We are quite a ways away from the start of the 2022 NFL season, but let’s be honest, there’s never really a bad time for a good ‘ol hot take.
Yes, ripping off a flaming hot take on twitter is a lot of fun, but there is a bit of practicality to thinking through your bold and hot takes now that draft season is here. Clearly these aren’t things you’re truly predicting to happen, but it allows you to think through some of the lower probability but huge upside scenarios that you want to invest in. When you see an upside scenario that maybe the market doesn’t agree with, that’s how we get paid off in a big way. And in the case of this Best Ball season, that’s taking our share of millions and millions of dollars, especially with Underdog Fantasy launching a ridiculous $10 Million tournament.
If you’re hopping in any Best Ball Mania 3 drafts, you can see some of the upside of these “hot takes” in our Underdog Positional Rankings (FREE for now!).
I’m going to update this list monthly over the course of the summer to account for any new “hot takes” my galaxy brain can come up with. Guys get hurt, things change, etc., but I’ll keep all the initial takes up. Just like on twitter, never delete.
My initial list of 2022 fantasy football hot takes:
Gabriel Davis becomes the Bills WR1 and finishes as a top 5 fantasy WR. As noted here, Gabe took some huge strides in critical areas of WR play last season while Stefon Diggs took some steps back. If those continue, you’re getting a 23 year old, 3rd year breakout WR in an elite Bills offense at an insane discount.
Miles Sanders bounces back from ZERO touchdowns last year to score TEN touchdowns in 2022. Sanders was hyper efficient in the 12 games he played last year, but he just never got in the box. The Eagles didn’t bring in any RB competition, did not bring back Jordan Howard (who stole 23 red zone rushing attempts in just 7 games) and retained just 2 smaller backs in Boston Scott (5’6, 203) and Kenny Gainwell (5’9, 201). Add a superstar WR to an offense with an elite running QB, Devonta Smith, Dallas Goedert and an awesome offensive line, and there’s going to be tons of scoring opportunities. Even with Hurts stealing some GL TDs, Sanders was 5th in breakaway run rate last year, so he can pop some long TD runs. Similar to Gabe, Sanders makes for an awesome target in Best Ball Mania immediately.
Saquon Barkley is the RB1 overall. Not JT, not CMC, not the Big Dog, but yes Saquon. It’s been a few years, but as a 21 year old rookie, Saquon racked up 261 carries, 121 targets, 2,028 yards from scrimmage and 15 total TDs. That was basically what Jonathan Taylor did last season (more receiving work, of course) minus a few touchdowns (JT had 20 TDs). Injuries and a truly disastrous offensive situation have railroaded Saquon since that season, but it’s set to turn around in 2022. Offensive genius and architect of the Bills offensive turnaround, Brian Daboll, is now his coach and the Giants have sneakily turned their offensive line into a potential strength. The talent, big play ability and receiving acumen is still there for Saquon, and now the situation has vastly improved.
Robert Tonyan is the biggest beneficiary of the absence of Davante Adams and finishes as a top 3 tight end. We all know the “Aaron Rodgers trust” narrative, and there aren’t many options that fit left on the team. Drafters seem to be focused on the running backs and receivers while leaving the guy who had an 11 TD season in 2020 at the end of drafts. Assuming health, he’s arguably the favorite to be Rodgers top red zone threat now, and if he can scoop up just some of the 169 targets Adams leaves behind, Tonyan could be in for a monster fantasy season.
The Seattle Seahawks go 0-17 and score the fewest points per game in the NFL. This team is a dumpster fire. Zero players from the Seahawks are helpful to your fantasy football teams, especially at these prices.
David Bell is both the highest scoring rookie WR AND the WR1 on the Cleveland Browns. While rookies like Drake London and Treylon Burks landed in spots with a projected easier path to their team’s WR1, they also landed on much worse offenses. Meanwhile players like Skyy Moore land in great spots like the Chiefs, but it’s a much trickier path to a high volume role. Bell steps into a WR room in Cleveland that’s wide open outside of Amari Cooper and also has elite QB play with Deshaun Watson (unless we see a long suspension). Amari is still solid, but he turns 28 this summer and has frankly been a perennial under-performer despite playing in incredible offenses and was unimpressive last year (see below image) despite playing in a strong Dallas offense.
Bell’s combine was poor, but everything else screams “stud” to me. Age 19 breakout despite playing alongside Rondale Moore in the Big Ten, early declare, elite college production, good size and dominator rating (69th percentile, nice). The speed/athleticism had some spooked, but his best comp on PlayerProfiler is Anquan Boldin, which is one of the more perfect comps I can remember (who ironically also absolutely crushed as a rookie).