2022 Fantasy Football Fades

Joe Burow

The 2022 fantasy football season is upon us; people are flocking to draft rooms with their draft cheat sheets and rankings in hand to take down the grand prizes in their favorite tournaments. They are crossing off names one at a time, looking for value, looking for their favorite targets, and avoiding their 2022 fantasy football fades.

Below you can find my 2022 fade list with detailed reasonings and data supporting my choice to pass on players when I am on the clock. But before we begin, I think it’s important to clarify what I mean by fade.

Fading a player does not mean I will not draft a player- There is a point at which every player is draftable; that cost is up for you to decide. However, considering my overall roster portfolios, I roster fewer of these players than the rest, and I think it would be irresponsible or foolish not to own any.

That being said, I often find myself passing on these players due to the draft capital required to acquire them, and I will continue to fade them unless something in the offseason changes the fantasy landscape or their projected outlook.  

Let’s dive into Part One of my 2022 Fade List for the 2022 fantasy football season, looking at quarterbacks and running backs.

Quarterbacks

Joe Burrow– Don’t get me wrong, I love Joe Burrow, and I love his weapons, but I can’t get behind the cost it takes to acquire him in drafts. Burrow is currently being selected as QB6 in early FFWC draft rooms. He is going ahead of Tom Brady, Jalen Hurts, Dak Prescott, and Russell Wilson, to name a few.

Cincinnati’s strength of schedule sits at .536 in 2022. That ranks as the third-highest behind the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals. We also need to consider his fantasy shootout schedule (weeks 15-17). Burrow faces the best of the best, starting with the Bucs, Pats, and then Bills. Looking at Joe Burrow’s successes in 2021, we can’t help but think there will be some regression in 2022.

Burrow led the league in completion percentage at 70.4%; he was 8th in the league in TD’s, 6th in the league in money throws, 3rd in the league in touchdown rate at 6.5%, 8th in the league in deep ball completion percentage at 43.1%, 2nd in the league in true passing rating, and 3rd in the league in accuracy rating. I know this sounds AMAZING- but that’s the caveat; even after that monstrous season, Burrow finished 2021 as QB8. He would need to outperform those robust statistics to give investors a return on the draft capital necessary to acquire him in drafts. 

Patrick Mahomes – This may come as a shocker to many people. How are you fading one of the best signal-callers in the NFL? I’ll tell you why- Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have the most vacated targets in the league with 345. 54.25% of the team’s total target share is up for grabs. Mahomes lost a significant weapon and trusted target when Tyreek hill was traded to Miami; his dynamic ability and explosiveness will surely be missed.

But that’s not all; out of KC’s 7 WRs in 2021, only three are returning; those three are Mecole Hardman, Josh Gordon, and Daurice Fountain. Two of those three combined for 14 targets, five receptions, 32 yards, and 1 TD. To say this KC Chiefs offense will have a different look in 2022 would be an understatement.

The new-look offense consisting of Marques Valdez-Scantling, Juju Smith Schuster, Skyy Moore, and Justyn Ross will have plenty of growing pains as they build rapport and get their timing down, and I’m not willing to spend the premium pick it will cost to acquire him in drafts. Through May 18th, he’s the #2 QB flying off boards in the FFWC. 

Running Back

Derrick Henry– I’ve never been fond of the big dog, and boy, was I wrong last year before the Jones fracture in his right foot derailed his 2021 campaign. Although he recovered well from two plates and five screws being inserted in his foot, he’s reached a point in his career where his age (28.4) and his 1,401 carriers are starting to take a toll on the body.

Besides injury and workload concerns, the Titans’ offense took a hit when A.J Brown was traded to Philadelphia, and the rest of the WR corps left in free agency. As a result, Tennesse has the second-most vacated targets in the league (336), and Henry doesn’t catch many passes.

