The best way to find fantasy success is to simply draft well. That’s easier said than done, but with enough research you can find some guys that will present great value to your team later in the draft. Of course, there are just some things you can’t plan for like poor coaching decisions or injuries- but for the most part there are some signs to look for. For wide receivers, you want to find guys that either get consistent targets, are on a good team, or are just plain talented. In 2021, people threw darts at wide receivers like Ja’Marr Chase, Mike Williams, and Deebo Samuel and found success. There will be more wide receivers that will be draft day or waiver wire steals in 2022. Without further ado, here’s a list of five values at wide receiver for the 2022 fantasy football season.
5. Brandin Cooks
Start-Up ADP: 77.6
Redraft ADP: 65
Best Season Average: Brandin Cooks averaged 16.4 PPG in 2016, and only has 1 season with less than 13 PPG.
Few players are as consistent as Brandin Cooks. Cooks has found success on the Saints, the Patriots, the Rams, and now the Texans. He’s only had two seasons under 1,000 yards. One was his rookie year, and the other was his last year on the Rams when he missed three games due to concussions. Those two years were also the only two years he had less than 110 targets. 2019 was also the only year he averaged less than 13 fantasy points per game. He is the WR1 on a team that will be playing catch up which should lead to some added volume. Look for more consistency in 2022.
Brandin Cooks will continue to be a value in fantasy drafts:
6-1000 yrd receiving seasons
46 touchdowns in 8 years
107.2 QBR when targeted
5.1% drop rate in career
Top 20 player in 6 of 8 seasons
ADP: 9th-10th round #FantasyFootball pic.twitter.com/b29u0VrofD
— Jeremy (@PopesFFH) May 24, 2022
Another positive is that Davis Mills is going into his second year. He should be more comfortable with the NFL now. New offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton should also be leaning on passing game since the Texans are pretty lacking in the running back department. The Texans also have a solid WR2 and WR3 behind Cooks in Nico Collins and John Metchie. Defenses will have to pay attention to them as well whereas Cooks was really the only option before. All signs point to another consistently productive season next year. Cooks looks to be one of the better values at wide receiver in 2022.
4. Devonta Smith
Start-Up ADP: 68.7
Redraft ADP: 84
Best Season Average: Devonta Smith averaged 10.9 PPG in his rookie season last year.
When looking for upside, why not go for a 2nd year, Heisman winning, 1st-round pick wide receiver? That receiver is Devonta Smith. He finished 2021 as WR30 partly due to the fact that the Eagles were dead last in pass attempts in 2021. That seems to be something the team wants to change as they traded for A.J. Brown on night one of the NFL draft. This move upgrades the passing game as a whole and makes Smith the likely WR2 which means he should get CB2 coverage. That’s great news for a route running specialist like Smith. He had time in college with Jalen Hurts and a whole NFL season together. They have a rapport together and that won’t change just because Brown is joining the team.
Upside+ Rookie WRs w/ 20%+ Target Share and 1.75+ YPTPA
📍Odell Beckham Jr
who has an 8th Round ADP 🤯🤯 (via @DLFootball)
— DynastyIM (@dynasty_im) June 22, 2022
Brown has a dynasty ranking of WR7, a redraft ADP of 26, and a start-up ADP of 14. These are values significantly higher than Smith’s. The Eagles worked hard to make their team better in 2022, and if you want a hand in the offense Smith is the cheapest option. Hurts, Brown, and Dallas Goedert are all valued fairly high. If Hurts takes a step forward, both Brown and Smith will be fantasy relevant. Go for the one that already has an established connection and easier coverage. Smith had the No. 10 most unrealized air yards in 2021 with 756. It’s worth a shot at Smith’s ADP to take a gamble on a great athlete that had so many unrealized air yards. Smith looks like a solid bet to be one of the best values at wide receiver in 2022.
3. Hunter Renfrow
Redraft ADP: 83
Best Season Average: Hunter Renfrow averaged 15.2 PPG last season.
Renfrow finished 2021 as WR10 in PPR and is now being valued nowhere near that position in any format. It’s understandable to think that Davante Adams‘ arrival takes away some targets, but Renfrow’s role as the slot receiver is not in question. He now has three seasons of well-established chemistry with Derek Carr and was vital to the Raiders performance as an offense last season. Renfrow was top 10 in the NFL in slot snaps, red zone targets, hog rate, receptions, yards after catch, touchdowns, target separation, and even dominator rating. He is among the league’s best at the position and now has Josh McDaniels as his head coach. McDaniels heavily utilized the slot receiver in New England.
