The Fantasy Points staff is covering every major offensive transaction from the 2022 off-season in our Off-season Tracker articles. We broke down all the important free agency signings and trades from a fantasy perspective in articles sorted by position. The articles are ordered by players changing teams ("New Homes") and by players sticking with their 2021 teams ("Staying Put"). The players are also ordered by their potential fantasy impact for the 2022 season in each section. Be sure to also check out Graham Barfield’s “Fantasy Fallout” pieces on the biggest transactions of the off-season.
Davante Adams (LV, 30) — The Raiders acquired Adams from the Packers in exchange for the #22 and #53 overall picks in the 2022 draft. Las Vegas will make him the highest-paid WR in NFL history by signing him to a five-year, $141.2 million deal with $67.5 million guaranteed.
Fantasy Points: The Raiders stunned the football world by landing Adams, who wanted to play with his good friend and Fresno State teammate Derek Carr. Adams also grew up in the Bay Area and it was his lifelong dream to play for the Raiders, who once made their home in Oakland. Over the last four seasons, Adams leads all WRs in yards (5,310), catches (432), and TDs (47). Adams finished behind only Cooper Kupp in FPG (21.5), targets (169), and PFF receiving grade (92.8) in 2021. Adams has posted multiple overall WR1 seasons in the last half-decade, and he’s still improving from an efficiency perspective. Both his PFF receiving grades and YPRR numbers have improved every year since 2015. At 30 years old, Adams has proven he’s worthy of a blockbuster deal that would make him the highest-paid WR in the NFL.
Adams loses a little fantasy steam moving from Aaron Rodgers to Carr, but he’ll still be a late first round option in fantasy drafts. Adams won’t be able to sustain his 32.8% target share from last season as he’ll have far more target competition from Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow, who also lose fantasy appeal playing with a ball hog like Adams. Carr and, to a lesser extent, Josh Jacobs are the biggest beneficiaries from the blockbuster trade. Carr suddenly has one of the league’s best receiving corps in Josh McDaniels’ new offense, while Jacobs should get more scoring opportunities in a better offense — he’s averaged 19.2 FPG in wins compared to 11.2 FPG in losses during his career.
Check out Graham Barfield’s Fantasy Fallout piece for more on Davante’s trade to the Raiders.
Tyreek Hill (Mia, 28) — The Dolphins acquired Hill from the Chiefs in exchange for three 2002 picks (#29, #50, #121) and two 2023 picks (4th- and 6th-round picks). Miami handed Hill a four-year, $120 million extension with $72 million guaranteed.
Fantasy Points: This has been the off-season of blockbuster trades and this is the second monster deal involving one of fantasy’s best WRs. This trade is an even bigger fantasy buzzkill than Davante Adams’ trade to the Raiders earlier in the off-season. Tyreek has a much tougher path to finish as a top-12 fantasy WR for a sixth consecutive season as he prepares to leave the comfy confines of Andy Reid’s offense led by Patrick Mahomes. Hill finished as the WR6 with 17.4 FPG last season, posting 111/1239/9 receiving on 159 targets (25.3% share) in 17 games. Even with his mid-WR1 finish, Hill faced his biggest struggles since becoming a full-time starter in 2017 with opponents dead set on taking away big plays from Kansas City’s offense. He posted by far five-year lows in YPR (11.2), YAC (4.0), and aDOT (11.0), but he maintained his fantasy standing by averaging career-highs in catches per game (6.5) and targets per game (9.4).
Tyreek is going to experience a major quarterback downgrade going from Mahomes to Tua Tagovailoa, and he’s going to face more target competition from the likes of Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki. At least the Dolphins figure to trade DeVante Parker in the coming weeks, and the NFL’s WR trades could go full circle with the Packers potentially pursuing Parker for a Day Three pick. Hill’s target competition becomes even more problematic since he’ll go from an offense that attempted the second-most passes (675) last season to an offense that figures to skew more run-heavy under new HC Mike McDaniel — the 49ers attempted the fourth-fewest passes (514). At least San Francisco’s offenses emphasized explosive downfield plays and plays in space for their offensive weapons. Hill will have to go back to being one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers like he was in 2017-20 after he turned into a volume receiver in 2021. Hill went from being a locked-in late first-round pick with Mahomes to being a risky low-end WR1 with a still unproven Tua.
Allen Robinson (LAR, 29) — The Rams handed Robinson a three-year, $46.5 million contract with a healthy $30 million guaranteed.
