The 2022 NFL Draft has been completed, and 13 wide receivers were picked in the first two rounds. The number of young quality receivers keeps increasing faster than the rate that the league is losing its veteran receivers. This leaves fantasy managers with plenty of options but also makes it harder to value each receiver.
Here are my top-120 wide receivers broken into tiers to help fantasy managers in dynasty trades as well as prepare them for rookie drafts.
Jefferson lands as the top wide receiver on the list as one of the most accomplished wide receivers through his first two years in NFL history. He leads all wide receivers in receptions, yards and explosive plays over their first two seasons in the last decade. He’s finished as a top-seven fantasy wide receiver in back-to-back years, and the scary part is there is room for improvement.
His 24.7% career threat rate is very good, but it is not as high as other elite wide receivers: Kupp and Davante Adams finished above 30% in 2021. Jefferson has a new head coach in Kevin O’Connell — the former Rams offensive coordinator who just helped Kupp accomplish one of the best wide receiver seasons in NFL history. O’Connell has already said in interviews Jefferson will be Minnesota's version of Kupp.
Jefferson is much younger than Kupp and has significantly less competition for targets than Chase, making him the most exciting wide receiver going forward.
Adams and Brown remain among the top-eight wide receivers despite changing teams this offseason simply due to their talent. Adams' 93.9 PFF grade over the last three seasons is clearly ahead of the other wide receivers while Brown’s grade ranks third among the wide receivers over the last three years. Their elite talent outweighs the uncertainty of being in a new situation.
Samuel and Diggs join Adams and Brown as the top-two wide receivers in fantasy points last season who didn’t change teams and weren’t in Tier 1. Both players should be successful for the foreseeable future. These four players aren’t necessarily the youngest wide receivers, but they all are expected to play at a high level for several more seasons, making their age less of an issue.
Lamb joins this tier as the only wide receiver so far without a top-10 finish for a season, but he is the young wide receiver who is most likely to reach that this year and in the future. Only 11 wide receivers have ranked top 24 in both 2020 and 2021, and eight of them have either already been mentioned or are 28 years old or older. The remaining three are Lamb, D.K. Metcalf and Diontae Johnson, and the latter two will likely deal with downgrades at quarterback this season.
Lamb should benefit from Amari Cooper’s departure. The third-year receiver averaged 84.0% of the Cowboys' offensive snaps as long as one of the starting wide receivers were healthy but only 67.3% when everyone was healthy. Lamb should see his snap share closer to 84% with Cooper gone, which should lead to more receptions, yards and touchdowns.
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This tier is full of excellent young wide receivers who have one reason or another to get excited about. Higgins and Godwin are the top wide receivers remaining in PFF grade from the last six draft classes. They have the two highest-graded quarterbacks throwing to them, but their only downside is competition for targets.