T-Minus six days until RazzBowl drafts begin!! Big Ric Flair, “WOOOOOOOO!” If you missed the 2022 RazzBowl Sign Up or didn’t get lucky in the RazzBowl fan lottery, don’t fret, you can still register now and receive an invite to the 2023 RazzBowl Qualifier. It’s a duplicate competition where the top 10 finishers will receive a guaranteed spot in the 2023 RazzBowl, plus the winner will receive their choice of a Razzball Rotowear shirt. Speaking of Razzball Rotowear shirts, pre-order your amazing 2022 RazzBowl shirt now!
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Pre-orders open through 8/14. Don’t miss out! pic.twitter.com/Q7XVWfwsi4
— Steve “Dunkin’ Chic” Paulo (@StevePaulo) August 1, 2022
Anyway, enough RazzBowl hype. Let’s talk about something you’ll need in RazzBowl drafts and home-league drafts alike: wide receivers! Previously we went over the top 10 wide receivers for 2022 fantasy football. Here you can find all of my 2022 fantasy football rankings with write-ups. Now it’s on to the top 20 wide receivers for 2022 fantasy football half PPR leagues:
11. Jaylen Waddle – The Dolphins’ 2021 first-round pick had a phenomenal rookie season that was overshadowed by the Ja’Marr Chase fireworks. Few people will remember that Waddle actually reeled in 23 more receptions than Chase did last year on his way to setting the NFL record for receptions in a rookie season (104). Sure, it was a 17-game season, but Waddle only played 16 of those games! Waddle was also tied for 11th in the league in targets with 140; the chemistry with his young QB is evident. Another offseason of progress for Tua, along with Tyreek Hill drawing defensive attention, should only strengthen the case for Waddle as one of the premier fantasy receivers in the league.
12. A.J. Brown – 2021 was an injury-plagued season for Brown. He battled through hamstring, knee, rib, and calf injuries. But even through all the pain and suffering, Brown still gave us a few glimpses of the top-tier fantasy receiver we were expecting, finishing the season with two very nice fantasy performances in the final three games. He’d be the perfect buy-low candidate if he weren’t headed into a new offense in Philadelphia with a quarterback that’s hardly known for precision passing. Still, the huge upside is there if Brown can acclimate to the offense quickly and Hurts can take a step forward in the passing game.
13. Mike Evans – There’s a ton of uncertainty surrounding the Buccaneers’ passing game heading into 2022. Chris Godwin is coming off of January ACL surgery but sounds ahead of schedule in his return. Gronk is back in retirement, but Julio Jones just signed on to presumably fill that void. Where does that leave Mike Evans? Largely unaffected, would be my guess. He’s been boom or bust over the last two seasons, which can be frustrating at times but the boom has outweighed the bust. There’s no reason to think that won’t continue moving forward and if Godwin misses some time then Evans deserves a stock up from here.
14. Marquise Brown – This one might raise a few eyebrows, but the case for Marquise is simple: DeAndre Hopkins—and his 8 to 10 targets per game—will be absent from the Cardinals’ offense for the first 6 games due to suspension. Brown is coming off a breakout 1,000-yard receiving season and he’s now reunited with his college QB, Kyler Murray. I’m a big fan of these types of reunions involving a history of chemistry. I’ll be pushing all in on Murray’s default #1 receiver heading into 2022.
15. Terry McLaurin – Carson Wentz will never be confused for Patrick Mahomes. Actually, compared to Taylor Heineke, Alex Smith, and Kyle Allen (and to a lesser degree Dwayne Haskins—RIP), Wentz might be confused for Mahomes! The entire thesis of this ranking is based on Wentz being a massive upgrade from any QB that McLaurin has ever played with in the NFL. McLaurin has been a target hog over the past two seasons with 264 targets, there’s no reason to think those numbers scale back in 2022; if anything Terry might enjoy a bump in targets with his new QB leaning in.
16. Diontae Johnson – It’s no mystery why Johnson is being devalued this draft season. Hint: it rhymes with Snitchell Boobisky. I said it during our Kenny Pickett, 2022 Fantasy Football Rookie Preview, I think the Steelers’ coaching staff will get the most out of Trubisky this season. Johnson is coming off the WR9 season in half PPR formats and has over 300 targets over the past two seasons in this offense. Even if Trubisky is terrible, there are still plenty of scenarios that lead to Johnson producing another fantasy WR1 season—garbage yardage/receptions, safety blanket volume, Kenny Pickett making a rookie splash, etc. It’s tempting to rank Diontae a few spots higher, the upside is still there and I’m optimistic about the Steelers offense.
17. Michael Pittman – There was a five-game stretch last season where Pittman caught 27 passes for 379 yards and 5 touchdowns. If we extrapolate that out over 17 games that’s 92 receptions, 1,289 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Sign me up! If life was that easy then I probably wouldn’t be writing fantasy football articles for 2 cents per hour; I’d be doing it for free. But we did see a glimpse of Pittman’s upside during that five-game stretch and those full seasons numbers are completely within reach—although 17 touchdowns might be stretching it. There’s some risk here with the uncertainty of Matt Ryan coming into a new offense, but at the same time, there’s not a whole lot of competition for targets in Indy right now. So yeah, sign me up!
18. Keenan Allen – I’m pretty comfortable locking Allen in for 100 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns in 2022. He does it every year. Allen has become as predictable as my cousin who posts daily pics on Facebook of her baby eating various different foods. Each of the past two seasons that stat line was good for WR14, so maybe this ranking is very slightly low. But this ranking is also a reflection of the lack of elite upside that I’m always chasing after like a strung-out addict. Just give me Mike Williams, as I said in the top 10 wide receivers for 2022 fantasy football.
19. D.J. Moore – Shocking stat of the day: D.J. Moore has never caught more than 4 touchdowns in a season. Moore has seen 498 targets and 302 receptions in the first four seasons of his career, and yet his season touchdown totals have been 2, 4, 4, 4. He’s not exactly a Randy Moss-like endzone target, but even so, 4 touchdowns per season is sad for any receiver with that type of volume. I wanted to spin the narrative that Baker Mayfield would help alter this trend, then I looked at Jarvis Landry’s touchdown totals with Mayfield in Cleveland—4, 6, 3, 2—blech. Moore’s team-high (and career-high) 25% of the team’s red zone targets (15) in 2021 is a reason for touchdown optimism moving forward. There’s some upside from his perennial WR2 production, but let’s not get our hopes too high.
20. Chris Godwin – This ranking’s tough for me. On one hand, all the news out of Bucs camp on Godwin is great. On the other hand, I saw a fake doctor on Twitter say the Bucs are handling this Godwin injury recovery wrong and it’s going to come back to bite them. On the third hand, which is actually the hoof of my great great grandfather Honky Teeth, I love Chris Godwin and want to see him dominate on all of my fantasy teams. In all seriousness, there’s a lot of risk here and the safe play is to just cross him off your draft list. What fun is the safe play though?