Fantasy Points: The story of Robinson’s NFL career had always been that he could miraculously overcome any QB play — no matter how poor — to post strong fantasy seasons. That was true until 2021 when Robinson recorded the worst PFF receiving grade (67.0), worst YPRR (1.13), and worst FPG (7.2) of his career. Well, he fixed his quarterback problems by signing up to play with Matthew Stafford, so now the question is can A-Rob rebound off of his worst season to date. The Rams certainly believe better days are ahead for Robinson based on his hefty contract, and he was a top-15 WR in FPG in each of his previous two seasons before 2021. Robinson struggled to remain healthy in 2021, as he wound up on the injury report with either an ankle or hamstring issue in seven different weeks, and he said he lost 10 pounds due to COVID-19 in December. Combine that with abysmal QB play (Justin Fields ranked 30th of 38 qualifiers in PFF passing grade), and it’s not too difficult to see how the worst season of A-Rob’s career transpired.
Robinson is going to have way more competition for targets than he’s ever had when he was the clear #1 WR in Jacksonville and Chicago, and he’ll be in an unfamiliar role as the second fiddle behind Cooper Kupp. The Rams are at least exploring trading Robert Woods, who averaged 7.7 targets per game with a 21.7% target share in the first nine games of last season. Odell Beckham could return to Los Angeles if Woods is traded, but he’s unlikely to be ready for the start of the season after tearing his ACL in the Super Bowl — he tore the same ACL in 2020 and it took him nearly 11 months to return to action. He averaged 4.2 catches, 52.3 receiving yards, and 6.5 targets per game with seven TDs in his final 11 games with the Rams. Robinson is no longer in the mix to be a top-15 fantasy WR like he did in 2019-20 since he won’t be among the league leaders in target share, but he has a clear path WR2 production if Woods is traded and OBJ is out of the picture at the start of next season.
Check out Graham Barfield’s Fantasy Fallout piece for more on A-Rob’s signing with the Rams.
Amari Cooper (Cle, 28) — The Browns acquired Cooper from the Cowboys for a 2022 fifth-round pick and a swap of sixth-round picks.
Fantasy Points: The cap-strapped Cowboys did not want to pay Cooper at his $20 million cap number, so the Browns are the beneficiaries, giving up minuscule draft compensation for the Cowboys’ stud receiver. Of course, initially from Cooper’s perspective, this had to be considered a potential downgrade, given how poorly Browns QB Baker Mayfield played last year — just ask the Odells Beckham (Jr. and Sr.). But for the Browns, this was a no-brainer move that gives them an exceptionally productive veteran receiver, something they needed with the club moving on from Jarvis Landry. And Cooper is simply a better player than Landry at this stage. Unfortunately, it’s hard to consider him much more than a low-end WR2 unless we get significant improvement from Mayfield… or the Browns make an unanticipated blockbuster move at the QB position. And the Browns made that unanticipated blockbuster move by acquiring Deshaun Watson on March 16, which will vault Cooper into the WR2 conversation after being more of a WR3 with Baker.
Robert Woods (Ten, 30) — The Titans acquired Woods from the Rams for a sixth-round pick.
Fantasy Points: The Titans traded for a wide receiver in his 30s for the second straight off-season — Woods will turn 30 in April — but this year’s deal is much safer than the catastrophe that was the Julio Jones trade last year. Woods became expendable in Los Angeles after the Rams signed Allen Robinson to a big contract in free agency, and the Rams are still looking to bring back Odell Beckham on a new deal. Woods and Matthew Stafford never quite got on the same page through their first nine games together before he tore his ACL in practice in early November. He finished with 45/556/4 receiving (12.4 YPR) on 69 targets (21.7% share) to finish as the WR17 with 15.2 FPG in his nine contests. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Woods is expected to be ready for training camp, and he certainly landed on a roster devoid of WR talent behind A.J. Brown after the franchise cut ties with Julio. The problem is the Titans will continue to ride Derrick Henry after they finished with the third-lowest pass rate (51%) last season, so he’ll be hard-pressed to match his 8.3 targets per game from the last four seasons. Woods will be a 30-year-old receiver coming off a major knee injury in a new, run-heavy offense. That’s a formula for disappointment even with lower expectations as a WR4.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (KC, 25) — JuJu announced on Twitter he was signing with the Chiefs. It’s a one-year deal worth up to $10.25 million.