Also, their WR corps won’t instill fear into opposing defenses. Therefore, he’s more likely to see stacked boxes-which in 2021, Henry faced the 24.7% of the time- third-most in the league. As a result, I’ll pass on Henry in round one of fantasy drafts in 2022.

Javonte Williams – Javonte Williams is a special player; he’s exceptionally talented. In 2021, he finished as RB 17 in PPR leagues with 204.9 fantasy points as a rookie. But, in 2022, he’s being drafted at or near his ceiling. In early FFWC drafts (January-April), Williams was locked into round one and rarely slipped into round two. After Melvin Gordon re-signed, he started to slip in drafts (as expected), but he still has not fallen to a point where he presents himself as a value. Williams is still being drafted as RB11, which is more than I am willing to spend.

It will be hard for Williams to outproduce this cost and his return on investment is limited. In 2021 we saw a 50-50 split between Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon. MG3 saw 32.1 snaps per game while Williams saw 32.4. MG3 saw 47.5% of the total snaps, while Javonte saw 51%. In terms of the team’s rushing share, MG3 and Williams saw an identical 44.6% of the team’s attempts.

And the list continues; touches per snap MG3 44.9, Williams 44.6, fantasy points, MG3 195.1, Williams 204.9, and lastly, fantasy points per 100 snaps; MG3 38, Williams 37.2. My point is that it’s much cheaper to take the latter of the two in ADP and cash in on their investment. This scenario reminds me of last year’s Deebo Samuel vs. Brandon Aiyuk debate, and we all know the ending. 

Josh Jacobs – Why should I want Jacobs when the Raiders don’t even want Jacobs? They declined his 5th-year option, signaling a changing of the guard in this backfield, then drafted Zamir White, one of the top RB talents in this draft class, with pick 4.17 in the NFL draft. But wait, that’s not all. They also signed free agent Ameer Abdullah and free agent Brandon Bolden.

To top it off, Josh McDaniels left his post as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator and accepted the job as the Raiders’ new head coach. This is starting to sound oddly familiar to a New England Patriots RB fantasy nightmare I’ve had for the past decade. Going off boards as RB 23 in early FFWC drafts, I’ll gladly pass and let my opponents deal with the headaches. 

Kenneth Walker RB29 is a little rich when he’s likely to play second fiddle to Rashaad Penny in 2022, and Seattle’s offensive line woes continued. According to PFF’s 2021 offensive line grades, they ranked as the 7th worst unit in the NFL. Russel Wilson packed his bags and is now throwing balls a mile high in Denver, leaving the QB situation muddied for the Seahawks-therefore, it’s safe to say we will most likely see a higher rate of stacked boxes on a game-to-game basis in 2022 vs. 2021’s 8.4% of the time. 

Cordarrelle Patterson had a career year in 2021 with year-153 attempts, 618 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns, 62 receptions, 548 receiving yards, five scores in the air, and 234.6 fantasy points. In the previous three seasons (2018-2020), he had a combined 183.5 fantasy points. Now he’s being drafted in rounds 6-8 as RB30. I’m not banking on a repeat.

 

Follow @FFMuzio and @FullTimeFantasy for all the latest dynasty, redraft, and high-stakes best ball fantasy football content.

Read Next: FFWC Best Ball Drafts for Beginners. 

 


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About Billy Muzio 3 Articles
With over 16 years’ fantasy football experience, Billy Muzio utilizes film review and analytics to create a competitive edge in high-stakes drafts, emphasizing player selection, roster construction, and position theory. His expertise is season-long high-stakes leagues and bestball drafts. He recently won 3rd place in a high-stakes multi-entry best ball tournament alongside countless fantasy championships. Billy resides in Bend, Oregon, where he is married with two children, runs his own business, and regularly partakes in aviation activities.He’ll conduct live shows, Premium Rankings & High Stakes Strategy. He’s extremely passionate about this hobby & you’ll be a better player because of his effort.You can find him on Twitter @FFMuzio.