With a ton of help from OverTheCap.com, I present starting lineups for all 32 NFL teams heading into 2022 free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft. I go team-by-team to find out who is a free agent, who is under contract, and who is a cut candidate. As always, this is geared towards fantasy football with quick player blurbs and 2022 fantasy football ADPs from early best ball drafts on Underdog Fantasy.
Depth charts were last updated on August 26th, 2022. Please use desktop for better looking tables.
The Cardinals basically swapped Christian Kirk for Marquise Brown, who will rotate from Z and slot receiver depending on formations. The Brown trade is relatively bad news for Moore, who is purely a slot receiver. If Brown kicks inside for even 20% of passing plays to get A.J. Green on the field, Moore will have long odds of being fantasy relevant, assuming his average depth of target stays below 6.0 and he's not playing in red-zone formations. DeAndre Hopkins (X) and Brown (Z) are the fantasy targets. Moore (slot) and Green (Z) are late-round dart throws who likely need injuries to be viable. In the first six weeks with Hopkins' suspension, Green will be an every-down starter.
Zach Ertz received legit starting money and isn't at risk of losing many snaps to second-round rookie Trey McBride. The latter's selection is a small signal that the heavily-used 4-WR sets are mostly a thing of the past. McBride is a dynasty play only with all the weapons already in this offense.
Fantasy RB1 James Conner is arguably the biggest winner of the offseason, given the lack of depth behind him. Jonathan Ward and Eno Benjamin appear to be battling for a mini version of the Chase Edmonds role, while cut-cadidate and Day 3 rookie Keontay Ingram round out the group. There's not an established RB2 here yet, sadly.
Marcus Mariota isn't going to have the passing numbers Matt Ryan would've, so this is a general downgrade to the entire offseason, though Mariota himself is an appealing late-round QB option. He'll be throwing most of his passes to two alphas -- Kyle Pitts and Drake London. The rest of the receiver depth chart features Raiders bust Bryan Edwards (who was traded for the equivalent of a Day 3 pick), undersized speedster Olamide Zaccheaus ($2.4M), undersized rotational man Damiere Byrd ($1.2M), and other players casual NFL fans have never heard of. London was my WR1 and has a Michael Thomas like ceiling long-term. He'll probably be an inefficient volume hog as a rookie. That doesn't sound so bad.
Cordarrelle Patterson signed a two-year fringe starter contract this offseason. His role completely changed in 2021, starting as backup, pivoting to passing-down duties, and then finishing as an early-down grinder. Patterson will be complemented by career backup Damien Williams ($1.6M) and 5th-round rookie rusher Tyler Allgeier. Just by the "mystery box" theory, Allgeier is the most intriguing as a late-round dart throw.
I anticipate the Ravens heading back towards their 2020 tendencies based on their 2022 personnel moves.
The offense gets blocking TE Nick Boyle back to health, and they added two pass-catching TEs in Charlie Kolar and preseason star Isaiah Likely in the draft. That could be the best complementary tight end depth chart in the NFL with Mark Andrews obviously leading the pack. He'll be operating as a slot receiver to some degree given the state of affairs at WR. Likely could be the No. 3 target, too.
Rashod Bateman (X) has legit No. 1 skills, and he'll be in a very efficient offense that gets boosted by only having two receivers out in the route. He's the most obvious breakout candidate in fantasy. Behind him is Devin Duvernay, who I think is extremely underrated but will be transitioning from pure slot to playing more on the outside if no other receivers are added. Tylan Wallace has theoretical upside, but he looked slower following knee injuries in college and didn't make a rookie-season impact. For now, it's Bateman to the moon, Duvernay in stacks, and maybe Wallace in the last round of best ball drafts. Hopefully Will Fuller gets added.
This will depend on health, but J.K. Dobbins (off PUP but seems bad) and Gus Edwards (PUP and seems bad) should have similar roles to their 2020 season. Mike Davis is in town as the RB3 on a one-year, $1.2M deal.
