Fantasy

Tiered Fantasy Rankings and Player Write-Ups

fantasy rankings

Below, you’ll find my top-160 player rankings for fantasy football redraft leagues, grouped into tiers. Think of the players within a tier as roughly equal to their projections and/or range of outcomes. Rankings are not an exact science, and the tiers reflect that.

 

Average draft position (ADP) can vary from site to site, and reading the player write-ups themselves will help you better understand my thoughts on each player’s talent, situation, role, and range of outcomes.  These rankings are designed for leagues with PPR and half-PPR scoring.

Tier 1: You Want a Top-Five Pick in 2022

 

While I have my own ranking for the top five, if you’re going to participate in more than 20 fantasy drafts this year, simply go off the site’s ADP that you’re drafting on. You’ll want exposure to all five of these players.

 

1. Christian McCaffrey (RB) – Remove all his TDs from his legendary 2019 season (2,392 total yards, 116 receptions, 19 total TDs) and McCaffrey still would have scored more PPR points per game than Jonathan Taylor did in 2021. There is an obvious health risk, with CMC playing a combined 10 games the past two seasons; even if Carolina slightly decreases his carries to preserve his body, he will still likely out-score Jonathan Taylor.

 

2. Jonathan Taylor (RB) – He had over 300 touches and over 2,000 total yards all three seasons in college. After putting up nearly 1,500 yards in limited action as a rookie, he was the overall RB1 in fantasy last season. He’s the right blend of youth and durability, though his lack of elite pass-catching prevents him from reaching the CMC-type ceiling. Fortunately, he dominates his team’s red zone touches and gets a QB upgrade in Matt Ryan. Taylor’s 92 red zone touches in 2021 were 29 more than second-place Austin Ekeler.

 

While he did run more routes than Nyheim Hines in many games in the second half of 2021, it rarely materialized in receiving numbers, as he was below 30 receiving yards in all but three 2021 games. He’s the safest RB pick you can make in 2022, who should give you between 17-22 fantasy points per game when healthy.

 

3. Justin Jefferson (WR) – Through two NFL seasons, no WR is within 250 receiving yards of Jefferson’s 3,016. After an elite rookie season in 2020, he increased both his target share and targets per route run last year, finishing with nearly 20 PPR points per game. This was despite scoring just 10 TDs, sixth in the NFL among WRs.

 

We can reasonably expect more TDs if his usage remains the same in 2022, as Jefferson led all 2021 WRs in air yards (think of air yards as total target distance if unfamiliar), and the Vikings’ WR2, Adam Thielen, is 32 years old and declining. New Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell was formerly with the Rams, and we can expect at least some uptick in the team’s pass rate with the departure of the run-heavy Mike Zimmer.

 

4. Cooper Kupp (WR) – Kupp had the greatest fantasy WR season of all time in 2021, leading the NFL in targets (191), receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947), receiving TDs (16), and PPR fantasy points (26 per game). In addition to going over 20 PPR points in all but three games, he never scored below 11.4 fantasy points in any contest. If you want to take Cooper Kupp 1.01 after last year, or if you want to bump him ahead of Jefferson, you’ll get no push-back from me.

 

I have Jefferson over Kupp due to their general profile and situation. Kupp is 29 years old, while Jefferson is still just 23. Looking at their careers, Jefferson has started stronger than any WR in NFL history through two seasons, while Kupp had been a very good, but not elite, WR until last season. Also, Kupp is competing with Allen Robinson for targets in 2022, and Robinson has a strong history of high target volume. The return of Cam Akers may shift slightly more goal line opportunities to the run game in 2022, as well. I see their ceilings as similar for 2022, but the floor for Kupp is slightly lower due to stronger target competition, age, and the return of Akers.

 

5. Ja’Marr Chase (WR) – Chase broke Jefferson’s rookie receiving record in 2021, with 1,455 receiving yards. His 2021 efficiency was otherworldly, as he (along with Deebo Samuel, coincidentally) became the first WRs since at least the year 2000 to catch at least 63% of their targets while also averaging 18 or more yards per reception. Will the catch rate and yards per reception regress to a more normal ratio in 2022? Absolutely. However, if you’re hungry for fantasy points, Chase left some meat on the bone as a rookie; he was towards the top of the league in drops, and it cost him multiple long TDs.

 

Do not bet against elite rookie producers. Chase has a high floor for 2022, and the highest per-game ceiling after we saw the ease of his 11 catch, 266 yard, 3 TD performance in week 17. Like Jefferson, he should take a step forward as an overall WR in year two.

Tier 2: You Wish You Had a Top-5 Pick, Huh

 

All the players in Tier 2 are more similar to each other than to the top five in Tier 1. It’s less a reflection on the players in Tier 2, and more so on the truly elite options available to you with a top-five fantasy draft slot. I’ll indicate which players I’m actually targeting in the write-ups themselves to help you make sense of this long tier.

 

6. Austin Ekeler (RB) – Ekeler is a clear step down from the players above, but still a strong pick in round one. In 2021, Ekeler finally received the full red zone and goal-line work for the Chargers and finished with over 21 fantasy points per game, the overall RB2. There are definite concerns about Ekeler’s red zone and goal line workload now that the Chargers added all-purpose back Isaiah Spiller in round four of the NFL Draft. However, in 2020, when Ekeler was not getting the team’s goal line work, he still averaged nearly 17 fantasy points per game. Part of Ekeler’s game is getting WR-type targets. Over the past 10 seasons, there have been only two RB seasons of eight or more receiving touchdowns, and Ekeler is responsible for both of them. The floor is high – think 2020, and the ceiling is something close to his 2021 season.

 

7. Stefon Diggs (WR) – After an insanely efficient 2020 season – 76.5% catch rate on 166 targets, he came crashing back to Earth in 2021, seeing 164 targets, but only reeling in 62.8% of them. His targets per route run actually increased in 2021, and his air yards per game remained the same. Looks to me like Josh Allen took a step back from his 2020 season, and Diggs was really unlucky. After moderate red zone usage in 2020, Diggs’ red zone target share increased dramatically in 2021 but resulted in only two more touchdowns. He plays in an up-tempo, pass-heavy offense, and unlike Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, Diggs has QB continuity. Expect a season closer to 2020 levels than 2021.

 

8. Dalvin Cook (RB) – Cook is a very difficult evaluation for me. He averaged over 20 fantasy points per game in both 2019 and 2020. In 2021, despite a largely similar role, he scored less than half as many TDs as he did in either 2019 or 2020. This resulted in a dip to 16 fantasy points per game. The concerning metric for me, and why I don’t quite think he will return to 2019/2020 levels of production, is the declining target share. It has steadily decreased over the past three seasons.

 

New Head Coach Kevin O’Connell comes from a Rams system that’s trended more pass-heavy, so some have said this is “good” for Dalvin Cook’s receptions. We need to look at the whole picture though, and the Rams have not prioritized throwing to the RB position the past few seasons. I think O’Connell is largely a wash for Cook. We need to view Cook as an aging bell cow RB (he’s 27 years old) with a lengthy injury history, who also has one of the highest per-game ceilings in the sport. There are reasons to expect Cook to return to 2019/2020 levels of production due to positive TD regression, but there are equally valid reasons to prefer a few other RBs to Dalvin based on his age and declining receiving profile.

 

9. D’Andre Swift (RB) – Through 11 weeks of 2021, Swift was the RB7 in fantasy football, averaging 18.5 PPR points per game. Then, he was pile-driven into the ground on an out-of-bounds tackle and missed time with a shoulder injury. Swift is the exact profile of RB we should be targeting in fantasy football. He’s young, explosive, has round two draft capital, catches passes, plays behind a strong offensive line, and gets his team’s red zone and goal-line work. The Lions’ defense should once again be a liability in 2022, so expect negative game scripts and a healthy amount of targets for Swift. For a deeper dive into why we should draft players like Swift in fantasy football, read through my Player Archetypes to Target and Fade article.

 

10. Travis Kelce (TE) – He turns 33 years old in October, and his efficiency metrics (yards per route run, targets per route run) declined last year. His target share was the lowest it had been in over half a decade, too. However, Kelce still managed over 16 fantasy points per game in a “down” year, and now Tyreek Hill is in Miami. There should be plenty of targets for Kelce, and because of several factors surrounding Mark Andrews (covered in his profile, below), Kelce is primed to once again separate himself from every other TE in fantasy football.

 

11. Davante Adams (WR) – Aaron Rodgers to Derek Carr is a clear downgrade at QB. Competing for targets with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow is definitely more challenging than competing with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard. However, I’m not ready to push the doomsday button on Adams in 2022. The Packers were the NFL’s slowest-paced team in 2021, and even with a strong offense, only had 593 pass attempts on the season. The Raiders threw the ball 628 times last season, though their pace prior to the Henry Ruggs suspension was significantly higher than that. Even if Adams’ target share drops from the 30% range to around 26%, he can still pay off a late-round one price tag in fantasy football, as the target volume would remain similar.

 

12. Leonard Fournette (RB) – The most valuable role in fantasy football – aside from whatever the Panthers give to Christian McCaffrey – is Leonard Fournette’s bell cow role in Tampa Bay. Fournette led NFL RBs in targets per game last year, catching all of Tom Brady’s check downs. He also had the third-most red zone touches in the NFL in the elite Buccaneers offense. Fournette turned 27 at the start of 2022 and has missed games all five seasons in the league. The team also drafted pass-catching specialist Rachaad White in round three of the draft. However, Fournette has Brady’s trust, as evidenced by his near every-down role last season. I can’t get myself to fade a target hog in an every-down role who gets goal line touches in an elite offense. A healthy Fournette is likely putting up close to 20 fantasy points per game.

