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Veteran Wide Receivers To Lose Targets for 2022 Fantasy Football

Each year, teams draft new talent in hopes of rejuvenating their offense. This year, plenty of WRs were taken early in the draft in hopes of making an impact for their respective teams right off the bat.

While the opportunities for the rookies may be great, the addition of new talent to the skill units on a team means some guys could see less production, especially veterans.

Let’s look at some WRs who are likely going to lose targets on their team in 2022 due to the addition of new talent among other factors.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Corey Davis, New York Jets

Davis could only manage nine games in 2021 in his first season with New York after dealing with injuries like a core muscle one. He finished with a mediocre 34 receptions for 492 yards and four scores on 59 targets. The 27-year-old showed potential while he was in Tennessee but those opportunities with the Jets may have ended before they started.

New York returns Elijah Moore who is in his second year now. Moore had a fantastic rookie season where he led the team with 77 targets and 538 yards. On top of that, the team bolstered their WR unit even more by selecting a top WR prospect in the draft, Garrett Wilson from Ohio State. 

Wilson posted a college-high 70 receptions for 1,058 yards and 12 scores in 2021 and will bring a ton of talent to the table. With two young, potential-filled receivers, Zach Wilson may look to get the ball in the hands of those playmakers rather than an up-and-down veteran in Corey Davis. 

 

Russell Gage, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gage performed well in Matt Ryan’s final season in Atlanta in 2021, spearheading a weakened receiving corps alongside rookie Kyle Pitts and hauling in 66 receptions for 770 yards and four scores on 94 targets. That production caught the eye of the legendary (and now unretired) QB Tom Brady and Gage is now further south in Tampa as of the 2022 offseason. 

While he has been producing well and seeing at least 94 targets in the last two seasons, expect that number to drop as Gage will find himself the WR3 on a strong Tampa Bay offense. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will continue to headline the WR unit and demand over 100 targets each, thus likely diminishing Gage’s chance of getting 100 targets again unlike the last two years when Atlanta lacked talent in the pass-catching unit and had a shell of Julio Jones in 2020. 

 

Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders

Simply put, the Raiders added a massive target hog in Davante Adams in the offseason that will shift the direction of targets in this offense. Renfrow is coming off a stellar 2021 campaign where he had 103 receptions for 1,038 yards and nine scores on 128 targets. 

While that was impressive, that came with Darren Waller playing only 11 games and the Raiders lacking another elite wideout. With Waller expected to be back as a focal point and Adams typically commandeering nearly 150 targets (as of the last two seasons), it will be hard for Derek Carr to have two 120+ target receivers. Expect Renfrow’s target share to decrease given the ball needs to be passed in a “share the wealth” approach due to three elite pass-catchers.

 

Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots

The Patriots have largely had a no-name WR unit for the better part of the last few years, but the 25-year-old Meyers did stand out last year when he stockpiled a team-leading 83 receptions for 866 yards and two scores on 126 targets. The next closest in targets was Kendrick Bourne with 70. The NC State product had his best NFL season but the chance to build on that will face a roadblock as former Dolphin DeVante Parker is now up in New England looking to prove himself as a still talented NFL wideout. 

While Parker only managed 73 targets and 515 yards in 2021 due to only playing 10 games, he has massive potential as evidenced by his stellar 2019 season where he had 72 receptions for 1,202 yards and nine scores on 128 targets. As long as Parker is healthy, he will draw a decent share of targets, meaning Meyers will have true competition for 100 targets. The return of James White and addition of Pierre Strong Jr. in the backfield also take a chunk out of the target share. Expect a bit of regression given the presence of a new and talented receiver and increased diversity in the offense.

 

Marvin Jones Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

Jones has been a solid contributor no matter the team he has been on during his career. He paced the team last year with 73 receptions for 832 yards and four scores on 120 targets in Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season.

Entering 2022, however, Jones will face tougher competition for targets as the Jags brought in receiving depth such as Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram. Kirk is expected to now headline the WR corp after receiving a handsome amount of cash from Jacksonville ($84 million). He is coming off a solid season with the Cardinals where he compiled 77 receptions for 982 yards and five scores on 103 targets.

Jones will have to fight Kirk and the new additions for targets and thus will likely lose some targets compared to last year when the Jags didn’t have another elite wideout on the roster. Add in the return of pass-catching RB Travis Etienne and Jones will have a hard time carving out a big-enough role to make him a fantasy factor in this offense.



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