Fantasy Points: Smith-Schuster is one of the younger WRs in this year’s class, but he hasn’t really come close to his 2018 season – when he averaged 18.6 FPG – in the three seasons since. Is end-of-career Ben Roethlisberger at fault? Well, it’s difficult to know for sure. Smith-Schuster has experienced a very concerning efficiency drop-off, seeing his YPRR decline every season since his rookie year, and earning sub-68.0 PFF receiving grades in each of the last three seasons, after earning 77.6 or better grades in his first two years. Did Big Ben get notably worse over the last three seasons? Of course, but you cannot be sure that fully explains Smith-Schuster’s drop-off. Diontae Johnson has been with Pittsburgh each of the last three years and has seen both his PFF receiving grades and YPRR numbers increase every subsequent season, despite brutal play from Big Ben. Chase Claypool had a monster 2020, and while his 2021 wasn’t as strong, it was still significantly more efficient than any of Smith-Schuster’s last three seasons. So, there is a real risk Smith-Schuster is actually “washed,” and may never return to his WR1 days, despite being relatively young. The fact that he’s had to settle for one-year deals in back-to-back off-seasons — despite being overall one of the most productive and youngest receivers in the class — seems to indicate that. However, he lands in an absolutely killer spot for value. He’s big and physical in the slot, and Kansas City has needed a reliable chain mover alongside the explosive Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce for years. Even if JuJu isn’t the star he looked to be in his massive 2018 season, there is plenty of opportunity for him to return WR2/3 value in PPR leagues in Kansas City.
Check out Graham Barfield’s Fantasy Fallout piece for more on JuJu’s signing with the Chiefs.
Christian Kirk (Jax, 26) — Kirk signed a four-year deal with the Jags, worth up to $84 million. In reality, it’s likely a two-year deal worth around $40 million.
Fantasy Points: Whew. That is a heck of a payday for Kirk. Kirk just finished the best season of his career. He set career-highs in targets (101), yards (984), PFF receiving grade (72.7), and YPRR (1.81). But, that actually didn’t translate to the best fantasy season of Kirk’s career, as he averaged 12.2 FPG, which is right in line with his 11.5 career FPG average, and slightly worse than the 12.9 FPG he averaged in 2019. Encouragingly, Kirk did emerge as Arizona’s No. 1 WR once DeAndre Hopkins went down in Week 14. In his four games without Hopkins, Kirk averaged 16.3 FPG, 67.8 YPG, and 8.0 targets per game. Across the full season, those numbers would rank 12th-, 17th-, and 18th-best. So, we could make a pretty strong argument that Kirk is a mid- to high-end WR2 season waiting to happen, he just needs the right opportunity. And at just 26, the Jags are counting on that being the case for QB Trevor Lawrence. They’re simply paying a lot of money to do it. Kirk is being paid like a #1 WR, so that’s the role we’re predicting him to have. Whether he fits is another question.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, 28) — The Chiefs and MVS agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract with $18 million guaranteed and worth up to $36 million in incentives.
Fantasy Points: Valdes-Scantling has made a career out of his elite speed (4.37) and his deep-threat ability. He’s naver averaged more than 8.6 FPG, but he’s still managed nine career games (of 59 total) with 19.0 or more fantasy points. He’s basically either a non-factor (85% of the time) or a WR1 (15% of the time). Despite being known as a player with sub-par hands (Aaron Rodgers’ post-drop glare is seared in many people’s memories), MVS actually didn’t drop a single pass in 2021. He was the only player with more than 40 targets to achieve that feat. He’s a prototypical #3 WR with impressive big-play ability, but he’s going to be thrust into a bigger role In a Kansas City offense that will be without Tyreek Hill for the first-time in the Patrick Mahomes era. Don’t get it twisted, MVS isn’t going to step into Hill’s old role in the offense, and he’s much more likely to step into the spot previously occupied by Demarcus Robinson. MVS will have a much better chance to make a consistent fantasy impact than Robinson ever did with Hill’s 25.3% target share out of the picture, but the Chiefs are likely to bring in at least another WR in free agency and early in the NFL Draft. MVS should be a little less frustrating for re-draft formats in Kansas City, but he’ll still be more valuable in Best Ball leagues as long as his ADP doesn’t get too out of hand.
Russell Gage (TB, 26) — Gage is signing a “no fluff” three-year, $30-million deal with the Bucs, per The Draft Network’s Carmen Vitali.
Fantasy Points: Gage is coming off back-to-back WR4 seasons, but he saw his usage pick up significantly in the latter half of the 2021 season, averaging 15.6 FPG and 8.5 targets per game – marks that would’ve ranked 13th- and 14th-best over the full season. But, that volume boost came without Calvin Ridley in the lineup, which explains Gage’s high-end WR2 outputs. Still, it’s not too difficult to foresee Gage being a crucial piece of this Bucs’ offense, as his 2021 YPRR of 1.96 suggests he’s skilled enough to be worthy of at least WR2 volume. In essence, he’ll be replacing Antonio Brown, and given his positional versatility (he actually ran more routes outside than in the slot last season), he should fit right into this offense. With Chris Godwin coming off a torn ACL, and given how much AB produced last year before he went blotto, Gage will likely be a popular top-100 pick in best-ball formats.