 

13. Joe Mixon (RB) – Mixon finally put together the healthy season with TD upside that we knew was buried somewhere all along. With no more Giovani Bernard in the fold, the path to a bell cow role was ready for the taking. Unfortunately, Mixon continued to cede snaps to Samaje Perine on third down, and his target share declined slightly in 2021 compared to his 2020 level. The Bengals’ offensive line should be much improved, and this is still a top-five offense. But, the capped target upside has me drafting RBs like Fournette and Swift ahead of Mixon this season.

 

14. Najee Harris (RB) – No RB worked harder than Najee Harris, who led the NFL with 381 total touches. For his efforts, he had the sixth-most fantasy points per game in PPR leagues among RBs. Ben Roethlisberger is retired, and with that, we should expect the team’s pass rate, and probably the RB target rate, to decline. Harris’ fantasy value came in the receiving game last season, as he led all RBs with 94 targets. However, his target share was only fifth among RBs. Najee Harris likely scores more than his seven rushing TDs from last year, but declining pass game work should counter this in the fantasy points department. Harris is a high-floor option but lacks an ideal ceiling for an early-round RB selection.

 

15. Derrick Henry (RB) – Henry is a 28-year-old RB with a metal screw in his foot who relies on carrying the ball at least five times more per game than any other RB. He scores his fantasy points inefficiently per touch since he gets less receiving work than the other early-round RBs. He has been TD-dependent historically because of the lack of pass-catching, yet this Titans team projects to be in the red zone less due to their depleted offensive line and no AJ Brown. Fantasy managers should buckle up for 20-25 between the 20s carries in 2022, as I expect this Titans offense to be below average.

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16. Saquon Barkley (RB) – Barkley tore his ACL early in the 2020 season, and was eased into action in week one of 2021, playing in just under half the team’s snaps. In week two he played over 80% of the snaps, and that number only increased in both week three and week four. He also scored over 20 fantasy points in those third and fourth games. Then, he stepped on Kadarius Toney’s foot in week five, spraining his ankle.

 

Saquon is exactly the type of RB to target in fantasy. He has a near every-down role, catches passes, receives goal line work, and has explosive play-making ability. He’s another year removed from the ACL tear, and the Bills’ coaching staff is now in New York. Expect a more fully-functional offense in 2022, and expect a better fantasy version of Saquon Barkley than what we’ve seen the past two seasons.

 

17. Aaron Jones (RB) – The splits for Aaron Jones in games played without Davante Adams are nutty. He’s averaging nearly 50 receiving yards per game and over 22 fantasy points when Adams was out. However, if we zoom out, the situation for Jones isn’t quite as rosy as this small-sample split might indicate. AJ Dillon is the favorite for goal-line work and this Packers offense likely scores fewer points in 2022. Losing Adams and Valdes-Scantling obviously hurts, but so does an improved defense. On paper, the Packers have the NFL’s best defense for 2022 and should be able to grind out a lot of wins in this style. A declining offensive environment and steep competition for goal-line work are helping me temper expectations for Jones. The pass-catching upside is what keeps me very interested in his round two price tag for 2022.

 

18. CeeDee Lamb (WR) – Lamb took a step forward in year two, though it wasn’t quite the leap that many were hoping for. He generally improved across the board, with modest improvements in his ability to command his team’s targets. The Cowboys play fast and have run over 1,100 offensive plays each of the past two seasons – something the high-flying Chiefs offense cannot even claim. Amari Cooper is gone, Michael Gallup won’t be ready for week one after his late-season ACL tear, and Cedrick Wilson is now in Miami. There are copious targets up for grabs in Dallas, but questions remain if Lamb has the ability to take another major step forward in 2022. He’s walking into volume and should be able to handle it (round one draft pick with two good, but not great, seasons on his resume), but I am much less confident in his ability to command a truly elite target share like I am with the top-five WRs.

 

19. Mike Evans (WR) – No more Antonio Brown. No more Rob Gronkowski. Chris Godwin is recovering from a late-season ACL tear. After back-to-back seasons of high TD volume but moderate target volume, Evans is poised for a massive season. The Buccaneers threw the ball far more than any other team last year, with 719 pass attempts from Tom Brady. If Evans can get back to a 20% target share, that’s around 140 potential targets from an elite QB in an elite offensive environment. With injuries hitting Brown and Godwin at the end of the season, Evans averaged 11 targets an d 108 receiving yards in his final three games of 2021. He is still one of the NFL’s best WRs and should have more opportunities in 2022.

 

20. Tee Higgins (WR) – Higgins dealt with injuries early in 2021. From week nine onward – once fully healthy, Higgins had only three fewer targets than Chase in the games they overlapped. Higgins’ 5.6 receptions and 92.3 yards per game were both higher than Chase during this stretch, as well. It’s very much a 1a/1b situation in Cincinnati, and while I prefer Chase because he’s younger and more explosive, Higgins should not be leaking into round three of drafts. He should once again command around 25% of the team’s passing offense, and with Joe Burrow another year removed from the ACL tear, we may see them shift to a more pass-heavy game plan in 2022.

 

21. Javonte Williams (RB) – Javonte and Melvin Gordon truly split work 50-50 last season. Javonte had more pass game involvement, while Gordon had more red zone touches. There is a definite risk that this continues in 2022. However, there are several factors in Javonte’s favor. After making $8 million in 2021, Gordon was brought back on a one-year deal worth only $2.5 million. Gordon is also 29 years old, so we should expect some sort of decline from him this year, if not soon after. Also, the Broncos QB situation has been massively upgraded with Russell Wilson; Denver should be one of the highest-scoring offenses in 2022, which is great news for Javonte’s TD upside. If we have a 55-45 split in 2022, Javonte is not a good pick, but certainly, one that doesn’t burn you. Anything closer to 60-40 or 65-35 and Javonte can finish as a high-end RB1. Javonte’s floor is somewhere above 2021, and his ceiling is a top-three finish if anything happens to Gordon, or if the new coaching staff immediately decides on a 65-35 split of the work.

 

Tier 3

 

22. Mark Andrews (TE) – After never cresting 98 targets or 852 receiving yards through three seasons, Andrews exploded with 153 targets and 1,361 receiving yards in 2021. Unfortunately for his 2022 prospects, he looked like largely the same player as 2020, when looking at his target share and targets commanded per route run. How did he manage such an elite fantasy season in 2021 then?

 

There were three factors aiding Andrews last year: running back injuries, defensive secondary injuries, and Lamar Jackson’s injury. After the 2019 and 2020 seasons where the Ravens passed fewer than 28 times per game, they turned the dial up to 36 pass attempts per game in 2021. Their three starting RBs on the depth chart all had season-ending injuries before week one, and their defense could not stay healthy, either. This led to shootouts where the Ravens were not confident in their running game.

 

Additionally, Lamar missed significant time from an ankle sprain. The backup QBs were heavily reliant on Andrews as a security blanket. In games with Lamar, Andrews averaged 71 yards per game, and in games without Lamar, he averaged 102 yards per game.

 

Looking ahead to 2022, the Ravens traded away Marquise Brown and did not replace him in the draft. They look like a team fully committed to returning to their run-heavy ways of 2019/2020. If we give Andrews the same target share as league-leader Cooper Kupp from last year, yet bring the Ravens back to their 2019/2020 pass levels, we would still have Andrews far below his 2021 target total. View Andrews’ 2021 season as the perfect confluence of events, and be careful investing an early to mid-second-round pick on him in fantasy football.

 

23. Tyreek Hill (WR) – Tyreek Hill’s situation takes a massive hit, going from Patrick Mahomes and the pass-heavy Chiefs to Tua Tagovailoa and the more balanced Miami Dolphins. My concern is not only Tua’s ability as a passer, nor is it that the Dolphins will run fewer plays than the Chiefs did last season. Tyreek has a Jaylen Waddle problem, as the rookie was still recovering from an ankle that he shattered his junior year of college, and still set the NFL rookie receptions record (104) last year. Both Hill and Waddle are polished route runners with elite speed, whose roles should overlap. I’m concerned about Tyreek’s volume and ceiling with all these moving parts for 2022.

 

24. Deebo Samuel (WR) – It was a tale of two halves for Deebo. He led the NFL in target share in the first half of the season, then had more carries than targets in the second half. In that second half period, Deebo was out-targeted by both George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk on his team. In 2022, if you’re drafting Deebo, you should hope for usage resembling the first half, when he was receiving 10 targets per game. Part of this was likely due to Brandon Aiyuk getting a frustratingly slim amount of playing time in the first month of 2021. Once Aiyuk was up-to-speed, it was much more of a 1a/1b situation at WR. I’m nervous to pull the trigger on a player who really only has one half-season of elite target production in the middle of round two. Like Andrews, I expect the 2021 season to be Deebo’s high-water mark by a decent amount.

 

25. Kyle Pitts (TE) – Pitts became the first TE in 60 years to record 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie. Built like a TE, but with the same 40-time as AJ Brown, Pitts is a matchup nightmare who has already produced like a high-end rookie WR. In the past decade, rookie receivers to record over 1,000 yards go on to average over 1,200 yards and nearly 17 PPR points per game in year two. There is a strong chance Pitts produces like a high-end WR1 with TE-eligibility, and he is someone you will want exposure to in 2022. The QB concerns are real and should limit him, but both the floor and ceiling are still high enough that, outside of injury, it’s tough to see Pitts turning out as a fantasy bust.

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26. AJ Brown (WR) – Brown goes from one low-volume passing offense in Tennessee to another one in Philadelphia. Jalen Hurts is most likely a downgrade compared to Ryan Tannehill too. My optimism lies in the Eagles’ early season pass rate. To start 2021, the team was pass-heavy, but when you have Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins playing heavy snaps, it makes sense why Hurts struggled in his first year as an NFL starter. Hurts should be improved in 2022, and Brown is a big reason for that. If the Eagles return to their pass-heavy ways, Brown can absolutely put up a high-end WR1 finish. The floor is lower than you ideally want for a player in this range, but I would not want to avoid Brown in fantasy if doing high-volume drafting.

