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Team-By-Team Dynasty Roundup: AFC West (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Matt Barbato | @realmattbarbato | Featured Writer
May 16, 2022

Did anything of significance happen within the AFC West this offseason?

Several of the most impactful moves from a fantasy football perspective occurred within this division. Where do we even begin? The Chiefs traded away Tyreek Hill, and the Broncos traded for Russell Wilson. The Raiders sold the farm to reunite Davante Adams with Derek Carr, his college quarterback.

Needless to say, the AFC West had quite an offseason. Now that the dust has settled let’s take a pulse check and assess each team from a dynasty perspective.

Kansas City Chiefs Draft Results

Kansas City Chiefs 2022 Draft Recap

Player Position School Round Pick
Trent McDuffie CB Washington 1 21
George Karlaftis DE Purdue 1 30
Skyy Moore WR Western Michigan 2 54
Bryan Cook S Cincinnati 2 62
Leo Chenal ILB Wisconsin 3 103
Joshua Williams CB Fayetteville State 4 135
Darian Kinnard OG Kentucky 5 145
Jaylen Watson CB Washington State 7 243
Isaih Pacheco RB Rutgers 7 251
Nazeeh Johnson S Marshall 7 259

 

Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction: Mecole Hardman finishes the season as a WR2 and fills Tyreek Hill’s void.

The Tyreek Hill trade remains the most shocking move of the NFL offseason. But perhaps Kansas City knows something we don’t know about the league’s most dynamic pass-catcher.

Instead, Kansas City decided to revamp its passing game, adding Juju Smith-Schuster in free agency to handle the slot. A change of scenery and a new quarterback could be precisely what Smith-Schuster needs to revive his career. He’s someone I’m willing to buy low on or take a flyer on in dynasty formats.

However, Kansas City could struggle if it can’t find another downfield threat. With Hill on the field, opponents were forced to keep their safeties deep, opening up the intermediate level of the field for Travis Kelce to feast. But if K.C. can’t find another downfield threat, it’ll allow opponents to play tighter at the line of scrimmage and sag coverage toward the part of the field where Kelce does his best work.

As for Kansas City’s running game, I want no part of it. Sure, the production will be there. But Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Ronald Jones are sort of clones as young tailbacks who didn’t live up to the hype.

You’ll hear many people assume that Skyy Moore will step in and replace Hill in Kansas City’s offense. But it’s not that straightforward. Moore isn’t a burner and will need to improve his route running to match Hill’s separation abilities. I get why Moore is going in the back half of the first round in dynasty mocks, but I’m not sure his ceiling is as high as many think.

If there was anyone who could replace Hill, it’s Mecole Hardman. I mentioned that Moore wasn’t a burner, but Hardman absolutely is. He ran a 4.33 40-yard dash in college; Hill ran it in 4.29 seconds. Inconsistency has been Hardman’s most significant issue in his first three seasons. Yet I get the sense that Kansas City wouldn’t have made this trade if they didn’t trust Hardman.

As for Kelce, he’ll be 33 in October, and there’s just enough uncertainty due to Hill’s departure that has me worried. Kelce may not fall off a cliff this season, but it’s safe to say he’s close to the end of his prime. Cash in on his value while you can if you’re not looking to win in 2022.

Los Angeles Chargers Draft Results

Los Angeles Chargers 2022 Draft Recap

Player Position School Round Pick
Zion Johnson OG Boston College 1 17
J.T. Woods S Baylor 3 79
Isaiah Spiller RB Texas A&M 4 123
Otito Ogbonnia DT UCLA 5 160
Jamaree Salyer OG Georgia 6 195
Ja’Sir Taylor OG Wake Forest 6 214
Deane Leonard CB Ole Miss 7 236
Zander Horvath FB Purdue 7 260

 

Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction: Jalen Guyton emerges as a solid, starting-caliber WR3 for dynasty teams.

Unlike everyone else in their division, the Chargers didn’t make many significant changes offensively. Justin Herbert built upon his impressive showing as a rookie and is one of my favorite dynasty quarterbacks. Austin Ekeler held up as Los Angeles’ featured back, and the team exercised prudence in his usage. He’s a clear RB1 in dynasty formats at just 26 years old.

At 30 years old, Keenan Allen is an interesting dynasty case. He’s as steady of a high-end WR2 as it comes, making him an excellent buy for teams looking to win this year. However, his long-term value is worth questioning. Mike Williams is an even more fascinating case coming off a breakout season at age 27.

Ekeler is set in stone as a proven RB1, but it’s a wide-open depth chart behind him. Last year’s No. 2, Justin Jackson, remains a free agent and likely won’t be back. Both Joshua Kelley and 2021 draft pick Larry Rountree were unimpressive last season. The answer could be 2022 4th-round pick, Isaiah Spiller. The Texas A&M product draws comparisons to Rashaad Penny and could be a solid option to spell Ekeler on early downs.

