KJ Osborn - 2022 Outlook

In the Early 2022 Fantasy Football Rankings + Sleepers article, KJ Osborn is mentioned as one of the top sleepers for the 2022 season. And that is hardly surprising, when looking back at Osborn’s week 1-17 season: 49 catches for 634 yards, 6 TDs. In my half PPR league, he’s WR37.

So it’s not like Osborn is one of these invisible talents, whose potential for next year lies only in roster or contract details that not all experts have on their radar. Osborn is a player who screamed “here I am!” almost all season.

But when we look at the Dynasty ECR Rankings, Osborn shows up as WR135. Which already is an improvement, because until a few days ago, he was not ranked at all.

Why are so many experts sleeping on Osborn? Thielen gets neither younger nor healthier. Even if he remains the undisputed WR2 for the Vikings next year, Osborn’s role isn’t likely to diminish. Even if Thielen plays the full season, and the Vikings have a healthy TE all season, Osborn is hardly likely to drop below WR4 level in fantasy football.

Yet still, players like Travis Fulgham, John Brown or Tyrell Williams are still ranked higher than he is. I don’t get it.

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Do the questions about Cousins and Zimmer perhaps moving on have anything to do with it? Being totally green to dynasty, is that a legitimate concern?

I agree the talent is there, the question is targets. If I had the opportunity to get him on the cheap in a dynasty league right now, I think I would.

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It is. There is also every possibility that the Vikings could draft another high profile WR as a true successor to Thielen. Or that they will involve the TE a lot more next season.

But such a “what if” concern scenario can be made for at least half of the players in the NFL. How will it impact the Rams receivers if Stafford hangs up his cleats this offseason because of his ongoing back problems? How about the Broncos receivers, in case Rodgers stays in Green Bay (looks like he’s suddenly BFFs with Gutekunst) and they can’t get Watson? Who will be QB’ing the Steelers next year? The Panthers? Falcons? Dolphins?

The only thing you can be sure about in the NFL: things will change, all the time.

The Vikings are pretty much married to Cousins throughout the 2022 season. They’d take a $45m cap hit if they cut him, and I don’t think any other time will be interested in picking up that contract. Cousins is one of the most overpaid players in the NFL, if you ask me, even if he did play pretty well this year.

Zimmer moving on could be a blessing for the franchise. (Not that this Cheesehead here wishes them to be blessed… :sweat_smile: ) Of course, we don’t know how it would impact Osborn. But a few dozen players who are ranked above Osborn don’t even have a contract for next year. At least a few aren’t even likely to find a team.

Henry Ruggs is ranked above Osborn. Unless Ruggs’ prison team surprisingly acquires an NFL franchise during the offseason, I would hold every bet that Osborn will be the better fantasy asset for 2022.

I’m not a specific fan of Osborn, and certainly not of the Vikings. I just don’t get why he gets so stubbornly ignored by the experts. He doesn’t show up on the latest trade value chart, either. Ruggs is on there. Breshad Perriman is on there. Tyrell Williams is on there. John Brown is on there. All these guys have a trade value. Osborn doesn’t. According to the Dynasty Trade Value Chart, KJ Osborn’s dynasty value is zero. I don’t get it.

Why does an entire league of experts ignore a young player who has 2 more years left to his rookie contract, who may finish the season in WR3 territory, and who has an old and oft-injured former star WR ahead of him on the depth chart?

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You’re just that far ahead of the curve :wink: I mean real NFL execs miss players and get evaluations wrong all time. I get what you’re saying though, particularly when it comes to trade value now.

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Even @kyleyates doesn’t have Osborn ranked on his January dynasty trade chart. Fantasy Football Rankings: Dynasty Trade Value Chart (January 2022 Update) | FantasyPros

Personally, I have Osborn on my dynasty roster, and I plan to keep him next year, barring unforeseen circumstances. The guy is good. He does seem to score a lot of td’s for a 2nd stringer (1 td for every 8 catches).


I noticed that Yates’ trade value chart is pretty much in sync with the Dynasty ECR ranking. So Osborn’s absence in ECR explains the absence on the TVC.

There are some sleepers where I can understand their low ranking. Osborn is not one of them.

I have him in all my leagues, and have no plans to let hin go. In one league, I had to decide between Osborn and Mecole Hardman, and went for Osborn.


We’ve seen Hardman’s upside, which isn’t that high. Osborn can play much higher.