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2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Tiers and Rankings

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking players by position is an integral part of fantasy football preparation, but grouping them into tiers is crucial to identifying the value you might be leaving on the draft board.

For example, if you're on the clock and looking at several wide receivers in the same tier, it could make sense to wait until the next round — someone equally as worthy will probably be available with your next pick.

Tiers can also help group players with similar expectations based on upside and floor. Most importantly, we don't want to pay more than the next drafter for a similar player.

There are seven primary criteria used to create wide receiver tiers:

  • Target pedigree: Recent adjusted target shares and targets per route run
  • Performance peripherals: Yards per route run, deep targets (20-plus yards), yards after the catch and explosive target rate (15-plus-yard receptions)
  • Offense quality: Projected team wins (winning teams typically score more and passing YPA correlates strongly to wins)
  • Passing volume: Projected team pass attempts per game (excludes overtime)
  • Quarterback quality: Team QB1 ADP (combined with passing volume to offset quarterbacks with a higher ADP due to rushing ability)
  • Target competition: Number of teammates with a significant ADP (wide receivers with a top-36 ADP plus tight ends with a top-12 ADP)
  • Player average draft position (ADP): Positional rank based on FFPC best ball slim data from Fantasy Mojo

The first two criteria focus on the player’s ability to generate and create production from targets while the next four data points analyze the team environment. ADP is a final check against the current market sentiment that helps us extract maximum value from our selections.

The ultimate options are receivers who demand targets at all levels of the field and make plays after the catch on winning pass-heavy teams. After that, every tier is some variation of strengths vs. weaknesses in the profile.

For example, a talented receiver on a run-balanced offense with a high projected win total and low target competition is better than the same situation with multiple teammates challenging for opportunities. On the other hand, two talented receivers can co-exist in a quality pass-happy attack.

Overall, the receiver pool has far more questions in 2022 versus ADP.

The first table is a quick view of the complete tiers and rankings, and a more detailed heat map is included below as we break down each tier.

