Last week’s Trade Value column was devoted entirely to how you can change the foundation of your fantasy team through transactions.
This week’s column looks at a quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end who could propel your fantasy team into the playoffs.
Please continue to leverage Field Yates’ Waiver Wire column and my Streamers column for lineup options you can consider each week as bye weeks come up.
Averaging 38.5 attempts, 324.3 passing yards, 364.2 passing air yards and 22 points per game, Carr has had a solid year even while going largely overlooked. In fact, only Tom Brady has averaged a greater number of passing yards (344) and passing air yards (389.7) than Carr.
Looking ahead, Las Vegas has a favorable schedule going forward. From Weeks 13-17, Carr will play against the Washington Football Team (26.9 fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks), Kansas City Chiefs (25), Cleveland Browns (23), Denver Broncos (14.6), and Indianapolis Colts (21.4).
My two biggest takeaways from watching him this season are his poise in the pocket and his ability to create plays off-script. It’s not often that people talk about Carr as a potential quarterback league-winner, but this could be the season that happens.
Fantasy managers romanticize what they think running backs need to be in order to be successful. It might be speed, strength or elusiveness. In my opinion, a potential league-winner plays more snaps, does more running and more catching out of the backfield, ideally is under the age of 29 and is in a productive offense. Right now, Ekekler is an intriguing player who checks all those boxes.
We often glamorize winning our league by converting a waiver wire find into a fantasy superstar. In the break room or with family and friends, that’s a nice story to tell, but often it’s the early round draft picks that are unappreciated.
Ekeler could be one of those guys. Last week, he tallied 55 total yards, his lowest total of the year, and the Chargers’ offense looked disorganized. Now he’s off this week with the Chargers on a bye. Look at this as an opportunity to send trade offer.
It’s true, Rashod Bateman‘s arrival may concern some managers. and the Ravens’ 27th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft had an impressive collegiate career at Minnesota. Bateman had a reception in every game he played, fifth in school history, and he finished his college career with 147 catches, 2,395 receiving yards (sixth in school history) and 19 touchdowns (fifth). During his Golden Gopher career, he had 10 100-yard reception games.
Now I’ll let you in on a secret. Bateman’s arrival is great for Brown. It’ll take attention away from the many they call “Hollywood,” who’s already having a great season. He’s averaged 7 targets, 5.3 receptions, 81 receiving yards and 18.8 points per game. Brown also has three receiving touchdowns of 30 yards or more. Lamar Jackson has a passer rating of 130.6 when targeting Brown.
Baltimore plays the Bengals this week before their bye, and still have games against the Browns (40.88 fantasy points allowed to receivers), Steelers (41.7), Packers (32.93), Bengals (37.07) and Rams (39.5).
Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
I’m guessing now that you think I’m a Raiders fan. That’s not true. It’s just that due to the dire tight end landscape, you would be well advised to prioritize a tight end who will see the most targets on their respective team.
Waller has not been actively involved in the Raiders’ offense since Week 1, when he had 19 targets and gained 105 yards. In fact, he’s averaged 7 targets, 4.6 receptions and 54.6 yards per game since then. So why trade for him now?
Some fantasy managers with Waller are frustrated and willing — if not eager — to unload him for the right offer. And a strong finish to the season is very much possible. Waller’s 317 targets, 2,716 receiving yards and 2,532 receiving air yards since 2019 leads the Raiders in each of these statistical categories.
I’m optimistic that he will remain an integral part of the Raiders’ offense, and the team’s schedule for the rest of the season positions him for success.
Has Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury reached his ceiling? – Arizona Cardinals Blog
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — First, the good news.
Kliff Kingsbury has taken an Arizona Cardinals team that won just three games in 2018 — bad enough to have the worst record in football and cause the firing of then-coach Steve Wilks — to year-over-year improvements in each of his three seasons as head coach. He won five games in 2019, eight games in 2020 and 11 games in 2021. For a franchise that’s been mired in mediocrity for more than the 100 years it’s been in the NFL, this is no small feat.