Cedrick Wilson (Mia, 27) — Wilson signed a three-year deal with Miami, worth up to $23 million, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Fantasy Points: Wilson benefits from a pretty aggressive WR market, and perhaps surprisingly moves on from the suddenly WR-needy Cowboys following the trade of Amari Cooper and the uncertain injury status of Michael Gallup. Wilson played on over 45% of the Cowboys’ snaps in just 10 total games this regular season. But he showed his upside in the latter half of the year, as his final six games with more than a 45% snap share resulted in 16.0 FPG, 10.1 XFP/G, and 67.7 YPG. Those numbers would have ranked 12th-, 56th-, and 19th-best among WRs this past season. And Wilson met or exceeded 17.4 fantasy points in his final three contests with a snap share over 45%. He gives the Dolphins a solid slot option.
DJ Chark (Det, 26) — Chark gets a one-year deal in Detroit worth up to $10 million, per Adam Schefter.
Fantasy Points: Chark went from relatively unknown to a fantasy WR2 by his sophomore season in 2019, but unfortunately hasn’t recreated that success since. We can forgive Chark for the step-back he took in 2020, as Jacksonville chose to keep Gardner Minshew off the field in favor of the much less competent QB tandem of Mike Glennon and Jake Luton, and the offense as a whole averaged just 19.1 PPG. 2021 should’ve seen Chark return to at least fantasy WR3 status, as the arrival of Trevor Lawrence was expected to substantially boost offensive output. While that didn’t exactly happen, Chark still performed well in his 3 healthy games (11.5 FPG), but broke his ankle in Week 4, ending his season. Chark was one of just 6 WRs with a perfect PFF receiving grade (99.9) on deep throws in 2019. He provides the Lions with a speedy perimeter option alongside Josh Reynolds, with 2021 rookie star Amon-Ra St. Brown in the slot. The problem for Chark? Presuming Jared Goff is the Lions’ starter, Goff ranked 35th of 38 QBs in deep passing grade in 2021, per PFF, and 34th of 39 in 2020. It’s possible Chark has more on-field impact than boxscore impact.
Zay Jones (Jax, 28) — The Jaguars are signing Jones to a three-year, $24-million deal, per Ian Rapoport.
Fantasy Points: OK. Christian Kirk was expensive, likely too expensive, but he’s had some pretty good NFL moments. This one, though? Well, good for Zay! Jones’ 2021 saw him go from offensive afterthought to the Raiders’ clear No. 3 pass-catching option. In Jones' first 10 games, he saw just 16 total targets, earned just 157 total yards, and averaged just 3.3 FPG. GROSS. But in his subsequent eight games (including playoffs), Jones saw 60 total targets, earned 430 total yards, and averaged 10.7 FPG. Jones was able to improve enough that his role in the latter half of the season was quite literally 3 to 4X better than his role to start the season. And he posted by far the best receiving grade of his career (70.4) in 2021. But we’re surprised by the price for a player who has 1884 receiving yards in five seasons, and 2 TDs total in the last three years. As multiple reports have indicated, the signings of Kirk and Jones likely make Laviska Shenault expendable.
Byron Pringle (Chi, 28) — The Bears signed Pringle to a one-year, $6 million contract with $4 million guaranteed.
Fantasy Points: Pringle netted a decent chunk of change and he landed in a Bears’ offense where he can be a full-time receiver next to Darnell Mooney. Pringle emerged ahead of Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson as Kansas City’s #2 WR around mid-season, and he’s coming off a career-best 42/568/5 receiving (13.5 YPR) on 60 targets (9.5% share) for 7.5 FPG on a 49% snap share in 17 games. He stayed active with 12 catches and three touchdowns in three postseason games, as well. Including the postseason, he finished fourth on the team in targets (74), fifth in routes run (401), and third in TDs (8). Pringle certainly improved in his fourth year, but he was roughly league-average from an efficiency perspective and he was in a dream scenario given just how proficient the KC offense was in 2021. The Bears are candidates to select a wide receiver on the first two days of the NFL Draft, but Pringle is likely to reset his career highs in targets and routes for a second straight season. He could be worth a late-round flier in Best Ball formats because of his potential workload but he’s unlikely to have many spike weeks in what could be a bad Bears’ offense.
Jamison Crowder (NYJ, 29) — The Bills signed Crowder to a one-year contract worth up to $4 million.
Fantasy Points: Crowder was seemingly the centerpiece of the Jets’ passing attack in 2019 and 2020, and that really shouldn’t be surprising given Sam Darnold’s history of targeting slot WRs. Darnold was traded to Carolina and new QB Zach Wilson never really found his stride in 2021. The result was the worst efficiency numbers of Crowder’s career. He set career lows in YPRR (1.15) and passer rating when targeted (85.8), and he scored double-digit fantasy points in just four of his 12 games. But, given Zach Wilson was PFF’s fourth-worst graded QB last year, it’s fair to assume Crowder still has the potential to be a strong #3 WR this season. He found a great place to potentially do it with Josh Allen and the Bills, who cut Cole Beasley earlier this off-season. Crowder will compete with Isaiah McKenzie for slot WR snaps this season, and the two could crush each other’s fantasy value if neither play emerges as the clear starter.
