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Wide Receivers With New Offensive Player Callers (2022 Fantasy Football)

Jun 9, 2022
Stefon Diggs

Coaching changes occur every year, and the result is new systems implemented around many NFL teams. That was certainly the case this offseason. Be it a new head coach or offensive coordinator, many teams have new offensive player callers ahead of 2022. Let’s take a look at the players impacted by these changes, along with their rankings and player notes.

Player rankings based on our redraft Expert Consensus Rankings for half-PPR leagues.

Wide Receivers With New Offensive Player Callers

Teams with new offensive play callers:

Buffalo Bills – Ken Dorsey, OC

Stefon Diggs
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).

Gabriel Davis
Gabriel Davis averaged 19.8 fantasy points per game (PPR) and 16.0 expected fantasy points per game in his last six games while running a route on 88% of dropbacks as the Bills finally emphasized his playing time in the offense.

As a strong bet to earn the No. 2 wide receiver job come opening day, Davis has a legitimate shot to be a reliable fantasy option in a Josh Allen-led offense in 2022.


Carolina Panthers – Ben McAdoo, OC

D.J. Moore
Despite a smattering of atrocious quarterback play on his plate, D.J. Moore has been a model of consistent fantasy production. In fantasy, Moore has hit at least 1,157 receiving yards in each of the last three seasons as the WR14, WR23, and WR28. Moore has remained an efficient player despite his signal-caller quality, ranking 23rd in yards per route run (minimum 50 targets per PFF) and 16th in receiving yards per game. The issue capping his ceiling has been touchdowns, but unless he gets more usage near pay dirt in 2022, he’s no more than a mid-WR2. Since 2019 Moore has ranked 29th, 60th, and 25th in red-zone targets.


Chicago Bears – Luke Getsy, OC

Darnell Mooney
Darnell Mooney is poised to take another step forward this season. Last year his 1.72 yards per route run (40th, minimum 50 targets per PFF) won’t blow you away, but the inherent volume he’s walking into and Justin Fields taking another step forward will be the tide to help fantasy gamers raise “ships.” Last season in the five games without Allen Robinson on the field, Mooney averaged 9.6 targets and 78.2 receiving yards per game. The yardage mark would have been the seventh-highest mark. Mooney’s median is a low-end WR2 or high-end WR3, but if he garners more than 11 red-zone targets (38th) he received last year, he could vault even higher.

Denver Broncos – Nathaniel Hackett, HC


Courtland Sutton
Entering Year 3, it looked like Courtland Sutton was on the cusp of true elite fantasy WR1 production, but his 2020 season was lost due to a torn ACL in Week 2. It was unclear how productive Sutton would be returning from the devastating knee injury.

But to start the 2021 season, the Broncos wide receiver looked like his old self. He averaged 13.8 fantasy points per game (17th) and had a 27% target share in Weeks 2-7 during the regular season.

It wasn’t until Jerry Jeudy‘s return from injury that Sutton – and the rest of the Broncos pass catchers – became obsolete in a crowded, run-heavy offense led by a combination of Lock/Teddy Bridgewater. Nevertheless, Sutton finished the season as the fantasy WR46.

However, even in the anemic offense, Sutton still finished seventh in air yards (1,756), cemented in between Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, in 2021.

Sutton has a real chance to recapture his elite form another year removed from his ACL injury. It also helps substantially that he has received an ultra upgrade at the quarterback position with Denver’s trade for Russell Wilson.

Wilson has always been an elite downfield passer – he had the sixth-highest passer rating on throws of 20-plus air yards last season – which plays heavily into Sutton’s strengths as a vertical threat.

Jerry Jeudy
Entering Year 3, Jerry Jeudy finally has a quarterback who can take full advantage of his ability to separate from defenders – 96th percentile separation percentage in 2021 – with Russell Wilson taking the reins.

With Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick operating from the outside, Jeudy figures to become Wilson’s go-to target in the slot unless K.J. Hamler pushes him out. Jeudy’s efficiency metrics should also see a massive boost now that he’s catching passes from a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, but it remains to be seen if Jeudy will play an ancillary role as a red-zone threat.