Last Updated: May 16th, 9:00 a.m.
Tier Rank FFPC Pos ADP Player Team
1A 1 3 Justin Jefferson Vikings
1A 2 1 Cooper Kupp Rams
1A 3 2 Ja'Marr Chase Bengals
1B 4 6 CeeDee Lamb Cowboys
1B 5 5 Stefon Diggs Bills
1B 6 4 Davante Adams Raiders
1C 7 7 Deebo Samuel 49ers
1C 8 8 Tyreek Hill Dolphins
2A 9 11 Tee Higgins Bengals
2A 10 9 A.J. Brown Eagles
2A 11 17 Michael Pittman Jr. Colts
2A 12 13 Jaylen Waddle Dolphins
2B 13 10 Mike Evans Buccaneers
2B 14 12 Keenan Allen Chargers
2C 15 15 Diontae Johnson Steelers
2C 16 16 D.J. Moore Panthers
2C 17 14 D.K. Metcalf Seahawks
2C 18 18 Terry McLaurin Commanders
2D 19 21 Jerry Jeudy Broncos
2D 20 20 Chris Godwin Buccaneers
2D 21 25 Marquise Brown Cardinals
2D 22 23 Mike Williams Chargers
2D 23 27 Courtland Sutton Broncos
2D 24 24 Michael Thomas Saints
3A 25 29 Elijah Moore Jets
3A 26 31 Darnell Mooney Bears
3A 27 32 Amon-Ra St. Brown Lions
3A 28 33 Gabriel Davis Bills
3A 29 34 Drake London Falcons
3B 30 22 DeAndre Hopkins Cardinals
3B 31 26 Allen Robinson II Rams
3B 32 19 Amari Cooper Browns
3B 33 30 Brandin Cooks Texans
3C 34 35 DeVonta Smith Eagles
3C 35 36 Rashod Bateman Ravens
3C 36 38 Treylon Burks Titans
3D 37 28 JuJu Smith-Schuster Chiefs
3D 38 37 Adam Thielen Vikings
4A 39 41 Garrett Wilson Jets
4A 40 43 Skyy Moore Chiefs
4A 41 45 Chris Olave Saints
4A 42 40 Hunter Renfrow Raiders
4A 43 39 Brandon Aiyuk 49ers
4A 44 46 Kadarius Toney Giants
4A 45 47 Chase Claypool Steelers
4A 46 53 Christian Watson Packers
4B 47 42 Tyler Lockett Seahawks
4B 48 49 Christian Kirk Jaguars
4B 49 51 Michael Gallup Cowboys
4B 50 50 Russell Gage Buccaneers
4B 51 55 Tyler Boyd Bengals
4B 52 44 Robert Woods Titans
5A 53 54 Rondale Moore Cardinals
5A 54 59 Jahan Dotson Commanders
5A 55 56 Jameson Williams Lions
5B 56 52 Allen Lazard Packers
5B 57 64 Jakobi Meyers Patriots
5B 58 58 Marquez Valdes-Scantling Chiefs
5B 59 57 Kenny Golladay Giants
5B 60 63 Tim Patrick Broncos
5B 61 72 Will Fuller V Free Agent
6A 62 60 Mecole Hardman Chiefs
6A 63 85 Wan'Dale Robinson Giants
6A 64 68 Alec Pierce Colts
6A 65 61 George Pickens Steelers
6A 66 69 Van Jefferson Rams
6B 67 67 Jamison Crowder Bills
6B 68 65 DeVante Parker Patriots
6B 69 66 Jarvis Landry Saints
6B 70 70 Robby Anderson Panthers
6B 71 71 Curtis Samuel Commanders
6B 72 86 Marvin Jones Jr. Jaguars
6B 73 73 Corey Davis Jets
6B 74 79 Sammy Watkins Packers
6C 75 Antonio Brown Free Agent
6C 76 77 Odell Beckham Jr. Free Agent
6C 77 82 Julio Jones Free Agent
7A 78 74 David Bell Browns
7A 79 75 John Metchie III Texans
7A 80 81 Jalen Tolbert Cowboys
7A 81 80 Josh Palmer Chargers
7A 82 83 Laviska Shenault Jr. Jaguars
7A 83 89 Nico Collins Texans
7A 84 76 Donovan Peoples-Jones Browns
7B 85 62 D.J. Chark Jr. Lions
7B 86 78 K.J. Osborn Vikings
7B 87 91 Parris Campbell Colts
7B 88 98 Kendrick Bourne Patriots
7B 89 99 Sterling Shepard Giants
7B 90 97 A.J. Green Cardinals
7B 91 Cole Beasley Free Agent
8A 92 92 K.J. Hamler Broncos
8A 93 101 Terrace Marshall Jr. Panthers
8A 94 103 Khalil Shakir Bills
8A 95 113 Velus Jones Jr. Bears
8A 96 111 Justyn Ross Chiefs
8A 97 109 Romeo Doubs Packers
8A 98 108 Tyquan Thornton Patriots
8A 99 96 Kyle Philips Titans
8A 100 Calvin Austin III Steelers
7B 101 88 Braxton Berrios Jets
8B 102 100 Byron Pringle Bears
8B 103 104 Olamide Zaccheaus Falcons
8B 104 Auden Tate Falcons
8B 105 106 Isaiah McKenzie Bills
8B 106 110 Zay Jones Jaguars
8B 107 Cedrick Wilson Dolphins
8B 108 117 Randall Cobb Packers
8B 109 87 Bryan Edwards Raiders
8B 110 84 James Washington Cowboys

TIER 1 RECEIVERS

TIER 1A – THE TALENT, THE SITUATION, THE WR GODS

Justin Jefferson will be only 23 years old and already has WR7 and WR4 finishes to his credit, averaging 16.9 and 19.5 points per game, respectively. Only Odell Beckham Jr. and Michael Thomas posted better point-per-game totals in their first two seasons since 2011. He is one of only four receivers who ran at least 250 routes to eclipse the 2.50YPRR (Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams and A.J. Brown) mark against man and zone coverages. Jefferson’s profile checks every box, and he is currently going in the middle of the first round.

