Redraft content is part of the PRO package for Footballguys Premium Subscriptions. We're making this preview available so you can see the edge these subscribers are getting. Sign up here.
Links to similar discussions on other positions:
A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt 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 7 Votes
Brandin Cooks, Houston
Anthony Amico: What does Cooks have to do to get any respect? Outside of a 2019 season marred with concussion issues, Cooks has been a consistent value for fantasy gamers to take advantage of. Houston has some young weapons with potential, but Cooks is still the main show in town. He averaged an elite-level 9.6 targets per game with Davis Mills at the helm, which should continue through 2022.
Drew Davenport: Cooks has finished as the PPR WR17 in each of the last two seasons in Houston. But yet again, it is draft season and Cooks is going far too late. Sitting at WR23 right now is a gift for a guy who has averaged over 15 PPR points per game the last two years along with 85.5 catches, 1,093.5 yards, and 6 touchdowns. The quarterback situation isn't exactly what fantasy drafters want, but Davis Mills showed promise last year. He threw for over 300 yards or multiple scores in five of his starts and was good enough to keep Cooks' fantasy value afloat. With even a modest improvement in the quarterback room, Cooks will again be a value.
Gary Davenport: No one will dispute that the Houston Texans are a bad football team. Or that the Texans might have the weakest array of skill position talent in the NFL. But it's baffling that Cooks is coming off the board in the back half of Round 5. Just this past season, Cooks overcame mediocre QB play to post a 90/1,037/6 line that was good for top-20 fantasy numbers in PPR leagues. Cooks has also eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in six of the past seven seasons, with six or more touchdowns in five of those years. There's no reason to think he can't at least match his 2021 production this year, and given his ADP all Cooks has to accomplish to be a significant value is that.
Andy Hicks: Every year Brandon Cooks gets passed over by drafters in all formats. Why? Sure he may not have ten touchdowns in a season or 100 catches in his stellar career, but he is good for 80 catches, 1000 yards and six touchdowns. Others will draft that boom receiver that surely will break out this year. Just sit back and get a high-end WR2 at a draft price that will be significantly lower. Making a profit still matters.
Chad Parsons: Death, taxes, and Brandin Cooks being undervalued is the theme yet again for 2022. Cooks has the WR1 role locked in for Houston and Davis Mills showed to be functional as a rookie a season ago. Out of eight seasons, Cooks has finished in the top-24 six times with another WR30 season to his record. Still in his 20s, Cooks is one of the glaring productive profiles likely to be a value for the next few seasons as fantasy drafters seek the new shiny object over the bankable Cooks.
Christian Williams: Brandin Cooks should just adopt the nickname “Undervalued.” His 133 targets ranked 12th among receivers in 2021, and his target per game clip in games that Davis Mills started and finished was a full target higher than when Tyrod was at the helm. The Texans added John Metchie III and likely expect a second-year leap from both Nico Collins and Brevin Jordan, but Cooks’ talent suggested that he has legitimate top-12 upside in an offense that should continue throwing at a high rate.
Jason Wood: Another year, another season when Brandin Cooks is unfairly discounted by the fantasy community. He had 90 catches, 1,037 yards, and 6 touchdowns last year (WR20) which gives him six 1,000-yard seasons in the last seven. That's despite playing with yet another starting quarterback. If Cooks can produce top-20 numbers with Davis Mills as a rookie, and the Texans added no one in the offseason to take away targets, why won't Cooks be in the top-20 mix again?
Players Receiving 6 Votes
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City
Kevin Coleman: Smith-Schuster is a screaming value right now in fantasy leagues. According to Footballguys ADP, he is being drafted as WR32. That's far too low for a player that finds himself as the #2 option in Kansas City. With all those vacated targets and Patrick Mahomes II at quarterback, barring any type of injury, he should outperform his current ADP. He has one of the safest floors in fantasy and has shown he can be a solid WR2 option in the NFL.
