3 Overvalued Fantasy Football Wide Receivers for 2022
We don't hate players; we hate ADPs.
I think any analyst worth their weight in this space can make a bull or bear case for any player, with the caveat centered around their average draft position. We don't make draft picks in a vacuum, independent of surrounding circumstances. Each pick has an opportunity cost associated with it. Forgive me for not breaking news here, but selecting a player means you're not choosing others still available when you're on the clock. This premise is not the rocket science portion of your research, but it is essential to remember this when scanning this list. It's less about the actual player and more about their upside and what's available on most draft boards when selected.
It's not a 'Do Not Draft' or 'Bust' list. The delineation is essential. Remember, cost matters.
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (WR6, ADP 14)
It pains me to list Deebo Samuel here because I think he's one of the best football players on the planet. Last year's performance as a 'wide back' led the 49ers deep into the playoffs, largely due to his supernatural ability to break tackles and win after the catch. During his stint as a running back, Deebo averaged 0.34 broken tackles per attempt according to PPF, which is the highest mark ever recorded for a player with at least 50 carries. As a pass catcher, his 10.0 YAC/Rec dwarfed all other wide receivers last season. In fact, of all wide receivers to see at least 50 targets in 2021, only Mecole Hardman, Rondale Moore, and Ja'Marr Chase topped 7.0 YAC/Rec. He’s a statistical outlier in a variety of ways, and fading that type of skill is always terrifying.
Still, I’m finding it increasingly challenging to select Samuel around the 1/2 turn. His touchdown rate, particularly on what should be a diminishing amount of carries this season, was utterly unsustainable. He scored on five of his 14 carries inside the 20 and three of his nine carries inside the 10. I think the 49ers would be foolish to stop utilizing Samuel’s incredible ability to create with the ball in his hand, but I think it’s unlikely that the entire running back crumbles as it did for parts of 2021, so I’m expecting few attempts on top of a dip in efficiency. He’s also operating in an offense that ranked 31st in pass rate over expectation (PROE) last season, one that’s also shifting command to an inexperienced run-centric quarterback in Trey Lance.
Lance is another variable that can massively impact Deebo Samuel’s 2022 fantasy value. I trust that Kyle Shanahan will continue to scheme easy wins for his quarterback, but the range of outcomes on Lance’s weekly performance differs drastically from what we could expect from Jimmy Garoppolo week in and week out. As a result, I’m more confident clicking CeeDee Lamb and Mike Evans in that same range and will happily add Aaron Jones, Leonard Fournette, or D'Andre Swift in that spot if I’m looking for a running back instead of a wideout.
Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins (WR 14, ADP 37)
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