LOVE'S IN NEED OF LOVE TODAY
...It's that love's in need of love today
Don't delay, send yours in right away
Hate's going' 'round, breakin' many hearts
Stop it please, before it's gone too far
- Stevland Hardaway Morris (Steve Wonder)
I got you, Stevie, especially with these 12 players where I believe my FBG peers are too low on their 2022 outlooks in PPR formats. This list is more than 12 players deep, but many of these options are higher on my overall list but in line with the staff's positional rankings. In these cases, the variance is negotiable for me based on how your drafts are unfolding.
- Ja'Marr Chase
- Leonard Fournette
- Nyheim Hines
- Raheem Mostert
- Mike Evans
- D.J. Moore
- Chris Godwin
- Allen Lazard
- Marvin Jones Jr
- Kendrick Bourne
- Nico Collins
- Amon-Ra St. Brown
- Lamar Jackson
There are others, but these are the prominent options. Based on your build and strategy, I don't have much of an argument against you waiting a little longer on any of them. Now that we've weeded out the players whose differences are nominal let's get to the 12 Where Love's in Need of Love Today. If you haven't seen my Dis List — the 12 players I'm lower on than the FBG staff — you can find it here.
The list is formatted high-to-low loosely to PPR ADP and, in most cases, from highest to lowest when judging the intensity of my love relative to my peers. But first, an important note about using this information...
Leaning Heavily into Outliers is a Bad Idea for Your Drafts
This is something that is common sense for the veteran fantasy GM, but for people newer to the hobby, it's valuable to remember that the more outlier picks on your squad, the more boom-bust your team will be.
Sure, if you diverge dramatically from the herd, you could win huge. However, winning fantasy leagues is often about utilizing all the tools at your disposal, the draft, the waiver wire, trades, and efficient lineup management.
The greater the risks you take with the draft, the more likely you'll have to rely a lot more on stunning success with the other facets of personnel management if those risks don't pay off handsomely. My recommendation is to take fewer risks during the first half of your draft and more during the second half.
To help you, I will give you my risk assessment of each player in terms of ceiling and floor. Whether you agree with these assessments or make your own, the methodology is a good way to manage your draft in a broader sense than pick-by-pick. These assessments are for leagues with lineups of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TEs, and 2-4 flex spots at RB, WR, and TE. None of my quarterbacks are ranked by the consensus as No.2 QBs for SuperFlex formats, so it doesn't apply.
- High Ceiling/High Floor: The player's ceiling and floor are both relate to a reliable weekly starter.
- High Ceiling/Mid-Range Floor: The player's ceiling is reliable starter material. The floor is low-end starter/flex-starter material.
- High Ceiling/Low Floor: The player's ceiling is reliable starter material. The player's floor is a bye-week material, at best.
Matt's 12 Fantasy Prospects In Need of More Love
Risk: High Ceiling/High Floor
The article you're reading today is out a week later because I was compelled to devote time to the widespread Elliott slander and why you should leverage that to your advantage. The fact that you can get Elliott in the third round of many drafts makes him a fantastic option as your fantasy RB2 in lineups who could once again deliver strong fantasy RB1 production. There are few runners in the league who are better between-the-tackles runners, and he has been doing it in difficult scenarios long enough to know he's a proven commodity.
Risk: High Ceiling/High Floor
Before the bottom fell out of the Bears' offense last year, Robinson averaged 152 targets in 2019-2020, which is 1.5 targets more than his 2015-2016 campaigns in Jacksonville. The reasons for lacking all-out enthusiasm for Robinson are overkill and/or lacking a great depth of argument.
Robinson is 28, which will care the most skittish ageists away from him as an early-round pick. Yes, he's joining a Rams' offense on the heels of a historic season for Cooper Kupp, but it feels like we have to remind folks that while it may have felt like it, Kupp didn't earn every one of Matthew Stafford's 4,886 passing yards.
Although 2021 was one of Stafford's best seasons, he did have two years with higher yardage totals. It's not only possible that Stafford can build on his 2021 campaign and support two receivers with top 12-15 production at the position. It's likely.
After the first nine weeks of the season, Robert Woods was the No.12 fantasy WR, and Woods had a slow start in September. If not for his season-ending injury, Stafford would have supported a tandem of top-12 fantasy receivers.
While fantasy analysts aren't down on Robinson, they aren't as excited about him joining a new team with a far better passing offense. At the same time, they are bullish on A.J. Brown joining the Eagles, who have an exciting young passer in Jalen Hurts but not nearly as proven as Stafford.
I love Brown's game and am bullish on him, but Devonta Smith is not the caliber of a running mate to Brown as Robinson is to Kupp. Smith has to prove he can hold up to physical play on the outside, whereas Robinson can win anywhere on the field and against any corner.
While Robinson and Woods are different players, Robinson offers more as a vertical player and has enough short-area quickness to deliver yardage after the catch as a big-play weapon. It just wasn't seen with the quarterbacks in Chicago to the extent that we should see it with Stafford.
Robinson is earning low-end fantasy WR2 value (end of the top 24), but he has a higher floor than Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman Jr, and Mike Williams because of his route versatility and an equal-to-higher ceiling than this trio because of the caliber of surrounding talent and quarterbacking. This trio is getting drafted 14-27 picks earlier.
Leverage this knowledge accordingly.
Risk: High Ceiling/High Floor
Sutton is lower on fantasy analysts' boards for three reasons:
- He hasn't delivered proven production year after year to earn a higher value.
- Some still think Russell Wilson is a product of a system and overrated.
- An inaccurate and stubborn belief that Jerry Jeudy is the next Antonio Brown.
None of these reasons hold much water. Sutton hasn't worked with a high-end NFL starter during his career. Wilson is an elite decision-maker and creator who has made his surrounding talent better—even as good as it has been at receiver and running back—despite taking more hits than any quarterback during the past decade.
Jeudy is not Brown, a dangerous threat all over the field who can win in contested situations like a big man but in a slot receiver's body. Jeudy's game falls into the Reggie Wayne archetype.
While Wayne's upside was good enough to function as a primary receiver when needed, he wasn't a top threat in contested-catch scenarios, and his vertical prowess was not his calling card. This is a strength of Sutton's game and he poses a greater overall threat to primary corners playing him one-on-one than Jeudy.
Jeudy could become Wilson's Denver version of Doug Baldwin but think of Sutton as a more versatile route runner than DK Metcalf with enough big-play athletic ability to match or beat Metcalf's career-best season of 83 catches, 1,303 yards, and 10 scores.
Sutton often falls within the same range as Robinson, so I have no urgency to grab Pittman, Williams, or Higgins one to three rounds earlier.
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