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Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings And Positional Primer

Seahawks fantasy expert Scott Engel with a look at receiver heading into the 2022 season.

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Scott Engel is beginning his 11th season as the official Fantasy Football writer and analyst for Seahawks.com. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 10-time nominee, including being a finalist for the 2020 FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year Award, which he won previously. Scott was the No. 1 most accurate fantasy football draft ranker at tight end and No. 6 at running back on fantasypros.com in 2021. You can find more of his fantasy football analysis, including 2022 player rankings, at The Game Day this season.

In recent seasons, drafting wide receivers from the Seahawks has proved to be a good move, regardless of fan allegiances. But Seahawks fans who played fantasy football welcomed the chance to cheer on stars from their favorite team and fantasy rosters at the same time if they did draft DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett.

In 2021 and 2020, Metcalf finished in the top 13 scorers at wide receiver in Point Per Reception leagues, and Lockett has placed in the top 16 in each of the last four years. Both wideouts have already found their places on our most recent listing of the Top 12 Fantasy Football Players in Seattle Seahawks history. Metcalf was an instant fantasy star on the rise in his rookie season of 2019, and quickly blossomed into a top starter at WR. Lockett has shown he is capable of delivering outstanding performances at any time, and he is ranked in the top 5 in our fantasy historical countdown of Seahawks players.

Wide receivers have become more of a prominent top target in fantasy football drafts as we head into the 2022 season. In the past, running backs would mostly dominate the first round, but that is no longer the case, according to the latest PPR Average Draft Position Reports from FantasyPros, five wide receivers are now being taken in the first 12 picks in early drafts. The top player at the position is coming off a historical year, and the very best fantasy WRs are regarded as safer picks with a high statistical floor.

Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Spotlight: DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett

Last season, Metcalf finished as WR14 in PPR formats, scoring 244.3 points, and he should remain a fantasy WR2 target in 2022 drafts. We have him ranked in that range, as No. 21 at the position. Metcalf has firmly established himself as an upside fantasy target because of his unique size and speed combination that can spur him to make big plays from anywhere on the field. He has caught 29 TD passes in the last two seasons and his average of 14.3 Fantasy Points Per Game in his three-year career so far is the best for any WR in franchise history. Metcalf does have a statistical ceiling of finishing as a top 12 fantasy wide receiver, so picking him in the top 20 area at WR could prove to be a satisfying move. He has a current ADP of No. 18 at wide receiver.

Lockett was the 16th-highest scoring fantasy wide receiver in 2021, as he scored 241.4 points. He had five outings of 26-plus fantasy points, further illustrating his upside in any given week. Lockett is looking like one of the most interesting value plays in the fantasy WR3 range this season, with an ADP of 37th at the position. I have landed Lockett as a fourth wide receiver in a few early drafts, I did want to not pass on the opportunity to draft him in such a scenario. Rostering Lockett as a fourth WR on the fantasy roster allows for additional quality depth and flexibility. He will at least be worthy of flex position and streaming consideration. The Seahawks will have a new starting quarterback this season. The preseason competition at that position has led to interesting opportunities to land their top two WRs as possible value performers.

The 2022 Fantasy Football Scouting Guide: Wide Receivers

Cooper Kupp scored 439.5 PPR fantasy points in 2021, the greatest fantasy season ever by a wide receiver, breaking Jerry Rice's record of 414.0 points, set in 1995. Kupp will be playing in the same Rams offense with the same QB, Matthew Stafford, so he has an overall ADP of No. 4. Even if he does not quite match his legendary 2021 output, Kupp's statistical floor with a healthy Stafford may still be higher than the ceiling of most other players at his position.

Justin Jefferson, who was fourth in total points (330.4) and FFPG (20.2) at WR last year, has an ADP of sixth overall. He is considered the biggest threat to knock Kupp off the top spot at the position in 2022. Jefferson has finished in the top 6 at WR in each of his first two NFL seasons, and the Minnesota passing game could be even more potent under new head coach Kevin O'Connell. Jefferson has already soared over 3,000 receiving yards in his first two NFL seasons.

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After an incredible rookie year in which he averaged 17.9 FFPG, fifth at the position, Ja'Marr Chase is being taken as a top 3 WR in many drafts. Davante Adams, who moved from Green Bay to Las Vegas, will no longer be working with Aaron Rodgers, but a reunion with his former Fresno State teammate Derek Carr makes him well worthy of his No. 11 overall ADP. Stefon Diggs, who has 230 receptions and 18 TD catches in the past two seasons, has an ADP of 12th overall.

Many leagues now require that you start three wide receivers, and those who elect to start one at a flex spot can use up to four in their lineups. WRs are also widely regarded as less of an injury risk and may be considered more predictable than running backs, so that is why you are now seeing more of them picked in the first round than in past seasons. Adams, Diggs, Jefferson and Tyreek Hill have all finished in the top 7 over the past two seasons. Only Jonathan Taylor has finished in the top 7 at RB in both years. It is a smaller sample size, yet is still reflective of how the positions are perceived. RB will always be in high demand in fantasy football, but the elite WRs are now also regarded as prime roster cornerstone picks in the first round.

