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Fantasy Football Draft Rankings, Tiers & Player Notes: Wide Receivers (2022)

May 26, 2022
CeeDee Lamb

It’s never too early to look at rankings ahead of the 2022 fantasy football season. Now is the time to see where the experts have players ranked versus the early average draft position (ADP).

Check out our top12 wide receiver rankings along with player notes as you prepare for your fantasy football draft.

Wide Receiver Fantasy Football Rankings & Player Notes

Tier 1

1) Cooper Kupp (LAR – WR)
What else is there to say about Cooper Kupp‘s historic 2021 campaign? The guy was essentially lapping the other wide receivers, finishing No. 1 overall in points per game, receiving yards (1,947) and target share (31%) with over 200 targets total in 21 games played. New quarterback Matthew Stafford elevated Kupp back inside the top-5 fantasy WRs – as he previously was in 2019. Stafford’s arrival in L.A. was the code to cracking Kupp’s untapped potential, especially with touchdowns. After catching just three the year prior, Kupp led the league with 16 TD scores – a feat that has happened only six times since 2007. However, regression will also certainly hit Kupp’s production in 2022, just because it’s near impossible for him to repeat his once-in-a-lifetime production. Of the five WRs that caught at least 16 touchdowns, they averaged just 6.6 TDs the following season. Only two (Davante Adams, Randy Moss) were able to haul in double-digit scores.

2) Justin Jefferson (MIN – WR)
Justin Jefferson has been a revelation since entering the league. He has the most receiving yards in NFL history (3,016) in a player’s first two seasons and is PFF’s second-highest-graded receiver over that span (91.7). The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver finished 2021 as the WR4 in fantasy points per game (19.5 PPR) and expected fantasy points per game (18.8). Jefferson was the model of consistency at just 22 years old, finishing as a weekly top-20 wide receiver in 76% of his games (13 of 17) while commanding the league’s third-highest target share (27%) and No. 1 air yards share (44%).

3) Ja’Marr Chase (CIN – WR)
Ja’Marr Chase broke Justin Jefferson‘s record for most receiving yards by a rookie, finishing 2021 as the WR5 in fantasy points per game and the WR22 in expected fantasy points per game. Only Deebo Samuel scored more fantasy points above expectation (+74.3) than Chase – a testament to his home-run hitting ability. Chase’s 18.0 yards per reception ranked second-best in the NFL behind only Samuel. The Bengals’ wide receivers’ dominance continued in the postseason with back-to-back 100-yard games in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Chase commanded a 27% target share when it mattered most during postseason play, a 5% increase from his regular-season target share.


Tier 2

4) Davante Adams (LV – WR)
A healthy Davante Adams has finished no worse than WR5 attached to Aaron Rodgers since 2018, and he ended 2021 third in fantasy points per game at age 29. Adams’ high level of play won’t stop in Las Vegas, but his fantasy stock does get slightly dented going from Rodgers to Derek Carr. It’s unlikely that Carr hyper-targets Adams to the length of a 28% target share as Rodgers has done for so many seasons. Incumbent Raiders pass-catchers Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow represent more target competition than Adams has ever played with since becoming the alpha in Green Bay.

5) Stefon Diggs (BUF – WR)
2021 was a somewhat odd season for Stefon Diggs as his fantasy production took a step back from his first season in Buffalo. His 29% target share fell to 24% as did his yards per route run (2.5 versus 1.8). This resulted in Diggs finishing with just two games with at least 90 receiving yards, a dramatic decrease from his ten 90-plus yard outings during the 2020 regular season. He finished as a top-15 WR just once through the first nine weeks of the season but improved down the stretch as Buffalo’s offense hit its stride. He had three top-10 finishes as the WR8 in fantasy points per game in half-point scoring (14.8). Still, top-5 upside still exists with Diggs in this explosive Bills offense even if his target share holds at 24% in 2022. Because his command of high-value targets in the Buffalo offense was unmatched by almost every other WR in the NFL. He was one of just two WRs to hit over 2,000 air yards (Justin Jefferson). Diggs also commanded the most end-zone targets in the NFL (25) during the regular season – six more than the next closest receiver (Justin Jefferson).

