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2022 NFL Schedule Winners & Losers (Fantasy Football)

May 16, 2022


 
The NFL schedule is out for the new season. Now that our featured analysts have had time to digest it for a few days, what are their main initial takeaways on this season’s biggest fantasy winners and losers? Read on below to see their opinions as we officially ring in the 2022 NFL season!

Q1. Which notable player has favorable matchups in 2022 and should see a boost in value?

Michael Pittman (WR – IND) 
“Michael Pittman has been slowly gaining steam as a breakout player for 2022. He leveled up in 2021 with 88 receptions, 1,082 receiving yards, and six touchdowns. He should hit new career highs in his third NFL season while catching passes from Matt Ryan. Not only does he face divisional opponents who were all bottom-10 in points per game allowed to wide receivers in 2021, he also gets Washington, Kansas City and Minnesota, who all allowed an average of over 250 passing yards per game. Add in matchups against a J.C. Jackson-less Patriots secondary and a James Bradberry-less Giants secondary, and we have an extremely intriguing schedule of matchups for the alpha wideout for Matt Ryan.”
Robby Jeffries (The Fantasy Authority)

Miles Sanders (RB – PHI) 
“One player who should get a boost in value based on their matchups is Miles Sanders. The Eagles face only six teams who ranked in the top 14 of DVOA against the run according to Football Outsiders rankings. He starts the year with two great matchups with Detroit and Minnesota and has a stretch towards the end of the year starting in Week 12 against Green Bay where every team he faces ranked in the bottom half of the league in DVOA against the run. The one major negative when looking at Sanders’ schedule is he drew New Orleans in week 17, which was the best team against the run according to DVOA. ”
Dylan Licciardo (FF Gamers)

Jalen Hurts (QB – PHI) 
“Keep moving Jalen Hurts up your 2022 quarterback rankings. Not only do the Eagles own the second-easiest schedule overall, but they also have the third-easiest schedule to open the season through the first four weeks. Layup matchups against the Lions, Vikings, Commanders, Jaguars and Cardinals round out Hurts’ first five opponents before Dallas in Week 6 and their bye in Week 7. In the 20 games the Eagles quarterback has played as a starter where he played a full four quarters, Hurts has been a top-12 quarterback at an 85% hit rate.”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Q2. Who is a player facing a difficult schedule that fantasy owners should be aware of?

Tua Tagovailoa (QB – MIA) 
“Tua Tagovailoa is viewed as a popular late-round quarterback among fantasy circles, but I have to admit I won’t be pulling the trigger on him in 1QB redraft formats with his early schedule. New England, Baltimore and Buffalo are hardly the stream-worthy spots you will be confident starting Tua in. In the Dolphins quarterback’s four combined starts versus those teams in 2021, his fantasy finishes were QB23, QB24, QB18 and QB16. If Miami starts out the season slow, it will represent the perfect buy-low opportunity for many of their skill players.”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Cam Akers (RB – LAR) 
“Stock down for our rushers in the Los Angeles Rams’ backfield. For those who are hoping for a Cam Akers comeback, temper expectations. Akers gets 10, count them (ARI x2, SF x2, DAL, CAR, TB, NO, GB, & DEN) 10, matchups against defenses who were bottom-12 in fantasy points allowed to rushers in 2021. Tack on a really stout Bills defense and an upgraded Chargers defense with Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson, and there are roughly 12 matchups that will stack up as average at best for Cam Akers and company. Winning the Super Bowl comes at a cost, and that cost will be the weekly matchups you have if rostering Akers in 2022.”
Robby Jeffries (The Fantasy Authority)

D.J. Moore (WR – CAR) 
“The early-season schedule for D.J. Moore is very concerning for fantasy owners. Weeks 1-7 he faces teams who ranked in the top 15 of DVOA against the pass last season. With expected quarterback issues with Sam Darnold throwing the ball, the early season for Moore may be rough. However, after week 7, Moore gets an incredible stretch of matchups for the rest of the year and could be a great buy-low candidate if he does come out of the gate slow and the Panthers make a change at QB around this point in the schedule as well.”
Dylan Licciardo (FF Gamers)

Andrew Erickson Mock Draft

Q3. For the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 15-17), which notable player jumps out as having a particularly easy schedule?

Chiefs Passing Game
Patrick Mahomes, Skyy Moore and Travis Kelce have a dream playoff schedule for fantasy owners. The Chiefs’ passing offense gets Houston in Week 15, who ranked 22nd in DVOA against the pass, then Seattle in week 16, who ranked 26th in DVOA against the pass. Then in the championship week, the Chiefs get a potential shootout with the Denver Broncos, who ranked 20th in pass DVOA. If you are able to get a piece of the Chiefs’ passing offense throughout the season, then it will pay off greatly for fantasy owners when it comes to the playoffs.”
Dylan Licciardo (FF Gamers)

D’Andre Swift (RB – DET) 
“Predicting fantasy playoff strength of schedule in May is kind of like attempting to predict the weather for December while still in May. You’re just not sure exactly what you’re going to get. With that said, the Lions surprisingly have three winnable games to wind down their season. They see the Jets in Week 15, the Panthers the following week, and close out the fantasy season against the Bears. Winnable games mean running back opportunities, and D’Andre Swift stands to benefit against some suspect front sevens. The Jets are trying to improve from being league worst again the run, Carolina’s defense got picked apart in free agency, and Chicago isn’t the same run defending team without Akeem Hicks. D’Andre Swift will be your fantasy winter storm of points in December. Please just forget to hold me accountable to this just like you do with your local weatherman.”
Robby Jeffries (The Fantasy Authority)

Breece Hall (RB – NYJ) | Dameon Pierce (RB – HOU) 
“The Jets face Detroit, Jacksonville and Seattle during the fantasy playoffs, so we could see rookie running back Breece Hall emerge as a league-winner. Be open to back-filling your best-ball roster with Gang Green stacks. Same for the Houston Texans, who play KC, TEN and JAX in Weeks 15-17. Fourth-round rookie running back Dameon Pierce might not fire initially but could be unleashed down the stretch.”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)


CTAs

Thank you to the experts for giving us their thoughts on their NFL schedule winners and losers. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below for advice all year round.


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