Top 5 Quarterback Bounceback Candidates for 2022

by Jason Allwine · Best Ball Plays & Strategy

One of the most exciting things in fantasy football year in and year out is seeing which players bounce back into form. These players could be returning from injury, going to a new team, getting a new coach, or just flat out produce better after having a below average year. Matthew Stafford had finished as a top 10 QB seven times in his career, but from 2018-2020 it appeared that he had lost a step and was no longer a top fantasy QB. But then in 2021 with a move to the Los Angeles Rams, things turned around for him. Stafford finished 2021 as QB5 in his first season on the Rams. Just like any other year, 2022 should have some players bounce back from a poor season in 2021. Let’s take a look at five potential quarterback bounceback candidates for 2022.

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No. 5) Jared Goff

ADP: 190.7

2021 Season Rank: QB24

2022 Dynasty Rank: QB30

As much hate as Jared Goff gets, he has found solid fantasy success a few times in his career. He finished as QB12 in 2017, QB7 in 2018, and QB13 in 2019. Goff probably won’t ever be a top 5 QB, but with the weapons that the Lions now have- he should be in the low-end QB1 range. In 2020- Goff did a great job as a “tank commander” for the Lions, but not so much of a good job as a fantasy asset. Partly due to missing three games, and also the fact that T.J. Hockenson, D’Andre Swift, and Amon-Ra St. Brown rarely were ever on the field at the same time. It was also his first year in a new system with a rookie head coach.

The Lions added Jameson Williams in the draft and D.J. Chark in free agency. Two excellent options to pair with St. Brown, Hockenson, and Swift. Look for Goff to utilize his weapons in year 2 with the Dan Campbell Lions. And for some added entertainment this offseason, watch Hard Knocks which will follow the Lions this year.

No. 4) Jameis Winston

ADP: 164.8

2021 Season Rank: QB33

2022 Dynasty Rank: QB28

The former No. 1 overall pick will have one more chance in 2022. After starting off the 2021 season with the Saints pretty well, Jameis Winston tore his ACL in week 8. In Week 1, Winston threw for five touchdowns and scored 29.6 points. In Week 5, he put up 26.8 points. Both really good performances on a new team with basically no weapons. Now in 2022, Jameis Winston will have Chris Olave, Jarvis Landry, and maybe Michael Thomas to throw to instead of Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith. Even with Sean Payton retired, the Saints have a good roster and will still look to compete.

Winston’s best year was 2019 when he finished as QB3. He threw for 5,109 yards, ran for 250, and threw 33 touchdowns (and 30 interceptions). But even with 30 interceptions, Winston found excellent fantasy success. He only threw three interceptions in his seven games last year so that’s definitely an improvement. Hopefully he comes back healthy and he continues to sling it like he used to.

No. 3) Deshaun Watson

ADP: 105.9

2021 Season Rank: N/A

2022 Dynasty Rank: QB8

If Deshaun Watson plays football next season, it would be unfair to not consider him a bounce-back candidate. After facing 22 sexual assault lawsuits and sitting out last season, Watson was traded to the Browns in a deal sending away three first-round picks and more. He still faces these lawsuits and may not see the field, but he will be a good fantasy QB if he does.

For fantasy purposes, Watson is a great football player who has placed in the top 5 in Fantasy Points Per Game all three of his seasons in the NFL. In 2020, he threw for 4,823 yards and 33 touchdowns, rushing for 444 yards and three touchdowns. He is now on a better team than the Texans with Amari Cooper also being traded for. Donovan Peoples-Jones and David Njoku are no slouches as well. Plus we already know how good the run game of Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and D’Ernest Johnson is. It’s possible Watson starts off rusty as he hasn’t played in a year, but he should return to form if he does play in 2022.

No. 2) Matt Ryan

ADP: 158.8

2021 Season Rank: QB20

2022 Dynasty Rank: QB25

After spending his career in Atlanta, 2016’s NFL MVP has a new home in Indianapolis. The past two Super Bowl Champions were teams led by late-career All-Star QBs going to a new, playoff ready team. It’s a stretch for sure, but it is a trend that could continue. Matt Ryan has two No. 2 QB overall performances under his belt, going to a system that helped Carson Wentz finish as QB14 last season. After being in a struggling offense the past two seasons, Ryan is in a fantastic spot to succeed next year.

The Colts went out and drafted Alec Pierce in the second round, and Michael Pittman is coming off a 1,000 yard, breakout season. Not to mention, 2021’s leading rushing Jonathan Taylor is there to help take some pressure off Ryan and lead to a solid play-action game. Carson Wentz had the 16th-most pass attempts in 2021. In Ryan’s MVP season, he had the 17th-most pass attempts. So even if Taylor takes a lot of carries, Ryan should still find fantasy success. If Wentz can finish as QB14, Ryan should at least finish as a top 10 QB in 2022.

No. 1) Russell Wilson

ADP: 76

2021 Season Rank: QB16

2022 Dynasty Rank: QB10

“Let Russ Cook!” didn’t quite work in 2021 as he ruptured his finger tendon in Week 5, rushed back in three weeks, and never truly healed. Now with a full offseason of healing and moving to Denver, hopefully he can bounce back to his elite QB status. Going all the way back to 2012, Russell Wilson has eight top 10 QB performances. He has also finished in the top three three times. He is no stranger to production and finds himself on a solid offense. The weapons are not as athletic as D.K. Metcalf, but the offense as a whole in Denver is better than Seattle’s. Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Albert Okwuegbunam, Javonte Williams, and Melvin Gordon all getting targets from Wilson will present problems for many defenses in 2022. Also, the Broncos hired the Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as the new head coach which should signify Denver’s investment into the offense.

Wilson has only missed three games in his career, all in 2021 due to the tendon rupture. Providing that heals, he should have no setbacks in 2022. He is even more valuable in fantasy due to his ability to scramble for extra yards. He has averaged over 20.0 Fantasy Points Per Game in five different seasons, look for him to do it again next season. It’s possible the Matthew Stafford/Tom Brady trend continues with Wilson just as much as it does Matt Ryan. The odds are definitely stacked against them in the AFC West, but anything is possible with an offense this potentially good