We can find easily the most efficient and inefficient wide receivers
from last season. That in itself is a fun exercise and seen in the
two tables below. But the question fantasy owners really want to
know is; can this help them build their fantasy team in 2022?
The answer is, yes, these numbers can help you and here is how.
The most efficient wide receivers can only improve their fantasy
totals if they see more opportunities. For the most efficient,
those in Table 1, that may be tough to do since they already see
at least six targets and in the case of a player such as Cooper Kupp, almost 11.5 per game. It will be difficult for Kupp to be
better than last season. Not impossible, but difficult.
Given Kupp’s extremely high ADP (4.3) is based on last
year’s record-setting 145-1947-16, the most likely outcome
for 2022 will be that you will get “fair market value”
or slightly below “fair market value.”
For the most efficient wideout in Table 1, Mike
Evans, his 7.13 targets does leave him some room for improvement,
particularly early in the season with Chris
Godwin likely sidelined or less than 100-percent. If Evans
were to catch just 13 more passes at his same level of proficiency,
he’d be as productive as Ja’Marr
Chase. Twenty more receptions and he’d be equal to Justin
Seattle teammate DK
Metcalf and Tyler
Lockett were both top-10 in efficiency, but hardly anyone
expects them to keep up at the same level in 2022. First, because
Wilson. In his three starts he averaged 190.3 passing yards.
Lockett, in particular, saw his production fall 23-percent with
Smith under center. Second, because the Seahawks appear to be
returning to the “run-first” years of the past with Rashaad
Penny, talented rookie Kenneth
Walker and possibly Chris
Carson if he can overcome his neck issues.
The inefficient wide receivers at the bottom of Table 1, should
probably not be expected to make big improvements given that they
are already seeing a decent level of opportunities. Obviously,
if there is a change at quarterback, then improvement would still
be possible. Example; if you believe a healthy Baker Mayfield
in Carolina is much better than Sam Darnold/ Matt Corral and will
help Robby Anderson or D.J. Moore produce significant gains.
Table 2 are more “lightly-used” wideouts. All saw
less than six opportunities per game. Its why there is so much
hype around Gabriel Davis. Fantasy owners are seeing his league-best
3.59 FPts/touch and dreaming of his seeing a 100-percent increase
in opportunities with Cole Beasley (112 targets) and Emmanuel Sanders (72 targets) gone. At the same level of efficiency and
doubling his targets from 63 to 112 would produce a receiver at
16.8 FPts/G. That’s what Stefon Diggs produced in 2021.
Also on Table 2 is proof that DeAndre Hopkins is still elite.
Don’t overlook him because his numbers were low last season
… he only played 10 games. Given his six-game suspension,
he won’t have league-leading statistics in 2022 either,
but he could still be valuable down the stretch and into the fantasy
playoffs. If you draft “Nuke” my suggestion is add
A.J. Green later in the draft who should see plenty of action
in Hopkins’ absence.
Will Allen Lazard see a big usage increase with Aaron Rodgers’
favorite target now calling Las Vegas home? Lazard’s 3.31
FPts/Touch was sixth-best last season, but it won’t be easy
with defenses no longer keying on Adams.
I’d also suggest finding a late round to draft the Rams’
Van Jefferson (ADP 191, currently WR 69). Jefferson produced an
efficient 50-802-6 on 3.23 fantasy points per touch. He’s
also the perfect handcuff for either Kupp or Allen Robinson.
Meanwhile, barring extraordinary circumstances, those at the
bottom of Table 2 should probably be ignored in all but that last
couple rounds. Included in that group is the oft-injured Sammy Watkins, now in Green Bay, who might be Rodgers’ No. 1 target
… or a summer roster cut.
Also in Table 2, notice the most effective wideout in Denver
last season wasn’t Jerry Jeudy (2.13) or Courtland Sutton
(2.54) … it was Tim Patrick (2.95) by a significant margin.
With Wilson under center, Patrick should become a much bigger
factor. Meanwhile, Sutton is going first (ADP 62.7), Jeudy second
(69.3) and Patrick should be the best bargain of the trio at ADP