Drew Davenport: It might be a little frustrating in a post-Tyreek Hill world to figure out which wide receiver is going to be the producer of fantasy points each week. But Smith-Schuster is a good bet. The other wide receivers on the roster are mostly redundant in their skill sets. But the former Steeler stands alone as the piece in that Chiefs offense that they've tried to get for the last few years. Too often in fantasy football drafters try to overthink things. Smith-Schuster will be attached to Patrick Mahomes II and a prolific offense. The last time he had a quarterback playing decent football he put up 111 catches and over 1,400 yards. He is being drafted as a middling WR3 right now. Assuming health, bet on 120+ targets and a WR3 finish as his floor, but the possibility for much more should be tantalizing for any fantasy manager.
Jeff Haseley: How quickly the consensus forgets how good Smith-Schuster was just a few years ago. He definitely has had his down moments as well, but if he is healthy he'll be a key piece to one of the best offenses in the AFC. There is some risk involved because he has missed 12 games last year with a shoulder injury. However, the reward outweighs the risk. He can be the top WR on the Chiefs this season for a WR30 price tag.
Chad Parsons: With Tyreek Hill gone, the WR1 is open for the first time in years for the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes II. Smith-Schuster has been in a production swoon since his early-career breakout seasons in Pittsburgh, but Smith-Schuster is still in his prime production window and the competition for the WR1 role consists of Marquez Valdes-Scantling (yet to be a consistent part of an NFL passing game), Skyy Moore (incoming Day 2 rookie), and Mecole Hardman (disappointment so far). Smith-Schuster has the advantage and will crush his cost - beyond the top-25 wide receivers - if securing the WR1 role.
Sam Wagman: We do have a track record of success for Juju when he is the secondary target in the offense. With Travis Kelce assuming a large role as the primary receiver for this team, it is possible we see Smith-Schuster get a little freedom as far as who covers him in the passing game. It's also a massive step for him to go from aging Ben Roethlisberger to in-his-prime Patrick Mahomes II, so the quality of targets will drastically increase. WR30 could be a bargain for the former fantasy force.
Jason Wood: The Chiefs cannot replace Tyreek Hill easily, but Smith-Schuster is far and away the most talented, proven, and well-rounded addition to the position group. Unless Patrick Mahomes II stopped being the NFL's best quarterback when I wasn't looking, Smith-Schuster need only stay healthy to deliver every-week starting-caliber fantasy value this season. He's a good route runner, has sure hands, and gets to play with a quarterback better than Ben Roethlisberger in his prime. What's not to love?
Courtland Sutton, Denver
Sigmund Bloom: Courtland Sutton is the most proven wide receiver on the roster, the new regime committed to him with a long-term contract, and his game maps nicely to DK Metcalf, who new Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson made a star. Our own Cecil Lammey, who covers the Broncos for local media, has unequivocally said Sutton is Wilson's main man. Unlike Jerry Jeudy, Sutton is assured of being on the field in two-wide sets, making him the easy choice as the mid-round Broncos receiver to target.
Drew Davenport: It is one of the weirder storylines of the 2021 season that Sutton was an afterthought in Denver when Jerry Jeudy was on the field. When Jeudy got hurt and Sutton was given more targets he produced at a high level. In the six games Jeudy was out, Sutton piled up 101.5 PPR fantasy points for a 16.9 per game average. He also had an alpha target share of 9.2 targets per game. So it is a mystery why the Broncos would only feed him four targets per game the rest of the season. But in 2022 Sutton gets massive upgrades across the board, from coaching to quarterback play and everything in between. There is no reason to think Sutton can't perform like a strong WR2 this year with his ceiling yet to be seen coming into his fifth NFL season.
