What better way to welcome A.J. Brown to the Eagles than with one of the most favorable schedules for wide receivers? He has six games where he'll face a bottom tier fantasy defense. Four of those games come in the first five weeks, so we'll find out in short order whether or not he'll be able to succeed on an offense that is so run-heavy. That's not such a big change for him though considering that the Titans were a run-first team as well and he was incredibly efficient with the target share that he saw. Brown is going to cost you a 3rd-round pick while DeVonta Smith can be had in the 7th. Brown will command the most attention, both from opposing backs and his QB Jalen Hurts, leaving Smith's value somewhat questionable. It's difficult to predict whether or not there will be enough volume on this offense to reliably sustain two fantasy receivers.
There's no denying that CeeDee Lamb is a top-tier talent and will be the focus for Dak Prescott, but are our expectations for him appropriate? He's the 6th-ranked wide receiver on Fantasy Nerds, yet he hasn't finished higher than 20th in his two seasons. Fortunately, he has a full season under his belt with Dak, and perhaps more importantly, he won't be competing with Amari Cooper for targets. The opportunities are there but we're not sold on him finishing where he's ranked despite the fact that he has a favorable schedule. With the exception of the two games against the Eagles, his schedule is fairly pedestrian. Bonus: he has a Fantasy Championship Week 17 matchup with the Titans who ranked near the bottom against wide receivers last year.
D.J. Moore has been consistently good (good...not great) despite the rotation at QB. He really only has two games where the defenses have been tough on opposing receivers (Week 1 vs Cleveland and Week 12 against Denver) leaving a host of average to poor secondaries trying to contain him for the rest of the season. Moore is a high-end WR2. Perhaps Baker Mayfield will be the missing ingredient that catapults Moore into WR1 territory.
What's not to like on the Chargers these days? Justin Herbert has proven to be an excellent QB and Keenan Allen & Mike Williams have benefited from that. While Allen isn't going to find the endzone with regular frequency (he's never surpassed 8 touchdowns in a season), he has been one of the most reliable fantasy receivers consistently delivering points every week - especially in PPR formats. His age is a concern, but he'll remain a low-end WR1 for 2022. Where Keenan Allen was consistent, Mike Williams' weekly production was more erratic. When he hit big, he did so with gaudy numbers, but when he didn't, fantasy owners were ready to put out an APB for him. Given the fact that the Chargers are largely returning all of their starters, the situation for these two shouldn't be too different than what we saw last season. Williams is the 19th WR off the boards in drafts and could compete with Allen for WR1 status. They'll start with a tough matchup in Week 1, but the fantasy championships should be much easier.
What should we expect from Tyreek Hill? That's a tough question. He's super talented and few can match the Cheetah's speed in the open field, but let's be honest here. Tua Tagovailoa is no Patrick Mahomes. He is such a significant downgrade that it's perfectly reasonable to question whether Tua and this offense can support both Tyreek and Jaylen Waddle (let's not forget Mike Gesicki either). Tyreek is ranked inside our Top 10 among all receivers and that's likely because Miami is going to do everything they can to get him the ball and let him make plays. His schedule is not an asset here as he faces the Pats and Bills twice including facing New England in the all-important Week 17 Championship.
We're excited to see what Rashod Bateman will produce this season. There's been plenty of buzz already about him being a sleeper, but it really depends upon how often the Ravens plan to throw. With Hollywood Brown changing coasts, Bateman's role as the top receiving option (outside Mark Andrews at TE) on the team appears solidified. That also means that opposing secondaries will be planning for him. That's not encouraging when we see his schedule and the fact that he'll face only two fantasy-friendly defenses. 2022 is full of Top-16 defenses.
The biggest question surrounding Diontae Johnson is obviously the QB situation. With Big Ben retired, it will be Mitch Trubisky under center for Week 1...but for how long? Kenny Pickett was drafted in the first round as the heir apparent. The uncertainty doesn't help when projecting Johnson's season, but if his usage remains similar, he's a solid WR1. Unfortunately, his schedule is pretty ugly. He won't see a fantasy-friendly defense until Week 13 when he suits up against the Falcons. Don't be surprised to see some regression given his situation.
Ja'Marr Chase may have a tough schedule, but he's such an elite talent that he can transcend that. Few backs can match his dynamic route running and explosive speed. His schedule is not pretty including brutal matchups in both Weeks 16 & 17 against the Pats and Bills, but schedules matter little to guys like Chase.
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