Fantasy Football 2022: Top Player Rankings, Ideas for Team Names, League Names

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IAugust 9, 2022

Fantasy Football 2022: Top Player Rankings, Ideas for Team Names, League Names

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    Colts RB Jonathan Taylor is right at the top of most preseason fantasy rankings (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

    With the NFL preseason set to officially kick off on Thursday, it's time to get down to serious preparation for fantasy drafts.

    Successful drafting requires more than simply targeting the big names or picking your favorite players. Managers must strike a balance between drafting for upside and mitigating risks—all while filling out a functional starting lineup.

    Avoiding busts and preparing for injuries is just as important as finding sleepers or landing that coveted No. 1 pick.

    And, throughout the draft process, managers must be willing to pivot to a different player or position at a moment's notice.

    Here, we'll examine the top players at each key position—running back, wide receiver, tight end and quarterback—and also dive into one top second-tier player for each. These are players who aren't currently in the upper echelon but who are prime draft-day backup plans and/or in-season insurance options.

    We'll also examine some fun and creative team and league names for those just getting started. After all, fantasy football is serious business, but it's supposed to be fun.

    All rankings are based on point-per-reception (PPR) scoring.

Quarterbacks

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    49ers QB Trey Lance (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    1. Josh Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

    2. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

    3. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

    4. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

    5. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

    6. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

    7. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

    8. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    9. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

    10. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

    11. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

    12. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams


    Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

    Second-year signal-caller Trey Lance falls just outside our top 12, and with an average draft position (ADP) of 99, he'll likely be targeted as a starter in some leagues. However, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback isn't getting as much attention as he deserves.

    Lance saw only limited playing time as a rookie, with some sporadic change-of-pace opportunities and two starts. However, he flashed a ton of athletic ability. As the 49ers' new starter, he'll allow the offense to do things it couldn't with Jimmy Garoppolo under center.

    This year, Lance will be better prepared than he was as a rookie.

    "Every rep I take, I think the game slows down," he said, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner.

    A viable dual-threat quarterback who averaged 4.4 yards per carry last season, Lance could wind up alongside players like Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray in the end-of-season rankings.

Running Backs

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    Jets RB Breece Hall (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

    1. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

    2. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

    3. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

    4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

    5. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

    6. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

    7. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

    8. D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions

    9. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

    10. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

    11. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

    12. Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

    13. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

    14. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    15. James Connor, Arizona Cardinals

    16. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

    17. Travis Etienne Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

    18. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

    19. Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders

    20. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders


    Breece Hall, New York Jets

    Rookie running backs often provide tremendous fantasy value. With nothing on the NFL resume, they often go much lower in drafts than they should.

    With an ADP of 38, New York Jets rookie Breece Hall could follow this trend. He falls just outside of our top 20 and isn't a true sleeper, but he could easily outpace players like James Conner, David Montgomery and Antonio Gibson.

    The argument against taking Hall highly is that the Jets also have Michael Carter and Tevin Coleman on the roster. However, the Iowa State product could quickly jump both to become New York's bell cow.

    Hall logged 253 carries last season while averaging 5.8 yards per rush. He can handle a big workload. He also caught 36 passes, which shows his value as a dual-threat back. Expect Hall to begin the year as part of a committee but to emerge as the primary back by midseason.

    Hall should be targeted as a high-end flex option with the upside of a quality RB2.

Wide Receivers

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    Rams WR Allen Robinson II (Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    1. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

    2. Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

    3. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

    4. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders

    5. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

    6. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

    7. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    8. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

    9. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

    10. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

    11. Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts

    12. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

    13. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers

    14. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

    15. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

    16. Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

    17. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

    18. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

    19. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

    20. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers


    Allen Robinson II, Los Angeles Rams

    Los Angeles Rams wideout Allen Robinson II had a down season with the Chicago Bears in 2021. This has led to him being undervalued in the preseason rankings. Despite being a 1,250-yard receiver two seasons ago, Robinson carries an ADP of just 64.

    Now that he's with the Rams and healthy—he dealt with the effects of COVID-19 last season—Robinson should be poised to bounce back. He's been one of L.A.'s standouts during training camp.

    "It didn’t take long for Robinson to produce his own wow plays," Gilbert Manzano of the Orange County Register wrote. "They came in a variety of bunches over the past two weeks. ... And it didn’t matter if it was Stafford or backup quarterback John Wolford making the passes."

    Robinson should be the clear-cut No. 2 target in Los Angeles, and that makes him a viable WR2 in fantasy.

Tight Ends

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    Patriots TE Hunter Henry (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty)

    1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

    2. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

    3. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

    4. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

    5. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

    6. Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

    7. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles

    8. Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals

    9. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

    10. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills

    11. Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

    12. Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks


    Hunter Henry, New England Patriots

    With an ADP of 156, New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry is far from a top-tier tight end target. However, he has the proven production and the upside needed to finish as a top-10 player at his position.

    Last season, Henry was one of the focal points of the Patriots passing attack. He finished with a good-not-great 50 receptions and 603 yards. However, he also notched nine receiving touchdowns.

    Managers should also keep in mind that Henry was playing with a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones. Entering his second season, Jones should be more efficient and less prone to youthful mistakes. That should trickle down to better production for Henry.

    While the loss of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and the addition of wideout DeVante Parker could be concerning, they shouldn't limit Henry's upside. He's still New England's top red-zone threat and, if anything, he may see more favorable matchups with better talent on the perimeter.

League and Team Names

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    Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic

    League Names

    The Greatest Show on Paper

    Party of 12

    This is Us

    A League of Our Own

    Win or Go Home

    Race to Avoid Last Place

    Prime Nap Time

    All in the Family

    Monday Morning Meltdown

    The Dirty Dozen

    Workaholics

    What's Your Fantasy?


    Team Names

    You Mad, Burrow?

    Justin Credible

    Judge Jeudy

    Look Who's Dak, Dak Again

    Tua Legit to Quit

    Pickett Fence

    London's Balling

    Came and Wentz

    Aaron It Out

    The Jeffersons

    Zach Attack

    Cool Breece

    I Drive a Dotson

    A Kyler on the Loose

    Zeke and Destroy

    What's Up, Mahomes?

    Hooked on a Thielen

    Chubbthumper

    Nobody's Business But the Burks


    *Draft Positioning from FantasyPros.

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