 

27. Michael Pittman (WR) – Pittman had a breakout sophomore campaign, finishing with a 25% target share and nearly 1,100 receiving yards. Carson Wentz’s struggles definitely impacted Pittman, and the upgrade to Matt Ryan is a large one. Pittman is a safe option with a decent ceiling, as he has limited target competition and a competent QB. The floor is 2021, and the ceiling is a 100-1300-10 line, which would equate to 17 fantasy points over 17 games.

 

28. Cam Akers (RB) – Outside of the Steelers, the Rams have been the next-most committed NFL team to a workhorse RB over the past several seasons. Cam Akers is clearly their preferred run-game option, and has been force-fed carries when healthy. There are concerns about the Achilles injury, but his record return to play among NFL RBs should not be held against him. Yes, he was inefficient in the 2021 playoffs. However, he now has a full offseason to get healthy and should get the majority of the goal-line work, and potentially the pass game work, for an elite offense. You want some Cam Akers in 2022 because of his prospect profile, miraculous injury recovery, and the Rams offense.

 

29. Travis Etienne (RB) – Etienne catches passes and should get the goal line work. That is a recipe for fantasy success when you can command all of your team’s high-value touches. He played in college for three seasons with Trevor Lawrence, and the two have a long history of connecting in the receiving game. Think 2021 D’Andre Swift for what Etienne’s 2022 fantasy season should look like. If you still aren’t convinced, read through my Player Archetypes to Target and Fade article, where I outline why players like Etienne are fantasy gold.

 

30. DJ Moore (WR) – DJ Moore was top-five in the NFL in both target share and team air yards share. He gets elite volume, and his targets are down the field. This is the recipe for fantasy points. Baker Mayfield is at least some form of an upgrade over Sam Darnold, so we should expect Moore to finally score more than his career-high four TDs.

 

31. Jaylen Waddle (WR) – I think it’s 50-50 who actually scores more 2022 fantasy points between Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. My current ranking is designed to be above consensus on Waddle, and below consensus on Tyreek. Waddle likely lacked explosiveness as a rookie, coming off the shattered ankle injury from college. Despite this, he set the rookie receptions record (104) and commanded 25% of the team’s targets. Tyreek didn’t hit a 25% target share until last year, his sixth in the league. The ceilings for both Waddle and Tyreek rest in Tua’s hands, but at least with Waddle, we can get him 1-2 rounds later in drafts.

 

32. Mike Williams (WR) – Big Mike’s role changed in 2021: the target share went up, and the depth of target went down. He was a borderline WR1 in fantasy in year one of a new role and was just extended by the Chargers. I have him ahead of Keenan Allen since the ceiling for Williams is higher. Allen’s efficiency metrics have been declining for years, and he’s now 30 years old, operating in a close to the line of scrimmage capacity. Williams operates further downfield, and won’t turn 28 until October. Expect something close to his 2021 output, but probably with a little more consistency week-to-week.

 

33. James Conner (RB) – Conner got by on TDs while Chase Edmonds was healthy before morphing into a full-fledged bell cow when Edmonds sprained his ankle. The Cardinals’ offense should still be above average in 2022, but the TDs will almost certainly come down. Conner is an old 27, as he has already beat cancer in his life, and has a lengthy injury history. I have concerns that Darrel Williams, Eno Benjamin, or rookie Keaontay Ingram will eat into Conner’s receiving work – he had 5 catches for 34 yards in the first half of 2021 before the Edmonds injury. Because of the role uncertainty, and with at least a chance for a bell cow workload, he’s an interesting pick at the end of round three.

 

34. Darren Waller (TE) – After back-to-back seasons with 90 or more receptions and at least 1,146 yards, Waller suffered through injuries in 2021. When healthy, he was still a target monster, and clearly out-targeted Hunter Renfrow when they overlapped. Adams should be the target leader, but there’s still a decent chance Waller’s target share remains in the mid-20s in a pass-heavy offense that puts up a lot of points. I view his ceiling as TE1 for 2022, and I’m gobbling up the ultra-athletic TE with a multi-year history of elite target shares and receiving yardage. While unlikely, there is even a world where he out-targets Adams, though I don’t believe that scenario even remotely exists for Hunter Renfrow.

 

35. Keenan Allen (WR) – An aging WR with a low depth of target tied to an elite QB and offense. Allen has scored 16 or more PPR points per game in his past six healthy seasons, and I view him as a “safe” option to be a consistent weekly starter in 2022. If you prioritize players that are most likely to produce startable weeks, consider taking Allen before Tyreek Hill and Deebo Samuel. If you’re like me and search for a league-winning ceiling early in drafts, Allen lacks that for 2022. I don’t feel good about how low I have Allen ranked, yet I also firmly believe the WRs ahead of him have noticeably higher ceilings for 2022.

 

36. Marquise Brown (WR) – Brown is one of five WRs with a 25% or higher target share each of the past two seasons, with the others being Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, and AJ Brown. He is now in Arizona, in an offensive environment that should lean much more pass-heavy than in Baltimore. He played with Kyler Murray back in college, but growing pains with efficiency should be expected early on. Fortunately, DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for the first six games of 2022. Even if it’s an inefficient connection early in 2022, he should be peppered with targets early on. The floor when Hopkins returns depends on what’s left in the tank for the 30-year-old, but Brown should at least provide elite fantasy production through those initial six games. The ceiling is 150 targets from one of the better downfield throwers in the NFL, where Brown’s speed allows him to take any pass to the house.

Tier 4

 

37. Josh Allen (QB) – The back-to-back QB1 in fantasy, Allen is the complete package of floor and ceiling. He’s thrown for at least 36 TDs and run for at least six TDs each of the past two seasons, and also added over 750 rushing yards in 2021 alone. He only had two games below 17 fantasy points in 2021, and seven games over 25 fantasy points. If you’re going to take a QB at the end of round three or early round four, it should be Josh Allen.

 

38. Nick Chubb (RB) – The Nick Chubb fade is well-documented in my Player Archetypes to Target and Fade article. He doesn’t play on third downs, and therefore doesn’t catch passes (1.4 receptions per game since 2020). And, he doesn’t even have a monopoly on the goal line work, as Kareem Hunt is moderately involved there as well. Deshaun Watson should be out at least half of 2022, so you’re looking at a committee back in a bad offense for at least part of the season. Even when Watson returns, Chubb will still be a low-end RB1 per game. I struggle to envision a world where fading Nick Chubb in 2022 burns me, so I will have little of him in fantasy football this year.

 

39. Breece Hall (RB) – Hall has elite speed (4.39 40-time), feature back size (217 pounds), strong draft capital (round two), and a history of college production (1,700 or more total yards, at least 23 receptions, and at least 23 TDs as both a sophomore and junior). He lands on a Jets team with questions at QB (Zach Wilson) and a backup (Michael Carter) who should steal some of the receiving work. Hall is a fantastic talent in a murky offensive environment, and his ceiling really rests on Zach Wilson’s shoulders. I want to be right around the field on Hall, if not slightly ahead of consensus because of his profile. I’d be willing to take him in the mid-to-late third round if absolutely needed to secure some exposure.

 

40. Alvin Kamara (RB) – The suspension looms over him, and is the only reason I have him as a round four pick. Assuming he misses six games, this is around where I’d consider him. He profiles like a round one pick per game, but it’s incredibly difficult to make the fantasy playoffs if an early-round pick is using up your IR or bench slot the first month and a half of the season.

 

41. Ezekiel Elliott (RB) – Zeke is the prototypical dead zone RB. His talent at this stage of his career is questionable, and he’s been ceding more work to Tony Pollard each season. While he runs a lot of routes, he is lightly targeted per route. This offense should take a step back from 2021 with a weaker offensive line and a weaker WR core, so fewer TD opportunities should exist for Zeke. I wouldn’t recommend a full fade because of the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury last season. Through six games, he was averaging 19 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues. After the knee injury, he was significantly less effective. A non-elusive RB with a massive career workload and a serious knee injury that he played through in 2021 is a tough pick in the third or early fourth round of fantasy drafts. I generally prefer the QBs and WRs in this range.

 

42. Terry McLaurin (WR) – Carson Wentz is an upgrade over Taylor Heinicke. Adding Jahan Dotson through the draft and getting Curtis Samuel back from injury helps, too. This offense should be more functional than in 2021, so there should be more TD opportunities for McLaurin this season. Concerns arise with his efficiency, and there’s a chance that McLaurin is squeezed at times when trying to reach an elite target share. He’s someone I’m fairly neutral on for 2022 at this general ADP.

 

43. Lamar Jackson (QB) – Lamar broke fantasy in 2019, with over 28 fantasy points per game, a record for QBs. He has run at least 11 times per game each of the past three seasons, and there’s potential for his passing numbers to improve if Rashod Bateman proves to be a more well-rounded WR than Marquise Brown. Lamar is a strong target of mine, as he looks like the clear QB2 for 2022 based on his rushing profile being so much better than any other QB. Prior to his injury last season, he averaged 22.9 fantasy points per game, only one fewer than the leader through 13 weeks, Kyler Murray. This came despite a 4.2% passing TD rate, below the league average, and far below his career average. Anticipate a rebound season from Lamar Jackson if he can stay healthy.

 

44. Diontae Johnson (WR) – The Steelers threw the fourth most passes per game in 2021, likely because it was Roethlisberger’s final season. Diontae posted an elite target share and averaged just over 17 fantasy points per game. However, that’s his 2022 ceiling; the floor is much lower. Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett will likely be entrusted to throw around the league average, so we should expect around five fewer attempts per game. 2021 also saw JuJu Smith-Schuster miss significant time. He has since been replaced by George Pickens in the draft. Pat Freiermuth is entering year two and showed promise as a rookie. Chase Claypool is the favorite for slot targets. The worry is that Diontae’s target share drops from 28% in 2021 to around 25% in 2022, coupled with fewer pass attempts. While he had the second-most targets among all 2021 players (169), I think he’s going to be closer to 145 in 2022.