Upgrading from Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater to Wilson is great for Jeudy, but we have to remember that he is still an unproven fantasy commodity. Great route-running and separation skills aside, he hasn’t scored many fantasy points the last two seasons.

And that’s not the case with every Denver receiver, because Patrick’s production last two seasons earned him a three-year, $34.5 million contract extension.

Even so, Jeudy should easily experience his best NFL season to date in 2022, but it may not be as great as some die-hard Jeudy stans would care to admit. There are a lot of weapons in Denver, and predicting Wilson’s best option on a week-to-week basis was often a challenge when it was only between DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

As with those Seahawks receivers, there are going to be inconsistent weeks from Jeudy. And his lack of red-zone usage makes him more susceptible to bust games without having a touchdown opportunity to fall back on.


Detroit Lions – Ben Johnson, OC

Amon-Ra St. Brown
Amon-Ra St. Brown‘s fantastic season-ending stretch was eye-popping, but it also needs context as we look forward to the 2022 season. St. Brown’s final six games were filled with insane volume ranking behind only Justin Jefferson in targets (67) and target share (33.5%) and sixth in weighted opportunity, but his efficiency was also elite. During that stretch, he was also 13th in yards per route run immediately behind Davante Adams and Micheal Pittman (minimum ten targets, per PFF). T.J. Hockenson was out, and D’Andre Swift was a part-time player as St. Brown turned in full legend mode performances. With their respective returns and the addition of D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams, the expectations for St. Brown need to be tempered this season.


Houston Texans – Pep Hamilton, OC

Brandin Cooks
Brandin 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.

At just 28 years old, Cooks shows little signs of slowing down. Last season, he was a target and air yards hog, finishing fourth in air yards share (36%) and ninth in target share (24%).

And during the final four games of the season with Davis Mills at quarterback, Cooks was top-10 in fantasy points per game (15.0) to go along with a top-5 target rate per route run (33%).


Jacksonville Jaguars – Doug Pederson, HC

Christian Kirk
Everything came together for Christian Kirk in 2021 because he was finally used from the slot. Unsurprisingly, Kirk established career highs across the board in targets (112), receptions (83), and receiving yards (1,035) while filling the void left by an injured DeAndre Hopkins. Kirk commanded a 21% target share without Hopkins in the lineup and averaged 13.8 fantasy PPR points per game – a top-10 per-game average. In addition, he finished with the second-most receiving yards from the slot among all wide receivers. Kirk should stay kicked inside with the Jaguars after they got little production from that position in 2021. Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault ranked in the bottom 10 with 1.30 yards per route run from the slot. Kirk ranked 13th with 1.80 yards per route run from the slot. He is shaping up to be the new Amari Rodgers for Trevor Lawrence, operating from the inside. At worst, Kirk takes shape as a strong WR3 asset who can elevate to WR2 status quickly with an up-and-coming quarterback.


Las Vegas Raiders – Josh McDaniels, HC

Davante Adams
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.

Hunter Renfrow
There’s really not much left to say when it comes to Hunter Renfrow. The kid’s a certified stud and doesn’t get the respect he deserves. The Raiders slot receiver hung a WR13 overall finish last season due to a spectacular late-season surge.

He went over 100 receiving yards in three straight games (Weeks 12-14) while maintaining a 25% target share.

From Week 12 onward, his production generated a WR8 standing in half-point scoring.

Renfrow made the most of the opportunities he got in 2021, and that won’t change in 2022. Adding Davante Adams and Darren Waller will make targets for Renfrow harder to come by, but stay rest assured that the shifty wideout will perform if either guy is forced to miss time.


Miami Dolphins – Mike McDaniel, HC

Tyreek Hill (MIA)
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.

Jaylen Waddle
Jaylen Waddle looked primed to make the leap into the top-12 conversation after a stellar rookie season. Along with breaking Anquan Boldin’s rookie reception record, Waddle commanded a 22% target share and 24% target rate per route run – 18th-best in the NFL.

But with the expensive addition of veteran Tyreek Hill, it is less likely that Waddle is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver in Miami. Hill is coming off a season where he commanded the league’s seventh-highest target rate per route run (27%). The trade moves Waddle down from a fringe WR1 to mid-range fantasy WR2 after seeing almost zero target competition last season.


