Neither Hill nor Adams are top 3 any longer, but not as far removed as some seem to think.
Kupp had a freak-of-nature season in 2021. That’s unlikely to repeat, but he has a lot of room for regression before he’d lose the #1 crown. WR#1 in my book.
#2 is a guy whose breakout is being predicted for the 3rd year in a row now. This year, I’m sure it will come: CeeDee Lamb. Cooper is gone, Wilson is gone, Gallup likely won’t be healthy to start the season - there are simply not many mouths left to feed in this high-powered offense. Lamb will finally break out.
#3 is a guy I’m a lot higher on than most: Mike Evans. Similar picture to Lamb: high-powered offense, less mouths to feed, at least for the start of the season.
Jefferson is my #5, but has top 3 upside. Diggs is my #6.
Adams is my #8, but also with a chance to finish a few spots higher.
Michael Pittman is my #9, he will have an awesome season and could even have some top 5 upside. He got an upgrade on QB and less competition to deal with, which should both work out in his favor.
I missed a few spots here intentionally. Because I see 2 teams that will each produce 2 top 12 WRs this year.
One is the Miami Dolphins. I don’t see them as a top passing offense. Hill will help them generate a few more yards than last year, but other than that, I don’t think they will be a ton better than last year. But they hardly have any pass catchers. Gesicki will get enough to justify his TE#12 ADP. Cedrick Wilson will also catch a few balls. And the backfield will soak up a couple of targets.
But the absolute lion’s share of 60% of the passing volume will be left for Hill and Waddle. Hill is my WR#4, Waddle my WR#10. I wouldn’t be shocked if it was the other way around at the end of the year, so at their current ADPs, I’ll rather take Waddle. But Hill looks far from being a bust in my projections.
The other team that will produce 2 fantasy WR1s are the Cincinnati Bengals. Chase’s and Higgins’ combined share will be a tad smaller than Hill’s and Waddle’s. But the pie will be bigger in Cinci, so even if Chase and Higgins only share 55% among each other, those slices will still compare to the ones in Miami.
Chase is my WR#7, Higgins my WR#11. The combination of a strong offense and few prolific receivers is exactly what we should be looking for in fantasy.
Diontae Johnson at #12 closes my WR1 tier. He is a rather risky pick among the WR1s, though, as I see little upside for him. His 2021 performance was built on volume, and the team volume will be lower in 2022. The quality of targets should improve, though.
Outside the WR1 tier are:
Deebo Samuel, because he will lose most of his rushing production to Trey Lance.
Keenan Allen, albeit just barely, and he does have WR1 upside.
And my personal hot take: AJ Brown, who will just barely finish as a WR2, as it will turn out that not even a receiver as talented as Brown will be able to turn Jalen Hurts into a competent passer.
My best rookie for 2022 is Chris Olave, who has WR2 upside.
Gabriel Davis will indeed finally break out, even if I expected it in 2021 already.
And Russell Gage will finish as a fantasy WR2 and is the most underrated startable WR right now.