Fantasy football lovers are constantly looking for an edge. Whether playing in season-long organizations, keeper leagues or empire layouts, supervisors are constantly attempting to reveal the next terrific sleeper or outbreak celebrity.
This is why listening in the NFL offseason– also when organized exercises aren’t actively occurring– can pay large rewards.
We go to a peaceful factor in between mandatory minicamps as well as 2022 training school. However, this doesn’t indicate that there isn’t fantasy-relevant info to be gleaned. Right here, we’ll dive into some of the offseason buzz bordering young NFL gamers possibly poised to be potent fantasy choices in the coming season.
Which second- and third-year gamers are checking out broadened duties and/or improved supporting casts? What are colleagues and also instructors stating? What kind of value will they have in 2022? Let’s take a look.
Players are provided in indexed order.
Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Placement Rank: 96
We’ll kick points off with a deep sleeper that has been drawing attention at Arizona Cardinals practices this offseason.
Eno Benjamin, a seventh-round draft pick in 2020, brought only 34 times for 118 lawns and a touchdown last season. However, the Cardinals have actually seen growth from the previous Arizona State standout and also appear set to broaden his function.
” He had to find out how to pass safeguard,” guard Justin Pugh informed the Dave Pasch Podcast (h/t Jess Origin of Cards Cable). “And that was really the only thing. You can’t trust a person to be in the video game if you can not trust him to pick up pass security, and also he’s gone night and day from in 2014 to this year, so I think he’s mosting likely to have a large jump.”
Benjamin needs to also see fresh chances with the free-agent separation of Chase Edmonds. James Conner will be Arizona’s drawing back this season, yet he’ll be matched heavily by Benjamin as well as offseason addition Darrel Williams.
Last season, Edmonds divided time with Connor as well as still assembled 592 hurrying yards, 43 receptions, 311 obtaining lawns and two touchdowns in 12 games. If Benjamin can surpass Williams as Conner’s leading backup this period, he can potentially have even much better numbers than his previous teammate.
Benjamin deserves targeting in drafts as a strong flex alternative with points-per-reception (PPR) benefit and high quality handcuff worth.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos
Placement Rank: 24
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is not a deep sleeper, however he still appears underestimated as the 24th-ranked receiver in PPR layouts.
The third-year pro out of Alabama had just 1,323 obtaining lawns and three touchdowns in his first two seasons. Nonetheless, he also missed 7 games last period with a high-ankle strain as well as was saddled with poor quarterback play.
Get in Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson. The Broncos acquired Wilson in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks, as well as the future Hall of Famer can make Jeudy a reputable fantasy take this period.
The arrival of new head coach Nathaniel Hackett– who helped Aaron Rodgers win back-to-back MVPs as the Green Bay Packers offensive organizer– further boosts Jeudy’s capacity.
” Jerry is going to have a hell of a year,” security Justin Simmons claimed, per Jon Heath of Broncos Cable. “I can’t wait to view him play and also just to be release. Simply run free and also do what he does best. He’s one of the best course joggers I assume I’ve constantly gone up against over and over.”
Jeudy is presently trending behind receivers like Amari Cooper, Marquise Brown and also DK Metcalf– that currently faces his own unpredictable quarterback situation– however he shouldn’t be. With Wilson under center, Jeudy should be a high-end WR2 and possibly also a low-end WR1.
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Setting Rank: 18
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence was a massive fantasy disappointment as a rookie last season. The Clemson product threw for a mere 3,641 yards with 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
However, there was a lot working against Lawrence in 2021, including a lackluster supporting cast and the poor guidance of head coach Urban Meyer. Jacksonville worked to resolve these issues in the offseason.
The Jags brought in new pieces like wideout Christian Kirk and guard Brandon Scherff. They also added a seasoned– and Super Bowl-winning– head coach in Doug Pederson. Entering Year 2, Lawrence is poised to be a more efficient quarterback.
” The last couple of days through the OTAs, you see some of the checks that he’s made the line of scrimmage,” offensive coordinator Mike McCoy told reporters during organized team activities. “He’s making quicker decisions now.”
With better protection, players like Kirk and a healthy Travis Etienne Jr. at his disposal and with competent leadership, Lawrence may finally perform like the generational quarterback Jacksonville believed it was getting at No. 1 overall.
While Lawrence may not make the sort of second-year jump that Joe Burrow did in 2021, he could emerge as a quality starter. Right now, he’s barely trending as a fantasy backup.
Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Position Rank: 13
Like Lawrence, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance wasn’t fantasy relevant as a rookie last season. However, this is because he rarely saw the field and spent the majority of the year behind Jimmy Garoppolo.
The dynamic in San Francisco is expected to change in 2022, and assuming Lance is the Week 1 starter, he’s undervalued as QB13.
There are two big reasons for this. The first and most obvious is Lance’s dual-threat ability. In most fantasy formats, quarterbacks who can run are extremely valuable. Last season, Lance averaged roughly six carries and 28 yards per game. In his two starts, though, he carried 24 times for 120 yards.
The second reason is Lance has weapons like George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel– if Samuel’s contract/trade-request situation is resolved– with which to work.
One San Francisco legend believes that Lance is ready to take advantage.
