Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 10 Sleepers in 2022

By Team on August 10, 2022

Fantasy football success boils down to one word: value.

Sure, you may select Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp with your first-round choice and hope they repeat their dominant 2021 seasons. But if you can find the Taylors and the Kupps before they become fantasy stars and use your late-round picks on guys who can produce at the top of the draft, you'll win your league.

For instance, Kupp finished as the highest-scoring non-quarterback in fantasy last season with an average draft position of 44 in half-PPR leagues. Although Kupp's degree of breakthrough is an exception, there is always potential to be found in players who are being passed over for a variety of reasons.

We will choose ten players in this exercise who, in our opinion, can perform much better than their average draft position (ADP). Let's look for those gems in the muck!

Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders

According to FantasyPros, Carr is the 14th quarterback off the board with an ADP of 107. Carr has real top-10 potential, though, with offensive wizard Josh McDaniels in charge and All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams on board. Last season, only two of Carr's wideouts played in at least 16 games (Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards). Carr should be a QB1 with ease if Adams, tight end Darren Waller, and the majority of his weapons remain on the field.

Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Lance isn't exactly flying under the radar because the second-year quarterback in San Francisco will be expected to step into Jimmy Garoppolo's shoes. However, he is still now valued as a QB13, and because of his legs, he has top-10 upside. Kyle Shanahan may increase the 6.3 rushes per game that Lance averaged in 2021 as he reworks the offense to better suit his athletic signal-caller. Lance is the quarterback you want if you want to wait until the 10th round or later to select a QB with potential.

Travis Etienne Jr., RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

After Etienne missed his entire rookie season due to injury, there is a certain amount of uncertainty in this situation. But the Philadelphia Eagles' new head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Press Taylor frequently used running backs in the passing game, and we could see them doing the same with Etienne, who has RB2 potential as he teams up with former college quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots

Stevenson can potentially rank among the top 10 running backs, according to the evidence he presented during his rookie season. If he get enough touches in New England's inconsistent attack, that is the question. But we can expect the Patriots to use Stevenson more regularly after giving Damien Harris 220 touches last season. Stevenson has also improved as a pass-catcher entering Year 2.

Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys

The facts are indisputable: Pollard is a better rusher than Ezekiel Elliott, who in 2021 averaged 5.5 yards per run to Pollard's 4.2. Elliott will still play for the Cowboys in Week 1, but with 1,650 career rushes, he is no longer the RB1 he once was. Pollard is now an RB3 with RB1/2 possibilities if Elliott misses any time, rather than just a handcuff.

Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints

Three seasons in a row, at least one rookie pass-catcher has surpassed 1,000 yards. Will Olave enlist in that crew? That might be optimistic thinking, but the Ohio State product might contribute right away to the Jameis Winston-led Saints offense. Jarvis Landry will turn 30 in November and Michael Thomas hasn't played since 2020, so Olave has a genuine chance of outperforming his WR47 ADP.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions

Do the Lions play well? No. The prime target for Jared Goff in the passing game should once again be Brown, who caught 90 receptions for 912 yards with the underachieving Lions last season. Detroit should be throwing a lot as it plays catch-up in games, so even if a healthy D'Andre Swift reduces Brown's targets, he will still be a viable top-20 receiver going into his second season.

Christian Kirk, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Despite setting career highs for receptions (77) and yards (982) with Arizona last season, Kirk is presently listed as the WR42. Lawrence is a step down from Kyler Murray, but under Pederson, the rookie quarterback should only get better in Year 2, and Kirk is expected to be Lawrence's top receiver in an offense that should throw the ball about a lot. Kirk would be a good fit for us as our WR3.

Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers

Lazard, the wide receiver with the longest stay with the Packers (excluding the 31-year-old Randall Cobb), is definitely a favorite of Aaron Rodgers. He is in line to replace Davante Adams as the No. 1 receiver. Lazard, the 46th wide receiver chosen, is a good probability to perform above his ADP even if he falls far short of Adams' output.

Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago Bears

Kmet had a respectable season last year (60 catches for 612 yards), but he struggled in fantasy football since he did not register a touchdown. With Jimmy Graham gone, Kmet has a chance to grow into a dependable red-zone target for Justin Fields under the direction of new Bears head coach Matt Eberflus. The Bears offense produced just 16 touchdown passes in 17 games.