NFL Nation fantasy soccer sleepers for 2022

The preliminary fantasy soccer rankings are out, which has all of us at ESPN Fantasy excited for the 2022 season.

You realize what else will get us excited? Having our unbelievable NFL Nation workforce contribute to our fantasy protection year-round. We requested our reporters to offer one fantasy sleeper from every workforce, whether or not it is an off-the-radar participant who may shock, somebody able to take a giant step ahead, or — for groups with few sleeper choices — a deep-league dart throw.

Arizona Cardinals TE Zach Ertz: Ertz stands out as the one participant most poised to interrupt out with DeAndre Hopkins set to overlook the primary six weeks. Do not be shocked if Ertz turns into a favourite goal of Kyler Murray early and sometimes. And do not be shocked if Ertz catches passes coming off the road, lining up within the slot or because the Cardinals’ iso receiver on the boundary. He has the ability set to do all of it and would be the complementary piece to Murray that Arizona will probably be in search of throughout Hopkins’ suspension and past. With a whole offseason in Arizona’s offense, Ertz will head into the season with a greater understanding of his position within the offense, which is probably going to assist him break the tight finish franchise document of 56 catches (and which he tied in simply 11 video games final season). — Josh Weinfuss

Atlanta Falcons RB Tyler Allgeier: I do not know if I might name him a “favourite,” however the different choices on the Falcons are pretty apparent. Kyle Pitts is already one of many prime tight ends within the sport, and rookie receiver Drake London must be the workforce’s No. 1 receiver. However Atlanta has a large open operating again room, particularly for early-down carries. The Falcons reducing Mike Davis final Monday gave much more alternative for Allgeier, who absorbs contact effectively and had 50 damaged tackles final season, to turn into a stunning first-year operating again who has upside. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith wish to run the ball and within the first 12 months of the post-Matt Ryan period for the Falcons, Allgeier may be somebody to get some work alongside Cordarrelle Patterson and Damien Williams. — Michael Rothstein

Baltimore Ravens WR Devin Duvernay: Everybody is aware of tight finish Mark Andrews and extensive receiver Rashod Bateman are the headliners in Baltimore’s passing sport. However who replaces the not too long ago traded Marquise “Hollywood” Brown? Duvernay, a Professional Bowl returner final season, ought to get an opportunity to step up. Ravens coach John Harbaugh was so blissful that the workforce drafted Duvernay within the third spherical in 2020 that he gave an enthusiastic fist pump after Baltimore chosen him. Duvernay must also have some built-up belief with Lamar Jackson. Final season, Duvernay caught 70% of the passes that Jackson threw his manner (21-of-30), the very best fee amongst Ravens with double-digit targets. — Jamison Hensley

Buffalo Payments RB James Prepare dinner: Actually, extensive receiver Gabriel Davis could possibly be the reply right here to take a step ahead, however after his four-touchdown headline-grabbing efficiency in January’s playoff loss to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, Davis appears much less certified as a sleeper. As a substitute, one of many Payments’ latest additions will get the nod. Prepare dinner has the potential to play a giant position within the offense throughout his rookie season, particularly because the Payments look to enhance their yards after catch. He’ll contribute to the offense as a receiver and rusher, and whereas he will probably be sharing the backfield with the likes of Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, Prepare dinner has the potential to place up vital fantasy factors alongside Buffalo’s regular contributors. — Alaina Getzenberg

Carolina Panthers WR Terrace Marshall Jr.: The Panthers introduced the previous LSU star alongside slowly as a rookie final 12 months since he was coming off a foot harm. A foot harm in the end landed him on injured reserve late final season, however he seems headed in the direction of a full restoration. Do not count on an enormous soar from his 17 catches for 138 yards as a rookie in new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s run-oriented offense, however search for him to play a much bigger position and maybe turn into extra of a menace within the crimson zone. The Panthers nonetheless consider they received a first-round-caliber participant within the second spherical. — David Newton

Chicago Bears RB David Montgomery: One of many methods the Bears can help second-year quarterback Justin Fields is by establishing a robust run sport round him. Fantasy managers can count on Montgomery to have a outstanding position in Chicago as a three-down again and should not see his workload fluctuate the best way it has at instances previously. Montgomery can have assist in the backfield with the addition of a fullback to Chicago’s offense and a change-of-pace again in rookie Trestan Ebner to assist maintain Montgomery recent. Plus, he is coming into a contract 12 months. All these issues ought to line up effectively for the 24-year-old in fantasy soccer. — Courtney Cronin

