cleveland. In two seasons with the Browns, he only scored 14 more combined fantasy points than his 2019 season. Now in Tennessee, his primary target competition is Robert Woods, returning from an ACL tear, and Treylon Burks, a rookie who has barely been healthy enough to practice. There is a good chance that Hooper will lead this team in targets in 2022.
Jeff Bell on Jul 3: Austin Hooper, Tennessee Titans The Titans gave a tight end room of Anthony Firkser, Geoff Swaim, and MyCole Pruitt a total of 108 targets, ranking 19th in the NFL. Hooper failed to separate in a crowded Cleveland tight end room, but is building an early rapport with Ryan Tannehill and represents a talent upgrade at the position. Hooper had back to back TE1 seasons in 2018 and 2019, peaking at TE3 in PPG in 2019. At 28 he still has a prime production window and one of the most uncertain target rooms in the league with the teamâ€™s changeover at wide receiver.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Abram Smith could be a nice story if Alvin Kamara earns a suspension for an off-season altercation but Ingram is still good enough to start and produce between the tackles. Ingram is also the most experienced receiver of the depth chart. If the Saints lose Kamara and jail time is a possibility, a trade for a back like Kareem Hunt could be a viable course. Stay tuned.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Ingram is 32 years old, and it's hard to imagine a fantasy-relevant role even if Alvin Kamara is limited to start the season.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Ingram is still in the catbird seat as an injury-away back to Alvin Kamara. Ingram is largely being overlooked within the backup running back landscape.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Pierce is a ball-winning vertical threat who should benefit immediately from the Colts' effective play-action game and Matt Ryan's skills as a timing passer.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Alec Pierce has a chance to earn significant playing time as a rookie in the Colts offense. He has an excellent size/speed combination and has drawn similar comparisons to Jordy Nelson. The Colts aren't a high-volume pass offense, but Pierce can carve out a role as early as this year.
Ryan Weisse on Jun 10: Indianapolis was considered a favorable landing spot for any rookie wide receiver and Pierce is a good fit for the role opposite Michael Pittman. With Matt Ryan at quarterback, we should see overall improvement in the Colts' passing game and if Pierce can win the job quickly, he could approach 100 targets in his rookie season.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: He can catch and he used to have strong short-area quickness and acceleration. He used to work with a good offensive line, too. I'm not interested in any back on this depth chart other than Dameon Pierce.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: For now, I have Burkhead and Marlon Mack on relatively even footing. But the Texans likely want Mack to win the job outright in camp, in which case Burkhead could be a late summer release.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Rex Burkhead is the forgotten man of the Houston backfield. Marlon Mack and Dameon Pierce are expected to be the main competition for starting roles. Mack had an Achilles tear in 2020 that is usually difficult for running backs to recover from. Pierce is a fourth-round rookie. These players both carry historical risk. Burkhead is 32, but against the Chargers in December he recorded 149 yards and two touchdowns.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Burkhead showed well late in 2021 but has typically had the underrated backup role more than starter or true injury-away status in his career. Marlon Mack and Dameon Pierce added to the depth cloud Burkhead's status, at least to start the season.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: The Texans brought Rex Burkhead back, indicating their pleasure with his role in 2021. But that was before signing Marlon Mack and drafting Dameon Pierce. Burkhead doesn't possess much upside for 2022.
Jeff Bell on Jul 5: Pep Hamiltonâ€™s scheme has traditionally used quick passing routes and running backs, with the 2014 Colts splitting 107 targets between Ahmad Bradshaw, Trent Richardson, and Dan Herron. Burkhead has been quietly productive, averaging 553 yards the past three seasons. Marlon Mackâ€™s career-high in receptions is 21, a number Burkhead has topped four times, and the third element in the backfield is rookie Dameon Pierce. With a young quarterback in David Mills, expect Burkhead to see the passing down work and potentially more as the end of 2021 shows.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: DeVante Parker has had difficulty staying healthy and he's not known as a student of the game, which often trips up receivers joining the Patriots. Tyquan Thornton may need a year or two, at best, to acclimate and develop. The most versatile and trusted option for the Patriots might be Bourne. Expect Bourne to sustain, if not develop additional, rapport with Mac Jones that translates to fantasy production of a low-end starter.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: You would never guess Bourne was a top-30 receiver last year, but his 55-catch, 800-yard, 5 touchdown season was rock solid. D. Parker's addition casts a cloud on a repeat, but at Bourne's ADP, there are worse bets.
Jeff Bell on Jul 3: Bourne was incredibly efficient in 2021. His 11.43 yards per target were second behind Deebo Samuelâ€™s 11.61 and narrowly edged Jaâ€™Marr Chaseâ€™s 11.37 of players who saw at least 50 targets. Bourne naturally connected with Mac Jones, catching a career-high 78.6% of passes. The Patriots added DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton, but this receiver room remains unsettled. If Bourne could maintain his efficiency and seize the lead role in this offense, his ADP in the mid-WR6 territory would be a steal.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I'm projecting Peoples-Jones at his most likely point of upside. He lacks a big ceiling in this Browns offense and he lacks the route running skills to match-up against top cornerbacks.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The acquisition of Amari Cooper and third-round draft selection of David Bell position Peoples-Jones as a peripheral contributor regardless of who's under center.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Listen, a lot of draft analysts liked Allgeier. I didn't. I think his acceleration isn't great and his ability to gauge angles of pursuit is worse. I saw him as a special teams contributor who could deliver work as a functional backup, at best. I prefer Damien Williams as the No.2 behind this bad Falcons' offensive line. Atlanta may push Allgeier into the No.2 role to see how he does early, but I'm not banking on him sticking.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Last year we all overdrafted Mike Davis because he was the only credible option as the Falcons' starter. That ended poorly, and veteran receiver Cordarrelle Patterson shocked the world by morphing into a lead back. Patterson returns to that role, and Allgeier isn't talented enough to displace him.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Algeier has starter potential for the Falcons with Mike Davis gone, Cordarrelle Patterson rumored to have more of a wide receiver role this season, and Damien Williams on the wrong side of the age curve. The perfect storm of Allgeier being this year's Elijah Mitchell as an early-season starter from Day 3 exists even if requiring a leap of faith.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I like Robinson as an option on space, but he's not the route and catch-point playmaker that Kadarius Toney is. Expect Robinson to be 3rd to 5th in the progression tree for this offense behind Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, Saquon Barkley, and occasionally Sterling Shepard and the Giants tight end. This will translate to boom-bust weeks in fantasy.
