Fantasy Football 2022: Ranking Top QBs Heading into the Season
Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes are going to be compared to each other for the rest of their careers.
The young quarterbacks in the AFC faced each other four times in the last three seasons. Mahomes' Kansas City Chiefs have a 3-1 head-to-head record over the Allen-led Buffalo Bills.
Allen appears to have an edge over his AFC counterpart going into the 2022 NFL season because of the players around him inside the Buffalo offense.
The presence of all that talent makes Allen the most coveted fantasy football quarterback as the majority of drafts begin to take place.
Mahomes lost his top target in Tyreek Hill and he is working on developing chemistry with a few new players in training camp. Mahomes is still expected to have a successful season, but he doesn't have Stefon Diggs going up against opposing cornerbacks.
Allen and Mahomes should garner most of the fantasy football attention at quarterback, but there are a few others to keep an eye on if you like to draft quarterbacks early.
Justin Herbert could make a case to be the No. 2 fantasy signal-caller, while Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow should be among the second tier of quarterbacks chosen in fantasy drafts.
Fantasy Football QB Rankings
1. Josh Allen, Buffalo
2. Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City
3. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
4. Kyler Murray, Arizona
5. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore
6. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati
7. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay
8. Dak Prescott, Dallas
9. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia
10. Russell Wilson, Denver
11. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
12. Trey Lance, San Francisco
13. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
14. Derek Carr, Las Vegas
15. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami
16. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota
17. Matt Ryan, Indianapolis
18. Justin Fields, Chicago
19. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville
20. Jameis Winston, New Orleans
Josh Allen Holds Edge over Patrick Mahomes
Josh Allen should be the first quarterback chosen in most fantasy football drafts.
Allen once again gets to work with one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in Stefon Diggs and he has a rising star in Gabe Davis as his No. 2 target.
The rest of the Buffalo offense carries a ton of potential from tight end Dawson Knox to wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie to the running back tandem of Devin Singletary and Zack Moss.
The only major addition to the Buffalo offense could be rookie running back James Cook, who could potentially take snaps from Singletary or Moss.
Buffalo only lost Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley in the offseason. The departures were offset by Davis' emergence and McKenzie's potential to develop from a return man into a slot receiver.
Kansas City lost one of its most important players when Tyreek Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins.
Hill's exit left a massive hole inside the Kansas City offense that not one player will be able to fill.
Travis Kelce is expected to be the Chiefs' top pass-catcher, but after him, there are a lot of question marks as to which players will become Patrick Mahomes' favorite targets.
It may take a few regular-season games for JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling to get acclimated to the Kansas City offense and that may cost Mahomes some fantasy points.
With Allen and the Bills, you know exactly what you are getting. A 4,000-yard passer with the potential to throw for 40 touchdowns and score another handful on the ground.
Even if Allen does not run as much as he has in previous seasons, he carries more fantasy value than Mahomes because you can trust his top targets from Week 1 on.
Mahomes probably will not be far behind Allen on draft boards, especially if a positional run occurs, but Allen deserves the honor of No. 1 quarterback in all formats.
Justin Herbert Could Score Most Fantasy Points
Justin Herbert should be the only alternative to Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes while all three are still on the board in fantasy football drafts.
Herbert has the potential to eclipse Allen and Mahomes in fantasy points based on what we saw from him last season inside the Los Angeles Chargers offense.
Herbert threw for 5,014 yards and 38 touchdowns. He also ran for 302 yards and three additional scores.
Allen's dual-threat ability and Mahomes, being well Patrick Mahomes, make them the easy top two candidates for fantasy football players, but if neither are available when you go to choose a quarterback, Herbert should reward you.
Herbert had nine 300-yard games and he threw for three or four touchdowns in seven appearances last season.
He has a solid one-two combination at wide receiver in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and the addition of Gerald Everett at tight end should help with throws across the middle and in the red zone.
Herbert has one distinct edge over Allen and Mahomes because he has the best pass-catching running back of the quarterback trio. Austin Ekeler had 70 catches and eight touchdown receptions in 2021.
Ekeler's receiving skill set out of the backfield could help pad Herbert's weekly fantasy point totals and it may help the third-year player outscore his AFC counterparts.
Herbert has the potential to outscore Allen and Mahomes over the full season, if everything goes right, which makes him the only alternative to Allen as the top quarterback off the board.
Approach Lower Tiers of Players with Caution
Once you get past the Allen-Mahomes-Herbert trio, it may be hard to find the perfect fantasy football quarterbacks.
There are a lot of "What Ifs" among the second and third tiers of quarterbacks that will occupy the starting position in fantasy lineups most weeks.
Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa carries the most potential of the "What Ifs" group because their respective teams added A.J. Brown and Tyreek Hill in the offseason.
Hurts threw for 3,144 yards last season, but he only had 16 touchdown passes. He could double his touchdown number with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith on each side of the field and a reliable tight end in Dallas Goedert across the middle.
Until Hurts strings together multiple strong performances, there will be skeptics that he can deliver at a high volume as a QB1 in fantasy lineups.
Tagovailoa needs to stay healthy first to develop a strong connection with Hill. The third-year player appeared in 23 games over the last two seasons. He had six more touchdowns than interceptions in both years.
Tagovailoa needs a higher volume of touchdowns to move into the upper echelon of fantasy quarterbacks, but some fantasy players may be skeptical of that because of his injury history.
Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence also fall into the "What Ifs" category, but for different reasons. The pair of second-year quarterbacks need to show progression to be trusted in any fantasy capacity.
Lawrence should have the edge early in the season over Fields because of his wide receiver group. Jacksonville landed Christian Kirk in free agency to pair with Marvin Jones. Fields lost Allen Robinson and will start the season with Darnell Mooney and a lot of question marks beneath him on the depth chart.
A bit of risk is attached to these quarterbacks, but if everything goes right, they could be some of the most surprising fantasy contributors in 2022.