Gary Davenport: Since blowing up for over 1,100 receiving yards in 2019, injuries and subpar QB play have limited Sutton's production, and enthusiasm in the 26-year-old isn't overwhelming if his ADP is any indication. But there's a reason to think that 2022 could be different—and that reason is named Russell Wilson. Wilson has long been one of the best deep-ball throwers in the NFL, and as it happens scorching teams over the top happens to be what Sutton does best. Per FootballGuys own Cecil Lammey, Sutton is the early favorite to be Wilson's top target, and if that remains the case he could be a league-winning steal. Remember, two years ago in Seattle Wilson's right arm supported two top-10 fantasy options in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Dave Kluge: Sutton flashed his second yard in the league, racking up 1,112 receiving yards and six touchdowns, including plenty of highlight-worthy acrobatic catches. At 6’3” and with a catch radius the size of a barn door, Sutton has the makings of a dominant NFL receiver. His demise through his first four years was horrendous quarterback play and untimely injuries. Following his breakout campaign, Sutton tore his ACL in Week 1. He was far from 100 percent last year, just a year removed from the injury. Throughout his career, he’s played with Case Keenum, Drew Lock, Joe Flacco, and Teddy Bridgewater. Not only is Russell Wilson a considerable talent upgrade, but his playstyle matches perfectly with Sutton’s. Wilson’s made a career off of pinpoint moon balls down the sideline where Sutton can use his size to pull contested catches. After seeing DK Metcalf’s dominance over the last few years, expecting a career year from Sutton makes a lot of sense.
Sam Wagman: Another year of betting on Sutton's talent for me. Russell Wilson coming to town drastically improves all the pass-catchers in this offense, but Sutton could have the most room to grow, as Wilson's deep ball has been on par with the best in the league over the past several years. He's the alpha-style receiver in this offense, and DK Metcalf has shown us that that receiver can generate a ton of production. There are a lot of mouths to feed in this receiving corps, but talent comes out ahead and I think that Sutton's talent has yet to be truly revealed.
Matt Waldman: Brett Farve in Minnesota, Peyton Manning in Denver, and Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. When are we going to learn that elite quarterbacks elevate the production potential of excellent offensive talent? The question is likely less about Sutton and more about Wilson being elite. I'm not questioning it. This year, or next, Wilson will be an elite producer once the offense acclimates to its new passer. Sutton is that primary receiver likely to earn the marquee production that Wilson will generate for the Broncos. I'm expecting a strong run of production from Sutton beginning this year.
Players Receiving 5 Votes
Christian Kirk, Jacksonville
Phil Alexander: We're about four years removed from Kirk drawing Stefon Diggs comps coming out of Texas A&M. A litany of injuries and Kliff Kingsbury's tendency to spread the ball around have thus far prevented Kirk from nearing such lofty standards. But if Jacksonville didn't believe Kirk had more to offer than he's shown for the Cardinals, they wouldn't have changed the landscape of the free-agent wide receiver market by handing him $37 million guaranteed. The Jaguars are pot-committed in Kirk's emergence as a No. 1 wide receiver, which could translate to a 25% target share on a team that figures to throw a lot while playing from behind. You won't get similar volume from players like Brandon Aiyuk, Chase Claypool, and Robert Woods, who usually come off draft boards in the same range.
James Brimacombe: If money was the deciding factor on if you should draft a player then all of us would be on Christian Kirk in 2022. Coming off the best season of his career with 77/982/5 and finishing as WR28, Kirk signed a big-money deal with Jacksonville and now looks to be the number one receiver there for their franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence. I will be betting on Kirk to continue to improve his offensive numbers as he is in the middle of his NFL prime.
Chad Parsons: Many questioned the contract Kirk received from Jacksonville, but Kirk should receive consistent work with a chance (or expectation) to be the clear WR1. Trevor Lawrence is a breakout candidate with Urban Meyer gone, a factory reset for the Jaguars, plus 1.01-drafted quarterbacks are strong historical bets independent of their Year 1 results. Betting on potential uptick offenses and the most logical leading target option is a sturdy fantasy bet and Kirk's cost is typically outside the top-40 wide receivers.