A player who could be worth a cheap flyer is receiver Jalen Guyton. He could wind up being the No. 3 receiver in a really good offense with a quarterback willing to spread the ball around. Guyton could be next in line if something happens to Williams or Allen.

CTAs

Las Vegas Raiders Draft Results

Las Vegas Raiders 2022 Draft Recap

Player Position School Round Pick
Dylan Parham OG Memphis 3 90
Zamir White RB Georgia 4 122
Neil Farrell Jr. DT LSU 4 126
Matthew Butler DT Tennessee 5 175
Thayer Munford OT Ohio State 7 238
Brittain Brown RB UCLA 7 250

 

Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction: Josh Jacobs returns to RB1 form, putting up a career season.

Welcome to Sin City, Davante Adams! The Raiders made a massive move acquiring Adams. Historically, veteran receivers tend to struggle the first year after joining a new team. But is that trend overblown because of the familiarity between Adams and Carr dating back to their college days?

If Adams and Carr can quickly re-establish their chemistry, then Vegas could have an electrifying offense with Josh McDaniels at the helm. In a passing game, Adams becomes the alpha outside receiver that already had Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller terrorizing teams within the middle of the field. With a new three-year contract extension, it’s up to Carr to help this offense reach its ceiling.

As for the backfield, Josh Jacobs is a complicated case. His talent is evident to everyone except for his own team. After posting consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to start his career, Jacobs rushed for just 872 yards in 15 games in 2021. Jon Gruden never really allowed him to be the guy, and the problem is the new regime doesn’t appear to love him either.

Gauging Jacobs’ dynasty value is a tricky exercise. He’s talented, he’s 24, and he should be the lead back on one of the league’s best offenses. On the other hand, he’s got Kenyan Drake and rookie Zamir White behind him, and his team clearly isn’t sold on him long-term. Anyone looking to buy him will likely buy with trepidation. Yet anyone looking to sell him knows they’d be selling at a discounted price.

Jacobs is strictly a hold right now.

One Raider I’m trying to buy anywhere I can is Hunter Renfrow. Renfrow stood out to me right away once he emerged as a pro, and I suspect he could become the league’s next great slot receiver. He and Carr clearly have a rapport. The addition of Adams may take away some end-zone looks, but it shouldn’t put too much of a dent into his target share. Don’t fall for the too many mouths to feed narrative.

Denver Broncos Draft Recap

Denver Broncos 2022 Draft Results

Player Position School Round Pick
Nik Bonitto OLB Oklahoma 2 64
Greg Dulcich TE UCLA 3 80
Damarri Mathis CB Pittsburgh 4 115
Eyioma Uwazurike DE Iowa State 4 116
Delarrin Turner-Yell S Oklahoma 5 152
Montrell Washington WR Samford 5 162
Luke Wattenberg C Washington 5 171
Matt Henningsen DT Wisconsin 6 206
Faion Hicks CB Wisconsin 7 232

 

Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction: Javonte Williams finishes the season as a top-six tailback even with Melvin Gordon back.

The Broncos made perhaps the biggest splash in an NFL offseason filled with cannon ball-sized splashes. Denver’s offense will have a new coach, Nathaniel Hackett, and a new quarterback, Russell Wilson. Now, the question is whether Wilson can get the most out of a Broncos offense filled with intriguing pieces.

The most intriguing piece of all could be the second-year tailback, Javonte Williams. The North Carolina product showed plenty of three-down ability in an even timeshare with Melvin Gordon. While 2022 was expected to be Williams’ breakout year, there is some hesitancy now that Gordon is back in the fold.

Denver could still have the fourth-best offense in this loaded division even with Wilson under center.

The arrival of Wilson came as great news to fantasy managers who have invested in Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. While Wilson will be an immediate upgrade over the Drew LockTeddy Bridgewater regime, we won’t know who the No. 1 is until we start seeing games.

Sutton is the better player, and his skills as a downfield specialist should make him the recipient of plenty of Wilson rainbows downfield. Jeudy’s second season was interrupted by an ankle injury, but the Alabama product has failed to make much of an impression thus far.

Sutton was the WR17 in 2019 before tearing his ACL the following year. He’s got the best shot of putting up a WR1 season with his new QB.

Do me a favor. Just reach out to the person who has Javonte Williams in your league and get their temperature on whether they’re worried that Gordon is back in Denver. While they might not be panicking, they could be sweating the situation a bit. This gives you a chance to strike. Could Gordon spell Williams on occasion in 2022? Absolutely. But don’t blindly assume this will be a timeshare once again. Williams should be the lead dog and could seize most of the work early if he hasn’t already.

As for a player I’d consider selling on Denver, that’s Jerry Jeudy. I’ve admittedly never been the biggest fan of Jeudy and didn’t believe he was the best receiver in the 2020 draft class. Maybe competent quarterback play helps him reach another level. But I’d get out of the Jeudy business if I can.


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Matt Barbato is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Matt, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter at @realmattbarbato.

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