Kingsbury should be applauded for what he’s done in Arizona as the fourth coach in Cardinals’ history to improve his record in three consecutive years.
Annual improvement is a rarity in the NFL. For the Cardinals, hiring Kingsbury as a first-time NFL coach paid off quickly: It got them to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2015 — and just the sixth time since they moved to Arizona in 1988.
Now, the bad news.
In doing so, the 41-year-old Kingsbury may have reached his ceiling as an NFL head coach.
This season the Cardinals had all the pieces to make a run deep in the playoffs, even possibly as far as the Super Bowl. But those hopes were dashed Monday night at SoFi Stadium, the same building that will house Super Bowl LVI. They lost in an embarrassing manor, 34-11 to the Los Angeles Rams. That game capped another late-season tailspin for Kingsbury in what’s becoming an all-too familiar scene for Cardinals’ fans. Arizona lost five of its final six games after starting 7-0. It finished 4-7.
This isn’t the first time a Kingsbury-coached team has fallen off in the second half of a season. It’s actually the ninth consecutive time. As much as Ray-Ban sunglasses and stylish haircuts have come to define Kingsbury, so have second-half slumps.
It’s happened in each season he’s been a head coach, starting in 2013, his first season at Texas Tech. Last season, Arizona started 5-2 and finished 3-6, missing the playoffs in the process after losing two win-and-your-in games. In 2018, Arizona lost seven of its last nine to finish 5-10-1.
The first seven games have been the line of demarcation for Kingsbury. In three seasons with Arizona, he is 15-5-1 in Games 1 through 7 but 9-19 the rest of the season. At Texas Tech, he was 27-15 in Games 1 through 7 and 8-25 after that.
Great teams, championship-caliber teams, get better and stronger as seasons continue. Kingsbury’s don’t. They go the other way. Arizona’s collapses under Kingsbury have looked similar. An injury to All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins exacerbated an offensive drop off filled with costly penalties, missed kicks and mental errors.
Kingsbury chalked up Monday’s loss to “crucial mistakes at the wrong time,” adding, “I’m not sure if we were pressing or not accustomed to be in that position, whatever it was. We got to look at it this offseason to figure out how we get better down the stretch.”
Later, though, he said: “We just got to keep looking at it, keep trying to find new ways to improve later on in the season, whatever that may be. It’s definitely a priority this offseason.”
The Cardinals have most likely wasted quarterback Kyler Murray‘s rookie contract now that he’s eligible to sign an extension having completed his third season. With how much quarterback contracts have inflated in recent years, the window to win for teams with young quarterbacks keeps shrinking. They surround them with a lot of talent — some expensive, some not — and try to squeeze out a championship, or at least a few playoff runs. None of that happened in Arizona in the past three years and now Murray will most likely gets his pay day soon.
There’s always the chance that the Cardinals decline to extend Murray after this year, pick up his fifth-year option this offseason and then wait and see. There’s both a risk and reward to that. The risk is that Murray may not be happy with that decision and the Cards could be creating a rift in their relationship with Murray. The reward is that Arizona would buy itself another year or two to see how Murray can develop and grow before backing up a Brinks truck.
• Oral history of Lions’ last playoff win
• Confident D makes 49ers a contender
• McKinnon giving KC something to think about
• Ridley, Patterson and tough decisions ahead
• Many changes in Packers-49ers dynamic
A deep run this year would’ve likely secured a contract in the neighborhood of Buffalo’s Josh Allen, who last summer — following his third year in the league — received a six-year extension worth $258 million, with $150 million guaranteed, which came out to an average of $43 million per year.
A large deal for Murray will trickle down to the rest of the roster in some way, regardless of how creative the Cardinals are with cap numbers. The time for Arizona to win on the cheap has likely passed.
This year, though, was more than just losing games in the second half of the season. It was squandered opportunities. The Cardinals either had or shared the best record in the NFC through Week 14, and they were in first place in the NFC West until Week 15. A week later, the Rams claimed the top spot and never looked back.
