Fantasy football rankings 2022: Top 25 WRs in your draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The NFL is a passing league, which makes wide receivers a very important part of a successful fantasy football team.
The amount of ultra-talented young wide receivers in pro football right now is astounding. And it’s only going to increase after five wideouts were selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
There’s an abundance of talent at the position, but that doesn’t mean picking the right one is super easy. Factors such as quarterback play, offensive fit, injury history, schedule and others must be considered before choosing which wideouts to draft.
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So, which wide receivers could help you win a fantasy football championship in 2022? Check out our ranking of the top 25 wideouts in fantasy heading into the season.
1. Cooper Kupp, L.A. Rams (Bye Week: 7)
This is an easy one.
Whether you’re playing full PPR, half-PPR or no PPR, Kupp is clearly the top fantasy wide receiver. He had one of the greatest seasons in NFL history in 2021 with 145 receptions for 1,945 yards and 16 touchdowns. That’s a Jerry Rice-like campaign. Even with the addition of Allen Robinson to the Rams’ wide receiver corps, we should still expect another dominant season from Kupp in 2022.
Projected draft round: First
2. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (Bye Week: 7)
Jefferson followed up his fantastic rookie campaign with an even better Year 2, tallying 108 receptions, 1,616 yards (second-most in the league) and 10 touchdowns. He’s not satisfied, either, telling Complex in a recent interview that “I’ll say after this year I’ll be the best receiver in the NFL.”
Projected draft round: Second
3. Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (Bye Week: 10)
Despite his comically low player rating in “Madden NFL 23”, there’s no debating that Chase is among the top wide receivers in football. He dazzled as a rookie with 81 receptions for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was one of only two wideouts, along with Kupp, to total 1,400-plus yards and 13-plus touchdowns. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s top target could be even more productive in Year 2.
Projected draft round: Third
4. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders (Bye Week: 6)
Adams is probably the most talented wide receiver in the league, but he also left two-time reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers when the Packers traded him to the Raiders earlier in the offseason. That said, it shouldn’t take long for Adams and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to re-establish the chemistry they developed as teammates at Fresno State many years ago.
Adams also is one of the most consistent fantasy wideouts with 10 or more touchdowns in five of the last six seasons.
Projected draft round: Fourth
5. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (Bye Week: 7)
Diggs is among the most consistent fantasy performers with four consecutive seasons of 1,000-plus receiving yards. He’s also tallied eight or more touchdowns in three of those years. It’s hard to bet against Bills quarterback Josh Allen’s No. 1 target. Diggs is as safe as they come.
Projected draft round: Fifth
6. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (Bye Week: 9)
The 49ers used Samuel in so many ways last season. He tallied 77 receptions for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns as a wide receiver, while also running for another 365 yards and eight more scores. This dual-threat ability makes him such a valuable fantasy player, as long as he stays healthy. Last year was the first time Samuel played a full season in the NFL.
Projected draft round: Sixth
7. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins (Bye Week: 11)
It will be interesting to see how Hill’s production changes in Miami. He caught passes from arguably the league’s top quarterback in Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes over the last six years. Now he’s in a Dolphins offense led by third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa is still unproven, but luckily for the former Alabama QB, he has plenty of weapons on offense with Hill, wideout Jaylen Waddle and tight end Mike Gesicki.
Hill’s game-breaking speed makes him a threat to score on every play. He’s a strong bet to be a top 10 fantasy wideout again.
Projected draft round: Eighth
8. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys (Bye Week: 9)
Lamb improved in just about every statistic in his second pro season, including a career-high 1,102 receiving yards. The one area holding him back from being an elite fantasy wideout is a lack of touchdowns. He scored five as a rookie and six last season. The Cowboys need to get Lamb more involved in the red zone.
Projected draft round: Seventh
9. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bye Week: 11)
Tom Brady’s top wide receiver always has plenty of fantasy value, and Evans is no exception. Evans doesn’t rack up a ton of yards — barely over 1,000 in each of the last two seasons — but he finds the end zone often. His 14 touchdowns ranked second in the league in 2022. He had 13 the year prior.
Projected draft round: Ninth
10. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (Bye Week: 10)
Chase was the star of the Bengals wide receiver group last season, but don’t sleep on Higgins, who had a tremendous 2022 with career highs of 74 receptions and 1,091 yards, along with six touchdowns despite missing three games. Don’t be surprised if Higgins has a breakout 2022. His combination of size (6-foot-4, 219 pounds) and speed is tough to beat.
Projected draft round: 11th
11. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week: 7)
Brown is a strong bounce-back candidate after a lackluster 2021 season that saw him haul in 63 receptions for 869 yards and five touchdowns. A fresh start with the Eagles and talented quarterback Jalen Hurts should revitalize Brown’s career after three years in Tennessee.
Projected draft round: 10th
12. Keenan Allen, L.A. Chargers (Bye Week: 8)
Allen is one of the oldest players on this list at age 30, but his consistency is quite valuable to fantasy owners. He has tallied at least 92 receptions and 990 yards in five consecutive seasons. He’s also the No. 1 passing option in a loaded offense led by star quarterback Justin Herbert. Allen’s production will drop off at some point in the near future, but it probably won’t be seen in 2022.
