FIVE Quarterbacks to Avoid in 2022

If you’re reading this I’m sure you’ve had a disappointing season from one of your fantasy players that you either drafted early or paid handsomely for in a trade. For me, after not being able to get my hands on Christian McCaffrey for three years I finally received the 1.01 in one of my redraft leagues in 2020. Of course, once I finally got him he battled injuries all year and only played in 3 games. Another example would be Trey Lance in 2021 who was drafted over Jimmy Garoppolo in most leagues and expected to at least start at some point. He did start a few games but didn’t do enough to warrant a benching of Garoppolo and finished the year on the bench. In no particular order, here are five quarterbacks to avoid as they have some valid red flags that may lead to disappointment in 2022.

Mac Jones

ADP: 151.92

2021 Season Rank: QB18

2022 Dynasty Rank: QB16

Mac Jones is good at football. In fact, he’s an excellent quarterback. However, he is not an excellent fantasy quarterback. Jones will definitely have good games and a good season, but he is nothing more than a QB2. He is a pocket passing quarterback on the Patriots offense. An offense that lost its offensive coordinator and will presumably have Bill Belichick in control. Belichick is widely accepted as one of the greatest minds in football. A concern though is that Belichick does not care how games are won- evidenced by the Week 13 game against the Bills where they only passed three times- and still won. This was an offense that finished No. 6 in points for, but Jones only finished No. 15 in passing touchdowns and No. 14 in pass attempts. It will probably be more of the same in 2022, with Jones being an efficient passer with not much volume.

Jones only had two games with three passing touchdowns in 2021, and 10 games with one or less. He averaged 14 points per game in 2021 which was good for No. 25 among quarterbacks. Jones just doesn’t inspire as much confidence in fantasy as he does in real life. He is valued near the top of the pocket passing quarterback list, with Tom Brady, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan, and Jared Goff below him. You can’t make much of a case to separate Jones from these guys, at least in terms of fantasy. Jones makes an excellent QB2 option in superflex leagues. He should also have a long career which makes him more valuable in dynasty. But in redraft leagues, or for contending dynasty teams- Jones shouldn’t be your main QB.

Justin Fields

ADP: 132.21

2021 Season Rank: QB31

2022 Dynasty Rank: QB13

In 2021, the Bears passing game as a whole finished No. 30 in yards, and No. 29 in both touchdowns and interceptions. In terms of offense, the Bears were No. 27 in points for and No. 24 in yards. Justin Fields himself wasn’t great either, but it’s definitely not easy to adapt to the NFL in your rookie year. The Bears answer to a struggling offense was to bring a new head coach, Colts’ defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. The Bears also let Allen Robinson go in favor of Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown and rookie Velus Jones. It is arguable that the Bears offense got even worse than it was last season. Darnell Mooney seems like a buy based on volume, but Fields at his current value is not worth the risk.

In both redraft and dynasty, there are other quarterbacks that don’t have a concerning receiver corps. Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Tua Tagovailoa, Zach Wilson and Tom Brady all have similar or lower value than Fields. Who knows what weapons will be added in 2023 for the Bears, but for 2022 it may be best to avoid Fields until he fully proves himself to be as valuable as his dynasty rank and ADP show.

Kenny Pickett

ADP: 172

2021 Season Rank: N/A

2022 Dynasty Rank: QB23

Kenny Pickett was the only quarterback taken in the first round of this draft, and that has caused his value to go up. Rightfully so, as the Pittsburgh Steelers is a great landing spot for a quarterback. Mike Tomlin is a great coach, and the team seems to always find itself succeeding. However, going into the draft Pickett was never the clear top QB and has always been viewed as a project. He still has to win the starting job and adjust to the NFL when he does. He still presents good value in dynasty, but in redraft there isn’t much point in throwing a dart his way.

I wrote an article about the importance of hand size and found that ball security does become a concern. He will have the smallest hands of any quarterback in the NFL, and while we have seen success by QBs with small hands- we have also seen failure. Pickett may be a great quarterback in his career, but he has some hurdles to climb to be worth drafting over QBs like Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins in 2022. History will only tell but considering this quarterback class was considered weak, and the fact Pickett never separated himself from the others until draft day, it is probably best to go with a proven veteran for the year.

Patrick Mahomes

ADP: 33.62

2021 Season Rank: QB4

2022 Dynasty Rank: QB2

It’s definitely tough to call when, or even if, a fantasy manager should sell a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes. But, there’s definitely a case to be made it would be better to go for another high caliber, young quarterback in lieu of Mahomes. In five games without Tyreek Hill, Mahomes threw for eight touchdowns. Sure that’s fine, but in those five games- Mahomes had zero touchdowns. In one game, he only scored once. The Chiefs did work hard on bringing in talent to replace Hill by signing JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. They also drafted Skyy Moore and brought in UDFA Justyn Ross. Travis Kelce is also still there but will be 33 next season. These targets are good, but it should still take some time to get back to the level the Chiefs have been with Hill.

Even with Hill in 2021, Mahomes had two games with zero touchdowns and three games with only one touchdown. Not just that, he also had seven total games where he finished at QB11 or lower. He only finished top-five in five weeks. He was disappointing more often than he was winning your week. Mahomes will still be a QB1, but the possibility to send him off for quarterbacks like Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow plus some or Josh Allen straight up is tantalizing. These are QBs who’s situations have gotten better whereas Mahomes’ situation has gotten arguably worse.

Jordan Love

ADP: 145.5

2021 Season Rank: N/A

2022 Dynasty Rank: QB42

Jordan Love was receiving some buzz after reports were coming out that Aaron Rodgers was going to leave Green Bay. Unfortunately for Love, that wasn’t the case as Rodgers signed for another three years keeping him under contract for the next five seasons. The 2020 first round pick will have to continue to wait his turn or look to get traded. So far, he has thrown the ball 62 times for 411 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He hasn’t shown enough to get traded anywhere and is going to be behind Rodgers for awhile unless he gets hurt. With an ADP of 145.5 in startups, he is rated higher than Tua Tagovailoa, Kirk Cousins, and Zach Wilson. These are guys starting somewhere. The point of fantasy football is to win championships, and Love is not going to help with that in 2022.