X
Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

X

Receive free daily analysis

NFL
NBA
NHL
NASCAR
CFB
MLB
MMA
PGA
ESPORTS
BETTING

Already have an account? Log In

X

Forgot Password


LINEUP RESOURCES

Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

Target Hogs to Trust in 2022 Fantasy Football

We're talking about fantasy football here, and in fantasy, football volume is the key to rostering and fielding a winning team. While everything boils down to that concept, seeking volume calls for looking deeper than just the name and reputation of players. Put a wide receiver or tight end in a stacked offense (one featuring multiple top-tier pass-catchers and one or two great rushers) and his volume – and thus his fantasy outcome — will drop without question. The opportunities will go down and with them the chances of scoring fantasy points.

With that in mind, it makes sense to chase WRs/TEs with a clear and very well-defined No. 1 role without other receivers threatening their target share. Even if the players in those offenses are not top-tier options, they will get all of the opportunities they can handle, which will ultimately benefit them. Those players might not be that good, but they will compensate for it just on pure volume. The exact opposite is also true: great pass-catchers can rack up points even on low volume, separating themselves from the pack.

Today, I will explore some offenses that enter the 2022 season with very few high-caliber receivers to throw passes to, making their top options great draft picks for the upcoming year.

Featured Promo: Our friends at RIVAL Fantasy have created fun and unique DFS games including over/under contests and Fantasy Bingo. Use promo code BALLER to get a free year of RotoBaller Premium access ($199 value), and a $50 risk-free deposit. Play Now!

 

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

If Darnell Mooney's 2020 season caught you a little bit by surprise, that's understandable. Mooney was getting drafted with an ADP of WR88 and 300+ OVR prior to that year, so he was a legit afterthought back then and the truth is that he wasn't that great posting 152.1 PPR points over 16 games (9 starts). That said, Mooney already got targeted 98 times in 2020 and we were all licking our chops in advance of a 2021 season in which the Bears were about to debut rookie-QB Justin Fields. We were pretty much right about the expectations, even with Fields missing time here and there.

Mooney got peppered with targets for the second year in a row and finished the year with 140 targets (11th-most, 87th percentile among WRs) and 81 receptions. Of course, another down year by Allen Robinson helped Mooney's upside, but that's not a thing Mooney could control or will into existence. More encouraging is the fact that, even if Mooney's teammates next season improve on A-Rob's putrid year, the Bears will be coming off an offseason in which they just let go four of their top-five WRs (and TE Jimmy Graham) into free agency.

You would think Chicago did an effort to fix the offensive depth, but you'd be partially wrong. The only two additions prior to the draft and as I'm writing this are Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown. There is no way Mooney loses targets because of the competition at the position, full stop. Even more, Mooney proved capable of doing a lot of damage from the slot while getting into the 60th+ percentile in all Yds/Route, YAC/Target, and Red Zone Catch% which bodes more than well for him going forward.

 

Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

Cooks extended his contract with Houston for a couple of years, which should keep him donning Texans' threads until he hits UFA in 2025. Cooks was a good target hog to trust next year no matter what, but this news only boosts his upside and value as he's clearly off the trade market now. You gotta love that for fantasy purposes, as the Texans' offense is one of the thinnest around the whole NFL and the roster has so many flaws that I really doubt Houston is in a position to target any offensive skill-position player early in the draft.

With the Texans probably targeting any of an EDGE/OL/S/CB/DL in late April, the current receiving corps feature Cooks at the top, and then a middling group of names in which second-year man Nico Collins and/or Chris Conley are probably the second-best options for QB Davis Mills. That's just no competition for Cooks, no matter the stat leaderboard you try to knock him down. Cooks has posted 221+ PPR points in six of his last seven years in the league – in other words, all of his seasons except his 10-game rookie year and a down 2019 campaign with the WR/TE-loaded Rams.

Cooks has played for four franchises and he's finished with 114+ targets in at least one season playing from each of those teams. Most recently, in Houston, he's posted 119 and 134 targets to go with 81 and 90 receptions respective (67.5% catch rate). It's been back-to-back 1,000+ yard years for Cooks in Texas and that should change any time soon. The ceiling is a little bit cut down because of the doubts at the QB position (is Davis Mills for real?) but other than that Cooks is a lock to finish into the high-end WR2 realm with upside for a low-end WR1 season. Incredibly high floor, reasonable ceiling.