 

45. Courtland Sutton (WR) – Russell Wilson is one of the NFL’s most willing (and best) deep ball passers, which aligns perfectly with Sutton’s skill set. Sutton’s average depth of target has been towards the top of the league the past few years, and he is also two full years removed from his ACL tear. The Broncos’ pass offense pecking order is almost impossible to project, but Sutton has the best skill set match with Russell Wilson among the bunch. He’s my favorite option of the bunch, but I still wouldn’t feel comfortable drafting him earlier than the mid-fourth round.

 

46. Brandin Cooks (WR) – Cooks averaged nine targets, 72 yards, and over 16 PPR points per game in his nine full games with Davis Mills. There is still no target competition for him in Houston, and another top-10 target share finish is likely. Cooks is a high-floor pick due to target volume, and his ceiling is a low-end WR1 finish in points per game.

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47. Allen Robinson (WR) – Robert Woods averaged over 15 PPR points per game in 2021, and Robinson is a better overall player. The Rams wouldn’t have given Robinson a lucrative contract if they thought his 2021 down year was anything more than Robinson’s distaste for the Bears organization. Robinson has four seasons with at least 150 targets on his resume, and he should be the clear-cut WR2 in this offense, if not even the 1b option to Cooper Kupp. He’s a great way to get exposure to this offense if you miss out on Kupp in round one.

 

48. George Kittle (TE) – Kittle is the most efficient, and probably the best, TE in the entire NFL. Unfortunately, he’s a superb blocker and doesn’t run a full complement of routes. For context, Travis Kelce ran 35 routes per game last year, while Kittle only ran 25 – route data courtesy of Sports Info Solutions. The move from the stationary Jimmy Garoppolo to the highly mobile Trey Lance likely pulls even more pass attempts from the offense. I don’t see the floor or ceiling for Kittle in 2022, and I view him as a clear step down from the top-four options.

 

49. David Montgomery (RB) – Montgomery has one of the better roles in football but plays on the Bears. Without a step up in pass-catching, which seems unlikely with the mobile Justin Fields at QB, Montgomery looks like a capable but low-ceiling option at RB. I have slight concerns he will cede more work to Khalil Herbert in year two, but back-to-back Montgomery target shares in the 12% range are more indicative of the solid floor but low ceiling. Much like Chubb, I have a tough time seeing a Montgomery fade burning me, so I will have little of him in fantasy drafts.

Tier 5

 

50. Jalen Hurts (QB) – Jalen Hurts had a below-average receiving core in his first year as a starter and was still the QB6 in fantasy points per game (21.4). He ran nine times per game, second to only Lamar Jackson, and now gets AJ Brown as his new de-facto WR1. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert are a very strong core, and the offensive line should be strong, too. Hurts has overall QB1 in his range of outcomes if he takes a step forward as a passer, and the floor is at least his 2021 season. He’s a player you should draft early and often this year in fantasy football.

 

51. Kyler Murray (QB) – Like Hurts, Kyler is a dual threat, with eight carries per game in 2020, and over six per game in 2021. Kyler broke fantasy through 10 weeks of 2020, averaging over 30 fantasy points per game. Again, Kyler was breaking fantasy as the QB1 per game through week 13 of 2021, before injuries caused his season to spiral. He’ll be without DeAndre Hopkins for six weeks, the offensive line is troublesome, and the surrounding talent is aging (Hopkins is 30, Zach Ertz turns 32 soon, and Conner is 27). Kyler has the league-winning upside you want, and the only reason I have Hurts ahead of him is slightly more confidence in Hurts’ rushing floor. Kyler is a strong candidate to finish as the overall QB1 in 2022.

 

52. Jerry Jeudy (WR) – Jeudy’s targets per route run has been far higher than that of Sutton and KJ Hamler. The potential issue is his skill set match with Russell Wilson. Jeudy lacks the size of DK Metcalf and the big-play ability of Tyler Lockett. He’s a solid bet to lead the team in targets, but I worry about Jeudy’s TD ability when sharing a field with Sutton, Hamler, and the TEs, who are all significantly larger than Jeudy. I prefer him in PPR leagues since I expect a lot of catches, likely at a low-to-mid range depth of target.

 

53. Darnell Mooney (WR) – Mooney had one of the quietest 140 target and 1,055 receiving yard seasons in NFL history. He has elite speed, and there is no target competition on the roster. While Mooney is far less talented than the other WRs near him in the rankings, his situation gives him a high target floor in 2022. I’d expect a repeat of 2021, with the hope for more than four TDs if Justin Fields can take a step forward in year two.

 

54. DK Metcalf (WR) – Metcalf performed admirably when Geno Smith filled in last season. Unfortunately, the target volume was not there, and Metcalf’s fantasy points were primarily from an unsustainable TD rate. Unless Jimmy Garoppolo is traded there, I have a tough time getting excited about Metcalf’s talent when archaic play-caller Pete Carroll fetishizes the run-game.

 

55. Rashod Bateman (WR) – Bateman ended up having a respectable rookie season after missing the first month due to core muscle surgery. He was a round one pick in 2021 and profiles as an alpha WR. It’s still up in the air if he can command high target volume in the NFL, but I assume the answer is yes. He should be more versatile than Marquise Brown, but like Andrews, overall pass volume probably caps his ceiling. He looks like a WR2 or WR3 in fantasy football, and I’m expecting 110-125 targets in 2022.

 

56. Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR) – Amon-Ra averaged over 11 targets, 8.5 receptions, and over 93 receiving yards per game in the final six weeks of 2021. Add in his six TDs and occasional carries, and he delivered nearly 25 PPR points per game during this month and a half span. D’Andre Swift and TJ Hockenson were not healthy for this stretch, and new WR additions Jameson Williams and DJ Chark should prevent Amon-Ra from reaching 2021 volume levels again in 2022. However, St. Brown is clearly a supreme talent and boasts a safe floor and a decent ceiling in year two.

 

57. Elijah Moore (WR) – Moore was never a full-time player during his rookie season. Even when he went on an absolute tear from week nine to week 13, he still wasn’t playing all the snaps. This is important because rookie Garrett Wilson and veteran Corey Davis could make this some type of WR rotation. Moore’s nine targets, 78 receiving yards, and one TD per game during that five-week stretch showcased his WR1 upside. I don’t like the quarterback, and I don’t like the target competition, but Elijah Moore’s range of outcomes does include a repeat of last season’s performance prior to injury. You’ll want to be overweight on Elijah Moore exposure, particularly in PPR leagues, in 2022.

 

58. Gabriel Davis (WR) – At face value, Davis took a step back in year two, as he had 40 fewer receiving yards than his rookie season. Gabriel Davis did go nuclear with the 200-yard, four-TD performance in the playoffs, but that’s not why I’m excited for his 2022 range of outcomes. Davis was close to a full-time player as a rookie, then played sparing snaps for most of 2021. Yet, he had one more target in 2021 (63) than in 2020 (62). Davis was a fundamentally better WR in year two, as his targets per route run jumped significantly.

 

Davis saw about 85% of the snaps from week 14 onward once Emmanuel Sanders went down. During this stretch, he averaged eight targets, four receptions, 52 yards, and nearly a TD per game – amounting to 14 PPR points per game. He has an enviable role, as a starting WR and vertical threat in the Bills’ offense. However, there is still a chance Davis is not startable week-to-week due to his poor overall body of work through two seasons.

 

59. Justin Herbert (QB) – Herbert now has back-to-back seasons of about 23 fantasy points per game. There is a good chance he’s an even better QB in year three, too. What keeps me from drafting him with Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts is the lack of rushing production, which caps his ceiling. Also, the Chargers’ defense should be much improved in 2022, so shootouts may be less frequent than in 2021. I’d mainly target Justin Herbert if you already have Mike Williams or Keenan Allen on your fantasy team.

 

60. Patrick Mahomes (QB) – Mahomes is going to play with the worst supporting cast of his career. I expect a high pass rate and overall pass volume, and Mahomes has proven to be mobile enough when needed. I struggle to see the ceiling for him in 2022 and think he’s stuck somewhere between 20-22 fantasy points per game, which puts him in the middle of the QB1 pack.

 

61. Adam Thielen (WR) – Thielen has averaged at least 15 PPR points per game in four of his past five seasons. He’s 32 years old and his efficiency is waning, but he’s still Cousin’s preferred end zone target and the clear WR2 in this offense. If he can stay healthy, he’s almost sure to beat his ADP, with only a small chance that he’s cooked after offseason ankle surgery. I want to be above market on this whole Vikings pass attack.

 

62. Russell Gage (WR) – He has only been a WR for a few years now, but has taken noticeable steps forward each year. He commanded more targets per game than Kyle Pitts in 2021, and Tom Brady hand-selected him for a three-year contract extension. I want pieces of this Buccaneers’ offense and prefer him slightly to Godwin because of health. While Godwin is the better player in a vacuum, I don’t think the overall talent disparity is as wide as some think. Godwin will at the very least be hobbled to start the year, and may not even make his season debut until midseason. Gage has WR2 potential as long as Godwin is out, and may remain in the WR2/WR3 conversation with 12-13 fantasy points per game even with Godwin active.

 

63. Dalton Schultz (TE) – Schultz is just good enough to lock down the #2 target role in Dallas. He’s not a special talent on his own, but he just averaged over 12 fantasy points per game (TE5) playing with Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson. The floor is high with Schultz, and the ceiling is bridging the gap between Darren Waller and George Kittle. I think Schultz is a fine option if you miss on the top-four options at the position, and clearly favor him over TJ Hockenson and Dallas Goedert.

 

64. JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR) – JuJu is a near impossible evaluation, as he put up an all-time season in year two (over 1,400 yards) before injuries and inconsistency have relegated him to a big slot role. The Chiefs gave him little in guarantees, but he’s the only WR on the roster that has any history of high target volume in the NFL. I’d say he’s the current “favorite” to lead the Chiefs’ WRs in targets, but his ceiling is lower than Skyy Moore, who I will gush about later on.

