Fantasy Football Rankings 2022 Preseason | Top Players To Draft

Posted: Jul 1, 2022Last updated: Aug 3, 2022

With the start of the 2022 NFL season drawing near, The Game Day assembled its host of fantasy football experts — Scott Engel, Frank Ammirante, and Anthony Cervino — to bring you the top 330 players to draft this upcoming season.

This is for re-draft leagues only. If you’re interested in 2022 Fantasy Football Dynasty Rankings, we’ve got you covered with a whole separate list for this season and beyond.

Below, you’ll find our experts’ top 330 fantasy football players for 2022 and position-by-position analysis to explain the decision-making process behind their rankings.

Fantasy Football Rankings 2022 Preseason: League Settings

  • Lineup: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE ), 1 K, 1 DST
  • Standard 0.5 PPR Scoring
    • 1 point per 10 Rushing/Receiving Yards
    • 4 points per passing TD
    • -1 point per Interception
    • 6 points per Rushing/Receiving TD

Note: Fantasy dynasty rankings are current as of July 1.


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Fantasy Football Rankings 2022 Preseason: Key

  • Rk: Rank
  • SE: Scott Engel
  • FA: Frank Ammirante
  • AC: Anthony Cervino
  • Ovr Rk: Consensus Rank

Fantasy Football Rankings 2022 Preseason

RkPlayerPOSTeamSEFAACOvr Rk
1Jonathan TaylorRBIND1211.33
2Austin EkelerRBLAC2433
3Justin JeffersonWRMIN4174
4Christian McCaffreyRBCAR9324.67
5Cooper KuppWRLAR35106
6Dalvin CookRBMIN7756.33
7Derrick HenryRBTEN6866.67
8Ja'Marr ChaseWRCIN56117.33
9Najee HarrisRBPIT81348.33
10Joe MixonRBCIN101189.67
11Leonard FournetteRBTB12121312.33
12Davante AdamsWRLV11151513.67
13Stefon DiggsWRBUF16101915
14Mark AndrewsTEBAL2118916
15Nick ChubbRBCLE13241417
16D'Andre SwiftRBDET24171217.67
17Aaron JonesRBGB15162217.67
18CeeDee LambWRDAL18201618
19Saquon BarkleyRBNYG1992618
20Travis KelceTEKC22142018.67
21Deebo SamuelWRSF14262421.33
22Mike EvansWRTB25192322.33
23Tyreek HillWRMIA17322123.33
24A.J. BrownWRPHI20252523.33
25Tee HigginsWRCIN31213027.33
26Javonte WilliamsRBDEN42231827.67
27James ConnerRBARI26332829
28Keenan AllenWRLAC30312729.33
29Ezekiel ElliottRBDAL23372929.67
30Kyle PittsTEATL35223229.67
31Jaylen WaddleWRMIA32303432
32Josh AllenQBBUF34283632.67
33Diontae JohnsonWRPIT29493136.33
34Michael Pittman Jr.WRIND47273536.33
35Alvin KamaraRBNO27661736.67
36Justin HerbertQBLAC36344538.33
37David MontgomeryRBCHI28563339
38Terry McLaurinWRWAS33474341
39Breece HallRBNYJ50383741.67
40Patrick Mahomes IIQBKC37514042.67
41Travis Etienne Jr.RBJAC53354745
42George KittleTESF40465246
43Cam AkersRBLAR46534146.67
44J.K. DobbinsRBBAL58444248
45DK MetcalfWRSEA43673949.67
46Antonio GibsonRBWAS41624649.67
47Kyler MurrayQBARI59425050.33
48Mike WilliamsWRLAC52435650.33
49Marquise BrownWRARI75294951
50Darren WallerTELV51366851.67
51Allen Robinson IIWRLAR39397952.33
52D.J. MooreWRCAR73483853
53Courtland SuttonWRDEN45526253
54JuJu Smith-SchusterWRKC44585853.33
55Elijah MitchellRBSF55615155.67
56Jalen HurtsQBPHI54456956
57Gabriel DavisWRBUF38845559
58Lamar JacksonQBBAL61417559
59Damien HarrisRBNE49657061.33
60Amari CooperWRCLE65764461.67
61Brandin CooksWRHOU66744862.67
