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10 Overvalued Wide Receivers for the 2022 season

There’s still plenty of time left in the offseason before things get started in September, but it’s never too early to help identify players that are overvalued in fantasy football. Today, I’ll be focusing on wide receivers whose true value may be lower than the price they are currently being drafted at according to Underdog’s ADP.

Please note that this is not a list of players that I think will bust or that are not good fantasy football targets; it is simply my analysis of the player’s price tag relative to what I predict their true value and production to be.

Likewise, this is not a list of fantasy football players I consider to be overrated but rather overvalued. All players can be worth the pick at the right price, but some players can be overvalued and end up being overdrafted on draft day. My goal is to help you avoid that.

And without further ado, here are ten wide receivers that I would consider overvalued at their current price:

1. Stefon Diggs (8.7, WR4)

  • Going before: Davante Adams, Ceedee Lamb

The emergence of Gabriel Davis and Dawson Knox as effective weapons in the Bills' offense could prevent Stefon Diggs from achieving the same elite volume that he’s enjoyed since joining the Bills in 2020. This, of course, isn’t to say that the rapport he and Josh Allen have built is worth nothing; Diggs shouldn’t have trouble being a WR1 once again in 2022, but at his current price as the fourth receiver off the board, it’s a bit rich for a receiver who’s likely to deal with competition from a potential breakout receiver in Davis. Further complicating the target share is the Bills’ second-round pick in this year’s draft, James Cook, who figures to see work on passing downs.

2. Tee Higgins (24.0, WR10)

  • Going before: Keenan Allen, Courtland Sutton

While the Bengals' offense has only gotten better this offseason, it’s hard to imagine that Higgins will be able to live up to his current price tag even after coming on late opposite Ja’Marr Chase in 2021. The PPR WR24 in 2021, Higgins broke through the 20-point threshold just three times, while posting a single-digit performance four times and scoring more than 14 points just two other times during the season. With Chase set up to draw just as many targets as Higgins (and likely a good number more) and Joe Mixon remaining a very capable receiving threat out of the backfield, I’m avoiding Higgins at his late-second round price tag. The talent on Cincinnati’s offense has shades of the 2021 Cowboys, which produced no wide receivers higher than the WR19 in 2021 (Ceedee Lamb).

3. A.J. Brown (25.6, WR11)

  • Going before: Keenan Allen, Marquise Brown

I’m a big fan of Jalen Hurts this year for fantasy football, but the Eagles are going to have to make a paradigm shift in their offensive scheme toward favoring the passing game for Brown to be worth the investment of a high third-round pick in 2022. And even if something of that nature happened, increased quantity of targets doesn’t necessarily mean it will be quality volume for A.J. Brown; despite Hurts’ substantial rushing chops, he’s an inconsistent passer at best and needs to work on his accuracy to take the next step. In an offense that will likely rely on that happening, it’s difficult to feel comfortable investing such a high draft pick in Brown, especially with proven producers like Keenan Allen on the board – who is catching passes from the howitzer that is Justin Herbert.

4. Michael Pittman Jr. (30.6, WR14)

  • Going before: Marquise Brown, Courtland Sutton

Michael Pittman Jr. has been the top receiving option in the run-first Colts offense for two years, and he hasn’t finished higher than the WR17; granted, he’s been playing with quarterbacks well past their prime, catching passes from Philip Rivers in 2020 and Carson Wentz in 2021. While Matt Ryan may be the most polished passer Pittman will play with in his short career so far, the turnover at signal-caller has predictably taken a toll on his production, and Matt Ryan is still very much of the mold of his two predecessors. Also worth noting is the pass-catching prowess of both Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, as well as the addition of Alec Pierce and Jelani Woods through the draft. At the end of the day, Jonathan Taylor remains likely to limit Pittman’s touchdown upside, especially in the red zone, and with receivers like Marquise Brown and Courtland Sutton coming off the board later than him with much more dynamic talent under center (Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson, respectively), the price tag is just a bit too high for me to take him at his current price.

5. D.J. Moore (37.6, WR18)

  • Going before: D.K. Metcalf, Brandin Cooks

With the Panthers’ QB situation in serious flux and the potential for McCaffrey to return to form if he can stay healthy in 2022, D.J. Moore is one of the hardest fantasy receivers to project. On one hand, Moore has demonstrated that he can produce despite poor QB play and drawing the top corner on each defense he faces. On the other hand, while his end-of-year totals are impressive given the circumstances, his week-to-week production was somewhat mediocre. Moore failed to score more than 14 points nine times in 2021 and scored 16 points or less 13 times. His ceiling could be even lower if mid-season quarterback changes occur – which I anticipate – and with one of my favorite targets this year in Brandin Cooks coming off the board after him, I see no reason to roll the dice on the volatility the Panthers' offense projects to suffer from.

