This NFL offseason was very chaotic. Tom Brady pretended to retire, and Christian Kirk’s bloated contract caused inflation throughout the entire wide receiver market. Perhaps most importantly, many star fantasy players signed with or got traded to a new team. This year has seen the most significant movement among top-tier players, making me think the NFL is headed in a similar direction to the NBA.
With all this movement, we must ask ourselves how these star players will perform in their new systems. Players like Russell Wilson, Devante Adams, Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown all have a top-10 ADP for their position, even though they will be playing on an entirely new offense. Committing to one of these players could be risky, so it’s essential to look at how likely they will meet or exceed their stats from previous years.
One of free agency’s first and most surprising moves was the Denver Broncos putting together a big package full of young talent, and future draft picks in exchange for Wilson. He finds himself in a very favorable situation. He is surrounded by a bunch of talented yet unproven receivers. Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy have both shown great potential throughout their short careers. But, it always seemed like they were held back by their quarterback situation. Now, they will finally get the opportunity to play under a Super Bowl-winning and future Hall of Fame quarterback.
If everything goes the way the Broncos are hoping, Wilson could be in store for the best fantasy season of his career. However, we can’t just assume that’s going to happen. This offense may take a little while to get going, and the Broncos may lose a few games at the beginning of the season. Even if this is the case, Wilson should still be a viable fantasy option. He has shown he can put up good fantasy numbers while playing on a bad team when he’s healthy. He’ll get plenty of rushing yards, and he is one of the better decision-makers among QBs, which will minimize his turnovers. I would say Wilson has the highest floor for star players on a new team. He will have a good statistical season if he stays healthy. He is worthy of his top-10 QB ADP. Broncos country, let’s ride!
Adams is arguably the best wide receiver in the league. However, he went from playing with one of the best QBs of all time, Aaron Rodgers, to playing with his former college teammate, Derek Carr. It will be fascinating to see how this affects his stats. We have seen college teammates become a great connection in the NFL. Last year, Ja’Marr Chase had one of the best rookie seasons of all time alongside his former college QB, Joe Burrow. Now, we will see if that trend stays true with a veteran receiver like Adams.
Right now, Adams has an ADP of four among wide receivers, and there’s no argument for him to be any lower. Even though the Raiders’ offense may not have been as successful as Green Bay’s in past years, Carr has proved he can run an efficient fantasy offense. Early in his career, he had Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree as his top receivers, with both putting up great fantasy numbers. A couple of years ago, Darren Waller finished as one of the top fantasy tight ends. Now, Carr is presented with undoubtedly the best offense he has ever had in his career. The Raiders are a team to look out for this year, and Adams should be the same WR1 in Vegas as he was in Green Bay.
Right now, expectations for Hill are lower than ever since his rise to stardom. This is understandable since he has always played under perhaps the best quarterback in football, Patrick Mahomes. Now, he will play with Tua Tagovailoa, who has a lot of potential but is still unproven. That being said, not only will Hill avoid any statistical regression this season, but he will boost the entire Dolphins offense and open up space for other receivers such as Jaylen Waddle. This year, people will realize just how vital Hill’s speed and talent were to the Chiefs’ offense.
Right now, he has an ADP of eight among wide receivers. This is the first time Hill has had an ADP outside the top four among wide receivers since 2018. With this ranking, Hill can be considered the most underrated star in all of fantasy football. The Dolphins would not have traded five draft picks for Hill if they didn’t intend to make him the focal point of their offense. There have also been reports from training camp that Tagovailoa has taken his game to the next level. This Dolphins offense is set up to be very scary this year. Hill’s draft stock fell because of his quarterback change, but when the dust settles, it will be apparent the Chiefs needed Hill much more than he needed them. Hill is being severely overlooked and could be poised to have the best season of his career.
Going into last year, Brown had very high expectations. He had an ADP of eight among wide receivers and looked like one of the best young players in the NFL. Unfortunately, Brown did not meet his expectations for the 2021 season. He couldn’t stay healthy and had many mediocre games. His lack of success was partially due to the Titans’ run-heavy offense with Derrick Henry. But even after Henry’s season-ending injury halfway through the season, Brown could not put up consistent fantasy numbers. It seemed like things were trending downwards for Brown until the NFL Draft. That’s when he got traded to the Eagles, and their bright young offense featuring Jalen Hurts, Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert.
But fantasy owners are willing to give Brown a second chance. His ADP only dropped one spot among wide receivers despite his subpar 2021 season. Last year, the Eagles offense was not ideal for wide receivers. But now that they have so many weapons, they should be ready to pass more. While he does have a high upside, Brown is one of the riskiest picks in this year’s draft. He has shown he can have breakout games. However, he has not proven he can put up consistent numbers throughout a season. There are safer players who are being drafted after Brown. But if you want to draft a high-risk, high-reward receiver, he is your guy.
The Season Begins
The 2022 NFL season is just a few weeks away. With all the moves made in the offseason, there are infinite ways this season could go. In the future, we may use this year to predict how star players will fit on new teams. This is a crucial season for the course of the NFL, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.