Jeff Bell on Jul 3: The Giants feature a talented wide receiver room, and Brian Daboll used the position heavily in Buffalo, but ambiguity abounds. Robinson is the only player added by Daboll and new GM Joe Schoen, and as a player who can win vertically and work out of the backfield, he is the most versatile piece. He has the opportunity for a dramatic rise in value even before the season begins and could be the skeleton key to allowing the skillsets of the other Giants wide receivers to work, giving him access to a large snap share immediately.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I like the player, but not the quarterback situation. The Steelers' media says he'll have the Martavis Bryant role. But he doesn't have pre-deteriorated Ben Roethlisberger making good decisions to find him. Expect a few big weeks couched in a fantasy wasteland unless injuries strike. Even then, I'm not sold on the storyline that Mitchell Trubisky was better than he looked because the Bears' organization victimized him.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Not only does Pittsburgh have an excellent record of drafting wide receivers, they often come out and have fantastic rookie seasons. Their most recent successes include Chase Claypool and his nine-touchdown rookie season and JuJu Smith-Schuster who ranked 17th in his debut year. Even Diontae Johnson almost finished as a fantasy starter, despite being raw. George Pickens has first-round grade talent but fell to 52 due to character concerns. This is a situation where you trust that the location fixes issues, coaches well and produces immediate results.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Bad team, bad defense, below-average offensive line, and a running back who still hasn't shown if he's fully back from his Achilles' tear. And, Dameon Pierce is a better all-around running back. No thanks.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: An Achilles tear is hard to recover from even for elite talent, and Mack isn't elite. But the Texans are taking a flier on him and seemingly want him to disprove the doubters and earn the starting role.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: While many are anointing Dameon Pierce as the earmarked starter in Houston, it is Mack with the best production profile, and it is not particularly close, on the depth chart. Mack is still a bit of a wildcard health-wise after his Achilles injury but is the probability bet over Rex Burkhead and a Day 3 Pierce, especially for the cost.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The proven passing-down and short-yardage runner will have a role in the Cardinals' offense, but Eno Benjamin and Keaontay Ingram have the highest overall upside. If one of them pops early, Williams' role as the competent substitute won't change much. Benjamin is getting the buzz now. When the lights come on, Ingram could earn that buzz later.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Williams is still looking for work, but showed well in Kansas City and was the preferred option over Clyde Edwards-Helaire at times. Monitor Williams to crash a depth chart by Week 1.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: James Conner has an extensive injury history. He eluded the big injury bug last season but has he turned that corner for good? If he is forced to miss time, the Cardinals best option to replace his snaps is newly signed Darrel Williams. Williams had a career-high last year finishing as the RB22. He is capable of contributing both as a rusher and receiver and he has succeeded in getting in the end zone. He's the late-round running back you want to steal who could earn valuable playing time at some point during the season.
Jeff Bell on Jul 15: Williams's 82.5% catch rate led all running backs who saw over 50 targets. Chase Edmonds had 58% of the Cardinals' RB snaps when both Edmonds and Conner were in the lineup, clearly claiming the passing game role. Edmonds' 11.9 ppr ppg were good for RB28, if Williams claims any significant portion of that role he represents massive draft day value.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: The departure of Chase Edmonds has fantasy managers guessing who will assume the RB2 role for Arizona. While the room is full of talent, none of the options behind James Conner possess Darrel Williams's talent. Williams quietly led the Chiefs in rushing attempts in 2021, accumulating 144 carries to go with 47 receptions. He was effective as a pass-catcher, snagging 82.5% of his targets and averaging nearly 10 yards per reception. Williams possesses standalone value as the immediate pass-catching back in Arizona, accompanied by his high-value handcuff value behind an oft-injured James Conner.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Hurst is a journeyman option with acceleration to get up the seam and he does solid work as an check-down option in the underneath zones. Look for Hurst to team with Drew Sample as a 1-2 punch in the offense with Sample as the in-line blocker and Hurst the primary receiver. Cincinnati has four compelling options ahead of Hurst in the passing game, so anything north of 600 yards and 5 touchdowns for Hurst would be a surprise. Fantasy TE1 territory is not in the cards, but Hurst can offer compelling bye-week production with a friendly mathcup.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: There aren't enough targets to go around in Cincinnati for Hurst to be a suitable option in fantasy when Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Ja'Marr Chase are all healthy. The Bengals will feel his presence more from a real-football perspective.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Crowder will have some nice games and probably display some rapport with Josh Allen in the red zone. I believe the combination of James Cook and Khalil Shakir could eat into Crowder's viability by mid-season.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Crowder steps into a Bills offense with an MVP-caliber quarterback and pass-happy system. Could this be a late-career fantasy boon? Probably not.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: We saw Cole Beasley reach 112 targets with 82 receptions in the slot role last season with Josh Allen. Offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll is now with the Giants but the slot role can be a fantasy boon in Buffalo. As of now, Jamison Crowder is the man for the job with Isaiah McKenzie and rookie Khalil Shakir the only ones in his way. Crowder's floor should be 50+ catches. If you're looking for a late-round flyer, Crowder is a great one to target. You want to aim for proven talent on potent offenses. Crowder fits the bill.
Jeff Bell on Jul 18: Crowder replaces Cole Beasley, but in a different role than Beasley held for much of his Bills career. When healthy, Beasley never dipped below a 60% snap share until week 13; after that week, he never went above 51%. The Bills moved to different personnel packages at the end of the season, and the offseason additions expanded those personnel groupings. Crowder is a low-ceiling player in this offense who likely needs injury for significant utility.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Folks are afraid to take a stand on Campbell because he hasn't stayed healthy and they haven't seen him perform for any length of time since Ohio State. If he's running this early on with the first team, I'm taking a confident stand that he's a big part of the team's plans this year. If you simply don't trust him to stay healthy, there's no argument worth considering. That's where I have been with Will Fuller, the Injury Cicada, so I can empathize.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: At the tender age of 24 Campbell has plenty to offer, he just needs to catch a break and shed the injury prone label. He has a good chance to be the Colts primary slot receiver in 2022 with the only competition coming from veterans Keke Coutee and Ashton Dulin. He is also entering a contract year where if he proves he can put up decent, consistent numbers, he'll potentially cash-in on a new deal in 2023.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Parris Campbell has had horrible injury luck but is still working with the Colts' first-team offense heading into 2022. He has flashed his high potential before injury in the last two years, and a healthy Campbell working out of the slot could be valuable for fantasy with Matt Ryan coming to town.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: If you want to take selected shots on rookie receivers who could pop, Tolbert fits the criteria because he's athletic and likely to begin the season as a starter. He's also likely the No.3 option behind CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz. It's also possible that James Washington is somewhere just above or below Schultz in the pecking order as well. Michael Gallup will also return soon enough that picking Tolbert early feels more like a fool's errand than a bet on rookie greatness. I like the player, not the situation.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Williams is the quintessential journeyman reserve who can contribute meaningful committee production for a team and RB3-RB4 fantasy value. When asked to do more, he can deliver RB2 value. Think of Williams as Mike Davis version 2022.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Damien Williams has the opportunity to step into the role vacated by Mike Davis.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Mike Davis' release aids Williams' chances to be the RB2, or even the starter if Cordarrelle Patterson transitions back to wide receiver, for the Falcons.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: The Falcons' top running back role belongs to Cordarrelle Patterson, however, if Patterson is forced to miss time, the best option to take over is dual-threat weapon, Damien Williams. He has 16 touchdowns in the last three years and is the most experienced veteran among the running back corps in Atlanta. Williams is capable of filling in when his number is called and could be a nice handcuff with spot-start fantasy potential if there is an injury ahead of him on the depth chart.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: White will be in competition with Kenyan Drake for the primary backup role behind Josh Jacobs in Las Vegas. Health is a major question mark with White after multiple significant knee injuries in college.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: He wasn't bad in Tennessee, but Carolina's offensive line is a lot worse. I can think of a lot more backup runners I'd prefer.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Foreman joins the Carolina depth chart where Chuba Hubbard had and largely lost the injury-away role in 2021. Foreman showed well in Tennessee and projects as the leading rusher if Christian McCaffrey were to miss time.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Foreman helped fill the void for Tennessee which included three 100-yard efforts and touchdowns in three of the last five games. Foreman gives the Panthers a power-back option at running back and a decent replacement if the need arises.