Kingsbury brought the Cardinals to the brink only to see it slip away. In some ways, that was a blessing in disguise this year. Arizona was 8-1 on the road but just 3-5 at home, a phenomenon that neither Kingsbury nor players could explain.
Yes, injuries — including major ones to J.J. Watt and Hopkins — nagged at the Cardinals all season. Losing Hopkins changed the complexion of the offense and not having Watt altered Arizona’s interior defense. But, offensively, at least, Kingsbury didn’t seem to adapt. The Cardinals scored 225 points in their first seven games, an average of 32.1, compared to 224 in their final 10, an average of 22.4. Injuries will happen and if a coach can only win with a full complement of players, his team likely won’t be hoisting a Lombardi Trophy.
A Monday night audience saw the Cardinals’ season end with, as Watt put it, a “massive failure.”
Murray didn’t think the Cardinals put up much of a fight against the Rams.
“[We] prepare all week, all season to be where we are and then the game wasn’t competitive at all,” Murray said. “It’s disappointing that we didn’t make it a game and come out and play football we know we’re capable of playing and that’s really the most disappointing part.
“Losing is one thing but when you don’t even make it competitive, it’s another thing. So, disappointing.”
Mike Tomlin says ‘all options’ on table this offseason to find next Pittsburgh Steelers starting QB
PITTSBURGH — For the first time in his 15-year head coaching career, Mike Tomlin is entering an offseason without Ben Roethlisberger as the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ franchise quarterback for the upcoming season.
While Roethlisberger, 39, has yet to make the official announcement, Tomlin said he’s “proceeding with the assumption” that the longtime quarterback won’t be playing next year. Earlier this season, Roethlisberger said “all signs” pointed to the Week 17 win against the Cleveland Browns being his final home game at Heinz Field. After the Steelers’ playoff exit against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Roethlisberger didn’t use the word retirement but called his 18-year career with the franchise “an honor” and said he is “looking forward” to the next chapter.
That means Tomlin is tasked with finding the Steelers’ next franchise quarterback.
“I’m excited about that — that challenge,” he said in his annual season wrap-up Tuesday. “Those of us that are competitors are. It’s a challenge, man. It kind of makes you uneasy. But I’ve learned to run to those challenges. I’ve learned to appreciate those challenges. The uncertainty surrounding them is inspiring to me in terms of producing work.”
The Steelers will undoubtedly bring in new arms to compete for the starting job, and Tomlin said he doesn’t care if the fresh faces come from free agency, a trade or the 2022 NFL draft.
“All options are on the table,” Tomlin said. “I enjoy working with Kevin (Colbert) this time of year because we speak plain English. We have to improve our football team. There’s two major ways you do it. You do it to free agency, and you do it through the draft. We have to look at what’s available to us in the draft positionally. And we have to look at what’s available to us, potentially, in free agency, positionally, and then we kind of bring those two discussions together. And it kind of gives us a path in which to go about addressing our needs.”
With more cap flexibility than in previous seasons, the team could explore adding a quarterback via trade, like Russell Wilson, or sign a mid-level veteran, such as a free-agent quarterback like Jameis Winston, to either be a bridge or the next franchise quarterback.
The Steelers are slated to pick No. 20 overall in the upcoming draft, and with a weaker quarterback class, a player like Pitt’s Kenny Pickett or North Carolina’s Sam Howell could be available at the Steelers’ selection.
Tomlin also said he hasn’t expressed a preference between bringing in a veteran over a rookie to avoid a rebuilding process.
In looking for a quarterback, Tomlin acknowledged that mobility is an important positional trait.
“Man, quarterback mobility is valued not only by me, but everyone,” he said. “It’s just a component of today’s game and increasingly so.”
The Steelers enter the 2022 season with only one quarterback under contract in Mason Rudolph, though Dwayne Haskins also spent the 2021 season on the Steelers’ roster. Tomlin said both will have the opportunity to compete for the starting job.