Minnesota Vikings – Kevin O’Connell, HC

Justin Jefferson
Justin Jefferson has been a yearly stud in fantasy football. Last year he was third in target share (29.2%) and first in air yard share (45.7%) among wide receivers as the WR4 in fantasy points per game. With Adam Thielen another year older and the Vikings failing to add another pass catcher in the offseason, Jefferson should further assert his dominance in 2022.

Adam Thielen
Adam Thielen has been a model of consistency with top 14 fantasy point-per-game finishes in four of the last five seasons. Last season he finally began to show his age, though. After strong seasons in yards per route run since 2016, Thielen finally slipped to 1.63, which ranked 48th (among wideouts with 50 or more targets, per PFF), immediately behind Mecole Hardman. Thielen has been top 23 in red-zone targets in four of the last five seasons, with three years on his resume with nine or more receiving touchdowns. With declining per route efficiency, he’ll need the touchdowns (and many of them) to continue as a productive fantasy wide receiver.


New England Patriots – Joe Judge, Matt Patricia, or Bill Belichick

DeVante Parker
2021 was a typical season for DeVante Parker. The former first-round pick had at least seven targets in seven of his nine game played, scoring double-digit fantasy points in more than half of them. He averaged 12.9 expected fantasy points per game through 17 weeks (28th). His acquisition by the Patriots helps shore up the need for a big-bodied wide receiver on the perimeter that can make plays downfield. But the extent of how high a target share Parker will command remains to be seen. If anything, he probably has the most touchdown upside of the New England Patriots WRs.Just don’t be overly bullish on him being available all season-long, as his injury history proceeds him. His 1.48 yards per route run was also his worst mark since 2018 as was his 55% catch rate.

Jakobi Meyers
Jakobi Meyers is easily the most slept on wide receiver in fantasy football. The former undrafted free agent has been the Patriots target leader for the past two seasons, with his most recent accomplishment finishing top-12 in target share (23%) in 2021.

The high-end target share also aligned with Meyer’s deployment in the Patriots passing attack, where Meyers was running a route on 92% of team dropbacks – the sixth-highest mark in the league.

New England’s No. 1 receiver just needs to cash-in on more touchdowns to unlock his fantasy ceiling. He has been extremely underused in that category; his 866 receiving yards resulting in two touchdowns were the lowest of any WR in 2021.


New Orleans Saints – Pete Carmichael, OC (he has been the OC, but Sean Payton called the plays while he was HC)

Michael Thomas
The last time we saw Michael Thomas, he limped to a WR41 finish in fantasy points per game. While this sounds horrendous, much of it is related to the fact he scored zero touchdowns in 2020, as his underlying metrics were still strong. Thomas ranked 24th in yards per route run (minimum 50 targets per PFF) and drew a 27.9% target share in his seven games played. Thomas’s health is still up in the air at the time of writing this, with reports that he’s still not 100%. With a better supporting receiving class around him now, the Saints could throw the ball more often this season. If Thomas can get back to full strength, he should still be a fulcrum for the New Orleans aerial attack as a target hog.


New York Giants – Brian Daboll, HC or Mike Kafka, OC

Kenny Golladay
At age 28, it’s fair to wonder if Kenny Golladay has hit the age apex wall. Last year Golladay saw his yards per route run dip to 1.36 as he finished 74th in route win rate. Improved play calling should help Golladay, but Brian Daboll can’t run Golladay’s routes for him. Golladay is cooked if his declining efficiency continues and his catchable target rate (87th) doesn’t improve from Daniel Jones.

Kadarius Toney
Kadarius Toney is a wild card. With offseason rumblings that he could be dealt and an offseason knee surgery to pile on top, Toney is a boom or bust type proposition for 2022. When Toney was on the field last year, there’s no denying that he flashed immense upside. In 2021 among all wide receivers with 100 or more routes, only Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, Antonio Brown, and Toney finished with a 29% target per route run rate (or higher) and at least 2.20 yards per route run.

Other wide receivers joining new teams

A.J. Brown (PHI)
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.