 

65. Chris Godwin (WR) – I really don’t like drafting injured players, and Godwin’s late-season ACL tear is problematic. I really don’t think we see him in action until October, but he should at least be an instant WR2 upon return. This is about as high as I’d be comfortable drafting him, assuming he misses September. If he is miraculously “ready” for week one, I’d take him at the end of round three.

Tier 6

 

66. Elijah Mitchell (RB) – Mitchell came out of nowhere as a sixth-round rookie, compiling nearly 19 carries per game during the regular season. He’s explosive and fearless but does minimal damage as a pass-catcher. I’m tempering expectations because Trey Lance should steal some goal-line work, too. When healthy, he’s a good bet for close to 20 efficient carries, but many of those may come between the 20s.

 

67. AJ Dillon (RB) – Dillon is the likely goal line back, and I’m expecting him to out-carry Aaron Jones this year. Even with an efficient receiving line and the 12th most red zone touches among RBs, he still put up only 10.9 PPR points per game in 2021. It’s tough to know what the ceiling can look like with a healthy Aaron Jones, mainly because of the dreadful WR core. If Jones and Dillon can coexist on the field, we could be looking at 250 carries and around 50 targets, which would make him a smash at ADP. Alternatively, if Jones goes down, Dillon could perform like a RB1. The other scenario, which is probably most likely, is that Dillon takes a small step forward in usage from 2021, and gives you low-end RB2 numbers. I don’t like drafting a replaceable RB asset this early, so when I’m taking Dillon in round six or seven, I’m counting on a significant role increase given the state of the WR room.

 

68. JK Dobbins (RB) – Dobbins is still not fully recovered from last year’s ACL tear. He probably won’t get many targets, either. Fortunately for Dobbins, he plays in the most efficient rushing offense in the NFL, and has a path to a massive amount of goal-line work, as Lamar has never been a major threat in that area of the field. I’m likely lower than the market on Dobbins due to the lack of pass-catching upside; the team drafted pass-catching specialist Tyler Badie in round six, and free agent acquisition Mike Davis is also more than adequate in that area, too.

 

69. Michael Thomas (WR) – Thomas is presumably healthy, and has an enormous range of outcomes. Delaying the ankle surgery for an entire year probably created excess scar tissue which will sap some explosiveness. However, Thomas can still see a major decline in usage and still pay off at this current ADP. I don’t want to take too many shots because he might be a total zero now, but fully fading him now that he’s healthy seems foolish. The last time we saw him in 2020, he was commanding nearly 30% of the team’s passing offense, so a steep decline could still land him around a 20% target share.

 

70. DeVonta Smith (WR) – Smith had a 22% target share as a rookie, and WRs that crush as rookies usually take another step forward in year two. The addition of AJ Brown raises the overall offensive ceiling of the Eagles but makes it unlikely Smith is the target leader. If forced to provide a number, I’d say there’s a 35% chance Smith leads this team in targets. He’s a strong target of mine after his impressive rookie season has not been reflected properly in current ADP.

 

71. Trey Lance (QB) – In his first NFL start, Lance had more rush attempts (16) than completed passes (15). While he will suck pass attempts from the offense, it’s this rushing ability that we covet in fantasy football. His fantasy points per dropback are around Lamar Jackson levels (small sample warning), and he’s surrounded by three elite receiving weapons and a talented play-caller. Lance has the overall QB1 firmly in his range of outcomes, and I’d wager his floor is even around Jalen Hurts’ 2021 season. I’d rank Lance near Kyler and Hurts if needed, but even a ranking of 71 will ensure you have heavy Lance exposure anytime you miss out on the earlier QB options.

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72. Amari Cooper (WR) – I struggle to get too excited about Amari Cooper, whose 22% target share in 2016 was his high-water mark. He’s been around 20% for much of his career and offers nothing special after the catch. I would wager he’s nothing more than a flex option while Jacoby Brissett is under center, but Deshaun Watson is tantalizing for Cooper making a late-season push for your fantasy teams. Overall, he’s someone I’m not targeting in drafts, as he hasn’t demonstrated a prior ability to soak up high target volume. The Browns will certainly be run-heavy early on, and even when Watson returns, I still expect this team to lean on the run in 2022.

 

73. Kadarius Toney (WR) – I have an egregious amount of Kadarius Toney so far in fantasy drafts. Toney as a prospect was raw; we knew he’d be electric with the ball in his hands, but there were legitimate concerns about his route-running. His rookie season erased those concerns, as Toney was in the top-10 in targets per route run. Dangerous after the catch mixed with heavy target volume is the right recipe for a WR1 season. Toney is my dark horse pick to finish as a top-12 option at the position, and he should clearly out-target Kenny Golladay if he stays healthy.

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74. Russell Wilson (QB) – A down year in 2021 masks Wilson’s upside. In 2020, Russ had over 500 rushing yards and averaged over 23 fantasy points per game. Now, he heads to a Denver team that should have far better play-calling than what he dealt with in Seattle. He is the latest QB in my rankings that I can realistically see finishing as the overall QB1. He has a plethora of weapons, a strong running game behind him, and plays in the AFC West, where shootouts should be plentiful. I’d expect around 4,500 passing yards, with 30-40 TDs, and several hundred yards on the ground. His floor is significantly higher than 2021, and his ceiling is also higher than his 23 fantasy points per game from 2020.

 

75. Josh Jacobs (RB) – I have no interest in a committee back who has struggled to stay healthy and been largely inefficient with his opportunities. Jacobs likely is off the board two or three rounds before this point, but it seems the Raiders have no interest in giving Jacobs a role that will make him highly fantasy relevant. He’s an easy fade in fantasy football.

 

76. Christian Kirk (WR) – Prior to DeAndre Hopkins’ arrival, Kirk had above a 20% target share each of his first two seasons. There is minimal target competition in Jacksonville, and Kirk will smash ADP if Trevor Lawrence can at least be competent. A healthy Kirk has a strong chance to break 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.

 

77. Treylon Burks (WR) – Burks looked like a slightly more raw version of AJ Brown coming out of college, then finds himself in Tennessee, after the Titans took him in round one of the 2022 NFL Draft. He should slide right into some version of the AJ Brown-lite role, and his only target competition is 30-year-old Robert Woods coming off an ACL tear. Ryan Tannehill is competent enough to feed Burks, and the ceiling is 15 plus fantasy points per game. However, because of his lack of route-running polish and struggles when lined up wide, the floor is Burks sitting on your bench all season.

 

78. Drake London (WR) – London averaged over 130 receiving yards per game last year as a junior, and I think of him similarly to Michael Pittman. London is tall and lanky, moving really well after the catch for someone of his size. I don’t think he challenges Pitts as the team’s target leader, so his ceiling is probably capped in this Atlanta offense with Marcus Mariota at the helm. If you want stability, take London ahead of Burks, as London should see 110 or more targets in most scenarios. If you want upside, Burks will either ride the bench or force himself into your starting lineup each week.

 

79. Skyy Moore (WR) – Skyy Moore is my favorite rookie WR at cost. He led Western Michigan with 802 receiving yards as a true freshman (after never playing WR in high school). The Chiefs took him in round two of the draft, and he is the only ascending player in this entire passing offense. JuJu’s efficiency has been declining, and the other WRs on the roster have no history of target volume at the NFL level. Moore should get fed in the middle of the field, and he’s dangerous after the catch. He’s my pick for which rookie WR is a top-24 option in 2022, but because his ADP is so far below Burks and London, I slotted him just behind them; select those players first, and Skyy Moore should still be available the round after.

 

80. Chris Olave (WR) – Olave is a small, speedy WR who offers nothing after the catch. A super route-runner, he will thrive if Michael Thomas or Jarvis Landry misses time to injury. I think there’s a chance Olave is a starting caliber WR for fantasy football even with a healthy Thomas and Landry, but this Saints offense may be low volume overall. I like taking shots on rookie WRs in general, and Olave is definitely NFL-ready, but I prefer the profile and overall range of outcomes of Burks, London, and Moore. If you feel strongly about shifting the ordering of these four, you’ll get little pushback from me.

Tier 7

 

81. Zach Ertz (TE) – Ertz has now put up at least 74 receptions and 763 receiving yards in six of his past seven seasons. When he arrived in Arizona last year, he quickly became Kyler Murray’s security blanket, averaging over seven targets per game. That usage bumped up to around 10 targets per game when DeAndre Hopkins went down with an injury. At least for the first six weeks while Hopkins is suspended, Ertz is an elite option at the TE position.

 

82. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB) – I had written off CEH until reports came out that gallbladder surgery left him at 160 pounds to begin training camp last year. His rookie season was promising, and the surgery and weight loss help explain his struggles in year two. I want some exposure to CEH at this stage of the draft, as he has better hands and ball security than Ronald Jones.

 

83. Tony Pollard (RB) – Pollard will only be a flex option as long as Zeke is healthy, and he would jump to a high-end RB1 were Zeke to miss time. Taking him in the 80s is a nice way to balance just enough standalone value to fit him in the RB2 or flex spot each week while knowing he can be a league-winner if Zeke goes down. The porous WR core could also lead to more two-back sets in 2022. There are numerous ways for Pollard to meet or exceed expectations at this stage of the draft.

 

84. Joe Burrow (QB) – Burrow has been going much earlier than this, but the lack of rushing kills his fantasy value. Burrow led the NFL in completion percentage and yards per attempt while finishing third in TD rate. Despite all this, he was only the QB9 in fantasy points per game, finishing with 20.5. The way for Burrow to pay off at his current ADP is for the efficiency to remain while the offense increases their pass rate. This could happen, but even still, it’s tough to see Burrow challenging the type of ceilings that the QBs I have ranked ahead of him possess.

