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Most Underrated Player on Each NFL Team (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Mike Maher | @mikeMaher | Featured Writer
May 23, 2022


 
Projections and rankings are valuable resources to utilize throughout the NFL offseason, especially as fantasy managers are preparing for their upcoming drafts. But those projections and rankings aren’t 100% accurate, otherwise, fantasy football would be easy. The data shows that some players are overrated, and some are underrated. Identifying these players can be the difference between winning your league and missing the playoffs altogether, especially if you have that knowledge prior to your draft and can use it to your advantage.

Our analysts combed through the NFL rosters and identified the most underrated player on every team. The results and accompanying justifications are below.

CTAs

AFC East

TEAM Matt Andrew Derek Pat Joe
Buffalo Bills Isaiah McKenzie Gabriel Davis Gabriel Davis Devin Singletary Gabriel Davis
Miami Dolphins Raheem Mostert Chase Edmonds Chase Edmonds Chase Edmonds Mike Gesicki
New England Patriots Jonnu Smith Kendrick Bourne Kendrick Bourne Rhamondre Stevenson Damien Harris
New York Jets Braxton Berrios Braxton Berrios Garret Wilson Elijah Moore Elijah Moore

Buffalo Bills
In his two career games with a snap rate of at least 80%, Isaiah McKenzie is 17-190-3 receiving on 21 targets (with a punt return touchdown). Can someone please give this guy a full-time slot role?
– Matthew Freedman

Miami Dolphins
Chase Edmonds
has slipped to RB32 in ECR. Edmonds’ ranking can be traced to the downside arguments. The injection of Raheem Mostert and now Sony Michel into this backfield and the history of the 49ers’ multiple back usage, but his upside isn’t fully baked into his ranking. Mostert isn’t a picture of health, and Michel wasn’t an efficient back last year, unlike Edmonds. There’s a range of outcomes where Edmonds sees the majority of the work because he’s simply the best player. Last season he was the RB23 in fantasy points per game in a split backfield while blowing efficiency metrics out of the park. Edmonds was ninth in yards per route run, seventh in yards per touch, and 11th in breakaway run rate.
– Derek Brown

New England Patriots
Kendrick Bourne
posted an 83% catch rate and finished 14th in yards per route run last season.
– Andrew Erickson

New York Jets
Garrett Wilson is the new, exciting WR, but Elijah Moore had some incredible moments last year, in an epic run fueled by multiple QBs. I still have my long-term doubts about Zach Wilson, but Moore’s breakout stretch should not be forgotten or dismissed just because it was with a myriad of different guys under center in meaningless games.
– Joe Pisapia

AFC North

TEAM Matt Andrew Derek Pat Joe
Baltimore Ravens Gus Edwards Lamar Jackson Rashod Bateman Rashod Bateman Rashod Bateman
Cincinnati Bengals Tee Higgins Joe Mixon Joe Burrow Joe Burrow Tee Higgins
Cleveland Browns D’Ernest Johnson David Njoku David Njoku David Njoku David Njoku
Pittsburgh Steelers Chase Claypool George Pickens Chase Claypool George Pickens Diontae Johnson

Baltimore Ravens
Rashod Bateman
has Keenan Allen-esque potential. Lamar Jackson’s options in the passing game are limited, so Bateman is either going to step up and be “the guy” or the Ravens will be in the WR market next season. Bateman’s 2021 seemed doomed from the start with an injury in training camp setting him back, then Lamar Jackson not being healthy at the same time as Bateman. If the stars align, this duo could create big waves.
– Joe Pisapia

Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon
finished 3rd in touches and was just one of 2 RBs to post a top-6 weekly finish in seven different games in 2021. He plays in a high-powered offense, and yet he continues to be undervalued by the fantasy community as the RB7 per early best ball ADP. Mixon fits all the criteria that a fantasy manager would want as a mid-range first round selection in fantasy football
– Andrew Erickson

Cleveland Browns
It’s generally not advisable to wait around for sixth-year breakouts, but there’s reason to believe we’ll get one from David Njoku. QB Deshaun Watson could help fully tap the freakish athleticism that prompted the Browns to take Njoku in the first round of the 2017 draft. Njoku averaged a career-high 13.2 yards per catch and 9.0 yards per target last season but saw only 53 targets. There’s room for a volume increase, since TE Austin Hooper has left for Tennessee and the Browns don’t have a lot of firepower at WR.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

