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6 ADP Values, Busts & Sleepers: NFC South (2022 Fantasy Football)

Aug 23, 2022
Leonard Fournette

To get Leonard Fournette as the 14th running back off the board is a steal.

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

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ADP Values

Leonard Fournette (RB – TB): ADP 23.5 | RB14

Last year Fournette was one of three running backs to finish in the top 12 despite being listed as the No. 2 running back on their team’s preseason depth chart. More importantly, he was the RB6 last year, averaging 18.3 fantasy points per game despite missing three games because of injury. Furthermore, Fournette had 11 top-24 weekly finishes while finishing outside the top-36 running backs only once. After briefly flirting with the New England Patriots in free agency, Fournette re-signed with Tampa Bay this offseason.

The Buccaneers signed Fournette to a three-year deal worth $21 million. While they let Ronald Jones leave in free agency, the Buccaneers re-signed Giovanni Bernard and spent a third-round pick on Rachaad White. However, the Tampa Bay backfield belongs to Fournette. Last year he had a 67% backfield share rate and 14% target share. Furthermore, Fournette had 69 receptions, the second-most in his career, despite only a 52.9% route participation rate. Fournette has been a top-12 running back on a points-per-game basis in all but one year of his career. To get him as the 14th running back off the board is a steal.

DJ Moore ( WR – CAR): ADP 44.1 | WR17

After a quiet rookie season, Moore has been one of the more consistent fantasy wide receivers despite inconsistent quarterback play. He has been a top-24 wide receiver the past three years despite scoring only four touchdowns per season. However, Moore is coming off arguably the best year of his career with 93 receptions on 163 targets and 1,157 yards, ending the year as the WR18. Hopefully, the addition of Baker Mayfield can take Moore’s fantasy production to the next level.

Last season, Moore had a 95.5% route participation rate and a 28.4% target share, both ranking among the league leaders. Furthermore, he had a 30.5% dominator rating, the 12th highest among wide receivers last season. Despite scoring only four touchdowns, Moore accounted for 12.9% of the team’s offensive scores. While Mayfield only has a 4.8% career touchdown rate, if Moore can score 7-8 touchdowns this season, he will be a top-12 wide receiver.

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Bust Candidates

Mike Evans (WR – TB): ADP 27.1 | WR9

Evans has been an elite fantasy receiver since he entered the NFL. He has never finished lower than the WR22 any year and has four top-12 finishes in his career. However, Evans has never been the most consistent fantasy player week in and week out. Last season, he had nine top-24 weekly finishes, accounting for 60% of the games he played. However, Evans finished outside the top 36 wide receivers in 26.7% of games during the fantasy season last year. More importantly, his competition for targets has never been greater.

In the 14 games Chris Godwin played, Evans averaged 15.8 fantasy points per game. Evans averaged 20.8 fantasy points per game in the two games Godwin missed with the torn ACL by comparison. He was also the WR4 during the playoffs on a points-per-game basis, averaging 26.3 fantasy points per contest. Unfortunately for Evans’ fantasy value, Godwin wasn’t placed on the PUP list. Furthermore, the Buccaneers signed Russell Gage and Julio Jones in free agency this offseason. While he won’t bust in the traditional sense, Evans shouldn’t get drafted as a top-10 wide receiver. Keenan Allen, A.J. Brown, and Michael Pittman all have a later ADP than him, and I would take all three before Evans.

Jarvis Landry (WR – NO): ADP 152.5 | WR54

While he was a PPR star early in his career, Landry has struggled the past couple of years. He finished no lower than the WR18 in PPR from 2015-2019, with three top-12 finishes. However, Landry has finished outside the top-30 wide receivers in back-to-back seasons, including a career-worst WR54 finish last year. The big reason for Landry’s regression is the target share and touchdown production.

The last time Landry had a top-24 finish was in 2019. That year he had 138 targets for a career-high 1,174 receiving yards and six touchdowns. However, Landry has never had a double-digit touchdown season in his career and only one year with more than six touchdowns. While he will play a meaningful role for the Saints’ offense, Landry won’t have much of an impact for fantasy players. His upside is limited, given the number of weapons in New Orleans. Instead of drafting Landry, target rookie wide receivers with a later ADP like George Pickens, Jahan Dotson, Jalen Tolbert, and Romeo Doubs. They offer more upside than the veteran.

Sleepers to Target

Jameis Winston (QB – NO): ADP 180.7 | QB21

Despite a lack of weapons, Winston had 14 passing touchdowns and only three interceptions in seven games last year before tearing his ACL. He scored over 25 fantasy points in two of those contests. Thanks to his productive play despite a poor supporting cast, the Saints re-signed Winston to a two-year deal worth $28 million in the offseason. More importantly, the Saints used their two first-round picks in the NFL Draft to help Winston instead of replacing him.

New Orleans drafted Chris Olave with the 11th overall pick while grabbing Trevor Penning with the 19th overall pick. Both rookies have flashed during training camp and should have an immediate impact this season. Furthermore, the Saints added Landry in free agency shortly after the draft. More importantly, Michael Thomas has reportedly been outstanding during training camp and appears 100% healthy after missing the past 1.5 years with an ankle injury. Last year Winston was the QB14 on a points-per-game basis throwing to Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harty. He has top-10 ability, thanks to the new additions in New Orleans.

Desmond Ridder (QB – ATL): ADP 297.1 | QB41

Typically rookie quarterbacks fail to turn into productive fantasy players. However, several rookie quarterbacks have finished in the top 10 over the past few years. Justin Herbert was the QB9 in 2020, while Kyler Murray was the QB8 in 2019. Furthermore, Deshaun Watson was on pace to be the QB1 as a rookie in 2017 until he tore his ACL in practice. Still, Watson ended the year as the QB1 on a points-per-game basis. While he doesn’t have the talent or upside of those three quarterbacks, Ridder does have a pathway to a top-15 finish.

In 1QB leagues, Ridder shouldn’t get drafted. However, he is an excellent late-round target in superflex leagues. Ridder has two elite athletic freaks to throw to in Kyle Pitts and Drake London. He is also a capable runner and could average over 45 rushing yards per game once he takes over as the starter. More importantly, the Falcons will be in a negative game script most of the season. Even though Marcus Mariota was named the starter to begin the year, it’s only a matter of time till Ridder takes the job. If he can develop a connection with Pitts and London early in the season, Ridder could sneak into the top 15 as a rookie.

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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