Jeff Bell on Jul 5: Foreman looks to be completely recovered from an early career Achilles injury, once considered a death note on running back careers. Foreman produced very well on a Titans team that lost Derrick Henry, his 62.9 ypg was more than Damien Harris and Ezekiel Elliott, and he received a higher PFF rush grade than Dalvin Cook. His skill set as a power runner compliments McCaffrey well, and the Panthers could use it to keep wear and tear off their franchise back.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Duvernay made strides in his second year and has earned the praise of his coaching staff as a player likely to become a bigger part of the Ravens' offense. His vertical speed, YAC skills, and versatility match the offense's demands.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: A skilled player who can't stay healthy long enough for a team to regard him as a reliable building block. He's now a journeyman with upside value who can deliver big plays from the slot and occasionally in the perimeter vertical game.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Samuel is a gadget player with elite speed and will be a key cog in Washington's offensive arsenal. Yet, he's not the best receiver, or the biggest red-zone threat, and could be the 4th option in most game scripts.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: There was hype when Samuel joined Washington but he couldn't stay healthy. Now he has more competition and feels like an afterthought.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: The Texans need more reliable options in the passing game beyond Brandin Cooks. The two that offered the most long-term potential as more than role players were Nico Collins and Jordan, the second-year option from Miami. If Jordan attains his goal of becoming a three-down option, he could be the No.2 or No.3 option in the passing game this year.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Rookie tight ends rarely put up big numbers, but Jordan has the pedigree, skill set, and opportunity to break out for a young Texans offense desperate for playmakers.
Ryan Weisse on May 25: Hype and draft capital did not line up for Jordan last year but he played well when he got the chance. He didn't play until Week 8, but was targeted 28 times and scored three touchdowns. He could easily double those stats in 2022, and will be on many streaming lists if the Texans commit to using one tight end instead of a committee.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Carson Wentz's best fantasy trait is his ability to connect with tight ends. Although the Colts didn't have a single stand-out tight end last year, Mo Alie-Cox and Jack Doyle combined for fantasy value that was equivalent to a low-end TE1. Thomas was on the cusp of elite production in 2020 when he played a full season. Expect a return to this type of volume and production. A 10-month ACL rehab timeline puts Thomas on schedule for a Week 4 debut. Thomas is ahead of schedule and Week 1 has become a part of the conversation.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Thomas is on the wrong side of 30 years old and only has one strong season under his belt, but Carson Wentz loves throwing to the tight end across the middle and in the red zone. Consider Thomas a high variance option as your starter.
Jeff Bell on Jul 3: The comparisons between Hamler and Russell Wilsonâ€™s former leading receiver Tyler Lockett have already begun. Physically they are an easy parallel, both in the 5â€™10â€, 180 lbs range possessing sub 4.41 speedâ€”both dynamic presences in the return game. Denver will see dramatic offensive improvement with Wilsonâ€™s arrival, and Hamler is just one move away from a large snap share. Given the changes in the coaching staff and positional uncertainty, he may be closer to that role than anyone realizes.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Fantasy GMs and analysts always talk about not getting fooled by players. At this range of the draft, I'm more concerned about talent and potential than I am about how others perceive my choices. Any player at this range of the draft has flaws and/or obstacles to starter production. I'll take my chances with the versatile veteran who has delivered fantasy-starter production during seasons he started at least 13 games. When the Chiefs needed Watkins to deliver as one of the top-two options, he did well and he could be needed a lot more in Green Bay than he was in Kansas City.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: Watkins is well into the veteran stage of his career but has only just turned 29. The loss of Davante Adams will be hard to replace, but expecting Allen Lazard or Christian Watson to be preferred at this stage is speculation. Aaron Rodgers will throw to his best receiver and that may very well be Sammy Watkins. Of course, there is a risk with Watkins. He may not even make the final roster. At his current price, he carries little risk and the upside is much higher if he catches the eye of Rodgers.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Watkins has the tools to be the type of receiver that Aaron Rodgers can rely on. With question marks in the wide receiver room, Watkins could be a sneaky late-round flyer who could pan out. He has proven talent and may be in the right place at the right time. We've seen Rodgers turn James Jones into a fantasy stud. Could Watkins be another? The risk is low and the reward could be big.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Green wasn't bad last year for a player of his age and recent spate of injuries. I expect better rapport with Kyler Murray and the Cardinals will need him as a high-volume contributor for at least the first six games of the year.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Bell might be the safest WR on the Browns, even as a rookie. When Deshaun Watson plays, Bell will thrive on the routes that Watson is best at targeting both in the short and intermediate passing games. When Brissett starts, Bell's slot play will make him the safety blanket. Expect high-volume production by rookie standards.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: The Browns' offense depends on Deshaun Watson's availability. A rookie stepping into a run-heavy offense as the second option at best is not a highly-covetable asset for fantasy football.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: He's still a viable reserve and has excellent rapport with his quarterback. The upside isn't great but he makes a solid bye-week option early in the year before you begin hunting on the waiver wire for better.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Despite Aaron Rodgers demanding Cobb's return to Green Bay, he stepped back into a complementary role and lacked the dynamism we saw from a young Cobb before injuries piled up.