Kupp set career highs in target share (31%) and YPRR (3.11) by dominating man and zone coverage. His connection with Matthew Stafford is undeniable, and while his 2.6% touchdowns per route will likely regress (the three-year average for a WR1 is 1.6%), he remains entrenched in the top tier. Kupp was the WR4 in points per game in 2019 and has eclipsed the 2.00 YPRR barrier every season except for one. There were underpinnings to a great season before 2021.

Ja’Marr Chase posted the second-most points per game (18.0) for a rookie behind another LSU Tiger – Beckham (24.8 over 12 games). His target share isn’t as high as Kupp and Jefferson, but he doesn’t have to thanks to his explosive play rate. No other receiver brings a more potent combination of downfield prowess and ability to generate yards after the catch (YAC) to the table than the second-year receiver. Tee Higgins will challenge for targets, but the Cincinnati Bengals have an ascending offense that is projected for a good season behind a top-six ADP quarterback in Joe Burrow.

TIER 1B – NEXT MOST LIKELY TO CATAPULT INTO TIER 1A

CeeDee Lamb, the No. 17 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, already has two top-24 fantasy finishes and led Dallas in target share (18%), air yards (25%) and YPRR (2.06) in 2021. Since 2011, only 10 other wide receivers put together two top-24 finishes in their first two seasons. His deep target rate, YAC and explosive target rate rank favorably against many options ranked behind him.

Despite those accolades, this ranking requires a step forward from Lamb in the target share department. However, even if Lamb's targets per route don't climb dramatically, we can expect to see his route participation surge with Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson out of the picture. The average top-24 fantasy receiver runs a route on 86% of his team's dropbacks, and 55% of those players eclipse the 90% mark. Lamb's route participation has fallen well below those thresholds over his first two seasons (72% and 76%).

If the third-year receiver also takes a step forward in targets per route run (TPRR), we could see an even more significant bump in expected targets for the 2022 season.

Range of outcomes for Lamb's targets on 700 dropbacks
Route Participation 22% TPRR 23% TPRR 24% TPRR 25% TPRR 26% TPRR
85% 131 137 143 149 155
90% 139 145 151 158 164
95% 146 153 160 166 173

Average regulation dropbacks under Mike McCarthy: 728

Stefon Diggs took a step back in 2021 after two consecutive 2.40-plus YPRR seasons with a dip to 1.90 and a career-low in YAC (3.1). He still managed a top-eight finish thanks to a 25% target share in a high-volume passing attack led by Josh Allen. In this great environment, the 29-year-old receiver has multiple paths to the WR1 overall. He could pull down a 30% target share season in an offense built mostly with complementary options, or we could see a bounce back in the efficiency or catch rate (dropped from 78% to 65%) departments.

Davante Adams dominated TPRR (30%, 31% and 29%) and YPRR (2.82, 2.96, 2.33) over the last three years with Green Bay but finds himself wearing new colors in Las Vegas. He is heading into his age-30 season, gets a downgrade in quarterback play going from Aaron Rodgers to Derek Carr and will have more target competition from Darren Waller (23-27% TPRR) and Hunter Renfrow (20-23% TPRR).

Carr is good enough to support multiple weapons. Given the Raiders' division and weaponry, Josh McDaniels could deploy a pass-heavy approach similar to his days with Tom Brady in New England. Expect Adams' target share to take a small step back despite a slight upgrade in team passing volume.

TIER 1C – PROVEN PLAYMAKERS IN CROWDED ATTACKS WITH QUARTERBACK QUESTIONS

Deebo Samuel profiles as a top-three option as a talent because he has elite YPRR and TPRR marks, but the 49ers' run-centric offense, quarterback questions and crowded passing attack push him to the bottom of Tier 1. San Francisco projects as a quality offense. Samuel could keep his insane YAC going (10.8), but the margin for error is thin unless he benefits from a teammate’s injury or regression.

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