Cincinnati Bengals TE Hayden Hurst: Hurst ought to get loads of alternatives to show that he could be a high quality beginning tight finish. After signing a one-year cope with the Bengals this offseason, he instantly turns into the workforce’s prime pass-catching choice on the place. And regardless of the receiving corps that options Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, Hurst may see extra targets as Cincinnati’s passing quantity may rise due to the enhancements alongside the offensive line. C.J. Uzomah, final 12 months’s prime tight finish who signed with the New York Jets in free company, noticed an elevated goal share within the postseason. Hurst will not have to separate targets with different tight ends and could possibly be somebody who helps the Bengals be simpler within the crimson zone in 2022. — Ben Child

Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku: The Browns are remaking their offense round QB Deshaun Watson, and Njoku could possibly be one of many main beneficiaries. The Browns will not be in as many heavy TE units, probably releasing Njoku to function in extra space. On prime of that, he at the moment initiatives to be Cleveland’s No. 2 passing choice behind Amari Cooper. And regardless of his uneven manufacturing previously, the Browns are betting huge on Njoku, having positioned the franchise tag on him with hopes of hammering out a long-term deal in time. All of this might add as much as a giant season for Njoku. — Jake Trotter

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup: Gallup is coming into his fifth season so he may not be a sleeper within the conventional sense, however based mostly on what he did final 12 months and the truth that he’s coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament places him on this combine. He’ll possible miss at the least a few video games to start out the season as he works his manner again, however the Cowboys clearly count on him to be an element with the five-year, $62.5 million contract they gave him. Accidents restricted him to 35 catches, 445 yards and two touchdowns final 12 months, however with Amari Cooper gone, the Cowboys will be sure they provide him a whole lot of alternatives. And if Gallup is not the sleeper, then free-agent pickup James Washington can be a superb No. 2 choice. — Todd Archer

Denver Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy: OK, this time the Broncos actually imply it. When he was the workforce’s first-round decide in 2020, his coaches and teammates lauded his route-running precision in addition to his explosiveness. Then he had some wobbles as a rookie and, coupled with the Broncos’ continued struggles on offense general, was in a position to flip 113 targets into simply 58 receptions in addition to three touchdowns. Final summer season, his coaches and teammates swooned over his work in coaching camp, however then he suffered an ankle harm within the season opener that stored him out of the following six video games and he caught 4 or fewer passes in six of the 9 video games he performed the remainder of the best way, and completed and not using a landing catch. Now Russell Wilson is his quarterback and even within the workforce’s early exercises, Wilson has made it clear he has plans for Jeudy within the workforce’s offense. Jeudy’s capability to create separation on the prime his routes has by no means been in query and a quarterback who can constantly get him the ball, on time, ought to gasoline loads of enchancment in his manufacturing. — Jeff Legwold

Detroit Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown: For fantasy soccer nerds, it is powerful to name St. Brown a sleeper based mostly on how he completed his first 12 months for the 3-13-1 Lions. As a rookie, he did not rating his first landing till Week 12 of the 2021 season, however he completed the 12 months at a record-breaking tempo. He set the Lions rookie data for receiving yards (912) and receptions (90) whereas happening a streak with eight or extra receptions in six consecutive video games, which was additionally a franchise document. With a 12 months underneath his belt, and familiarity with quarterback Jared Goff, St. Brown may take off in Yr 2. Do not be shocked. — Eric Woodyard

Inexperienced Bay Packers TE Tyler Davis: The Packers fully ignored this place in free company and within the draft, however nonetheless you are most likely saying, ‘Who’s Tyler Davis’? Initially a sixth-round decide of the Jaguars in 2021, he did not catch a cross in eight video games as a rookie. The Packers signed him in late September final 12 months off the Colts apply squad. Whereas he solely had 4 catches for 35 yards, he flashed some down-field potential with a 22-yard catch on a seam route towards the Ravens late within the 12 months. With Robert Tonyan coming off an ACL tear and Marcedes Lewis up there in age, Davis ought to get some early season alternatives. Of Davis, GM Brian Gutekunst stated not too long ago, “I feel we would have one thing there.” — Rob Demovsky