Jeff Bell on Jul 16: From week 4 to week 12 Cobb saw 13 red zone targets, a rate that extrapolates to 24 over a full season and would rank inside the top 10. With Davante Adams departing, Cobb could emerge as a "goal line" wide receiver, a player who finds fantasy utility due to usage in high leverage situations. With uncertainty in Green Bay, Cobb has a chance to emerge as a deep flyer with value.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Many expect a dominant option to emerge from the Packers' receiver room, but an even dispersal of targets could be a reality. Cobb saw low snap percentages to start 2021 but averaged over four targets per game in Weeks 7-12 before his injury. With Davante Adams gone, increasing targets could grant Cobb flex value.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Shepard has the route discipline, precision, hands, and experience to thrive in a featured role. But his injury history is impossible to ignore.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: According to GM Joe Schoen, Sterling Shepard should be ready for training camp, and when he's on the field, he is the Giants' best wide receiver. Shepard quietly averaged 11.1 fantasy points per game in 2021, outpacing Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay, the two Giants wide receivers ahead of him in ADP. With Evan Engram gone, Shepard could provide Daniel Jones with a familiar safety net.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The 49ers are one of the tougher to project depth charts in the NFL. Upside abounds if getting it right any particular week. Davis-Price is the latest Day 2 investment in the position after Trey Sermon showed little in 2021.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Hilliard is the veteran of note behind Derrick Henry. Holding off rookie Hassan Haskins will be key to being an injury away from a prominent role.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Worth stashing at the end of drafts, but so is Chris Evans, who is faster and excels as a receiver. It's a 50-50 bet on either one becoming the backup to Joe Mixon.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Perine has avoided additional competition for the RB2 role in Cincinnati this offseason. Chris Evans could steal receiving work if Joe Mixon is out and Perine projects as a lower upside fantasy streamer.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: If the boneheaded arrest to add to his criminal resume doesn't cost Pringle significant playing time, his skills will be in demand for the Bears. He's a good YAC producer with vertical speed, and skill in the middle of the field.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Kenneth Gainwell is the passing-down option of choice, but Boston Scott is the better overall running back. If Miles Sanders falters, Scott likely earns a bigger fantasy workload than Gainwell. Also seriously consider UDFA Kennedy Brooks as a potential option.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Scott has limited upside with Kenneth Gainwell a receiving-centric option also behind Miles Sanders in Philadelphia.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Evans is more of a PPR thorn in the side of Samaje Perine should Joe Mixon miss time rather than a standalone upside value.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Evans flashed as a receiving back when given the opportunity last year, and while the volume won't always be there, an expanded role could be in store for the sophomore running back.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The job to replace A.J. Brown in Tennessee isnâ€™t going to be left to one man. Treylon Burks turns up out of shape and Robert Woods is coming off an ACL tear. The forgotten man is Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. The undrafted third-year man impressed in his first real season in 2021, played in all three receiving positions and his versatility will be crucial to Ryan Tannehill. If Burks and Woods are fully fit, they are likely to see the targets, but that is a big assumption. If Westbrook-Ikhine plays a high percentage of snaps, his fantasy production will surprise fantasy managers.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: While the 99 targets in 2021 were nice, what Shenault did with them was not. Managing just 619 yards and ZERO touchdowns, Shenault disappointed fantasy managers. With more competition for touches and likely fewer passing attempts heading his way, don't expect much better in 2022.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Breida's injury history is substantial enough to have concerns that he can handle a strong enough workload to produce if Saquon Barkley gets hurt. Still, Breida is an accomplished runner with the most upside of the Giants' depth chart.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Breida is one of the underrated injury-away situations post-NFL Draft. Breida lacks ideal size but is the leader in the clubhouse behind Saquon Barkley.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Rookie Jelani Woods was a workout warrior this winter, but that athletic ability did not show up as well on film. Even if Woods proves worthy of his draft capital and the buzz the fantasy community has bestowed, it's unlikely to happen in 2022. Alie-Cox is the best receiver on the position's depth chart and expect him to lead the way. He'll deliver compelling bye-week production for fantasy GMs.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: The converted basketball player will have his moments but lacks the regular targets to factor into 12-team leagues.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Marshall's rookie season was forgettable (17/138/0), but if the Panthers bring in a better quarterback, particularly Jimmy Garoppolo, he's worth watching for signs of early-season success.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Carolina's #3 option at wide receiver is currently Terrace Marshall, the upstart, but young receiver from LSU will be entering his second year in the league. Marshall has adequate, if not above-average talent at the position but he is also young (will turn 22 in June). Despite having a few promising games early in 2021, Marshall disappeared in the home stretch and was not involved in the offense, especially after Carolina moved on from offensive coordinator, Joe Brady last December. Marshall is younger than many draft prospects entering the league and in many ways is like an additional draft pick for the Panthers in 2022. He will have a chance to grown and develop in Ben McAdoo's offense.
Jeff Bell on Jul 8: Marshall thrived as a secondary option in college, playing opposite Justin Jefferson, Jaâ€™Marr Chase, and Kayshon Boutte. In reality, he is one of the few players who may have a talent downgrade around him stepping into the NFL. He struggled his rookie season with just 30 targets, a 57% catch rate, and 138 yards. With Robbie Anderson stretching the field and DJ Moore working intermediate routes, plus Christian McCaffrey out of the backfield, the availability of targets to allow Marshall to break out is lacking.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: If the Bears' offense is going to be good, someone other than Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet needs to emerge as a reliable pass catcher. The Bears drafted Jones with Day 2 capital, and a creative offense will find ways to get him the ball in space and allow him to succeed.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Haskins is not a younger version of Derrick Henry, but he is a hard-nosed, smart, power runner. If Henry gets hurt again, Haskins is the best bet to be the 1a in a multi-back committee.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Haskins has an opportunity to win the RB2 job in Tennessee as a Day 3 rookie.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: An efficiency marvel, Wilson Jr.'s 130.6 passer rating when targeted was third behind DeAndre Hopkins (133.6) and Kendrick Bourne (132.1) of players with at least 60 targets. Expect gadget usage and value opportunities if one of the top two receivers misses time.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Jones will likely have the edge over Laviska Shenault and Jamal Agnew as the No.3 receiver and No.4 option in the passing attack for an ascending quarterback talent that I believe will surpass the 4,000-yard mark this year.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Edwards produced well in two seasons of practices but didn't earn enough targets for that production to translate to the regular season. The early analysis on Edwards has been that he hasn't gotten open enough under live fire. Atlanta will need a quality No.3-No.4 option for its passing game and Edwards has a chance to deliver here. A question mark of equal weight to Edwards' ability to get open is whether Marcus Mariota or Desmond Ridder can find him when he is.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Edwards was going to be edged out in Las Vegas once Davante Adams came aboard, so a trade to Atlanta re-opens the door for a high-volume role. But much of his value lies with whether the Falcons can support three receiving options on a regular basis. That's a hard bet to make.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Wilson is the lost name in the 49ers backfield where Elijah Mitchell is returning from knee surgery, Trey Sermon was in the doghouse last year, and Tyrion Davis-Price is an incoming rookie. Wilson is worth a dart throw who has shown well in the past.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Brate is the most game-proven tight end on the roster after Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement. Keep an eye on Cade Otton, an underrated route runner and blocker who could emerge fast enough in training camp to earn a role. Don't expect the Tampa tight ends to have remotely the fantasy ceiling they had with Gronkowski in the fold unless the team adds a proven veteran starter. And that proven vet could be Gronkowski after the halfway mark of the season, according to Drew Rosenhaus' conversation with Adam Schefter.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: If Rob Gronkowski retires, Brate will be a steal for anyone who rostered him early in draft season. If Gronk plays, Brate is an easy avoid.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The retirement announcement of Rob Gronkowski opens the door for Brate to be a fantasy factor. However, Tampa Bay has ample time to address the position, if desired, in free agency (think Jared Cook) before Week 1. Plus, it has been years since Brate's career peak usage and production.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: At 32 years old this year, he's entering his 9th season and only started 34 games. In that time, he's also scored 33 touchdowns. I'm not saying he'll average a touchdown per start in 2022, but Rob Gronkowski scored six in 12 games last year. Gronkowski was also on pace to be a top-5 tight end in fantasy and finished as the TE7 despite missing five games. Brate has easy top-10 potential, and he's free in fantasy drafts.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: D'Onta Foreman signed this offseason, and stands a good shot at displacing Hubbard as Christian McCaffrey's backup.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Hubbard was the clear RB2 early in Christian McCaffrey's extended absence last season. However, Ameer Abdullah siphoned plenty of touches and eroded Hubbard's viability. This offseason D'Onta Foreman has been added to cloud Hubbard yet again.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: With Christian McCaffrey out in 2021, Chuba was relatively inefficient as a runner. Still, with McCaffrey's injury history and uncertainty on who may win the backup role behind him, Hubbard could finish much higher than RB60.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: The fastest back at the combine with a 4.37 40 time, Strong brings a chunk yardage element that would compliment the power carried by Harris and Stevenson. A darkhorse for a significant role if injury creates opportunity.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The Patriots' depth chart is cloudy with five quality options to begin training camp. Strong is on the older side but has a good combination of size and two-way producer from college should the early Day 3 rookie see an opportunity.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Many folks are under the assumption that James White will return to his pre-injury form, but that optimism may be off base. If so, Pierre Strong is the player most like White in shiftiness and game-breaking speed and could assume a similar role. Strong was a pre-draft favorite for some, running a 4.37-second forty-yard dash and displaying fantastic athleticism in the process. The Patriots loaded up the running back room, and Strong is far from a guarantee to see the field in 2022, but assuming the White role would mean he's a weekly start.