James Washington (Dal, 26) — The Cowboys inked Washington to a one-year contract.
Fantasy Points: Washington had a mostly disappointing four-year stay in Pittsburgh after the franchise drafted the Biletnikoff Award winner in the second round in 2018. He was largely uninvolved in 2021, recording just five games with a route share of over 70%. He did little in those games when he had a large role, averaging just 7.0 FPG. Washington also posted abysmal efficiency numbers, earning a 53.4 PFF receiving grade and 0.90 YPRR. It didn’t help that Ben Roethlisberger was close to the worst QB in football last year, and he lacked the arm strength to take advantage of Washington as a downfield receiver. Washington had two seasons of above-average WR play under his belt in 2019 (8.9 FPG) and 2020 (6.2 FPG). The best-case scenario for Washington is landing as a #3 WR in an offense that attacks downfield, as 37% of his fantasy scoring has come on deep passes over the last three years. That’s exactly what happened when he returned to his home state of Texas. Dak Prescott owns a career aDOT of 8.7 yards while Big Ben averaged 7.3 yards on his attempts in 2020-21. Prescott has been able to support 3-4 fantasy-relevant receivers in recent seasons and Gallup will be coming off a late-season ACL injury so he could get off to a slow start. Washington has some juice as a late-round Best Ball flier if he emerges as Dallas’ #3 WR.
Zach Pascal (Phi, 28) — Pascal and the Eagles agreed to a one-year contract.
Fantasy Points: Pascal will team back up with his old Colts’ OC Nick Sirianni in Philadelphia, whom he posted 600+ receiving yards under in consecutive seasons in 2018-19. Pascal landed in an offense that needs WR help behind DeVonta Smith. He has been remarkably consistent in his career, having missed just one game in four seasons and earning at least 69 targets in each of the last three years. He’s never stood out as a fantasy contributor, and he may have already maxed out his abilities as a roughly league-average #3. Pascal won’t have problems making a roster, but beyond that, it’s difficult to envision him earning a more significant role than he had the last three seasons when he averaged 7.7. FPG on 4.4 targets per game. He should be viewed as a way to shore up their second-string WR depth and he’s proven he can step into a full-time role if Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins are unreliable in front of him.
Rashard Higgins (Car, 27) — Higgins is signing with the Panthers on a one-year deal.
Fantasy Points: Higgins screams depth WR at this point. We can safely rule out any possibility of Higgins ever becoming a WR1, as he’s only recorded more than 8 targets in three of his 82 career games while earning a rather pitiful 1.21 career YPRR. As a 27-year-old who has never earned more than 600 yards in a season, Higgins won’t turn heads as a signing but could remain fantasy-relevant if he can secure the WR3 job. He’ll battle Terrace Marshall for that gig in Carolina.
Others Changing Teams
Jakeem Grant (Cle, 30) — The Browns signed Grant to a three-year contract that’s worth up to $13.8 million if he hits his incentives. His primary contributions will come in the return game where he’s been named a second-team All-Pro selection as a punt returner in each of the last two seasons. He’s also posted 55/639/2 receiving as a depth receiver in 29 games between the Dolphins and Bears in 2020-21.
Equanimeous St. Brown (Chi, 25) — The Bears inked St. Brown to a one-year contract. ESB has excellent size (6’5”, 214 pounds) and speed (4.48), but he’s totaled just 16/215/1 receiving in the last two seasons after a promising rookie season (21/328/0) in 2018 — he missed the entire 2019 season with an ankle. He landed in a thin Bears’ receiving corps so he’s at least a player to monitor in training camp, but he’s unlikely to break out in his fifth season.
Demarcus Robinson (LV, 28) — The Raiders pried Robinson away from the rival Chiefs on a one-year deal. He never cracked 60+ targets or 500+ receiving yards in his first six NFL seasons, the last four of which came with Patrick Mahomes leading the offense. He’ll be competing with Bryan Edwards to be Las Vegas’ #3 WR this season, and he’ll be a veteran depth option at worst.
Trent Sherfield (Mia, 26) — The Dolphins agreed to a one-year deal with Sherfield. He followed former OC Mike McDaniel to South Beach to be a special teams player and a depth option in Miami’s receiving corps. He’s posted just 18 catches in the last three years after posting 19 receptions as a rookie in 2018.
Mack Hollins (LV, 29) — Hollins is getting a one-year deal with the Raiders. New coach Josh McDaniels has seen him up close as a divisional opponent when Hollins was with the Dolphins and McDaniels with the Patriots. Noted most for his special-teams prowess, Hollins nonetheless can contribute as a part-time red-zone receiver and deep threat. He scored 4 TD on just 14 receptions in 2021 for Miami.
