Season-long fantasy football leagues are over, but it’s never too early to start looking ahead. With that in mind, our analysts reveal which player they’re most excited to draft in 2022.
Scott Pianowski: This isn’t some hidden-gem take, but I demand JUSTIN JEFFERSON on as many rosters as possible. In the second half of 2021, the Vikings finally accepted that Jefferson deserved 10-plus targets a week, right off the bus. Now, I realize that coaching staff is gone, and maybe Kirk Cousins won’t be returning, who knows? But I feel like Jefferson dominated for two years without fully hitting his ceiling yet. Get me to the Metrodome.
Matt Harmon: I’m hoping that Jets fears and Zach Wilson worries are enough to depress the ADP of Elijah Moore because I believe he could be a truly excellent value. From Weeks 8 to 13 Moore averaged 76.5 yards per game and scored five times. It was a perfect display of his blistering ability to get open at all levels of the field and create big plays. The beginning of that stretch culminated in the Jets — an offense desperate for juice — finally giving him a full complement of snaps. Moore cleared 80 percent of the plays in Weeks 11 to 13. The fact that he ended up landing on IR and not flashing a few more times before the end of the season could just keep that ADP lower. What matters most to me is that Moore showed he could win as an outside full-field receiver and was not just pigeon-holed to the slot. That’s going to be key in him reaching his 2022 ceiling. This guy is a star.
Liz Loza: Chief among my fantasy resolutions in 2022 is drafting players I’m legit excited by and for, whether due to talent and/or situation. There aren’t many players as thrilling as JA’MARR CHASE. Plenty was made last summer about his potential to be “the Justin Jefferson of 2021″ and those calls were spot on (Jefferson averaged two more yards per game in 2020 than Chase did this past season). Fantasy’s WR5 overall (ironically, Jefferson was the WR4), Chase demonstrated dazzling athleticism and an undeniable connection with Joe Burrow throughout his rookie effort. Top-five in YPR, YAC, deep targets and TDs, the LSU product is set for a playoff run and positioned to be a first-round pick next fall.
Dalton Del Don: TREY LANCE had the most fantasy points per dropback and as many 30+ yard touchdown passes as Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers during his rookie campaign.
Lance has had three starts since 2019 at any level.
With the 49ers’ system and weapons combined with his rushing ability, Lance has serious fantasy upside that I’ll be drafting at least one round ahead of ADP.
Andy Behrens: D’ANDRE SWIFT finished fourth among all running backs in both receptions (62) and receiving yards (452) this year despite missing four weeks due to injury. At his per-game averages, he would have finished the season with 1,398 total yards, 81 receptions and 9 TDs over 17 weeks. Swift was reliably playing over 70 percent of the snaps each game before the shoulder issue derailed his season, so playing time and workload certainly weren’t problems.
Plenty of you are going to dismiss Swift as injury-prone at 23 (as if league-wide injury risk is concentrated in some identifiable subset of players), and your pessimism is going to depress his ADP in 2022. I view him as a back who’s clearly capable of producing first-round value, yet he’ll be available much later. Wherever I’m drafting a receiver at the top, Swift will be a target. He’s excellent, fully capable of making an Austin Ekeler-style leap.
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