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A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. Value is available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. To point out this value, we asked our staff to look through the Top 150 and identify players that should outperform their draft position.
Here are the players who received the most votes:
And here are all of the players mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 8 Votes
Derek Carr, Las Vegas
Sam Wagman: I love the opportunity cost baked into Carr’s current ranking. The Raiders’ offense is set to pass more than ever this season with Davante Adams and his 2021 numbers of 169 targets coming over to play with his best friend in Vegas. This offense sets up perfectly for Carr to pass for over 5,000 yards this season due to the overall upgrades of the division around them. With Adams, a healthy Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow all in the mix, we could also see a career-high in touchdown passes for Carr. He should surpass his yardage totals from last season soundly.
Matt Waldman: This is a rare case where fantasy GMs may be overrating offensive line play. Carr has lacked a quality unit for years, yet last year, he was third in the NFL with 79.7% of his throws reaching their target while earning career highs in attempts, completions, and yardage. He did it with a receiving corps lacking a primary elite wideout like Davante Adams. My buds Dwain McFarland (data) and Mark Schofield (film) did a joint analysis at my site three years ago, illustrating that Josh McDaniel's offense would be an ideal match for what Carr does best. Here we are.
Ryan Weisse: When looking for value at quarterback, you want a low draft cost and high upside. Carr is the 14th-ranked quarterback by ADP, meaning he is free in some drafts. He also landed one of the best possible weapons in football this offseason. With a new coach focused on the offense, and Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Darren Waller to throw the ball to, it is a mistake to assume that we've seen the best of Derek Carr. He was already the No. 14 quarterback last year without all of these positives going for him. Expect better in 2022.
Andy Hicks: Derek Carr has consistently rated near the middle of fantasy and NFL quarterbacks. With the arrival of Davante Adams, that should change. In his eight-year career, he only finished as a QB1 once. Last year and it was as the 12th ranked quarterback. Carr hasn’t always had the best coaching groups around him. Josh McDaniels isn’t a sure-fire guy to change that, but he should bring an improved Offense. Carr is unlikely to break into the top six, but bottom-end QB1 easily outplays his draft slot.
Nick Whalen: 2021 was a down efficiency year for Derek Carr, despite a career-high in passing yards, which might be baked into this value this year. Since Josh McDaniels was hired as the head coach, he has extended Hunter Renfrow and traded for Davante Adams. This offense seems destined to thrive passing the football with Carr also being paired with one of the best tight ends in the NFL in Darren Waller. Carr will benefit like a point guard playing with elite superstars around him. He just has to distribute the ball.
Jordan McNamara: The Raiders are the longest shot to win the best division in football. Derek Carr will reunite with Davante Adams to an offense that has Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. All this combines for a quarterback that should be throwing a lot to one of the best receiving corps in the league. Carr can smash his cost.
Will Grant: Carr has some legitimate star pass-catchers around him now. Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Darren Waller make fantastic targets, while Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake keep defenses from loading up the secondary. Carr has legitimate top 12 fantasy chances and makes an excellent addition to a QBBC approach.
Victoria Geary: Carr hasn’t been a set-it-and-forget-it quarterback over the years. His best fantasy in points per game came back in 2016 with 21.6 PPG, and he’s only hit 25 passing touchdowns ONCE in the last five seasons. However, he now gets to add superstar wide receiver Davante Adams into the mix. The addition of Adams will allow Carr to outperform his ADP alone. And we can't discount Carr's other options at pass catcher in tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. The AFC West has never been more exciting or talented than it is right now. We should anticipate plenty of shootout games for Carr to feast.
Player Receiving 7 Votes
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay
Chad Parsons: Brady has 18 seasons as a top-12 quarterback in adjusted points-per-game, including eight as a top-six option. His QB2 finish a year ago returns largely the same supporting talent with Chris Godwin back a few weeks into the season at the latest and Julio Jones added to hedge-bolster the situation. Bet on Brady until he shows a Ben Roethlisberger-type decline or is out of the NFL, especially for non-elite draft cost.
Jason Wood: Brady should be everyone's choice unless you're an ageist. Yes, he'll turn 45 in August, but as a 44-year-old, he led the NFL in attempts, completions, passing yards, and touchdown passes on route to finishing as the No. 2 fantasy quarterback. While Gronkowski retired, they replaced him with Russell Gage and Julio Jones. No team has a better quartet of wide receivers. Putting him outside the Top 5 is a joke.
Matt Waldman: Last year, Brady was my No.1 option at the position. He's a great pocket manager, scheme diagnostician, and manipulator of defenses. Chris Godwin is on track to start in early September. Mike Evans remains a weapon. Russell Gage and Julio Jones will be adequate substitutes for some of what they'll miss with Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. The most difficult thing for many people to see is the conceptual and technical aspects of quarterbacking that sustain Brady's excellence in the stats column. Leverage that difficulty to your advantage. He remains a bargain because most people value things they understand: mobility, arm strength, and youth.