62Jerry JeudyWRDEN48687363
63Joe BurrowQBCIN89406665
64Clyde Edwards-HelaireRBKC71646165.33
65Miles SandersRBPHI70636365.33
66Josh JacobsRBLV93545366.67
67Rashaad PennyRBSEA57559067.33
68Darnell MooneyWRCHI74706469.33
69Dallas GoedertTEPHI68727270.67
70Amon-Ra St. BrownWRDET87596771
71Dalton SchultzTEDAL78825471.33
72Elijah MooreWRNYJ100605973
73Dak PrescottQBDAL63718573
74Cordarrelle PattersonRBATL56878475.67
75Tom BradyQBTB84697676.33
76Russell WilsonQBDEN72738677
77T.J. HockensonTEDET60858978
78Adam ThielenWRMIN79579878
79Chris GodwinWRTB671096078.67
80Kareem HuntRBCLE69898380.33
81AJ DillonRBGB109775781
82Drake LondonWRATL80947783.67
83Michael ThomasWRNO861026584.33
84Rashod BatemanWRBAL118508885.33
85DeVonta SmithWRPHI76839785.33
86Ken Walker IIIRBSEA831057186.33
87Chase EdmondsRBMIA101818187.67
88Hunter RenfrowWRLV629910388
89Tyler LockettWRSEA811067888.33
90Melvin Gordon IIIRBDEN91888788.67
91DeAndre HopkinsWRARI771088289
92Matthew StaffordQBLAR95809991.33
93James CookRBBUF641239192.67
94Trey LanceQBSF1027910093.67
95Tony PollardRBDAL130787494
96Devin SingletaryRBBUF116868094
97Treylon BurksWRTEN104919697
98Zach ErtzTEARI921079397.33
99Brandon AiyukWRSF1147510598
100Aaron RodgersQBGB999710199
101Allen LazardWRGB88103110100.33
102Christian KirkWRJAC10693111103.33
103Russell GageWRTB90100123104.33
104Rhamondre StevensonRBNE1289294104.67
105Ronald Jones IIRBKC8214192105
106Pat FreiermuthTEPIT108104104105.33
107Dawson KnoxTEBUF9612695105.67
108Robert WoodsWRTEN85122112106.33
109Derek CarrQBLV11195119108.33
110Skyy MooreWRKC115112107111.33
111Chase ClaypoolWRPIT14090106112
112Garrett WilsonWRNYJ117111109112.33
113Kirk CousinsQBMIN11996124113
114Darrell Henderson Jr.RBLAR112113116113.67
115Kadarius ToneyWRNYG14198113117.33
116Alexander MattisonRBMIN136101115117.33
117Cole KmetTECHI110114128117.33
118Chris OlaveWRNO98110145117.67
119Michael GallupWRDAL97147121121.67
120Mike GesickiTEMIA138127102122.33
121Michael CarterRBNYJ127132114124.33
122Tua TagovailoaQBMIA129118126124.33
123Jarvis LandryWRNO124120137127
124Dameon PierceRBHOU107167108127.33
125Jakobi MeyersWRNE142129122131
126DJ Chark Jr.WRDET126139133132.67
127Rachaad WhiteRBTB137124139133.33
128Nyheim HinesRBIND139131132134
129Marlon MackRBHOU103156147135.33
130James RobinsonRBJAC120175117137.33
131Justin FieldsQBCHI133116163137.33
132Christian WatsonWRGB125158130137.67
133Raheem MostertRBMIA146149120138.33
134Deshaun WatsonQBCLE123174125140.67
135Hunter HenryTENE143146135141.33
136Irv Smith Jr.TEMIN122128179143
137Noah FantTESEA144145141143.33
138Albert OkwuegbunamTEDEN154137140143.67
139Tyler AllgeierRBATL150155131145.33
140J.D. McKissicRBWAS135161143146.33
141DeVante ParkerWRNE156136148146.67
142Marquez Valdes-ScantlingWRKC167140136147.67
143Kenneth GainwellRBPHI121134189148
144Kenny GolladayWRNYG209119118148.67
145Matt RyanQBIND149138160149
146Tyler HigbeeTELAR163142144149.67
147Jamaal WilliamsRBDET134166154151.33
148Isaiah SpillerRBLAC203125127151.67
149David NjokuTECLE161144153152.67
150Tyler BoydWRCIN212121129154
151Robert TonyanTEGB168153142154.33
152Brian Robinson Jr.RBWAS155150158154.33
153Zamir WhiteRBLV94195183157.33
154Khalil HerbertRBCHI196115162157.67
