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Gold Diggers: Ranking the top ten fantasy wide receivers of 2022

Is Deebo a lock?

On today’s Gold Diggers podcast, Michelle continued this year’s fantasy football preview by giving us her top ten fantasy running backs for 2022.

As stated on the pod, this list is for half-point PPR leagues. If the scoring system were different, the rankings would vary slightly, which we get into on the show.

I’ll include the list here, along with some of what Michelle provided for each player.

10. Mike Evans

Evans is like the postal service; neither rain, nor sleet, nor pre-Brady Buccaneers quarterbacks will stop him from putting up at least 1,000 yards for the year. He’s the only player in NFL history to start a career with eight straight one thousand-yard seasons, and with The Goat throwing him passes, he isn’t slowing down any time soon. Over the last two years, only three players have caught more than 25 touchdowns: Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, and Mike Evans.

9. Marquise Brown

Brown is one of Michelle’s favorite fantasy options this season. He enjoyed a massive target share in Baltimore, and he’ll have the same in Arizona - at least while DeAndre Hopkins is suspended. Once Hopkins returns, Brown won’t be double covered nearly as much. He should be able to rekindle some of the magic he shared with Kyler at Oklahoma.

8. Deebo Samuel

Given that Deebo put up almost 1,800 yards from scrimmage last year, he’s due for some regression in 2022. The good news is that when you put up the 7th most scrimmage yards of all-time for a wide receiver, you can fall off a bit and still put up around 1,200 yards. The big difference will be touchdowns. If Samuel truly doesn’t want to be used as a running back, can he consistently get in the end zone? It looked like it for the first eight games last year, but time will tell if that holds up over a full season.

7. Courtland Sutton

Oh, what a difference Russell Wilson makes. Sutton showed he could play in 2019 before tearing his ACL in 2020, and he’ll only get stronger now that he’s two years removed from that injury. Plenty of receivers have been lifted by Russell Wilson in the past, and Sutton should be the beneficiary of some of those patented Russ moon balls.

6. CeeDee Lamb

With Amari Cooper in Cleveland and Michael Gallop recovering from a torn ACL, Lamb is in a prime position to break out in 2022. Last year, he only saw 19% of the Cowboys’ targets and still put up 1,100+ yards and six touchdowns. That will obviously increase this season, especially if Dak Prescott is healthier than he was in 2021.

5. Ja’Marr Chase

What. A. Monster. Chase exploded for 1,455 yards with Cincinnati last season, including a ridiculous 55-point performance in Week 17. While it’s unlikely he averages 18 yards per catch again, he’ll still gobble up plenty of yards. The only thing that kept him from being higher on this list is consistency. Chase had two games with more than 200 yards last year but eight games with less than 60.

4. Davante Adams

Yes, losing Aaron Rodgers will hurt, but not that much. Derek Carr has thrown for at least 4,000 yards in four straight years and has chemistry with Adams after playing together at Fresno State. Throw in the fact that Josh McDaniels is going to be running the offense, and things look even better. McDaniels knows how to get the ball in people’s hands. Remember when former 49er Brandon Lloyd led the league in receiving yards in 2010? That was McDaniels’ offense.

3. Stefon Diggs

The good news is that Diggs saw basically the same number of targets last year as he did when he led the league in receiving yards two seasons ago. The bad news is that Josh Allen regressed slightly in 2021, and Diggs’ production dropped off somewhat as a result. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle with both guys, but 1,100-1,200 yards and 8-10 TDs is still damn fine production from anyone.

2. Cooper Kupp

It just doesn’t get any better than what Cooper Kupp did last season: 145 catches, 1,947 yards, and a league-leading 16 touchdown catches. While regression is likely in 2022, there’s still plenty of room for a monster year. Even if Kupp loses 30 catches and 400 yards this year, you’re still looking at 115 catches and over 1,500 yards. Given that Sean McVay is calling plays and Matt Stafford is chucking the ball, you’ll never have to worry about Kupp’s production, including at least ten touchdowns.

1. Justin Jefferson

Thanks to Kupp’s receiving triple crown, no one even noticed that Jefferson had more than 1,600 yards last year. In his first two years in the NFL, Jefferson has put up over 200 more yards than anyone else in the history of the league. New Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell will bring some of the Rams’ scheme with him, which can only mean good things for anyone that drafts Justin Jefferson.

Listen to the entire episode for even more info. Our fantasy football preview will continue next week when we’ll rank the top ten tight ends.