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Fantasy Football Tiers: Wide Receiver Rankings 2022

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Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

It will be interesting to see how Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are treated in fantasy drafts with Russell Wilson now in Denver.

As more and more running backs seem to get hurt each year, fantasy football managers are looking to draft wide receivers before running backs in the early rounds. While Jonathan Taylor may be the player you're looking to grab with 1.01, other savvy owners in your league may be looking ahead to a wide receiver. In PPR formats, especially, wide receivers tend to have more value over the course of a season than most running backs. Many fantasy managers are starting to gravitate toward drafting a wide receiver early in the first round.

Related: 2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings

Here are the tiers of wide receivers for 2022, note they are not ranked within the tier, but rather listed in alphabetical order.

2022 Fantasy Football Tiers: QB I RB I WR I TE

2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Tiers

Tier 1: As solid as it gets

Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

For fantasy managers looking for a set-it-and-forget-it WR1, these three guys are your go-to. Especially in PPR formats, Kupp will likely be one of the top wide receivers drafted. With the most receptions and receiving touchdowns of all wide receivers in 2021, he should continue to dominate in PPR leagues. In his sophomore season, Chase should challenge Kupp for that touchdown title. He was only three behind him (with 13) in 2021. Jefferson had the second-most receiving yards among wide receivers in 2021 (behind Kupp), giving him a spot in Tier 1.

Tier 2: Not quite as solid

Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders
Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins
CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

The five wide receivers in Tier 2 are certainly WR1s, however, there is a bit of a risk associated where they may not excel every week. The reason Adams dropped to this tier is because of the reports that he won't be playing much in the slot. In 2021, he had the second-most receptions among wide receivers, but a lot of those came from the slot. It's hard to say how he'll do in his new home. Hill also is in a new home, and while he should continue to put up big numbers, it will depend on quarterback play.

Tier 3: The last remaining possible WR1s

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers
Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

Fantasy managers love math, and you'll notice there are eight WRs in the first two tiers. This means that not all players in Tier 3 will be WR1s each week — nor will they be drafted as such. However, the potential is there. Two Chargers receivers are on this list, mostly thanks to Justin Herbert. He has emerged as a solid QB1, and he has two solid options to throw to as wide receivers. Both should do well, but it's hard to predict which will be better each week. Higgins has competition with Chase (see Tier 1), which puts him in the same position.

Tier 4: Solid WR2s

Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals
Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos
Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders
DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
Allen Robinson II, Los Angeles Rams
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos
Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

Tier 3 contains players who will be a solid second wide receiver on your team. Some fantasy managers who go TE/RB in the first two rounds may end up looking at these players for their No. 1 wide receiver slot, and that's valid a draft strategy as well. The players on this list primarily have questions when it comes to quarterback or health. The one exception is Sutton, who, after missing nearly all of the 2020 season, returned to play 17 games in 2021. He will have Russell Wilson throwing to him, and Tim Patrick is now out for the season as well. He is the best option in this group if all are available to you when you're on the clock.

Tier 5: WR3s with upside

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans
Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns
Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
Elijah Moore, New York Jets
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

The group of wide receivers in Tier 5 are those who will likely have one or two big games but, overall, can be counted on for single-digit points in any given week. Bateman is the top WR option in a Ravens offense that doesn't like to pass and has injury concerns. Godwin and Thomas are coming off injury themselves. Overall, this group of wide receivers isn't going to fly off the draft board but will provide value inconsistently throughout the season.

Tier 6: Starters in deeper leagues

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
Drake London, Atlanta Falcons
Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders
DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
Robert Woods, Tennessee Titans

In leagues that have 16 fantasy managers or start three or more wide receivers, these players are going to be taken on draft day as starters. London is the highest-ranked rookie, as he falls into the No. 1 wide receiver role on the Falcons by default. It is a lot of pressure, but he should be able to put up WR3 numbers this season. Lazard is also a player to watch on draft day. He's the No. 1 receiver in an Aaron Rodgers offense with two rookies behind him. It's well-known that Rodgers prefers players he is comfortable with, and it seems that Lazard fits that description. He scored eight touchdowns last season and could easily expand upon that this year.

Tier 7: Starting on fantasy benches

Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans
Russell Gage, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
Kenny Golladay, New York Giants
Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars
Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs
Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints
Kadarius Toney, New York Giants
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs
Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

In most formats, the players in Tier 7 will begin the year on fantasy benches. They will be drafted, but managers are going to wait and see how they play. Toney and Golladay for the Giants had rough 2021 seasons due to injury or just poor performance. They both have potential with a new offensive coordinator to step up, but fantasy managers may want to see it first. In addition, the rookies in this tier will see playing time, but again how much?

Tier 8: Holding out hope

Robbie Anderson, Carolina Panthers
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
DJ Chark Jr., Detroit Lions
Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders
Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings
Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers
DeVante Parker, New England Patriots

In Tier 8 is a list of players who fantasy managers hope exceed their current ADP. Doubs, for example, has excelled in Packers training camp with Christian Watson (Tier 9) sidelined. While it's hard to see how that situation shakes out for the No. 2 role on the team, Doubs may be given the opportunity to succeed. In New England, Parker and Meyers will be vying for targets from Mac Jones. The offense has struggled a bit, but Meyers did finish the 2021 season with 866 receiving yards.

Tier 9: Possible fill-ins

Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts
Corey Davis, New York Jets
KJ Hamler, Denver Broncos
Mecole Hardman Jr., Kansas City Chiefs
Julio Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jarvis Landry, New Orleans Saints
Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills
Wan'Dale Robinson, New York Giants
Jalen Tolbert, Dallas Cowboys
Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers

The wide receivers in Tier 9 are players to add to your bench with the hope that by the time bye weeks roll around, perhaps they can fill in for a player that is out. Campbell seems to be the most likely to help fantasy managers from this list — if he can stay healthy. He and Matt Ryan have been practicing, but injuries have plagued his career; he hasn't played more than seven games in his three seasons in the NFL.

Tier 10: Late-round hopefuls

David Bell, Cleveland Browns
Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots
Nico Collins, Houston Texans
Jamison Crowder, Buffalo Bills
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams
Marvin Jones Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns
George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers
Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts
Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions

Fantasy owners will be looking for someone who might be a sneaky pick in the late rounds. In Tier 10, some possibilities exist. Jefferson is coming off knee surgery but should be able to play in September (although possibly not for Week 1). In keeper leagues, Williams should be off the board much sooner than this, but in re-draft leagues, it is possible he doesn't see the field until November after tearing his ACL in January.

Tier 11: Filling out the roster

Braxton Berrios, New York Jets
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
Devin Duvernay, Baltimore Ravens
A.J. Green, Arizona Cardinals
Velus Jones Jr., Chicago Bears
Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars
Terrace Marshall Jr., Carolina Panthers
Byron Pringle, Chicago Bears
Khalil Shakir, Buffalo Bills
Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars
Sammy Watkins, Green Bay Packers
Cedrick Wilson Jr., Miami Dolphins

Fantasy managers in deeper leagues are going to be struggling to find wide receivers in the late rounds of their draft, and that's where the players in Tier 11 come in. Green is 34, but with DeAndre Hopkins out for six games, he will see playing time at the beginning of the season. He's not a bad late-round draft pick for receiver-needy teams. Duvernay has been in the league for two seasons but has yet to make an impact. Perhaps this is the year, with Marquise Brown gone, but fantasy managers shouldn't hold their breath.

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