Skip to main content

15 Burning Questions for Wide Receivers (2022 Fantasy Football)

Aug 10, 2022
Gabriel Davis

Our analysts took a look at the NFL landscape, identified the biggest fantasy-relevant question for every team, and then broke down each situation. Here are the seven burning questions they have for some of the wide receiver situations around the league ahead of the 2022 NFL Season.

Previously, our analysts took a look at the most overrated and underrated players, the top rookies, the top breakout candidates, and the safest pick on each NFL team:

Fantasy Football Redraft Draft Kit

How will the Cardinals offense function without DeAndre Hopkins?

Kyler Murray‘s production dipped last season without Hopkins in the lineup over the final four weeks of the season. He averaged 18.8 fantasy points per game and 6.3 yards per pass attempt. Murray averaged 24.9 fantasy points per game and 8.7 yards per attempt in the nine games with Hopkins fully healthy. He also posted the No. 1-ranked PFF passing grade (90.5).

Losing Hopkins for six games cannot be ignored, but the addition of Marquise Brown figures to make up for some of the lost production. Murray also tends to post his best fantasy production during the beginning of the season. Considering Murray has averaged 27.8 fantasy points per game as the QB1 and QB3, respectively, over the first half of the last two seasons – before he’s gotten hurt – I’d be all over him in drafts if others are reading too much into Hopkins’s absence.
Andrew Erickson

Will Gabriel Davis break out in Year 3?

Gabriel Davis‘ lack of any consistent target share puts him into a bucket of players that I have traditionally not taken a major leap in production in their third season. The fact that he was not able to completely usurp Emmanuel Sanders and John Brown does create red flags about his profile. But the simple fact of the matter is that Davis is pegged as the No. 2 starter on the outside in one of the NFL’s best offenses. And he’s flashed big-play ability more than once. Those factors might be enough to fuel him to a Year 3 breakout.
Andrew Erickson

Can the Bengals passing offense be even better in 2022?

Keep in mind that the Bengals only ranked 20th in pass attempts per game last season, so there’s more volume to be had for all these Bengals pass-catchers, especially ones flying under the radar like Tyler Boyd and Hayden Hurst. With an upgraded OL and Joe Burrow another year removed from a devasting injury, I’d envision this team ramping up their passing volume similar to Burrow’s rookie season.
Andrew Erickson

How many targets will CeeDee Lamb get?

Lamb already has back-to-back seasons with 1,000-plus yards from scrimmage, thanks in part to his Robert Woods-esque jet sweep ability (19-158-1 rushing), and now he could see a significant bump in usage without WRs Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson and Malik Turner, who have vacated 182 targets with their departures from Dallas. If Lamb jumps up from 7.5 targets per game to 9.5 — or maybe even 10.5 — he could be the No. 1 overall fantasy receiver this year.
Matthew Freedman

Who will be Russell Wilson‘s go-to wide receiver?

Cover your eyes, Jerry Jeudy believers. While Jeudy did take a step forward last season, ranking 24th in yards per route run (minimum 50 targets, per PFF), he has never displayed elite-level target earning ability and won’t be the deep threat in the offense. In his two seasons, Jeudy has ranked 30th and 35th in targets rate per route run. Sutton dipped to 62nd in this metric last year, but if we peer back to 2019, he was 13th while also ranking 12th in yards per route run (minimum 50 targets, per PFF).

The downfield role with Russell Wilson is huge. Wilson has ranked second, tenth, and second over the last three seasons in deep ball rate (minimum 20 deep attempts, per PFF). Only 22.5% of Jeudy’s career targets have been 20-plus yards down the field, where he’s struggled with 55.7 and 67.1 passer ratings when targeted. Last season Sutton ranked second in aDOT and sixth in deep targets. Jeudy can log a productive season with Wilson in 2022, but Sutton will be the king of the Mile High castle.
Derek Brown

Can Amon-Ra St. Brown repeat last year’s stretch run?

Did the Lions’ roster injuries factor into Amon-Ra St. Brown‘s scorching finish? Sure. Does that mean we should fully discount his production? Nope. In Weeks 13-18, St. Brown was among the best wide receivers in the NFL, ranking eighth in yards per route run, drawing a target on a ridiculous 31.3% of his routes. To put that figure into context, over a full season, St. Brown would have ranked sixth in targets per route run rate behind only Davante Adams, Antonio Brown, Deonte Harty, A.J. Brown, and Cooper Kupp. The Detroit depth chart is congested with everyone healthy and the addition of Jameson Williams and D.J. Chark, but we can’t rule out St. Brown simply being a next-level target earning receiver.
Derek Brown

Is there a Green Bay WR worth rostering?

The Packers’ WR corps is quite the motley crew in the wake of the trade that sent target monster Davante Adams to Las Vegas. Rookies Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure will compete for roles with a veteran group that includes Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins and Amari Rodgers. Are any of these guys worth rostering in redraft leagues? Can Lazard emerge as a true No. 1 receiver in the absence of Adams? Can Watson leverage his size and speed into immediate NFL production? Are Watkins and Doubs worthwhile late-round picks?
Pat Fitzmaurice

Can Joshua Palmer break out this season?