” Trey Lance, I think he’s ready to go,” Hall of Famer Jerry Rice told Drea Blackwell of KSBW. “And I think he’s incredible because he has that one aspect that Jimmy doesn’t have, and that’s the threat of running with the ball and stuff like that. So his mobility, his strong arm, and this guy, he’s before his time.”
Lance isn’t being valued as a starter in 10- and 12-team formats, but he should soon join the likes of Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray as a weekly dual-threat option.
Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Position Rank: 56
Arizona Cardinals receiver Rondale Moore has a prime opportunity to be a key contributor early in the 2022 season. The Cardinals parted with Kirk and added Marquise Brown, but they will also be without No. 1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games.
Hopkins was suspended six games for violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Even with Hopkins out, Moore will be part of a committee. Arizona also has tight end Zach Ertz and A.J. Green to chip at the target share. Still, the second-year Purdue product is undervalued as WR56.
A year ago, Moore flashed as a part-time receiver and gadget player. He caught 54 passes for 435 yards and one touchdown. He also carried 18 times for 76 yards. He should see a much bigger and more consistent role this season.
” He’s a dynamic route-runner,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said, per Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. “I think that’s what people are going to see. He’s really good getting out of his cuts, good at the top of routes, so I think people are going to see a different side of him.”
Managers should view Moore as a solid PPR flex option– especially early in the year– with the potential to be much, much more than that. The 22-year-old caught 84.4 percent of his targets as a rookie and could quickly emerge as one of Kyler Murray’s most-trusted options.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Cleveland Browns
Position Rank: 78
Cleveland Browns wideout Donovan Peoples-Jones is another deep sleeper who could reward managers in a big way this season. The third-year Michigan product showed glimpses of what he can be in 2021, despite playing most of the season with an injury-hampered Baker Mayfield at quarterback.
Peoples-Jones finished with 597 yards, three touchdowns and an impressive 17.6 yards-per-catch average.
The 23-year-old is still evolving as a receiver and has a terrific opportunity with both Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry gone. Peoples-Jones should slot in as Cleveland’s No. 2 receiver opposite Amari Cooper with rookie David Bell in the mix as a slot specialist.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski has praised the growth of Peoples-Jones this offseason.
” I do see his game growing,” Stefanski said, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “… In and out of breaks, some of the things we’re asking him to do are maybe a little bit different than he’s done in the past, and he’s done a great job. I think the quarterbacks like throwing to him, and that’s important.”
Cleveland’s quarterback situation will play a huge role in Peoples-Jones’ upside. Deshaun Watson, who the Browns acquired this offseason, faces potential league discipline stemming from 24 lawsuits by women who alleged sexual assault or misconduct from when he was a member of the Houston Texans. Two grand juries in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against him.
Watson is an elite signal-caller, but if he’s suspended, the Browns will likely turn to journeyman Jacoby Brissett. Mayfield is still on the roster but recently said he believes he and the Browns are both ready to move on.
A lot will hinge on the decision of Judge Sue L. Robinson, who oversaw Watson’s disciplinary hearing last week. However, Peoples-Jones should be considered, at worst, a late-round flex target with the potential of 1,000-yard production.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions
Position Ranking: 30
Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown went on a tear to finish the 2021 season. Over his final six games, the USC product caught at least eight passes in each contest and found the end zone in five of them.
For the season, St. Brown provided a quarterback rating of 104.0 when targeted.
Yet, St. Brown is trending as the 30th-ranked receiver in PPR leagues. This is likely because the Lions added DJ Chark Jr. in free agency and traded up to get Jameson Williams in the 2022 draft, and those two receiving options could eat away at St. Brown’s targets.
Williams, though, is coming off a torn ACL that he suffered in January. While Chark will have an impact on the offense– and is a potential fantasy sleeper himself– St. Brown remains Detroit’s top target for now.
” We brought DJ in, we brought Jameson, but Saint’s the guy,” wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle-El said, per Benjamin Raven of MLive. “That’s the dude, in terms of he gets it, continues to get it, and it’s good to see.”
Thirtieth is far too low for a No. 1 receiver with Pro Bowl potential like St. Brown. Expect the 22-year-old to outperform his draft status this season.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins
Position Rank 17
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is yet another signal-caller who is being ranked outside of starter range. However, the pieces are in place for him to make a significant jump in fantasy production.
The knock on Tagovailoa– and it’s not unwarranted– is that he lacks consistency and has struggled to push the ball downfield. However, the Alabama product is an extremely accurate passer who completed 67.8 percent of his passes last season.
Over the past few months, Miami has added head coach Mike McDaniel, who made Jimmy Garoppolo a fantasy-relevant quarterback last season, and human highlight reel Tyreek Hill.
These are two big factors that give Tagovailoa top-10 positional potential. Tagovailoa can get the ball to his receivers consistently, McDaniel knows how to put them in space and Hill can turn short passes into long gains with ease.
It certainly won’t hurt that Miami improved Tagovailoa’s protection by bringing in Terron Armstead and Connor Williams this offseason.
New Dolphins running back Chase Edmonds sees big things ahead for Tagovailoa.
” I’m going to say that you’re going to see the Alabama version of Tua that people remember,” he said at the Play By Play Sports Broadcasting Camp, per Marek Brave of SBNation. “So I just think he was put in some unfair situations his first two years.”
Tagovailoa threw just 27 touchdown passes in his first two seasons while averaging a mere 6.6 yards per attempt. Expect him to improve dramatically in both categories this season.