The NFL is as pass-happy as it’s ever been, and more and more receivers are putting up huge numbers. Does this mean we have to place more emphasis on receivers in fantasy football? Or maybe it means we can focus on more scarce positions and get great wide receiver values later in our drafts? Six of our top analysts address these questions and more as they help compile our 2022 Consensus Wide Receiver Rankings and break down their strategy for the position.
Draft Strategy for the Wide Receiver Position
Before we get to the wide receiver rankings, we thought it would be helpful to introduce you to our analysts and share their thoughts on how to approach the position in your upcoming drafts.
Colin McTamany – @Colin_McT
We want our fantasy football players to see as many opportunities to touch the ball as possible to score points. So, for wide receivers, we want those opportunities in the form of targets, especially in the red zone and end zone. I want to draft players that I think will see the majority of their team’s looks, whether they’re a high-scoring offense or even a bottom-tier NFL team that plays from behind and passes a lot. Many teams have two receivers who can serve as starters for your fantasy football teams. That also piques my interest in guys like K.J. Osborn and Tim Patrick, the listed WR3 on their respective offenses, who would see a massive boost in value if something happened to one of the players in front of them on the depth chart.
Top WR Value
A bounce-back candidate with a ton of value at his current PPR WR37 Average Draft Position is Juju Smith-Schuster. The Kansas City Chiefs’ offense has finished in the top-six in scoring every season since Patrick Mahomes took over as the starter in 2018. There have been a lot of changes to the player personnel, but Mahomes is an elite quarterback with the same coaching staff. The departure of Tyreek Hill, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle alone leaves behind roughly 44% of wide receiver targets from last season. I love Juju to command a bulk of that share and finish as a WR2.
Bradlee Kilgore – @TripPlayFantasy
This is the position where you can wait and get incredible value. There are no doubters like Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, or Davante Adams, to name a few, but you can draft guys in the later rounds that you’ll be able to count on for 5 catches and 50 yards each week (with TDs as the bonus). I have guys like Christian Watson (rookie, Green Bay) as my WR11 in the entire league. He’s got a clear shot to be Aaron Rodgers WR1, at 6’2″ with blazing speed and great hands. No Davante Adams, no MVS, no problem. Aaron Rodgers isn’t going to fall off, so expect Christian Watson to be a beneficiary. He’s currently sporting a 132 ADP. The same goes for Skyy Moore (rookie, Kansas City). I think we’ve all fallen for the Mecole Hardman breakout season trap. Perhaps this year is the year. JuJu will certainly get plenty of targets, too. But Skyy Moore has the ability to replace Tyreek Hill’s skillset at a lesser level. Rookie WRs tend to take a while to come on in Andy Reid offenses, but Skyy Moore is going to get every opportunity to learn on the fly. He’s currently stuck with a 143 ADP. Both of these players are WRs you’ll be able to start on a week-to-week basis. They have the ability to get you 20+ fantasy points in a given week, and also have a safe floor that won’t lose you a matchup. You can spend your early picks on more pressing needs.
Top WR Value
See above. The WR position is full of value.
Michael Quintero – @WeekendMike
The league has changed into a pass-first league. This is why the wide receiver position has so much depth. You don’t always have to draft a wide receiver one on a team, usually, the slot position will get more targets and red zone looks. Such as Hunter Renfrow last season. It is important to land one top receiver in your first three picks, but remember you could snag a solid pick in a late-round like Mike Williams and Michael Pittman Jr. last season.
Top WR Value
When it comes to value picks this year. Jerry Jeudy is someone to look out for. Jeudy is one of the best route runners in the league and he will now have Russell Wilson throwing him the ball. I see Jeudy turning into a form of Tyler Lockette. Amon-Ra St. Brown is another receiver who had a breakout season last year and will continue that this year.