 

85. TJ Hockenson (TE) – Hockenson has not been able to push past a 20% target share and blossom into an elite fantasy option. 2022 looks like more of the same. At this stage of the draft, I’d rather wait on TE, and target a player like Cole Kmet later on, who has a higher target ceiling at a fraction of the cost. It’s tough to see Hockenson distancing himself from Amon-Ra, DJ Chark, and Jameson Williams, which he probably needs to do if he wants to put up difference-making production in your TE slot.

 

86. Tom Brady (QB) – Brady just threw the ball 42 times per game, by far the most in the NFL. With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage, and Julio Jones on the roster, it looks like another pass-heavy season. The caliber of weapons isn’t quite 2021 levels, but Brady still has a ways to fall after putting up 22.8 fantasy points per game (QB3) last year. I’m expecting a slight decline, but he’s still a high floor option on pass volume alone.

 

87. Dallas Goedert (TE) – Goedert was efficient last year, but finds himself as the likely third option behind both AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith in 2022. This passing offense should be largely average, so the third option is not appealing to me. Goedert most likely needs an injury to Brown or Smith for him to be a fantasy difference-maker.

88. Brandon Aiyuk (WR) – Aiyuk has become a decent target for me in 2022, as his ADP is too many rounds behind Deebo’s. After escaping the Kyle Shanahan doghouse in Week 8, he averaged just over 13 fantasy points per game as a full-time starter. Lance likely trims the pass game pie down slightly, but there is still a chance that Aiyuk gets the preferential treatment over Deebo.

 

89. Allen Lazard (WR) – Lazard has done nothing at the NFL level to help me believe he can take a major leap forward as the team’s new WR1. He has struggled to get open and has never been consistently relied upon before in his career. I think he does lead the team in targets, but I doubt he reaches a 20% target share of what should be a low-volume passing attack. He’s someone I will have minimal exposure to if he gets steamed into the sixth or seventh round of drafts.

 

90. Antonio Gibson (RB) – Gibson is two injuries away from difference-making fantasy production, and is largely off my radar. The team re-signed JD McKissic to play on third downs, then drafted Brian Robinson in round three to be their short yardage back. Gibson’s targets (McKissic) and goal-line work (Robinson) are both being squeezed, and he is off my draft board entirely in round five or six of drafts.

 

91. DeAndre Hopkins (WR) – Hopkins took a major step back in 2021, with his target share dropping from nearly 30% in 2020 to 20% last season. He is now 30 years old and will miss the first six games of 2022 due to a PED suspension. I have doubts that he can clearly separate himself from Marquise Brown, and I don’t like drafting aging WRs coming off a down year in fantasy football, especially when they have to ride the bench for six games.

 

92. Devin Singletary (RB) – Singletary is shaping up to be a nice value in drafts, as he was trusted with a bell cow role down the 2021 stretch. The team drafted James Cook for pass-catching work, but Singletary is still the favorite for goal-line work and early down work. If anything happens to Cook, Singletary can immediately be an RB1 in fantasy like he was late last year, when he fully distanced himself from Zack Moss.

 

93. Hunter Renfrow (WR) – Renfrow only exploded when both Henry Ruggs and Darren Waller were out of the lineup. Even down the stretch, Zay Jones was frequently out-targeting him and running more routes. I have serious concerns with Renfrow, as he looks like the clear third target behind Davante Adams and Darren Waller.

 

94. Robert Woods (WR) – Woods is supposedly ahead of schedule and should be healthy for week one after an ACL tear in the middle of last year. Woods was averaging 15 points per game and commanding nearly 22% of Stafford’s targets prior to injury. The Titans are a low-volume pass attack, so Woods’ upside would surface if Burks struggles as a rookie. I doubt both WRs can be fantasy relevant at once, and Woods is most likely a borderline flex option week-to-week.

 

95. Garrett Wilson (WR) – Wilson was my pre-draft WR1 and received top-10 draft capital. He’s quick, deadly after the catch, and a strong route-runner, though his lack of size is slightly concerning. It’s unclear how Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Garrett Wilson split targets, but Wilson has a legitimate chance to emerge as the top WR here. Zach Wilson probably caps the overall upside of all these WRs, and as of right now, I’m inclined to think Elijah Moore is better. But, this late in the draft, we want upside, and Garrett Wilson certainly has a Jaylen Waddle-lite rookie year in his range of outcomes.

 

96. Tyler Boyd (WR) – Boyd is the premier handcuff WR. He is flex viable when Chase and Higgins are healthy and would become a PPR monster if either went down. He was out-targeted by TE CJ Uzomah at times down the stretch, but still survived in fantasy football thanks to TDs. Luckily for Boyd, the Bengals offense should score early and often in 2022.

Tier 8

 

97. Dak Prescott (QB) – I am not drafting very much of Dak Prescott in 2022. Unless I take CeeDee Lamb early, I’m avoiding Dak in the middle rounds, as the overall receiving talent in Dallas has sharply declined from last season. The volume of this offense should prevent Dak from busting, but I don’t see a path to a high ceiling this year.

 

98. Dawson Knox (TE) – Knox erupted for nine TDs in 2021, despite only 49 receptions and under 600 yards. It would seem easy to fade the guy because of TD regression, but that’d be over-simplifying the situation. Knox had a 13% target share in 2021 after only a 10% target share in 2020. There are questions surrounding every pass-catcher not named Stefon Diggs, and even a slight target share bump could buoy Knox’s fantasy points. He was the TE9 with just under 11 PPR points per game, and I think he has multiple paths to retaining that level of production in 2022.

 

99. Julio Jones (WR) – Julio Jones is very difficult to rank and project. He’s 33 years old, coming off back-to-back injury-riddled seasons. While he was incredibly efficient in 2020, his 2021 season was not, and he looked like a shell of himself. The Tom Brady offense is the most fantasy-friendly pass attack in the NFL, and a healthy Julio might still be capable of a few big games. He’s probably behind Russell Gage to start 2022, but like in 2021, injuries can strike, and if Evans, Gage, or Godwin were to go down, a healthy Julio could (rather ironically) capitalize on injuries and provide strong production.

 

100. Miles Sanders (RB) – Sanders failed to distance himself from rookie Kenneth Gainwell last season, and while his zero TDs were unlucky, his overall role was not conducive to TD scoring. Sanders likely splits some of the rushing, and may not receive the targets or goal-line work. He’s largely off my board if he continues to go in the middle rounds, as I have to really squint to see him starting in my fantasy lineup each week.

 

101. Chase Edmonds (RB) – Edmonds has never received work near the goal line, but his pass-catching ability has enabled him to be fantasy-relevant. I have concerns about this Tua Tagovailoa-led offense, but Edmonds should at least provide some production in the receiving game. I don’t see a ceiling above RB2 levels, so I don’t want to rank him too highly for 2022; I’d rather load up on backup RBs several rounds later instead.

 

102. Cordarrelle Patterson (RB) – Patterson is by far the oldest starting RB in the NFL at 31 years old. He was electric in the first half of 2021 before an ankle sprain reduced his pass-game role. I’m hoping that the Falcons continue to use him in space in 2022, much like the start of the 2021 season. He’s an interesting player for ZeroRB teams or HeroRB teams, but I have a hard time seeing the 2021 early season fantasy production continuing with no more Matt Ryan.

103. James Cook (RB) – Cook was not a prospect I liked at all, but he goes to the perfect situation. The Bills are desperate for a receiving back, having tried to sign JD McKissic at the beginning of the offseason. Cook is unlikely to get the goal line work but should be the third down back in a high-scoring offense. Cook’s ultimate ceiling rests on carry volume and whether the team trusts him in the red zone. I think the likely ceiling is Chase Edmonds with a few more TDs, and the floor is Nyheim Hines from last season.

 

104. Melvin Gordon (RB) – Gordon is a hard player to rank, and I may need to move him up if his ADP settles in the single-digit rounds. Even with a reduced role, he could still hit 2021 levels of fantasy production with Russell Wilson leading the offense. If anything happens to Javonte, Gordon is a RB1 candidate. I like him best in ZeroRB builds, but he’s a solid bench stash regardless.

 

105. Kareem Hunt (RB) – Hunt is 27 years old, coming off an injury-riddled season, and his future in Cleveland is uncertain. Despite those red flags, he’s still been consistently trusted in the passing game and the red zone, which is where fantasy points are scored. I don’t want to be overweight on an aging RB without a clear role in 2022, but he could end up being a consistent RB2 when Watson returns.

 

106. Rhamondre Stevenson (RB) – Good luck deciphering the Patriots RB room to begin the 2022 season. You’ll notice I have Rhamondre ranked ahead of Damien Harris though, and that is not a mistake. This is likely some type of committee, but a rookie Stevenson put up 22 fantasy points in both his starts last year. He has an all-purpose skill set and could pick up some of James White’s role if White isn’t healthy and fully recovered from the major hip injury.

Tier 9

 

107. Tyler Lockett (WR) – As long as Geno Smith and Drew Lock are leading the drives, I have minimal interest in a WR2 from this offense. Lockett has been efficient with Russell Wilson, but the pass floor for this offense is 2021 New York Giants level low. My interest will increase if the team trades for Jimmy Garoppolo, but that seems unlikely. See my Player Archetypes to Target and Fade article to learn more about why Lockett is an archetype to fade for 2022.

 

108. Jakobi Meyers (WR) – Meyers dwarfed all other Patriots receivers in targets last season, and Mac Jones clearly locked onto him last year. Meyers has famously struggled to score TDs in his career, though his red zone target share was nearly as high as his overall target share in 2021. I expect him to command more volume than the newly acquired DeVante Parker, but I’d give it a 30% chance that Parker is the alpha in this passing game. Meyers is a high floor, low ceiling pick for teams that go heavy on RBs early and need to bank some WR points later in the draft.