155Jameis WinstonQBNO151133193159
156Rondale MooreWRARI160178146161.33
157Trevor LawrenceQBJAC200117168161.67
158Gus EdwardsRBBAL148182157162.33
159Jahan DotsonWRWAS178164149163.67
160Logan ThomasTEWAS162162167163.67
161Jalen TolbertWRDAL132173196167
162Evan EngramTEJAC186154165168.33
163Sony MichelRBMIA185188138170.33
164Jameson WilliamsWRDET169157187171
165David BellWRCLE159165195173
166Daniel JonesQBNYG220130172174
167Buffalo BillsDSTBUF170201155175.33
168Austin HooperTETEN131218182177
169Corey DavisWRNYJ258143134178.33
170Odell Beckham Jr.WRFA152198185178.33
171Robbie AndersonWRCAR180163194179
172George PickensWRPIT179171188179.33
173Tampa Bay BuccaneersDSTTB175200164179.67
174Ryan TannehillQBTEN165196178179.67
175Mecole HardmanWRKC214179152181.67
176Tyrion Davis-PriceRBSF113194245184
177New England PatriotsDSTNE192206156184.67
178Donovan Peoples-JonesWRCLE158190220189.33
179Sterling ShepardWRNYG242177150189.67
180Tim PatrickWRDEN248135186189.67
181Justin TuckerKBAL172223175190
182Van JeffersonWRLAR262159151190.67
183Jamison CrowderWRBUF181180214191.67
184Denver BroncosDSTDEN187209180192
185Dallas CowboysDSTDAL215203159192.33
186Matt GayKLAR177225181194.33
187D'Onta ForemanRBCAR210176198194.67
188Alec PierceWRIND105274205194.67
189Mac JonesQBNE171212202195
190Chuba HubbardRBCAR233192161195.33
191San Francisco 49ersDSTSF206210171195.67
192Los Angeles RamsDSTLAR176202213197
193Tyler BassKBUF184224184197.33
194James WhiteRBNE157184256199
195Darrel WilliamsRBARI201160237199.33
196New Orleans SaintsDSTNO225205169199.67
197Los Angeles ChargersDSTLAC182211207200
198Curtis SamuelWRWAS222169210200.33
199Zach WilsonQBNYJ164197241200.67
200Hayden HurstTECIN194222190202
201Indianapolis ColtsDSTIND202204200202
202William Fuller VWRFA240170203204.33
203Daniel CarlsonKLV174226215205
204Jared GoffQBDET270151197206
205Evan McPhersonKCIN188227204206.33
206Ryan SuccopKTB204228191207.67
207Gerald EverettTELAC247214166209
208Davis MillsQBHOU166213254211
209Marvin Jones Jr.WRJAC249181206212
210K.J. OsbornWRMIN226168242212
211Mark Ingram IIRBNO145268227213.33
212Kansas City ChiefsDSTKC238234170214
213Matt PraterKARI191230221214
214Miami DolphinsDSTMIA213236201216.67
215Samaje PerineRBCIN281183192218.67
216Nick FolkKNE183245228218.67
217Joshua PalmerWRLAC266172222220
218Boston ScottRBPHI147257257220.33
219Baltimore RavensDSTBAL239208219222
220Jason SandersKMIA219231218222.67
221John Metchie IIIWRHOU197262212223.67
222Brevin JordanTEHOU227216232225
223Carson WentzQBWAS254148275225.67
224Green Bay PackersDSTGB223207248226
225Wan'Dale RobinsonWRNYG304152223226.33
226Kenyan DrakeRBLV261221199227
227D'Ernest JohnsonRBCLE280185217227.33
228Pittsburgh SteelersDSTPIT236241211229.33
229Robbie GouldKSF218247224229.67
230Harrison ButkerKKC207232252230.33
231Philadelphia EaglesDSTPHI229233230230.67
232Laviska Shenault Jr.WRJAC265258173232
233Adam TrautmanTENO195292209232
234Jake ElliottKPHI199246253232.67
235Dustin HopkinsKLAC198250251233
236Arizona CardinalsDSTARI244235225234.67
237Nico CollinsWRHOU287186231234.67
238Brandon McManusKDEN208248249235
239Cleveland BrownsDSTCLE237237234236
240A.J. GreenWRARI221260229236.67
241Sammy WatkinsWRGB189281244238
