Here are 32 players who could have a breakout season.
Greetings, Falcoholics! We’re approaching summer which only means one thing: Evan’s annual ‘32 NFL Teams, 32 fantasy football sleepers’ article is back, right? That’s the only thing we think about with summer.
Before we get started on 2022’s list, let’s go over the criteria. The list will be comprised of one player per NFL team who could bring tremendous value to your fantasy team, and is based on points-per-reception (PPR) scoring format. Some of these players will be recognizable, in that their average draft position (ADP) has great value. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Arizona Cardinals — WR Rondale Moore
2021: RB Chase Edmonds
2020: WR Andy Isabella
2019: QB Kyler Murray
Rondale Moore is someone who intrigues me a lot in 2022. He’s very talented, but in 2021 was lost in an offense that had too many mouths to feed. Fast forward to 2022, and Moore should have an expanded role in the Cardinals’ offense due to the absence of DeAndre Hopkins who is suspended for six games and departure of Christian Kirk who left in free agency.
Atlanta Falcons — RB Tyler Allgeier
2021: WR Russell Gage
2020: TE Hayden Hurst
2019: TE Austin Hooper
The easy sleeper for the Atlanta Falcons would be Drake London. We’ve seen rookie wide receivers be slept on in fantasy football and then explode in their first season, i.e. Ja’Marr Chase in 2021, and London has the talent to make that happen.
Another rookie on the roster, running back Tyler Allgeier, is more of a true “sleeper” worth monitoring. Unlike London, only the really plugged-in fantasy owners in your league will know much about Allgeier out of the gate. Cordarrelle Patterson will remain the starter and there are plenty of mouths to feed in teh backfield, but Allgeier could get more work than people realize. Very low risk, potentially solid reward in adding Allgeier to your fantasy roster late in the draft.
Baltimore Ravens — WR Devin Duvernay
2021: WR Rashod Bateman
2020: RB J.K. Dobbins
2019: RB Mark Ingram
The injury bug arguably didn’t hit any team harder in 2021 than the Ravens. Currently, everyone is back or nearing a return to full health and their offense looks solid on paper. Marquise Brown, who was a top target for Lamar Jackson, was traded to the Cardinals during the draft.
That leaves Jackson’s top targets as Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay. Duvernay ADP-wise provides the best value, as he’s currently going off the board in the 365-range.
Buffalo Bills — RB James Cook
2021: WR Gabriel Davis
2020: WR John Brown
2019: WR Cole Beasley
In 2021, the Bills did everything they could to establish a run game. While Devin Singletary and Zack Moss tried to get it going on the ground, they brought very little to the team’s passing game. In steps James Cook, who Georgia fans are well aware of. Cook was solid on the ground in 2021, recording 728 yards and 7 touchdowns on 113 carries.
However, Cook made his bones through the air having 27 catches for 284 yards and 4 touchdowns. In Buffalo, Cook has an opportunity to get a lot of work with quarterback Josh Allen, who loves to sling the ball around.
Carolina Panthers — TE Tommy Tremble
2021: QB Sam Darnold
2020: TE Ian Thomas
2019: WR D.J. Moore
This is a tough team to select a sleeper for, because there really aren’t any great choices. But for the sake of selecting someone here, Tommy Tremble is an interesting late-round flier on a starting tight end. The position itself is a wasteland once you get past the top guys, and Tremble did have two weeks in 2021 where he finished inside the top-15 for tight end production. Until they get their quarterback situation figured out, I’d stay clear of any Panthers not named Christian McCaffrey or D.J. Moore.
Chicago Bears — QB Justin Fields
2021: WR Darnell Mooney
2020: WR Anthony Miller
2019: WR Allen Robinson
Fields had an interesting fantasy season in 2021. After struggling in his first several starts, Fields actually finished as a solid fantasy quarterback in his final five games finishing 3rd, 9th, 29th, 8th and 10th, respectively. Forget about real football, in the fantasy world Fields finished strong and offers mobility, which matters a lot.