Pittsburgh Steelers
Chase Claypool
is big (6-4, 238 pounds) and fast (4.42-second 40-yard dash), and he has averaged 8.1 yards per target in the NFL despite playing with dead-armed QB Ben Roethlisberger for the first two years of his career. He really might be the best wide receiver on the Steelers.
– Matthew Freedman

AFC South

TEAM Matt Andrew Derek Pat Joe
Houston Texans Davis Mills Brandin Cooks Brandin Cooks Brandin Cooks Marlon Mack
Indianapolis Colts Matt Ryan Matt Ryan Matt Ryan Michael Pittman Mo Alie-Cox
Jacksonville Jaguars Laquon Treadwell Laviska Shenault Christian Kirk Trevor Lawrence Christian Kirk
Tennessee Titans Hassan Haskins Kyle Philips Hassan Haskins Kyle Phillips Robert Woods

Houston Texans
Brandin Cooks
is underrated every season, and 2022 is no different, even though he finished the 2021 season as the WR20 (WR22 points per game). Cooks has finished worse than the fantasy WR20 only once since 2015, and that was due to injury. He has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards six times with four different teams during that span
– Andrew Erickson

Indianapolis Colts
If you were a quarterback and I put you with a first-year head coach and took away your top wide receivers (Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley), you’d probably have a bad year. That’s what happened to Matt Ryan in 2021. In his five games last year with Ridley, Ryan averaged 22.2 fantasy points per game. In his 12 games without him, Ryan averaged just 14.1. With a seasoned head coach and respectable No. 1 wide receiver (Michael Pittman), Ryan should rebound in 2022.
– Matthew Freedman

Jacksonville Jaguars
Everyone is mocking the big contract of Christian Kirk. However, analytically speaking, Kirk has all the potential to profile as a #1 WR in an offense. The trouble is, the Jags are already paying him as though he is. That “negative” connotation may scare off some fantasy players, and actually make Kirk an intriguing value in some drafts if he reaches that potential.
– Joe Pisapia

Tennessee Titans
Kyle Philips
is poised to become the Titans’ version of Hunter Renfrow. A fifth-round rookie from UCLA, Philips drew raves at the Titans’ rookie minicamp in May and has a chance to claim a significant share of targets in a Titans offense that doesn’t appear to have overwhelming firepower at receiver.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

AFC West

TEAM Matt Andrew Derek Pat Joe
Denver Broncos K.J. Hamler Tim Patrick K.J. Hamler Melvin Gordon Russell Wilson
Kansas City Chiefs JuJu Smith-Schuster Skyy Moore Skyy Moore JuJu Smith-Schuster Skyy Moore
Las Vegas Raiders Josh Jacobs Hunter Renfrow Derek Carr Hunter Renfrow Hunter Renfrow
Los Angeles Chargers Mike Williams Keenan Allen Isaiah Spiller Mike Williams Isaiah Spiller

Denver Broncos
Tim Patrick
is seriously underrated even though he has out-produced Jerry Jeudy in the fantasy points column the last two seasons and has seen a featured role as a red-zone threat.

His production over the last two seasons earned him a three-year, $34.5 million contract extension. Like it or not, Patrick will be on the field as much – if not more – than Jeudy in 2022 as the boundary receiver opposite Courtland Sutton. And their two ADPs couldn’t be more different.
– Andrew Erickson

Kansas City Chiefs
There’s no clear #1 wide receiver for the Chiefs right now, only theories. Skyy Moore was impressive at the combine, and his tape is excellent. He has speed and is not afraid of contact. If Patrick Mahomes establishes an early connection with his, Moore has the upside to be a league winner in 2022.
– Joe Pisapia

Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs
has opened his career with back-to-back-to-back seasons of 1,200-plus yards from scrimmage, and he’s just 24 years old, but, nah, he’s probably not good at football. Why? Because he’s averaged “only” 45.3 targets and 9.3 touchdowns per year. He’s perennially underappreciated.
– Matthew Freedman

Los Angeles Chargers
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).
– Andrew Erickson

