QBList contributor Dan Adams collected and released the QBList Staff Consensus Rankings last week, and for the most part, my rankings were in line with my peers. There were a few outliers though – some guys that I am far higher on and a few that I am entirely out on as well. Here are the spots where I’ve diverted from groupthink and taken a stand.
High On These Guys
Consensus – RB9, 13th overall
My Rank – RB7, 8th overall
Joe Mixon proved last season that he was ready for a workhorse back role, and for the first time in his career was a part of an offense that was above average, finishing as RB4 in total points and RB7 in points per game in PPR leagues a year ago. Mixon has little competition in the Bengals backfield, with Samaje Perine and Chris Evans fighting over his table scraps at the RB2. Mixon has been durable, dependable, and downright dangerous and ranks ahead of Najee Harris and Alvin Kamara for me, two guys that have similar ceilings but present danger at the 1-2 turn.
Consensus – QB1, 38th overall
My Rank – QB1, 31st overall
Josh Allen is the guy with the highest probability to finish QB1 overall in the league. I don’t think there are many out there who disagree with that take. However, he has the potential to be a difference-maker for fantasy managers week in and week out and to me is worth a late second or early third-round pick. In 2021, Allen averaged 24.6 points per game. He posted 12 weeks of 20 points or more, including three weeks of 35 points or better. Having a quarterback post a nearly guaranteed 25 points is a huge boost to a fantasy roster and worth getting, especially with how dangerous this Buffalo offense looks coming into 2022… more on that later.
Consensus – WR62, 157th overall
My Rank – WR54, 123rd overall
Jarvis Landry goes back to his roots, returning home to Louisiana for the 2022 campaign. I am fully convinced that Landry will ball out this season and I’m ready to use a late-round pick on him as a wide receiver depth piece. Jarvis Landry was healthy in week one of 2021 and put up 19.4 (PPR) fantasy points. After that, his season was derailed as he suffered an injury in week two and his starting quarterback was a walking field hospital for the rest of the season, and he still managed to put up three more weeks of 15 or more fantasy points. A fantasy stud in 2019, Landry is only 29 years old and could conceivably return to form with a trigger-happy quarterback like Jameis Winston throwing him the ball. There are concerns with target share and scheme in New Orleans, but for a 12th or 13th-round pick, you could do much worse.
Consensus – TE21, 170th overall
My Rank – TE11, 127th overall
Finally, David Njoku is out of the shadow of any other tight ends on the Cleveland roster and will get his turn to shine. The Browns got rid of Austin Hooper, clearing a path for Njoku to have a potential breakout in 2022. Based on preseason usage, the Browns have indicated that they intend to start their former first-round draft pick, playing him with the first-team offense and limiting his snaps outside of that. Njoku will have Jacoby Brissett under center for the first part of the season before Deshaun Watson returns, easily the best quarterback that Njoku has been paired with in his career. For a late-round flyer or punt tight end, Njoku is a great fit for anyone who isn’t able to secure one of the top three guys (Kelce, Andrews, Pitts).
Consensus – WR32, 68th overall
My Rank – WR18, 41st overall
I might be too low on Gabriel Davis. I’m serious – Davis could potentially be the Buffalo Bills’ number one wide receiver this season. And if he ascends to become Buffalo’s alpha, I am too low on Gabriel Davis. Regardless of his status in comparison to incumbent WR1 Stefon Diggs, I want Davis on my roster and I’m willing to use a 4th or 5th round pick to guarantee that he is on my roster. Davis progressed as the 2021 season moved along, moving firmly into the WR2 role late in the year. Once he laid claim to that rung of the pecking order, he averaged 19.8 (PPR) fantasy points per game over the Bills’ last six contests. An acquaintance of mine works within the Bills’ organization – when I asked him about Gabriel Davis he said, “You don’t catch four touchdown passes in a playoff game by accident.” That’s all I needed to hear. Wheels all the way up!
Low On These Guys
Consensus – WR3, 8th overall
My Rank – WR4, 13th overall
I am the lowest of all the QBList staff on Ja’Marr Chase this year. I can’t believe that nobody else remembers how he was dropping so many passes in preseason last year. (I’m kidding.) Chase forged his prolific rookie season by making the big play, over and over again, cashing in on touchdowns of more than 50 yards five times, while scoring on plays of 30 yards or more eight times. The touchdown regression is coming for Chase, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he finishes behind his teammate Tee Higgins.
Consensus – 37th overall, WR18
My Rank – 44th overall, WR20
Diontae Johnson was a PPR monster with Big Ben at the helm the past few years, but now that Roethlisberger has finally retired I believe the Steelers’ changing of the guard is going to hurt Johnson’s fantasy output. Due to the limitations at quarterback and within the offensive line the past two seasons, the Steelers offense was like 97% short, underneath passes – most of them to Diontae. Yes, this is hyperbole, but still – with Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett… or Mason Rudolph, I guess… under center, the Pittsburgh offense will be much heavier on the run and may potentially try to get the ball to George Pickens or Chase Claypool on intermediate or deep routes more often. I know he just signed a contract extension to stay in Pittsburgh for another couple of years. Still, I could totally see Johnson going full Allen-Robinson-in-Chicago and exerting no effort if things turn sour in the Steel City.
Consensus – WR48, 110th overall
My Rank – WR59, 135th overall
By the time draft season is over, I probably won’t have any shares of Jakobi Meyers, and I’m completely okay with that. The New England Patriots offense is going to be run-heavy, as it has been since Brady left, again this season. I don’t have any reason to reach for a piece of this passing game, especially when there are much higher ceiling picks in and around this part of the draft. I would much rather reach for Nico Collins or Skyy Moore, receivers with more questions surrounding them but higher ceilings if things break correctly. Even Russell Gage is more appealing to me. I refuse to invest in a wide receiver in an offense run by Matt Patricia.
Consensus – RB18, 40th overall
My Rank – RB23, 54th overall
Disagree? Your dynasty bias is showing. Just because a team SHOULD use a player a certain way doesn’t mean they will. I’m not arguing that Breece Hall isn’t the best running back in the Jets backfield based on talent alone, but I am saying that Michael Carter is the RB1 in that backfield until further notice. The Jets have done nothing to indicate that Breece Hall is the starter. They even rested Michael Carter in week three of the preseason, a telltale sign that they plan to utilize him as the starting running back. Though Hall may be more valuable later in the season, right now he’s not worth the draft capital he requires. I’d rather take a shot on Cam Akers, AJ Dillon, or even Chase Edmonds as the RB2 on my squad.
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