242Myles GaskinRBMIA272267176238.33
243Rodrigo BlankenshipKIND235243239239
244Julio JonesWRFA305199216240
245Terrace Marshall Jr.WRCAR230287208241.67
246KJ HamlerWRDEN267191268242
247Damien WilliamsRBATL278220235244.33
248Zay JonesWRJAC251189293244.33
249Jerick McKinnonRBKC234219283245.33
250Cameron BrateTETB301259177245.67
251Greg ZuerleinKNYJ263244233246.67
252Kendrick BourneWRNE286193261246.67
253C.J. UzomahTENYJ173300267246.67
254Bryan EdwardsWRATL289187265247
255Younghoe KooKATL241229276248.67
256Kyren WilliamsRBLAR205215326248.67
257Chris Carson RBSEA315264174251
258Cincinnati BengalsDSTCIN250238266251.33
259Velus Jones Jr.WRCHI153303304253.33
260Hassan HaskinsRBTEN211255296254
261Rex BurkheadRBHOU190301273254.67
262Marcus MariotaQBATL246217306256.33
263Wil LutzKNO232251287256.67
264Mason CrosbyKGB231249292257.33
265Trey SermonRBSF257279238258
266Minnesota VikingsDSTMIN259242278259.67
267Parris CampbellWRIND253256271260
268Randall CobbWRGB284261240261.67
269Tennessee TitansDSTTEN271240279263.33
270Braxton BerriosWRNYJ269263263265
271Snoop ConnerRBJAC216302277265
272Chris BoswellKPIT255252288265
273Carolina PanthersDSTCAR307239250265.33
274Greg JosephKMIN193304300265.67
275Jonnu SmithTENE295276236269
276Trey McBrideTEARI275283255271
277Phillip LindsayRBIND228278313273
278Byron PringleWRCHI252285286274.33
279Matt BreidaRBNYG224291308274.33
280Marquez CallawayWRNO306293226275
281Cedrick Wilson Jr.WRMIA317266243275.33
282Zack MossRBBUF285269272275.33
283Mitchell TrubiskyQBPIT243290302278.33
284Graham GanoKNYG217308312279
285Josh ReynoldsWRDET274296269279.67
286Mo Alie-CoxTEIND314271258281
287Keaontay IngramRBARI282254316284
288Isaiah McKenzieWRBUF322284247284.33
289Jeff Wilson Jr.RBSF283311259284.33
290Cole BeasleyWRFA321265270285.33
291Mike DavisRBBAL279289289285.67
292Quez WatkinsWRPHI323275262286.67
293Sam DarnoldQBCAR297280284287
294Dan ArnoldTEJAC311307246288
295Randy BullockKTEN245314305288
296Kenny PickettQBPIT291270303288
297Tre'Quan SmithWRNO303282285290
298O.J. HowardTEBUF316295260290.33
299Drew LockQBSEA277288307290.67
300Amari RodgersWRGB308253311290.67
301Nelson AgholorWRNE309272295292
302Pierre Strong Jr.RBNE288273318293
303Jimmy GaroppoloQBSF293286301293.33
304Washington CommandersDSTWAS264306314294.67
305Cairo SantosKCHI256310325297
306Ke'Shawn VaughnRBTB312316264297.33
307Baker MayfieldQBCLE292294309298.33
308Chicago BearsDSTCHI260309327298.67
309Jonathan GaribayKDAL313305281299.67
310Seattle SeahawksDSTSEA268315317300
311Ricky Seals-JonesTENYG302317282300.33
312Romeo DoubsWRGB310277315300.67
313Justin JacksonRBFA328297280301.67
314New York GiantsDSTNYG276313323304
315Ty JohnsonRBNYJ330312274305.33
316Jason MyersKSEA273326324307.67
317Emmanuel SandersWRBUF319318290309
318Dyami BrownWRWAS290319321310
319Desmond RidderQBATL294320319311
320Jelani WoodsTEIND318323294311.67
321Jacoby BrissettQBCLE299328310312.33
322Tyquan ThorntonWRNE320298322313.33
323Daniel BellingerTENYG327324291314
324Jalen ReagorWRPHI324322298314.67
325Matt CorralQBCAR296321328315
326Geno SmithQBSEA298329320315.67
327Harrison BryantTECLE325325299316.33
328Darius SlaytonWRNYG326327297316.67
329Jerome FordRBCLE329299329319
330Sam HowellQBWAS300330330320

