ESPN’s Eric Moody thinks Russell Wilson could finish as QB1 in fantasy football this year

Russell Wilson, QB1 in fantasy football this year? One pundit thinks it could happen 👀

As we wait for training camp to start next month, let’s do some fantasy football prep.

A game about the game of football, fantasy football, because of the internet, has brought together millions worldwide. And entering next season, ESPN’s Eric Moody believes newly-acquired quarterback Russell Wilson is a strong bet to finish as QB1 in fantasy football this fall.

“In Denver, Wilson has the offensive players to succeed,” Moody wrote on “[Courtland] Sutton and [Jerry] Jeudy will both benefit under him, and he will have adequate secondary receiving support from Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler to push him beyond 4,100 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. Patrick and Sutton are particularly intriguing because they are huge receivers with large catch radiuses who will complement Wilson’s career completion rate of 65%. The Broncos are loaded with young playmakers who have all shown flashes in the league, but were held back by subpar quarterback play and conservative playcalling.”

That’s right, Broncos Country, this is the year to be a homer in your fantasy football leagues! We haven’t had that luxury since Peyton Manning was putting up video game numbers 2012-’14 (most notably in 2013). Funny enough, because life is funny, Wilson will become the first QB to play for a team he defeated in the Super Bowl. Check out the rest of Moody’s reasoning on ESPN’s website.

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Fantasy Football: Updated rookie dynasty rankings

Check out the latest rookie rankings for the dynasty fantasy football leagues heading into the 2022 NFL season

If you’re an avid fantasy football player that still hasn’t tried a dynasty league, you’re missing out.

If you’re already aware of how much fun dynasty leagues can be, you’ve come to the right place to get ready for your upcoming rookie draft.

Now that the 2022 NFL draft is in the books, as well as rookie minicamps and offseason workouts, it’s time to update our rookie rankings for dynasty leagues as we look ahead to training camp.

Here’s how we stack this year’s rookie class from a dynasty/fantasy standpoint, featuring a loaded wide receiver class, and some intriguing upside at the other skill positions:

Is Ashton Dulin a sleeper in fantasy football?

Can Ashton Dulin be a sleeper in fantasy football?

The Indianapolis Colts are hoping the addition of quarterback Matt Ryan will lead to a more stable and productive passing game. In turn, fantasy football managers would welcome that notion.

As the spots in the wide receiver room are up for grabs behind Michael Pittman Jr., there is some potential for a sleeper to emerge as a fantasy relevant player in 2022.

In the opinion of The Athletic’s Zak Keefer, that player to keep an eye on is wide receiver Ashton Dulin.

It’s always a tricky proposition picking a wide receiver in Frank Reich’s offense, because the Colts head coach and play caller has stated time and again his intention to spread the ball around. Now, Michael Pittman Jr. is a solid bet for another 1,000-yard season, but beyond him? It’s a bunch of question marks. New quarterback Matt Ryan will help — his quicker release will allow Reich’s timing-based offense to run more efficiently, plus he sees the middle of the field better than his predecessor, Carson Wentz. Speedster Ashton Dulin is a name to keep an eye on; Reich will dial up some deep shots to him this year. Parris Campbell has looked strong this spring, but the injury question will loom over him until he stays healthy for a full season. Rookie Alec Pierce looked really good in minicamp and could become the Colts’ No. 2 option early in the season if he keeps progressing. Michael Strachan and Dezmon Patmon should fight for the remaining balls, but all told, the group behind Pittman is unproven, and any fantasy impact figures to be inconsistent.

The last sentence of Keefer’s statement is the one to take home. While targets are certainly up for grabs, it may not matter for the sake of fantasy football purposes. There likely won’t be enough consistency on a weekly basis to truly trust any receivers outside of Pittman Jr.

And this is coming from someone who has had Parris Campbell on his dynasty team since 2019.

While Pittman Jr. enjoyed a career-high 25.7% target share, the team WR2 for the Colts in 2021 held a paltry 13.7% target share. That’s not even close to where we want that number for a player who is second on the team in targets.

Dulin is a deep threat and has a chance to ascend up the depth chart but his ceiling is likely the WR4 in the offense behind Pittman Jr., Campbell and rookie Alec Pierce. Realistically, there just doesn’t seem to be room for upside when it comes to fantasy purposes.

It will be interesting to see how different the passing game might be with Ryan taking over, but fantasy managers should steer clear of the deeper options on the roster in 2021.

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The Ringer ranks Giants’ Saquon Barkley the NFL’s 24th-best fantasy player

The Ringer has high fantasy expectations for New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley, who they ranked 24th overall.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley hasn’t been a fantasy football factor since his breakout rookie season of 2018. The past three seasons have been either interrupted or wiped out due to a slew of debilitating injuries.