 

109. Jarvis Landry (WR) – Landry was top-12 in the NFL in targets per route run last season, according to Sports Info Solutions. This was despite coming off major offseason surgery; Landry can certifiably still ball. I have little idea how the target totem pole will shake out with Michael Thomas and Chris Olave, but Landry is unlikely to fade away in 2022. Like Meyers, he’s a safe floor option for teams that need starting WRs late in the draft.

 

110. Rashaad Penny (RB) – I cannot get on board with Rashaad Penny in fantasy football for 2022. The offensive line should be bad, Pete Carroll is a medieval play-caller, Penny is rarely healthy, and one of DeeJay Dallas or Travis Homer will get the goal line work. Penny is an oft-injured between the 20s grinder back and an easy fade in 2022 drafts.

 

111. Damien Harris (RB) – Harris stumbled into the end zone 15 times on only 202 carries, a rate that surely decreases in 2022. And yet, because the pass-catching and overall carry volume weren’t there, those 15 TDs resulted in just 14 fantasy points per game, good for RB16 in PPR points per game. There is no elite ceiling, and the floor is roster-clogger. Harris likely gets 10-15 carries per game, little receiving work, and a portion of the red zone work. You’re really threading the needle if you expect to start Damien Harris in fantasy in 2022.

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112. Cole Kmet (TE) – Kmet looks poised for the George Kittle-lite 2018 season. That year, a stinky 49ers offense had no proven pass-catchers, and Kittle shocked everyone with nearly 1,400 receiving yards on 136 targets. While Kmet is never going to put up a stat line like that, he is in a good situation for PPR leagues, where outside of Mooney, there are no pass-catchers even remotely as talented as Kmet. He should walk into 110 or more targets in 2022, and the departure of Jimmy Graham all but guarantees Kmet will start finding the end zone again (he had no TDs last year). He’s a great target if you miss on the early-round TEs.

 

113. Matthew Stafford (QB) – Stafford provided fantasy teams with starting-caliber fantasy points, as he put up just over 20 per game last year. I think that number could tick up slightly in 2022, as Stafford had a couple of mediocre stretches of 2021. Generally, I don’t target pocket passers unless it’s Tom Brady throwing the ball 50 more times than any other QB. Stafford’s floor and ceiling are both within two or three fantasy points of each other, in the 18-21 range.

 

114. Derek Carr (QB) – Carr averaged 324 passing yards per game prior to the Henry Ruggs suspension. During this time though, he still only managed 19.5 fantasy points per game through the first seven contests. Davante Adams bolsters Carr’s ceiling and floor, but without any mobility, Carr likely gives you the 2021 Matthew Stafford season. I’d rather lock down my QB early than have to settle for this tier of QB.

 

115. Kirk Cousins (QB) – Cousins has 30 or more TD passes in three of the past four seasons, and he’s been a consistent low-end QB1 during this time. I have him with Stafford and Carr because new Head Coach Kevin O’Connell may air the ball out more in 2022. Jefferson, Thielen, and KJ Osborn are one of the NFL’s best receiving trios when healthy, so there’s a path to Stafford’s 2021 season, where Cousins gives you 40 TD passes and crests 20 fantasy points per game.

 

116. Kenneth Walker (RB) – Similar to Penny, Walker will offer little in the receiving game and still has to deal with the archaic tendencies of Pete Carroll. This offense should be anemic, and even a Rashaad Penny injury wouldn’t result in elite fantasy production for Walker. While the rookie ran in the 4.3s at the combine, the offensive line of Seattle is weak, and there should be precious few goal-line carries to go around for this team.

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117. Alexander Mattison (RB) – Mattison started four games in relief of the injured Dalvin Cook in 2021, averaged over 21 carries, 5.5 targets, and nearly 22 fantasy points per game. He is an elite handcuff anytime Cook is out, but is a true zero in the fantasy points column when Cook is healthy. He’s the exact type of RB you should stash on your bench because you’ll know when to start him, and can expect elite production when you do.

 

118. Rachaad White (RB) – White has round three draft capital and ran for 1,000 yards as a senior at Arizona State while chipping in a casual 450 yards in the receiving game. He’s a legitimate weapon as a receiver, and his size (214 pounds) and speed (4.48) are tantalizing. Fournette has never played a fully healthy season in his career, and I expect Alexander Mattison levels of production if Fournette misses time. There is also a slight chance White gets some snaps out wide, where he was occasionally used in college; however, I would not draft him for his standalone value. He’s almost certainly a pure – but elite – handcuff, and a target of mine.

Tier 10

 

119. Mike Gesicki (TE) – Gesicki has made his money out of the slot, but having Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill on the field at all times may force Miami to either use Gesicki as a blocking TE more often or to occasionally take him off the field entirely. I view his 2020/2021 seasons as the likely ceiling for 2022 unless an injury to Tyreek or Waddle occurs. I’d rather draft a TE early, or snag an upside option like Cole Kmet or Albert Okwuegbunam later on.

 

120. Kenny Golladay (WR) – Back-to-back injury-filled seasons leave a bad taste in my mouth, but Golladay was passably effective in 2021. Prior to the whole offense collapsing from week five onward, he gave us a respectable 6.5 targets and 70.5 receiving yards per game. I think an injury to Toney needs to happen for Golladay to potentially become an every-week starter, so I’m tempering exposure to him in managed leagues. When healthy, he should be startable in a pinch, but I’d rather load up on WRs earlier in the draft.

 

121. Chase Claypool (WR) – Claypool is getting squeezed from every angle. Diontae is clearly better at commanding targets, Pat Freiermuth has a substantial role in the offense, and new round two rookie George Pickens has a great prospect profile. On top of this, Mitchell Trubisky is the likely week one starter, and this offense should struggle to sustain drives. I have little interest in Claypool for 2022.

 

122. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR) – A career catch rate below 50% and a career-high target share of only 14% keeps me from getting tempted by starting MVS in redraft. He’s a best-ball-only option for me, who should frustrate fantasy managers all season.

 

123. Ronald Jones (RB) – RoJo drops passes and fumbles more often than almost any RB in the NFL. But, he is one of the better between-the-tackles runners and has weak RB competition in Kansas City. If he makes the roster, he should be in the mix as an RB2 for ZeroRB and HeroRB teams, and an injury to Edwards-Helaire could open the door for a very fantasy-friendly role. I’ll take a few shots on him in drafts, knowing I can drop him if he enters Andy Reid’s doghouse for fumbling.

 

124. Darrell Henderson (RB) – Henderson was the pass-game back in the Super Bowl and was fantasy relevant whenever starting games last season. I expect Akers to be the guy in 2022, and McVay has generally leaned on a workhorse RB each game. However, the unique injury situation, coupled with Henderson’s solid 2021, makes me want to draft a decent amount of both RBs (just not on the same fantasy team). The Rams should score a lot of TDs in 2022, and their weekly starter should be pouring in fantasy points.

 

125. Isaiah Spiller (RB) – A three-year starter in the SEC, Spiller had over 1,110 total yards all three years, as well as 20 or more receptions. A below-average athlete, Spiller landed in a great situation in Los Angeles where Austin Ekeler has publicly stated he wants to take fewer carries. Spiller is likely startable in a pinch and has a chance at some goal-line work, but you’re mainly drafting him for his potential if Ekeler were to go down.

 

126. Kenneth Gainwell (RB) – Gainwell has a real chance at leading Eagles’ RBs in targets, while also hogging the red zone touches. He’s covered more in-depth in my Player Archetypes to Target and Fade article, where I touch on his uniquely strong range of outcomes.

 

127. Michael Carter (RB) – Carter is a decent ZeroRB target, for those who want some type of early season production. I’m not sure Carter does anything better than new rookie RB Breece Hall, and the Jets’ offense projects to be below average. I am less excited about Carter’s handcuff value compared to other RBs in this range but feel more confident in him having some type of defined weekly role.

 

128. Khalil Herbert (RB) – One of the backfield situations where I feel most confident in the backup RB’s talent and the likelihood of a workhorse role should David Montgomery go down. The only thing keeping him from an even higher ranking is the Bears’ stinky offense.

 

129. Nyheim Hines (RB) – Hines faded in 2021 down the stretch, often running fewer routes than Jonathan Taylor. Hines should get some work thanks to new QB Matt Ryan, who is immobile and likely to target the RBs more than Carson Wentz, but Hines is mainly a strict handcuff. Like Carter, he can be a ZeroRB target for the first few weeks of the season.

 

130. Christian Watson (WR) – Drafted round two and heading to Green Bay, my pre-draft comp for him was Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Most likely won’t be fantasy relevant, but the Packers’ WR core is probably the league’s worst, so the opportunity should be there. Likely a player you drop, but an outside chance you get Rodgers’ WR1 this late in the draft.

 

131. Rondale Moore (WR) – Rondale had a very strong target per route run in his rookie year, but he played in fewer than 50% of the team’s snaps. His role, if anything, was shrinking as the season went along, even though rookies usually increase their role over the full season. I loved him as a prospect, but it’s tough to see him being anything more than the fourth receiving option behind Hopkins, Brown, and Ertz.

Tier 11

 

132. Albert Okwuegbunam (TE) – Albert O has been more efficient per route than Travis Kelce since Albert entered the league in 2020. With Noah Fant shipped out to Seattle in the Russell Wilson blockbuster, Albert O has the first crack at the starting TE role. There’s a strong chance he’s in a timeshare with rookie TE Greg Dulcich, but any starting player in a Russell Wilson offense, especially one who is both efficient and athletic – 4.49 40-time wheels at 255 pounds – deserves our attention in fantasy football.

 

133. Irv Smith (TE) – Irv Smith really hasn’t done anything of note at the NFL level, but finds himself in an ideal situation. He hasn’t played since 2020, but he was schemed touches in the area of the field where fantasy points are scored, as he had a 25% red zone target share that year. He’s probably a TD-dependent fourth option in the passing game, but an injury to any of the starting WRs could thrust him into your lineup each week.