Josh Allen will be throwing to Stefon Diggs (Z), Gabriel Davis (X), Jamison Crowder (slot), and Isaiah McKenzie (slot) at receiver. That's generally less target competition for Diggs and Davis, who vaults into an every-down role for the first time in his career. Davis' skillset aligns with best ball, and he doesn't even have to be good at the game to put up WR2/3 numbers in this offense. He's worth chasing up the ADP leaderboards. McKenzie ($1.8M) spanked Crowder ($2.0M) in training camp. 2021 breakout Dawson Knox looks to be in a great spot again. If his ADP drops because of O.J. Howard ($3.5M), then I'll be all over him in best ball.
The running back group seems very straight forward. Devin Singletary has a grasp on the early-down duties over Zack Moss, but Singletary likely loses his three-down role with 3rd-round pass-catching back James Cook in the mix and Zack Moss operating on short-yardage. This offense doesn't use their RBs much, so splitting this three ways is tough for fantasy purposes.
Sam Darnold ($18.5M) very well could get a second chance in Carolina with new OC Ben McAdoo reportedly liking his traits. At the very most, the Panthers could look at Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo just before training camp, but I consider Darnold a candidate to make 2022 starts.
D.J. Moore is locked into the No. 1 role, and there's speculation that Robby Anderson could be a post June 1st cut or trade candidate after underperforming on his new contract last year. I'm hoping he gets traded elsewhere (Baltimore?), so we can get Moore into the top-15 range. Behind them is second-round disappointment Terrace Marshall (big slot), versatile backup Rashard Higgins ($1.2M), and career backup Brandon Zylstra ($1.2M). Overpaid blocking TE Ian Thomas and second-year deep sleeper Tommy Tremble headline the tight end group.
Christian McCaffrey could catch 80+ passes again after looking at this skill group. He'll be backed up by early-down back D'Onta Foreman ($2.0M) and middling second-year speedster Chuba Hubbard. Foreman likely gets the first crack if CMC goes down, but this would likely be a committee just as it was last year.
Justin Fields should sue the Chicago Bears.
Darnell Mooney, to me, is a decent No. 2 receiver, but he is clearly the top target in Chicago right now. Byron Pringle, who was arrested this offseason for doing donuts on a suspended license with a kid in the car, is the current second option after signing a 1-year, $4.2M contract. The rest of the receiver group is making at most $1.0M this year. It's possible they view surprising 3rd-rounder Velus Jones as more than a special teamer, but he was a bad prospect all things considered as a 25-year-old rookie who never produced as a pass catcher in college. There is a lot of pressure on third-year TE Cole Kmet. I haven't been impressed with Kmet on tape or with his analytics (1.2 YPRR), but someone will have to catch passes this year I guess.
The most likely outcome is David Montgomery handling a massive workload in all game scripts. Khalil Herbert is his three-down backup with oft-injured Darrynton Evans rounding out the group. I'd be surprised if Montgomery doesn't see 17+ touches per game this year.
Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, and his receivers are all back. The only change is the relative downgrade from C.J. Uzomah to Hayden Hurst at TE1. Hurst is a late-round stacking option but nothing more. The other note here is the massive upgrades across the offensive line. It's probably closer to league average after being bottom-five last year.
Behind Joe Mixon are veteran plodder Samaje Perine ($1.8M) and raw all-around athlete Chris Evans, who has more of a ceiling than Perine going into his second NFL season.
The NFL would look bad if Trevor Bauer gets suspended for two-plus seasons, and they only give Deshaun Watson 4 to 6 games. I'm expecting a heavy suspension. The question is if it comes down in 2022 or 2023? The Browns' contract maneuvering suggests it'll come in 2022, so I'm projecting Watson to play the final 6-8 games of the year. He's mostly a 3-QB build option only.
Amari Cooper stands alone among the pass-catchers. He should be the volume sponge on the perimeter, while deep-threat Donovan-Peoples Jones joins him in 2-WR sets. DPJ will compete with third-round possession receiver David Bell, who can play on the outside or as a power slot. There's a chance slightly-built speedster Anthony Schwartz begins making some noise as a vertical slot, but he needed a lot of development coming out of college.
David Njoku has been a fantasy tease for years, but this is the year to be aggressive after the Browns bit the bullet on Austin Hooper's contract leaving Njoku in two-TE sets with Harrison Bryant. Njoku had a career-high 1.56 YPRR last year. Bryant in his second season was at 1.47 YPRR. Both are breakout candidates to some degree.
