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16 Breakout Wide Receiver Candidates (2022 Fantasy Football)

Aug 17, 2022
Michael Pittman Jr.

All signs point to Michael Pittman Jr. being a WR1-caliber player this season.

Each season, new players become household names with their play on the gridiron. And with that, they become household names within the fantasy football community as well. Identifying potential diamonds in the rough, and ultimately hitting on those longshot picks, is one of the best feelings a fantasy manager can experience. Here are 19 wide receivers our experts believe could elevate their game in 2022 and become forces to be reckoned with in fantasy:

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16 Breakout Wide Receiver Candidates

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – IND)

Sometimes, it is this simple. Matt Ryan has gone from worst to first in terms of offensive line play and he will clearly be in a position to make Michael Pittman Jr. a fantasy stud. There’s no WR close to his ability on this roster, so expect Pittman to have WR1 upside this season.
– Joe Pisapia

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN)

Based on Courtland Sutton’s track record of commanding targets near the pylon, I fully expect him to emerge as Russell Wilson’s go-to red-zone target. He led the Broncos in red-zone targets in 2021 and led all WRs in target rate inside the 10-yard line in 2019. Wilson has an affinity for attacking receivers in the red zone; a Seattle WR has finished top-five in red-zone targets for three straight seasons.
– Andrew Erickson

Gabriel Davis (WR – BUF)

I was on this bandwagon last year, so I’m not jumping now after last year’s playoff performance and the clearer path Gabriel Davis has for targets. He’s always been strong in the red zone, now he just needs more volume to reach that next level.
– Joe Pisapia

Elijah Moore (WR – NYJ)

Over a five-game span from Week 9 to Week 13 last year, Elijah Moore was the WR2 in PPR, averaging 20.1 points per game. Garrett Wilson was the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft, so it’s understandable that he’s getting a lot of attention, but Moore is likelier to put up difference-making fantasy numbers in 2022.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

DeVonta Smith (WR – PHI)

DeVonta Smith will benefit greatly from having A.J. Brown around. Although I still don’t believe Jalen Hurts will become a prolific passer, the targets should be very centralized in this offense spread among Brown, Smith and Dallas Goedert and not many else.
– Joe Pisapia

Rashod Bateman (WR – BAL)

Rashod Bateman showed some flashes when finally healthy. Unfortunately, that was while Lamar Jackson wasn’t. However, Bateman has a clear path to the WR1 job in Baltimore and is the best talent they’ve had at the position in years.
– Joe Pisapia

Treylon Burks (WR – TEN)

It’s such a perfect setup for Treylon Burks to have a big rookie year. He replaces A.J. Brown as the most talented, most physically imposing receiver on the Titans’ roster. Robert Woods is the right sort of complementary receiver — good enough to keep defenses from ganging up on Burks, but probably not good enough to be an alpha receiver. And of course, defenses will have to honor Derrick Henry and the Tennessee running game. Burks dealt with bad quarterbacking at the University of Arkansas and still thrived. He’s poised to smash from the get-go in the NFL.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

Drake London (WR – ATL)

Drake London’s ceiling may be limited by his QB play this rookie season, but he has the skill set to at least deliver some PPR numbers worthy of your attention. Touchdowns may be scarce, along with big games, but regardless, London offers plenty of appeal.
– Joe Pisapia

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.

Fantasy Football Redraft Draft Kit

Kadarius Toney (WR – NYG)

Kadarius Toney dealt with a zillion different injuries in his rookie season, but his talents were on full display in Weeks 4-5, with six catches for 78 yards against the Saints and 10 catches for 189 yards against the Cowboys. Toney is a twitchy, springy athlete who’s absolutely electric in the open field. If Toney can stay healthy, new Giants HC Brian Daboll should have fun devising ways to deploy this unique weapon.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

Chris Olave (WR – NO)

Chris Olave is healthy and with so much uncertainty surrounding Michael Thomas’ health and Jarvis Landry getting up there in age, Olave could have far more upside this season than people realize.
– Joe Pisapia

Rondale Moore (WR – ARI)

DeAndre Hopkins’ six-game suspension is the trial run for Rondale Moore to prove he should remain the team’s starting slot receiver for the entire season. While his rookie season was a flop on the surface, when digging deeper, there are small indicators the breakout was just delayed to 2022. Moore was 28th in route win rate and 11th in juke rate among wide receivers last season. While we can still question his ability to stretch the field, his route running and playmaking chops are being underrated at this juncture.
– Derek Brown

Jameson Williams (WR – DET)

It’s not a question of if but when Jameson Williams will make his presence known. Williams Sonic the Hedgehog-like speed and agility give him a sky-high ceiling weekly. This big-play penchant will help as the volume could be a concern in the early going as the Lions are stocked with playmakers. Detroit could be the home for the 2022 stretch run hero in fantasy.
– Derek Brown

Skyy Moore (WR – KC)

The Skyy Moore hype train beckons you. Tickets are free for all. Punch your pass now. Ride the lightning from Patrick Mahomes magical arm now. Moore will be a key cog for Kansas City as a field stretcher and underneath YAC marvel.
– Derek Brown

Jahan Dotson (WR – WAS)

Jahan Dotson is all too familiar with dealing with subpar quarterback play. Adjusting to poorly placed balls is nothing new. Despite his slight frame, Dotson is strong at the catch point and has the prerequisite speed to break a long touchdown whenever he touches the ball. Terry McLaurin finally has a running mate in the Washington offense.
– Derek Brown

Josh Palmer (WR – LAC)

As a rookie, Josh Palmer averaged over seven targets per game and scored a touchdown in his three games with a 60% snap share. With a downfield skill set that perfectly aligns with his big-armed quarterback, Palmer is one of my favorite late-round WRs to target.
– Andrew Erickson

K.J. Osborn (WR – MIN)

New Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell is a Sean McVay disciple, which means that he’s going to use 11 personnel frequently. That means three receivers on the field for a big percentage of Minnesota’s offensive snaps and more playing time for K.J. Osborn. With 50 catches for 655 yards and seven TDs last season, Osborn was a pleasant surprise. With an enhanced role, he could become an impactful fantasy contributor.
– 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.

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