20 Players That Will Move Up Draft Boards (2022 Fantasy Football)
Every year we see players leap up draft boards as the season approaches. Try as we might resist the training camp hype, it can be very hard to avoid it when we’re seeing video clips and hearing beat reporters bang the drum. The rise isn’t warranted in some cases, but that won’t stop it. Typically we always see running backs pushed up as the season approaches, and this year there are several who look ripe for that. In this article, I’ll give you twenty players who will make the climb up ADP between now and week 1. ADP is based on the full PPR FantasyPros consensus ADP collected from the biggest fantasy platforms. Don’t forget that using the FantasyPros Expert Consensus Rankings can help you find edges on ADP.
Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG) (RB15 – ADP – 31.6)
The dynasty community might be truly out on Barkley by this point in his career, and it is fair to question how much the former Penn State stud has left, but in redraft, it’s believable that we can squeeze at least one more good season out of Barkley. With Joe Judge, and perhaps more importantly, Jason Garrett, out of the building, it’s easier to be optimistic about the Giants’ chances under former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Further to this, the Giants used the seventh overall pick in the draft to add Evan Neal and boost the offensive line and chose to bring in no real competition for touches. Barkley’s elite moments throughout his career will bring people back for more.
J.K. Dobbins (RB – BAL) (RB21 – ADP – 42.8)
The Baltimore Ravens injury-cursed 2021 season deprived us of a chance to see J.K Dobbins take a sophomore leap. Before Dobbins suffered his ACL injury, beat reporters were talking up how much the Ravens were looking to get Dobbins involved in the pass-catching game. While that is sometimes an offseason trope, it’s something that John Harbaugh has also repeated. If training camp reports are positive and Dobbins is on track to start the season, fantasy managers will begin to remember Dobbin’s ADP of 20 from last season, his fantastic end to 2020, and help him climb up into the third round.
We were robbed of a 2nd year breakout by J.K Dobbins due to injury.
But just incase you forgot how good he is, here’s 2 minutes of him being a BEAST as a rookie…pic.twitter.com/HlAx5Lb5zk
— Matt FF Dynasty 🏈 (@MattFFDynasty) June 3, 2022
Breece Hall (RB – NYJ) (RB22 – ADP – 43.3)
A lot of hype can accompany being the first running back selected in the NFL draft, and Breece Hall will likely be no different. While the New York Jets have been a disaster in recent years, they are building a nice-looking set of skill players around Zach Wilson. Last year we saw the Bengals go from good to bad very quickly, and it wouldn’t be surprising to hear people start to hype the Jets up in this way, whether it’s realistic or not. Hall is a potential every-down back, who has a good chance to see over 200 touches, including plenty of receptions, don’t be surprised if you see him going at the top of the 3rd round by August.
Mike Williams (WR – LAC) (WR22 – ADP – 58.5)
Momentum is building in best ball ADP for Mike Williams already. Analysts are whispering that this might be the year when Williams outscored Keenan Allen in total fantasy points. While Allen is still a legitimately great receiver, there are signs of his age creeping into his game, and Williams fits perfectly with Justin Herbert‘s big arm. Williams was the WR4 over the opening six games of 2021, and if it wasn’t for injuries, it could have been a far more successful year.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC) (RB23 – ADP – 58.8)
Edwards-Helaire’s ADP is slightly higher in redraft than best ball, somewhat surprisingly, but that doesn’t mean he can’t climb higher still. Although Edwards-Helaire has failed to repay the first-round draft capital that the Chiefs paid for him two years ago, he now enters the season with only Ronald Jones fighting for touches. Ronald Jones may have a skill set as an NFL running back, but pass-catcher isn’t necessarily one of them, and CEH should have a clear path to the high-value catches in an offense missing Tyreek Hill. As camp reports start to trickle out, don’t be surprised to see CEH climb into the back of round four.
With the current depth chart, Clyde Edwards-Helaire looks to be in line for the lions share of the passing work for the RB room and could be a value at ADP.
(I can’t believe I’m hyping CEH, what have I become?)