Sam Wagman: Is Kirk the cheapest NFL WR1 we can target? The Jaguars have to target him a ton by virtue of the $18m a year deal he signed with them in free agency, so he should see a ton of volume from Trevor Lawrence. Add in pass-happy Doug Pederson and I see Kirk getting the opportunity to finish 10-15 spots higher than where he is now. Whether or not he was overpaid, his ranking is underrating him.
Jason Wood: I agree with the consensus view the Jaguars overpaid Christian Kirk in free agency, but that shouldn't color his fantasy outlook. His current ADP assumes he'll finish well below his output last year, which makes no sense. He was WR26 a year ago despite sharing targets with an immensely deep set of receivers and tight ends. The Jaguars are paying him to be their alpha, and for at least a season, he's going to be force-fed the ball.
Allen Robinson, LA Rams
Phil Alexander: It will soon be evident Robinson's career-worst 2021 season had more to do with disenchantment over his contract situation in Chicago than the erosion of his skills. Armed with $30.75 million in guaranteed money from the Rams and by far the most favorable offensive surroundings of his career, Robinson is poised to exceed his ADP for as long as he continues getting drafted outside the top-20 wide receivers. Before last season's injury washout, Robert Woods ranked inside the top-15 wide receivers in PPR fantasy scoring for three consecutive seasons in Sean McVay's offense. Assuming he inherits Woods' target volume, WR15 is closer to Robinson's floor than his ceiling.
Drew Davenport: After two seasons in Chicago showing everyone that he was a 100-catch wide receiver, 2021 was an abject disaster. But there are plenty of reasons to think that last year was simply an outlier in a forgotten season. Robinson's new home in Los Angeles features a quarterback that just threw for over 4,800 yards (3rd in the NFL), and a #1 wide receiver that will draw the attention from opposing secondaries. It isn't as though there aren't enough targets to go around after Cooper Kupp gets his as last year Robert Woods was PPR WR13 when he went down with his knee injury (24th in points per game). But Woods has never been a big touchdown producer and Robinson brings the potential to score double-digit touchdowns, along with over 80 receptions. What's not to like when he can be drafted as a low-end WR2?
Jeff Haseley: Allen Robinson has four 150+ target seasons, three 1,000-yard seasons, and three 80-reception seasons and he's played with Blake Bortles, Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, Justin Fields, and Andy Dalton. If we're counting college, it includes Matt McGloin and Christian Hackenberg. So yeah - now he will have a fringe-Hall-of-Famer in Matthew Stafford, not to mention the best receiver in the league drawing the defense's attention. Sign me up for some Robinson this season!
Dave Kluge: Last year was a myriad of issues in Chicago, including contract tensions, injuries, unexpected quarterback changes, and poor coaching. Those issues culminated in an embarrassingly down year for Robinson as he left Chicago. However, at 28 years old, there are plenty of reasons to expect him to bounce back. Although Cooper Kupp put up record-breaking numbers last year, there was enough meat on the bone for Robert Woods and Odell Beckham Jr to get theirs. Woods was the PPR WR12 at the time of his injury. Even though he joined the team midseason and didn’t get in much practice with Matthew Stafford, Beckham was the WR22 from the time he joined the season onward. Robinson is younger than Woods, Beckham, and Kupp. It’s reasonable to think that we’ve yet to see Robinson’s potential, given his previous quarterback history. There are a lot of indicators that point to a bounceback for Robinson.
Chad Parsons: For the first time in Robinson's long career, he has a strong quarterback pairing with the move to the Rams and Matthew Stafford. The formula fits for big upside even if in the WR2 role behind Cooper Kupp. Tyler Higbee is not a strong tight end presence, the WR3 position is populated by Van Jefferson who has yet to take a big step forward, and the Rams have been 30th or lower in running back targets as a team each of the last three seasons. Kupp and Robinson can both be top-18 options, even top-12 with this offense. 2022 is a golden opportunity for Robinson to be one of the bounce-back fantasy producers in the entire NFL.
Continue reading this content with a 100% free Insider subscription.
"Footballguys is the best premium
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, ESPN