I’m not saying you should enter Week 1 with Fields as your starter, but as is the case with Jalen Hurts, you can struggle in the NFL and still be a top-10 fantasy quarterback. Fields should fare better under a more competent coaching staff, too.
Cincinnati Bengals — TE Hayden Hurst
2021: QB Joe Burrow
2020: QB Joe Burrow
2019: QB Andy Dalton
Now that I can’t pick Joe Burrow anymore, I was forced to look elsewhere in 2022. This year, I’m going with a familiar name to Falcons’ fans, as Hayden Hurst is the sleeper here.
Hurst is returning to the AFC North but this time, he’s the No.1 tight end in an offense that actually utilizes their top tight end. Burrow loved targeting C.J. Uzomah, who is no longer on the roster, but will Hurst run as many routes as Uzomah? Even with an awful season in 2021, Hurst is someone to target late as a backup tight end that could become a starter in your lineup by mid-season.
Cleveland Browns — WR Donovan Peoples-Jones
2021: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones
2020: QB Baker Mayfield
2019: QB Baker Mayfield
I’m staying with my 2021 sleeper, as Donovan Peoples-Jones remains someone to target. Once the Browns decided to use Peoples-Jones in 2021, he was productive recording 597 yards, 3 touchdowns on 34 receptions in 9 games started.
Enter 2022, Peoples-Jones has an upgrade at quarterback in Deshaun Watson (assuming he plays this year) and is now a starter alongside Amari Cooper. His current ADP of 190 is too good of value in my opinion for someone who finished second in the NFL last season with 17.6 yards per catch.
Dallas Cowboys — WR James Washington
2021: WR Michael Gallup
2020: TE Blake Jarwin
2019: WR Michael Gallup
Dallas shook-up their receiving corps this offseason, sending Amari Cooper to Cleveland, letting Cedrick Wilson leave in free agency and adding James Washington in free agency. This is one of those players that could have a very low impact in Dallas or he can surprise some folks and become a sneaky play in favorable matchups.
With Cooper and Wilson gone, that leaves open targets for Washington on a team that attempted the sixth-most passes in the league last year. His current ADP is 279 which means you can likely just wait and add him after the draft, or if you really want him, just take him very late.
Denver Broncos — TE Greg Dulcich
2021: RB Javonte Williams
2020: QB Drew Lock
2019: WR Courtland Sutton
The Broncos made a lot of changes this offseason, none greater than trading for quarterback Russell Wilson. Adding Wilson will change their offense entirely, which has some solid pieces already with Courtland Sutton, Javonte Williams and Jerry Jeudy to name a few. In that trade with the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos sent away their top tight end in Noah Fant. Albert Okwuegbunam moved up as their new starting tight end, but that didn’t stop the Broncos from drafting Greg Dulcich in the third round this year.
Dulcich is very talented and created mismatches in college, which Denver is hoping will transition to the NFL. As I always mention, the tight end position in fantasy football is ultra thin and we’ve seen rookie tight ends make an impact right away. You won’t have to use a selection on Dulcich in your league’s draft, but he’s someone to monitor heading into the regular season.
Detroit Lions — WR Jameson Williams
2021: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
2020: TE T.J. Hockenson
2019: WR Kenny Golladay
Last year, I got lucky with my pick of Amon-Ra St. Brown, who finished strong in 2021. This year’s fantasy sleeper for the Lions isn’t necessarily a sleeper, and is certainly not someone to draft, unfortunately.
Entering the 2022 NFL Draft, the Lions had a solid group of wide receivers led by St. Brown and D.J. Chark. That didn’t stop the team from moving up to pick No. 12 and selecting Jameson Williams. Now the reason not to draft Williams is that he likely won’t be at full health in 2022 as he tore his ACL in January and figures to miss several games. He’s an extreme dart throw in 2022 and when healthy, was arguably the best wide receiver in this past draft, which is saying a lot. He should definitely be drafted in dynasty leagues.