6) CeeDee Lamb (DAL – WR)
The engines are ready for ignition. CeeDee Lamb‘s rocket ship to the moon is prepped for launch. Last season Lamb was 13th in yards per route run in the regular season (minimum 50 targets per PFF) while excelling as a bully after the catch. He was fifth in missed tackles forced among wide receivers. With Amari Cooper gone and Michael Gallup likely to start the season limited, Lamb can take another step forward as an ascending alpha wide receiver.

7) Deebo Samuel (SF – WR)
Before excelling in the “wide back” role for the 49ers, Deebo Samuel was already an elite option at wide receiver for fantasy football. Last year in Weeks 1-9, he was the WR2 in fantasy points per game behind only Cooper Kupp. Over that stretch, Samuel was leading all wide receivers in yards per route run (minimum 25 targets, per PFF). He averaged an insane 10.1 targets, 6.1 receptions, and 110.3 receiving yards per game, so “wide back” or no “wide back” matters very little. Samuel is a top 12 wide receiver in 2022.

8) Mike Evans (TB – WR)
Mike Evans‘ consistency in fantasy football is astounding. Over the last eight seasons, he’s hit 1,000 or more every year. He’s finished as a top 20 wide receiver in weekly fantasy scoring in every season but one. Last season he ranked 11th in red-zone targets and second in total touchdowns at the receiver position. With Tom Brady back in the fold, Evans is a locked-in top 12 option at the receiver position that could crest the top five if Chris Godwin is slow out the gate or starts the season on the PUP.

9) Tyreek Hill (MIA – WR)
Heading into 2021, Tyreek Hill was a consensus top-three receiver option. But he came in slightly under expectations. The ‘Cheetah’ wrapped a bow on the year as the WR6 overall and in points per game (14.2). It’s worth noting that Hill posted a career-low in yards after the catch per reception (4.3, 42nd) and yards per route run (2.14, 11th). Hill’s aDOT also dipped dramatically to 10.6, which was the lowest it’s been since his rookie season. And It’s undeniable that going from Patrick Mahomes to Tua Tagovailoa is a massive downgrade for Hill. Tagovailoa has yet to show that he can properly fuel a fantasy WR1, so it’s hard to expect Hill to deliver a top-5 season with a lesser passer. Especially with Tagovailoa’s lack of a confident deep ball, a prominent running game, and Jaylen Waddle also heavily involved in the offensive game plan. Sure, Hill will have his weeks when he is peppered with low-value targets in PPR formats, but the massive downfield touchdowns will happen much less frequently.


Tier 3

10) A.J. Brown (PHI – WR)
If you’re concerned about A.J. Brown‘s move to Philadelphia, don’t be. Brown is one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL, and talent plays regardless of area code or jersey. Brown was the fourth-highest graded wide receiver per PFF last season and fifth in yards per route run (minimum 50 targets). Before switching to a run-first approach, the Eagles were sixth in neutral passing rate (Weeks 1-6) last season. We could see Philly go back to this pass-heavy offensive approach to see if Jalen Hurts truly is the guy. This means the target volume for Brown could surpass expectations.

11) Keenan Allen (LAC – WR)
The 2021 season represented the latest installment of Keenan Allen just being straight a baller and one of the most perennially underrated wide receivers in the NFL. He caught 100-plus passes for the fifth straight season and finished as the WR14 overall and in fantasy points per game (12.8). The Chargers slot receiver remained Justin Herbert‘s go-to option as his 17th-ranked 22% target share led the Chargers. But it’s worth noting that Mike Williams out-scored Allen in half-point scoring in the season’s totality and that Allen posted his lowest yards per route run (1.78) since 2014.

12) Tee Higgins (CIN – WR)
Tee Higgins‘ 23% target rate per route run was higher than Ja’Marr Chase‘s 21% during the 2021 regular season as was his 25% target share in the games they played together when healthy. There’s no denying that WR1 overall upside exists with Chase in 2022, but Higgins’ constant command of targets in a loaded Cincinnati offense will make him a screaming value in 2022 fantasy drafts.

FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

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