If you’re like me, you won’t be taking Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson with your first couple of draft picks this year. I tend to prefer using my earlier draft picks on positions that don’t have depth (like running back). By using this strategy, I can have a more dependable lineup week-to-week, with an ability to count on my running backs and take a middling QB with upside in the middle rounds. So… in an age where the passing game is becoming a larger part of most every offense, let’s take a look at my favorite Quarterback Sleepers for 2022.
2022 Quarterback Sleepers
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins, QB12
Tua had a disappointing season last year, finishing as the QB26 on the year, and throwing for just over 2600 yards, 16 TDs, and 10 Ints. These weren’t inspiring numbers and neither was his play. I can’t argue against that. However, times have changed and so will Tua’s performance. I have him ranked as my QB12 on the year, despite his consensus ADP of 118 at the moment.
The Dolphins have a new coach in Mike McDaniel, who is known as an offensive guru. He specialized in the run game, which earned him his promotion to offensive coordinator last year. He then led the 49ers to seventh in the NFL in total offense (375.7 yards per game) and 13th in scoring offense (25.1 points per game) while advancing to the NFC Championship game. San Francisco’s offense was balanced, ranking seventh in rushing (127.4) and 12th in passing (248.3). Deebo Samuel recorded 1,405 receiving yards, the most by a 49er since Terrell Owens in 2001, and fifth-most in the NFL that season. Samuel’s 1,770 scrimmage yards were the most by a 49er since Frank Gore in 2006.
McDaniel and Tua both have plenty of weapons to work with to repeat that kind of success. Chase Edmonds is the lead back on the depth chart, and he specializes in the passing attack as he was the Cardinals’ third-down back prior to making the move to Miami. Using screens as an extension of the run game is a great way to rack up fantasy points for both the QB and the RB catching the ball. Jaylen Waddle is a returning receiver coming off of a 1000+ yard and 6 TD season, and Tua and Waddle already have a rapport. Mike Gesicki is another weapon Tua has a rapport with, as he finished as TE11 in fantasy last year, on just under 800 yards receiving. But the (not so) big shiny new toy is Tyreek Hill, acquired in a trade from Kansas City. Using his elite speed and route running, he’s finished top 7 in fantasy WR ranks for 4 of the 6 years he’s been a pro. He completely takes the top off of a defense, and when he’s not being targeted, he’s used as a decoy to get the other receivers separation. The bottom line is, that he completely changes the offense. The addition of Hill makes average players good, and good players great. Tua will benefit from that.
Tyreek Hill’s staple is the deep ball, and guess what: Tua Tagovailoa was 1st in the league last year in deep ball completion percentage at 50%. He was also 31st in air yards per game, which will surely change in a Mike McDaniel led offense. Whether it was to promote his podcast, hype up his teammate, or speak the truth, Hill also said, “Obviously, I’m gonna go with 15 (Mahomes) as the strongest arm, but as far as accuracy-wise, I’m going with Tua all day.” Tua’s ability to be accurate will change his fantasy performance for the better with this new receiving corp. Make no mistake. Tua is the best value in this year’s QB crop which makes him one of the more obvious quarterback sleepers. Draft accordingly!
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints, QB16
I’ve been on the Jameis Winston bandwagon for as long as he’s been in the league. Is he a great real-life quarterback? No. Sometimes he makes throws that make your eyes pop out of your head. Sometimes he looks like he forgot what team he’s playing for. Nobody’s perfect. But that’s where you can find value. I have Winston as my QB16 on the year, despite his ADP of 157.
Hear me out: Before he got injured (he’s now healthy and will start the season), Jameis played with essentially ZERO offensive weapons, outside of Alvin Kamara. Even with that being the case, he averaged 17.5 fantasy points per game, which was good for QB14 on the year. He also led all QBs in fantasy points per dropback (0.64). That means he’s feast or famine. He’s the kind of QB that can throw for 33 TDs and 30 Ints in a single season. That’s who he is, and that’s ok. Especially for fantasy.
This year he’s got a stable full of weapons. He’ll have Michael Thomas returning to action. He’ll have Jarvis Landry integrating himself into the offense. He’ll have the rookie in Chris Olave to show why he was so special coming out of Ohio State. Also, Alvin Kamara is still in the mix (although a suspension is likely). It’s not going to be pretty every week, but if you’ve spent early rounds building out your running back roster and receivers, then having Jameis Winston as your QB1 isn’t the worst thing in the world. Is he better to have as a QB2? Of course. Could he get you plenty of 30+ fantasy weeks? Absolutely. That’s what quarterback sleepers are made of.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars, QB18
The Jags were a dumpster fire last year. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. Just take everybody’s stats last year and throw them out the window. This is a completely different team, with new leadership, and an emphasis on SPEED. I have Lawrence as my QB18, despite his ADP of 131.
Coming off of a year when Joe Burrow broke out and looked like an elite QB in his second year, it wouldn’t be unprecedented for Trevor Lawrence to break out and do the same. Coming out of the draft, he was touted as the most complete QB prospect since Andrew Luck. I’ll be honest: I didn’t see that from him last year. But how could anyone have success knowing what we know about how poorly that organization was run. Based on what I saw from Lawrence in college, I’m going to assume that he still has all the same traits that made him special and focus on his supporting cast. To put it frankly, the Jags are going to be one of the fastest teams in the NFL.
Travis Etienne, the starting running back (James Robinson is recovering from his late season-ending injury), runs a 4.45 40-yard dash. Christian Kirk, the newly wealthy #1 WR runs a 4.47 40. Marvin Jones, the slated #2 WR runs a 4.46 40. Zay Jones, the starter in the slot, runs a 4.45 40. Lastly, Evan Engram, the starting tight end they signed away from NYG, runs a 4.42 40. I don’t care what defense Jacksonville is going up against. The Jags will be faster. There’s something to be said about that. We have a large sample size of what a Doug Pederson offense looks like and it’s a high-tempo, run-first offense, that uses multiple running backs. In each of Pederson’s first 5 seasons calling plays, he has had a top 11 rushing offense. Back in 2015 when Pederson first gained notoriety, taking over play-calling duties for Andy Reid in Kansas City, The Chiefs’ average points per game increased by a touchdown. They also increased their time of possession by 4 minutes and 26 seconds per game. This will keep the Jags’ defense sharp and wear down opposing defenses. The Jags have upgraded their offensive line and their tight ends with Evan Engram in the mix, which is critical for Trevor Lawrence. Don’t be scared away by recency bias. Trevor Lawrence has the ability to be one of the top quarterback sleepers of the 2022 season.
Got a take on Bradlee’s quarterback sleepers? Share it in the comments below and then head on over and check out the rest of our 2022 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.