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Contract Year Player Outlook: DK Metcalf (2022 Fantasy Football)

Jun 27, 2022
DK Metcalf

We recently look at the impact contract status has on fantasy football performance. Focusing specifically on players entering the final year of their rookie contracts, Sam Ryner put together key general takeaways and also players impacted entering the 2022 fantasy football season. Let’s take a deeper dive on one of those players, DK Metcalf.

Other Contract Year Player Outlooks:

Fantasy Football Redraft Draft Kit

Contract-season fantasy performances for WRs (2017-21; PPR scoring)

  • 48.9% produced a PPG at least one point above their career average.
  • 32.6% produced a PPG at least one point below their career average.
  • 18.3% produced a PPG within one point of their career average.
  • 38.7% had the best season-end rank of their rookie contract.
  • 30.6% had the worst-season end rank of their rookie contract.

Fun Fact: 67.2% of fantasy-relevant WRs produce a PPG number that is better than or equal to their career average in the final year of their rookie contract.

What this means: The fact that WRs are more likely to increase their fantasy PPG during the final season of their rookie contracts isn’t surprising given that the WR position tends to be one of the more difficult transitions from college to the NFL. Fantasy managers have been spoiled by Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson the past two seasons, but the majority of young WRs require a few seasons in the NFL to establish themselves as consistent contributors. Research has shown that a WR’s prime years are generally between ages 25 and 28, with age 27 most likely to be the pinnacle of production. So WRs improving their PPG in the final year of their rookie contracts makes sense when rookie contracts can range from 3-5 years. The final season of WR rookie contracts is usually taking place as the player enters or is already within his prime in most circumstances. With this being the case, WRs entering the final season of their rookie contracts are good bets to increase their production and may present draft-day bargains assuming that their potential bump in production isn’t already baked into their ADP.

DK Metcalf 2022 Fantasy Football Outlook

The difference between having Geno Smith/Drew Lock at quarterback versus Russell Wilson cannot be overstated enough. It’s a horrible situation to be in and puts D.K. Metcalf in a tough spot.

Although the alpha wideout did rise to occasion under a small sample size last season, averaging 14.9 fantasy points per game (15th – same as his final season-long standing) without Wilson at quarterback for three games.

But I am suspect that removing their quarterback that led the NFL in yards per attempt (10.4), passer rating (133.6) and passer rating from a clean pocket (130.9) before his finger injury is going to create a much larger impact over a 17-game sample size.
– Andrew Erickson


D.K. Metcalf played last season with Geno Smith and a watered-down version of Russell Wilson under center and still managed to finish as WR20. While the pairing of Smith and Drew Lock might hamper his ceiling, Metcalf’s floor is as a low-end WR2. Metcalf’s volume and efficiency should still lend to spike weeks regardless of the quarterback. Last season he was eighth in target share (27.3%), 24th in targets per snap, and 20th in yards per route run (minimum 50 targets, per PFF).
– Derek Brown

DK Metcalf‘s 2022 Contract Situation

  • Odds he is the starter in SEA: 75%
  • Odds he is released/traded: 25%
  • Who to draft in fantasy if he is cut/traded: Tyler Lockett

Analysis: Despite entering his age 30 season, Tyler Lockett didn’t show any signs last year of falling off. Lockett was ninth in yards per route run and receiving yards per game (minimum 50 targets, per PFF). Even with questionable quarterback play surrounding him, Lockett would be the Northwest version of Brandin Cooks as an underrated target hog.
Derek Brown

8 Contract Situations to Monitor This Offseason >>

2022 Fantasy Football Staff Consensus Rankings

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

 

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