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Top 10 Most Underrated Players (2022 Fantasy Football)

Aug 5, 2022
D.J. Moore

D.J. Moore will likely finish within the top 20 wide receivers, and his upside could lead to him finishing even higher.

Every year there are players throughout fantasy football that cause people at the end of the season to ask, “How did I not see that coming?” Whether it be caused by injury or the looming presence of another fantasy-relevant player on their team, these players fly under the radar and are then deemed “underrated.” Here are the top 10 most underrated players in fantasy football going into this season.

Rankings noted using FantasyPros half-PPR Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and Consensus ADP.

Fantasy Football Redraft Draft Kit

Dalton Schultz (TE – DAL): ADP TE7

Dalton Schultz crushed last season at the TE5 in weekly fantasy scoring. His upside this season is even higher as he could enter the top three discussion at his position. In his first season with a featured role, he ranked 11th in yards per route run and 14th in targets per snap. With Michael Gallup questionable to begin the season at full health and only James Washington and Jalen Tolbert behind CeeDee Lamb, Schultz should easily carve out his role as the number two option in the Dallas passing attack.
– Derek Brown

D.J. Moore (WR – CAR): ADP WR18

Just because a player’s ceiling is capped by his QB doesn’t mean his annual consistency isn’t valuable. You can basically set your watch to D.J. Moore’s 1.1K yards and 4 TDs. He will likely finish around the top 20 WR for the 4th straight year, and drop in drafts because of his lack of upside.
– Joe Pisapia

Cam Akers (RB – LAR): ADP RB18

It’s clear that the experts and sharps are convinced that Cam Akers sucks at football after he averaged an abysmal 2.4 yards per carry during the 2021 season after returning from his Achilles injury – the worst mark of any running back with at least 70 carries. But his inefficient production is partially related to the juggernaut of run defenses he faced down the stretch – San Francisco 49ers (twice) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – when in fact no Rams RB ran efficiently. Ninety-five percent of his rushing yards in 2021 came after contact – the highest mark in the NFL. And he wasn’t even supposed to play AT ALL last season after initially tearing his Achilles in July.
– Andrew Erickson

Matt Ryan (QB – IND): ADP QB20

If you were a quarterback and I put you with a first-year head coach and took away your top wide receivers (Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley), you’d probably have a bad year. That’s what happened to Matt Ryan in 2021. In his five games last year with Ridley, Ryan averaged 22.2 fantasy points per game. In his 12 games without him, Ryan averaged just 14.1. With a seasoned head coach and respectable No. 1 wide receiver (Michael Pittman), Ryan should rebound in 2022.
– Matthew Freedman

David Njoku (TE – CLE): ADP TE18

It’s generally not advisable to wait around for sixth-year breakouts, but there’s reason to believe we’ll get one from David Njoku. QB Deshaun Watson could help fully tap the freakish athleticism that prompted the Browns to take Njoku in the first round of the 2017 draft. Njoku averaged a career-high 13.2 yards per catch and 9.0 yards per target last season but saw only 53 targets. There’s room for a volume increase, since TE Austin Hooper has left for Tennessee and the Browns don’t have a lot of firepower at WR.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

Jameis Winston (QB – NO): ADP QB23

Jameis Winston isn’t going to sling the ball around as he did with the Buccaneers in 2019 when he led the NFL in pass attempts, but expect him to average more than the 23 pass attempts per game that he averaged for the Saints last year. Winston had a career-high passer rating of 102.8 last year, and he gets a big upgrade in weaponry with WR Michael Thomas coming back from injury and rookie WR Chris Olave coming aboard.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

Brandin Cooks (WR – HOU): ADP WR24

Brandin Cooks is underrated every season, and 2022 is no different, even though he finished the 2021 season as the WR20 (WR22 points per game). Cooks has finished worse than the fantasy WR20 only once since 2015, and that was due to injury. He has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards six times with four different teams during that span.
– Andrew Erickson

Darnell Mooney (WR – CHI): ADP WR31

Darnell Mooney’s just like Jerry Jeudy. Except. 1) He didn’t go to Alabama. 2) He wasn’t a 1st-round pick. 3) He’s actually produced in the NFL – WR27 points/game and 24% target share in 2021. 4) He is cheaper to acquire in fantasy drafts.
– Andrew Erickson

Rashaad Penny (RB – SEA): ADP RB31

Rashaad Penny was excellent to close the season in 2021. In Weeks 14-18, he averaged 18.4 rushing attempts and 134.2 rushing yards per game as the RB1 in fantasy football. He only ran a route on 32.2% (per PFF) of Russell Wilson‘s dropbacks last year, so don’t expect up from him in the passing game. His rushing prowess is legit, though. Penny could be stuck in a committee with Kenneth Walker, but don’t rule out him running away with the job for 2022.
– Derek Brown

Skyy Moore (WR – KC): ADP WR53

There’s no clear #1 wide receiver for the Chiefs right now, only theories. Skyy Moore was impressive at the combine, and his tape is excellent. He has speed and is not afraid of contact. If Patrick Mahomes establishes an early connection with his, Moore has the upside to be a league winner in 2022.
– Joe Pisapia

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.

Mike Maher is an editor and content manager at FantasyPros and BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive, follow him on Twitter @MikeMaher, and visit his Philadelphia Eagles blog, The Birds Blitz.

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