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Tommy Adamopoulos' Bold Predictions For The 2022 Fantasy Football Season

Kyler Murray - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, Draft Targets

As we inch closer to kicking off the 2022 fantasy football season, why not close out the offseason with some bold predictions? Bold predictions are meant to be fun, but there should still be a sense of realism when making them.

Yes, most of these claims are unlikely to happen, that’s why they are called “bold predictions.” However, this doesn't mean these predictions aren't in a player's range of outcomes.

Let’s dive into my bold predictions for the 2022 NFL season.

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Saquon Barkley Finishes As The Overall RB1

Barkley is now two years removed from his ACL tear and free of Joe Judge and Jason Garrett. Sure, he has disappointed the past two seasons. However, he is still 25 years old, playing for a new contract, in a better offensive scheme, and running behind an improved offensive line.

It was a tall task for Barkley to produce like his old self just one year after suffering an ACL tear, but he was still able to manage a couple of monster games within the first month of the season. He was on a pitch count to begin the year but was let loose in Week 3 and Week 4 where he put up 21.4 and 29.6 fantasy points.

Riding a ton of momentum from his past two performances, Barkley said he was “ready to go crazy” in Week 5 against the Cowboys after a great week of practice.

That is when he suffered a fluke ankle injury by stepping on a defender's foot after the play. It held him out until Week 11, and an abysmal Giants offense in the second half of the season limited Barkley to just two strong performances the rest of the season. He put up 95 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers, and had his first 100+ yard rushing game since 2019 in Week 17 against the Bears.

Now, the former second-overall pick in the NFL draft is fully healthy and set up to have a monster season. Head coach Brian Daboll wants to use his best weapon on offense in the passing game to allow him to make plays in space and has mentioned emulating his usage from his historic 2018 season where he caught 91 passes.

Barkley has a realistic shot to lead the league in touches based on Daboll’s plans for his stud running back. He handled 261 carries and 91 receptions (120 targets) in his rookie season, and there is reason to believe this type of workload is what Barkley will be counted on to handle this season.

Talent + opportunity = a whole bunch of fantasy points. Barkley looks to have his explosiveness back and will have all the opportunity in the world to produce fantasy numbers. If he sees another 330-350 touch season, Barkley is going to break fantasy football and win managers their league title.

CeeDee Lamb Finishes As a Top-2 Wide Receiver Outscoring Cooper Kupp and Ja'Marr Chase

Lamb is set up to have an absolutely monster year as he heads into his third season with the Cowboys. Will it be good enough to outproduce Kupp and Chase on his way to a top-2 finish at the position? I think there is a possibility it can be done.

Lamb is in one of the highest-volume passing attacks that was the No. 1 scoring offense last season. Sure, they lost Amari Cooper and some pieces on the offensive line, but this means Lamb has a chance to lead the league in targets in a Dak Prescott-led offense.

Kupp has Allen Robinson II and a quarterback dealing with an elbow injury to fight off. Sure, even if Kupp regresses a ton he could still be fantasy’s No. 1 overall player, but Robinson is good enough to take away touchdown opportunities and eat into the targets of the reigning triple-crown winner.

Chase must fend off Tee Higgins and a high-volume rushing attack once again, which makes me think Lamb could outscore him this year. Higgins outproduced Chase in the closing stretch of the 2021 season, which is something that is very significant. Chase could very well be the top-scorer at WR this season, but Higgins and a target volume that is a bit low will make it more of a challenge.

On the other hand, Lamb will be in an offense that averaged 37.3 passing attempts with 164 targets and 28 red zone looks freed up with the departure of Cooper and Cedrick Wilson Jr. The 23-year-old will be getting all the targets he can handle this season, making him a potential PPR cheat code because of the fact that he can be dominant in the slot and used in a number of creative ways to get the ball in his hands.

When you consider that Lamb has a chance to lead the entire NFL in targets this year along with his undeniable talent, a top-2 finish is well within his range of outcomes.

Courtland Sutton Finishes As a Top-10 Wide Receiver

Sutton is now playing with by far the best quarterback of his career as Russell Wilson will be throwing him passes this season. Sutton had his moments in 2021, but being just one year removed from an ACL tear and poor quarterback play really held him back.