Michael Govier – @mjgovier
How am I supposed to choose a WR with all these options at my disposal? There are too many players to choose from that I can rely on for my squads this year. Frankly, a few pre-season injuries (they’re going to happen in the NFL) will help me weed out some players that will be a part of some very difficult drafting choices at WR. Sure Justin Jefferson in the first round can be a game changer, especially in PPR. Yet, Jaylen Waddle, D. J. Moore or Jerry Jeudy with Russell Wilson throwing him deep balls could be my number one WR depending on my build.
Top WR Value
You should know that I approach fantasy football from a PPR perspective. You will not find me playing in non-PPR leagues. So my viewpoint will always be colored by the ability to score points per reception. Half or a full point per catch. That doesn’t matter to me. What does matter to me is value. To me there is more than one WR who is the most valuable in 2022. That’s why I’ve selected Gabriel Davis, Van Jefferson and Sterling Shepard as my best bets from a value perspective based on ADP and my expected output for each in 2022.
Meng Song – @FFA_Meng
As the NFL has transitioned more and more to a passing league, there are few elite WR1s who see 30 plus percent target shares, but the position is deep past those few top-end players. Generally, ADP is fairly predictive of which offenses will be good, so it makes sense to target the top wide receivers catching passes from the top quarterbacks being drafted. However, there’s value to be found in targeting some wide receivers playing with lesser-name quarterbacks who will still see volume. It’s also savvy to pass on overpriced wide receivers who are assumed to be the clear no. 2 for their respective offenses when it’s really the no. 1 receiver and then everyone else.
Top WR Value
Everyone love Mike Evans with Antonio Brown gone and Rob Gronkowski retired (for now), but Russell Gage remains a massive value at ADP with Chris Godwin likely to miss some time early in the year still rehabbing from ACL surgery. In fact, my rankings have Gage over Godwin considering the difference in their projected production over the first four to six weeks. Another wide receiver whose ADP is depressed after a down year in 2021 is Allen Robinson. Robinson battled a hamstring injury last season and had little motivation to play given his contract dispute with the Bears. Now in Sean McVay’s offense with the best quarterback he’s had in his entire career in Matthew Stafford, Robinson is poised to bounce back in a big way.
Ryan Cobbett – @ryancobbsj22
This is the position I stress the least since there is so much depth. Usually, I stick to drafting 3 RB and 1 WR with my first 4 picks and I never take a WR in the first round. There are always late-round flyers that could break out onto the scene and end up as one of your top guys on the roster. Allen Lazard has little competition but to be WR1 for one of the best QBs in the league, Russell Gage down in Tampa could have a big breakout season, and Elijah Moore now has dynamic rookie Garrett Wilson opposite of him.
Top WR Value
Mike Williams coming in as WR16 brings tremendous value for whoever can snag him. Keenan Allen is the true WR1, but Williams had plenty of WR1 performances last season. If you miss the value on Williams, don’t worry, I think Jaylen Waddle brings equal value. Now with Tyreek Hill down there, he will be the defense’s number one priority which should leave them vulnerable to the talents of Waddle. Both of these guys have the chance to be WR1 on your team by the end of the year making them great middle-round targets!
Top 75 Consensus Wide Receiver Rankings for 2022 Fantasy Football
|13||Michael Pittman Jr.||IND||14||13||15||13||22||12||16|
|24||Allen Robinson II||LAR||7||26||21||22||49||11||27|
|33||Amon-Ra St. Brown||DET||6||27||42||27||33||39||32|
|57||DJ Chark Jr.||DET||6||67||60||59||38||NR||57|
|67||Marvin Jones Jr.||JAC||11||73||66||63||61||NR||70|
|84||Laviska Shenault Jr.||JAC||11||NR||NR||65||75||NR||NR|
|91||Terrace Marshall Jr.||CAR||13||NR||NR||NR||65||NR||NR|
|94||Cedrick Wilson Jr.||MIA||11||NR||NR||NR||67||NR||NR|
|95||William Fuller V||FA||NA||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||68|
|96||Odell Beckham Jr.||FA||NA||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||69|