Justin Watson (KC, 26) — Watson made some appearances for the Bucs over the last couple years but never could stick in the rotation. He’s a freak athlete who was worth a flier for the Chiefs.
Robert Foster (NYG, 28) — Foster signed a one-year deal with the Giants to reunite with his old Alabama and Bills OC Brian Daboll. He didn’t play an NFL snap last season but he flashed at the end of the 2018 season under Daboll, posting 27/541/3 receiving in 13 games with Buffalo.
Ray-Ray McCloud (SF, 26) — The 49ers signed return specialist McCloud to a two-year contract. He averaged a miserable 6.0 YPR for the Steelers the last two seasons, but he totaled over 2000+ yards as a punt and kick returner.
Gunner Olszewski (Pit, 26) — The Steelers signed Olszewski to a two-year contract. He’ll likely replace Ray-Ray McCloud as the team’s primary returner, and he earned first-team All-Pro honors as a punt returner in 2020.
River Cracraft (Mia, 28) — Cracraft moves on from San Francisco to Miami.
Chris Godwin (TB, 27) — The Buccaneers re-signed Godwin to a three-year, $60 million contract with $40 million guaranteed.
Fantasy Points: Godwin immediately jumped out to fantasy players and football fans alike when he joined the league in 2017, as the 2.03 YPRR he earned in his rookie season hinted at elite ability waiting to be unlocked. To date, Godwin’s best season actually came with Jameis Winston under center in 2019 (Godwin’s first season playing majority slot WR), when he averaged 19.7 FPG and finished as the overall WR2. While Godwin hasn’t quite matched that production since, he did have an outstanding 2021, averaging 17.8 FPG across his full games and seeing at least 15 targets in each of his final two healthy games before suffering an ACL tear in Week 15, which ended his season. At just 26 years old, Godwin has the significant advantage of youth to help with his recovery, and I’d suspect he comes back just as good, or better, than he was in 2021 – and he has Tom Brady back, to boot.
Fantasy Points: For $20M annually, one would think Williams will remain heavily involved, likely as the 1B to Keenan Allen’s 1A. And with a QB like Justin Herbert, it’s difficult to imagine a better fantasy landing spot for a big-bodied deep threat like Williams. In 2021, Williams was the WR3 through the first five weeks of the season, averaging 22.8 FPG and 94.2 YPG. He managed to eclipse 22.0 fantasy points and 9 targets in four of those five games, and it seemed Williams was destined for a WR1 season. But in his next 11 games, Williams never quite returned to those previous impressive numbers and eclipsed 22.0 fantasy points just once, and 9 targets just twice. Still, Williams’ 2021 ended with career highs in targets (122) receptions (76), routes (582), yards (1,146), YAC (415), and YPRR (1.97). While his performance early in the 2021 season could have been a flash in the pan, Williams was the 7th overall pick in 2017 and is just 28 – suggesting he’s just starting to scratch the surface as to how good he can be.
Michael Gallup (Dal, 26) — Gallup and the Cowboys agreed to terms on a five-year, $62.5 million contract with $27 million guaranteed.
Fantasy Points: Gallup had a fairly pedestrian 2021, averaging 10.2 FPG and playing in just nine games due to an early-season calf injury. His season came to an early end when he tore his ACL in Week 17, but the Cowboys must be confident in his health since they traded away Amari Cooper before inking Gallup to a long-term contract. If we look past 2021, we’ll find Gallup offers outstanding upside, especially now that Dallas’ receiving corps has been thinned out with Cooper leaving behind 6.9 targets per game and a 19.0% target share. In 2019 and 2020, Gallup averaged 24.0 FPG in his best nine games, but just 8.1 FPG in his remaining 21 games. He’s been a rather frustrating player to own in start/sit, but he offers borderline elite upside in Best Ball formats. Gallup will move up the passing-game pecking order, and he offered WR2 production the last time he was Dak Prescott’s #2 WR when he averaged 15.2 FPG in 2019.
Jakobi Meyers (NE, 26) — The Patriots assigned a one-year, $4.0 million tender to restricted free agent Meyers.
Fantasy Points: Meyers operated as Mac Jones’ top target in 2022, and he recorded 47 more targets than the next-closest Patriot in Hunter Henry. Meyers finished the year ranked 15th in target share (24%), but he ranked as just the WR42 with 11.0 FPG. So what happened? Well, Meyers’ end-zone and red-zone roles were almost non-existent. He ranked 20th in total targets (121) but just 38th in red-zone targets and 67th in end-zone targets. In fact, Henry saw superior red-zone and end-zone volume despite recording almost 50 fewer targets across the season. Meyers needs a better role in scoring territory this season if he’s to top his 11.0 FPG because the Patriots could bring in more target competition for him this season. He’s a solid PPR asset, but not much more at this point.