CTAs

NFC East

TEAM Matt Andrew Derek Pat Joe
Dallas Cowboys Tony Pollard Dalton Schultz Dalton Schultz Jalen Tolbert Dalton Schultz
New York Giants Matt Breida Kenny Golladay Kadarius Toney Kenny Golladay Daniel Jones
Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Hurts Jalen Hurts Miles Sanders Miles Sanders Dallas Goedert
Washington Commanders Terry McLaurin Jahan Dotson Jahan Dotson Jahan Dotson Logan Thomas

Dallas Cowboys
Dalton Schultz
crushed last season at the TE5 in weekly fantasy scoring. His upside this season is even higher as he could enter the top three discussion at his position. In his first season with a featured role, he ranked 11th in yards per route run and 14th in targets per snap. With Michael Gallup questionable to begin the season at full health and only James Washington and Jalen Tolbert behind CeeDee Lamb, Schultz should easily carve out his role as the number two option in the Dallas passing attack.
– Derek Brown

New York Giants
Matt Breida
has a 1,000-yard NFL season to his name. He’s a good receiver (76.9% catch rate, 6.8 yards per target). He has home-run speed (4.38-second 40-yard dash). He knows HC Brian Daboll’s offensive system from their time together last year with the Bills. And he’s the direct backup to a running back (Saquon Barkley) who has amassed just 950 yards from scrimmage in 15 games over the past two years. Breida has league-winning upside.
– Matthew Freedman

Philadelphia Eagles
Fantasy football pundits will find whatever excuse than can to knock Jalen Hurts outside their top-5 fantasy quarterback rankings because of his inconsistent real-life NFL play. But the sharp drafters know fantasy and reality are hardly one in the same. Case in point, in the 20 full games the Eagles quarterback has played as a starter he has finished as a top-12 quarterback at an 85% hit rate.
– Andrew Erickson

Washington Commanders
If healthy, Logan Thomas has a chance to be a surprisingly good TE in fantasy this season. At his peak, Carson Wentz funneled many targets to Zach Ertz back in the day and Thomas has already shown TE1 worthy attributes over his short career. He could easily be the #1 target in this offense.
– Joe Pisapia

NFC North

TEAM Matt Andrew Derek Pat Joe
Chicago Bears Cole Kmet Darnell Mooney Darnell Mooney Darnell Mooney Darnell Mooney
Detroit Lions Jared Goff Jameson Williams Jameson Williams Jared Goff Amon-Ra St. Brown
Green Bay Packers A.J. Dillon Allen Lazard Allen Lazard A.J. Dillon Allen Lazard
Minnesota Vikings Alexander Mattison Alexander Mattison Irv Smith K.J. Osborn K.J. Osborn

Chicago Bears
Darnell Mooney’s
just like Jerry Jeudy. Except. 1) He didn’t go to Alabama. 2) He wasn’t a 1st-round pick. 3) He’s actually produced in the NFL – WR27 points/game and 24% target share in 2021. 4) He is cheaper to acquire in fantasy drafts.
– Andrew Erickson

Detroit Lions
Jared Goff
isn’t good, but last year — in highly negative circumstances — he had an average-ish 6.6 adjusted yards per attempt. Goff lacks the rushing ability of today’s heralded quarterbacks, but he’s probably closer to the 50th percentile at the position than the bottom first percentile. He’s serviceable, not horrible.
– Matthew Freedman

Green Bay Packers
A.J. Dillon
averaged more carries and more touches per game than Aaron Jones last season from late October on. With Davante Adams gone and the Packers quietly building a powerhouse defense, the Packers are going to throw to their RBs more this season, and they’re going to run the ball more often. Dillon should have a beefy workload, and if Jones were to go down, Dillon would instantly become one of THE most valuable fantasy assets.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

Minnesota Vikings
Adam Thielen
will be 32 this year and has a lot of mileage on him. When K.J. Osborn was asked to step up in Thielen’s absences last year, he showed he was up for the challenge. He has high volume potential should Thielen suffer another injury or decline and his 7 TD’s in ’21 were not a fluke.
– Joe Pisapia

NFC South

TEAM Matt Andrew Derek Pat Joe
Atlanta Falcons Cordarrelle Patterson Tyler Allgeier Drake London Auden Tate Tyler Allgeier
Carolina Panthers D.J. Moore Robby Anderson D.J. Moore D.J. Moore DJ Moore
New Orleans Saints Jameis Winston Jarvis Landry Chris Olave Jameis Winston Jarvis Landry
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Leonard Fournette Russell Gage Russell Gage Rachaad White Russell Gage

