top of page

The Ultimate Guide For 2022 Fantasy Football

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

A few quick notes:

  • We will be starting a tnsports.net fantasy league. Information will come out in the next week and will be announced on twitter.

  • This article provides player rankings and importantly, the framework to research and select your own players that will succeed in 2022.

  • While nothing in this article is a sure thing and fantasy includes many predictions, I have had enough success in Fantasy Football that I feel very comfortable giving advice.

  • Brief TL;DR is at the bottom of this page for main points and strategy


Player Criteria


The vast majority of Fantasy Football players draft their team based off Average Draft Position (ADP) and assign value to players based off where they are selected in the draft and ranked by certain websites.


Something to keep in mind, though, is that these rankings take few factors into account and place heavy emphasis on the player's past seasons rather than things that could make this season go differently.


For example, Christian McCaffrey is touted by many as the #1 overall player for 2022 fantasy despite the risk involved after he has missed 25 games due to injury over the past two seasons.


Each position has different aspects to consider but something to keep in mind is that ADP does not equal value.


Still, you can use it to your advantage. Keep ADP in mind because that your leaguemates will be drafting using these rankings and as a result, you can find great value. It is ok to draft someone above their ADP when you believe in a player and in fact, it is advised.


Quarterbacks:


The key considerations when drafting a Quarterback are their weapons, team as a whole, and importantly, upside.


The difference between the best and worst starting fantasy Quarterbacks are very slim. Therefore, it makes sense to take a risk because say it does not work out, there will be someone on the waiver wire who will more than likely get you safe and consistent points.


There is a top tier of Quarterbacks which include Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert which I very rarely target unless I have secured 3 solid Running Backs. They are coming off in the early to mid third round on average and because I could select a Quarterback in the 7-10th round with adequate upside, I wait on a QB.


I consider the QBs weapons, especially if they are unproven. For someone like Trey Lance, solid skill position players and a good playcaller are very important whereas with Aaron Rodgers, I am not concerned by a lack of proven talent around him.


Rushing upside and a high-motor offense can increase a QBs ceiling. I drafted Jalen Hurts last season in the round almost exclusively because of his rushing ability. Because rushing yards are worth so much more than passing, Hurts finished as the QB9 overall. An explosive offense, whether that means a high percentage of passing plays or a good playcaller, can also be a major positive, such as the Chargers or Ravens.



Some Quarterbacks I like that match those criteria: (full rankings by position at the end of this article). Their current positional ranking is listed in brackets.


Russell Wilson (10): Great new weapons in Denver, high scoring division


Aaron Rodgers (12): Undervalued back to back MVP after losing his top receiver, safe option


Derek Carr (13): Added best WR in NFL, high scoring division, breakout last season


Trey Lance (14): Lance has a very high ceiling given his rare skill set and skill position players which are among the best in the league. Like Mahomes in 2017, he had time to sit for a year but now, Shanahan and the 49ers are fully committed to him.


Ryan Tannehill (22): very safe option despite losing pass catchers. Heavily undervalued after off-year



Some players I would avoid based on high ADP and overall distrust:


Dak Prescott (6): ADP too high and fewer weapons than in 2021


Trevor Lawrence (16): Limited upside due to team around him


Daniel Jones (19): Lack of trust from team around him



Running Backs:


While the difference between the best and worst Quarterback are minor, the difference between best and worst RB are huge, making Running Back the most important position in Fantasy.


Like with every other position, you cannot get drawn into drafting a certain Running Back simply because of where they are ranked by ESPN or NFL.com.


Securing consistent Running Backs is the most important part of building your team and you must focus on a few key factors: volume (how many carries they will get), red flags, and talent.


Firstly, if a player is not getting touches, they will not get you consistent points. With players coming off of injury, rookies, or ones with a new coach or Quarterback, there are levels of uncertainty as to how the offense will look this season thus, how often they will get the ball.


Drafting multiple Running Backs who will get consistent attempts and points will be huge for your team’s success. It is a small boost you will get every week and it will singlehandedly win you multiple games.