“Mason and Dwayne have had their moments, but they’ll have to prove that,” Tomlin said when asked if either could be an everyday starter. “And not only in the team development process, but through playing itself. They’re guys that start that I wouldn’t characterize as everyday starters. And so they’ll be given an opportunity to establish themselves, and there’s going to be competition. There always is.
“I think that both guys have positioned themselves to fight that fight with what they’ve done from a work standpoint and a professionalism standpoint in 2021.”
Rudolph started one game this season — a tie in Week 10 against the then-winless Detroit Lions — and completed 30 of 50 attempts for 242 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also started eight games in 2019, taking over the job after Roethlisberger’s season-ending elbow injury. But he split time with Devlin “Duck” Hodges.
Haskins, meanwhile, was only active for one game during the 2021 season after signing with the Steelers in the offseason. He competed with Rudolph for the backup spot during training camp, but ultimately landed as the No. 3. The former first-rounder started 13 games with the Washington Football Team before being released late in the 2020 season.
In addition to addressing the future of the team’s quarterback position, Tomlin also touched on the future of other key members of his staff and the Steelers’ organization.
• Tomlin expressed confidence in first-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada, seemingly a sign that Canada will return for at least one more season.
“I’m optimistic about Matt and what he’s capable of doing,” he said. “I acknowledge that we took a step back. There are some obvious tangible reasons why that occurred. … We’ve got to be better. We intend to be. And that’s going to require a lot of planning and work. Players and coaches.”
Tomlin also acknowledged frustration with the lack of offensive success. The Steelers averaged 4.8 yards per play in 2021 after averaging 5.2 in 2020.
“I’m not expressing satisfaction with any component of it,” he said. “I’m just acknowledging that he brings things to the table that are attractive, and we need to be better and we will be and that, you know, that’s a component of it as well. But I’m not acknowledging satisfaction with of any component of what it is that we’ve done as I sit here today.”
• Tomlin said he and defensive coordinator Keith Butler, 65, have previously had conversations about 2021 being Butler’s last season. Butler’s one-year extension ends after the 2021 season.
“Butz has had conversations about this being potentially his last year,” Tomlin said. “He and I have not had an opportunity to sit down. I’m doing player interviews. He’s doing player interviews, and so we haven’t had a detailed conversation in that regard. But defensively, you know, we didn’t play as well as we’d like either. We’ve got to get better in that area.”
• While general manager Kevin Colbert’s contract expires after the 2022 NFL draft, Tomlin is still working closely with Colbert to come up with a plan for this offseason. The two have also talked about Colbert’s future with the team.
“He and I have had discussions about it,” Tomlin said. “But I’ll leave it to Kevin to address any issues regarding him on his future. My plan and our plan is to proceed in the short term and like we always do.”
Fantasy football rankings – The 192 players who should be rostered in 2022
The fantasy football offseason is nearly upon us, which means it’s time to start looking ahead to 2022.
Yes, the next fantasy season is many months away and the below rankings will be impacted in a significant way by retirements, free agency, the draft, coaching changes and much more. Nonetheless, we need to start somewhere, so below is the first run of “The 192” for 2022.
Why 192? Fantasy leagues come in all shapes in sizes, but many have settled into the vicinity of 12 teams and 16 roster spots. “The 192” is a list of the 192 players who should be drafted (and thus rostered) in a 12-team, 16-round, PPR league with relatively standard scoring and lineup settings. The players are technically listed in the order they should be drafted, though it’s important to remember that drafts are fluid and your decisions should be altered based on what’s left on the board and your previous selections.
What if you’re in an eight-team league? Or a 16-teamer? “The 192” can still help you win, but you’ll certainly need to make tweaks in the mid-to-late rounds. For example, in a smaller league, you might want to wait even longer at quarterback since the position is so deep. In deeper leagues, running backs and tight ends should be more of a priority, as those positions lack depth and could leave you with a weak spot if you wait until late.