Green Bay Packers — WR Christian Watson
2021: RB A.J. Dillon
2020: RB A.J. Dillon
2019: WR Geronimo Allison
Imagine having the No. 1 wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers, and not having to reach for him. That’s basically Christian Watson’s potential as he enters this offseason competing with Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb. Lazard is a legit receiving option, but Cobb shouldn’t really impact Watson’s value at all.
Watson is in a tremendous spot to produce in fantasy and currently has a consensus ADP of 144 making him the 59th receiver coming off fantasy boards. Even if he only climbs to being Rodgers’ second option, that’s great value for a player you can get later in your draft.
Houston Texans — TE Brevin Jordan
2021: WR Keke Coutee
2020: RB David Johnson
2019: WR Keke Coutee
This is a complete dart throw. but I’m intrigued by Brevin Jordan in the Texans’ offense. There’s a lot of question marks across the board in Houston, especially who the second receiving option for quarterback Davis Mills is once you get passed Brandin Cooks.
With Jordan Akins no longer on the roster, Jordan is expected to take over the starting tight end job for the Texans and could see a fair amount of targets come his way early. He’s not worth using a pick on currently, but is definitely someone to monitor if you miss out on one of those blue-chip tight ends in your league’s draft.
Indianapolis Colts — QB Matt Ryan
2021: QB Carson Wentz
2020: WR Michael Pittman Jr.
2019: WR Devin Funchess
This is weird to talk about, but I could see Matt Ryan easily as a sleeper this year. I’m not expecting him to break any touchdown records, but Ryan will likely be more efficient overall in Indianapolis with a better supporting cast than he had in Atlanta. He now has a better offensive line, run game and arguably receiving group than he’s had in quite some time.
Ryan’s currently going in the 18-23 range for quarterbacks, and is someone to stash if you aren’t able to secure the big names like Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, etc.
Jacksonville Jaguars — WR Christian Kirk
2021: WR Laviska Shenault Jr.
2020: TE Tyler Eifert
2019: WR Marqise Lee
As the Jaguars continued to rebuild this offseason, they added some pieces in free agency that could have an impact in the fantasy realm this year. In my opinion, Christian Kirk has a lot of potential to be a guy who produces a lot in fantasy but in the real world is stuck on a very bad team. The noise about his contract shouldn’t distract from his ability.
Kirk has a clear path to being Trevor Lawarence’s top target in 2022, and with a current ADP of 115, brings a lot of great value for that spot.
Kansas City Chiefs — WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
2021: WR Demarcus Robinson
2020: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
2019: WR Mecole Hardman
This offseason, the Chiefs traded their speedy weapon in Tyreek Hill and added a few pieces to replace him. Kansas City signed Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a three-year, $30 million deal and he is expected to slide right into that Hill roll, however it’s unclear currently how much Mecole Hardman, Juju Smith-Schuster and Sky Moore will eat into his volume.
My money is on MVS to make the most impact, but one of the names mentioned in the previous sentence can definitely be a league-winner selection.
Los Angeles Chargers — WR Jalen Guyton
2021: TE Jared Cook
2020: QB Tyrod Taylor
2019: TE Hunter Henry
The Chargers have a new identity. They’re now an explosive offense that loves to throw the ball, and has a plethora of talent on the roster. Justin Herbert has been a joy to watch, and he has his favorite targets in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Outside of that, a name to watch is Jalen Guyton.
Guyton is projected to be a starter when three receivers are on the field, and he performed well in 2021 in limited action, recording 31 receptions, 448 yards and three touchdowns after getting a start in three games. His current ADP of 337 makes him a true sleeper.
Los Angeles Rams — WR Van Jefferson
2021: TE Tyler Higbee
2020: RB Cam Akers
2019: WR Josh Reynolds
Van Jefferson is one of those names who in theory shouldn’t be a fantasy sleeper, but is due to his current ADP of 180. Jefferson had a very solid 2021 season, recording 50 catches for 802 yards and 6 touchdowns. What hurts Jefferson’s value entering 2022 is the free agent addition of Allen Robinson, which between him and Cooper Kupp, may scare some from investing in Jefferson.