Jeff Bell on Jul 18: McKenzie was another beneficiary of the Bills' offensive changes at the end of the year. In the first 13 weeks of the season, he played 14% of snaps and saw only 14 touches for 58 yards. From week 14, that number jumped to 35% snap share and 31 touches for 259 yards. McKenzie is a gadget player who saw run game involvement in addition to slot snaps, and he brings a unique element to the offense.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I have a feeling Kareem Hunt could be dealt at some point this year and the one-year deal Johnson signed is to insure the Browns have an experienced backup with proven skills to replace Hunt's role or take over for Nick Chubb if Chubb gets hurt. At worse, Johnson is a valuable third option with strong fantasy RB2 upside if Chubb and Hunt get hurt.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Johnson showed well in 2021 with spot duty as the Browns starter. This year is more ambiguous with Kareem Hunt still on the roster (for now) and Jerome Ford a notable Day 3 draft addition.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Smith has bye-week value dictated by matchup and future knowledge of his role as a the second tight end in the Patriots offense. He'll offer borderline TE1 upside if Hunter Henry misses significant time, but don't expect Smith to offer the same savvy with routes or as high of a catch rate.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Fell well short of expectations last year, and was handily outplayed by Hunter Henry. Expect more of the same in 2022.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Smith was another significant free agent addition who disappointed in 2021 with only 294 yards. However, early camp stories have the team transitioning two more two TE sets to compensate for the loss of fullback Jakob Johnson.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: The Patriots added tons of pass-catching talent around Mac Jones this year, and while Jonnu Smith is a talented player, the volume probably won't be there for positive fantasy output.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I called Benjamin 98-Proof LeSean McCoy since his senior year at Arizona State. He's a shifty scatback with excellent receiving skills but needed work with pass protection. He's the favorite to earn the No.2 role behind James Conner. While I like Keaontay Ingram's talent more, long-term, Benjamin is a compelling open and has worked his way into the opportunity.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Benjamin did not separate himself as the clear RB3 last season in Arizona and the only competition for the injury-away role behind James Conner is Day 3 rookie Keaontay Ingram.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I'll take my chances on Watkins as a late-round pick because he's explosive, better in traffic than his size indicates, and if Devonta Smith or A.J. Brown gets hurt, he'll be the next man up. He continues to push for playing time despite these recent additions over the past two years.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Watkins was the star of Eagles camp last summer, but with D. Smith and A.J. Brown in town, Watkins is little more than a complementary piece on a run-heavy offense.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: White is an all-time Belichick favorite, and he re-signed again. But the days of marginal fantasy value are long gone.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: White suffered a major hip injury in week three and has yet to return to organized activites, a long time part of the Patriots offense who could be fighting uphil to make the roster at age 30.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: White is returning from injury and the Patriots splashed the depth chart with multiple Day 3 running backs with quality profiles (Pierre Strong, Kevin Harris). The five-back depth chart could have a tough cut by Week 1.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: If Washington could run routes as well as he wins the ball, he'd be a top-15 receiver. He may have 4-6 weeks with that kind of production this year due to need, but determining when this happens may prove maddening because the lows will be very low.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Davis left an RB2 (or better) role in Atlanta as a surprise post-NFL Draft release to find the Baltimore depth chart dealing with returns from injury with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Davis' addition points to some level of concern for Dobbins and/or Edwards. There's a non-zero chance Davis is the Week 1 starter for Baltimore.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: With J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards returning from injury, the Ravens added Davis this offseason. It's expected that both will play in 2022, but if either were to miss time, Davis could assume the starting role for the Ravens and become a start based on volume alone.
