The start of the 2022 NFL season is less than a week away, so it’s time to get a final look at how players are trending from a fantasy football perspective heading into Week 1.
Some players have seen their fantasy stocks blow up recently after strong offseason performances, while others have seen their values take a hit due to injuries and other factors.
The clock is ticking to get trades done before Week 1 for those who have drafted already and are looking to improve their roster, and there’s also still time to draft if you haven’t already.
Trey Lance, QB, 49ers
Lance has officially locked down the 49ers starting job and has potential to be an elite fantasy quarterback. He’s flashed high upside as both a passer and a runner and has plenty of weapons to help him reach his ceiling.
AJ Dillon, RB, Packers
Dillon has impressed head coach Matt LaFleur to where he referred to both Dillon and Aaron Jones as “1A” backfield options. All signs are indicating that Dillon should see even more work on what should be a run-heavy Packers offense.
Dameon Pierce, RB, Texans
Pierce proved to be the Texans’ most explosive runner in the preseason and appears to have locked down the starting job. Head coach Lovie Smith declined to name Pierce the starter, but the fact that veteran Marlon Mack was released shows that they plan to lean on the rookie.
Gabriel Davis, WR, Bills
Davis has continued to draw praise from Josh Allen this offseason and appears to be the No. 2 receiver in the high-powered Bills offense. He’s flashed big play ability and should be able to put together more consistent production this season in a featured role.
Rashod Bateman, WR, Ravens
Bateman’s locked in as the No. 1 receiver in Baltimore and will be heavily counted on early in the season with the Ravens top two running backs still banged up. He should still be productive as the go-to wideout even when J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards return.
Cole Kmet, TE, Bears
A lack of touchdowns capped Kmet’s upside last season, but he caught a touchdown pass this preseason and should be featured more in the red zone this season with Jimmy Graham gone. He’ll see plenty of targets considering how beat up the Bears wide receiver room is.
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
While Prescott should still be productive this season, the Cowboys lost left tackle Tyron Smith for the year, which puts a damper on the entire offense. That combined with a lack of reliable weapons could make Prescott a bit more inconsistent than usual.
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ravens
Dobbins is highly questionable for Week 1 after it appeared that he’d be ready to go. While Dobbins should be productive when healthy, he’s at risk for more injuries since he’s coming off major knee surgery and will likely be a headache for fantasy managers all season.
Brian Robinson, RB, Commanders
Robinson was in the mix for the Commanders starting running back job, but he was shot during an attempted robbery and will be out at least the first four weeks of the season. While this hurts his stock, Robinson could be back as soon as Week 5 and makes for a nice late-round stash.
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Dolphins
A soft-tissue injury has kept Waddle out of practice recently, and while he should be back for Week 1, he’s no longer the top receiving option in Miami. Soft tissue injuries tend to linger, so that combined with Tyreek Hill’s presence has me avoiding Waddle at his current draft price.
Kadarius Toney, WR, Giants
Toney was dealing with multiple injuries in camp, and while he appears to be fully healthy now, it’s a reminder that he can’t be trusted to stay on the field. His injury history combined with the Giants suspect passing game has Toney unlikely to live up to expectations.
Darren Waller, TE, Raiders
A lingering injury and a contract dispute leave Waller’s Week 1 status somewhat cloudy, and he’s already set for a decrease in targets with Davante Adams in Las Vegas. Even if Waller returns in time for Week 1, the current uncertainty makes him not worth the risk in drafts.
Spencer ‘the Guru’ Urquhart (@spencertheguru) has been a fantasy football analyst since 2014, founding a community of over 6,000 followers on Instagram
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