In an offense that scores as often as the Rams do, I really like Jefferson as a high-end flex receiver or a low-end WR2 in a pinch. The thing to monitor with this situation is if Odell Beckham Jr. returns or not and when he’s healthy, which would obviously impact his value.
Miami Dolphins — WR Cedrick Wilson
2021: QB Tua Tagovailoa
2020: WR Preston Williams
2019: WR Kenny Stills
This is one of the more difficult teams to choose a fantasy sleeper from just because there is so many unknowns on this roster. Tua Tagovailoa has shown he may not be the best passer in the league, which is a shame considering the offensive talent he has situated around him. For his sake, hoping he improves in 2022, I really like receiver Cedrick Wilson who the team added this offseason.
Wilson, formally with the Cowboys, got lost at times on that roster and hopefully that won’t be the case in Miami as they signed him to a rather large deal. It’s unclear currently what his target share will be, as he competes for passes with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki. But Wilson is talented and currently has an ADP of 259, so he’s a late-round dart throw.
Minnesota Vikings — TE Irv Smith Jr.
2021: TE Irv Smith Jr.
2020: WR Justin Jefferson
2019: QB Kirk Cousins
I am staying with my 2021 Vikings’ sleeper here, as I really like Irv Smith. Smith was expected to produce in 2021 but suffered a torn meniscus which caused him to miss the entire season. Tyler Conklin then stepped in and has a productive season in his spot, but Conklin is in New York now, and it’s Smith’s job once again. This offense is loaded, and quarterback Kirk Cousins targets his tight end often, so definitely consider Smith as someone to snag if you miss out on the top-end tight ends of which there are not a lot of.
New England Patriots — RB Pierre Strong Jr.
2019: WR Jakobi Meyers
2020: WR N’Keal Harry
2019: WR N’Keal Harry
So, the Patriots are nearly impossible to pick a fantasy sleeper on because they’re so unpredictable. This is an absolute gut feeling for me, so take it with a grain of salt. I have a feeling by season’s end rookie running back Pierre Strong Jr. will be on a lot of rosters. He’s definitely someone to target in dynasty formats.
Yes, Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are ahead of him currently, but Strong Jr. landing on the Patriots was one of the more perfect draft selections in my opinion.
New Orleans Saints — WR Chris Olave
2021: QB Jameis Winston
2020: RB Latavius Murray
2019: TE Jared Cook
Another rookie receiver to target that has an opportunity to produce in fantasy is Chris Olave. Michael Thomas is expected to be back, and with Alvin Kamara also taking some of the defenses’ focus, Olave could be in a good spot to produce.
Although Jameis Winston only played in a few games before suffering a season-ending knee injury, Winston threw the ball deep at the eighth-highest rate in the NFL. Olave is a deep-ball threat, so this could be a good match.
New York Giants — WR Kadarius Toney
2021: QB Daniel Jones
2020: QB Daniel Jones
2019: WR Golden Tate
Another true sleeper is Giants’ receiver Kadarius Toney. Toney displayed his talents in 2021 and commanded an impressive 25% target share per route ran. After trade rumors died down, he should have a big role in this offense.
The Giants offense has nowhere to go but up in 2022, and hopefully Toney plays a larger role in his second season.
New York Jets — WR Braxton Berrios
2021: QB Zach Wilson
2020: WR Denzel Mims
2019: TE Chris Herndon
The Jets might have one of the more unpredictable offenses in the league. On paper, they’re truly fascinating. A young quarterback in Zach Wilson — talented wide receivers in Corey Davis, Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore, and rookie running back Breece Hall. Searching for a sleeper, I came across Braxton Berrios, who Wilson had good chemistry with in 2021. Berrios recorded 46 receptions for 431 yards and two touchdowns. He definitely has a lot more competition this year, and isn’t worth drafting, but is definitely worth keeping an eye on if he gets hot.