The 192 should serve as a simple guide to help you maximize the value of your starting lineup while making the best possible decision in each round.
For a deeper look, here is an early 2022 PPR Cheat Sheet.
Contract key: Included in this initial run is each player’s contract status. The year indicated is the final season of that player’s contract. The letter notes what type of free agent the player will be when that contract expires (u = unrestricted, r = restricted, e = exclusive rights, v = void option). If the player is headed for free agency this offseason, that status is also indicated.
Early indications suggest that 2022 is going to be one of the most volatile seasons yet in terms of early-round ADP. Taylor will be the first pick in nearly all drafts after his breakout 2021 campaign, but it gets trickier from there. McCaffrey has had two injury-plagued seasons, but he’s still in his prime (he’ll be 26 next season) and remains a near lock for 20-plus points any time he plays. That’s hard to pass on. Henry’s increased passing-game work this past season helps secure his place as a top pick.
I’m certainly not locked in on how to order this impressive group of top receivers, but I’m rolling with youth over recent dominance for now. It’s rare to see a wideout over age 28 lead the position in fantasy points, but Kupp and Adams (both will be 29 to open 2022) are nonetheless quality WR1 targets.
9. Dalvin Cook, MIN, RB5, 2025u
10. Alvin Kamara, NO, RB6, 2025u
11. Deebo Samuel, SF, WR5, 2022u
12. Tyreek Hill, KC, WR6, 2022u
13. Najee Harris, PIT, RB7, 2024u
14. D’Andre Swift, DET, RB8, 2023u
15. Joe Mixon, CIN, RB9, 2024u
16. Stefon Diggs, BUF, WR7, 2023u
The Round 1-2 turn is loaded with heavy volume and talent. Harris and Swift are the up-and-comers at running back, whereas Cook, Kamara and Mixon are the high-volume, seasoned vets. Diggs finishes off what feels like a clear top seven at wide receiver … at least for now.
17. Javonte Williams, DEN, RB10, 2024u
18. Antonio Gibson, WAS, RB11, 2023u
19. Saquon Barkley, NYG, RB12, 2022u
20. Cam Akers, LAR, RB13, 2023u
21. Nick Chubb, CLE, RB14, 2024u
22. J.K. Dobbins, BAL, RB15, 2023u
23. Leonard Fournette, TB, RB16, UFA
This is a very intriguing tier of running backs who could make or break your squad. Will Williams, Akers and Dobbins live up to their potential? Can Gibson translate a strong finish to 2021 to a full-on breakout in 2022? Is Barkley toast, or will a new coaching staff return the 25-year-old to the elite tier of RBs? Will Fournette re-up with Tampa Bay and resume feature-back duties? Can Chubb sustain elite efficiency and overcome minimal receiving work?
24. A.J. Brown, TEN, WR8, 2022u
25. Diontae Johnson, PIT, WR9, 2022u
26. DK Metcalf, SEA, WR10, 2022u
27. CeeDee Lamb, DAL, WR11, 2023u
28. Josh Jacobs, LV, RB17, 2022u
29. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL, RB18, 2026u
30. David Montgomery, CHI, RB19, 2022u
31. Aaron Jones, GB, RB20, 2024u
Wide receivers get a lot tougher to sort after the first seven are off the board. Brown is so dominant when active, I have him eighth, but there is still a lot we need to see play out at this position. Johnson, Metcalf and Lamb are some of the young stars at the position, and we also have a few solid veteran plays at running back here. Elliott and Jones might seem low, but Tony Pollard and AJ Dillon are only going to play more and more.
32. Mike Evans, TB, WR12, 2023v
33. Jaylen Waddle, MIA, WR13, 2024u
34. Keenan Allen, LAC, WR14, 2024u
35. Tee Higgins, CIN, WR15, 2023u
36. Elijah Mitchell, SF, RB21, 2024u
37. Michael Carter, NYJ, RB22, 2024u
The Round 3-4 turn includes some solid WR targets (Evans, Allen, Higgins, Waddle), as well as a pair of impressive second-year backs who figure to dominate the carries in their respective backfield.