Fantasy Football Rankings 2022 Preseason: Analysis

Quarterbacks

SE: Expect Jalen Hurts to move into the top 5 this season because of his rushing production and a receiving group that has become a strong point with A.J. Brown joining Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith. Russell Wilson may be allowed to “cook” more, but he has always been more about efficiency than volume. If you nab one of the top 12 QBs in your seasonal draft there should be a good level of comfort with the starting choice.

Aaron Rodgers’ WR corps may seem depleted, but he can overcome it. Trey Lance is raw for real NFL purposes, but the fantasy upside is apparent and he has pass-catchers who can do a lot of the work for him. Derek Carr could be a value play with the arrival of Davante Adams.

For standard league and superflex/two-QB purposes, the position is deep as we annually expect. Ideally, in superflex and two-QB leagues, you will at least want a guy in the No. 15 to 24 range as your second starter.

FA: Josh Allen is the class of this group, while Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers look headed for disappointing seasons following the losses of Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams.

Russell Wilson should see a resurgent season with a stacked supporting cast in Denver, a la Matthew Stafford in Los Angeles last year. Jalen Hurts can join the elite tier of quarterbacks due to his rushing upside and newly-acquired alpha wideout A.J. Brown.

Look for Joe Burrow to build off a dominant finish to last season, while Trey Lance could make a serious impact due to his dual-threat ability. Deshaun Watson is ranked lower because we don’t know his status yet.

AC: I don’t think I have ever seen so much depth at the quarterback position in fantasy football. If you are playing in a standard 12-team league, there are at least 13-14 players that would qualify as weekly starters. And while I can make a case for at least five guys to end the season as the overall QB1, the next two tiers have enough pop to get your team to the fantasy championship with the right roster build to back it up.

Running Backs

SE: After the top two of Jonathan Taylor and Austin Ekeler are off the board, you may have durability questions about Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, and Christian McCaffrey, so it would be understandable to pivot to a WR in the first round over them. Nick Chubb can still be a major factor in a reworked offense, as he gets regular TD chances and sees more open running room. Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott have a lot to prove this season, but can still be high-end RB2 types.

David Montgomery is a value play who will be a busy volume runner. Javonte Williams won’t reach his full potential with Melvin Gordon still in the picture, and he will be unreliable for fantasy purposes. With more time this offseason to recover from last year’s Achilles injury, Cam Akers might exceed tempered initial expectations, even if he starts slowly.

When Rashaad Penny is healthy, the Seattle backfield will be unpredictable, but if he misses any time, Ken Walker III may deliver some outstanding performances. Miles Sanders is who he is, a RB that is not dependable and doesn’t score enough. Don’t expect a sudden breakout season.

FA: Jonathan Taylor is the overall RB1 following a dominant season. He now gets a quarterback upgrade in Matt Ryan, who could help with check-down receptions, but may also result in more work for Nyheim Hines.

Rashaad Penny can build off last year’s strong finish if he can finally stay healthy. Don’t let ADP fool you, he’s the 1A in this backfield over rookie Ken Walker III. Clyde Edwards-Helaire could now become more of an emphasis in the Chiefs’ offense, although he is hurt by Jerick McKinnon‘s return.