 

Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

Can't say McLaurin has had to endure the worst quarterbacking in his three years as a pro, but he's been more on the wrong side of things on that front than on the right one. Keenum and Haskins started in 2019 and finished as QB33 on average, Alex Smith/Kyle Allen/Haskins split the 2020 starts evenly and pretty much sucked, and Taylor Heinicke was the QB19 of 2021. Again, bad-not-worst. With I wanted to convey with all of that is that even though the Commanders will hand the pocket to an oft-labeled mediocre QB in Carson Wentz next year, that's quite a jump up in terms of quality for McLaurin to work with.

Oh, and then there is that receiving corps' depth chart...  Washington's WR2 in the past three years have been Steven Sims, Cam Sims, and Adam Humprhies most recently. Sims is barely playable and Humphries is still weighing his options in free agency. Yes, Curtis Samuel is the actual WR2 of the Commanders if health respects him, but that didn't happen last season, so we'll see.

Anyway, T-Mac has racked up 93, 134, and 130 targets in the past three seasons. Even in games in which both McLaurin and Samuel played together, the former got 8+ targets per game while catching 3+ of them. No competition for McLaurin on offense other than a shaky Samuel/returning-from-injury TE Logan Thomas and a better quarterback in Wentz should be enough for fantasy GMs to consider Scary Terry a bona fide WR2 with an easy path toward WR1 production.

 

Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts

Pittman's case is very very similar to that of Terry McLaurin (read above). Indy has gotten rid of Carson Wentz just after having him for a year while the Colts are now going to start veteran Matt Ryan at the QB position. On top of that, Indy has lost WRs T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal while also waving goodbye to TE Jack Doyle. No additions at all have been done to the Colts offense prior to the draft, which means profit for Mike Pittman getting into the 2022 season.

Pittman wasn't incredible as a rookie in 2020 as he appeared in just 13 games while getting full-time usage in just eight of those. All in all, he finished with a low 61 targets but was really efficient catching 40 of those passes for 503 yards and one TD. Of course, Indy believed in that brief glimpse of good play and trusted him last season, handing him the most targets among their pass-catchers with 129 over the whole 17-game season. The volume didn't stop Pittman for getting another marvelous amount of receptions as he topped his rookie figure of 65.6% catch rate raising the bar up to a 68.2% mark last year.

The Colts, of course, were most often relying on RB Jonathan Taylor to carry their offense, and that (reasonably) limited the passing game a bit. Even then, this offense is so barren of talent that Pittman will keep getting all of the work he can handle next year with a very phenomenal QB throwing him the rock. Maybe Pittman doesn't improve on last year's 238 PPR tally (WR17) but there is no legit reason not to think he can finish 2022 into the WR2 realm for the second year in a row with good chances at a top-15 finish.

 

Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

Kyle Pitts is coming off a year in which he bucked history-long trends. He became the third-ever tight end drafted at age-20 and the second one after Aaron Hernandez since 2010. He became, of course, the highest-drafted TE ever in the NFL getting picked with the 4th OVR pick. Even in a rookie season that some might arguably see as disappointing, Pitts still was good to post the second-most PPR points (176.6) in the past 21 seasons only 0.6 points behind Travis Kelce's 2014 freshman year.

Pitts has just started to scratch the surface of his career-iceberg. And if you ask me, he is in the perfect position to keep racking up fantasy goodies whether that is good or not for the real-life Falcons or Pitts' own winning expectations. Atlanta is going nowhere any time soon. Other than Cordarrelle Patterson (just imagine...) this team has nothing to bring a little burning flame of hope to its fans out there. Ryan was replaced by Marcus Mariota, Russell Gage bolted the hell away to Tampa Bay, and Atlanta's WR1 is Olamide Zaccheaus these days. Uh, oh.