Houston Texans RB Dameon Pierce: The previous Gators operating again was a fourth-round decide for Houston, however he ought to have good worth in a weak Texans backfield. Houston signed Marlon Mack this offseason and re-signed Rex Burkhead earlier than the top of the 2021 season, however there must be loads of alternatives for the 22-year outdated to earn carries. Though Pierce will possible begin the season as a backup, it would not be stunning in any respect to see him finish the season as Houston’s lead again. Final season, the Texans averaged a league-worst 3.4 yards per rush and completed with eight dashing touchdowns (tied for worst). Pierce had 16 touchdowns from scrimmage final season. — Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts RB Nyheim Hines: Hines had a “down 12 months” in 2021 on the bottom and receiving with Carson Wentz because the Colts beginning quarterback. Hines’ 40 receptions and 310 yards receiving final season have been a profession low for him. Issues must be completely different with Matt Ryan. Coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Marcus Brady have already stated that Hines, the No. 2 operating again behind Jonathan Taylor, can have a much bigger impression within the passing sport. Working backs have been a giant a part of the passing sport throughout Ryan’s profession. Ryan accomplished 110 passes — out of a complete of 375 — to operating backs final season with the Falcons. Count on Hines, a former receiver at North Carolina State, to be taken out of the backfield and lined up out extensive at instances subsequent season. — Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Travis Etienne Jr.: After lacking his rookie season due to a Lisfranc harm suffered through the preseason, Etienne is predicted to be full go by the beginning of coaching camp. He is nearly been forgotten with the addition of WRs Christian Kirk and Zay Jones and TE Evan Engram in free company, however Etienne’s return provides one thing that has been lacking from Jacksonville’s offense: He is a menace to attain from anyplace on the sector. The Jaguars have only a mixed 31 runs of 20 or extra yards and receptions of 30 or extra yards previously two seasons, which is the worst mark within the league. Etienne had 61 of these performs in his 4 seasons at Clemson. Plus, he must be the Jaguars’ foremost again initially of the season as James Robinson continues to recuperate from a torn Achilles he suffered in December. — Mike DiRocco

Kansas Metropolis Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire: He was as soon as a scorching fantasy prospect, however many have given up on him after two seasons of accidents and less-than-expected manufacturing. Edwards-Helaire might by no means obtain the fantasy standing that was predicted for him, however he is price maintaining a tally of because the Chiefs undergo change to the receiving group, together with the commerce of Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs will all the time be a pass-first workforce with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback and Andy Reid directing the offense. However they could favor the operating sport early within the season as Mahomes breaks in his many new receivers. Edwards-Helaire’s best untapped potential is as a receiver. If he is ever going to interrupt out in that space, it is this season, after the Chiefs traded Mahomes’ favourite extensive receiver and misplaced two different prime wideouts to free company. Edwards-Helaire will cut up time with Ronald Jones II however the Chiefs have not given up on the thought of getting huge issues from him. — Adam Teicher

Las Vegas Raiders RB Zamir White: Sleeper, you say? How a few man that nobody had linked to the Raiders earlier than the draft? A man that performs a place already stacked with a Professional Bowler in Josh Jacobs, a flexible vet coming back from a damaged proper ankle in Kenyan Drake and a man well-versed in new coach Josh McDaniels’ offense in Brandon Bolden. Yeah, fourth-round decide White is that man. Each knees have been rebuilt and he runs exhausting between the tackles, so let’s hyperlink the rookie White to some fantasy manufacturing based mostly on his hard-charging operating type. — Paul Gutierrez

Los Angeles Chargers TE Donald Parham Jr.: Parham missed the final three video games of the common season in 2021 after he suffered a concussion in an try and make a diving catch that triggered him to be taken from the sector on a gurney. However in Joe Lombardi’s second season because the Chargers’ play-caller — he spent the 5 seasons earlier than he was employed by the Chargers in 2021 because the quarterbacks coach for the New Orleans Saints — the position of the tight ends ought to proceed to develop at the least some, together with the crimson zone. Mike Williams signed a three-year, $60 million deal to stick with the workforce so he and Keenan Allen will proceed to get the majority of the targets general, however Parham, with one other 12 months of his personal growth to go together with some further work within the offense, ought to carve out a scoring area of interest, as 20% of his profession receptions have gone for scores. As groups proceed to make use of the nickel defenses as their “base” increasingly to go together with a wide range of zone coverages within the crimson zone, Parham’s 6-foot-8 body can constantly be a match-up the Chargers can win down in shut. — Lindsey Thiry