Kelce’s five-year run as fantasy’s No. 1-scoring tight end is over, with Andrews the new king of the position. Andrews (entering his age-27 season) gets the edge here over Kelce, who turns 33 during the 2022 season.
40. DeAndre Hopkins, ARI, WR16, 2024u
41. Tyler Lockett, SEA, WR17, 2025u
42. Calvin Ridley, ATL, WR18, 2022u
43. Chris Godwin, TB, WR19, UFA
44. George Kittle, SF, TE3, 2025u
45. DJ Moore, CAR, WR20, 2022u
46. Marquise Brown, BAL, WR21, 2022u
47. Terry McLaurin, WAS, WR22, 2022u
48. Elijah Moore, NYJ, WR23, 2024u
49. Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET, WR24, 2024u
50. Brandin Cooks, HOU, WR25, 2022v
51. Hunter Renfrow, LV, WR26, 2022u
52. Amari Cooper, DAL, WR27, 2024u
53. DeVonta Smith, PHI, WR28, 2024u
54. Michael Pittman Jr., IND, WR29, 2023u
55. Darnell Mooney, CHI, WR30, 2023u
56. Michael Thomas, NO, WR31, 2024u
I’ve pounded the table for the “draft a WR in the fourth round” approach the past two seasons, and it looks as if we’ll be in the same spot in 2022. There will be plenty of solid veterans (Hopkins, Lockett, DJ Moore, et al.), as well as youngsters on the incline (Elijah Moore, St. Brown, Smith). There are a few question marks here, including the future of Godwin (ACL tear, free agent), Ridley (sat out most of 2021, trade candidate) and Thomas (missed most of the past two seasons).
The fifth/sixth round looks like a good spot to attack tight end and quarterback. Pitts was the No. 6 fantasy TE as a rookie and will still have yet to turn 22 years old when September rolls around. His upside remains elite. Allen and Mahomes are the class of the QB position.
62. Travis Etienne Jr., JAC, RB23, 2024u
63. Miles Sanders, PHI, RB24, 2022u
64. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC, RB25, 2023u
65. Chase Edmonds, ARI, RB26, UFA
66. Justin Herbert, LAC, QB3, 2023u
67. Kyler Murray, ARI, QB4, 2022u
68. Kareem Hunt, CLE, RB27, 2022u
69. James Conner, ARI, RB28, UFA
70. Damien Harris, NE, RB29, 2022u
We’ve reached the beginning stages of the running back dead zone, but the likes of Sanders and Edwards-Helaire could enter 2022 as clear feature backs. Landing spot will drive the appeal of free agents Edmonds and Conner. Etienne is expected to make a full recovery from a foot injury and his value is up with James Robinson‘s torn Achilles potentially limiting him early next season. Herbert and Murray make for strong QB1 targets.
71. Mike Williams, LAC, WR32, UFA
72. Robert Woods, LAR, WR33, 2025u
73. Adam Thielen, MIN, WR34, 2024u
74. Dalton Schultz, DAL, TE7, UFA
75. Zach Ertz, ARI, TE8, UFA
76. Dak Prescott, DAL, QB5, 2024v
77. Aaron Rodgers, GB, QB6, 2022v
78. Jalen Hurts, PHI, QB7, 2023u
79. Lamar Jackson, BAL, QB8, 2022u
80. Deshaun Watson, HOU, QB9, 2025u
81. Chris Carson, SEA, RB30, 2022v
82. Devin Singletary, BUF, RB31, 2022u
83. James Robinson, JAC, RB32, 2022r
84. Melvin Gordon III, DEN, RB33, UFA
85. Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL, RB34, UFA
This tier of players is overloaded with solid veteran options, though the value of impending free agents Williams, Ertz, Gordon, and 2021 breakouts Patterson and Schultz will depend on landing spot. We’ll see how ADP plays out, but there is likely to be a middraft value option or two at the quarterback position, with Prescott, Rodgers, Hurts, Jackson and Watson potentially available.
