We have reached the final portion of Fantasy Football and Best Ball Draft SZN, and we’ve had months and months to (over)analyze every player, draft strategy, projection and potential scenario. Best Ball in particular is much more of a peer-to-peer game of strategy nowadays with these huge Best Ball tournaments, but what’s the fun of fantasy football if we aren’t making big bets on outlier scenarios from fun players or teams.
So it’s time for my final “Bold Calls” for 2022.
For those that know me, they know I’m an extremely sarcastic and hyperbolic person, so naturally this exercise is going to be very exaggerated for me. I just can’t help myself.
I think that’s the fun of these types of things. At the end of the day, this is a game. A game where we are trying to win life changing money, but a game nonetheless. I wrote about some “Hot Takes” early in the offseason, and you’ll see a little crossover here.
We all have players we love more than our opponents, and we get paid off in a big way when the crazy outlier results come through. Most didn’t see the Cooper Kupp legendary season coming, or Amon-Ra St. Brown as the “guy you needed” in the best ball playoffs. Certainly no one forecasted Ja’Marr Chase dropping a 50 burger in Week 17.
This isn’t going to be some super serious, in-depth analytical article backing up each “take”, but we’ll provide a little context as to where these thoughts come from.
But without further ado, my 2022 Final Bold Calls (which will ALL assuredly be wrong, but hey, they’re fun):
2022 Fantasy Football Bold Calls
Gabriel Davis catches 20 TDs and finishes as the WR1 overall
I have discussed, written about and most importantly drafted Gabe way too much already this summer, so it’s probably unsurprising that he starts off my list. This is my big stand of the season, and if I were to bet on someone to be this year’s Cooper Kupp, it’s him.
The problem is that everyone stares at Cooper Kupp from last year and tries to replicate the exact profile, and Gabe doesn’t really fit that. But his archetype is the perfect Underdog archetype that can simply break fantasy when you consider his talent and situation.
He’ll now be an every snap player on arguably the best fantasy passing offense in the league, and he’s a touchdown machine. He turned just 23 in August, and he was an underrated, early declare prospect with big time production at UCF.
His cost in drafts is not cheap, but it’s been capped by the fact that he hasn’t done it before. Meanwhile no one has an issue with Chase/Higgins both going early, or Tyreek/Kelce in the past. I think he’ll be a 1/2 turn pick next year.
Jalen Hurts and Trey Lance Finish as QB2 and QB3
I am also very bullish on Kyler Murray (and of course Josh Allen), but I think we have a unique scenario where two extreme rushing QBs in truly elite situations are being drafted at very affordable prices.
As sharp fantasy football analyst Ben Gretch has discussed this offseason, there are different levels to rushing production from QBs. Alongside Allen, these two are in a different tier for me than the likes of Kyler and other runners. That gives them both the floor and upside that is perfect for fantasy. Then, you combine that with their situations, and you get a complete goldmine.
The Eagles drafted a Heisman winning WR last year in the 1st round of the NFL draft, kept an underrated TE in Dallas Goedert and traded for one of the best WRs in the NFL. Oh, and they have the best offensive line in the entire NFL.
The 49ers have a brilliant offensive mind in Kyle Shanahan at the helm, who has been able to get results from mediocre talents like Jimmy Garropolo, Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard with worse skill position talent. Now you have an elite runner with a bazooka for an arm throwing to Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle.
Both of these players scream fantasy superstar, and yet they’re available at reasonable prices solely because fantasy football players would rather be NFL scouts than win money playing fantasy football.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling post a 70/1,200/10 line with the Chiefs
I understand every possible criticism of MVS. But (imo) he’s another scenario where a good chunk of the fantasy football market would rather put on their NFL scout hat than their Best Ball drafter hat.
Just about any analyst big into Best Ball has probably discussed the profit potential in ambiguous situations. They’ve also probably talked about the benefit of being on a high-powered offense, or playing with a superstar QB. Well, MVS has all of those, and more.
We know he has the (non pun intended) Spike Week potential from his days with the Packers, but we also know he played with both Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams for his entire career. Rodgers is one of the best to ever do it, but he is also a quirky guy who is known to not take big risks and also bury young players who don’t perform to his expectations. MVS was typecast into just a deep ball player with a QB who is not interested in taking unnecessary risks and peppered Davante with targets.
Now MVS moves over to a Patrick Mahomes offense who not only lost a huge target share, elite downfield threat in Tyreek Hill, but also has an aging Travis Kelce as the holdover big target share player. The market has given a huge target share to JuJu Smith-Schuster, and I agree that’s probably the most likely outcome. But we aren’t looking for most likely in Best Ball.
What if MVS is just better than what we saw in Green Bay with Rodgers and he becomes a featured player in a Patrick Mahomes offense?
Kyle Pitts is the Tight End 1
Ok, maybe this isn’t THAT bold since he’s being drafted as the TE3, but I can’t leave a bold calls piece without discussing Kyle Pitts.
I’ve said it a million times, you’ve heard other people say it a million times, and you’ll probably hear it more for years to come… but Kyle Pitts is a superstar Wide Receiver that you get to play at an incredibly weak Tight End position in fantasy football.
In modern day football, Pitts is the best receiving tight end prospect of all time. But that’s in part due to the stupidity of positional constraints. That’s a massive loophole in this silly game of fantasy football that we play, and we should take advantage.
Despite playing with no help on offense, a noodle armed Matt Ryan and a conservative play caller as a rookie, Pitts still put up over 1,000 on just 68 catches. In my opinion, if he had scored more than 1 touchdown, there is absolutely no way we’d be getting him in the 3rd round of drafts. Even though everyone knows TDs are so high variance, they can’t help themselves but be drawn to end of season fantasy scoring results and TD totals.
Seriously, just go look at Pitts’ college production. It’s truly insane, and he lived up to the hype last year. Now he gets some help on offense and another year of growth, but because he hasn’t done it before we are drafting dusty running backs and WR2s in front of him.
Pitts will be a 1st round pick next year in fantasy drafts. Just draft him.