With 110 targets as a rookie, Pitts got the third-largest workload ever for a player at the TE position in his first year (only two other topped 87 targets in the past 21 years). Most encouragingly, as I wrote in the first paragraph, is that Pitts could have actually underperformed last year. He posted the only rookie-TE 1,000+ yards season, sure, but he also caught "only" 61.8% of his targets while scoring a measly single touchdown over 17 games played. He was, still, the TE6 of the year. Bake some positive regression into Pitts equation, add the fact that Mariota isn't the worst possible QB, and an absolutely depleted offense with no capable hands other than Pitts' and there you have your surefire-trustful TE for the 2022 fantasy campaign.



Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!




Win Big With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More Fantasy Football Analysis




LINEUP RESOURCES

Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

ROTOBALLER PLAYER NEWS

De'Andre Hunter2 hours ago

To Return On Saturday
Romeo Langford2 hours ago

Won't Play On Saturday
Myles Turner2 hours ago

Signs Extension With Pacers
Jonathan Isaac2 hours ago

To Remain Restricted
Robert Williams2 hours ago

III Won't Play On Saturday
Marcus Morris2 hours ago

Sr. Ruled Out On Saturday
Alperen Sengun2 hours ago

Won't Suit Up On Saturday
Tom Wilson3 hours ago

Won't Return Until After The All-Star Game
Tyler Motte3 hours ago

Returns For Ottawa Saturday
Kevin Shattenkirk3 hours ago

Remains Out On Saturday
Jonathan Toews4 hours ago

On Track To Return
Dylan Cozens4 hours ago

A Game-Time Call Saturday
Gustav Forsling4 hours ago

Good To Go Saturday
Marc-Edouard Vlasic4 hours ago

Battling An Illness
Marc-Andre Fleury5 hours ago

Protects The Crease Versus Sabres
Kaapo Kahkonen6 hours ago

Tending Twine against Pittsburgh
Casey DeSmith6 hours ago

Named Starter Saturday
Sam Montembeault6 hours ago

Get The Nod Saturday Against Ottawa
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope6 hours ago

Bruce Brown Good To Go
Michael Porter6 hours ago

Jr. Returns From A Three-Game Absence
Jamal Murray6 hours ago

Back In Action Against Philadelphia
Anton Forsberg6 hours ago

In Goal Saturday Against Montreal
Nikola Jokic6 hours ago

Officially In On Saturday
Devin Booker6 hours ago

Misses A 17th Consecutive Game
Kelly Olynyk7 hours ago

Available Again On Saturday
Goran Dragic7 hours ago

On Track To Return Saturday
T.J. Warren7 hours ago

Out Saturday
Ben Simmons7 hours ago

Set To Miss Saturday's Game
Anthony Davis7 hours ago

Probable On Saturday
Luka Doncic8 hours ago

Out Against Utah
Josh Okogie8 hours ago

Available On Saturday
Jae'Sean Tate8 hours ago

Off The Injury Report
Jalen Green8 hours ago

Won't Suit Up Against Detroit
Brock Burke8 hours ago

Could Be In The Closing Mix
Hirokazu Sawamura9 hours ago

Returns To Japan
Nick Senzel9 hours ago

Expected To Be Starting Center Fielder
Alex Colomé9 hours ago

Nationals Sign Alexander Colome To Minor-League Deal
Yandy Díaz9 hours ago

Yandy Diaz Closing In On Extension With Rays
Bo Horvat12 hours ago

Dishes Out Four Assists
Elias Lindholm12 hours ago

Tallies Three Points In Friday's Win
Ilya Sorokin12 hours ago

Gets Islanders Back To Winning Ways
Jack Hughes12 hours ago

Adds Two More Goals To His Tally
Martin Necas12 hours ago

Ends Two-Goal Night With Another Game-Winner
Brady Tkachuk12 hours ago

Scores Twice Against Toronto
Ilya Mikheyev12 hours ago

Set For Season-Ending Surgery
Joonas Korpisalo1 day ago

In Goal Friday
Martin Jones1 day ago

Starts Friday Against Calgary
Tyler Stephenson1 day ago

Reds Planning On Full Season For Tyler Stephenson
Danny Duffy1 day ago

Rangers Sign Clint Frazier, Danny Duffy To Minor-League Deals
Jesús Aguilar1 day ago

