2022 Fantasy Football draft prep: One deep sleeper to target from all 32 NFL teams – CBS Sports

2022 Fantasy Football draft prep: One deep sleeper to target from all 32 NFL teams - CBS Sports

There are few things more satisfying than watching everyone rush to the waiver wire early in the season only to find that the guy they’ve been waiting for is available is already on your roster. Fantasy managers who drafted James Robinson or Elijah Mitchell the past two years know exactly what I’m talking about.

My hope is that there are some Week 1 surprises in the list below, but that’s not all you’ll find. You will find at least one player that I expect to start the year on the PUP list, but could be a league winner in the second half. You’ll find multiple running backs, some late-round tight ends, and even a quarterback or two.

So what do this mix of players have in common? Well, they all have consent ADP on Fantasy Pros outside the top 180 and they are all drafted after the first 10 rounds on CBS starting August 25th. I’ve sorted them by division with a few words about my favorites in each division.

I expect some objections that some of these guys are too familiar, so I’ll update in September for the final draft weekend if ADP changes that much.

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The NFC North has a big advantage over everyone else in this regard. While Herbert is my favorite of the bunch and Doubs has been the talk of training camp, Jameson Williams is actually one of my favorite late picks, as long as you have an IR slot in your league.

Even in industry drafts, Williams often reaches the final round because he has already been placed on the PUP list and will miss at least the first four weeks of the season. My expectation is that Williams will return after the team’s Week 7 bye and I’m perfectly fine with drafting him, stashing him, and then having an open roster for that first run of waivers.

With perfect help, Williams could be the WR1 in this class and if he gets back to 100%, he might just be the #1 wide receiver in this class for the 2022 Fantasy playoffs. Williams ran a 4.30 40-yard dash at the combine and produced more than 1,500 yards as a 20-year-old at Alabama. He is an incredible talent who just needs to get healthy and learn the system.

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Dontrell Hilliard isn’t my favorite, but he seems to be Derrick Henry’s handcuff, so if that’s your kind of thing, he should be on your radar for the final round. The same goes for Evan Engram, who appears locked in as a TE1 in Doug Pederson’s offense.

The guy who is my favorite is Nico Collins. Collins struggled as a rookie, but he’s 6-foot-4 and ran a 4.45 40 at his pro day so I’m willing to give him a pass on that bad rookie year. Collins has almost no competition for targets behind Brandin Cooks and I expect both an increase in pass volume and pass efficiency in Davis Mills’ second year as a starter. Collins profiles as a borderline flex with Cooks healthy and a potential top-25 wide receiver if something happens to Cooks.

We’re taking Collins as early as Round 10 in our mocks, but his ADP doesn’t reflect that at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s one of the risers of the final two weeks of draft season.

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Isiah Pacheco and Zamir White are a pair of backs that I shocked qualified for this list. Pacheco in particular was drafted up to Round 8 in some of our industry drafts. While I think that’s a mistake, it’s also a mistake to let him continue past Round 12.

Both of these backs are on teams we’re just not sure are sold on their starters. Both of these backs could be goal line backs based on reports we heard during camp. And both of these backs are rookies on teams that could have some fireworks on offense. On the downside, both of these backs will likely share with someone if the starter goes down. I slightly prefer White, but I’m fine with both in Round 11.

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While Sterling Shepard did surprise me by coming out of the PUPPY before the year started, and everyone else Giants receivers seem injured, he’s not my favorite on this list. At least not until I hear he’s back to 100%. My favorite is Jalen Tolbert and he could have a huge opportunity due to the recovery of another injured receiver, Michael Gallup.

Tolbert was the cowboys Round 3 pick out of South Alabama, where he completely dominated the smaller competition, averaging 122 receiving yards per game. His 51.2% dominator score ranks in the 97th percentile for receivers entering the NFL and he got good reviews in Dallas this offseason.

it’s always hard to evaluate small-school guys like Tolbert and the fact that he’s already 23 makes him even more suspect but that maturity combined with this opportunity could equate to a very fast start. if Gallup isn’t able to get back to 100% early in the year, Tolbert could get an extended run as the WR2 in an offense we expect to be well above average, if not explosive.

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As you can probably tell, the quality starts to drop off at this point, especially once we get past my favorite in each division. Although, I will say that I think there is an underrated opportunity for the four NFC South players to primarily have an impact this year. Mariota runs enough to be a borderline starting QB in a one-quarterback league, Robbie Anderson is probably the #2 wide receiver on the Panthers, and Kyle Rudolph could have the Gronk role. But I don’t like any of them as much as I like Mark Ingram.

Ingram played two games without Kamara last year and averaged 20 touches, 110.5 yards and 19.1 PPR Fantasy points per game. That makes Ingram one of the most attractive handcuffs and he is not drafted as such at all. I also think there’s a chance he’s like a poor man’s Kareem Hunt without a buddy injury, especially if the saints stay as heavy as they were last year. I actually have Ingram projected in Hunt’s range, but I rank him much lower because you don’t have to draft him anywhere near that high.

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Eno Benjamin is a nice handcuff and Geno Smith could be a sneaky QB2 in leagues where you can start more than one, but Tyler Higbee is the star of the NFC West deep sleepers and I’m not really sure why he qualifies.

Last year Higbee finished the year as TE14 overall and topped Mike Gesicki, Hunter Henry and Pat Freiermuth per game. He was even better in his final four games, averaging 13.8 Fantasy points per game. Now we saw a big finish from Higbee that didn’t translate the following year, but I think that’s different.

First, Higbee got the target share last year, his efficiency just fell off a cliff, and I don’t think there’s any reason to believe he’ll continue to be any less effective with Matthew Stafford than he was with Jared Goff. He has a 100-goal streak in an offense that we think might be the best in football and the top two scorers on the team are both 29-year-old receivers with extensive injury histories. He’s one injury away from being the second target on the offense, and a potential league-winner at that. Even without injury I project Higbee to be a top-12 tight end and he is rarely drafted in our drafts.

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Yes, it gets worse. Isaiah McKenzie is right behind Corey Davis here, but both are wide receivers who likely need some help to be real difference makers in Fantasy. For Davis, it may be as simple as stopping Garrett Wilson, which none of us really want. For McKenzie, he just needs to maintain Cole Beasley’s role and be more effective.

Beasley has averaged seven goals per game over the past three seasons. McKenzie could score those goals, but that will mean Gabriel Davis and/or Dawson Knox don’t take the step forward they’re drafted to take. Considering I don’t have Davis or Knox ranked as high as consensus, that seems possible.

The other advantage McKenzie might have over Beasley is in the running game. He has 19 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown over the past two seasons and ran 10 times for 66 yards and two scores in 2018. If McKenzie could add a point per game on the ground, there’s more upside.

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Here we are again with Mike Davis. Gus Edwards has already been placed on the DOG list. JK Dobbins is not yet fully written off. Mike Davis may very well be your Week 1 starter against the New York Jets.

I know you feel like you’ve been cheated by Davis before, but I have to remind you that Latavius ​​Murray scored four touchdowns in the first six games of 2021 for Baltimore and Devonta Freeman averaged 14.2 PPR Fantasy points per game from Week 9-14. If those guys can be Fantasy important in this offense, almost anyone could.

Davis probably won’t have a big role for long, but if you can find a Week 1 starter in the double-digit rounds, you should jump on it, especially if you went with a Zero-RB approach.

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