2022 will likely be Barkley’s last year with the Giants barring a complete resurgence to prominence. Some fantasy football sites are actually predicting that Barkley will return to his explosive self, such as The Ringer, who rank Barkley their 24th overall fantasy player for the upcoming season.

Barkley led the NFL in total yards from scrimmage as a rookie in 2018 with 2,028 yards and scored 15 total touchdowns. Since, he’s only appeared in 28 games over the past three seasons and has just four touchdowns the past two years.

The Giants are planning on using Barkley more as a receiver this season, something he has been successful as in the past. He is prepared for that type of role and said as much last week at the team’s minicamp.

“It’s more of a passing camp, so I’m probably moving around a little bit more,” Barkley said. “But just in case if that is the game plan or the goal for me this year, to go out there and catch the ball a little bit more, I’ve got to be ready for it. It starts here. It starts here in minicamp, and as I said, going into this little break that we have, getting with Daniel (Jones), getting with quarterbacks and just working on my hands, working on that part of the game so I can be versatile.

“I feel like the more versatile you can be as a player, the more helpful you can be to your team, and I want to help this team win games.”

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Where Cardinals players stand in PFF fantasy rankings for 2022

PFF included six Arizona Cardinals players in their top 150 fantasy rankings for 2022.

As the offseason progresses, fantasy football owners prepare for the coming season and their fantasy drafts. Pro Football Focus put together their top 150 fantasy rankings for 2022.

But where do Arizona Cardinals players rank?

Check them out below.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

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The worst NFL quarterbacks for every type of throw

Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar determines the worst NFL quarterback for every type of throw with tape and advanced metrics.

If there is a best, there has to be a worst. So, after reviewing the best NFL quarterbacks for every type of throw — with most of the expected names — it was then time to dig into the quarterbacks who struggled most with all kinds of different concepts. From drop length to type of throw to with and without the assistance of play-action and pre-snap motion, and with and without pressure and the blitz.

The best NFL quarterbacks for every type of throw

Last year, the clubhouse leader on the worst list was then-Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (have fun with that, Seahawks). This season, there are two rookies who stand alone and apart — first overall pick Trevor Lawrence, and second overall pick Zach Wilson.

With Lawrence, there was so much that went wrong in Jacksonville that was beyond his control, you’re inclined to give the poor guy a mulligan for the whole thing. In Wilson’s case, the YOLO tendencies he showed ay BYU were readily apparent in the NFL, as one would expect. Regarding veterans on this year’s list, let’s just say that the Panthers have a quarterback problem Sam Darnold isn’t going to solve. There’s also one Tua Tagovailoa appearance on this list, which will get both sides of the TuAnon debate going yet again. 

Without further ado, here’s the worst quarterback for every type of throw from the 2021 NFL season.

Broncos fantasy football outlook: WR Tim Patrick

Broncos WR Tim Patrick remains underrated and he’s being drafted lower than he should be in fantasy football leagues this offseason.

If he’s not on the radar of fantasy football managers by now, Tim Patrick soon will be.

Patrick entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Utah with the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. He was cut during training camp and then played in preseason with the San Francisco 49ers but failed to make their 53-man roster.

Patrick then began his rookie season as a free agent before joining the Denver Broncos’ practice squad in October. He didn’t appear in any regular season games as a rookie but he impressed Denver’s staff enough to get another shot in 2018.

Patrick’s first two years on the Broncos’ active roster were quiet as he caught 39 passes for 533 yards and one touchdown in 24 games from 2018-2019. He then had a breakout season in 2020, hauling in 51 passes for 742 yards and six touchdowns.

Patrick had similar numbers in 2021, totaling 53 receptions for 734 yards and five touchdowns. He plays in a crowded wide receiver room that includes Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, but the arrival of quarterback Russell Wilson could help make all three WRs fantasy relevant in 2022.

Tim Patrick fantasy football outlook: Patrick seems to have established a floor of 50/730/5 over the last two seasons. That’s obviously not huge production in fantasy football, but it could be a good value return based on where he’s being drafted.

Jeudy and Sutton are the bigger names and it’s reflected in their average draft positions (Nos. 63 and 64, respectively). Patrick, meanwhile, has an ADP of 165. His ADP among WRs is 65 despite ranking 40th at his position last year.

Patrick has played primarily with Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater over the last two years and he’s proven worthy of WR3 consideration during that time. Now that Wilson’s in town, Patrick should remain a WR3 target with excellent WR4 value. Fantasy managers are seemingly undervaluing Patrick, which could make him a great value pick this year.

For more of our fantasy football coverage, check out our fantasy hub.

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Fantasy football: Good receivers come from winning teams

Looking for a stud receiver for your fantasy football team? Look no further than teams winning games. Cooper or DPJ could be Browns options:

While football has been popular for a long time, the spread of fantasy football and sports betting has increased the interest in the sport. A great example is the recent dispute in Major League Baseball that all started due to a fantasy football league.