Los Angeles Rams WR Allen Robinson II: You often do not consider gamers this well-known as sleepers, however it might be simple to miss Robinson after his least productive season since 2017 (when he performed in just one sport). He is in line for a bounce-back after signing with the Rams in free company. The largest cause: Matthew Stafford is much better than any of the younger and middling quarterbacks he is caught passes from over his first eight seasons. With Odell Beckham Jr. nonetheless unsigned coming off ACL surgical procedure, Robinson is the clear-cut favourite to be the No. 2 choice within the Rams’ passing sport behind Cooper Kupp. And as Beckham confirmed after his arrival halfway by means of final season, there’s loads of fantasy upside with the WR2 in Sean McVay’s offense. — Brady Henderson

Miami Dolphins RB Chase Edmonds: One of many first huge names to signal through the 2022 free company cycle, Edmonds’ ceiling appeared to take successful as soon as the workforce signed Raheem Mostert later within the week. However contemplating the harm that Mostert is getting back from and what head coach (and offensive play caller) Mike McDaniel needs to do along with his operating backs, it isn’t out of the query that Edmonds breaks out in his fifth NFL season. Over the previous two years, Edmonds has caught 96 passes, which ranks eighth within the league amongst NFL operating backs. Particularly if Mostert is gradual to return from the chipped cartilage in his knee he suffered final season, Edmonds has a chance to shine in Miami. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Minnesota Vikings FB C.J. Ham: I get it. It may not sound inspiring to contemplate a fullback with three profession touchdowns in 5 seasons a sleeper, however the Vikings’ prime offensive choices are identified portions. So why Ham? It has been notable how steadily his identify has come up in conversations with the Vikings’ new teaching employees. Ham provides them the pliability to run 22 personnel steadily, a precedence for brand new coach Kevin O’Connell. With the entire different weapons the Vikings can have on the sector, defenses aren’t prone to prioritize the fullback. Ham is not fairly the playmaker, say, 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk is, however within the very early levels of this offense, he’ll get extra consideration than you would possibly suppose. Ham qualifies as a sleeper within the deepest of leagues. — Kevin Seifert

New England Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson: Historically, investing in Patriots operating backs has been a “purchaser beware” proposition due to their desire for a rotation. Whereas the Patriots are arrange for a rotation as soon as once more (Damien Harris, Stevenson, James White — if wholesome — and 2022 draft picks Pierre Robust Jr. and Kevin Harris), however the view right here is that Stevenson has a shot to make a run at Harris for the RB1 spot after ending 2021 on the next word. He is coming into his second season, typically when a participant makes his greatest soar. — Mike Reiss

New Orleans Saints WR Chris Olave: Clearly we must always mood expectations for any rookie receiver. However alternatives do not get significantly better than this. Olave ought to play a giant position as a No. 2 receiver alongside Michael Thomas in a New Orleans offense starved for an additional playmaking cross catcher. The Saints felt Olave was essentially the most well-rounded receiver and polished route runner of anybody on this 12 months’s class — which is why they have been so aggressive in buying and selling as much as get him. And he has the pace to turn into a downfield goal for Jameis Winston. Mike Clay’s projection of 62 catches, 903 yards and 9 touchdowns appears sensible. — Mike Triplett

New York Giants WR Kadarius Toney: That is betting on the expertise. Positive there may be some harm threat right here, and there was a whole lot of noise this offseason about Toney probably being traded and his work ethic. However the second-year receiver is again with the Giants and has the flexibility along with his pace, shiftiness and speak to stability that, if it clicks, he could be a monster in new coach Brian Daboll’s unfold offense. It appears good for his abilities. These six quarters vs. New Orleans and Dallas trace at larger and higher issues with a little bit harm luck. — Jordan Raanan

New York Jets WR Elijah Moore: His rookie season ended early resulting from a leg harm, however he displayed his potential from Week 8 to Week 13. In that stretch, Moore tied for the league lead in landing receptions (5). He additionally was sixth in yards (459) and tied for eighth in catches (34). If he can keep wholesome — he additionally missed the preseason resulting from a leg harm — Moore may emerge because the Jets’ WR1. The addition of first-round decide Garrett Wilson should not have an effect on him in any respect. If anybody, it is going to impression Corey Davis. The Jets view Moore as a foundational piece on offense. — Wealthy Cimini

Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert: He has the potential to be a top-three tight finish statistically this season. Goedert has spent the majority of his profession sharing snaps with Zach Ertz, however assumed the position of unquestioned TE1 when Ertz was dealt to the Arizona Cardinals final October. He had a few monster performances down the stretch, together with in back-to-back weeks towards the New York Jets (6 catches, 105 yards, 2TD) and Washington Commanders (7 catches, 135 yards) in December. Quarterback Jalen Hurts can have higher command over the offense in his second season because the full-time starter. And the addition of receiver A.J. Brown will make it troublesome for defenses to key on Goedert over the center. He will eat this 12 months. — Tim McManus

