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Derek Brown’s Bold Predictions (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Derek Brown | @dbro_ffb | Featured Writer
Aug 17, 2022
Tony Pollard

Here are my five bold predictions of the 2022 fantasy football season.

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Fantasy Football Bold Predictions

Tony Pollard is a top-12 RB, even with Ezekiel Elliott staying healthy all year

The last running back tandem to pull off this feat was Melvin Gordon (RB15) and Austin Ekeler (RB6) in 2019. Pollard was the only running back last season to finish top five in yards after contact per attempt and yards per route run. Last year Pollard ranked tenth in slot yards per route run (minimum ten slot targets, per PFF) among all running backs, tight ends, and receivers.

Tony Pollard is coming off a career-high in rushing attempts (130) and targets (46). Pollard was one of the most efficient running backs in the NFL. Last season he was fourth in yards after contact per attempt behind only Rashaad Penny, Nick Chubb, and Jonathan Taylor (minimum 100 carries, per PFF). He was also first in yards per route run at the position. Pollard offers stand-alone RB3 production as he was the RB30 in fantasy points per game last season. If anything happens to Ezekiel Elliott, Pollard has league-winning upside.

Albert Okwuegbunam is a top-5 tight end

  • 5th in yards per route run in each of the last two seasons
  • 7th / 4th in YAC per reception over last two seasons
  • 3rd / 1st in target per route run rate over last two seasons
  • 2020 – Russell Wilson led the NFL in EZ targets and EZ touchdown passes
    • 6th in RZ targets
  • Albert’s collegiate career ELITE ON DEEP TARGETS
    • 26% of his collegiate receiving touchdowns on deep targets
    • 141.3 passer rating when targeted deep

Drake London is this year’s Jaylen Waddle

Drake London arrives in Atlanta to give Kyle Pitts a run for his money as the Falcons’ target leader in 2022. In his final season at USC, London gobbled up looks, averaging a mind-melting 14.8 targets, 11 receptions, and 135.5 receiving yards. He’s primed to vacuum up opportunities in his rookie season as a versatile wide receiver that ranked fifth in yards per route run among FBS wide receivers last year (minimum 50 targets per PFF). The rookie wide receiver explosion in recent years could easily continue with the London liftoff this season.

Waddle last year: 142 targets, 24.8% target share

Last season with Ridley out (weeks 8-18), Russell Gage was on pace for 134 targets over 17 games: 26.8% target share. London > Gage.

Skyy Moore is a WR1

Pop the champagne and break out the party hats. Skyy Moore landing in Kansas City is a near-perfect outcome. Moore lands on a talented offense with an elite quarterback and an offensive genius. Yes, JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s presence will hurt his projected target upside, but Moore has the talent to emerge as the number two option in this passing offense behind only Travis Kelce. I know I sound ridiculously bullish on Moore, but for a player that converted to wide receiver when he arrived at Western Michigan and then proceeded to post a 91st college dominator rating and soak up a 99th percentile target share, the ceiling is enormous. Moore is a tackle-breaking machine and will be a YAC maven. I’ll draft him aggressively in dynasty rookie drafts not only because of the landing spot but his talent profile warrants it.

AJ Brown outscores Derrick Henry

If you’re concerned about A.J. Brown‘s move to Philadelphia, don’t be. Brown is one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL, and talent plays regardless of area code or jersey. Brown was the fourth-highest graded wide receiver per PFF last season and fifth in yards per route run (minimum 50 targets). Before switching to a run-first approach, the Eagles were sixth in neutral passing rate (Weeks 1-6) last season. We could see Philly go back to this pass-heavy offensive approach to see if Jalen Hurts truly is the guy. This means the target volume for Brown could surpass expectations.

  • In 20221, PHI was 14th in total plays
    • 32nd in pass att – 494
  • Weeks 1-7: Hurts on pace for 588 pass attempts
  • Say he gets to 570 pass attempts in 2022, which would have been 19th last year
  • AJB has averaged a 26.4% target share over the last 2 years
  • Even a 24% target share would be 136.8 targets
  • 2019-2020 AJB averaged 2.45 fantasy points per target
  • This would equate to 333.2 fantasy points – 19.6 fppg
  • 2019-2020 Henry averaged 20.2 fppg

If Henry takes even a small step back from legend 24.2 fppg last year to previous average and AJB sees a career-high in targets, this can happen.

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