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QB2s with Top-Five Potential (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Tim Brosnan
Mar 26, 2022
Trey Lance

In his three games as a starter in 2021, Trey Lance averaged 10.3 carries and 53.6 rush YPG.

Disclaimer: This list is intended to predict which players (based on their current value) are likely to outperform their FantasyPros 2022 ADP and push for QB1 numbers. After much research and careful deliberation, the following players are those I have deemed (in my own opinion) as good fits for such predictions. There is no particular order of confidence in these predictions. 

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Derek Carr (LV)

News broke this week that Davante Adams will be reuniting with his former college QB (Carr) in Las Vegas this season. The superstar wide receiver would be a welcomed addition for any QB. He just so happens to be joining a QB who once threw him 24 TDs in a 13-game season.

I’ve been iffy on Carr in the past, and for a good reason. But this is literally the best possible thing that could have happened to his fantasy value. Last season, despite throwing for 4,804 yards (fifth in the league), he finished as just QB13 in fantasy, largely because he failed to throw more than two TDs in any game in 2021. Which sounds like it can’t be true, but it is.

If anyone can help with the TD issue, it is one of the best receivers in the league, one he happens to already have a rapport with. One who also happens to have accounted for nearly half (48 percent) of Carr’s 50 TDs at Fresno State in 2013. I’m not saying Adams catches 20 TDs this season, but he has delivered double-digit TD totals in five of his last six seasons.

Say he adds 12 TDs to Carr’s final stats and cleans up about five would-be interceptions because he is Davante Adams and wins 50/50 balls; in this hypothetical (but completely realistic) scenario, Carr would have finished QB8 in 2021 with 328.9 points. In other words, just above Joe Burrow, who we are all comfortable taking as a QB1 in 2022. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Trey Lance (SF)

We all wanted him to be a thing in 2021, but he wasn’t ready for the big stage. However, that may not be the case for much longer.

Despite Jimmy G’s mediocre play, the 49ers can’t expect to continue to squeak out wins. Sure, it’s easy to look at the W/L column and say Jimmy Garoppolo wins games. But, since he became a 49er, no QB has benefitted more from YAC than Garoppolo (statistical fact). John Lynch knows it, Shanahan knows it, and you and I know it. So, it will be Trey Lance’s time sooner rather than later.

If all it takes to win in SanFran is not to make crucial mistakes, why not hand the offense to someone younger and more physically gifted? Lance has a stronger arm and is infinitely more of a threat as a rusher. In his three games as a starter, Lance averaged 10.3 carries and 53.6 rush YPG.

The only standing in his way is Garoppolo, who, the way I see it, only has the advantage in the experience department. This became an unintentional anti-Jimmy G rant somewhere along the line, but you get the point. With a full season’s worth of knowledge now under his belt, Lance should be ready to rip in 2022. With his rushing ability combined with RAC weapons like Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, etc., he has the potential to put up scary fantasy numbers.

Russell Wilson (DEN)

Russell Wilson as a QB2?! I know, I must be crazy. But hey, check the numbers. He finished as QB16 in total fantasy points this year. Sure, he missed three games, but he was also QB13 on a PPG basis. Sounds like a QB2 to me.

Now that he’s in Denver, a change of scenery could be exactly what he needs. However, there is an argument that he will be joining a less talented offense than the one he leaves behind in Seattle, which could deter some from drafting him in 2022.

He is coming off a down campaign, and he should be available for a discount price (currently QB11 via FantasyPros ECR, as low as QB14 for some). Kind of wild, considering last season was the first time he missed a single start due to injury and the first time he’s finished outside the top-nine of fantasy QBs since 2011.

Nonetheless, a guy like Wilson should be nowhere near outside the top-10 fantasy QBs. He is just one season removed from being in MVP form. I don’t buy he’s already washed up. All things considered, Wilson likely ends up back in fantasy QB1 territory, where he belongs in 2022.

Jalen Hurts (PHI)

The Jalen Hurts saga was truly a tale of two QBs in 2021. In real life, it was a rollercoaster. In fantasy, it was a highlight reel.

He scored no less than 20.5 points in each of his first seven games, leaving fantasy managers patting themselves on the back. However, Hurts’ real-life play eventually caught up to his fantasy totals, and he laid some duds toward the back end of the season (less than 20.0 points in six of his final eight games).

He finished as QB9 behind Joe burrow. So technically, he shouldn’t be considered a fantasy QB2. But after the way he finished 2022, fantasy managers wouldn’t be blamed for fading him. So this is why I project he falls into the QB2 range.

BUT… If we’re talking pure ability, he has all the tools to finish as QB1 overall. In fact, for a short period of time, he actually did hold the title of QB1 after week 11. His average of 52.3 rush YPG led all QBs in 2021.

There’s no denying it’s ugly sometimes but think about it…he hasn’t even started two full seasons’ worth of games yet. So there is plenty of room to grow. All it takes is a step (or two) forward in the consistency department, and we could be looking at a fantasy MONSTER for years to come.

Honorable Mention: Mac Jones – New England Patriots

With 3,800 yards and 22 TDs, a pro-bowl, and a playoff appearance as a rookie…not a bad start to your NFL resume, kid.

Belichick isn’t going anywhere, and with his help continuing to develop Jones, the young QB is likely to take a step forward. If Jones turns it loose this season, he could push for Justin Herbert-like numbers. Now, I’m not saying I think he’s as talented as Herbert because I’m not insane. But a leap to 4,200 yards and 30 TDs is really not out of the question for Jones. Herbert finished as QB9 with similar stats in 2020.

If Jones plays better than expected, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see him creep toward QB1 numbers. The top-five, however, would be a long shot. Hence the ‘honorable mention’ tag.

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