Nick Chubb is the early-down stud of the backfield and is at worst a spiked week RB2. The rest of the backfield is worth monitoring. All $6.25 million of Kareem Hunt's contract is non-guaranteed, making him a low-key trade candidate if the Browns find a buyer. Hunt has league-winning upside as usual if he stays on the Browns and Chubb misses time. D'Ernest Johnson is third in line and might've shown enough last year to influence a Hunt trade.
Dak Prescott essentially swaps out Amari Cooper for James Washington ($1.2M) this offseason, assuming Washington can beat out Noah Brown, Semi Fehoko, and third-round deep threat Jalen Tolbert. This group will be leaned on early in the year with Michael Gallup expected to miss the first month or so of 2022. For that reason, CeeDee Lamb projects for WR1 production after a disappointing second season. Don't let that leave a sour taste in your mouth this year.
Dalton Schultz was franchise-tagged this offseason before the Cowboys released injured TE Blake Jarwin. Jarwin's replacement is blocking-specialist Jake Ferguson, so Schultz has a clear TE1 runway in 2022. He's arguably the No. 2 target in this upper-end offense.
Ezekiel Elliott has $12.4M guaranteed this year, so he’ll remain a big part of the offense going into his age-27 season, but contract-year Tony Pollard threatens his RB1 workload in general.
Russell Wilson has a deep group of skill players and will be in shootouts all season in the AFC West powerhouse. Because K.J. Hamler is coming off a torn ACL (and likely torn PCL), we should expect the three-WR set to feature Courtland Sutton (X), Tim Patrick (Z), and Jerry Jeudy (slot) for most, if not all, of the year. Patrick is a valuable low-volume deep threat and could be a perfect scheme fit with Wilson. But the debate for the most targets is between the more physical Sutton in his second year removed from injury versus the more dynamic Jeudy coming off another disappointing season. I anticipate Jeudy soaking up more of the underneath and manufactured touches, while Sutton wins in the intermediate portion of the field. Both are probably spiked-week WR2/3 types. Patrick is a better in best ball WR5.
Albert Okwuegbunam is the new every-down tight end with Noah Fant shipped to Seattle. He has receiving ability and should be viewed as a top-16 fantasy option, even with third-round receiving TE Greg Dulcich entering the fold.
Javonte Williams' role will most likely be bigger than it was last year, but Melvin Gordon was re-signed and arguably ran better than Williams did in 2021. With that said, Gordon's market was soft and he only agreed to a one-year, $2.5M contract with incentives up to $4M. This could be a 60/40 split in favor of Williams. That was flipped last year.
Jared Goff faces no legit competition in 2022, and his weapons will be better than they were last year. Rookie breakout Amon-Ra St. Brown is the Lions' version of Robert Woods, capable of doing a bit everything within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. Most of his production came when everyone else was injured, so tread lightly. But he is a legit player in general. He'll be joined by vertical X-receiver D.J. Chark, who signed a one-year, $10M contract this offseason. Chark's role will be key in September, while stud first-rounder Jameson Williams works his way back into the mix coming off a torn ACL. Williams may need time to acclimate, but he is one of the most "better in best ball" receivers we've seen enter the NFL. I love his game. I'm debating if I love it for the 2022 or 2023 season.
T.J. Hockenson's career 1.46 yards per route run is disappointing, and we're three seasons in. With more target competition now, Hockenson's ceiling is probably in the mid-TE1 range and his floor is lower.
D'Andre Swift will be the lead back and worked on adding more physicality this offseason, but future Hard Knocks star Jamaal Williams will make $4.6M this year if he's kept around. If so, that's a sign that he'll be involved in ways that will tilt Swift truthers.
Aaron Rodgers is back, but his skill group is the worst it's ever been. The outside receiver candidates are Allen Lazard ($4.0M), 40-year-old 28-year-old Sammy Watkins ($1.8M), second-round FCS deep-threat Christian Watson. Randall Cobb and fifth-rounder Romeo Doubs can play inside and out, but they'll probably compete with Amari Rogers for slot snaps. Ultimately, I expect the most common 3-WR set to be Watson (X), Lazard (Z), and Cobb (slot), but this will be a fragile projection with Rodgers' pickiness of receivers and how poor these players are in general. Robert Tonyan ($3.0M) is the best bet for TE fantasy production assuming his rehab goes well. Blocking TE Marcedes Lewis and undersized receiver Josiah Deguara back him up.
Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon both project reasonably well with Davante Adams' and Marquez Valdes-Scantling's departures. Jones could set a career high in receptions this year, while Dillon picks up more carries as the offense projectably goes more run-heavy.
Davis Mills should start the entire season, pending injury. Brandin Cooks will be the top dog once again and should retain spiked-week WR3 value. He'll be joined by second-year deep-threat X receiver Nico Collins and doer-of-all-master-of-none second-round rookie John Metchie, who will most likely need the first month of the season to finish his torn ACL rehab. Career backups Chris Conley, Phillip Dorsett, and DaeSean Hamilton are also in the mix. Second-year post-hype sleeper Brevin Jordan is moderately interesting with only Pharaoh Brown ($3.4M) in his way. If Jordan is better than his athletic testing showed, he has some TE2 appeal.
Get ready for the electric RB competition of early-down home run threat Marlon Mack ($1.7M), passing-down backup Rex Burkhead ($2.5M), and fourth-round rookie Dameon Pierce. According to the "mystery box" theory, Pierce is the player to target. He was extremely efficient scoring touchdowns and breaking tackles at Florida but was never given a massive workload. Maybe his coaches were just wrong. At least he has a skillset ceiling to chase here. We know what Mack and Burkhead are at this point in their careers. ... And turns out, Pierce is a stud based on his preseason tape and training camp beat reports.
Matt Ryan is an upgrade over Carson Wentz, especially for possession receiver Michael Pittman. There is little target competition for the third-year pro, and it's possible the offense passes a bit more with Ryan under center. Pittman's outside sidekick will be second-round athlete Alec Pierce, who is mostly a jump ball specialist and not a projected volume hog. Parris Campbell will slide into the slot in 3-WR sets assuming he can stay healthy. The Colts have a deeper tight end depth chart with Mo Alie-Cox, second-year receiving specialist Kylen Granson, and elite athlete Jelani Woods who was drafted in the third round. There's probably too many mouths to feed for a big ceiling here.
Jonathan Taylor is Jonathan Taylor. But Nyheim Hines is still around on a $5.1M cap charge as a rotational pass-catching back. Ryan is likely to pass more to his backs than Wentz was. Marlon Mack is out of the picture, and Phillip Lindsay and Deon Jackson aren't threats to Hines.
Trevor Lawrence's weapons were moderately improved. Marvin Jones has been retained on his $8.7M contract as a starting outside receiver, and GM Trent Baalke went crazy on Christian Kirk ($37M guaranteed) and Zay Jones ($14M guaranteed) to round out the starting lineup. Kirk will be a slot in 3-WR sets but will stay in 2-WR sets. Meanwhile, Jones will have to hold off third-year fringe starter Laviska Shenault, undersized special-teamer Jamal Agnew, and Laquon Treadwell ($1.2M). Jones won't be a fantasy option unless Lawrence takes a massive leap in 2022. Expect this to be a downfield passing attack.
Evan Engram is playing on the 8th-highest TE contract in 2022, so he'll be featured as a receiver in Doug Pederson's tight end friendly offense. Engram will be aided by blocking specialist Chris Manhertz with Luke Farrell and Dan Arnold as depth. It's a good group.
Travis Etienne (lisfranc) and James Robinson (achilles) are both coming back from brutal injuries. Etienne has way more time to recover, but that's a worrisome foot injury and Etienne was already a boom/bust pick made by the previous coaching staff. At his best, he has explosion out in space, including as a receiver. At his worst, Robinson can start over him despite the Round 1 draft capital. This will be a battle that could feature no clear winner due to injuries. 5th-round rookie Snoop Conner is a name to remember as a powerful potential goal line option. He's Robinson insurance.