If we go back to 2019, Sutton put up 1,112 yards and six touchdowns with Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen throwing him the ball. He has shown he can be one of the better vertical receivers in the NFL, which makes me think Sutton and Wilson are a match made in heaven for fantasy production.

With Tim Patrick out for the season, Sutton will be counted on even more. Jerry Jeudy is a talented player and could certainly take away meaningful looks, but reports out of camp have been that Wilson is gravitating towards the 6-foot-4 Sutton as his favorite target.

This makes me think he will be utilized as Wilson’s new D.K. Metcalf, with a lot of deep-ball and end-zone targets coming his way. Sutton has never been a huge volume guy, as his career high in targets is just 126. The good thing is he doesn't need a ton of targets to do significant damage with Wilson under center. On just 129 targets in 2020, Metcalf finished with 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns.

In a division that should be filled with high-scoring games, it looks like head coach Nathaniel Hackett is going to let Russ cook, which only means good things for the outlook of Sutton.

With 892 unrealized air yards in 2021, improved quarterback play will help Sutton get back to his 2019 Pro Bowl-caliber self. I predict a 2020 D.K. Metcalf-like season for Sutton, making him one of the best bargains on draft day as he currently goes as the WR19.


Kyler Murray Finishes As The QB1 overall

Murray has been the QB3 and QB4 in fantasy points per game the past two seasons, averaging 24.4 and 22.2 points respectively. The dual-threat has been notorious for starting off the season strong and fading towards the end of the season, but there is reason to believe that won’t be the case this year.

DeAndre Hopkins will be suspended for the first six games of 2022, but Murray is still surrounded by a good supporting cast. The addition of Marquise Brown helps lessen the blow of losing Hopkins, while a potential year-two leap for speedster Rondale Moore could make this Arizona offense very dangerous.

Zach Ertz and A.J. Green look to have some left in the tank, so it looks like Murray’s weapons will hold up just fine in the first six weeks of the season without their alpha receiver.

Murray is now fully healthy after suffering an ankle injury last season, which makes me think we could see a lot more production on the ground from the dual threat. In 2020, Murray rushed 133 times for 819 yards and an astronomical 11 touchdowns. This went down to 88 attempts for 423 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games last season.

James Conner, who had 15 rushing touchdowns last season, could be due for some regression in this category. This likely greatly benefits Murray, as we have seen him punch in a lot of touchdowns close to the goal line. It was not long ago when Murray was vulturing Kenyan Drake’s touchdown opportunities, so who is to say that won’t happen with Conner this year?

Not to mention, the Cardinals' defense looks to be weaker than last season, which actually could benefit Murray quite a bit. With matchups against teams like the Chiefs, Raiders, Vikings, Chargers, and Buccaneers this year, Murray should have no shortage of passing volume this season.

A strong passer that produces rushing stats is a fantasy cheat code, as it greatly heightens a player’s ceiling for fantasy production. QB1 overall is well within the range of outcomes for Murray.


AJ Dillon Outscores Aaron Jones In Non-PPR Formats

Non-PPR scoring may feel like it is long gone, but there are still fantasy managers that like to play in this format. This is where it is evident that certain players have different values in certain scoring settings.

If you take away the points that Jones will get for his receptions, there is a real possibility that his running mate Dillon outscores him this season. However, Jones is being drafted well ahead of Dillon in every format. In standard scoring, Jones goes off the board on average as the RB13 across multiple sites, while Dillon goes as the RB23.

Jones is now 27 years old while Dillon heads into his age-24 season, which makes me think the usage of these two players will be quite different. Dillon figures to be the short-yardage, ground-and-pound type of bruising runner that will get more looks close to the goal line. They basically split red zone touches last year as Jones had 47 (14 games) and Dillon had 46, with Jones scoring 10 times (four TDs in one game) and Dillon scoring seven times.

Jones will likely get more work as a pass-catcher, which isn't exactly all that valuable in standard formats. Still, Aaron Rodgers has gone on to say that both of his running backs can catch 50+ passes this year, and head coach Matt Lafleur has called it a “1A and 1A” backfield.

Rushing yards and touchdowns are especially valuable if no points per reception are rewarded, and there is a legitimate possibility that Dillon outproduces Jones in both these categories this season. This could be the year Dillon has a 2018 Derrick Henry-like surge in production for fantasy managers.

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