Fantasy Football 2022: 3 Players Who Can Lead Your Team to a Title
Every fantasy football owner is attempting to find or at least stumble onto that player or players who will deliver a championship.
Last year, Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase, Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, and Rams WR Cooper Kupp were among those players. Kupp finished with a record-setting 439.5 fantasy points in PPR and had 20 or more fantasy points in 14 games – all of that with a seventh-round ADP.
All Chase did was deliver top-three wide receiver produced 304.6 fantasy points (17.9 ppg) in PPR leagues, but in Week 16-17 (championship weeks in most leagues), Chase scored a combined 75.1 points – 55.6 in Week 17 alone, so if you made it to your league title game with the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, he most probably won you a championship.
Hurts, who started four games as a rookie in 2020 and did enough to earn the starting nod last season, was, on average, the 12th quarterback off the board in 2021 fantasy drafts. He averaged 20.8 fantasy points per game, missing two games to an ankle sprain that limited his rushing numbers late in the year. Even so, he was a top-10 fantasy quarterback.
With everyone looking for “that guy” in their fantasy drafts, which players are poised to deliver?
Jalen Hurts is still a value fantasy owners can depend upon
Jalen Hurts has moved up draft boards but has not cracked into the top tier of fantasy quarterbacks – the trio of Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert. Hurts is the sixth quarterback off the board on average, with an ADP of 63.4.
There’s no reason to believe Hurts will regress in his third season and second as a full-time starter. The Eagles have added wide receiver A.J. Brown, and Hurts has reportedly worked diligently to improve his accuracy as a passer.
Last season, Hurts accounted for 26 total touchdowns – 16 throwing and 10 on the ground. He put his wheels to good use, averaging 8.43 fantasy points by rushing alone.
It’s not difficult to believe he could out-produce his ADP for fantasy owners and finish as a top-5 fantasy QB.
Justin Jefferson could be this year’s Cooper Kupp
Justin Jefferson is nobody’s sleeper.
Over his first two seasons, Justin Jefferson has been the most productive receiver in fantasy. He scored 17.1 points per game in PPR formats as a rookie in 2020 and upped that to 19.4 ppg (330.4 points overall) last season.
In the offseason, the Vikings hired former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, who turned Cooper Kupp into a fantasy juggernaut en route to a Super Bowl championship.
In chilly Minnesota, Jefferson is expected to fill the same role in the Vikings’ new O’Connell-designed offense.
So, what if Jefferson, whose ADP in ESPN fantasy leagues is 6.2 overall and second behind Kupp among wide receivers, approaches Kupp’s fantasy production from a year ago?
If so, he’s the guy who could lift your team to a championship.
Can Justin Fields be a Bear of a fantasy QB?
In his second season, Justin Fields is voted Most Likely to Be This Year’s Jalen Hurts (Other Than Jalen Hurts).
Fields’ skill set is similar to Hurts, and he should be a threat with his legs, if not his arm, in Chicago. Like Hurts, he could be a touchdown vulture inside the 10-yard-line.
If the former coaching regime in Chicago didn’t do irreparable harm to Fields, he could grow exponentially on the field and in fantasy. Last season, he had the fifth-most rushing yards among QBs in 10 starts.
In the last four games Fields started and finished last season, he averaged 19.7 fantasy points per game.
With a new coaching staff intent on maximizing Fields’ skills as the centerpiece of the Bears’ offense, Fields could end up in the top 12 among quarterbacks and give owners championship-level value late in the draft.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference