No big preamble is needed for this one. Here are the players I have clear convictions about in 2022 fantasy, either because I’ve drafted them often or look to do so later. These are My Guys for Fantasy Football 2022. I’ll group them together by position and keep the explanations short. You don’t need 500 words per player; I know we live in a TL;DR world. Don’t bother us, go to the choir.
Quarterback: Don’t sweat the easiest position to solve
Quarterback is the most critical position in sports – and the least important position in fantasy. We must consider this gap. I’m more of a value buyer at this position, though I understand the desire to draft someone who has top-five wins in their scoring range.
Sometimes Justin Herbert has slipped slightly from his ADP; I might get a vanity QB in those cases. The Chargers have different factors in every key part of the field. Russell Wilson it is interesting to me in its off-season; he’s getting a timely upgrade. Remember the growth of 2020 Tom Brady was there in Tampa Bay? Wilson can do similar things.
The dog value in me loves ADP Derek Carr (three dynamic passers; Raiders can also struggle to run the ball), and Kirk Cousins (Offensive improvement was much needed, and Justin Jefferson can pull anyone to greatness). Jared Goff is a late acquisition for Superflex purposes, surrounded by good receivers and likely to play in many pinball games.
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You could make an argument for so many quarterbacks, which underscores why it’s not an exciting position in fantasy. Any league I run will be Superflex in nature, given this depth. Three notable QBs I’m unlikely to draft: Josh Allen (ADP is very expensive), Aaron Rodgers (where’s the help on the field? This has a 2019 Brady feel) and Trey Lance (I see his case as a bargain, but others want to pay for it as if it’s a sure thing).
Running Back: Backtracking, trying to stay young
whip Jonathan Taylor in a second at 1.01, mostly with a nod to his floor, but it’s not like he doesn’t offer upside. He just finished RB1 after all. I am encouraged by the fact that he has never missed a practice or game since he started playing football.
Aaron Jones is a perfect second-round pick, Green Bay’s primary back. His receiving work has both floor and upside, as the Packers will likely center their offense around their two stars.
You have to bake in improvement if you want to land Javonte Williams; maybe the Broncos won’t throw Melvin Gordon in a smaller role. But Williams is seven years younger, and that’s a monumental age gap at the position. I want to skate where the puck can go. The phrase “league winner” is overused, but Williams deserves the label of a potential league winner.
Speed Round: I drafted Darrell Henderson several times, mostly because I don’t have faith Cam Akers . . . Rashad Penny was electric during the past year and Ken Walker won’t be ready right away, coming off hip surgery. . . Kyle Shanahan has such a haunting eye on the run, you have to consider a speculative play. Jeff Wilson it’s my chip there, but there are several candidates. . . Follow the money to Miami, draft Chase Edmonds . . . The price is going up Dameon Pierce, but I’ll still consider him in the sixth round of sharper leagues. In more casual pools, you’ll likely wait another round or two. Pierce was sharp all summer, his competition is soft and Houston’s line isn’t bad.
Wide receiver: Top 20 at the talent-laden position
My most common roster creation is an anchor running back surrounded by several “they play themselves” wide receivers. So I’ll be overweight some of the wide campaigns in the top 20. If I can’t get Taylor in, I’m perfectly happy to win Cooper Coupe (I’m not worried about Matthew Stafford injury; Sean McVay’s scheme gets so many targets for Kupp), Justin Jefferson (he might be on all the magazine covers next year), or Here’s Chase (remember at LSU, he was seen as the star of the generation, not Jefferson). All of these guys are fun picks, and receivers are less likely to get hurt than running backs.
Everyone will miss Aaron Rodgers Davante Adams show, but Adams and Derek Carr lit up the sky at Fresno State and should be fun in Vegas. CeeDee the Lamb will take as many targets as he can afford in Dallas, and Dak Prescott is a plus quarterback. Mike Evans Since then he has lived in the latter area Tom Brady arrived; this will not change. And Brady is the kind of quarterback who wants his receivers to hit their spurs.
of Michael Pittman the gang is overbooked, but save me a seat. His career has had a regular upward arc, like an airplane, and now it’s time for Year 3 and an improved quarterback. DJ Moore has been unlucky with shots throughout his career, but Baker Mayfield (when healthy) is a marked improvement over the draft QBs Moore has been linked to in the past. Mike Williams overproduced Keenan Allen last year and still has the cheapest ADP. I’m not sure I understand this.
Bargain hunting: Adam Thielen it’s the classic boring vet. I never feel like I’m aggressively chasing it, just accepting it when the rest of the room shrugs. . . Darnell Mooney is the target pig of Chicago and the training probably can’t be any worse than it was last year. . . Hunter Renfrow fits perfectly in a Josh McDaniels offense and he provides some of the boring shrug angle I described with Thielen. . . Christian Kirk was paid to be boy no. 1 of Jacksonville. . . I don’t see Allen Lazard breaking up the play, but he should be Green Bay’s busiest receiver on the field. . . Brandon AyukHis receiving stats were better than Deebo Samuelis in the second part; we can’t ignore Deebo’s rushing juice, but Aiyuk is much more likely to pay his ADP. . . Nico Collins seems set as receiver no. 2 of Houston, and Davis Mills it’s not bad. . . Yes, I worship the Sun God. We can’t see what Amon-Ra St. Brown reduced the scope to 2021. Jared Goff he’ll never be great, but he’s good enough. Better yet, Goff’s skill set is directly related to what St. Louis is good at. Brown.
Tight end: Smaller levels still offer value
Maybe I’ll avoid the tight ends of vanity, though it hurts to watch Kyle Pitts I go down on someone else’s list. I am open to shopping at the next level, where Dalton Schultz has a safe role without an X on the back (thanks to CeeDee Lamb, stud breakout) and Dallas Goedert it has efficiency metrics to die for.
Removing a layer, Dawson Knox can win at all three levels, and even if Buffalo’s offense has some huddle issues, its strikeout rate could remain fairly consistent. Col. Kmet was comically unfortunate last year, but bogarting Jimmy Graham has disappeared and Justin Fields may be ready to take a leap. If you want 70 boring catches, Austin Hooper is needed to reprise his role in Atlanta for the Titans and should fit in well Ryan Tannehill.
Defense: Focus on early season games
No one came here for a DST chat, but I’ll offer this short hack: I like to look at the instant time and throw everything else into the shredder. I will treat my protections like cell phone lighters, short term rentals and throw them right behind. The Broncos (at Seahawks, Texans) and Colts (at Texans, at Jaguars, though you wish these were home games) both have favorable early season schedules; good enough for me.