Amari Cooper (CLE)
Amari Cooper finished last season 27th in half-PPR per game (11.2), which was in line with his career average. There is hope that he can provide a higher floor as the clear No. 1 wide receiver in Cleveland. And that floor will be accompanied by an extremely high ceiling with Deshaun Watson entrenched under center. The ex-Texans quarterback fueled top fantasy WR finishes for the likes of Brandin Cooks (WR16, 2020) and Will Fuller (WR8/game, 2020) the last time he played. And prior to that, he supplemented DeAndre Hopkins as the fantasy WR4 and WR10 from 2018-2019.

Marquise Brown (ARI)
Marquise Brown was the WR21 in weekly fantasy scoring last season, setting career-highs in targets (146), receptions (91), and receiving yards (1,008). Brown will take up the alpha role in the Arizona offense to start the season with DeAndre Hopkins sidelined by a suspension. He should have no issues leading the team in targets until Hopkins returns, with A.J. Green, Rondale Moore, and Zach Ertz being his main competition. While his volume will take a hit when Hopkins returns, he can still manufacture ceiling weeks late into the season with his role as a field stretcher. Last season he finished eighth in deep targets. He’ll enjoy the deep ball upgrade he has received with Kyler Murray. Last year Murray was third in deep-ball accuracy rating (per Playerprofiler).

Allen Robinson II (LAR)
Allen Robinson slots in alongside Cooper Kupp as the Rams’ number two receiving option after a down year with the Bears in 2021. In his final season in the Windy City, Robinson’s yards per route dipped to a career-low of 1.13, which ranked 79th out of 90 qualifying wide receivers with 50 or more targets. Even pigeonholing Robinson in the Odell Beckham role from last season isn’t as lucrative as it seems. In Weeks 12-18 last year, Beckham saw an 18.7% target share which would have ranked 44th among wide receivers. He also averaged 12.0 fantasy points per game which placed him as the WR31 in weekly fantasy production among wide receivers that started three or more games in that span. If his efficiency bounces back to previous levels, Robinson is a WR3 with WR2 upside.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (KC)
It always seemed more probable than not that JuJu Smith-Schuster would find his way to Kansas City in free agency. The Chiefs were interested in him last season, and the landing spot is perfect to revive Smith-Schuster’s fantasy football value. He’s just one year removed from a WR17 finish in PPR between two injury-plagued seasons. Let’s not forget JuJu had an elite sophomore campaign – 1,400-plus receiving yards – and he is still just 25 years old. With the most vacated targets available in Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes his new quarterback, 2022 will be a return to form for Smith-Schuster. He can operate from his natural position in the slot and benefit from the playmakers around him. After all, Smith-Schuster was at his best as a Pittsburgh Steeler during his first two seasons playing opposite of Antonio Brown.

Robert Woods (TEN)
Robert Woods was traded to the Titans after the Rams signed Allen Robinson in free agency. The move was less about Woods’ ability, but rather his salary cap hit that the Rams were looking to free themselves from. Still, entering his age 30-season fantasy managers should question whether Woods has the juice left to continue producing for fantasy. Often viewed as a safe fantasy WR2 during his time in L.A. – he was WR17 before his injury in 2021 – Woods might be subject to some poor game conditions in the Titans’ run-heavy approach that could nuke his weekly fantasy appeal. He’s got a chance to be the No. 1 receiver if rookie Treylon Burks fails to hit the ground running, but anything less will not be fruitful for the seasoned veteran. Over the past two seasons, production has not been kind to WRs over 30 years old. Only three receivers over 30 – Cole Beasley, Adam Thielen, and Marvin Jones Jr. – finished as top-40 fantasy options. If he stays healthy, Woods could easily beat his ADP. But I’m just not sure how high his fantasy ceiling is based on the situation.

Russell Gage (TB)
Russell Gage walks in the comfortable WR3 role in one of the league’s fastest-paced and pass happiest offenses. If Chris Godwin gets off to a slow start or begins the season on the PUP, Gage could get bumped up to Brady’s second option. Gage has the talent to handle that after what he showed in 2021. He was 17th in yards per route run (minimum 50 targets, per PFF) and 12th in route win rate (per Playerprofiler.com). Brady has proven that he can support a bevy of pass-catchers in fantasy, and Gage could be the latest beneficiary to the Brady bump.

FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

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