Jesus Aguilar To Split Time At First Base, DH
Paul Blackburn1 day ago

James Kaprielian, Paul Blackburn Expected To Be Ready
Pete Fairbanks1 day ago

Agrees To Three-Year Extension With Rays
Atlanta Braves1 day ago

Braves Sign Brian Snitker Through 2025 Season
Cole Hamels1 day ago

Looks Great During Showcase
Jeff McNeil1 day ago

Mets Agree On Four-Year Extension
Tua Tagovailoa1 day ago

Still In Concussion Protocol
Christian McCaffrey1 day ago

A Full-Go For NFC Championship
Travis Kelce1 day ago

Listed As Questionable For AFC Title Game
Patrick Mahomes1 day ago

Off The Final Injury Report
Curtis Terry1 day ago

Orioles Sign Curtis Terry To Minor-League Deal
Tyler Duffey1 day ago

Cubs Add Tyler Duffey On Minor-League Deal
Andrew Suárez1 day ago

Cardinals Sign Andrew Suarez To Minor-League Deal
Matt Duffy1 day ago

Royals Sign Matt Duffy To Minor-League Deal
Michael Perez1 day ago

Mets Re-Sign Michael Perez
Ian Kennedy1 day ago

Agrees With Rangers
Fernando Tatis Jr.1 day ago

Takes Swings Thursday
Christian McCaffrey1 day ago

Says He's Playing Sunday
Sal Frelick2 days ago

Others Invited To Camp
Carolina Panthers2 days ago

Panthers Hire Frank Reich As Head Coach
Patrick Mahomes3 days ago

Logs Full Practice Wednesday
Patrick Mahomes3 days ago

Will Practice Wednesday
Emiliano Grillo3 days ago

Not An Option At Farmers
Will Zalatoris3 days ago

Loves Playing At Torrey Pines
Maverick McNealy3 days ago

May Struggle At Torrey Pines
Keegan Bradley3 days ago

A Decent Play At Farmers
Hideki Matsuyama3 days ago

Another Risky Play At Torrey Pines
Adam Svensson4 days ago

A Buy-Low Candidate At Torrey Pines
Adam Hadwin4 days ago

Looks Sharp In First Start Of 2023
Kurt Kitayama4 days ago

A Dark-Horse Fantasy Option At Farmers
Tony Pollard4 days ago

Should Be Full Strength Before Training Camp
Jon Rahm4 days ago

Heads To Farmers In Dominant Form
A.J. Brown5 days ago

Hip Injury Isn't Serious
Josh Allen5 days ago

Not Expected To Need Surgery
Christian McCaffrey5 days ago

Elijah Mitchell Expected To Play
Patrick Mahomes5 days ago

Andy Reid Says Patrick Mahomes Is "Gonna Play"
PGA5 days ago

Sungjae Im Could Continue Momentum At Farmers
Tony Finau5 days ago

Aims To Battle For Farmers Insurance Title
Hayden Buckley5 days ago

Creates Intrigue At Farmers This Week
Max Homa5 days ago

One Of Those Californians To Contend
Gary Woodland5 days ago

Seeks Rebound After Sony Open
Glover Teixeira5 days ago

Unable To Replicate His Magic
Jamahal Hill5 days ago

Earns UFC Gold At UFC 283
Deiveson Figueiredo5 days ago

Unable To Capture The Crown
Brandon Moreno5 days ago

Becomes Undisputed Champion
Neil Magny5 days ago

Suffers First-Round Defeat At UFC 283
Gilbert Burns5 days ago

Locks In Submission For Big Victory
Jessica Andrade5 days ago

Lauren Murphy Runs To Into Major Road Block
Jessica Andrade5 days ago

Dominates To Take Decision At UFC 283
Paul Craig5 days ago

Unable To Rebound In UFC 283 Main-Card Opener
Johnny Walker5 days ago

Earns Explosive Victory Saturday
Christian McCaffrey5 days ago

Dealing With Calf Injury
Tony Pollard5 days ago

Suffers Fractured Fibula

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP