We may be less than two months away from football season, but it’s never a bad time to start preparing to dominate your fantasy football league. That’s why TDN’s very own Jaime Eisner unveiled his fantasy football rankings for 12-team, half-PPR leagues. And there were some *interesting* decisions.
Of course, before I attempt to tear down Jaime’s ego, his rankings and projections are some of the best business. He spends hours researching and developing in-depth projections, which you can check out below. So I won’t get too picky about minuscule differences in the rankings, though I certainly could make a case for something small like Justin Herbert over Kyler Murray.
With that said, let’s see what else stood out from Jaime’s fantasy football rankings, starting with the quarterbacks. Stay tuned for the other positions over the next two weeks.
Jaime’s full Fantasy Football QB Rankings
Jaime’s full QB Stat Projections
Most Overrated: Carson Wentz (QB19)
This season’s crop of quarterbacks looks really strong for fantasy. There are roughly 12 quarterbacks who I’m more than comfortable with as my QB1, followed by proven veterans and high-upside youngsters. Wentz profiles as neither. Jaime’s placement of Wentz comes six spots above Wentz’s ADP—one of Jaime’s largest against-the-grain decisions at the position. I just can’t value Wentz in the same tier as Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, and Tua Tagovailoa, to name a few.
To Wentz’s credit, he was the overall QB10 through the first nine weeks of last season. The difference between last season and this season? Wentz had structure. Can we really trust him to regain his footing in a Washington offense that’s been a bottom-10 team in points scored during each season of the Ron Rivera era? Banking on a healthy Curtis Samuel also seems easier said than done, and as much as I love Jahan Dotson, I don’t love Wentz as a passer.
Wentz’s second half of 2021 was not pretty. Washington also ran the ball 45% of the time, which was the eighth-highest rate in football. Then they drafted Brian Robinson Jr. and brought back J.D. McKissic, who could at least provide value in the passing game again. Paired with Antonio Gibson, it’s not a backfield that defenses should respect as much as they did with Jonathan Taylor.
Wentz has an uphill battle to climb with not nearly as much help as guys like Winston, Tagovailoa, and even Zach Wilson. At his current value, you’re better off choosing a passer with more upside. It’s hard to trust Wentz being anything more than a bye-week replacement.
Most Underrated: Trevor Lawrence (QB24)
Conversely, Lawrence is a bit too low for my tastes. I get the hesitation with valuing him highly after a vastly disappointing rookie season, but Lawrence was dealt an all-time bad hand. His sophomore campaign should be much better.
Time and time again, we see young quarterbacks take a minute to develop fully. Unfortunately, it seems like people kind of forget that when you get a Justin Herbert or a Joe Burrow blowing the league out of the water right away. Lawrence has that capability based on pure talent. Lawrence’s sneaky athleticism is always a great trait for fantasy quarterbacks to have.
Lawrence also has an upgraded roster. Look, I’m not going to sit here and pretend Christian Kirk and Evan Engram are the second comings of Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski, but Jacksonville clearly improved this offseason. Getting Travis Etienne back healthy is a big bonus, too. Combine a revamped offense with a new head coach, the uber-talented Lawrence could be in for a much better season than last year. I’d bump him up to just below the Justin Fields tier.
Ranking I’ve Come Around To: Lamar Jackson (QB7)
Jaime has Jackson as his QB7, which is three spots below Jackson’s ADP. Initially, I thought it was too low. Now, past success is not a direct indicator of future success, but it does give us a solid standard to work with when making projections. In 11 healthy games last season, Jackson averaged 21.7 fantasy points. That would’ve been the fourth-best among quarterbacks. So we know he’s already being valued closer to his floor.
While Jackson won’t have Marquise Brown to throw to anymore, I doubt his departure makes a huge difference in the offense run by Baltimore. This should still be a run-heavy offense, which Jaime does factor into his projections. A healthy Baltimore team in an offense with few question marks (outside of wide receiver) sounds like a good boost to Jackson’s stats in 2022. And as for his wide receivers, Jackson’s done well enough fantasy-wise without a star-studded receiving corps.
Here’s the thing: The only quarterback with more question marks that Jaime has ahead of Jackson in his rankings is Russell Wilson. And I can make a case for either one since, unlike Wilson, Jackson has a familiar offense backed by his own superb recent fantasy production. So despite a sky-high ceiling, Jackson’s spot as QB7 seems fine with me even if it seems like it’s too low for the former MVP.
Deserves Applause: Tom Brady (QB4) over Joe Burrow (QB10)
Now it’s time to show Jaime some love. This section alone has been more than a month in the making when I tweeted my confusion over Burrow and Brady‘s ADPs.
- Joe Burrow ADP: QB6
- Tom Brady ADP: QB9
Don’t get me wrong, Burrow is a very good quarterback and definitely a QB1 for your fantasy team, but why should we value him over last season’s QB3 in fantasy points per game? Yes, Brady lost Gronkowski and won’t have Chris Godwin for a few weeks to start the season. Instead, he’ll be left with Mike Evans and Russell Gage. Spoiler: That’s still a good group to throw to.
Even if Tampa Bay doesn’t lead the league in passing rates again, we should still expect Brady to continue to be atop the charts in pass attempts. We can’t say the same for Burrow and Cincinnati, who were just above league average in pass plays called. Burrow may have the weapons, but Brady has the volume—and volume is a much more proven indicator of fantasy success. Props to Jaime for going against popular opinion here and ranking Brady above Burrow.
Best Late-Round Value: Jared Goff (QB25)
This is a different superlative from “Most Underrated” because while I think Lawrence should be drafted higher than Jamie indicates, I agree with Jamie‘s ranking of Goff as QB25.
Goff averaged just under 14 fantasy points per game last season, so there obviously isn’t much proven success with him. It all lies in our projections for Goff in 2022. Goff doesn’t have great upside, but he could become an intriguing QB2 game-by-game. There were times last year when Goff looked the part. He reached double-digit points in each of his last five games. We also know Detroit is more than fine with having Goff throw often. The league average of pass attempts per game was 34.8. Goff eclipsed that mark in eight of his 14 starts, including three games of 40-plus throws.
Of course, Goff‘s real value lies in an upgraded offense. The Lions paired fantasy darling Amon-Ra St. Brown with D.J. Chark and rookie Jameson Williams, who could provide some late-season value when he fully recovers from his ACL injury suffered in January. Again, it’s not the greatest group of wide receivers, but it helps to have D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson in the fold as well.
Don’t be surprised if Goff outplays his ADP. You may not need to draft him in redraft yet, though he’s an enticing late-round selection in best ball.