Skip to main content

8 Players Andrew Erickson is All-In On (2022 Fantasy Football)

Courtland Sutton

Let’s take a look at 8 players Andrew Erickson is all-in on early in fantasy football drafts.

Rankings noted using FantasyPros half-PPR Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and Consensus ADP.

Fantasy Football Redraft Draft Kit

Jalen Hurts (QB – PHI)
ADP QB7 | ECR QB6

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is easily the biggest winner as A.J. Brown‘s absurd efficiency and YAC-ability in Tennessee was a primary driving force behind Ryan Tannehill‘s fantasy success as a Titan. Hurts is an easy top-eight fantasy quarterback next season with top-five status well within reach. The Eagles ranked second in screen rate a season ago, so anticipate plenty of plays where Hurts just dumps the ball off to AJB for massive chunk gains. Brown finished fourth in yards per route run last season (2.72) despite battling injuries throughout the season.

Justin Fields (QB – CHI)
ADP QB18 | ECR QB16

Justin Fields has fallen all the way to QB18 in early best ball ADP. Everyone is afraid of the situation in Chicago. But don’t forget that a washed-up Cam Newton went from irrelevant to a top-12 ranked QB in one week last year because of rushing production.

Fields finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in his last four full games in 2021, averaging 21.7 fantasy points per game. He also averaged 56 rushing yards per game over his last six. All in all, Fields averaged 35 rushing yards per game during his rookie season. The last three rookie QBs to do so? Newton, Josh Allen and Robert Griffin III. They all finished as top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in their second seasons, with the two former QBs finishing top-6.

It won’t take long for the narrative to spin on the talented Fields after he starts the season hot out of the gates. Five of the Bears’ first six matchups are against secondaries that are the weak part of their respective defense, lost talent in free agency and/or are unproven. In Week 1, Fields takes on the 49ers. He rushed for over 100 yards against them last season.

Cam Akers (RB – LAR)
ADP RB18 | ECR RB18

It’s clear that the experts and sharps are convinced that Cam Akers sucks at football after he averaged an abysmal 2.4 yards per carry during the 2021 season after returning from his Achilles injury – the worst mark of any running back with at least 70 carries. But his inefficient production is partially related to the juggernaut of run defenses he faced down the stretch – San Francisco 49ers (twice) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – when in fact no Rams RB ran efficiently. 95% of his rushing yards in 2021 came after contact – the highest mark in the NFL.

Did I also mention he was never even supposed to come back at ALL last season due his Achilles injury? If Travis Etienne came back from his injury and failed to perform, would that be held against his draft stock?

There’s simply too much emphasis placed on Akers’ production when touch volume is the key driver to fantasy success at running back. In the Rams’ divisional playoff win versus the Buccaneers, Akers played 81% of the Los Angeles offensive snaps and out-touched Sony Michel (signed with Miami this offseason) 27 to three.

I expect Akers to be dialed back in as the top RB next season in Sean McVay’s consistent 1RB offense, where the team’s lead back averages 20-plus touches per game. Darrell Henderson has proven he’s nothing more than a replaceable running back that the Rams continue to try and replace.

Not to mention, Akers has a cakewalk of soft-run defenses to open the season against the Bills, Falcons and Cardinals. Won’t take long for Akers to pay off his early Round 4 ADP in a high-powered offense.

D’Andre Swift (RB – DET)
ADP RB10 | ECR RB8

D’Andre Swift was RB9 in points per game (half-point scoring) in 10 games played before his injury. He led all running backs in receptions (53) and averaged nearly 19 touches per game. That would have ranked 9th-best last season. Swift is a value when he falls into the second round.

Travis Etienne Jr. (RB – LAC)
ADP RB22 | ECR RB23

Travis Etienne Jr. was a standout college football running back for the Clemson Tigers from 2017 to 2020 and was selected by the Jaguars in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft -25th overall. However, his rookie season was cut short by a preseason Lisfranc injury. Some NFL personnel reported that Etienne could have come back towards the end of the year had the Jaguars been in playoff contention instead of being the league’s laughing stock.

Etienne is expected to be fully cleared by training camp, giving him a leg up on the RB1 role as the Jacksonville Jaguars install a new offense under new head coach Doug Pederson. With James Robinson attempting to come back from a torn Achilles injury suffered on December 26th, Etienne figures to be the featured back during this spring/summer.

Do not forget what this guy did at Clemson with Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC) as his quarterback. During his final season as a Clemson Tiger, he led the country in receiving yards and ranked second in receptions among running backs. Etienne also racked up the most rushing attempts of 20-plus yards (40) from 2018 to 2019 while only carrying the ball 20-plus times once since 2018.

Justin Jefferson (WR – MIN)
ADP WR2 | ECR WR2

Justin Jefferson has been a revelation since entering the league. He has the most receiving yards in NFL history (3,016) in a player’s first two seasons and is PFF’s second-highest-graded receiver over that span (91.7).

The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver finished 2021 as the WR4 in fantasy points per game (19.5 PPR) and expected fantasy points per game (18.8). Jefferson was the model of consistency at just 22 years old, finishing as a weekly top-20 wide receiver in 76% of his games (13 of 17) while commanding the league’s third-highest target share (27%) and No. 1 air yards share (44%).

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN)
ADP WR26 | ECR WR20

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.

Gabriel Davis (WR – BUF)
ADP WR36 | ECR WR33

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.

FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

CTAs

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.

Featured, Featured Link, NFL