Overvalued Quarterbacks to Avoid (2022 Fantasy Football)
Welcome, fantasy friends and foes, to Three Quarterback Busts to Avoid in 2022 Fantasy Football.
The NFL kicks off its first full week of preseason games this weekend. Fantasy managers couldn’t be more thrilled to view live NFL games, even to see the second- and third-stringers play for their jobs. But, unfortunately, there are only a few teams, such as the Seattle Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers, where there is uncertainty about who will be behind center in Week 1.
Fantasy managers would be wise to stay away from those situations and avoid these three quarterbacks who will bust in 2022.
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The Arizona Cardinals showed they loved their quarterback Kyler Murray by making him the second-highest average paid player in the league with a seven-year extension. While the Cardinals placed their faith in Murray to lead them to a title, there should be hesitation from fantasy managers. Murray seems like he is often injured, and we have witnessed his struggles when dealing with any injury. The cheat code with Murray was his running ability, but Murray ran less last season, averaging 6.3 attempts per game, which is two fewer attempts per game than his 8.3 attempts in 2020. Additionally, his first-down rushing dropped dramatically from 52 attempts in 2020 to a career-low 25 last season. The re-signing of running back James Conner and the addition of Darrel Williams to the Cardinals’ backfield are danger signs for Murray. He saw Conner’s goal-line carries take over his goal-line opportunities, and Williams ranked 20th in red-zone touches last season in Kansas City in limited playing time.
The inconsistency of Murray is a fantasy killer. In Weeks 1-7, Murray was phenomenal and was the QB3. However, the second half of the season saw fantasy managers crying the blues with Murray producing QB16 numbers. In every one of his three NFL seasons, Murray seems to hit the proverbial wall with this play. Whether it’s his injury history or just getting worn down with NFL defenses pounding on Murray weekly, his late-season nosedives do not make Murray an elite fantasy option. This upcoming season will present a new set of challenges, with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins set to miss the first six games (PED suspension) and the loss of last season’s top receiver, Christian Kirk. Yes, he gets reunited with Marquise Brown, but is that enough to trust Murray as your QB1? Another element working against Murray is head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury has not lived up to his reputation as an innovative offensive mind and is walking on a thin line in Arizona. His inability to catapult Murray and the Cardinals’ offense to another level has limited the Cardinals from prospering in the second halves of seasons and the playoffs. Currently, Kyler Murray is being drafted as the QB5, and that is too steep of a price to pay for a quarterback who will be elite for only half a season.
As great as Aaron Rodgers has been in his consecutive MVP seasons, the colossal losses in the Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver group, including his go-to target, will derail any chance of Rodgers achieving that elite level. His best offensive weapon, Davante Adams, is now catching passes from his former college teammate Derek Carr in Las Vegas. Additionally, his deep threat, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, has gone to the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving Rodgers with the worst wide receiver talent around him since he entered the league. Rodgers is now left with the handpicked Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, enigmatic Sammy Watkins, and 2022’s 34th overall pick, Christian Watson. The Packers’ wide receiver group is rated the second-worst receiver group in the league. None of these wideouts will scare defenses, and Green Bay’s passing offense will have serious issues. In addition, the Packers lost veteran offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who left Green Bay to become the Denver Broncos’ head coach. The one-two punch in the backfield of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon will be the focal point of the Packers’ offense. Last season, the Packers produced a 42.9/57.1 run/pass ratio, and it’s hard to ignore the losses in the passing game. Look for that ratio to reverse the advantage to the running game. Therefore, look for Matt LaFleur to pound Jones and Dillon on opposing defenses and pick his spots for Rodgers with being surrounded by a bad supporting cast. Rodgers’ numbers will take a nosedive and decline enough for fantasy managers not to select him as a QB1 in 2022.
The San Francisco 49ers traded three first-round picks plus a third to draft Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, the young signal-caller only appeared in 19 college football games. Nevertheless, Lance dominated as he should have against the poor level of competition at North Dakota State. The former No. 3 overall pick got injured twice last year, including once in the preseason and once during his first career start. Lance displayed his mobility, giant arm, and lack of experience. The dual-threat ability is exciting, but he lacked accuracy and consistency in throwing the ball in his two games last season when he stepped in for Jimmy Garoppolo when he was injured.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan has already named Trey Lance the 49ers’ starter in 2022. The hype around Lance is deafening. He possesses immense talent but lacks the refined skills required to be an NFL quarterback. One factor that needs to be addressed is the 49ers’ offensive line issues. Yes, they have an incredible bookend tackle combo in elite left tackle Trent Williams and right tackle Mike McGlinchey. However, their interior line took a massive hit with the retirement of center Alex Mack and the loss of guard Laken Tomlinson to free agency. The three interior spots are up in the air, with unproven run-blocking specialists struggling with pass protection. The offense will be built around running the ball with a running back room led by Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel to take the pressure off of Lance.
Lance will receive training on the job as the Niners’ signal-caller, but it’s challenging to invest the draft capital required to match his inflated ADP as the QB12.
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 Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.