Josh McDaniels finds a way to keep guys that might just play slot WR on many teams on the field.
Jakobi Meyers, Julian Edelman and Wes Welker all eclipsed 90% routes per dropback under McDaniel. ✅
Hunter Renfrow will set a new career-high in 2022 (78% in 2021). 👑
5th ADP ✅ pic.twitter.com/leQVyKc3uY
— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland) February 25, 2022
Even with Davante Adams joining the team, Zay Jones and Bryan Edwards have left the team. Jones and Edwards combined for a 22.2-percent target share in 2021. Plus, competing with stars like Adams and Darren Waller for targets just means that Renfrow will probably be open more often than they are. Getting him at WR34 in redraft is a good enough deal, but a price tag of WR61 in dynasty is basically a steal. Renfrow is the perfect target in later rounds in PPR leagues especially. Renfrow is a solid bet to be one of the best values at wide receiver in 2022.
2. Rondale Moore
Start-Up ADP: 131.21
Redraft ADP: 136
Best Season Average: Rondale Moore averaged 7.8 PPG in his rookie season last year.
With Christian Kirk leaving the team, and DeAndre Hopkins getting suspended, Rondale Moore is the main wide receiver left who played for the Cardinals in 2021. The Cardinals traded for Marquise Brown, who should have a great role in the offense, but Moore isn’t affected by his arrival. Even when DeAndre Hopkins returns, Moore will still have a role. The Cardinals frequently gave Moore the ball in short yardage situations or screens, allowing Moore to showcase his YAC ability. 276 of his 435 receiving yards in 2021 were after the catch. If you count yards behind the line of scrimmage, Moore actually had more YAC than yards because of the number of screens he received. The Cardinals schemed him into the offense in Year 1 and now will expect him to do more in 2022.
Of WRs with 200+ routes, Rondale Moore was tied for the 9th highest TPRR, commanding a target on 27% of his routes
The WRs he tied with:
I get Rondale was schemed a lot of touches but its still impressive
— Ron Stewart (@RonStewart_) June 21, 2022
Moore’s average depth of target was only 3.3 yards, but his yards per reception was 8.1. Moore is a fantastic prospect and has already shown what he can do on a small scale. With Hopkins missing time, and Chase Edmonds leaving the team, Moore will most likely have an expanded role. It’s possible that he even gets used like Tyreek Hill or Deebo Samuel. He has a 95th-percentile 40-yard dash, 97th-percentile Burst Score, and 95th-percentile Agility Score. The Cardinals and Kliff Kingsbury know this, and they won’t keep his talents under wraps for much longer. Those who take a chance on him will be rewarded in 2022.
1. Russell Gage
Start-Up ADP: 133.53
Redraft ADP: 117
Best Season Average: Russell Gage has averaged 11 PPG the past two seasons with the Falcons.
In terms of offenses and quarterbacks, there’s not many better choices than Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With Gronk retired and news of Godwin starting the season on the PUP list- Gage stands to be a great value in fantasy. After four years on the Falcons, Gage is immediately thrust into one of the most pass happy teams and will likely be the WR2 to start the season. Gage was solid on the Falcons and had seven double digit performances in 2021 including two 20+ point games. It was revealed that Brady himself called Gage to recruit him to the Bucs, so he must have seen something he likes. Gage will receive plenty of targets in 2022 and will easily outperform his current valuation. Fantasy gamers are starting to catch on.
Market Monday is here. Biggest risers include Russ Gage and Robert Woods. pic.twitter.com/P8EjuyI8UZ
— Establish The Run (@EstablishTheRun) June 27, 2022
Even if Godwin doesn’t miss time, the WR3 option on the Buccaneers receives plenty of volume too. Antonio Brown averaged nine targets per game in 2021. Gage averaged 6.6 in 2021 and 6.9 in 2020. This is a great opportunity for him, and fantasy players should try to acquire him before it is too late. He may not be the most exciting prospect, but he has proven value in the NFL and caught Tom Brady‘s eye. What more could you ask for at such a low ADP and dynasty rank? Gage clearly is going to be one of the best values at wide receiver in 2022.