Patrick Mahomes loses Tyreek Hill, but the Chiefs spent that money wisely to fill some of the void for 2022. While 33 years old, Travis Kelce still projects reasonably well as a tight end turned X receiver in this offense. He's surrounded by specific role players in efficient deep threat Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($9M) and pure slot JuJu Smith-Schuster ($3.25M). Kelce and JuJu are the projected leaders in targets, but MVS is the "Better In Best Ball" King attached to another quarterback with a rocket arm. I'm in. Second-round versatile rookie Skyy Moore will play in 3-WR sets and could lap Smith-Schuster as the second underneath target if he's as good as his prospect profile looked.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is probably bad, but he's their top early-down rusher and likely goal-line back. Jerick McKinnon projects to spell him on passing downs, while seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco battles Ronald Jones ($500k guaranteed) for CEH's backup early-down work. It's to be determined if the Chiefs will keep three or four RBs.
Derek Carr's weapons have never been better, and it's possible that he has the best coaching staff of his career. Davante Adams likely doesn't get quite as many targets in Vegas as he did in Green Bay, but he's still a locked-in WR1 and the alpha of the group. Hunter Renfrow is one of the better slot receivers and is so much better than Mack Hollins ($2M) that he'll start in 2-WR sets still. Hollins is more of a field stretcher than DeMarcus Robinson (recently cut), so I think he fits 3-WR sets better though this will likely be a WR3 rotation. Darren Waller's ceiling outcomes are zapped with Adams' trade and Renfrow's emergence, but he is still a top-six real life talent and should do enough for mid-TE1 stats, assuming health.
Josh Jacobs is in a contract season after the Raiders opted out of their fifth-year team option. Kenyan Drake has $5.5M guaranteed in 2022 somehow, but he was still cut for Ameer Abdullah. Fifth-round rookie Zamir White probably is their long-term plan at the position, though he has some contingency value in what should be a good offense.
Justin Herbert’s Super Bowl window starts in 2022, and he has the skill players and OL to make a run for MVP. Mike Williams (3-year, $60M) will be ranked above Keenan Allen by me this year after securing the bag and handling the Michael Thomas role reasonably well last year. Herbet + Williams + second-year versatile WR3 Joshua Palmer is one of my favorite stacks to kick off the year. Vertical speedster Jalen Guyton was re-signed to a $965k contract, which means he'll make less than the 2nd place winner of Best Ball Mania III. Gerald Everett's $8M guaranteed contract makes him the sure-fire starter over Donald Parham ($895k) and belongs in the late-round TE2 conversation.
Austin Ekeler is coming off a top-five RB season and projects similarly in 2022, with only Joshua Kelley 4th-round rookie Isaiah Spiller (ankle) sliding into Justin Jackson's complementary role. Ekeler will be running behind a 2021 1st round LT, a reliable veteran LG, a top-5 C, a 2022 1st round LG, and a turnstile RT.
Matthew Stafford has WR1 overall Cooper Kupp as his go-to receiver, and then welcomes Allen Robinson ($30.25M guaranteed) as his new No. 2 with Robert Woods shipped to Tennessee. Robinson was better on tape than I expected last year on re-watch and still provides a high-end ceiling despite the tanked 2021 production. Robinson is a favorite for more high-quality looks over the forgettable Van Jefferson, lightweight 2021 second-rounder TuTu Atwell, and potentially Odell if he chooses to re-sign in L.A late in the season. At tight end, Tyler Higbee is on a $8.5M contract and is an every-down option with no-namers behind him. Higbee belongs on Stafford stacks as a cost-friendly TE2.
Cam Akers took Darrell Henderson's job halfway through a torn achilles season. He should be more efficient with an entire offseason to get back to 90% health. Henderson still has spiked week potential as Akers' insurance, but 5th-round post-hype sleeper Kyren Williams profiles as a triggering thorn given his elite pass-protecting abilities. Williams potentially threatens the Rams' third-round RB duties later in the season.
Tua Tagovailoa has no excuses to not perform, and he has Teddy Bridgewater ready to fill in if he doesn't. The Tyreek Hill trade is a massive win for Tua in general, but it was a bad trade for fantasy purposes as Hill's ceiling tanks and he gets in Jaylen Waddle's way, too. Hill will probably play more on the outside this year with Waddle primarily playing in the slot last year, and Waddle will probably see fewer screens and RPO slants with Hill in the building. Cedrick Wilson ($12.75M guaranteed) is locked into 3-WR sets but faces an uphill battle for fantasy production with two stud receivers, slot WR/TE Mike Gesicki, and a slow-paced Shanahan-based offense all in his way. For those same reasons, Gesicki's projection takes a big hit. It's worth questioning how much Gesicki is a fit in this offense that asks their TEs to block more than most.
