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NFL

NFL Fantasy Football 2022: Ranking the QBs

As we near August, it’s time to start thinking about fantasy football leagues again. As we know, choosing a quarterback is not as simple as it seems.

Update:

It’s almost time for fantasy football again! It seems like just yesterday we were watching Antonio Brown have a meltdown on the field and listening to Aaron Rodgers talk about his alternate immunization therapy. Alas, it’s a new year and we’ve learned a thing or two from last year.

This article will focus on the top 10 quarterbacks to draft in your fantasy league. We will look at this from a PPR-league/four-point passing TD perspective, so keep that in mind. Last year, there were several QBs who outperformed their projections, and they shouldn’t be overlooked this year either. The rookies from the 2021 draft were mostly a bust, but some of them should be in for a completely different season in their second campaign (looking at you, Trevor Lawrence). There are several good QBs to choose from, but here are the top 10.

1. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen finished the 2021 season as the fantasy QB1 for the second year in a row. The last quarterback to do that was Drew Brees in 2012 and 2013. In the last two seasons, Allen has ranked at least eighth in pass attempts, completions, yards, and touchdowns and at least fourth in carries and rushing touchdowns. One thing to keep in mind is that his interceptions increased from 10 in 2020 to 15 in 2021. Even still, it seems likely that Allen will have an even better fantasy season in 2022 considering the changes the Bills made in the offseason.

2. Justin Herbert, LA Chargers

The 2020 Rookie of the Year got even better in 2021, throwing for 5,014 yards and 38 touchdowns. There were two weeks last season in which Herbert was the highest-scoring fantasy QB, and he finished the season third in pass attempts, completion yards, touchdowns, and overall fantasy points. He’s got receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen to work with again this year, which is one of the best WR duos in the league. The Chargers should keep getting better in Brandon Staley’s second year, which is good news for them and for Herbert’s fantasy owners.

3. Patrick Mahomes, KC Chiefs

Mahomes has dominated in fantasy points since his start with the Chiefs in 2018, steadily improving and remaining an elite fantasy QB ever since. He’s been in the top five for the last three seasons. In 2021, he set a career high in completions, pass attempts, rush attempts, and rushing yards. In 2022, he won’t have Tyreek Hill, which could mean more coverage on Travis Kielce and less of a pass attack from the Chiefs. Even still, Mahomes has proven he can run just as well as pass.

4. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Last year, Murray finished 11th in QB scoring, but missed three games mid-season with an ankle injury. The injury saw him regress a bit in his run game, but he still improved in completions and yards per pass attempt and he still ranked fourth in carries, yardage, and touchdowns. He’s got DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise Brown, and Zach Ertz to work with, but a big hit with Hopkins out the first six games. Last season, Murray’s performance took a hit when Hopkins was out. Brown will make up for some of that loss, and Murray can still perform well as a rushing QB.

5. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Burrow is one of those QBs who way outperformed his projections. Almost no one was expecting the Bengals to go to the Super Bowl after Burrow was coming back from a season-ending ACL and MCL injury in 2020. The reunion of Burrow and his LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase was the best decision the Bengals made in years. Burrow finished the season with the 15th-most pass attempts, and it’s possible that could continue to improve, though it’s not guaranteed of course. What keeps Burrow from being a sure thing is that he’s not a sure rushing QB (though we do have to take into account he was coming off of a season of serious injuries). He has an elite group of receivers to pass to, but that’s what we’re relying on for Burrow’s production here, so he’s a high-risk QB option. Still, I’d take him over Brady or Stafford, who’s running game is nearly non-existent.

6. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

In 2021, Prescott improved in completions and passing touchdowns, but regressed in running value. However, this is the first season that Prescott has not been injured or recovering from injury since the beginning of the 2020 season, so an increase in the run game is not unlikely. He won’t have his favorite receiving target Amari Cooper in 2022, but he does still have CeeDee Lamb. Once Michael Gallup is back, Prescott’s in even better shape as a fantasy starter, but until then, he’s not making it to the top five. The top 10, though, should be a safe bet for Prescott.

7. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Hurts outperformed his projected fantasy outlook in 2021, though not by much. But he was out two games, and he still managed to finish as a top 10 fantasy QB. He led in fantasy points per drop back, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns. This will be his second season as the Eagles’ starting QB and now has A.J. Brown to work with. He still has work to do on the passing game. He is definitely a stronger rushing QB, but strong enough to have put him at the seventh fantasy QB last season and an average of 20 fantasy points per game. If he improves his passing game, he’ll be up there with Mahomes and Allen.

8. Matthew Stafford, LA Rams

After a stint of losing seasons with the Lions, Stafford joined Sean McVay and the Rams and came out a Super Bowl champ. He ended the season with the 11th-most QB fantasy points and at least eighth in pass attempts, completions, yards, yards per attempt, and touchdowns. As a rushing quarterback, though? Don’t expect much, or really anything. The last time Stafford even had a rushing touchdown was in 2016. What he lacks in rushes, though, he makes up for in passes. His favorite receiving target, Cooper Kupp, finished with the Triple Crown. Between him and Allen Robinson, Stafford has even more of an opportunity to shine in passing yards and TDs. All this success happened in Stafford’s first year in LA. He should continue to improve on that in his second year.

9. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Jackson ranked fifth in fantasy points per game last season among QBs (when healthy), but has been steadily declining since his MVP season in 2019. He missed five games last season with an injury and dealt with several teammates being out with an injury, which affected his and the Ravens’ results. It’s concerning that his interceptions and sacks have gone up, while his touchdowns have gone down. With a healthy o-line, however, he should have a better 2022 season and remains a decent QB1 option.

10. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

You won’t get much of anything from Brady in the rushing department, but passing is enough to make up for that with him. He attempted 719 passes in 2021 and threw for 5,316 yards, leading the league in completions, pass attempts, passing yards, and passing touchdowns. This year, he won’t have Rob Gronkowski and Chris Godwin is expected to miss the first couple weeks as he recovers from an ACL injury. Head coach Bruce Arians retired, but it’s hard to say whether or not that will impact Brady’s play. He still has Leonard Fournette and Mike Evans, and the new addition of Russell Gage, so it’s not like he’s out of options on the o-line. Brady may not have as productive a year as last year, but should still be a top-10 QB1.

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