2022 Fantasy Football Rankings, Predictions: Players We’re Avoiding in Drafts, Including Aaron Rodgers, DeAndre Hopkins, More
Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers (left) and DeAndre Hopkins.
Most players will claim to be in the best shape of their lives entering training camp, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be high on everyone for the upcoming fantasy football season.
Our fantasy football experts have assembled a list of players they’re not looking to draft ahead of the 2022-23 season. Some are due to age, others because of injury. Some, well, frankly we’re just not too high on.
Check out our expert breakdowns below.
Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers’ value obviously takes a dip with Davante Adams now plying his trade in Las Vegas. No matter who emerges as Rodgers’ go-to pass catchers this season, they will not replace Adams’ production.
At this stage in his career, Rodgers doesn’t offer the same upside he used to as a rusher, especially compared to some quarterbacks who are going around him in drafts. Also, the Packers may rely more on their run game without Adams and with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.
Rodgers is a first-ballot Hall of Famer who will make due, but around QB11 it feels like you’re paying more for his name value.
Antonio Gibson: Gibson has displayed the skills to be a workhorse RB1 back in Washington, but he has never been given the chance to fill that role. This year doesn’t look like it’ll be any different.
J.D. McKissic is back in Washington to fill the third-down, pass-catching role in the Washington backfield. Also, Brian Robinson was drafted in the third round and has the skill set and build to potentially take goal-line work away from Gibson.
Gibson will still be the lead back in Washington. He finished as the RB10 last season, but his ceiling is now capped with both McKissic and Robinson in the backfield.
Hunter Renfrow: Renfrow was a potential league winner last season off the waiver wire, although he’s unlikely to have the same kind of impact this year on the Raiders passing game.
Obviously, Renfrow takes a hit from Las Vegas acquiring Davante Adams. The former Clemson star will still see plenty of targets, but he becomes the third passing option when everyone is healthy on the Raiders behind Adams and Darren Waller.
This offense is capable of supporting three relevant pass catchers, so Renfrow will still see plenty of work. His best work, though, came after Henry Ruggs’ release and while Waller was hurt. Expect Renfrow to produce this season, but I’m avoiding him this season.
Travis Etienne: This is no knock on Etienne as a player, but I’m avoiding him at cost with James Robinson avoiding the PUP list and trending toward being ready for Week 1.
Both Etienne and Robinson are recovering from major injuries. Etienne missed the entirety of last season due to a Lisfranc injury he suffered in the Jaguars’ second preseason game, while Robinson is recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered in December 2021.
Robinson’s health could muddy the waters for the Jacksonville backfield as most expected him to miss at least some time with such a major injury. The 23-year-old former undrafted free agent has been shockingly impactful since entering the league in 2020 and has been the team’s top rusher in each of the last two seasons. He is being drafted as the RB38 in half PPR while Etienne is the RB23.
In light of both running backs’ health issues, I doubt the team will use either Robinson or Etienne as a bell-cow, workhorse back. I predict that this shakes out into being a committee, which makes me wary of using such an early pick on Etienne.
Mike Gesicki: Mike Gesicki has quietly been a top 12 tight end in each of the last three seasons, but I am fading him this year at cost.
My primary concern with Gesicki’s ADP is the addition of former Chiefs star Tyreek Hill, who will inevitably siphon away targets from the other pass catchers on this team. Prior to the acquisition, it had appeared Jaylen Waddle would be a blue-chip top 12 receiver after a very strong finish to his rookie campaign. He and Hill are both being drafted in the top 14 at the position and Gesicki is being drafted as the TE11. Meanwhile, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is being drafted as the QB16 which doesn’t quite add up.
Of the three pass catchers mentioned, I predict that Gesicki will suffer the most in terms of fantasy and I would not feel comfortable drafting him inside the top 12 at the position.
DeAndre Hopkins: I’m not a fan of sacrificing a full season of upside for a player who will be suspended six games like Hopkins because the missed games are not properly discounted.
According to FantasyPros’ consensus ADP, Hopkins is still going at WR35 in half-PPR, whereas I have him ranked at WR51 with a projection of 52/695/4.
It doesn’t help that Hopkins was showing signs of decline even before his PED suspension, posting his lowest marks in per-game catches (4.2) and yards (57.2) since his 2013 rookie campaign. His underlying metrics tell the same story, as he also posted his lowest rate of targets per route run (18.2%) since his rookie year (14.5%). That’s a massive 6.4% drop-off from his first year in Arizona (24.6%).
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