86. Brandon Aiyuk, SF, WR35, 2023u
87. Rashod Bateman, BAL, WR36, 2024u
88. Jerry Jeudy, DEN, WR37, 2023u
89. Courtland Sutton, DEN, WR38, 2025u
90. Rob Gronkowski, TB, TE9, UFA
91. Pat Freiermuth, PIT, TE10, 2024u
92. Tom Brady, TB, QB10, 2022v
93. Joe Burrow, CIN, QB11, 2023u
This tier includes a few young wide receivers who have flashed but who have yet to enjoy a full-on breakout for a variety of reasons. The QB situation in Denver will drive the appeal of Jeudy and Sutton. We’re also getting toward the end of starting-caliber players at quarterback and tight end, with the Brady/Gronk battery and youngsters Freiermuth and Burrow your best targets.
94. Dallas Goedert, PHI, TE11, 2025v
95. Logan Thomas, WAS, TE12, 2024u
96. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT, WR39, UFA
97. Kadarius Toney, NYG, WR40, 2024u
98. DeVante Parker, MIA, WR41, 2023u
99. Chase Claypool, PIT, WR42, 2023u
100. Tyler Boyd, CIN, WR43, 2023u
101. Odell Beckham Jr., LAR, WR44, UFA
102. Allen Robinson II, CHI, WR45, UFA
This area of the draft mostly comprises veteran receivers and tight ends, including bounce-back candidates Thomas, Robinson and Smith-Schuster. Toney is one of the exceptions. The 2021 first-round pick flashed elite upside as a rookie but couldn’t dodge the injury bug. He’ll be a fun middle-rounds target as a potential breakout in his second season.
103. Tony Pollard, DAL, RB35, 2022u
104. AJ Dillon, GB, RB36, 2023u
105. Rhamondre Stevenson, NE, RB37, 2024u
106. Alexander Mattison, MIN, RB38, 2022u
107. Rashaad Penny, SEA, RB39, UFA
108. Russell Wilson, SEA, QB12, 2023u
109. Matthew Stafford, LAR, QB13, 2022v
110. Justin Fields, CHI, QB14, 2024u
111. Trey Lance, SF, QB15, 2024u
This is a fun tier of potential breakout running backs, but all five RBs here could (or certainly will) open the season second or lower on their respective depth chart. This tier also wraps up our QB1 options, including a couple of Year 2 breakouts in Fields and Lance.
112. Noah Fant, DEN, TE13, 2022u
113. Mike Gesicki, MIA, TE14, UFA
114. Dawson Knox, BUF, TE15, 2022u
115. Christian Kirk, ARI, WR46, UFA
116. Jakobi Meyers, NE, WR47, RFA
117. Jarvis Landry, CLE, WR48, 2022u
118. Marvin Jones Jr., JAC, WR49, 2022u
119. Michael Gallup, DAL, WR50, UFA
120. Rondale Moore, ARI, WR51, 2024u
121. Corey Davis, NYJ, WR52, 2023u
122. William Fuller V, MIA, WR53, UFA
123. Gus Edwards, BAL, RB40, 2023u
124. Darrell Henderson Jr., LAR, RB41, 2022u
125. Sony Michel, LAR, RB42, UFA
This is another area rich with veteran options. Fant, Gesicki and Knox all have TE1 upside. Kirk, Gallup and Fuller are among the top free agents at wideout. Michel impressed late in 2021, but he doesn’t have a path to lead-back duties in Los Angeles with Cam Akers healthy, so he’ll likely be looking elsewhere for work this offseason.