Chase Edmonds ($6.1M guaranteed) was the priority signing at RB, but he's 5'9/210 and has eclipsed 15 carries just four times in his career. This offense rarely peppers RBs with targets, especially one with both Hill and Waddle. Raheem Mostert ($1.9M) will make less than the Best Ball Mania III winner and has never eclipsed 151 touches in a season. He'll compete with May signee Sony Michel ($1.75M) on early downs. And don't forget about pass-catching option Myles Gaskin ($2.6M), too. In other words, the answer to this ambiguous backfield is to just draft Alexander Mattison or another high-upside insurance back instead.
The only two things that are different with this Vikings offense is that new HC Kevin O'Connell is a candidate to pass more and play at a faster pace after learning under coach Sean McVay. That's obviously great for Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn. Secondly, Irv Smith returns and doesn't face the Tyler Conklin competition anymore. The new TE2 is a pure blocker in Johnny Mundt.
I'm always on team Alexander Mattison, especially with Dalvin Cook under investigation.
Mac Jones doesn't have a legit No. 1 receiver, but the Patriots at least have a fat rotation filled with specific skill sets. DeVante Parker projects for a full-time role as the biggest receiver on the depth chart. He'll be joined by slot man Jakobi Meyers and the winner of the second outside receiver spot; Nelson Agholor ($14.8M), Kendrick Bourne ($6.4M), and second-round sleeper speedster Tyquan Thornton. I'm expecting all to start at different times of the year.
Hunter Henry is the every-down Y tight end and primary red zone target. He's clearly ahead of h-back gadget TE Jonnu Smith, though Smith still has some upside if Henry went down with injury. The other key note is the release of FB Jakob Johnson, who later said this offense won't be using a fullback this year. Hint: Expect more passing in 2022.
Bill Belichick is back on his bullshit at RB. Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson might rotate drives, while playing all three downs until Ty Montgomery plays the two-minute drill. Those three appear set for almost all RB touches. Harris has been first inline all camp and preseason despite the Stevenson hype.
Jameis Winston is likely starting if his rehab remains on pace. If not, Andy Dalton is around to fill in for starts. They'll mostly be throwing to bounce back candidate X receiver Michael Thomas (in the middle of a huge contract still), first-round Z receiver Chris Olave, and slot man Jarvis Landry, who signed a one-year, $3M contract with an additional $3M in somewhat reasonable incentives. They are perfect complements to each other. Olave is purely a quality route runner and vertical threat who can't break tackles or win through contact. Landry is an underneath only player who can handle some more of the dirty work.
Taysom Hill kicks back to the TE hybrid role, but he doesn't have Sean Peyton anymore. Most TE snaps will be filled by disappointing third-year TE Adam Trautman and pure blocker Nick Vannett. Neither are overly intriguing.
Alvin Kamara faces a potential 4-game suspension. Mark Ingram is his insurance back with Tony Jones Jr. sitting in the three hole. New Orleans needs another body in my opinion.
Daniel Jones has been given a legit chance to win this job after adding a first-round tackle and keeping their top skill players. Kenny Golladay has the highest cap charge of any WR this year and will have the chance to bounce back with a better coaching staff, assuming he hasn't thrown in the towel completely. Kadarius Toney is in a similar boat and offers even more upside, but he has a lower floor. Slot man Sterling Shepard took a paycut to stay on the team and could miss the first month coming off a late-2021 torn achilles. Almost all of Darius Slayton's money is tradable. If he stays on the team, Slayton fills that deep threat role. The Giants have punted tight end with all players making less than $2M this year.
Saquon Barkley should bounce back to some degree now that he's even more removed from his serious injuries. His backup is Matt Breida, who is on a $1.2M contract. They need better depth.
