4 Late-Round Wide Receiver Targets (2022 Fantasy Football)
Here are four late-round wide receivers you should consider during your 2022 fantasy football drafts.
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4 Late-Round Wide Receiver Targets
Mecole Hardman (KC): 156.3 ADP, WR58/162 ECR, WR63
The Chiefs used a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Hardman, and the speedy wideout has chiefly served as a gadget and ancillary option. However, he’s the only notable holdover in a revamped receiver room. Hardman is also coming off his best season as a pro, albeit averaging just 3.5 receptions and 40.8 receiving yards per game with a career-low two touchdowns.
Are those numbers exciting? No. Of course, they aren’t. But, again, casting a dart in the direction of a skill-position player on the Chiefs for cheap in an unsettled situation is attractive. Moreover, Hardman did tease some potential as a rookie without Tyreek Hill.
Hardman has played four games in his career without Hill and with Mahomes starting at quarterback. The four-game stretch was from Week 2 through Week 4 in 2019. According to PFF, out of 91 receivers with at least 10 targets in the timespan, Hardman was tied with Odell Beckham for 36th in their receiving grade. Additionally, Hardman was tied for 24th with 2.02 Y/RR. And, again, he did that as a rookie.
The breakout hasn’t happened for Hardman yet. Frankly, it probably won’t happen. Nevertheless, the cost is low for chasing significant upside, and gamers should be swinging for the fences with late picks.
Rondale Moore (ARI): 173.7 ADP, WR62/127 ECR, WR53
Moore was featured prominently in the Wide Receiver Intended Air Yards Analysis piece in late July. The case for a change in usage from a gadget player who caught passes behind the line of scrimmage to a vertical threat, replacing Kirk in the slot, was discussed in-depth there. Instead of rehashing the same points, I suggest checking out the linked piece. Finally, it’s worth pointing out the massive gap in ADP and expert consensus ranking (ECR), which also supports rolling the dice on Moore ahead of his draft position.
Jahan Dotson (WSH): 182.5 ADP, WR65/165 ECR, WR65
The arrogance of pundits and drafters is reflected in Dotson’s ADP. Did the Commanders reach on Dotson? Probably. Does it make sense to ignore Washington using the 16th pick to select him? No.
Instead of diving into Dotson’s scouting reports, let’s look at historical data for rookie wide receivers selected between pick 10 and 32 since 2012 and played at least six games as a rookie. According to StatHead, 26 wideouts satisfied the presented requirements.
Laquon Treadwell was the worst in fantasy leagues of the 26, averaging 0.28 PPR points per game. OBJ was the best, erupting for 24.58 PPR points per game. The median of D.J. Moore‘s 9.85 in 13th and Corey Coleman‘s 9.33 in 14th was 9.57 PPR points per game.
Let’s add context using last year’s PPR scoring per game for wide receivers during the 2021 fantasy season (Week 1 through Week 17). Among receivers who played at least seven games, 9.57 PPR points per game would have ranked tied for WR57 after rounding up to 9.6. The median outcome based on recent history is a small win against ADP, but the ceiling outcome smashes Dotson’s draft cost.
Finally, JJ Zachariason did an elite job analyzing the impact of rookie receivers on Episode 647 of the Late-Round Fantasy Football Podcast, Rookie Wide Receivers in Season-Long Leagues. In short, rookie receivers are worthwhile investments. Readers are encouraged to listen to the linked episode since Zachariason’s analysis is outstanding, and the episode is a quick listen, clocking in at only 14 minutes and two seconds.
Jalen Tolbert (DAL): 204.3 ADP, WR68/231 ECR, WR85
In late May, Tolbert was included among the must-have receivers. However, since then, James Washington has suffered a fractured foot that will sideline him for 6-10 weeks. The Cowboys could add a receiver to the fold, but Jerry Jones said there isn’t an “urgency” to add a veteran receiver. Obviously, that could be a smoke screen, or Jones could change his mind. Regardless, the runway is currently clear for Tolbert to start in Week 1 with Washington injured and Michael Gallup likely out until at least the end of September.
Thankfully, Tolbert isn’t merely falling upwards. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has offered high praise for Tolbert’s ability and work ethic. In addition, PFF had Tolbert 54th on their big board and said he can “immediately add a deep threat to any offense.” They also acknowledged he’s raw, but the tools and role are available for Tolbert to hit the ground running as a boom-or-bust big-play receiver. There’s a great chance his ADP will climb, but he presently meets the requirement for inclusion in this piece.