If you’re like me, you’re ultra competitive in Fantasy Football. Not just for the money, not just for the bragging rights, but also to avoid your league’s punishment. Hopefully yours isn’t too bad.
Do you and your friends have a solid league punishment? If you do, tweet me @BKingSports.
For example, last year ours was that the loser had to dress up as a Butler at Butler Homecoming in a full tuxedo and serve the members of our league their food and drinks all day. We’ve had the spend 24 hours in a Waffle House but every waffle you eat takes away an hour as well. Also one of my other friends had a punishment where the loser had to go to an open mic comedy night at a club and do stand-up for 10 minutes on stage.
I want to make sure that you don’t have to do your punishment this year. So, here are some suggestions for my biggest sleepers at each position entering Fantasy Football in 2022.
QB: Trevor Lawrence
This may be dangerous to say in the City of Indianapolis, but let me remind you, I’m on the Colts train. But if there is one team that is going to take a legitimate jump in the AFC South this season, it’s the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I’m not going to buy Houston legitimately winning games, and Tennessee under Ryan Tannehill seems to be at a standstill. If Derrick Henry continues to do his thing, then they’ll be fine. But Tannehill isn’t winning them games anymore. With Doug Pederson in Jacksonville, Trevor Lawrence is going to be better. A lot better.
Pair that with a healthy Travis Etienne, Christian Kirk coming over from Arizona, Marvin Jones, the addition of Evan Engram, and more, Lawrence is going to put up numbers. In PPR formats from a year ago, Lawrence put up at least 15 fantasy points in four of his first six NFL games. That was with the train-wreck that was Urban Meyer.
Pederson gives Lawrence a mentor, someone to learn from as an actual quarterback, and the needed confidence to make the jump from year one to year two. I’m not saying that Lawrence is going to win you your league, but let’s say you take Dak Prescott with your first QB pick. Lawrence would be a very reliable back up and might be a better play than Dak at times this season.
His stock should be a little more down that a year ago. But buy low on Lawrence, this is the cheapest you’ll probably ever get him if he is going to be something in the NFL.
RB: Michael Carter
The New York Jets have been a dumpster fire. No secret there.
But they continue to stockpile pretty darn good young talent, especially at skill positions. Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, Denzel Mims at the wide receiver position gives Zach Wilson (or Joe Flacco) plenty of options to succeed downfield. But Michael Carter, who was a 4th-round pick a year ago, played really well with a team that had zero drive last year, and zero help on the offensive line.
The NYJ O-Line now looks a lot better, even with the loss of Mekhi Becton. Duane Brown will give the Jets a solid veteran presence at left tackle. That can only help Carter. It is worth noting that the Jets just drafted Breece Hall out of Iowa State.
Unless you’re talking about Jonathan Taylor, Nick Chubb, and Dalvin Cook, trusting rookie running backs is a slippery slope. ESPN reports that it could be a committee approach at RB to start the year for the Jets. What gives Carter a leg-up here is his ability to not only run downfield, but also catch the ball out of the backfield and give checkdown options for the Jets.
In Week 8 last year against the Bengals, Carter led all running backs in points with over 27 and finished with over 90 yards of receiving, plus 70 yards of rushing. Give Carter a look late in your draft.
WR: Nico Collins
I may have just said a few moments ago that the Houston Texans aren’t likely to take a significant jump this season with Davis Mills, but that doesn’t mean that there are no weapons at his disposal.
You know that one of your buddies is going to complain about having to take Brandin Cooks, but you shouldn’t have to whine about finding another Texans wide-out that can really help you. Nico Collins is an absolute freak.
If Mills can at least get the ball in range towards Collins, there is a solid chance that he’s going to make the grab. This guy is someone that you might be able to get in the final three rounds, but can ultimately turn into major WR2 potential and a weekly starter candidate.
Collins is my favorite guy that I’m going to write about in this story. He was targeted at least four times in over 80% of the games he played a year ago. That stock can only continue to rise.
TE: Dawson Knox / Kylen Granson
Over Josh Allen’s young NFL career, it has been easy to notice that when he finds a favorite target, he will consistently try to get them the ball over and over and over again.
Dawson Knox came in last year with the Buffalo Bills like a guy with his hair on fire. Three consecutive weeks in the first half of the season with nearly 20 fantasy points. It was touchdown after touchdown for Knox, yet he is being ranked by ESPN as their 12th best tight end option for Fantasy Football.
O.J. Howard moving to Buffalo make take some targets away from Knox, but Howard being around should only benefit Knox for the better now that a two-headed monster at the tight end position for the Bills should open up some room for Knox. As usual, defenses have Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, and more to be worried about already downfield. Howard is a huge body on the line, and that can give Knox some room to get open towards the slot.
For an honorable tight end mention, I’m really eager to see what Kylen Granson does this year in a Colts uniform. He’s only projected 2.6 fantasy points for Week 1 at Houston, but I see no reason why he can’t succeed this season.
Mo Alie-Cox isn’t going to be playing on all three downs. Jelani Woods had a decent enough training camp, but Frank Reich shouldn’t be ready to hand the starting tight end reigns to him. Granson has an opportunity. He’s smooth, silky, and quick with his routes, and I liked him when I was at camp.
Granson shouldn’t be a name to necessarily draft, but keep him on your watch list and see what occurs in the first couple weeks in Houston and Jacksonville.
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