Antonio Gibson is an underwhelming option following the Commanders’ selection of Brian Robinson in the third round. Travis Etienne has the backfield to himself in Jacksonville, while Jets rookie Breece Hall has everything you look for in a bell-cow. Alvin Kamara is looking at a six-game suspension to start the season, so we’re out on him.

AC: We are beginning to see a shift at the top of the running back position. Christian McCaffrey is no longer the de facto RB1 and Ezekiel Elliott isn’t even in the conversation. While there are some regulars still filling out the RB1 tier, players like Najee Harris and D’Andre Swift are names you should expect to see there for years to come.

Overall, the running back position does appear deep, but there is a sure-fire drop-off outside the top 30. Once you get past the top 30, you will find a mix of high upside timeshare players and handcuffs with some standalone value who will need the stars to align in their favor to max out their potential.

Cooper Kupp, WR Los Angeles Rams

Cooper Kupp may not be able to replicate his historic 2021 campaign, but he’ll still put up gaudy numbers as the top target for Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


Wide Receivers

SE: Even if Cooper Kupp’s numbers from 2022 fall off, he still should outperform anyone else at the position and is worthy of a top-3 overall pick. Any one of the top WRs should function as a terrific No. 1 fantasy WR. Deebo Samuel creates a lot of his own yardage after the catch, so don’t expect him to disappoint even with the switch from Jimmy Garoppolo to Lance.

CeeDee Lamb should emerge as a true No. 1 fantasy WR this season. Ju-Ju Smith Schuster will be the No. 1 WR for Patrick Mahomes and will show he is still a very productive wideout. Gabriel Davis is in the ideal situation to have a big breakout year as a No. 2 fantasy WR.

Marquise Brown may be overmatched as a No. 1 WR for Arizona when DeAndre Hopkins is out and will be relegated to a lesser role when he returns. Allen Lazard could surprise everyone, because the Packers have cleared the way for him to operate as a top target for Rodgers. The Jaguars overpaid for Christian Kirk, who gets a QB downgrade, and he has not shown he can be a dependable fantasy performer.

FA: Justin Jefferson could play the Cooper Kupp role in new head coach and former Rams’ offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell’s offense. Allen Robinson and JuJu Smith-Schuster look headed for bounce-back seasons after joining two elite offenses.

Deebo Samuel gets a downgrade at quarterback because Trey Lance is likely to run more, resulting in a decline in passing volume. I’d rather have Jaylen Waddle than Tyreek Hill because of existing chemistry with Tua Tagovailoa. Chris Godwin and Michael Thomas are lower because of health concerns.

Rookies Treylon Burks and Drake London have strong landing spots with clear paths to sizeable target shares. Who will emerge as the top target in Denver? My bet is on Courtland Sutton, but Jerry Jeudy is in play as well.

AC: This year’s top 24 wide receivers look very much the same as they did last year, only in a different order at the top due to quarterback and situational downgrades for notable names like Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill.

And while the fate of A.J. Brown’s ceiling lies in the hands of a Jalen Hurts third-year leap as well as his health, Marquise Brown is the one I am gushing over. Brown’s ceiling with Kyler Murray and the Cardinals is through the roof. He is one of the biggest values in the early rounds. Overall, there are a ton of ceiling and stability plays in a position group that goes roughly 70 deep.

Tight Ends

SE: Those who draft either Mark Andrews or Travis Kelce have the obvious advantage at the thinnest position in fantasy football, so it’s worth taking either of them in earlier rounds and addressing other positions thereafter. Kyle Pitts still has to prove he can be in that sort of elite company, and he has a shaky QB situation.

Pat Freiermuth came through with an impressive rookie campaign, but the uncertain shift at QB prevents him from being ranked higher than 12th. Cole Kmet could be headed for a breakthrough season as a top target in the Chicago passing game. Austin Hooper can re-emerge as a key guy for Ryan Tannehill on important passing downs.

A healthy Irv Smith Jr. could be one of the top value plays at tight end this season.

FA: Travis Kelce has a chance to see even more targets with Tyreek Hill now in Miami. Kyle Pitts is a generational prospect and could see a huge leap in his sophomore season.

