Before the 2022 NFL Draft jumpstarts interest in dynasty fantasy football rookie-only drafts and start-ups, existing dynasty league managers should be looking to shore up their rosters by trading for hidden values or selling high on other players.
Now is a great time to take advantage of the relative lull in activity and do just that.
Elijah Moore (New York Jets) – After a quiet open to his rookie campaign, Moore looked like a future No. receiver in the second half of the season. In his final seven games before winding up on IR, Moore averaged 8.1 targets per game, a 17-game pace of 138 looks. He also produced six touchdowns during the stretch and topped double-digit fantasy points in six of those seven contests. All this despite suboptimal quarterback play bodes very well for Moore’s potential and his 19.3 air yards per target (more than Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson) are indicative of a player with superior downfield playmaking ability
Kadarius Toney (New York Giants) – After posting very modest first-year numbers due to various injuries and abysmal quarterback play, there is an opportunity that Toney can be acquired for a second-round pick or even less. While Toney’s overall numbers were muted, he flashed some serious playmaking skills. Toney averaged an impressive 2.13 yards per route run and led all NFL wideouts with a broken or missed tackle forced on 46.2% of his routes. If the Giants can get a credible quarterback, Toney has the athleticism to be an elite after-the-catch difference-maker.
Points Earned per route vs MAN coverage 2021 (>15 tgt)
H. Ruggs .153
Cooper Kupp .143
Kadarius Toney .142👀
Tyler Lockett .130
DK Metcalf .121
Cordarrelle Patterson .115
A.J. Brown .114
Jauan Jennings .102
Davante Adams .098
Diontae Johnson .093
Justin Jefferson .089
— #TagsStrong💪 (@JodySmithNFL) February 26, 2022
Nico Collins (Houston Texans) – Another sophomore option that was a Day Two pick one year ago, Collins played 38.3% of Houston’s snaps in his rookie season but that role is almost certainly going to expand in his second campaign. Collins and Brandin Cooks, who is widely rumored to be a trade candidate again, are the only wideouts on the active roster who are under contract. If Cooks is dealt, Collins could conceivably be the No. 1 WR in Houston for the rebuilding Texans. With perhaps the worst roster in football, the Texans are expected to lose plenty of games in 2022, which sets up lots of favorable game scripts for Collins and the passing attack.
Cedrick Wilson (Dallas Cowboys) – Although currently an unrestricted free agent, Wilson played very well for Dallas last season when promoted into the lineup. In all, Wilson snagged 45-of-61 targets for 602 yards and 6 touchdowns- easily all career-best figures. Wilson also accumulated a 130.6 QB rating when targeted last season, which ranked 5th among all NFL wide receivers. The best-case scenario would be for Wilson to re-sign in Dallas and move into the lineup in 3-wide sets if fellow free-agent Michael Gallup were to sign elsewhere, or the club was to cut ties with Amari Cooper. But even if he signs with another squad, Wilson played well enough to warrant late-round considerations and is worth a speculative trade inquiry.
Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Evans was insanely efficient last season, posting top-10 fantasy numbers on a mere 113 targets (25th) and 74 receptions (26th.) Of course, with Tom Brady under center, that kind of production can occur, but with Brady retired and the Bucs also potentially losing Chris Godwin and TE Rob Gronkowski, Evans is going to face a lot of double-teams and blanket coverage from number one corners. Also, there is no chance Evans comes anywhere close to those 14 touchdowns without Brady. While Evans should be good for another 100-plus targets and 1000-plus receiving yards, he’s more likely to post solid WR2 numbers than another WR1 season, making this a good time to cash out.
Gabriel Davis (Buffalo Bills) – If recency bias is any indicator, some fantasy football managers out there are willing to trade an upcoming 2022 first-round rookie pick for Davis. If that’s the case, Davis would represent the best sell high value of any wide receiver this offseason. That four-score playoff game was nice but Davis was used sparingly in 2021, producing just two games all season with more than 50 yards. While Emmanuel Sanders is expected to depart, which would free up more snaps for Davis, being able to acquire a top-10 pick in this draft is terrific value.
Jalen Reagor (Philadelphia Eagles) – Just two seasons after being selected with the 21st overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, Reagor looks like the latest in a long list of first-round wide receiver busts. Despite playing in all 17 games of his sophomore season, Reagor eclipsed 50 receiving yards just twice and produced single-digit fantasy points in 15-of-17 contests. Granted, the Eagles aren’t an explosive passing attack, but Reagor averaged an abysmal 0.7 yards per route run, which ranked 199th in the NFL. He also hauled in just 2 of 15 contested targets, resulting in the eighth-lowest contested catch rate (15.4%) in the league. If anyone in your league was a Reagor fan or will give up anything of value hoping the 23-year-old can still develop, take what you can get.