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6 ADP Values, Busts & Sleepers: AFC West (2022 Fantasy Football)

Aug 14, 2022
Mike Williams

Mike Williams broke out last season with a career year in most statistical categories.

The 2022 fantasy football season is just around the corner. The FantasyPros mock draft simulator is the best preparation 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 fourth part of an eight-part series, I will identify two ADP values, two likely bust candidates, and two potential sleepers in the AFC West.

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ADP Values

Mike Williams (WR – LAC): ADP 53.3 | WR19

Williams broke out last season with a career year in most statistical categories. He ended the year as the WR12 and had the second 1,000-yard season of his career. More importantly, Williams had four top-12 weekly finishes last year, matching teammate Keenan Allen. Furthermore, he accomplished that feat despite playing 7% fewer snaps and seeing a 4.3% smaller target share.

The former first-round draft pick averaged less than one fewer fantasy point per game than Allen. However, Williams was more effective than the veteran. Williams averaged more fantasy points per route run (0.46 vs. 0.44) and more fantasy points per target (1.91 vs. 1.64) than Allen. He also had only two fewer red zone targets and 10 more deep targets than the veteran receiver. Even if he doesn’t replace Allen as the Chargers’ No. 1 wide receiver this year, Williams has too much upside to be a fifth-round pick.

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN): ADP 67.1 | WR24

Unfortunately, injuries and quarterback play have held Sutton back in his career. He missed all but one game in 2020 with a torn ACL. Last year, Sutton was the WR44, averaging 8.8 fantasy points per game. However, Denver had one of the worst quarterback situations last year with Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock. Thankfully, the Broncos traded for Russell Wilson in the offseason, giving Sutton a chance to finally breakout.

While he hasn’t turned into a fantasy star yet, Sutton has a top-20 finish under his belt. In 2019, he was the WR19, averaging 13.9 fantasy points per game and 1.8 fantasy points per target. Furthermore, Sutton had an 8.3% touchdown rate that year. By comparison, he has a 5.8% touchdown rate for the rest of his career. With Tim Patrick out for the year with a torn ACL, Sutton will see an uptick in targets. More importantly, Sutton is the most similar to DK Metcalf. If he and Wilson can build a connection early in the year, Sutton has top-12 upside.

Bust Candidates

Darren Waller (TE – LV): ADP 45.7 | TE5

Last year was a disappointing one for Waller. He struggled with injuries and played only 11 games, ending the season as the TE17. Even on a points-per-game basis, Waller was tied with T.J. Hockenson as the TE6, averaging 12.1 fantasy points per contest. More importantly, his targets per game and touchdown rate dropped from the previous year. Furthermore, Waller had only a 5.6% touchdown rate the past three years despite finishing third among tight ends with nine touchdowns in 2020.

Despite a lack of weapons around him, Waller only had a 5.6% touchdown rate during his three years as the starter. Now, the Raiders have their best receiving core in Derek Carr‘s career. Hunter Renfrow is coming off a career year. While he had a slight bump in targets, Renfrow averaged only 2.4 more fantasy points per game without Waller in the lineup. More importantly, Davante Adams is one of the best red zone weapons in the NFL and will further limit Waller’s touchdown upside. Waller isn’t a reach as the fifth tight end off the board. However, I can’t draft him in the fourth round.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC): ADP 64.7 | RB25

After a solid rookie season, Edwards-Helaire’s fantasy production fell off a cliff last season. His fantasy points per game dropped by 12.6%, and his yards per touch dropped 7.8%. Furthermore, Edwards-Helaire has struggled with injuries in his career, missing 30.3% of the games. More importantly, his work in the receiving game dropped dramatically last year because of Darrel Williams.

While Williams signed with the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason, fantasy players should be concerned about Edwards-Helaire’s regression last year. He averaged two fewer rushing attempts per game while playing 7.6% fewer snaps. More importantly, Isiah Pacheco has earned first-team reps in training camp and more work in the passing game. Between the regression from last year, his injury history, and the emergence of Pacheco, drafting Edwards-Helaire as a sixth-round pick is a mistake. Tony Pollard and Ken Walker have a later ADP. I would take both before Edwards-Helaire.

Sleepers to Target

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – KC): ADP 83.7 | WR34

Smith-Schuster is not your typical sleeper candidate as he has produced three top-20 finishes in his five-year career. However, he is criminally underrated at his current ADP. The other two years of his career were held back by injury or incompetent quarterback play. While some are worried Smith-Schuster has turned into a short-area slot receiver, that won’t be the case now in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes.

When he had a healthy Ben Roethlisberger under center, JuJu had an average depth of target (aDOT) of 10.3 yards. Meanwhile, Hill had a 10.7 aDOT last year, his lowest average since his rookie season. Yet, he was the WR6 last year despite barely playing in Week 17. Now, Smith-Schuster likely won’t replace Hill’s production and become a top-10 wide receiver. However, Hill had 159 targets last year, and JuJu is the most qualified to take on that target load on the team. With defenses focused on slowing down Travis Kelce, Smith-Schuster could quickly become Mahomes’ favorite target at wide receiver.

Gerald Everett (TE – LAC): ADP 185.2 | TE20

I am a big fan of the “great or late” tight end strategy this year. If fantasy managers don’t want to spend an early pick on an elite tight end like Kelce, Mark Andrews or Kyle Pitts, they should wait till the final few rounds to grab a tight end with upside. One of my favorite late-round tight end targets is Everett. While he has averaged only 5.8 fantasy points per game in his career, Everett had his best year last season.

He had 48 receptions on 63 targets for 478 receiving yards and four touchdowns while averaging 7.9 fantasy points per game, all career highs. More importantly, fantasy players saw Everett play with a talented quarterback in Seattle. He scored more than 14 fantasy points in three of the six games with five or more targets last year. Furthermore, Everett averaged 10 fantasy points per game in the eight games with four or more targets last season. Over a 17-game pace, he would have been the TE8 with that average. With Justin Herbert under center, Everett could have the first top-12 season of his career.

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.

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

Busts, Featured, Featured Link, NFL, Sleepers