Friday, July 1, 2022

Fantasy Football Rankings 2022: Sleepers, breakouts, busts from unbiased model that called Taylor’s huge year

Last year, Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney was outside the top 125 players in most preseason Fantasy football rankings. Even as the Bears switched between Andy Dalton and rookie quarterback Justin Fields, Mooney finished among the top 25 wide receivers in many Fantasy formats. In just 14 starts, Mooney recorded 81 catches and 1,055 yards with four touchdowns. Where should he be in your 2022 Fantasy football rankings?

Successful 2022 Fantasy football draft prep starts with knowing which players like Mooney will step up to deliver solid production, even without ideal quarterback situations. Mooney had a 26.7 percent target share, the sixth-highest rate among all receivers last season, and finding 2022 Fantasy football breakouts like him can provide a championship-level lift to your roster. Before setting your 2022 Fantasy football draft strategy, be sure to check out the 2022 Fantasy football cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last year, the model accurately predicted that Colts running back Jonathan Taylor was being dramatically undervalued. Taylor was being drafted behind running backs like Aaron Jones, Ezekiel Elliott and Austin Ekeler last season but the SportsLine projection model predicted that he’d outproduce all of those backs and be a fixture in your Fantasy football lineups. The result: Taylor led the NFL with 1,811 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns to finish as the overall RB1 in 2021.

The same model has a proven track record providing Fantasy football tips, also identifying A.J. Brown as another sleeper in 2020 and players like Julio Jones and JuJu Smith-Schuster as Fantasy football busts last season. Additionally, it’s called past Fantasy football sleepers like Derrick Henry in 2019, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara in 2018, and Davante Adams in 2017. Anybody who banked on players like those made a run at their league title.

The model is powered by the same people who generated projections for all three major Fantasy sites, and it beat human experts last season when there was a big difference in ranking. The projections update multiple times daily, so you’re always getting the best Fantasy football advice.

Now, SportsLine has simulated the entire NFL season 10,000 times and released its latest Fantasy football rankings 2022, along with plenty of sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them

Top 2022 Fantasy football sleepers

One of the 2022 Fantasy football sleepers the model is predicting: Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore. He inked a three-year contract extension in the offseason even though he finished with fewer receiving yards with almost 30 more receptions than he had in 2020. He finished with 1,157 yards and four touchdowns, but the unsettled quarterback situation in Carolina led to a 57.1 percent catch rate.

Moore may have another uphill battle this season, as the quarterback situation isn’t dramatically different with rookie Matt Corral competing with Sam Darnold for the starting position. Moore has game-breaking speed, however, and is a big-play threat every time a pass comes his way. Last season, Moore finished with 28 percent of the Panthers’ targets in the passing game, which was the fourth-highest target share among all NFL receivers. Last season has dampened his 2022 Fantasy football ADP, but the model still projects him to finish ahead of players being taken ahead of him like DK Metcalf, Amari Cooper and Jerry Jeudy.

Top 2022 Fantasy football breakouts

The model is also projecting 49ers quarterback Trey Lance as one of its top 2022 Fantasy football breakouts. San Francisco hasn’t yet traded Garoppolo, but the franchise simply has too much invested in Lance to not hand the reins over at some point. His incredible upside makes him the sort of player that you’ll want on your Fantasy football roster in 2022.

Lance played in six games last season and averaged 8.5 yards per pass attempt with five touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing for 168 yards and a score. And in his final start (of two) during Week 16 against the Texans, Lance threw for 249 yards and two scores while adding 31 yards rushing on eight carries. If Lance wins the starting role, he’ll be a significant part of San Francisco’s rushing attack and that will make him of value even if there are growing pains within the pocket. That’s a big reason why the model ranks him as its No. 15 quarterback for 2022.

Top 2022 Fantasy football busts

As for players to avoid, the model lists Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen as one of its biggest 2022 Fantasy football busts. When healthy, Thielen is still one of the position’s top technicians and a touchdown machine. However, he’s missed 11 games in the last three seasons and the emergence of Justin Jefferson has led to Thielen’s target share dropping considerably.

Thielen’s targets per game have dropped the last two years, as his 21.0 percent target share in 2021 ranked just 33rd among receivers. He’ll turn 32 before the start of the season and Jefferson is just coming into the peak of his powers, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect another drop in 2022. If his productivity near the end zone declines, the bottom could fall out. That’s why SportsLine’s model ranks Thielen behind receivers like D.J. Moore and Terry McLaurin, who are going at least 10 picks later on average.

How to find proven 2022 Fantasy football football rankings

SportsLine is also extremely high on a surprising quarterback you aren’t even thinking about being taken in the middle rounds of 2022 Fantasy football drafts. This quarterback is listed as a shocking top-five option ahead of superstars like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar JacksonYou can only see who it is, and the 2022 Fantasy football rankings for every player, at SportsLine.

So which 2022 Fantasy Football sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get 2022 Fantasy Football cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Jonathan Taylor’s huge season, and find out.

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