Erickson’s Top 10 Fantasy Football Draft Prep Takeaways: Wide Receivers (2022)

One of the best and underutilized tools on the FantasyPros website is the Boom or Bust Report. I was recently re-introduced to the tool while conducting research for the launch of the 2022 FantasyPros Draft Kit.

Here are my top takeaways for wide receivers after digging into the Boom or Bust Report.

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Top 10 Fantasy Football Draft Prep Takeaways: Wide Receivers (2022)

  1. Christian Kirk is a screaming value as a proven commodity who flashed big-time playmaking a season ago and projects to be the No. 1 receiver on his offense.
  2. Allen Robinson’s newfound situation in LA all but guarantees he bounces back in some capacity in 2022.
  3. Tyler Boyd is #toocheap across all formats. Buy it.
  4. Keenan Allen is a floor/safe play. Mike Williams is the ceiling/league-winning play. In the best ball, that means Williams is more often than not the guy you want. Especially in half-point scoring or standard leagues. They both finished as WR1s at the same rate (33%) last season in PPR.
  5. You need to get exposure to the Buccaneers’ passing attack somehow. Tom Brady made it look easy fueling WR1 fantasy weeks. Russell Gage looks slated for that upside from the get-go if Chris Godwin is sidelined. Evans, Godwin and Antonio Brown finished as top-36 WRs in more than 71% of their games played last season.
  6. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle will have plenty of up-and-down performances, making them less appealing. Both busted in more than 25% of their games last season, despite playing in uber-aggressive pass-heavy offenses. With a heavier run approach expected in Miami, that’s a cause for concern.
  7. Marques Valdes-Scantling is so clearly obvious the Chiefs’ WR to target for spiked weeks. He’s either a top-24 finisher (30%) or a bust (70%). I bet that gap closes in KC without a true alpha on the outside.
  8. KJ Osborn (and the Vikings’ offense in general) is such an easy selection in a new-look, pass-happy offense. He was already cracking lineups as a WR3 at 44% last season, which seems like it can only go up in 2022.
  9. Buy the Gabriel Davis breakout. Even after running 200 or fewer than Sanders and Beasley, Davis had the second-highest WR3 finish rate on the Bills. More playing time should increase his floor, and his fantasy ceiling is sky-high.
  10. Even if Amon-Ra St. Brown doesn’t replicate his earth-shattering fantasy numbers from a season ago, he likely offers a pretty solid WR3 floor with the proven upside for more. In 47% of his games, he finished as a fantasy WR3 in 2021. And it’s all gravy after that should he roll over even 80% of his production, or should injuries hit the Lions’ receiving corps.
  11. Extra one for Courtland Sutton. Because despite how bad he was at times last year, he still flashed the upside with three 23-point-plus performances in the first six weeks of the season. Metcalf only had two — albeit two he scored just under 22 fantasy points. Either way, Wilson should further unlock Sutton’s fantasy ceiling while stabilizing his floor.

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Other Insights

Wide receiver ADP aligns linearly with how these players posted top-12 performances last season. For example, the WR1-13 range were players who finished as top-12 options in 38% of their games last season, identical to Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase.

From WR14-WR24, the top-12 return was 25%, followed by 16% by the WR25-WR40 group and 9% among the WR40-60 cluster.

Based on the graph above, I hypothesized we’d see a closer gap between the WR14-WR24 and WR25-WR40 groups. Still, the total zeroes from the likes of Allen Robinson, Jerry Jewdy, Rashod Bateman and JuJu Smith-Schuster bring the average down substantially.

If they are removed from the sample, the remaining WRs generate a 24% top-12 rate — almost identical to the WR14-WR24. Obviously, I can’t just remove those players to make my case, but the findings tell that the upside of guys who can have WR1 weeks doesn’t fall off dramatically when we go past the top-24 per ADP.

Although the floor becomes much shakier.

Of the top-12 fantasy WR1 hit rates from the ranges combined (WR14-WR40), seven are from the first group, while five come from the second group.

The first seven guys are Chris Godwin (36%), Mike Williams (33%), Jaylen Waddle (27%), Brandin Cooks (27%), Michael Pittman (25%), Terry McLaurin (25%) and DK Metcalf ( 25%).

The last five WRs are Adam Thielen (38%), Tyler Lockett (33%), DeAndre Hopkins (30%), Amon-Ra St. Brown (27%) and Elijah Moore (27%).

Simply put: a string of WR1 fantasy weeks come not only from the WRs in the top-24 ADP but outside the range at a decent rate. So you can go 50 WRs deep (just outside the top-100 overall picks approximately) until you start to reach players who have very little chance (sub-10%) of ever putting up a top-12 week.

After that, it’s probably wise to hit on other positions with WR production stagnant outside the top-50.

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