Jeff Bell on Jul 3: Proche had 204 receptions in his final two college seasons at SMU, but with 202 career NFL yards and 150 coming in just two games, he has yet to kick start his NFL career. Proche has drawn praise for his work ethic and is a reliable receiver who could grow as a chain-moving intermediate and underneath option. Rashod Bateman stands to assume much of the departed production from Marquise Brown, and Devin Duvernay will serve to stretch the field; Proche could emerge as a steadying presence in the uncertain Ravens receiver room.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Conklin is a skilled receiver and route runner as a detached tight end or on the wing. He's also a better blocker than his size indicates. For now, expect him to split duties with C.J. Uzomah in New York. Be ready to adjust to the dictates of Zach Wilson and you might find fantasy value from one of these options by the end of September.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Conklin is one of several options in New York, but can he earn the starting role? Any chance of fantasy relevance hinges on a monstrous training camp.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Guyton is a handcuff wide receiver option that will be reliant on injury to see meaningful snaps.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Vaughn has the upside to be the RB2 in Tampa Bay, but Rachaad White's drafting throws a wrench into those plans. Vaughn has shown little through two seasons and remains a project as to his fantasy upside.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Trautman is in a prove it year and he'll have a much better receiving corps that should increase the efficiency of his opportunities. However that receiving corps of Jarvis Landry, Chris Olave, and Michael Thomas means Trautman will rarely be the primary option on a play. Unless he makes good in most of is high-leverage situations, it's unlikely his role translates to fantasy TE1 value unless one of these three options gets hurt, or Jameis Winston delivers an elite season and can support 4-5 fantasy options. I'm expecting a good year for Winston, but not a great one. It means Trautman's value as a TE is possible, but not likely.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Didn't emerge in Jared Cook's absence, although the quarterback situation was partially to blame. Can Winston unlock Trautman's value? Don't draft him counting on it, but be open to the possibility.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: Trautman averaged nearly seven targets per game in the four weeks leading up to his injury. While the offense added more viable pass-catching options, Trautman could see a bump in touchdown opportunities and middle-of-the-field work.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: McBride is the most game-ready rookie tight end in this draft class and he should earn some regular playing time in two tight end sets with Zach Ertz this year. This may only translate to a modest amount of production but with Maxx Williams still recovering from injury and DeAndre Hopkins serving a six-game suspension, an injury to Ertz could vault McBride into a bigger role and he has the skills to leverage it into fantasy value.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Moreau might be the best backup TE in the league. He has legitimate top-12 fantasy receiving talent and should earn a starter contract elsewhere when his rookie deal expires. If Darren Waller missed significant time, Moreau is a priority addition from your waiver wire. If Josh McDaniels decides to emphasize the two-tight end approach he utilized multiple times in New England, and not lean as hard on an RB in the passing game, Moreau could also post fantasy starter production as the Raiders' TE2 in a base alignment of Davante Adams and Darren Waller split outside, Moreau as the in-line tight end, and Hunter Renfrow in the slot.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: A promising athlete as an H-Back, the Panthers are in flux at the quarterback position. He should be available on waiver wires early in the year. Monitor.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Tommy Tremble had seven games with 2+ receptions as a rookie in 2021 and remains a player who should continue to develop in Carolina's offensive structure in 2022 and beyond.
Christian Williams on Jul 11: An athletic tight end in an improved offense lacking a clear third option holds value. Baker Mayfield is at his best when he utilizes tight ends, and Ben McAdoo knows how to put his players in positions to succeed.
Jeff Bell on Jul 8: Tremble is a hybrid fullback and tight end in an offense that traditionally does not target the position. Tremble, and counterpart Ian Thomas serve primarily as blockers to free up the playmakers on the offense. His youth creates optimism, but he is only an option for the deepest leagues.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Uzomah has red zone skills and can work the seams but he'll also be splitting time with Tyler Conklin, who is a better route runner and arguably a better pass catcher. And until we see progress from Zach Wilson, both players are late-round speculative additions or options for the waiver wire.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: An alarming injury history, but probably gets the first crack at the starting role unless Tyler Conklin balls out this summer.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Thornton ran a 4.28 40 for the fastest time in the 2022 draft and projects as a long-term deep threat with the Patriots. He will likely be a backup to Agholor to begin his career, but his speed makes him a rookie to watch.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Signing with the Colts in mid-May, Lindsay offers a veteran presence for carries instead of the rookie competition for carries behind Jonathan Taylor outside of change-of-pace Nyheim Hines.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Rodgers' athletic ability doesn't match those of rookie Christian Watson, who is a more buzzworthy sleeper candidate this year. Yet, rookie receivers from lower-level programs rarely deliver a high fantasy impact immediately. Rodgers needed acclimation time to the NFL as an athlete and technician during his rookie year. So far, Rodgers has earned buzz from camp as a player whose light is turning on -- at least according to the player I compared him to stylistically before the draft, Randall Cobb. Expect Rodgers to make significant inroads by not only replacing Cobb's production from 2021 but also adding to it. He can win inside and outside and if Aaron Rodgers says they are on the same page, look out, he could become the surprise production leader in Green Bay's passing game.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: Gaskin likely needs an injury to make the roster as the bottom fell out on his production, his 14% 1st down rate, 1.4 yards after contact, and 2.1 yards before contact were all among the lowest in the league.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The former Dolphins starter has been buried in an avalanche of additions by Miami in Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, and Raheem Mostert. Gaskin is now yet another Day 3 running back searching for a clarified opportunity.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Dulcich has speed to win up the seam and he tracks the ball well. His blocking needs work. Expect him to earn a contributing role this year, but not one with great production value. If this changes, it's because the Broncos see potential to give Dulcich the Noah Fant role as a highly schemed target who doesn't have to win one-on-one. Monitor this potential over the summer.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I expect him to play in L.A. in November. I'll likely lower his ranking within the next month but the value he can provide when healthy will make him a worthwhile late-round pick.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Another season ended prematurely by injury, but Beckham's talent when healthy is too enticing for GMs to ignore.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: The 49ers splashed the depth chart again in 2022 with a Day 2 draft pick on Tyrion Davis-Price. Sermon was a Day 2 selection as well in 2021, but landed in the doghouse early and often as Elijah Mitchell surged to the starting role. Investing the backfield requires a risk-taking attitude and, ideally, seeking the cheaper options.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Snell is the projected RB2 for the Steelers, one of the least inspiring injury-away running backs for fantasy upside.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: The Steelers are a Najee Harris injury away from turning and handing Benny Snell the football 15 or more times per game with their current depth chart.
Ryan Weisse on May 24: I believe that James Robinson will miss at least six games in 2022 and won't be as effective a runner when he does return. If I'm right, Conner could be the back up for 6-8 weeks and handle more work than you'd expect from a 5th-Round pick. I like Travis Etienne a lot this season, but he can't take every carry. Conner finished college with 5.2 YPC and 26 touchdowns on 300 total carries at Ole Miss. He hasn't shown much in passing game but they don't need him there. At 5'10" 220 lbs, he can be a goal-line guy and steal some touchdowns.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Williams started the NFL Draft process with some discussion of being a Day 2 prospect. Ultimately Williams slipped to mid-Day 3 and landed on a blocked Rams depth chart. Williams will compete with previous Day 3 selection Jake Funk for the RB3 role.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: As detailed with Njoku's ranking, Bryant is a skilled receiver and the Browns have noted they have underutilized him. Baker Mayfield's decision-making and pocket feel exacerbated the underutilization of Bryant. If Bryant's production is promising early in the year, he'll be worth a priority addition off your waiver wire.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers, and Kendrick Bourne are the likely receiver rotation to begin the season. However, I'm projecting Agholor's upside in case Parker falters--which has been frequent enough during his career. The safest wide receivers for the Patriots are Bourne and Meyers but they also have the least upside compared to Parker and Agholor. Consider Agholor a reserve with volatile production potential.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Agholor was a major free agent signing before 2021 off an 896-yard, eight touchdown season, but he struggled to gain footing. He was used primarily as a deep threat with a 14.2 ADOT, but the addition of Tyquan Thornton in the draft threatens that role.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: An athlete capable of the occasional big play, but not a cornerstone piece of the Chargers offense.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Callaway still offers WR4 potential for the Saints and has a WR3 ceiling if injuries strike. He's a bye-week option for fantasy GMs.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Bernard can still play and he dominated 2021 training camp with his usage but suffered an injury early in the year and didn't get a lot of playing time. With Leonard Fournette 10-20 pounds overweight and the staff unhappy with his freelancing of routes, Bernard could earn an opportunity for more playing time. Yes, Rachaad White can catch the ball, but the rookie is unlikely to earn the trust of Tom Brady out of the gate. Bernard is my hedge for the passing game this year.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Bernard's role as a third-down specialist is on the downslope, which leaves him with almost no fantasy value.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Moss has faded from relevance on the Bills depth chart with Devin Singletary's usage dwarfing Moss' in 2021. Add in Round 2 rookie James Cook and Moss is multiple injuries from being fantasy viable.
