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2022 Fantasy Football: Faces in New Places

Sometimes the face of a franchise decides to move on and start a new chapter. For others maybe their team has given up on them. There are even those who choose to force their way out of a bad situation. Either way, everybody loves faces in new places. In this article, we will discuss five players who have had a change in scenery this offseason. How successful will each player be with their new squad? Here we’ll rank them for fantasy football purposes.

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Faces in New Places

5) Julio Jones

“He’s old.” “Julio’s washed.” “He’s always injured.” These are just some of the negative things that people have to say about Julio Jones. Due to the absence of any peripheral talent, Julio was expected to do it all for the Atlanta Falcons. It will be a much different story catching balls from Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers already have a WR room loaded with talent. However, with Mike Evans nursing a hamstring, Chris Godwin recovering from an ACL, and Russell Gage working on his own issues, they welcomed Julio with open arms.

Julio is a good player to target in redraft leagues. Due to his age and the delicate nature of the QB position, I wouldn’t pay too much to acquire him in dynasty formats. With a fully healthy WR room, Julio is the third option at best. One injury bumps him up to the uncontested #2, therefore he’s worth a stab in the middle to late rounds of fantasy drafts.

4) Marquise “Hollywood” Brown

The 2022 NFL Draft will probably be more memorable for Brown than the 2019 one that saw him get drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round. Why? Because this time instead of being drafted in the first round, he was traded in the first round. In terms of faces in new places, Brown was dealt a very nice hand. Reunited with his college quarterback, Hollywood and Kyler Murray have a chance to do something special in Arizona. The duo is very young and could prosper for a long time in this league.

Brown is a great target in redraft and dynasty formats. A stack of Brown and Murray could prove fruitful this season as DeAndre Hopkins is serving a six game suspension. Apart from Hopkins, there exists no serious threat to take away meaningful targets from Brown.

3) JuJu Smith-Schuster

Out of all of the faces in new places to target, I believe JuJu to be the one that you should put the most energy into. There has never really been a reliable guy for Mahomes to target out of the slot. Most of the underneath and middle of the field looks go to TE Travis Kelce. The thing with Kelce is that he’s getting up there in age. It would be surprising to see him play more than 2 more seasons. This would leave JuJu in a wonderful position to become Mahomes’ go-to man.

Smith-Schuster does face future competition for targets. In addition to acquiring JuJu, the Chiefs drafted WR Skyy Moore and picked up UDFA Justyn Ross, who is currently on the IR. JuJu’s salary and playing experience no doubt gives him a leg up on the competition. He’s THEE guy to go after in dynasty leagues.

2) Allen Robinson

Free at last, free at last, thank baby Jesus Allen Robinson finally has a reliable quarterback to depend on. Long gone are the days of catching passes from Mitch Trubisky, Andy Dalton, and Justin Fields. Robinson can now count on consistent targets from Matt Stafford. Robinson will face little resistance in the competition for targets, after Cooper Kupp, obviously.

Injuries and trades have cleared the way for Robinson to have an immediate impact. OBJ torn his knee in the Super Bowl, Van Jefferson underwent knee surgery this offseason, and the team has since traded Robert Woods for a sixth-round pick. This leave Robinson as the WR2 in a high-octane pass offense. After last season’s success, Cooper Kupp will likely see a ton of double-coverage. This will leave A-Rob with one-on-one matchups with the opposition’s #2 CB or worse.

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1) A.J. Brown

The Philadelphia Eagles have been searching for a big-bodied receiver for a long time. Boy, do they have one in A.J. Brown. Reports out of training camp all state that Brown has been QB Jalen Hurts’ favorite target. A big knock on Hurts last season was his inaccuracies. Throwing to a target of Brown’s stature should definitely remedy that. Instead of needing a full yard of separation to get targeted, Brown will get a ton of looks solely based on his size which provides many mismatches, especially downfield.

Brown is clearly the best of the faces in new places because of the humongous TD upside he possesses. Last season was a bit of a wash as he missed four full games and was forced out of another. But eight and then 11 TDs in his first two seasons is a good enough sample size for me to validate that statement. The special thing about his new environment is that there is already an elite WR in the room. Sophomore Devonta Smith gets bumped down to the WR2, but he’ll still get open and play like a WR1. This unique situation is actually a good thing for Brown because teams likely won’t/can’t double cover him without Smith wreaking havoc.

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