 

134. Aaron Rodgers (QB) – I have minimal interest in Aaron Rodgers for 2022 fantasy football. Both Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are gone, and the current Packers’ WR core is the worst in the NFL. I expect a run-heavy game plan with gratuitous RB checkdowns, which is unlikely to result in fantasy relevance for Aaron Rodgers.

 

135. Jamison Crowder (WR) – Crowder may end up behind Isaiah McKenzie come the start of the season, but his long track record of strong slot production keeps me interested. In redraft, we should know within a couple of weeks if he’s a near-every-down player, and if so, he should be fantasy relevant in PPR leagues. After Stefon Diggs, he’s the only proven WR to have even posted a 14% or higher target share, reaching that number all seven years in his career.

 

136. DeVante Parker (WR) – Parker had at least seven targets in 70% of his games last year, and finds himself on a Patriots team lacking target hogs after Jakobi Meyers. I think it’s most likely that he is second in targets per game behind Meyers, as unlike Kendrick Bourne, Parker has a multi-year history of 20% or higher target shares.

 

137. Jahan Dotson (WR) – Dotson is one of the most disrespected rookie WRs, a player you can snag towards the end of your fantasy draft with round one draft capital. The Washington situation isn’t ideal, but he has a clear path to the #2 target role in the offense. He’s quick and strong at the catch point, while also being a decent route runner. Dotson is a bench stash that could erupt with a McLaurin or Curtis Samuel injury.

 

138. Jameson Williams (WR) – Jamo most likely won’t be ready until October, but he was the clear WR1 of the 2022 class prior to his ACL injury. The Lions and Jared Goff are not an ideal landing spot for year one, but he is a bet on talent. I want Jamo as a bench stash in my fantasy leagues, who could end up being an absolute league-winner if he gets up to speed by midseason.

 

139. DJ Chark (WR) – Since his rookie season, Chark has quietly commanded around 20% of his team’s targets. It’s an unknown situation with many moving parts, as he’s probably behind both Amon-Ra St. Brown and TJ Hockenson on the target pecking order. Best case, Chark bumps Hockenson for the #2 pass game role. Expect to start DJ Chark early in the season if the usage is there, but prepare to cut bait whenever Jameson Williams returns.

 

140. Tyrion Davis-Price (RB) – Drafters burned by Trey Sermon in 2021 are probably cringing inside, but Davis-Price is actually a better scheme fit for what Kyle Shanahan wants to run. Davis-Price has at least 10 pounds on Elijah Mitchell, with high 4.4 wheels. He’s most likely a handcuff, but there’s a chance he gets the team’s goal line work due to his size. He was a zero in the passing game in college, so he needs to get there with rushing efficiency (SF’s specialty) and TDs.

 

141. Mark Ingram (RB) – Ingram is nearly 33-years-old, but may find himself as a workhorse back until Alvin Kamara returns from suspension. In two starts last year, he averaged 7.5 targets and 18 fantasy points per game. I’m not fully confident he’s even the #2 back in New Orleans, but at this point in the draft, you can drop Ingram after week one if needed. I’d say there’s a roughly even chance Ingram gives you RB2 production the first month of the season.

Tier 12

 

142. Jalen Tolbert (WR) – Tolbert was a high-volume deep threat in college, but played against poor competition. Dallas drafted him in round three, and he’s been getting first-team reps in training camp. With Michael Gallup on the mend due to the ACL tear, Amari Cooper in Cleveland, and Cedrick Wilson in Miami, Tolbert could find himself as the WR2 in Dallas and third in the pecking order behind CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz. He’s a cheap way to get exposure to a Cowboys offense that should run a blistering pace.

 

143. Joshua Palmer (WR) – Palmer is another handcuff WR. He probably isn’t giving you much more than low-end flex production if both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are healthy. However, in the event of injury to either of them, Palmer should thrust himself into the WR3 conversation. I want some pieces of the Chargers offense in 2022.

 

144. KJ Osborn (WR) – Osborn is the same profile as Joshua Palmer but in a slightly inferior offense. Osborn is probably a better player than Palmer, but I have Palmer just ahead of him because of Justin Herbert. If you feel that Adam Thielen is a large injury risk and decide to flip Osborn and Palmer, I have no qualms or pushback.

 

145. KJ Hamler (WR) – Hamler has the draft capital (round two) and speed to always be intriguing. His skill set is naturally the most similar to Tyler Lockett among all Denver WRs. With the ACL injury to Tim Patrick, Hamler is the clear starter in three WR sets, and offers Denver a vertical speed element that neither Sutton nor Jeudy can match.

 

146. Will Fuller (WR) – Fuller averaged over 17 PPR points per game in 2020 before a mysterious thumb injury sapped his entire 2021 season. If he lands on a team like the Packers or the Chargers, his ADP will skyrocket. I want to take some chances on Will Fuller, who had a 21% target share in Houston in 2020.

 

147. Dameon Pierce (RB) – Pierce is an excellent pass blocker and a stout runner who could see goal-line work. Targets and goal line carries score fantasy points and Pierce profiles as a player that could see those touches. However, his lack of volume in college and round four draft capital concern me. At best, he’s a fringe RB2 or flex option, but he’s most likely dropped within the first month of the season.

 

148. Tyler Allgeier (RB) – Allgeier has an all-purpose skill set and was a workhorse at BYU. His 1,601 rush yards and 28 receptions as a senior are both impressive marks, but he’s most likely ceding targets and goal line carries to Cordarrelle Patterson. Allgeier has a chance for weekly value and profiles as a bell cow were Patterson to go down. Ultimately, the bad offensive environment and mediocre draft capital keep me from getting too excited about Allgeier.

 

149. Darrel Williams (RB) – Darrel Williams had over 1,000 total yards in 2021, with 452 of those coming in the receiving game. He’s probably the top backup to James Conner and a threat for the third down work. If Conner were to go down, we could see him replicate his fantastic 2021 season. The reason I don’t have him higher in my rankings is a lack of confidence that he’s the guy should Conner go down. Eno Benjamin and rookie Keaontay Ingram could both rise up the depth chart.

 

150. Jerick McKinnon (RB) – McKinnon is the earliest player in my rankings who may be cut before the season starts. He had an elite role in the 2021 playoffs and is definitely a better receiver than both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Ronald Jones. The very slight window of hope that McKinnon reprises his playoff role keeps him afloat in my rankings. At pick 151, he will not hurt your team if you drop him after week one. Yet, he has some type of path to low-end RB1 production with an injury to either CEH or RoJo.

 

151. Brian Robinson (RB) – Robinson is a big, bruising back from Alabama, and the Commanders drafted him at the end of round three. As a fifth-year senior, Robinson had over 1,300 rushing yards and 35 receptions. He’s 225 pounds and ran in the low 4.5s. He’s the current favorite for short-yardage and goal-line work and would be an every-week starter if anything were to happen to Antonio Gibson.

152. Gus Edwards (RB) – I cannot get a good feel for Edwards’ timetable or JK Dobbins’ timetable. Edwards will never catch passes but has shown himself to always be an efficient runner throughout his career. If he is ready ahead of Dobbins, he can be your RB2 if going ZeroRB. Most likely, you’re banking on a Dobbins injury to feel confident about Edwards in your fantasy lineup.

 

153. Sony Michel (RB) – Michel is one of eight RBs to have 200 or more carries in three of the past four seasons. The NFL clearly likes him more than fantasy drafters do. The situation in Miami is cloudy, but Edmonds has never gotten goal-line work, and Raheem Mostert is as brittle as they come.

 

154. Jamaal Williams (RB) – Williams is capable in all areas of the field. The Lions’ offense should be much improved in 2022, and should anything happen to D’Andre Swift, Williams has RB2 appeal. He’d be higher in my rankings, but there is moderate concern he’d be a committee back with Craig Reynolds were Swift to go down.

 

155. Chris Evans (RB) – Evans displayed some slick receiving skills in 2021, even getting two targets during the Super Bowl. Samaje Perine has not been healthy for training camp, and Evans has a good chance to be Joe Mixon’s direct backup. If we get more clarity on the depth chart, I could see myself raising Evans to the Alexander Mattison tier. The belief that the Bengals still like Perine keeps me from going too far overboard on Chris Evans’s exposure, for now.

 

156. Kenyan Drake (RB) – New Raiders Head Coach Josh McDaniels has used the word “committee” every time he talks about the RB room. Drake is a skilled pass-catcher who could be startable each week for ZeroRB teams. If anything were to happen to Jacobs, we could see Drake on the plus side of a committee, getting targets and goal-line work in an explosive offense.

 

157. D’Ernest Johnson (RB) – There are multiple outs for Johnson, as Kareem Hunt could move, or Johnson himself could change teams. He was electric when called upon last season, and profiles as at least competent in all areas of the field.

 

158. Alec Pierce (WR) – Pierce is a big, athletic WR who couldn’t put it all together until his senior year of college. Usually, these players have a rough transition to the NFL. Positively for Pierce, he has round two draft capital, and only Parris Campbell stands in his way for the opening day WR2 role.

 

159. Isaiah McKenzie (WR) – Reports have indicated McKenzie has a decent chance to start in the slot for the Bills. He’s 5’7” 170 pounds and has zero seasons of even 300 receiving yards at age 27. However, he has game-breaking speed and plays with Josh Allen. Consider the speedster at the end of your drafts, and you’ll know early in the season if he’s the starting slot guy.

 

160. Wan’Dale Robinson (WR) – Drafted round two by the Giants, Wan’Dale had an intriguing college production profile.  As a freshman at Nebraska, he ran the ball 88 times with 40 receptions.  By his junior year at Kentucky, the rush attempts were cut down to seven, but the receiving line jumped to 104 receptions and 1,334 yards.  He’s only a shade over five and a half feet tall, but he’s been starting in three WR sets during training camp, and is a realistic candidate to get the Deebo Samuel-lite role in 2022.

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