If you land one of the top 5 at the position in the first round, then you will have to decide whether to make a move for a No. 1 RB in the second round or go for the luxury pick of a second WR in the second round and pass on a RB until the third round. There is no one set way to approach your early picks at the position, as the flow of every draft is different. But if most of the top 10 or so RBs are off the board by the time you pick in the second round, going with two WRs to start a draft should certainly be considered. Those who pick late in the second round may opt for a WR with their second pick and then nab an RB in the third round.

After the "big five" we lead with Deebo Samuel and CeeDee Lamb, who has an ADP of 18.0. He is now set up to be Dallas' clear No. 1 WR in 2022, and appears headed for a big season that will provide fantasy WR1 returns. The 49ers will make a QB change to Trey Lance, but Samuel, who finished third at WR in total points (310.0) and FFPG (20.7) at WR, should still be drafted as a No. 1 fantasy wideout. Samuel creates a lot of his own success, as he has led all NFL WRs in yards after the catch per reception over the last two seasons, averaging 10.0 in 2021. The next closest finisher at WR last year averaged 8.5 yards after the catch per reception.

A.J. Brown is the 11th WR off the boards in drafts so far, and he could slightly outperform that ADP. Brown knows how to make the tough grabs and can also take off for big gainers. If Jalen Hurts continues to improve as a passer, Brown will be a surefire No. 1 fantasy WR in 2022. I have been able to get him as a WR2 in some drafts, which provides a great start to a building a roster if you can combine Brown with one of the seven WRs we previously mentioned.

Rounding out our Top 12 at the position are Hill, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen and Tee Higgins. Hill moves to Miami and now has Tua Tagovailoa as his QB, but he remains one of the most dangerous pure playmakers at the position. He is the No. 8 WR off the boards according to the latest ADPs. Evans has caught 27 TD passes in the past two seasons. Allen is a safe fantasy WR2 pick who finished at No. 9 at the position last year. Higgins tied Evans at 12th in FFPG at WR in 2021 (15.7) and is a fast-rising star in one of the league's most potent passing attacks.

A good drafting plan to follow is to get your No. 2 fantasy WR in the first four to five rounds. Filling out the starting RB and WR positions in those rounds should be a main drafting focus, with exceptions made in the first four rounds for elite tight ends. Diontae Johnson is a top fantasy WR2 target, as he finished eighth in total points (262.3) and seventh in FFPG (17.5) in 2021 and should function in a similar role as Pittsburgh's top wideout this season. Jaylen Waddle was a top 15 fantasy WR as a rookie and can benefit from working with Hill, who can command a heavy amount of defensive attention. D.J. Moore. Allen Robinson and Michael Pittman Jr. can all get a boost from playing with new QBs and could deliver their best fantasy seasons yet. Courtland Sutton is WR24 off the boards and may also come through with a career year because of a QB change. He is a good value target who has fantasy WR1 upside this season.

Gabriel Davis, who caught four TD passes in a playoff game last season, is a popular breakout target. Such a performance in an NFL playoff game should be a clear signal that more good times are ahead. Jerry Jeudy is another breakthrough target with Denver at an ADP of 66.8. Darnell Mooney will be the unquestioned No. 1 WR for Chicago, and JuJu Smith-Schuster is looking like a bargain as WR34 off the boards. He had 92 receptions and nine TD catches just two years ago and now should be the WR1 in Kansas City.

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Some of our recommended fantasy WR3 targets include Atlanta rookie Drake London, who should immediately operate as the top WR for the Falcons, Amon-Ra St. Brown, who flashed a lot of upside as a rookie last year, and Chris Olave of the Saints. He may prove to be one of the most polished first-year players at the position.

Elijah Moore, at WR34 off the boards, could be on the verge of a breakthrough campaign. Allen Lazard (WR44) is the new projected WR1 for the Packers and is a very good value selection. If Kadarius Toney stays healthy, he is another potential breakoutperformer. There are also several rookies to watch as possible sleeper picks, including Alec Pierce (Colts), George Pickens (Steelers) and Jalen Tolbert (Cowboys). We will feature more sleeper WRs in our upcoming sleepers feature on Seahawks.com Fantasy Insider.

Scott Engel's Top 30 Fantasy WRs For The 2022 Season

  1. Justin Jefferson
  2. Ja'Marr Chase
  3. Cooper Kupp
  4. Davante Adams
  5. Stefon Diggs
  6. Deebo Samuel
  7. CeeDee Lamb
  8. A.J. Brown
  9. Tyreek Hill
  10. Mike Evans
  11. Keenan Allen
  12. Tee Higgins
  13. Jaylen Waddle
  14. D.J. Moore
  15. Michael Pittman Jr.
  16. Allen Robinson
  17. Diontae Johnson
  18. Courtland Sutton
  19. Mike Williams
  20. DK Metcalf
  21. Gabriel Davis
  22. Jerry Jeudy
  23. Terry McLaurin
  24. Darnell Mooney
  25. Brandin Cooks
  26. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  27. Drake London
  28. Marquise Brown
  29. Amon-Ra St. Brown
  30. Hunter Renfrow

Scott Engel's 2022 Fantasy Football rankings are now available at The Game Day. Check out his full Top 330 overall and in-depth positional analysis.

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