While Darren Waller will lose a chunk of targets to Davante Adams, it’s more likely that this will negatively impact Hunter Renfrow more. George Kittle gets a downgrade because there’s a good chance that the 49ers are more run-heavy this season.

Dalton Schultz could be headed for a strong follow-up to a surprising season following Amari Cooper’s departure. Schultz is in line to be the number-two target in one of the best offenses in football.

AC: Year after year, the tight end position tricks us in fantasy football. On paper, tight end appears to be deep. However, after the top three or four players are off the board, we find our usual significant drop-off. Last year, only 21.7 points separated the TE5 and the TE12. Then, 30.5 points separated the TE13 and the TE20.

You can safely punt the position if you aren’t trying to build your team around one of the top dogs. Sure, you can chase ceiling in the middling rounds of your draft with high upside plays like Mike Gesicki, but you can make the case that both Evan Engram and David Njoku bring similar upside to the table. They are both free compared to the price point you will pay for Gesicki.

Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

There’s no denying Justin Tucker’s status as the best kicker in the NFL, but is he worth reaching for in fantasy football? (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


Kickers

SE: Many fantasy players don’t invest much thought in drafting kickers, but it is smart to know who the actual best performers are rather than just drafting off a cheat sheet or taking the kickers from the most prolific offenses.

Daniel Carlson was the top kicker in fantasy football last season, and he went undrafted in most leagues. That is because most fantasy players didn’t think much of the Raiders offense overall. But the best kickers often do not work in tune with the highest-scoring offenses.

Mason Crosby will often get drafted as a top-10 kicker because he plays in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense, but he has consistently not placed in the top 12 by the end of the season. Quarterback and offensive changes will also impact kicker outlooks every season, so we take that into account with our rankings.

FA: The usual suspects headline the kicking game, with stalwarts like Justin Tucker and Tyler Bass. They’ll be in terrific offenses and set up nicely to rack up field goals for your fantasy teams.

Harrison Butker could be more active than usual with the Chiefs projected to be worse on offense, as they may have to settle for more field goals this year.

Look out for Dustin Hopkins as a low-key pick, kicking for a Chargers offense that should continue to improve in Year 3 under Justin Herbert.

AC: If you want to draft a kicker early, my advice is don’t. Sure, you will get stability with Justin Tucker, but you can stream the waiver wire until you find the hot hands (or foots) of 2022. I like to attach myself to a kicker on an above-average offense that lives on the opponent’s side of the field.

Outside of Tucker, Tyler Bass, and Daniel Carlson, this position is a rat race. We don’t know who the Cowboys kicker is yet, but we do know they will be a top-end offense. Right now, their kicker is projected to be Jonathan Garibay. I don’t know who he is either, but he will likely be available late in drafts and have a similar ceiling as the top 5 kickers.

Defense/Special Teams

SE: We have ranked defenses in terms of their overall outlook for the season, but that does not necessarily mean you should draft them in such a manner. The most active position on waivers throughout the season is defense.

You are going to be using different defensive units every week for the most part, and it starts right from the season opener. It is better to draft a defense that has the best early-season matchups, or the best season-opening matchup.

Most fantasy players don’t draft defenses with early-season or Week 1 matchups in mind. Putting that sort of thought process behind drafting a defense for its Week 1 or good early-season matchups will give you an advantage over the rest of your opponents.

FA: The key with defenses is to try to play the matchup, focusing on teams favored by higher point spreads. The teams best equipped to have these types of games are the ones in weak divisions, like the Colts and Buccaneers.

The Rams remain in play as a strong fantasy defense because of Aaron Donald. The Bills showed tremendous improvements last year and we can likely expect more of the same this time around.

Look for the Ravens to get back on track this season, while the Browns could emerge as a sleeper defense, especially if their offense starts to roll with Deshaun Watson.

AC: Similar to kicker, D/ST varies outside of the top 3, and even that is murky from year-to-year. This is another position you should be streaming and not risking paying up for a top-ranked unit that will more than likely take a step back in favor of a new hot hand.

Did anyone see the Cowboys finishing as the No. 1 fantasy DST last season? Nope. And guess what, they were projected to be one of the worst defenses in the NFL. If you are looking for stability, it’s the Patriots, Saints, and Steelers for me.

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Tech Dev

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