Jeff Bell on Jul 18: Two years left on a rookie contract, and the team's willingness to work with a young player they drafted will likely keep Moss on the roster. Despite the disappointment, injuries have created opportunities in potent offenses for backs like this in the past.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: The Raiders added a familiar face for the new coach Josh McDaniels, and Bolden's pass-catching role led to 41 receptions on 49 targets in 2021. With no ties to Kenyan Drake or Josh Jacobs, it wouldn't be shocking to see Bolden assume a similar role in 2022.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: A rocky start at mini-camp bodes ill for Howard doing much in Buffalo.
Jeff Bell on Jul 18: Persistent foot injuries culminating in a torn Achilles in 2020 have sapped Howard of much of the athleticism that made him a 1st round NFL pick in 2017. The former dynasty darling will always be a name that sparks interest in fantasy. Still, it's much more likely he's used as the inline blocking tight end now whose best path to fantasy utility is an occasional goal line touchdown.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Is he a quarterback or a tight end? And does it really matter for fantasy purposes?
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Otton becomes more intriguing. He's an excellent blocker with underrated receiving skills that his quarterback at Washington didn't optimize. Rookies rarely offer starter production at the position, but Otton's skills are good enough that, if called upon, especially with Tom Brady at the helm, he could generate fantasy value off the waiver wire.
Jeff Bell on Jul 18: A trendy deep league add after a solid finish to 2021, Johnson faces a steep path to the roster without special teams ability. The likely scenario is the team wanting to add a pass catcher this offseason, and Johnson signed as a backup plan before the draft. This roster spot likely comes down to him vs. Zack Moss.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: A former five-star back at Texas, Ingram got bumped by fellow five-star option Bijan Robinson and made his way to USC. As a Trojan Ingram showed off his versatility as a quick but powerful back with agility who can win in the passing game. He's an underrated option with a real shot to win the RB2 role sometime this year and develop into a starter in a year or two. If James Conner gets hurt that opportunity could come now.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Ingram has prototypical size, good enough athleticism, and a quality receiving profile. Securing Day 3 pedigree, Ingram will compete with Eno Benjamin for the RB2 role in Arizona.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Slayton may be on the outside looking in once final roster cutdowns unfold.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: A journeyman pass catcher who does his best work against zone coverage. He can have bye-week value, if not more, but he's rarely anything more than a check-down option with occasional schemed plays in the red zone.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Could be in line for a starting role in New York, but rookie Daniel Bellinger is already pushing for snaps.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Frank Reich and his staff are loaded with fast, rangy, tall, big catch-radius receivers, and Granson, albeit a tight end, also fits that role. He will likely be used as such as a hybrid move tight end/receiver in this offense. Fantasy success at the tight end position is difficult to come by in Indianapolis due to multiple options sharing the target share. Granson is a player to watch as he continues to expand his knowledge at the position.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: While I expect the Saints to acquire another running back if Alvin Kamara's altercation leads to a suspension, Smith is a natural wide zone runner with enough power to perform well as part of a committee with the Saints.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Smith could be the beneficiary of Alvin Kamara's missing time due to suspension, and those few weeks of value are enough to consider him as the RB59.
Jeff Bell on Jul 5: The Saints sought a power complement to Alvin Kamara all of 2021 following the preseason release of Latavius Murray. Tony Jones had the first try but struggled to 2.6 ypa before the team re-acquired Mark Ingram, who also failed to establish the role. With a suspension looming for Kamara, the team should look to add a veteran, but the path is currently clear for Smith to take a position. Smith bounced between linebacker and running back at Baylor and brings physicality with his 221 lbs frame and punishing mentality. He was a priority UFA addition after the team maintained contact throughout the draft's final day.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Boone was in line to be the RB2 in Denver, but Melvin Gordon's return pushes Boone back to needing multiple injuries for a prominent role.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: At best Coleman would be in a committee with Michael Carter should Breece Hall miss time and clarify the Jets' packed depth chart.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: A day three pick who primarily played in the slot, Shakir brings a level of gadget utility to the position. Unless he quickly develops outside, he has a steep climb to any fantasy utility in 2021, but his skill set in this offense bears long-term monitoring.
Los Angeles Rams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Johnson has athleticism and receiving upside, but is buried on the Jets depth chart with the addition of Breece Hall plus Tevin Coleman returning in 2022.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Philips' route-running ability and ability to work from the slot should allow him to hit the field early in 11-personnel. An injury to Treylon Burks, Robert Woods, or Nick Westbrook-Ikhine could push him into a fantasy-relevant pass-catching role.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I have doubts about Corey Davis staying healthy. I have doubts about analysts who claim Mims doesn't fit the Jets system. I have no doubts that Mims fell ill last spring and fell greatly behind. I have no doubts that Mims is in great shape. I have doubts the Jets will have an open competition for starting roles. Still, I projected Mims based on the idea that they will. Expect Mims to slide down my board as the reality that the depth chart is already set.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: Smythe's 716 snaps ranked third on the team out of position players, and he is sure-handed with an 82% catch rate on 41 targets. In his role, he served as the actual tight end in the offense lining up inline. Should Gesicki miss time, he could be quietly productive.
Los Angeles Chargers
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: I like Patrick's game and he's a fine bye-week option. He has a solid shot at fantasy WR3 value if injuries strike the Broncos' offense. Not sure I want to give him a roster spot after my draft for that value, though.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Patrick's career isn't going to leave a mark when historians look back, but it's not for lack of talent. Circumstances left the veteran receiver out of a starting opportunity in a great offense. But this year with Russell Wilson arriving, Patrick could have fantasy value as the No. 3, and we can't count him out as the No. 2 if Jerry Jeudy flops in the coming months.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 5: A starting wide receiver in a Russell Wilson-led offense should not be free in fantasy football. Reports are that Patrick, not Jerry Jeudy, will be the 2nd wide receiver in two-wide receiver sets. Patrick has been a top-50 fantasy wide receiver in each of the last two seasons without competent quarterback play. Now he's being ignored in fantasy drafts entering a season with the best quarterback we've seen in Denver in years.
Equanimeous St. Brown
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Deonte Harty produced well on a route-to-route basis in 2021. With Michael Thomas potentially at less than 100% to begin the season, Harty could fall into some opportunity in a much better receiver room.