After determining whether the RB will get adequate volume, my next important criteria are non-injury prone Running Backs with limited red flags. As much talent as Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley have, a pick in the first few rounds should be a consistent, healthy player that will make an impact all season.


It is important not to seek out players with injuries because without a doubt, injuries will find you.


Other red flags include splitting carries in camp or preseason, criticism from coaches, or a coach that you do not trust such as Bears' Matt Nagy who kept me from drafting David Montgomery last season.


There are different considerations when playing in a Standard format vs Points Per Reception (PPR) where a player earns a point for each catch. In PPR, someone like Derrick Henry will not generate many points additional points from receptions but has enough positives like consistency and volume which make him a good selection.


Also, PPR will decrease the value of Running Backs and making drafting a WR early or starting a one at flex more reasonable.


Some Running Backs that I like:


Derrick Henry (2): Prior to last seasons’ fluke foot injury, Henry was on pace to break the NFL record for carries in a season and exceed 2,000 yards rushing. He is my pick to finish as the top finishing player in 2022 fantasy football.


Joe Mixon (6): Mixon broke out last season, finishing 2021 as the RB3. Now, with a noticeably improved offensive line and sustained volume, Mixon's success will continue in 2022.


Ezekiel Elliot (20): While inefficient in recent seasons, Elliot is ranked as the RB20 despite finishing each of his 6 NFL seasons as at least the RB15. He won't have many breakout games but is a very consistent option and will be healthier than last season.


Some players I would avoid based on high ADP and overall distrust:


Christian McCaffrey (4): Unparalleled health issues and alarming hype


JK Dobbins (16): Coming off torn ACL and has competition in the backfield


David Montgomery (17): Inefficient runner and overall offense


Antonio Gibson (22): Losing volume to competition


Wide Receiver:


The depth is incredible at receiver. You can find hidden gems in later rounds who are WR1's on their team and in a position to succeed.


Having someone like Cooper Kupp last season (for context, I selected him in the 6th round) is great but rarely is it worth taking the risk of picking a boom or bust receiver in the first round of a draft.


Something to consider is that receivers rarely finish in the top 15 without having a top 10 Quarterback themself. Sure, someone like Deebo Samuel or DJ Moore are intriguing but there is serious uncertainty at QB.


The percentage of targets on a team can also be very telling about a receiver's potential success.


Additionally, if a player is not targeted in the red zone and does not have many opportunities to score, I would avoid them unless you are playing in a PPR format and the receiver gets a large share of a team's targets.


Some Receivers that I like:


Mike Williams (14): Williams is the deep threat in one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. While targeted less than Keenan Allen, he provides potential for huge down field plays and has improved with every season in the league.


Marquise Brown (18): With DeAndre Hopkins suspended for the first 6 weeks of the season, Brown is the obvious WR1 for Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. He is among the best deep ball receivers in the league and is going from Lamar Jackson, one of the leagues worst deep ball QBs, to Murray, who is the most accurate. It is worth monitoring his hamstring injury which landed him on the NFI list for part of camp as well as a recent speeding ticket that lead to discipline.


Courtland Sutton (20): While it is not a sure thing who Russell Wilson will gravitate to this season, Sutton has no shortage of talent and because he is more reliable than Jeudy, I expect him to emerge as the WR1 in a greatly improved offense.


Allen Robinson II (29): The obvious #2 behind Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson finally has a great Quarterback. Despite horrendous QB play in Jacksonville and Chicago, Robinson showcased his ability to separate as well as his great hands. His potential will finally be realized by Matt Stafford and the Rams.


Allen Lazard (52): Lazard's ranking will likely shoot up as we approach draft time as it becomes obvious how undervalued he is. He is likely to be Aaron Rodger's top target this season and with Davante Adams gone, 163 targets are opening up.

update 8/5: Lazard has been moved up to WR39 on ESPNs Rankings


Some players I would avoid based on high ADP and overall distrust:


DJ Moore (11): Moore is a talented, versatile player but his ADP is far too great. With a poor Quarterback and uncertain team around him, Moore's WR11 ranking, above players like Mike Williams or Terry McLaurin, makes no sense.