Allen Lazard (GB, 27) — The Packers placed the second-round RFA tender on Lazard, which almost certainly guarantees he’ll be back.
Fantasy Points: Lazard has consistently been in the fantasy WR5 range in each of the last three seasons. He’s never seen great volume (zero career games with double-digit targets), but he did catch fire to end 2021, averaging 16.7 FPG and 5.6 targets per game in his final 5 games, as a favorite of QB Aaron Rodgers. The Packers appear likely to move on from WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, so retaining the veteran Lazard was a critical step for them.
Braxton Berrios (NYJ, 27) — Berrios signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Jets, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Fantasy Points: Berrios’ modest contract suggests most teams viewed him as a depth option, but his last two seasons suggest he has decent fantasy potential if given the right opportunity. He’s always managed impressive efficiency, with PFF receiving grades of over 71.8 in each of the last two seasons and a strong career YPRR of 1.84. But, Berrios has never found consistent opportunity. He has just four career games with more than eight targets, but averaged 17.3 FPG in that sample. It’s possible Berrios begins 2022 with a starting opportunity, and he is the kind of player who could generate legitimate fantasy success if he is in the lineup. He is a Jets fan favorite.
Isaiah McKenzie (Buf, 27) — Buffalo signed McKenzie to a two-year, $8-million deal.
Fantasy Points: Goodbye, Cole Beasley. McKenzie has always popped with the ball in his hands. But, his primary issue remains that of opportunity. McKenzie has played in 64 career games but has earned 6 or more targets on just five occasions – averaging a quite encouraging 16.9 FPG in those instances. 2021 saw more of the same for McKenzie, as he remained largely uninvolved, until Week 16, when he caught 11 of 12 targets for 125 yards and a score – yet again demonstrating that he’s an elite playmaker when provided the opportunity. With Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders likely on another team in 2022, McKenzie should have no problem securing at least the #4 WR role with the Bills and earning at least a few schemed touches every game. The Bills signed Jamison Crowder and they’ll likely be competing for snaps out of the slot this season.
Josh Reynolds (Det, 27) — Reynolds is sticking with the Lions on a two-year deal.
Fantasy Points: Reynolds developed a solid midseason rapport with former Rams teammate QB Jared Goff after a disastrous stint with the Titans, finishing as the Lions’ 4th-most targeted player in 2021. Somewhat encouragingly, Reynolds averaged a respectable 10.3 FPG in his final six games, but was still clearly a secondary option to rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown, even with D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson being absent from the lineup during that stretch. Reynolds can be safely ignored in all but the deepest leagues and best-ball formats, as a WR5 fantasy season is likely his ceiling in 2022.
Kalif Raymond (Det, 27) — The Lions are retaining Raymond, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
Fantasy Points: Raymond quietly put together a solid season in 2021, as his 8.3 FPG actually ranked higher than Julio Jones (8.0 FPG), Laviska Shenault (7.9), Gabriel Davis (7.9), and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (7.9). He showcased a decent ceiling, with three games of 17.6 or more fantasy points, largely thanks to his big-play ability. Raymond wasn’t considered more than a WR4 on the open market, so he reupped with the Lions, but he demonstrated in 2021 that he can offer the occasional top-18 fantasy WR performance when given a full-time opportunity. He also returns kicks, which adds to his value for Detroit.
Laquon Treadwell (Jax, 27) — The Jaguars retained Treadwell to an undisclosed contract.
Fantasy Points: Treadwell, a 2016 first-round pick, finally managed to put together a decent fantasy stretch, averaging a respectable 11.1 FPG in his final seven games of 2021. He was a viable WR3 down the stretch with 4+ receptions and 50+ receiving yards in six straight games from Weeks 12-17. He still owns a career average of 1.06 yards per route run, but there’s at least some hope that he can be a serviceable backup moving forward. Treadwell is slotted in to be the third perimeter WR behind Marvin Jones and Zay Jones. Marv is 32 years old and Zay has his own history of disappointing as the 37th overall pick in 2017, so Treadwell could have a bigger role at some point in 2022.
Jalen Guyton (LAC, 25) — The Chargers retained exclusive rights free agent Guyton.
Fantasy Points: Guyton was a fringe starter who saw his route participation dip throughout the season. He earned a 71% route share in his first seven games but a 54% route share in his final nine games as he was partially phased out in favor of rookie Josh Palmer. Guyton should be able to make the roster as a #4 or #5 WR, but his brutal career efficiency numbers (0.94 career YPRR) and a poor ending to 2021 cast doubt on if he can cling to any fantasy relevancy.