If Keenan Allen and Mike Williams stay healthy, the magic eight ball says, “don’t count on it.” What? Shake. Shake. “My reply is no.” What if one of them is sidelined with an injury? “Outlook not so good.” I can’t fight the oracle’s logic. Last season Palmer ranked 83rd out of 103 wide receivers in yards per route (minimum 40 targets, per PFF). In the six games he ran at least 20 routes, he could only muster a 14.4% target per route run rate. If an injury strikes this roster, the Chargers also have Austin Ekeler, an elite receiving back, and Gerald Everett, who ranked 23rd among tight ends with a 19.6% target per route run rate last season.
Derek Brown

Can Tua Tagovailoa support both Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle?

The biggest hindrance to these wideouts paying off at their current ADPs is the Dolphins’ pace and passing rate projection, not Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa was among the most accurate passers in the NFL last season. He ranked 17th in fantasy points per dropback while also finishing top ten in deep, pressured, and clean pocket completion rates. If Mike McDaniel deploys a slower run-heavy scheme, the overall passing volume could suffer.
Derek Brown

Will Justin Jefferson get 2021 Cooper Kupp usage?

New Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell coordinated the Rams offense that funneled a league-high 191 targets to WR Cooper Kupp last year, and now he has WR Justin Jefferson, who is No. 1 with 3,016 yards receiving in his first two NFL seasons. Like Kupp, Jefferson can play in the slot and on the perimeter, and he could legitimately build on his 167 targets from last year as the Vikings shift toward a more pass-focused offense. Regularly selected as a top-three receiver in fantasy drafts, Jefferson could lap the field — as Kupp did last year — if he gets Kupp-like usage.
Matthew Freedman

Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football draft season.

Is any Patriots pass catcher outside of Jakobi Meyers draftable?

The answer is no in your customary 12-team redraft league outside of a late shot on Hunter Henry. I’ll add Kendrick Bourne to the queue in deeper leagues, but DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor, and still banged up James White don’t make the draft list. Henry was efficient enough, ranking 17th in yards per route run (minimum 20 targets, per PFF) while gorging himself on high cholesterol targets in New England. He was tenth in deep targets and seventh in red-zone looks. Those targets are the lifeblood of tight ends in fantasy.

Bourne was an efficiency monster last season that teases a high upside if the volume moves in his direction. He was 14th in yards per route run and sixth in yards after the catch per reception (minimum 50 targets, per PFF). If you’re making a bet on any wide receiver taking the number one spot in the target tree away from Jakobi Meyers, Bourne is where your chips should be.
Derek Brown

Is Michael Thomas still good?

The last time we saw WR Michael Thomas, he was one of the best receivers in the league — but that was almost two years and one Hall-of-Fame coach-quarterback combination ago. Thomas is now 29, and he’s still not fully recovered from his ankle injury. If he’s still the player he was in 2020, he will offer massive value at his ADP. If he isn’t, then WRs Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry could be underappreciated sleepers.
Matthew Freedman

How will Deebo Samuel be used?

In the first half of last season, WR Deebo Samuel had 81 targets in eight games. In the second half, he shifted to the “wide back” position and had just 40 targets in the same number of contests. He had almost as many yards (904 vs. 866), but he did it with unsustainable efficiency (13.1 yards per target, 6.5 yards per carry) and an unlikely rushing workload (53 carries). If Samuel is to repeat as a top-10 fantasy receiver in 2022, he will almost certainly need to have more target volume than he did to close the 2021 season.
Matthew Freedman

How will Chris Godwin‘s injury and Rob Gronkowski’s retirement affect the division of targets?

Chris Godwin tore his ACL in Week 15 and reportedly didn’t have surgery until Jan. 3, so it’s very possible he won’t be ready for Week 1. TE Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement in June. If Godwin misses time, will Buccaneers WRs Mike Evans and Russell Gage soak up the vast majority of the vacated targets and further boost their fantasy value? Will we see an under-the-radar receiver like Tyler Johnson, Cyril Grayson or Jaelon Darden become fantasy-relevant early in the season? And will Cameron Brate become a credible weekly fantasy starter at tight end, or will he be forced to share snaps and targets with rookie TE Cade Otton?
Pat Fitzmaurice

Is it worth rostering a Washington pass catcher other than Terry McLaurin?

It seems likely that Terry McLaurin will again be the lead receiver for the Commanders. Should fantasy managers be interested in any other Washington pass catchers with QB Carson Wentz now running the offense? The Commanders aggresively drafted Penn State WR Jahan Dotson in the middle of the first round, and WR Curtis Samuel was a dangerous multipurpose threat for the Panthers before having most of his first season with Washington wiped out by injury. Can either Dotson or Samuel earn a big enough role to move the needle as a fantasy asset? And can TE Logan Thomas bounce back from an injury-plagued year at age 31?
Pat Fitzmaurice

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to 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 Trade Analyzer – which allows you to instantly find out if a trade offer benefits you or your opponent – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.

Featured, Featured Link, NFL