AJ Brown (13): Coming from Tennessee where he was the vocal point and obvious WR1, Brown is moving to an equally run heavy team with a less accurate Quarterback and more competition at WR.


DK Metcalf (21): Metcalf has immense potential and recently signed a significant extension but he has one major red flag: the Quarterback. I do not trust Drew Lock to lead his receivers to top 20 finishes in what could very possibly be the worst offense in the NFL.


Gabriel Davis (25): Davis' value is greatly inflated after his incredible 4 TD performance in the 2021 playoffs. With under 600 yards in each of the last 2 seasons, Davis remains Josh Allen's 2nd target behind one of the leagues best receivers in Stefon Diggs.



Tight End:


Tight Ends are the most difficult players to predict because consistency is no sure thing for most across the league. Outside of Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce, and Darren Waller, its hard to predict whether any other Tight Ends will get consistent targets and opportunities.


A large percentage of Tight End's points come from touchdowns, typically within 10 yards. While this can be nice, I prefer targeting someone who will get targeted no matter where the team is on the field and will be an integral part of the team's offense.


Because most know little about this position, it is easy to find extreme value late in drafts. Typically, I use 2 of my final 4 picks on Tight Ends.


The important criteria is that they are the clear TE1 and have little competition on their own team, are not a block-first tight end, and have at least an OK offense.


There are many Tight Ends that go very late in drafts that are young, athletic, TE1's with great upside.


Some Tight Ends I like:


Zach Ertz (9): Ertz really came on last season after being traded to Arizona in the middle of the year. While his value is a bit steep, he has great upside given his likely increasing target share and good offense.


Robert Tonyan (17): Tonyan is a selection that should definitely be paired with another upside TE given his uncertainty after coming off a torn ACL. His vital and improving role in the offense really grabs my attention.


David Njoku (20): Njoku signed a huge extension in the offseason, the team moved on from his other competition, and he is extremely athletic. When Watson comes back in Week 7, Njoku's fantasy value will skyrocket to top 5.


Austin Hooper (21): Now that Ryan Tannehill finally has a TE1, Hooper is a safe selection, especially with how late he is falling in drafts.


Albert Okwuegbunam (26): Albert O is a bit of a wildcard but after a surprise 2021, a greatly improved QB and offense represents potential.


Tight Ends to avoid:


Pat Friermuth (13): Simply due to the QB drop off and uncertainty, I would rather chose other Tight Ends with more predictable situations than Friermuth.


Cole Kmet (16): While he could be a safety blanket for Justin Fields this season, Kmet did not catch a touchdown last season despite being targeted 93 times.


Noah Fant (17): Fant has too little upside to make the risk of a bottom 3 offense worth taking.



Other Later Round Sleepers to consider:

AJ Dillion (RB33): Dillion had more carries than Aaron Jones last season and with DaVante Adams gone, he will need to play an even more significant role.

James Cook (RB41): Cook is a bit of an uncertainty but the Bills took him in the 2nd round and have struggled to find a true RB1 since Lesean McCoy.

Treylon Burks (WR38): Burks has the potential to become the WR1 in Tennessee and has similar physical build to AJ Brown.

Rashod Bateman (WR39): Lamar Jackson's WR1, Bateman is extremely undervalued and will undoubtedly outperform his WR39 ranking.

Brandon Aiyuk (WR46): While he had an off year last season after an impressive rookie season, the 49ers move to Trey Lance at QB could be significant for Aiyuk.



Rankings:


I am not a huge fan of rankings because there are some players that I would rank highly but because of where they are coming off in the draft, would never consider drafting them.


These rankings are for standard scoring and differ noticeably from the mainstream rankings.


Because I do not draft based on a players ranking, just because a top 15 player fell much further than expected does not mean I will take them when I could draft a player I really believe in later in the draft.