Atlanta Falcons
Cordarrelle Patterson
had the best year of his career in 2021, putting up 1,166 yards and 11 touchdowns in 16 games. He’s not a conventional running back, but he’s a playmaker — and people are like, “Watch out for that fifth-rounder.” It’s disrespectful.
– Matthew Freedman

Carolina Panthers
Just because a player’s ceiling is capped by his QB doesn’t mean his annual consistency isn’t valuable. You can basically set your watch to D.J. Moore’s 1.1K yards and 4 TDs. He will likely finish around the top 20 WR for the 4th straight year, and drop in drafts because of his lack of upside.
– Joe Pisapia

New Orleans Saints
Jameis Winston
isn’t going to sling the ball around as he did with the Buccaneers in 2019 when he led the NFL in pass attempts, but expect him to average more than the 23 pass attempts per game that he averaged for the Saints last year. Winston had a career-high passer rating of 102.8 last year, and he gets a big upgrade in weaponry with WR Michael Thomas coming back from injury and rookie WR Chris Olave coming aboard.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Russell Gage
is coming off a stellar year after posting career-highs in yards per route run (1.96) and PFF receiving grade (76.0) while playing more on the outside. Often thought of as a “slot-only” wideout, Gage split snaps 50/50 from the slot versus outside in 2021.

He also led the Falcons with a 29% target share since Week 11 – playing 53% of his snaps for the outside – showcasing his ability to earn passing volume alongside the talented Kyle Pitts.
– Andrew Erickson

NFC West

TEAM Matt Andrew Derek Pat Joe
Arizona Cardinals Rondale Moore James Conner James Conner Zach Ertz Zach Ertz
Los Angeles Rams Tyler Higbee Cam Akers Cam Akers Cam Akers Van Jefferson
San Francisco 49ers Tyrion Davis-Price Brandon Aiyuk Tyrion Davis-Price Trey Lance Brandon Aiyuk
Seattle Seahawks Noah Fant Rashaad Penny Rashaad Penny Rashaad Penny Rashaad Penny

Arizona Cardinals
With DeAndre Hopkins missing the first six weeks of the season, Marquise Brown isn’t the only target beneficiary in theory for the Cardinals. Zach Ertz made a surprisingly smooth transition to the Cards in season. He finished as TE8 last year and should see 115 targets in 2022. Not to mention, he offers a nice first six-week upside with Hopkins out.
– Joe Pisapia

Los Angeles Rams
It’s clear that the experts and sharps are convinced that Cam Akers sucks at football after he averaged an abysmal 2.4 yards per carry during the 2021 season after returning from his Achilles injury — the worst mark of any running back with at least 70 carries. But his inefficient production is partially related to the juggernaut of run defenses he faced down the stretch — San Francisco 49ers (twice) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — when in fact no Rams RB ran efficiently. Ninety-five percent of his rushing yards in 2021 came after contact — the highest mark in the NFL. And he wasn’t even supposed to play AT ALL last season after initially tearing his Achilles in July.
– Andrew Erickson

San Francisco 49ers
Tyrion Davis-Price
is being treated as if the 49ers’ didn’t just spend a third-round pick on him. He’s being left for dead, being ranked behind even Trey Sermon. Some respect needs to be put on Davis-Price’s name. On a team where the backfield is a fluid year-to-year proposition, it’s in the range of outcomes that he works his way into a 1A or 1B role by midseason, if not from the jump. Since 2020 the 49ers are fifth in neutral rushing rate (47%). With that type of volume and scoring potential, this team could easily support two top 36 options at the position.
– Derek Brown

Seattle Seahawks
Noah Fant
has averaged 7.7 yards per target for his career despite playing with QBs Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock, Brandon Allen, Joe Flacco, Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien, and Kendall Hinton. If this guy had an actual passer, he might be a top-five tight end.
– Matthew Freedman

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Trade Analyzer – which allows you to instantly find out if a trade offer benefits you or your opponent – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.

Mike Maher is an editor and content manager at FantasyPros and BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive, follow him on Twitter @MikeMaher, and visit his Philadelphia Eagles blogThe Birds Blitz.

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