Fantasy Football 2022: Updated Rankings and Advice for Team Names

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IAugust 23, 2022

Fantasy Football 2022: Updated Rankings and Advice for Team Names

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    RB Christian McCaffrey is back to being a top fantasy target, and a new QB in Carolina should help his cause. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

    Only one week of 2022 preseason NFL action remains. This means that the time for season-long fantasy drafts is running short.

    Week 1 is set to kick off on September 8, which means that managers are running out of time to prepare for their drafts. On the plus side, having two weeks of preseason action complete means that they have plenty of information with which to work.

    Rosters won't be finalized until August 30, but we're starting to get an idea of which players are in line to start and which could see increased roles. We also have injured players and those recovering from 2021 ailments.

    Here, we'll dive into some of the latest fantasy-relevant preseason buzz and the latest point-per-reception (PPR) rankings. We'll also examine some fun team-name suggestions for that final piece of draft prep.

Quarterback

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    Though nothing more than a sleeper at this point, Baker Mayfield has earned the starting job in Carolina. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    1. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

    2. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

    3. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

    4. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

    5. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

    6. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

    7. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

    8. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

    9. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

    10. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    11. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

    12. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers


    Baker Mayfield Wins the Stating Job in Carolina

    The Carolina Panthers weren't a hotbed of fantasy activity in 2021, though this was largely because of poor quarterback play and Christian McCaffrey's lingering injury woes. With weapons like McCaffrey (assuming he stays healthy), D.J. Moore, Robbie Anderson and Terrace Marshall Jr., there is potential in Ben McAdoo's offense.

    We now know that trade acquisition Baker Mayfield will lead that offense. Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, was given the starting nod over incumbent Sam Darnold.

    "We're hoping that he moves the offense,'' head coach Matt Rhule said, per ESPN's David Newton. "I don't want to make it too simple, but he's a guy that's accurate. He's a guy that's smart, plays fast. He knows where to go with the ball."

    Mayfield is by no means an elite quarterback, but he's shown higher highs and more consistency than Darnold over the past four years. He should boost the stock of players like Moore and McCaffrey.

    As a fantasy option, Mayfield should now be a solid backup or streaming option. The Oklahoma product passed for 26 touchdowns and only eight interceptions two years ago with the Cleveland Browns, and the Panthers have better receiving weapons than Cleveland did that year.

Running Back

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    Rookie RB Brian Robinson appears to be Washington's new starter. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

    1. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

    2. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

    3. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

    4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

    5. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

    6. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

    7. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

    8. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

    9. D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions

    10. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

    11. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

    12. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

    13. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    14. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

    15. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

    16. Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

    17. Travis Etienne Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

    18. AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers

    19. Breece Hall, New York Jets

    20. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears


    Brian Robinson May be the New Starter in Washington

    Washington Commanders running back Antonio Gibson has been a viable fantasy option over the last couple of seasons. He topped 1,000 rushing yards last year and had 10 combined rushing and receiving touchdowns.

    However, Gibson's fantasy stock is set to take a huge hit. Rookie Brian Robinson, a third-round pick out of Alabama, got the start over Gibson in Week 2 of the preseason. Gibson, meanwhile, has been working with the special-teams unit.

    "He's approaching it as a professional," special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor said of Gibson, per Peter Hailey of NBC Sports Washington.

    While the Commanders may simply be looking for new ways to put the ball in Gibson's hands, bell-cow backs generally don't return kicks. This is a strong indication that, even if Robinson isn't an every-down back, he may well lead the backfield committee.

    Consider Robinson a fine mid-round target. Gibson's stock is further hurt by the presence of receiving back J.D. McKissic. This doesn't mean that Gibson is undraftable, but he's likely to be a serviceable flex option at best.

Wide Receiver

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    Rookie WR Romeo Doubs could be a big piece of the Packers passing attack this season. (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

    1. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

    2. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

    3. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

    4. Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

    5. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders

    6. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

    7. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

    8. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

    9. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    10. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

    11. Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts

    12. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

    13. DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers

    14. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers

    15. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals1

    16. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers1

    17. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

    18. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

    19. Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

    20. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos


    Don't Sleep on Packers WR Romeo Doubs

    If you're looking for late-round draft targets to help round out your roster, consider Green Bay Packers rookie Romeo Doubs. The Packers don't have a proven No. 1 wideout on the roster, and the fourth-round pick out of Nevada has fleshed during the preseason.

    Through two games, Doubs has caught six passes for 69 yards and two touchdowns. That's impressive, but it comes with a caveat. Doubs has also had some drop issues. He had two in each preseason game, but his upside is impossible to ignore.

    "Aaron Rodgers might just have to live with Romeo Doubs and his drops," ESPN's Rob Demovsky wrote. "The rookie receiver makes too many other plays."

    Rodgers, who has won back-to-back MVP awards, is still one of the best quarterbacks in football. With Davante Adams gone, he's likely to utilize a committee approach at receiverโ€”and Doubs could be a big part of it.

    The drops are concerning and should temper expectations for Doubs. He's a viable sleeper, though, and a player who absolutely should not go undrafted.

Tight End

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    Giants TE Daniel Bellinger has sleeper potential but is still developing. (Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

    2. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

    3. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

    4. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

    5. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

    6. Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

    7. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles

    8. Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals

    9. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

    10. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

    11. Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

    12. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills


    Daniel Bellinger Isn't a Finished Product Just Yet

    New York Giants rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger has deep sleeper potential, especially in PPR leagues. The fourth-round pick out of San Diego State has loads of athletic upside and appears likely to lock down the starting job in New York.

    The Giants parted with both Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph this offseason. Jordan Akins and Ricky Seals-Jones are not top-end receiving tight ends. Bellinger could be.

    However, Bellinger isn't ready to be a star just yet, and he's still working on timing with quarterback Daniel Jones. He caught two passes for 10 yards in New York's second preseason game, but he also missed on a pass that was intercepted.

    "Jones' interception came on a ball Bellinger should've caught," Darryl Slater of NJ.com wrote. "But it went right off his hands and was picked off. Not Jones' fault. Rookie mistake from Bellinger, a fourth-round pick who is going to be the Giantsโ€™ No. 1 tight end essentially by default."

    It's still worth taking a late flier on Bellinger, but he shouldn't be targeted as a starting tight end.

Team Names

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    Bengals QB Joe Burrow (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

    Walking on Burrow-ken Glass (Joe Burrow)

    Country Roads, Take Mahomes (Patrick Mahomes)

    Josh Do It (Josh Allen)

    Russin (Russell Wilson)

    Baker, Baker One Nine (Baker Mayfield)

    Pickett Real Good (Kenny Pickett)

    Derrick of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Derrick Henry)

    Nuthun But Najee Thing (Najee Harris)

    Chubbthumper (Nick Chubb)

    Eking Ball (Austin Ekeler)

    Mixon It Up (Joe Mixon)

    Breecy (Breece Hall)

    Ja'Marr Wash (Ja'Marr Chase)

    Jefferson Airplane (Justin Jefferson)

    Kupps (Cooper Kupp)

    Knocking on Evans Door (Mike Evans)

    Peaceful, Easy Thielen (Adam Thielen)

    Love Ertz (Zach Ertz)

    The Wall (Darren Waller)

    East Side of the Kelce B (Travis Kelce)

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