— Wyatt 🥃 (@WyattB_FF) May 27, 2022
Miles Sanders (RB – PHI) (RB27 – ADP – 69.6)
2021 wasn’t a fantastic year for Miles Sanders, who somehow managed to rack up 1000 yards on the ground without scoring a single touchdown, despite 24 touches in the red zone. Despite this, the team kept faith with Sanders and used him well when available. Amongst running backs with over 100 attempts, Sanders ranked fifth-highest in yards per carry with 5.5. Unless reports come out of training camp that Kenneth Gainwell is lighting up the place, expect Sanders to be on his way up by a round or more.
Jalen Hurts (QB – PHI) (QB7 – ADP – 74.0)
At the moment, Hurts is being drafted ten spots behind Kyler Murray and 23 selections after Lamar Jackson. While those two quarterbacks may have more evidence of their fantasy worth, it’s hard to argue that either will have a significantly better receiving trio of A.J Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert. The Eagles have given Hurts everything he should need to succeed, and it was only last season where Hurts finished as a QB1 in 80% of his appearances and finished as a top-five QB in 24.5%.
Looking at some consistency data.
Top 5 and 12 weeks for QB1-24 in PPR points.
Jalen Hurts having 80% weeks as a top 12 QB was 👀
Also Tannehill and Carr both not having a top 5 week all season! pic.twitter.com/wtCdzkQz3z
— Rich – DynastyIsland 🏝 (@DynastyIsland) January 6, 2022
Trey Lance (QB – SF) (QB13 – ADP – 109.4)
It’s important to remember in redraft that if a player doesn’t live up to expectations, you can always use the waiver wire or make a trade. Even in best ball, we should be building enough strength around quarterbacks with question marks that our rosters will be fine. Lance’s ADP doesn’t make sense at this point. Even if Jimmy Garoppollo doesn’t get traded, the 49ers management has made plenty of positive moves to give Lance the keys. In a worst-case scenario, if Lance doesn’t start the season well, perhaps later on, they drop him back to the bench, but that’s no concern of ours right now. If Jimmy Garoppollo does get traded or cut when he’s recovered from his shoulder surgery, Lance’s ADP is jumping sizably. Kyle Shanahan has had success with Robert Griffin as a mobile quarterback, and Lance has all the weapons he needs and a very good offensive line. Without a disastrous camp report, this is one we can be confident in.
Christian Kirk (WR – JAC) (WR46 – ADP – 113.0)
The Jaguars heavily invested in Christian Kirk this offseason, and it’s a little surprising to be able to get a team’s clear-cut number one receiver in the 100+ range of drafts. Jacksonville is now free from the Urban Meyer curse and will instead have the far more competent offensive-minded Doug Pederson calling plays. At Kirk’s price, we don’t need him to be a stud, but being able to pick up a team’s top pass-catching option in a soft division holds some allure.
Christian Watson (WR – GB) (WR47 – ADP – 113.5)
Despite a few negative OTA reports about Christian Watson, it’s easy to see him getting pushed up draft boards by late August. If Watson were dropping passes from Aaron Rodgers, that would be one thing, but while Jordan Love is throwing the passes, it should have no lasting effect on Watson’s billing in the team. Even if Watson can’t replace Davante Adams, he stands a reasonable chance of replacing some of Marquez Valdes-Scantling‘s production. The Packers traded two second-round picks to get up to 34 and take Watson, and amongst a lackluster wide receiver room, his dynamism will appeal.
Rob Gronkowski (TE – FA) (TE13 – ADP – 118.6)
This is a simple one, if Rob Gronkowski decides to play again, most likely with the Tampa Bay Buccanneers, then we can expect Gronkowski’s ADP to jump a couple of rounds. Before the 2021 season, Gronk’s ADP was in the 85-90 range for full PPR. While he’s another year older, with Chris Godwin potentially missing the start of the season, fantasy managers might find it easy to paint a picture where Gronkowski hoovers up many of the production Godwin might have.
Russell Gage (WR – TB) (WR51 – ADP – 121.0)
Similar to Rob Gronkowski, Gage has the potential to be a real beneficiary to Chris Godwin starting the season missing time. Tom Brady personally recruited Gage to the Buccanneers, and if Godwin can’t start the season, Gage likely starts the season as the de facto WR2 in a high-power offense. If Gronkowski decides not to re-sign in Tampa, it will be wheels up for Gage this year. Savvy drafters will see Gage as the perfect player to pair with Chris Godwin, Jameson Williams, DeAndre Hopkins, and others who won’t return great value early on.
