6 ADP Values, Busts & Sleepers: AFC South (2022 Fantasy Football)
The 2022 fantasy football season is just around the corner. The FantasyPros mock draft simulator is the best to prepare for your fantasy drafts. Each year you want to construct your team with a proper mix of good value players and upside sleepers while avoiding players with high bust potential.
In the third part of an eight-part series, I will identify two average draft position (ADP) values, two likely-to-bust candidates, and two potential sleepers in the AFC South.
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Michael Pittman (IND): ADP 40.8 | WR13
Pittman is a popular breakout candidate. Last year he was the WR17, averaging 14 fantasy points per game. Pittman had seven top-24 weekly finishes and a 25% red zone target share in 2021. Furthermore, he had a route participation rate of 98.1%, one of the highest in the NFL. More importantly, Pittman was the focal point of the Indianapolis passing attack last season, seeing 17 red zone targets, 42 third down targets, and 16 deep targets.
During the offseason, the Colts traded for Matt Ryan, giving Pittman arguably the best quarterback of his career. Furthermore, they did very little to threaten his 25.7% target share from last season. Meanwhile, all the reports out of training camp further suggest Pittman is in-line for a breakout season. While the ADP has Pittman as the WR13, the FantasyPros experts have Pittman as their combined WR7. I believe Pittman is bound for a top-10 finish this year and have him as the WR7 in my rankings too. Be sure to draft him way ahead of his ADP, as he will be this year’s version of 2021 Diontae Johnson.
2021 Diontae Johnson = 2022 Michael Pittman
Both had quiet rookie years but mid-WR2 finishes in PPR as sophomores.
DJ in Y2 (2020) – 88/144/923/7 (WR21)
MP in Y2 (2021) – 88/129/1062/6 (WR17)
DJ in Y3 (2021) – 107/169/1161/8 (WR8)
MP in Y3 (2022) – ???#FantasyFootball
— Mike Fanelli (@Mike_NFL2) August 9, 2022
Christian Kirk (JAC): ADP 106.5 | WR42
Despite all of the blockbuster trades this offseason, the most surprising headline was the contract the Jaguars gave Kirk. However, he is in a great position for fantasy players. Last year, Kirk had the best year of his career, finishing as the WR26, averaging 12.2 fantasy points per game. However, he averaged 12.9 fantasy points per game in the seven contests without DeAndre Hopkins, scoring over 16.4 fantasy points in two of those games.
More importantly, no one on the Jacksonville roster can challenge Kirk for the No. 1 role. While the Jaguars added a few other pass catchers in the offseason, they will have a limited impact on Kirk’s target share. Furthermore, the Jaguars will be in negative game script a big chunk of the year, giving Kirk plenty of opportunities to score fantasy points. While he is currently getting drafted as a WR4, a top-20 finish isn’t out of the question for Kirk. Take advantage of the potential upside and safe floor ability combination.
Derrick Henry (TEN): ADP 4.7 | RB4
After a few quiet years to start his career, Henry had back-to-back monster seasons in 2019 and 2020. He averaged 20.3 fantasy points per game over those two years, averaging 5.2 yards per rushing attempt and scoring a touchdown once every 20.5 touches. Last year, Henry was on pace to run away with the RB1 title before he suffered a foot injury that ended his regular season after eight games.
While Henry was on pace to end the year with 465 rushing attempts for 1,991 yards and 21 touchdowns, his yards per rushing attempt average dropped from 5.4 in 2020 to 4.3 last season. Furthermore, it was his lowest yards per rushing attempt average since his second year in the NFL. Coming off the first severe injury in his career, fantasy players should wonder if Henry can play all 17 games with his high workload. Additionally, the Titans no longer have an elite wide receiver after trading away A.J. Brown this offseason. As a result, Henry is a risk as a top-five pick. I would draft Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook over Henry.
Evan Engram (JAC): ADP 185.3 | TE21
Engram is like a reoccurring nightmare for the fantasy football community. He makes numerous preseason sleeper articles every year but ends up having a disappointing fantasy season. Engram was the TE6 as a rookie, averaging 11.6 fantasy points per game. However, he needed to finish second among tight ends with 115 targets that year to finish as a top-six fantasy tight end. Travis Kelce scored 59.9 more fantasy points that year on only seven more targets by comparison. More importantly, Engram has repeated let fantasy players down since his rookie year.
After scoring six touchdowns as a rookie, Engram has scored 11 total touchdowns over the past four years. Despite averaging 6.6 targets per game in his career, Engram has averaged only 10.5 fantasy points per contest. He has averaged only 1.52 fantasy points per target in his career while repeatedly struggling with drops. Furthermore, Dan Arnold will cut into Engram’s snaps and could earn the starting role. Last year, Arnold averaged 7.6 fantasy points per game in Jacksonville, while Engram averaged a career-low 6.8 in New York. Instead of using a late-round pick on Engram, target a tight end with more upside like Hayden Hurst or Brevin Jordan.
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) July 26, 2022
Sleepers to Target
Robert Woods (TEN): ADP 102.5 | WR41
Given Cooper Kupp‘s historic season, it’s easy to forget Woods was the WR12 in the nine games he played last season. However, he had three top-12 weekly finishes in the nine games played and accounted for nearly 10% of the team’s total touchdowns scored for the season. Furthermore, Woods had three straight seasons from 2018-2020 as a top-14 wide receiver in Los Angeles despite catching passes from Jared Goff. More importantly, Ryan Tannehill supported two top-30 wide receivers in 2020 as Brown was the WR14, while Corey Davis was the WR30.
Woods will start the year as the No. 1 wide receiver. While the Titans used a first-round pick on Treylon Burks, his first offseason in the NFL has been far from perfect. He has spent much of training camp running with the second team offense and is listed as a second-string wide receiver on the team’s depth chart. It will take some time before the rookie is ready for the No. 1 role. More importantly, Woods is 100% after suffering a torn ACL last season. If he and Tannehill can build a connection quickly, Woods could finish the year as a top-20 wide receiver.
Brevin Jordan (HOU): ADP 257.7 | TE30
Everyone loves a late-round tight end, and Jordan is my favorite deep sleeper this year. He was the TE25 last year on a points-per-game basis among tight ends with more than eight games played. More importantly, Jordan finished the week as a top-12 tight end in 50% of his games, including two top-six weekly finishes. Furthermore, he had a higher top-12 finish rate than Dallas Goedert (46.7%) and Kyle Pitts (43.8%) last season. The Houston offense lacks proven weapons other than Brandin Cooks, so Jordan has a path to a second-year breakout.
More importantly, Jordan averaged nine fantasy points per game in the four games he saw more than three targets as a rookie. Furthermore, the Texans leaned on Jordan in the red zone. Despite seeing only 28 targets last year, 14.3% of them came in the red zone, resulting in three touchdowns. Unfortunately, the rookie John Metchie likely won’t play this season after being diagnosed with Leukemia. While everyone wishes him a speedy recovery, his absence will open up more snaps and targets for Jordan. If you play in a deeper or two tight end league, Jordan is the perfect last-round pick at tight end.
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