Projected draft round: 10th
13. DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers (Bye Week: 13)
Moore is one of the most underrated wideouts in football. He caught a career-high 93 passes last season, totaling 1,157 yards and four touchdowns. He doesn’t find the end zone often, but that’s more a product of the Panthers’ mess at quarterback. A healthy and motivated Baker Mayfield actually could be a positive for Moore’s production this season, though.
Projected draft round: 18th
14. Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts (Bye Week: 14)
Pittman took a giant leap forward in his second season, posting career highs of 88 receptions, 1,082 yards and six touchdowns. The Colts upgraded at quarterback by trading Carson Wentz and acquiring former MVP Matt Ryan from the Falcons. Pittman will be Ryan’s top target and should be even more productive in 2022.
Projected draft round: 15th
15. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins (Bye Week: 11)
Waddle had a strong rookie season with 104 receptions for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns. The addition of Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins passing attack should draw plenty of attention from opposing defenses and give Waddle some more favorable matchups.
Projected draft round: 14th
16. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye Week: 9)
Johnson has improved his reception, receiving yards and touchdown totals in each of the last two seasons. He’s a fantastic talent right in the prime of his career. The only concern about his fantasy value is the Steelers’ quarterback situation. It’s hard to get overly excited about rookie Kenny Pickett or Mitch Trubisky as the starter in the post-Ben Roethlisberger era.
Projected draft round: 15th
17. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders (Bye Week: 14)
McLaurin is a fantastic wideout, but it’s hard to put him in the first or second tier of fantasy wideouts when he has a quarterback of Carson Wentz’s caliber running the Commanders offense. McLaurin is a good bet to reach the 75-reception and 1,000-yard mark for the third consecutive season, but don’t be surprised if he also doesn’t come close to double-digit touchdowns. He’s found the end zone just 16 times in three pro seasons.
Projected draft round: 16th
18. Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (Bye Week: 14)
Mooney had a breakout sophomore season with 81 receptions for 1,055 yards and four touchdowns. With Allen Robinson now in Los Angeles, Mooney is the undisputed No. 1 option in the Bears passing attack. We should expect young quarterback Justin Fields to target Mooney quite often each week.
Projected draft round: 31st
19. Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (Bye Week: 6)
Cooks hit the 90-reception mark for the first time last season. He quickly developed a strong chemistry with rookie quarterback Davis Mills, and that connection should strengthen in 2022. Cooks isn’t likely to put up mind-blowing stats, but he’s among the most consistent fantasy wideouts with 1,000-plus receiving yards in six of the last seven seasons.
Projected draft round: 24th
20. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (Bye Week: 11)
Metcalf’s yardage decreased last season, but he set a new career high of 12 receiving touchdowns. The issue for fantasy owners targeting Metcalf in their drafts is the Seahawks’ quarterback dilemma. Future Hall of Famer Russell Wilson is gone, and now Seattle must decide between Drew Lock and Geno Smith as its starting QB.
Projected draft round: 15th
21. Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals (Bye Week: 13)
Brown was traded to the Cardinals during the 2022 NFL Draft and will be Kyler Murray’s No. 1 target in the passing attack while star wideout DeAndre Hopkins serves a six-game suspension to begin the season. Brown set career highs with 91 receptions and 1,008 yards, along with six touchdowns, for the Ravens in 2021. He’ll get plenty of targets before and after Hopkins returns to the lineup.
Projected draft round: 24th
22. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions (Bye Week: 6)
St. Brown quietly put together a stellar rookie campaign with 90 receptions (the most among rookies), 912 yards and five touchdowns for the 3-13-1 Lions. The most impressive part of St. Brown’s first season in Detroit was how he finished.
Week 13: 10 rec, 86 yards, TD Week 14: 8 rec, 73 yards Week 15: 8 rec, 90 yards, TD Week 16: 9 rec, 91 yards, TD Week 17: 8 rec, 111 yards, TD Week 18: 8 rec, 109 yards, TD
Will he be able to carry that momentum into Year 2?
Projected draft round: 27th
23. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bye Week: 11)
Godwin tore his ACL in late December, and while it’s possible he could return for Week 1, that might not end up being the case. Either way, Godwin is absolutely worth drafting assuming the reports out of training camp about his fitness are good. Godwin was a very good fantasy wideout before the injury. He set a career high of 98 receptions last season despite missing three games. Brady will look his way often.
Projected draft round: 23rd
24. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos (Bye Week: 9)
Jeudy missed seven games due to injury last season and, frankly, he didn’t perform at a very high level in the 10 games he did play. However, the addition of Russell Wilson at quarterback in Denver makes Jeudy a breakout candidate entering 2022. He’s never played with a QB anywhere near Wilson’s talent.
Projected draft round: 25th
25. Allen Robinson, L.A. Rams (Bye Week: 7)
Robinson was an elite wideout in 2019 and 2020 before missing five games in 2021 due to injury. After catching passes from below-average quarterbacks in Chicago for many years, Robinson signed with the defending champion Rams in free agency. He joins a loaded offense that includes wideouts such as Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Robinson won’t receive No. 1 wide receiver targets in L.A., but he’s still absolutely worth drafting. If healthy, he can reach the 1,000-yard mark again in Matthew Stafford’s passing attack.
Projected draft round: 29th
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