Sigmund Bloom: With the signing of Julio Jones, it's clear that the Buccaneers are looking to insulate their pass offense against the injuries that derailed it at the end of 2021. Expect Brady to be among the league leaders in passing yards, touchdowns, and attempts again this season, and with Chris Godwin avoiding the PUP and Jones and Russell Gage in the fold, Brady's supporting cast shouldn't take too much of a hit from last year when he had Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. In leagues with 300-yard game bonuses or 5+ point passing touchdowns, Brady has QB1 in his range of outcomes.
Gary Davenport: Even with a little ADP creep kicking in after many fantasy pundits talked him up this summer, Brady is still coming off draft boards eighth at the position on average. Maybe it's a lack of name recognition. Yes, he's old. The interior of the Buccaneers' offensive line may be a question mark, too. But Brady led the league in passing yards last year. And passing touchdowns. Only Josh Allen had more fantasy points among quarterbacks. Chris Godwin appears to be on track for the season opener. The Buccaneers also added Julio Jones because why not? Brady's being drafted at his floor. His ceiling could be leading all quarterbacks in fantasy points, At 45.
Nick Whalen: Brady led the NFL in pass attempts(719), completions(485), and touchdowns(43) last season. He didn't come out of retirement to be a game manager, and the Buccaneers brought in more wide receiver talent in Russell Gage and Julio Jones to boost those numbers. Brady was the QB2 last year. I see a similar fantasy football season in 2022.
Will Grant: At some point, Brady will hit the wall. Everyone wants to write him off because of his age and history and blah blah blah. Brady still has Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as two of the best wide receivers in the league. Julio Jones has lost a step and can't stay healthy, but he's still a threat and won't be the top target of the defense. Brady is undervalued again this season and could be a top-five fantasy quarterback by the season's end.
Player Receiving 6 Votes
Trey Lance, San Francisco
Chad Parsons: One of my main questions with Lance was if the 49ers would move on from Jimmy Garoppolo, which seems like a near-lock with the late-July hot stove news. Lance should hit or exceed his draft cost due to a sky-high rushing profile, with passing being a nice bonus any given week. Like with Jalen Hurts, my main concern is not fantasy production in 2022, but rather their job security if a lack of passing progression occurs and what that means for dynasty purposes. The wheels are up for both, with Lance being much more affordable than Hurts for 2022 redraft leagues.
Sigmund Bloom: Lance has a similar outlook to Jalen Hurts in 2021, but he's in a much better offense. Like Hurts, Lance may struggle as a passer, but that could create more scrambling opportunities as Lance works through understanding how to attack NFL defense as a passer. Like Hurts, Lance could be the top rushing option at the goal line and boost his fantasy bottom line even when he's not ending drives as a passer. Unlike Hurts, Lance is in an offense that produced the #1 fantasy quarterback as a rookie (Robert Griffin III III in 2012), and Lance will be throwing to two of the best wide receivers and one of the best tight ends in the league. A top 3 fantasy finish is within reach even if Lance is a work in progress.
Ben Cummins: I couldn’t be more excited for Lance to start for the 49ers this season. Lance has mouthwatering rushing upside yet is being drafted behind other dual-threat quarterbacks. Lance ran for 1,325 yards and 18 touchdowns in only 19 collegiate games. San Francisco drafted Lance partly because of his maturity and leadership skills, and the 49ers’ camp has been raving about those this offseason. Paired with Kyle Shanahan and an offense including Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk that ranked fifth in overall offensive DVOA last season, Lance will outproduce his current ADP.
Jeff Haseley: People talk about how Justin Fields will have a season like Jalen Hurts did in 2021 that catapulted him into the Top 10, but what about Trey Lance, who is also a dual-threat quarterback and arguably a better one? Lance has several weapons at his disposal, including Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle, not to mention Kyle Shanahan's offensive ingenuity. If Lance isn't horrible, he should have top-10 potential simply due to his dual-threat skill set. If he plays well and makes a big splash, that potential could sneak into the Top 5.
Ryan Hester: In recent years, the fantasy football market has caught on to the rushing quarterback trend. Over the past three seasons, players who profiled like Lance weren't always available at the price that Lance is now. His lack of mastery of the offense and passing acumen is notable and concerning, but they're more than priced into his current draft cost. Lance has a top-three ceiling, which makes him a great value. If it doesn't work out, he didn't cost much and can be replaced by another drafted quarterback or waiver wire player.
Jeff Bell: The easy answer is often the correct answer. Lance sits behind a group of veteran quarterbacks who lack the rushing cheat code that differentiates the top fantasy performers. Lance sits in a talented San Francisco offense that allowed Jimmy Garoppolo to finish as QB16 per game. Garoppolo's production, plus 20 rush yards per game and three total rushing touchdowns, would see Lance place as QB12 based upon last year's finishes.
Player Receiving 4 Votes
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