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8 Best Ball Bust & League Winner Candidate: NFC East (2022 Fantasy Football)

Jul 15, 2022
Dalton Schultz

Several factors go into building a winning best-ball team. One of those factors is identifying which players will let your team down and bust. Another is knowing which players have league-winning upside, especially in the later rounds. To help you build an elite best-ball roster, I will identify the most likely bust candidate and potential league-winner for every NFL team.

Today, I break down the NFC East teams: the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Commanders.

The average draft position (ADP) used for this article comes from Underdog Fantasy.

Potential Bust Candidate

Ezekiel Elliott (RB – DAL): ADP 40.9

While Elliott ended last year as the RB6, that doesn’t tell the entire story. Part of the reason he finished that high was because he played all 17 games. On a points-per-game basis, Elliott was the RB15, averaging 13.4 fantasy points per contest. Furthermore, Elliott was hard to trust each week throughout the season. He scored under 10 fantasy points in nearly half the games last year despite averaging 15 touches per game in those contests. More importantly, Tony Pollard earned more of a role last season, and his role will continue to grow this year. Zeke’s days as an elite RB1 are over.

Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG): ADP 17.9

I am 100% on board with drafting Barkley at the right price. A few weeks ago, he was an early third-round pick and a value at that ADP. However, Barkley’s ADP has shot up recently. He has become a mid-second-round pick and the RB10 drafted on average. The last time fantasy players saw the elite Barkley form was in 2019 when he averaged 29.8 fantasy points per game over the final three weeks of the year. Since then, Barkley has averaged 3.5 yards per rushing attempt, 9.4 fantasy points per game, and has missed 55% of his potential games because of injury. If his ADP returns to the third round, I will get back on the Barkley hype train.

A.J. Brown (WR – PHI): ADP 26.5

When Brown got traded to Philadelphia, his perceived fantasy value jumped. However, his situation isn’t as good as it was in Tennessee. Brown had a 20.9% target share the past two years with the Titans. Now he will have to compete with Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith for targets. Meanwhile, Brown has struggled to stay healthy in his career, missing six games over the past two years. Brown is a solid WR2 to have on your team if he can stay healthy. However, his ADP currently makes him a top-11 wide receiver. Brown has a higher ADP than Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Michael Pittman Jr. I would draft all three before Brown.

Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS): ADP 73.3

Gibson was the RB10 last year, averaging 13 fantasy points per game. However, he averaged 14.5 fantasy points per game in the five games J.D. McKissic missed with a concussion. Unfortunately, Gibson’s situation dramatically changed this offseason with the return of McKissic and the drafting of Brian Robinson Jr. There are reports that Robinson will take over as the short-yardage back. Last year, Gibson had 52 red-zone touches, the fourth most in the NFL. He also had six goal-line rushing attempts. If those touches go to Robinson, Gibson’s fantasy value takes a massive hit. Furthermore, he won’t have much work in the passing game with McKissic healthy. Unless something changes, Gibson should be on your do not draft list.

Potential League-Winner

Dalton Schultz (TE – DAL): ADP 65.5

Last year, Schultz broke out and ended the year as the TE3, averaging 10 fantasy points per game. After scoring 18.7 total fantasy points in the first two years of his career, Schultz is an emerging fantasy star. He averaged 1.63 fantasy points per target last year. More importantly, his targets increased by 14.4% from 2021 to last season. Now that Amari Cooper is in Cleveland and Michael Gallup is recovering from a torn ACL, Schultz should have an increased workload this year. Fantasy players should grab Schultz at his current ADP if they pass on Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews early in the draft.

Kadarius Toney (WR – NYG): ADP 86.8

While Toney’s rookie season was far from ideal, there is still hope for the former Florida Gator. Toney averaged only 6.3 fantasy points per game last season, but he showed promise. He averaged 1.1 fantasy points per target in his four games with over five targets last year. Furthermore, the Giants improved their offense in the offseason. They hired Brian Daboll as their new head coach and improved Daniel Jones‘ offensive line. More importantly, Sterling Shepard is coming off a torn Achilles, and Kenny Golladay has been inconsistent the past few years. Thus, Toney has limited competition for targets. Toney has a pathway to a low-end WR2 finish if he can stay on the field.

Jalen Hurts (QB – PHI): ADP 62.3

In his first year as the full-time starter, Hurts was the QB9 and averaged 20.8 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he tied for the QB6 finish on a points-per-game basis with Aaron Rodgers. More importantly, he has an upgraded set of weapons after the Eagles traded for Brown during the NFL Draft. Plus, DeVonta Smith is heading into his second year in the NFL and could break out with defenses focused on Brown. Even if his passing numbers don’t dramatically improve, Hurts and Josh Allen were the only two quarterbacks to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 750 yards last season. If he can take an Allen-like leap with the addition of Brown, Hurts could end the year as the overall QB1.

Carson Wentz (QB – WAS): ADP 199.5

The Commanders don’t have many elite fantasy players. Thus, they lack a clear-cut league-winning candidate. However, Wentz is an appealing QB2 if you wait to draft your second quarterback. Last year, he was the QB13, averaging 15.2 fantasy points per game. He finished just outside the top 12 quarterbacks despite having one player with more than 40 receptions (Pittman). Wentz also had a 27:7 TD-to-INT ratio last year. Meanwhile, the Commanders have several young playmakers at wide receiver led by Terry McLaurin. More importantly, Wentz had six top-12 weekly finishes in 2021 despite a poor supporting cast. He isn’t a top-12 quarterback, but Wentz will give you some top-12 performances.

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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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