For fantasy football players throughout the world, it’s time to start thinking seriously about NFL fantasy predictions for 2022. Fantasy football has become so popular that for some fans, the best NFL games to watch this season will be the games that decide their fantasy football fate that week.
That’s part of the reason why we felt compelled to share some of our NFL fantasy predictions for 2022.
NFL fantasy predictions 2022
It’s important to keep in mind that fantasy football projections are a little different from making team-based predictions or preseason position rankings for the upcoming season. We also wanted to be a little bold with our predictions for this year’s fantasy football season.
Just like the league in general, there are bound to be different stars this year compared to last year. With that in mind, here are 10 NFL fantasy predictions for the 2022 season.
Matt Ryan is a Top-10 Quarterback
Matt Ryan’s heyday as a top-flight quarterback isn’t over just yet. The trade to Indianapolis should reinvigorate Ryan, especially compared to last season when he had limited playmakers around him in Atlanta.
With Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman, Ryan will have a pair of young and talented receivers at his disposal. He should also pick up plenty of fantasy points dumping the ball to Jonathan Taylor on short passes. While he doesn’t do much as a runner, Ryan’s fantasy points as a passer should make him a top-10 quarterback in 2022.
Dalton Schultz is Highest-Scoring Tight End
But what matters more is that Schultz is going to be playing for a high-powered Dallas offense. That should give Schultz plenty of opportunities, especially in the red zone, one year after collecting eight touchdowns. His role in the Dallas offense should continue to grow this year, allowing Schultz to have better fantasy numbers than any other tight end.
Stefon Diggs is Highest-Scoring Wide Receiver
But Diggs led the league in receiving two years ago and has 18 touchdowns over the last two years. He’s developed a strong rapport with Josh Allen, who continues to get better with each passing season. As Allen continues to improve, the same will happen with Diggs and his fantasy numbers.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a Top-10 Running Back
Many are starting to believe that Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a bust, but we’re taking the opposite approach with our NFL fantasy predictions in 2022.
He’s still a talented back who can be a productive runner and rack up fantasy points as a pass-catcher. Plus, Edwards-Helaire is likely to remain the starter in Kansas City if he can stay healthy. If he stays healthy and starts to live up to his promise, Edwards-Helaire could surprise everyone by being a top-10 fantasy running back this year.
Trey Lance is the Top Second-Year Quarterback
Of the five quarterbacks picked in the first round in 2021, Trey Lance remains the biggest mystery heading into their second season. But he also has the most upside as a fantasy player. With Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and others, Lance has good playmakers around him.
His abilities as a runner also give him a dimension that only Justin Fields can match among the class of 2021 QBs. If he starts all 17 games and makes some progress as a passer, Lance will blow away Fields, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, and Trevor Lawrence, at least from a fantasy perspective.
Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf Finish Outside Top 30 Wide Receivers
This might be one of our most surprising NFL fantasy predictions in 2022. Both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf have been dependable fantasy players with big upsides over the last few years. But that was with Russell Wilson playing quarterback.
Wilson throws a great deep ball, which played to the strengths of Lockett and Metcalf. But with either Geno Smith or Drew Lock throwing passes for the Seahawks, the deep passes might not be there. The overall production from Lockett and Metcalf could come down considerably as well.
No Rookie Among Top 30 Running Backs
It’s far from impossible to see rookie running backs become fantasy stars. But we might be due for a disappointing season from rookie running backs. Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker were the top running backs selected, but both are on bad teams.
Next up is James Cook, who may not get enough touches to be a top-30 fantasy running back. Granted, there could be some surprises with 22 running backs drafted this year and some undrafted running backs who should not be overlooked. However, it’s tough to pick too many who are primed for a big fantasy impact this year.
Tee Higgins Outscores Ja’Marr Chase
Nobody is claiming that Tee Higgins is a better receiver than Ja’Marr Chase. But Chase isn’t going to surprise anyone the way he did as a rookie last season. In fact, he’s going to be a marked man by opposing defenses.
Obviously, Joe Burrow has a great rapport with Chase, so he’ll keep looking to him. But Burrow is smart enough to look elsewhere when Chase is covered. That will lead to Higgins getting more targets and being the more productive fantasy player.
Over his first two seasons, Higgins has 141 catches, 1,999 yards, and 12 touchdowns. He’s been remarkably consistent over two seasons and will be a productive no. 2 for the Bengals, allowing him to surpass Chase’s fantasy numbers, which are likely to come down a little.
Saquon Barkley is Top-5 Fantasy Player
The days of Saquon Barkley being a top-five pick in every fantasy draft are over. He was a no-brainer to come off the board early after winning Rookie of the Year in 2018. But with his injury history and the problems the Giants have, he’s too big of a risk to take that early.
However, if Barkley can just stay healthy, he’s talented enough to be a top-five fantasy player. There’s a chance that the Giants have done enough to fix their offensive line and give Barkley some decent blocking.
Also, since he’ll be a free agent next year, Barkley should be properly motivated to have a big year, so between his big-play ability and pass-catching skills, a healthy Barkley could be a top-five fantasy player.
Christian McCaffrey Scores Most Fantasy Points
Is it three years ago already? Our NFL fantasy predictions for 2022 include the Carolina running back having a return to his form from 2019 when he made dreams come true for every fantasy owner who was smart enough to draft him.
Christian McCaffrey racked up 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards with 19 total touchdowns that season. He also had 116 receptions, which was huge in PPR leagues. Needless to say, it’ll be difficult to replicate those numbers, although he doesn’t need to match that level of production to be the top fantasy player in the NFL.
More than anything, McCaffrey just needs to stay healthy after playing in just 10 total games over the past two seasons. If McCaffrey stays on the field, he’s going to get more than enough touches to be the top fantasy player.