San Francisco 49ers
New England Patriots
Christian Williams on Jul 11: The Ravens have seemingly committed to returning to the 2019 offense that led the league in points for and heavily utilized the tight end position. Kolar looks to be the second option while also providing incredible handcuff value behind Mark Andrews.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Okonkwo has a lot of qualities similar to Delanie Walker. He's proving a quick study thus far in OTAs. Although he's not expected to overtake Austin Hooper this year, he could generate occasional fantasy value as a part of two tight end sets, especially as the Titans wait for Robert Woods to rehab his ACL and deal with the likely ups and downs of a young receiving corps.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Reagor is on the outside looking in with the addition of A.J. Brown. At best, Reagor earns the No. 4 role on a run-heavy offense. Hard pass.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: Long was productive at Boston College with 685 yards, he is a long term play as the only tight end currently under contract after 2023.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: He'll be back in Tampa for one more year. He has essentially stated as much on social media and he only needs 1-2 weeks to be ready. Although no longer the dominant athlete he was at his peak, Gronkowski remains an elite football player at his position and the Buccaneers need him more than ever with Chris Godwin rehabbing and Antonio Brown walking away from his career.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: Gronkowski announced his retirement, and since he was a free agent we shouldn't view this as a ploy to avoid training camp. He may return mid-season, particularly if the Buccaneers are on another playoff push, but he shouldn't be drafted in any league that goes less than 24 tight ends on draft day.
Andy Hicks on Aug 7: The retirement announcement by Rob Gronkowski appears fairly strong. That said if Tampa Bay is high in playoff considerations and they need help at Tight End, I can see a situation where he plays down the stretch. A full season, not so much.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Gronkowski announced his retirement, but there's still a chance he plays in some capacity in 2022. In deeper leagues, Gronkowski is still worth a late flyer selection considering the per-game upside Gronkowski offers at a position with a substantial drop-off after 20-25 options.
Jeff Haseley on Jul 25: Rob Gronkowski was a steal at his ADP prior to his retirement announcement. He is worth a late-round dart throw in deeper leagues just in case he elects to return to the Bucs and Tom Brady for another playoff run. Perhaps the best course of action is to hold off and potentially add via waivers if and when he returns.
Sigmund Bloom on Jun 28: Gronkowski has already changed his mind about retirement once, and if and when the Bucs (read: Tom Brady) need him, he may come back. In deep leagues or large field tournaments (especially TE premium) that might merit a draft and stash.
Anthony Amico on Jun 28: Gronk has retired for now, but the upside of a return is still worth a stab late in drafts. He was a top-5 TE in 2021.
New Orleans Saints
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: Will see frequent snaps as the 49ers 2-1 personnel ranked among the league leaders at 34% but his production is limited to an occasional dump down target.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Hassan Haskins is the Titans' hope as a RB2 for the team who can grow into a lead back if necessary. Jordan Wilkins is the hedge as the RB2 if Haskins can't acclimate to the NFL. Haskins lacks a lot of juice and his decision-making isn't as well-rounded and savvy as Wilkins, so I'm betting on Wilkins until Haskins proves he's ready this year.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: A 2nd round pick in 2017, Shaheen never lived up to that capital and he clearly ran behind Smythe in 2021. It is unlikely he sees fantasy usage.
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: Calcaterra's strength is catching the ball and winning against zone or making tight-coverage plays up the seams on red zone plays. If Dallas Goedert gets hurt, Calcaterra could earn some bye-week value for fantasy GMs depending on the matchup.
Ryan Weisse on Jul 24: While Metchie will not play football in 2022, he is still an interesting prospect for dynasty drafts. This should give him ample time to 100% recover from his knee issues, and hopefully beat cancer with no problem! Draft him knowing 2023 will be his true rookie year.
Christian Williams on Jul 6: Based on the current recovery timeline, John Metchie could see the field in Week 1. Metchie's ideal role is the one Brandin Cooks currently assumes, but his presence will allow for positional flexibility on an improved offense. Metchie could be the WR2 for a pass-heavy team considering the Texans' defense; he could provide weekly flex value.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: A third-round pick in 2020, Asiasi found himself buried on the depth chart behind the two free agent additions and only played one game. An athletic player who needs to develop at the NFL level.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: The other third-round TE in 2020, Keene projects more as a blocker, but injury robbed him of the entire 2021 season.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: An experienced depth piece familiar with McDaniel's schemes, Sherfield has minimal fantasy utility.
Green Bay Packers
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: A trendy name after a late season breakout in 2019, injuries have cost most of the past two seasons. Faces long odds to make the roster.
Kansas City Chiefs
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Phillip Lindsay signing with the Colts hurts Jackson's chances for the RB3 role, or the most carries if Jonathan Taylor misses time, at the outset of 2022.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: Bringing size to the position at 6'3", Ezukanma flashed limited run game usage his final season with Texas Tech. A depth piece who would require multiple injuries to see fantasy utility.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Harris emerged from a deep South Carolina backfield and finished seventh nationally in rushing yards at 1,138 in 2020. A developmental power compliment who likely needs Damien Harris and Stevenson out of the lineup to gain value.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Harris emerged from a deep South Carolina backfield and finished seventh nationally in rushing yards at 1,138 in 2020. A developmental power compliment who likely needs Damien Harris and Stevenson out of the lineup to gain value.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Hyde is one of the intriguing veteran running backs lurking in free agency to sign with a needy team should injury or young players not instill confidence through camp and the preseason.
Jason Wood on Aug 8: It's uncertain we'll ever see Carson on an NFL field again.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Carson has one of the highest range of outcomes of NFL backs. Carson may not play again with his neck injury and recovery process. Also in play is Carson being Seattle's starter if healthy as Rashaad Penny has rarely been healthy in his career and Kenneth Walker is an incoming rookie with pass protection work to do.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Montgomery and Taylor look locked in a camp battle to round out the backfield. Montgomery's ability to play wide receiver may give him a leg up.
New York Jets
Matt Waldman on Aug 9: This is the upside angle I'm projecting for Miller because Antonio Brown is no longer part of the picture and Chris Godwin's rehab may require him to miss much of the season. Miller provides the best chance of stretching the field and making tough catches after Mike Evans.
Jeff Bell on Aug 3: Wilkerson broke out with a two touchdown performance in week 16, but entering his third year Wilkerson is fighting for a roster spot.
Las Vegas Raiders
New York Giants
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Johnson is one of the intriguing veteran running backs lurking in free agency to sign with a needy team should injury or young players not instill confidence through camp and the preseason.
Chad Parsons on Aug 1: Booker is one of the intriguing veteran running backs lurking in free agency to sign with a needy team should injury or young players not instill confidence through camp and the preseason.
Jeff Bell on Aug 2: A do-it-all talent at Kentucky, Bowden led the wildcats in rushing, receiving, and ranked second in passing in his final season. McDaniel is the type of innovator to unlock his dual skill set.