Antoine Wesley (Ari, 25) — The Cardinals signed exclusive right free agent Wesley to a one-year contract.
Fantasy Points: Wesley saw his first NFL action in 2021 and he managed 9.6 FPG in his final 4 games in 2021. Despite abysmal efficiency (0.77 YPRR), Wesley seems to have earned Kliff Kingsbury’s trust, and could manage to slot himself in as Arizona’s WR3 in the best case scenario. He’s not a player we are going to be drafting in basically any format, but he could emerge as a decent fantasy contributor in 2022 if he can recreate his 72% route share from his final four games.
Preston Williams (Mia, 25) — The Dolphins retained Williams on a one-year deal.
Fantasy Points: Williams went from up-and-coming WR to complete afterthought in Miami. His career has been spoiled by injuries, having never played more than 8 games in any of his three seasons. And those injuries may be taking a toll, as Williams FPG, receiving grades, and YPRR has dipped in every season since his rookie year. In 2021, Williams eclipsed a 45% route share just once, and failed to see more than 5 targets in any individual game. At just 25, Williams is certainly young enough to turn things around and contribute as fringe starting WR, but he’s going to have to show it soon. A one-year deal is no risk for Miami and the new coaching staff, however.
Deonte Harty (NO, 25) — The former Deonte Harris had 570 receiving yards and 3 TD in 2021, and also is the Saints’ top return man. They tendered him at the second-round level, so they did not want to lose him.
Fantasy Points: Harty was one of the most underrated WRs of the 2021 season. Among WRs with 50 or more targets, Harty ranked 7th in PFF receiving grade (86.7) and 6th in YPRR (2.69) – besting the likes of Ja’Marr Chase and Tyreek Hill in both categories. It didn’t translate to an elite fantasy season, as Harris averaged just 8.7 FPG, but given his QBs were Trevor Siemian, Taysom Hill, and Jameis Winston and that New Orleans ranked 29th in pass rate vs expectation (-6.4%).
Others Staying Put
Breshad Perriman (TB, 29) — The Buccaneers re-signed Perriman to a one-year deal. He’ll once again be one of the backup perimeter receivers for Tom Brady after posting 11/167 receiving on 18 targets in six games at the end of last season.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (Ten, 25) — The Titans signed exclusive rights free agent Westbrook-Ikhine. He managed 38/476/1 receiving in 16 games and he even operated as the team’s top receiver at times when both A.J. Brown and Julio Jones were out of the lineup.
Jauan Jennings (SF, 25) — Jennings emerged in 2021 as a solid depth option for the 49ers, catching 24 passes and scoring 5 TD. He’s a good blocker and solid route technician who isn’t a great athlete but will play in the league for a long time.
Noah Brown (Dal, 26) — Retaining Brown turned out to be an important move for the Cowboys, who lost both Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson this off-season.
Olamide Zaccheaus (Atl, 25) — The Falcons need some veteran depth at WR given the suspension of Calvin Ridley and the loss of Russell Gage to the Bucs.
Cam Sims (Was, 26) — Sims is back in Washington on a one-year deal.
Greg Ward (Phi, 27) — Philly inked Ward to a one-year deal.
Chris Conley (Hou, 29) — The Texans brought Conley back on a one-year deal to likely back up second-year WR Nico Collins.
Josh Gordon (KC, 31) — The Chiefs and Gordon agreed to terms on a deal for 2022.
Brandon Zylstra (Car, 29) — The Panthers signed Zylstra to a one-year deal.
CJ Board (NYG, 29) — The Giants re-signed Board on a one-year contract. He has 17 career catches in 24 games over the seasons.
Jake Kumerow (Buf, 30) — The Bills kept Kumerow around on a one-year deal.
Matthew Slater (NE, 37) — The Patriots re-signed their longtime special teams captain.
Ashton Dulin (Ind, 25) — Dulin was tendered a contract by the Colts. He plays special teams and occasional WR packages.
Jeff Smith (NYJ, 25) — Smith had 8 catches on 17 targets in 2021 and plays special teams.
Chris Moore (Hou, 29) — Moore is back in Houston on a one-year deal.
Tom Kennedy (Det, 26) — Kennedy caught 6 passes in 2021 and threw a TD pass on a trick play. He also has special teams experience.
Penny Hart (Sea, 26) — Hart caught 7 passes in 2021.
Mike Thomas (Cin, 28) — Thomas and the Bengals agreed to a one-year deal. He’s posted just 18/184/1 receiving in his first 26 games in Cincinnati the last two seasons
Terry Godwin (Jax, 26) — The Jaguars retained exclusive rights free agent Godwin, a former 2019 seventh-round pick out of Georgia. He has three career catches in six season but he didn’t appear in a game last season.
Davion Davis (Hou, 26) — Davis has one career catch in four games.