Zach Wilson has no excuses with OL, WR, TE, and RB lifts over the last two offseasons. Elijah Moore is a damn stud and shouldn't leave the field much. Corey Davis (X) makes too much money ($13.6M) to not be a focal point of the offense, but he'll have to hold down a starting spot in 2-WR sets in this offense that messes with a second tight end and a fullback more than others. First-rounder Garrett Wilson will be breathing down his neck all year. Davis likely starts early in the season, before rotating with Wilson. Don't forget about slot man Braxton Berrios though. He's in year one of a $7M contract and was the starting slot in 3-WR sets all preseason. To get Wilson on the field more, the Jets may have to move Moore into the slot on occasion in 3-WR sets. That's a lot of mouths for an offense that was 20th in completions last year, so this could be a developmental year for Wilson before breaking out in 2023. C.J. Uzomah ($15M guaranteed) and Tyler Conklin ($10M guaranteed) will both mix in and could cannibalize each other from climbing out of TE3 land.
The models, including mine, love Breece Hall because he was productive, caught passes, declared early, tested like a 95th percentile athlete, and got Round 2 draft capital. The fit, however, isn't the greatest. This offense doesn't throw to their RBs often -- especially with this deep WR room -- and mixes in backups often. Hall will lead the backfield in overall touches and should be the goal line back, but Michael Carter was too good in a complementary role last year to be erased. This is a two-back committee in my opinion.
Jalen Hurts is an offseason winner after the Eagles didn't add to their QB group and traded for MFin A.J. Brown. He's exactly what this offense needed, as he brings in more physicality and explosiveness than anyone on the Eagles' 2021 WR depth chart. Brown's own fantasy value takes a hit with more target competition and a downgrade in QB play, but he can still have spiked weeks as a WR2. DeVonta Smith's target share takes a hit, though Brown's addition just makes this offense better overall so it's probably close to a wash. Dirty-work slot Zach Pascal ($1.5M) rounds out the 3-WR set, leaving Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins on the bench. Dallas Goedert is the clear pass-catching TE with plodders Jack Stoll and Richard Rodgers behind him. Almost all targets will go to Brown, Smith, Goedert, and the RBs.
Miles Sanders isn't very good and could get benched in season if he fumbles again, but he's an offseason winner, too. Thicc veteran Boston Scott re-signed on a $1.75M contract to compete with second-year fifth-rounder Kenny Gainwell, who did next to nothing as a rookie, for passing down duties. Sanders has 15-plus touch upside with how poor the depth is here, but Hurts will steal goal line touches and RB targets won't be a feature in the offense's structure. We can't rule out a last-second addition like D'Ernest Johnson (via trade) or Ronald Jones (via release).
I thought Kenny Pickett was overly ridiculed this pre-draft process and believe he's a candidate to start Week 1 over Mitch Trubisky, who only received $6M this offseason. Pickett is a perfect fit in this offense, is pro ready, and knows this coaching staff already. I'd set Pickett's over/under for starts at 12.5 or so. Pickett is an accurate QB to all levels of the field, so there's no reason to be on or off Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, or my pre-draft rookie WR5 George Pickens purely based on QB attributes. Right now, Claypool is holding onto dear life for 2-WR set snaps with the emerging Pickens, who I think is simply better at the game of football. Pat Freiermuth is in the same role as he was in late last season as an upside TE2.
Najee Harris is Najee Harris. His backups are tone-setting plodder Benny Snell, undersized cut-candidate Anthony McFarland, and flashy UDFA rookie Jaylen Warren.
Drew Lock seems to be getting a legitimate chance to being the QB1 for the entire season. The WR group is unchanged with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and 2021 second-round zombie Dee Eskridge as projected starters in 3-WR sets, but there will be more 2-TE sets with stud Noah Fant and highly-paid Will Dissly ($10.3M guaranteed) at the top of the depth chart. If there's a viable third option, Fant is a far better bet than Eskridge and company obviously.
Late 2021 breakout Rashaad Penny earned a one-year, $5.3M contract this offseason. He'll compete with my pre-draft RB1 Kenneth Walker for early-down touches. Penny is more of a slashing speedster, while Walker is more patient runner. Injuries could easily determine who gets the most touches here, but I think Walker is the better player in general. For fantasy, their ceilings are relatively capped unless they get Travis Homer off of passing downs.