Tua Tagovailoa (QB – MIA) (QB17- ADP – 146.5)
Tyreek Hill and Mike McDaniel represent a huge upgrade in surroundings for Tua Tagovailoa, not to mention the upgrades on the offensive line. While Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle‘s draft cost is already quite high, Tua’s remains suppressed somewhat. Tua has the best weapons of his career, but there remains a level of doubt around him. At some point this summer, people will start to look at the cost of Hill and Waddle and drive Tua higher.
Cole Kmet (TE – CHI) (TE17 – ADP – 155.2)
The Chicago Bears didn’t do a lot of anything to help Justin Fields this offseason, and it looks likely that if Fields is going to be remotely successful, he will have to pepper Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet with targets. In 2021 only eight tight ends surpassed Kmet’s 93 targets, and Kmet may feel irked that despite 12 red-zone targets, he was unable to find the end zone all season. At TE17 in twelve-team leagues, Kmet isn’t the first-choice option for now, but by the time training camp comes around and reports come out about how condensed this passing game might be, expect Kmet to rise up the boards.
David Bell (WR – CLE) (WR74 – ADP – 175.0)
Regardless of how the Deshaun Watson situation plays out, Bell finds himself firmly the WR2 in Cleveland, stepping into the slot receiver role that saw Jarvis Landry perform well over recent years. The Browns might lean heavier into the run if Watson is served a lengthy suspension, but that type of offense is nothing new to Cleveland, and receivers can still be fantasy viable. While Bell didn’t blow anyone away at the combine, early reports out of OTA’s have been very positive, and as a depth option in PPR leagues, Bell looks intriguing.
— Tyler Johnson (@T_johnson_TJ) May 28, 2022
Julio Jones (WR – FA) (WR70 – ADP – 192.4)
Julio’s time in Tennessee might not have worked out how everyone involved hoped, but it would be quite a surprise if Jones didn’t find a new team, and when that happens, it would be very surprising if his ADP didn’t jump up several rounds. Jones is a seven-time Pro Bowler and, at age 33, can still play a role.
Gerald Everett (TE – LAC) (TE25 – ADP – 200.0)
In December, Everett put up one of the most costly performances ever of a tight end against the 49ers, fumbling twice and putting up seven yards on four receptions. Those words don’t do the performance justice, but the stink stayed with him into the offseason. Now Everett finds himself on the highly desirable Chargers offense, replacing Jared Cook as the primary pass-catching target at the position. While Everett has shown he might not ever make it to the elite tier, he still ranked ninth in yards after contact at the position and had the joint-most broken tackles (9).
A.J. Green (WR – ARI) (WR75 – ADP – 210.8)
While A.J. Green certainly is on the back nine of his career, the fade might have gone too far, particularly when we keep in mind that DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for the first six games of the season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. In 2021 when Hopkins missed time, Green averaged 6.5 targets per game. While Green might not be able to deliver WR1 overall weeks anymore, the Cardinals start the seasons with potential shoot-outs against the Chiefs, Raiders, and Rams, and Green can help fill out a roster if you’re waiting on the likes of Chris Godwin to get healthy.
Will Fuller (WR – FA) (WR83 – ADP – 212.7)
It’s a little surprising that Will Fuller hasn’t already signed somewhere. Recent reports suggest the Cleveland Browns aren’t interested in him despite the obvious connection with Deshaun Watson. Several teams could do with a deep-threat like Fuller, and while you only have to mention his name on Twitter to be reminded of his injury history, a player of his skillset shouldn’t be going almost undrafted. As long as Fuller is a fourth or fifth receiver on your roster, he’s a good bet, and drafters will recognize that the second Fuller signs a deal.
Brevin Jordan (TE – HOU) (TE28 – ADP – 221.0)
The Texans are a cheap team to target in fantasy, and the reasons for this are plentiful and fair, but at the point of being undrafted, Jordan deserves more love. 2021 got off to a slow start for Jordan, with his first appearance coming in week eight, but when it did, Jordan became the clear choice out of the tight end room, playing more snaps and gaining more targets than any of the other three tight ends in Houston. Jordan Akins, the main pass-catching competition, has now moved onto the New York Giants, and the team believes in the athletic profile that Jordan brought into the league.
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