Las Vegas Raiders — WR Demarcus Robinson
2021: WR John Brown
2020: WR Hunter Renfrow
2019: RB Josh Jacobs
This is more of a gut-feeling, but Demarcus Robinson has a “low risk, good reward” feel to him. He’s a starter on an offense that has several weapons, but is expected to put up a lot of points this season.
What is extra interesting is Robinson’s insanely low ADP of 344. You don’t even have to use a selection on him, and yet Robinson has the potential to be a low-end flex play.
Philadelphia Eagles — RB Kenneth Gainwell
2021: WR DeVonta Smith
2020: QB Carson Wentz
2019: WR DeSean Jackson
Although Kenneth Gainwell started the season as the Eagles’ third-string running back, he made opportunities for himself to display his talents.
Even though Boston Scott is still present, Gainwell proved to be a weapon through the air and on the ground and should see more usage in what is quietly a good Eagles’ offense.
Pittsburgh Steelers — WR George Pickens
2020: WR Diontae Johnson
2019: WR James Washington
One of my favorite players in this year’s draft was receiver George Pickens. Pickens is another rookie who has a chance to shine early and the only real concern is the quarterback situation in Pittsburgh.
Pickens is talented, and apparently healthy, which makes him worth stashing if you can. With Diontae Johnson slated to enter free agency next year, the Steelers will likely want to see what they have in the rookie receiver.
San Francisco 49ers — QB Trey Lance
2021: QB Trey Lance
2020: WR Brandon Aiyuk
2019: RB Tevin Coleman
I know that in limited action last year, Trey Lance didn’t look great. Not to mention, Jimmy Garapollo is still on the roster. With that being said, this is an ideal buy-low scenario in which if you are unable to get a top-end quarterback in your league’s draft, you can add Lance and hope that he goes off. He has the talent and the opportunity should come.
We’ve seen it before where people sleep on someone who becomes a league-winner.
Seattle Seahawks — TE Noah Fant
2021: WR D’Wayne Eskridge
2020: TE Will Dissly
2019: WR D.K. Metcalf
I’ll say, this really isn’t an offense that is desirable in fantasy football. With Russell Wilson no longer on the roster, there’s far too many concerns surrounding this offense.
As part of the trade that sent Wilson away, Noah Fant landed in Seattle. Fant will be their instant tight end starter and with shaky quarterback play, could benefit early in a questionable offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers — WR Russell Gage
2021: RB Giovani Bernard
2020: RB Ronald Jones II
2019: WR Chris Godwin
My sleeper for the Falcons last year is now my sleeper for the Buccaneers this year. Gage stepped in a struggling offense for the Falcons and became their No. 1 wide receiver in 2021. Now in Tampa, Gage gets to lineup with solid talent around him and catch passes from arguably the best quarterback in NFL history.
We saw last year what Antonio Brown was able to do in a similar role (when he played) — so who knows how good Gage can be, and his ADP of 120 makes him someone to target.
Tennessee Titans — TE Austin Hooper
2021: WR Josh Reynolds
2020: QB Ryan Tannehill
2019: TE Delanie Walker
A familiar name to Falcons’ fans, Austin Hooper is now a starter for the Titans. Hooper had a lot of competition in Cleveland and should have a clear path to making an impact in Tennessee.
His ADP of 207 makes him an easy target for late in your draft and he could be a top-10 tight end if things go right.
Washington Commanders — QB Carson Wentz
2021: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
2020: RB Adrian Peterson
2019: RB Adrian Peterson
This is probably Carson Wentz’ last chance to get back to his 2017 form. The Commanders have some talent on offense, and Wentz remains healthy. This is a severe desperation add, and Wentz shouldn’t be looked as an option to start out of the gate. But I could see Wentz being a low-end starter if injuries occur to whomever your starter is (hopefully not) — as they do unfortunately happen.