126. DJ Chark Jr., JAC, WR54, UFA
127. Robby Anderson, CAR, WR55, 2023u
128. Sterling Shepard, NYG, WR56, 2023u
129. Gabriel Davis, BUF, WR57, 2023u
130. Joshua Palmer, LAC, WR58, 2024u
131. Kirk Cousins, MIN, QB16, 2022u
132. Trevor Lawrence, JAC, QB17, 2024u
133. Hunter Henry, NE, TE16, 2023u
134. Cole Kmet, CHI, TE17, 2023u
135. Irv Smith Jr., MIN, TE18, 2022u
Davis and Palmer could find themselves as high as second on the depth chart in elite pass offenses next season, and, if that’s the case, they’ll both be popular breakout candidates. Lawrence finished his rookie season with his best game, and the No. 1 pick in 2021 will be an intriguing post-hype sleeper in 2022.
136. Cole Beasley, BUF, WR59, 2022u
137. Kenny Golladay, NYG, WR60, 2024v
138. Van Jefferson, LAR, WR61, 2023u
139. Julio Jones, TEN, WR62, 2023v
140. Russell Gage, ATL, WR63, UFA
141. Curtis Samuel, WAS, WR64, 2023v
142. Jamison Crowder, NYJ, WR65, UFA
143. Zay Jones, LV, WR66, UFA
144. A.J. Green, ARI, WR67, UFA
145. Terrace Marshall Jr., CAR, WR68, 2024u
146. Dee Eskridge, SEA, WR69, 2024u
147. Dyami Brown, WAS, WR70, 2024u
148. Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE, WR71, 2023u
149. Kendrick Bourne, NE, WR72, 2023u
150. K.J. Osborn, MIN, WR73, 2023u
151. James White, NE, RB43, UFA
152. Darrel Williams, KC, RB44, UFA
153. Kenneth Gainwell, PHI, RB45, 2024u
154. Ronald Jones II, TB, RB46, UFA
155. Jamaal Williams, DET, RB47, 2022u
156. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, TB, RB48, 2023u
157. Nyheim Hines, IND, RB49, 2024u
158. Khalil Herbert, CHI, RB50, 2024u
159. Rex Burkhead, HOU, RB51, 2022u
160. Marlon Mack, IND, RB52, UFA
161. Kenyan Drake, LV, RB53, 2022u
162. D’Onta Foreman, TEN, RB54, UFA
163. Tyler Higbee, LAR, TE19, 2023u
164. Robert Tonyan, GB, TE20, UFA
165. Adam Trautman, NO, TE21, 2023u
166. Ryan Tannehill, TEN, QB18, 2023v
167. Mac Jones, NE, QB19, 2024u
168. Zach Wilson, NYJ, QB20, 2024u
This final tier of skill-position players will help you prep for offseason best-ball drafts, but these players will be affected drastically by offseason player movement, and the later rounds are sure to be overloaded with rookies once we get to that point.
169. Bills D/ST, BUF, DST1
170. Cowboys D/ST, DAL, DST2
171. Patriots D/ST, NE, DST3
172. Buccaneers D/ST, TB, DST4
173. Packers D/ST, GB, DST5
174. Dolphins D/ST, MIA, DST6
175. Saints D/ST, NO, DST7
176. Colts D/ST, IND, DST8
177. Cardinals D/ST, ARI, DST9
178. 49ers D/ST, SF, DST10
179. Broncos D/ST, DEN, DST11
180. Rams D/ST, LAR, DST12
181. Justin Tucker, BAL, K1, 2023u
182. Daniel Carlson, LV, K2, 2025u
183. Matt Gay, LAR, K3, RFA
184. Tyler Bass, BUF, K4, 2023u
185. Harrison Butker, KC, K5, 2024u
186. Nick Folk, NE, K6, UFA
187. Chris Boswell, PIT, K7, 2022u
188. Evan McPherson, CIN, K8, 2024u
189. Jake Elliott, PHI, K9, 2024v
190. Matt Prater, ARI, K10, 2022u
191. Greg Joseph, MIN, K11, RFA
192. Dustin Hopkins, LAC, K12, UFA
Wait until your final two selections to select your kicker and defense.
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