George Kittle is George Kittle, Deebo Samuel secured the bag as the No. 1, but don't sleep on Brandon Aiyuk in year three. We'll see if Aiyuk can earn more targets at the expensive of Samuel. And more importantly, if Lance has enough passing skills to keep them all afloat at top-75 ADPs. He's thrown a pass in game action just 446 times since high school, including preseason.
The RB group is full of relative no-namers, a perfect combination for Shanahan chaos. Elijah Mitchell is the clear favorite after a solid rookie season, but 2021 third-rounder Trey Sermon, 2022 third-rounder Tyrion Davis-Price, and veteran backup Jeff Wilson ($1.1M) are daring you to get overly confident in Mitchell's projection. Mitchell does have top-20 fantasy upside if he can hold onto the job, which I expect.
There are four legit WRs and only three spots when all healthy. It'll take some time before Chris Godwin (ACL/MCL) is a full-time player, so Mike Evans (X), Julio Jones (Z), and Russell Gage (slot) project best early on. At the end of the year, Julio and Gage will battle things out for No. 3 duties on the outside. They easily could rotate. Ultimately, all have high ceilings if injuries break their way.
Rob Gronkowski hinted that he'd retire, and then the Bucs drafted two blocking tight ends on Day 3. I think it's more likely that he retires this time around, but he can be drafted if he falls far enough as a TE3. (Nailed it). My favorite late-round TE right now is Cameron Brate, who is making $4M this year to be an every-down option in the post-O.J. Howard era. If Brate is Brady's TE1, then he has top-16 fantasy upside. He's worth the gamble late, even with Kyle Rudolph around.
Leonard Fournette received a three-year, $21 million contract with $11 million guaranteed. That is beyond starter money. He secured the bag relative to other veteran RBs. He projects for an elite three-down role with a double-digit touchdown ceiling. Fournette is a target and potential RB1. He'll be backed up by one of my favorite pre-draft prospects in third-rounder Rachaad White, who profiled as a passing down back with the size to handle a three-down role following an injury to a starter. He hit the landing spot jackpot here. Target White.
Ryan Tannehill got completely rugged this offseason by losing A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. Robert Woods, while coming back from his torn ACL, will be an every-down player as the flanker. To start the season, it looks like he'll be joined by Nick Westbrook-Ikhine in 2-WR sets. He's outplayed boom-bust first-rounder Treylon Burks, who has struggled with conditioning and is learning a new position. Burks will have to win on the outside more often than he did in college in this TE-heavy offense, so there could be a big adjustment here. Day 3 rookie Kyle Philips is going to start in 3-WR sets as the team's best slot option.
The tight end group has "buy the dip" Austin Hooper ($6.3M) as the headliner, with blocker Geoff Swaim as his 2-TE set sidekick. Hooper has to get 5 targets per game with this damn depth chart.
Derrick Henry is backed up by replaceable veteran Dontrell Hilliard ($1.0M) and tone-setting 4th-rounder Hassan Haskins. The latter seems like an interesting dart throw. He was a fine prospect in my opinion. Hilliard has a better chance of playing passing downs.
Carson Wentz has plenty of skill position depth to work with, and OC Scott Turner is underrated for fantasy purposes. Terry McLaurin obviously headlines the group as the clear cut alpha in the group. Slender secondary first-rounder Jahan Dotson is next up and could play at Z or in the slot, depending on if Curtis Samuel or Dyami Brown win the last job. If Samuel stays healthy, Brown will likely remain on the bench. I like McLaurin (X), Dotson (Z), and Samuel (slot) to open the year. If he's healthy, Logan Thomas has a nice role in the slot as a receiving tight end. He's complemented by 2021 fourth-rounder John Bates.
Antonio Gibson seems to be in a lotta bit of trouble. He disappointed as a second-year pro, and Washington upgraded the backfield this offseason by re-signing J.D. McKissic ($3.6M guaranteed) and drafting early-down option Brian Robinson in Round 4. Robinson is the more consistent, bruising RB, while Gibson offers more juice on outside runs. McKissic isn't a great fit with Wentz, especially with more WR depth this year. This is a backfield to mostly avoid.