Also, I have marked a few players:

I am interested if he falls

I am targeting him



QB:

Rank

My rankings

ESPN

1

Josh Allen

Josh Allen

2

Justin Herbert

Patrick Mahomes

3

Jalen Hurts

Justin Herbert

4

Patrick Mahomes

Lamar Jackson

5

Aaron Rodgers

Kyler Murray

6

Lamar Jackson

Dak Prescott

7

Kyler Murray

Jalen Hurts

8

Joe Burrow

Tom Brady

9

Dak Prescott

Aaron Rodgers

10

Derek Carr

Joe Burrow

11

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson

12

Tom Brady

Matthew Stafford

13

Trey Lance

Derek Carr

14

Justin Fields

Trey Lance

15

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins


RB:

Rank

My rankings

ESPN

1

Derrick Henry

Jonathan Taylor

2

Jonathan Taylor

Derrick Henry

3

Joe Mixon

Austin Ekeler

4

Najee Harris

Christian McCaffrey

5

Austin Ekeler

Najee Harris

6

Dalvin Cook

Joe Mixon

7

Christian McCaffrey

Dalvin Cook

8

Javonte Williams

Leonard Fournette

9

D'Andre Swift

Alvin Kamara

10

Alvin Kamara

D'Andre Swift

11

Nick Chubb

Nick Chubb

12

Aaron Jones

Javonte Williams

13

Ezekiel Elliot

Cam Akers

14

Josh Jacobs

James Conner

15

Travis Etienne Jr

Aaron Jones

WR:

Rank

My rankings

ESPN

1

Cooper Kupp

Cooper Kupp

2

Ja'Marr Chase

Justin Jefferson

3

CeeDee Lamb

Ja'Marr Chase

4

Justin Jefferson

Deebo Samuel

5

Mike Evans

Stefon Diggs

6

Stefon Diggs

Davante Adams

7

Davante Adams

CeeDee Lamb

8

Deebo Samuel

Tyreek Hill

9

Mike Williams

Mike Evans

10

Tyreek Hill

Tee Higgins

11

Terry McLaurin

DJ Moore

12

Tee Higgins

Keenan Allen

13

Marquise Brown

AJ Brown

14

Courtland Sutton

Mike Williams

15

Keenan Allen

Terry McLaurin

TE:

Rank

My rankings

ESPN

1

Mark Andrews

Mark Andrews

2

Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce

3

Darren Waller

Kyle Pitts

4

Dallas Goedert

Darren Waller

5

George Kittle

George Kittle

6

Kyle Pitts

Dalton Schultz

7

Zach Ertz

TJ Hockenson

8

Dalton Schultz

Dallas Goedert

9

David Njoku

Mike Gesicki

10

TJ Hockenson

Dawson Knox

11

Mike Gesicki

Zach Ertz

12

Irv Smith Jr

Hunter Henry

13

Tyler Higbee

Pat Freiermuth

14

Austin Hooper

David Njoku

15

Robert Tonyan

Irv Smith Jr


 

TL;DR

Draft Strategy: Secure 2-3 ace Running Backs in the first 3 rounds of your draft. They are the most important position and there is great depth at receiver. Target players who will get volume and do not be intrigued or deterred by a players fantasy ranking.


Quarterbacks: Don't reach on a QB because the difference between the best and worst starting QB in terms of fantasy production is not large enough. Draft one for consistency, one for upside.


Running Backs: Target Running Backs who will get the vast majority of a teams carries early on as there is a huge drop off in RB quality. Aim for consistent, healthy RBs, especially in your starters.


Wide Receivers: After securing your running backs, aim high on the depth chart and draft WR1's. Any that have chemistry with their current QB or are set to get an increasing amount of the teams target share is a great option. You can afford to take risks, especially later in the draft.


Tight End: There is immense depth at Tight End. There is no rush to secure a starter or backup, just consider the importance of the TE to the team's offense and whether they have potential in the pass game.


Defense/Kicker: Defenses are very unpredictable, you can simply chose one, with one of your last picks, from a top 10 team in the league. Use your last pick on a kicker whose team has an average offense. Any earlier pick before the last two rounds which fills out a need or bench spots should be used on a high upside player.

 


Please DM @tnspo on twitter or email tennsports.net@gmail.com with any fantasy football questions, requests, article ideas, or if you would like to be included in the tnsports.net fantasy league.


130 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page