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Calvin Austin III: It is exhausting to place a lot inventory in a fourth-round rookie receiver, however Austin makes a compelling case as an under-the-radar fantasy goal — particularly contemplating most Steelers fantasy prospects are fairly apparent. Although his small stature makes him a prime candidate to fill the vacant slot place, his sub 4.4 pace makes him a flexible menace in Matt Canada’s offense. Canada loves to make use of jet sweep motions, and that simply so occurs to be an Austin specialty. In 4 seasons at Memphis, Austin had eight rushes and three went into the top zone, together with landing runs of 69 and 83 yards, per ESPN Stats & Data. With a brand new quarterback and a revamped offensive line, it is exhausting to say precisely what the Steelers offense will appear like this season, however Austin’s strengths seem like a superb match for Canada’s scheme, making him a stable late-round addition or a waiver-wire candidate. — Brooke Pryor

San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk: After a robust begin to coaching camp in 2021, Aiyuk appeared like he was prepared to interrupt out final 12 months. However an harm and a few consistency points left Aiyuk struggling to search out his place for the primary half of the season. When he received again on monitor, Aiyuk was some of the productive wideouts within the league, posting 685 receiving yards (eighth within the NFL) from Week 9 on. Aiyuk has spent the offseason coaching with quarterback Trey Lance in Southern California, which ought to solely assist construct rapport between the 2 as Lance prepares to step into the beginning position. — Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks RB Ken Walker III: Walker is an intriguing fantasy sleeper for a similar cause the Seahawks selected him with the forty first general decide: There is a good probability they want him to play instantly. They don’t seem to be positive if/when Chris Carson will probably be prepared following neck surgical procedure, and whereas Rashaad Penny was the NFL’s most efficient operating again over the ultimate 5 video games of final season, he is missed 30 of a attainable 69 profession video games (together with playoffs) resulting from harm. Walker would possible be in line for early-down work forward of DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer, whom Seattle has most popular in change-of-pace roles. With Russell Wilson gone, their offense will possible lean extra as a lot because it has in any season underneath Pete Carroll. — Brady Henderson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Russell Gage: Gage was thrust right into a No. 1 position with the Atlanta Falcons final season resulting from Calvin Ridley‘s surprising departure. In Tampa, nevertheless, he’ll have Mike Evans to take a number of the weight off and ultimately Chris Godwin when Godwin absolutely heals from a torn ACL. So that you’re taking a look at a No. 2/3 receiver, and even when he does assume the No. 3 position, with Tom Brady’s heavy reliance on Antonio Brown in that third receiver position over the past two years (8.2 targets per sport in 15 video games), Gage is one to control. He can line up anyplace on the sector, and that versatility (301 routes within the slot over the past two years, 191 routes outdoors) is essential. — Jenna Laine

Tennessee Titans TE Austin Hooper: Signing Hooper to a free agent deal turned much more vital after the Titans traded A.J. Brown to the Eagles. There will probably be loads of targets to go round, and Hooper strikes up the depth chart so far as alternatives go. At 6-foot-4, 254 kilos, Hooper affords a giant goal for Ryan Tannehill, which ought to result in loads of alternatives, particularly in the course of the sector. The Titans’ play-action passing assault is much like what Hooper ran with the Falcons, through which he posted back-to-back 70+ reception seasons resulting in a 2018 Professional Bowl choice. — Turron Davenport

Washington Commanders WR Curtis Samuel: Washington signed Samuel to offer a giant enhance to the offense in 2021, however first a groin harm and later a hamstring challenge restricted him to 5 video games and 6 catches for 27 yards. It was a catastrophe; he by no means appeared like himself. However the coaches love Samuel, gushing over him privately, and stay excited for what he can add to the offense. He should keep wholesome so there’s comprehensible angst from a fan base that has been burned very often. The Commanders love his versatility, understanding they’ll line him up extensive or use him out of the backfield. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner, who considers Samuel one of many smartest gamers he is coached, likes his deep ball capability, which will probably be aided by strong-armed quarterback Carson Wentz. Individuals know what receiver Terry McLaurin can do in addition to operating again Antonio Gibson. However Samuel is the wild card for Washington’s offense; if wholesome, he’ll play a key position. — John Keim

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