6. Diontae Johnson (40.9, WR19)

  • Going before: Allen Robinson, D.K. Metcalf, Brandin Cooks

I’m not saying that Diontae Johnson is not a high-quality receiver capable of being a fantasy WR1; I’m saying that the odds of him finishing in the top-20 in 2022 are very low. The Steelers are choosing between Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett to run the offense this year, which isn’t really inspiring from a fantasy perspective regardless of which way you flip the coin. Pittsburgh also drafted George Pickens relatively high in the second round and added Calvin Austin to a receiver room that was already crowded to begin with, featuring names like Johnson, himself, as well as Chase Claypool and Pat Freiermuth. Najee Harris was also a machine out of the backfield in 2021 (94 targets and 74 receptions, which both led the league), and if Pickett starts, we can’t expect the Steelers to air it out like the Chargers did with Justin Herbert in 2020. Johnson will have his games, but with plenty of competition for targets and a big question mark at quarterback, I’ll be avoiding Johnson at his price. If more clarity is offered prior to the start of the season regarding the QB situation, this selection could change – especially if Mitch Trubisky starts Week 1.

7. JuJu Smith-Schuster (57.5, WR27)

  • Going before: Darnell Mooney, DeVonta Smith

Patrick Mahomes gets a lot of hate from the fantasy community for being overvalued at the QB situation, and that often boils down to the fact that the Chiefs brought in a high quantity of value receivers to try and mitigate the loss of Tyreek Hill. Juju needed a fresh start, and Kansas City was a good place for that to happen before the Chiefs signed Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a three-year deal and acquired Skyy Moore via the draft. With plenty of new faces in a suddenly crowder wide receiver room, and not to mention the target vacuum that Travis Kelce is for Mahomes, Juju is going to have to carve out a niche for himself in the offense to produce at a fantasy-relevant level. He’s a guy I’ll be taking shots on at the right price, but as the WR27 off the board, I’d be much happier taking a guy like Darnell Mooney who is locked in for a significant workload as the WR1 on his offense.

8. Amari Cooper (60.4, WR30)

  • Going before: Devonta Smith, Adam Thielen

I do anticipate Cooper’s ADP to drop in the coming days and weeks with Deshaun Watson likely to face at least a year’s suspension, but at the time of this article’s writing, Cooper is significantly overvalued compared to the rest of the field. With the Browns presumably unable to reconcile with Baker Mayfield, Jacoby Brissett offers little to no encouragement for Cooper, who is slated to play his second season in three years with a backup under center. He’s excellent as a traditional receiver, but in fantasy land, Cooper is someone I’ll be avoiding even at his early sixth-round ADP; Adam Thielen has been a touchdown machine even opposite Justin Jefferson, and I’ll have much more confidence slotting him in as my flex or WR2 than I would have doing the same with Cooper.

9. Elijah Moore (67.1, WR32)

  • Going before: Devonta Smith, Hunter Renfrow

Even though I do expect Zach Wilson to take a big step forward in 2022, there’s no guarantee that happens, and with the Jets using valuable draft capital to take Garrett Wilson in this year’s draft, it’s clear the Jets don’t have designs to feature Elijah Moore as the WR1 of the offense any time soon. And with Corey Davis in the fold as well, Wilson will have plenty of mouths to feed in a Jets offense that should be much better than the seized engine that was last year’s attack. Moore can make a killing in the slot, and his talent is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but with the Jets likely to feature a stronger dose of the ground game with rookie Breece Hall taking carries, Moore is on the radar for me as a bust candidate. Ultimately, the development of Zach Wilson will determine his upside, but with Devonta Smith slated to be on the board at the same time as Moore, I’ll grab the smooth route runner from Philly who could very easily smash his ADP.

10. Drake London (70.8, WR34)

  • Going before: Adam Thielen, Michael Thomas

There’s plenty of allure surrounding Atlanta’s big-bodied complement to Kyle Pitts, but as things stand currently, there’s much more to be concerned about for London than there is to be excited about regarding his fantasy prospects in 2022. Assuming Mariota is the starter in Week 1 and plays the same way we’ve seen him throughout his career, Kyle Pitts stands to be the main benefactor in the Falcons' offense – Mariota hyper-targeted Delanie Walker in his time with the Titans, and with Pitts being a unicorn target, there’s no reason to expect Mariota to suddenly drop his tendency to target tight ends. That, paired with the fact that Michael Thomas can be had for a later draft pick as the WR1 for the Saints, Drake London is a high-risk asset that I’ll happily be keeping my hands off of this year.


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