Fantasy football simplifies the game down to basic numbers while creating competition in a variety of ways. Interestingly, sometimes fantasy football helps show trends in the sport as well.

For the Cleveland Browns, the 2022 offseason was primarily about upgrading the passing game with the addition of Deshaun Watson, Amari Cooper and David Bell while retaining David Njoku. For a while now, “defense wins championships” is no longer a true saying but a good passing defense is important.

Based on the data, seemingly strong run games are not necessary to win in the NFL either.

Interestingly, fantasy football backs much of that up as well. This data set is eye-opening:

Almost three-fourths of top wide receivers come from teams that were at least .500 or better with almost half coming from teams with double-digit wins.

If the Browns are winning in 2022, Donovan Peoples-Jones or Cooper have a shot to be real contributors to a fantasy football team. Cooper’s presence may allow Peoples-Jones a chance to break out in his third year in the league after taking a step forward last year.

Should fantasy players be concerned with Saquon Barkley’s injury history?

Dr. Edwin Porras doesn’t believe fantasy football players should be overly concerned with the injury history of Giants RB Saquon Barkley.

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When New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley erupted onto the scene as a rookie in 2018, many believed he was a shoo-in for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Barkley was also viewed as a golden goose in the fantasy football world, but that quickly spiraled into frustration for players. Since that magical 2018 season, Barkley has regressed each year as injuries piled up.

Over the past three seasons, Barkley has dealt with numerous injuries from a torn ACL to sprained ankles to hamstring issues. That has not only dropped his fantasy value, but it’s left players questioning his addition to their roster period.

But entering 2022, there is some renewed hope Barkley can turn back the clock. He appears fully healthy and will now be playing in an offense that is more suited for his style of play. Still, concerns over his injury history linger.

Dr. Edwin Porras and those over at Pro Football Focus believe now is the time to toss those concerns into the wind. If you’ve got a chance to draft Barkley this season, take it.

I personally spoke at length with Dr. Edwin Porras on the Fantasy Points Injury Prone Podcast about whether Barkley should be considered more at risk for future injury than other backs. The short and sweet answer: No.

Friends don’t let friends forget about Barkley’s ascension back to RB1 production prior to his complete fluke ankle sprain suffered in Week 5. The Giants understandably eased Barkley back into action during the first two weeks of the season before handing him a combined 42 carries and targets against the Falcons and Saints. All the former No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft did with the opportunity was peel off PPR RB9 and RB2 finishes, supplying one of the year’s best feel-good moments along the way.

There were still flashes of the old Saquon after he returned from injury (again) in Week 11. He ripped off a vintage jump-cut-filled burst against the Eagles in Week 12. Later Barkley demonstrated some route-running goodness on a touchdown catch against the Chargers.

PFF cautions that although fantasy players shouldn’t go into it expecting 2018-like production, they should confidently expect a healthier and more high-yielding season out of Barkley.

The Giants would welcome that as much as fantasy players would.

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Frank Reich expects big year for Nyheim Hines’ fantasy football value

Frank Reich has a PSA for fantasy football managers looking to draft Nyheim Hines.

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich has full autonomy of the offensive play-calling so when he specifically talks fantasy football, we might want to listen.

One player Reich mentioned specifically in that vein was running back Nyheim Hines. As the Colts look to correct their wrongs from his lack of usage in 2021, Reich expects a bounce-back year in fantasy football for the former fourth-round pick.

“If I was a fantasy owner, if I was going to be in a fantasy league, I think I’d pick Nyheim this year. I think I’d consider drafting Nyheim. I think it’s worth to consider drafting him,” Reich told reporters Wednesday.

Reich isn’t one to delve much into the fantasy realm when it comes to football. Most coaches don’t, not that they should. But there is some value to what Reich is saying even if he isn’t a degenerate who is conducting mock drafts already like yours truly.

As the Colts look to get Hines more involved, specifically working in the slot more in 2022, we took a look at why a return to value is likely in store. Despite seeing career-lows with Carson Wentz in 2021, we should expect Hines’ season-ending numbers to look closer to that of 2018 and 2020.

Hines will have more value in PPR leagues rather than standard scoring. His value, both in fantasy and real football, comes from his work in the passing game. The backfield is still Jonathan Taylor’s to own, and there is no concern that an increased workload for Hines will impact that for fantasy purposes.

There will be inherent risk with Hines’ fantasy profile. Being a player whose value is predominantly in the passing game, there will be times when Hines simply isn’t used enough because of the game script.

Even during his best seasons, Hines had some inconsistent fantasy finishes. In 2020 (his best season), he finished as the RB20 in PPR scoring. That season still included 10 games where he finished outside the top-24 running backs on a week.

With that said, Hines will have value as a flex play in PPR formats. This is especially true when the schedule calls for a high-scoring game or negative game script.

We’ll see what Hines has in store for fantasy managers in 2022, but he should return to his typical value with Matt Ryan now in command.

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