Sleepers and busts are terms that are now part of the regular fantasy football vocabulary. NFL teams annually make trades and signings that either work out well, or turn out to be complete disasters. Check out our fantasy football predictions of sleepers and busts and win your pool.
Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill: Sleeper
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is getting back a fully healthy tank in Derrick Henry, and rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks comes with high praise and expectations.
Tannehill has passed for over 3,500 yards in each of the last two seasons with Tennessee. This season Tannehill’s returning to his 2020 form.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris: Bust
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris enters his second season in the NFL surrounded by uncertainty.
QB Ben Roethlisberger has retired and Pittsburgh have no clear starter taking his place. Harris has size and rarely fumbles, but the QB carousel will lead to another disappointing season fantasy-wise for Harris.
San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel: Bust
Wide receiver of the San Francisco 49ers Deebo Samuel is an absolute beast. Samuel’s production in 2021 peaked with a dominant 154 receiving yards and 137 yards rushing in last year’s playoffs.
Samuel has a second year QB in Trey Lance, and issues with the 49ers, hurting his value.
Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts: Sleeper
Football Fantasy players should not be surprised by Quarterback Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles production. Surprisingly, there are higher-profile names ahead of Hurts that should not be.
A run-loaded offense last season helped Hurts show noticeable improvement. Hurts also has new addition star wide-receiver A.J. Brown to target.
Houston Texans RB Dameon Pierce: Sleeper
Any Fantasy footballers sleeping on running back Dameon Pierce of the Houston Texans needs to wake up immediately. Pierce made a big splash in his debut with limited action.
Pierce had 5 rushes for 49 yards in his first game. Key injuries will guarantee Pierce plenty of carries.
Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa: Sleeper
Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa has been disrespected and slept on by NFL fans and Fantasy Football fans.
Tagovailoa has been anything but impressive in his first two seasons as the Dolphins quarterback. Tua’s stats instantly improve with a revamped offensive line, along with picking up speedster Tyreek Hill.
Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott: Bust
Mega-star running back Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys has underachieved. Elliot struggled last season to get to 1,000 rushing-yards despite an extra game being added to the schedule.
Elliott was outplayed by his possible replacement, teammate Tony Pollard in 2021. Elliott’s 2022 will be a fantasy bust.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady: Bust
Yes it is true, quarterback Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is forecast to be a 2022 Fantasy Football bust.
Brady and the Bucs are two seasons removed as Super Bowl champions, but his retiring/unretiring act, and stepping away for personal reasons are too distracting for him to overcome.
New England Patriots RB Damien Harris: Sleeper
2021 was a Fantasy Football dream season by running back Damien Harris of the New England Patriots. Only Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor had more rushing touchdowns last season.
Ty Montgomery and Rhamondre Stevenson wait patiently as Harris’ backup and could hurt his fantasy production should his performance falter.
Minnesota Vikings TE Irv Smith: Sleeper
Tight end Irv Smith of the Minnesota Vikings will have every opportunity to raise his fantasy stock and prove himself on the field in 2022.
Smith’s career has been a disappointment so far, and he missed all of 2021 due to injury. Smith’s fantasy stock has increased dramatically this season.
Las Vegas Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow: Bust
It is hard to imagine a season of regression for Las Vegas Raiders wideout Hunter Renfrow this year.
Renfrow survived the Jon Gruden saga and had 103 receptions for over 1,000 yards. The acquisition of Davante Adams combined with Darren Waller returning from injury pushes Renfrow to the sidelines.
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr: Sleeper
Quarterback Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders has been a Fantasy sleeper forever. Quietly Carr produced and led the Raiders to the playoffs in 2021 behind a 10-7 regular season.
Carr passed for over 4,800 yards last season and now has receiver Davante Adams for a deadly target.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Chase Claypool: Sleeper
Last season wide receiver Chase Claypool of the Pittsburgh Steelers was disappointing statistically.
2021 saw Claypool’s starts increase as his stats decreased. This will be Claypool’s third season and first without Ben Roethlisberger under center. 2022 projects to be a bounce back season statistically for Claypool.
Tennessee Titans Tight End Austin Hooper: Sleeper
Tennessee Titans tight-end Austin Hooper was brought into training camp to replace Jonnu Smith. Hooper’s been a reliable receiving and blocking tight-end throughout his career, so nothing should change this season.
Hooper’s presence takes some focus off of RB Derrick Henry and gives QB Ryan Tannehill another big target.
Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields: Bust
Nobody can question the talent of Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields. Fields is a threat to run for major yardage every time he has the football in his hands.
The Bears’ failing to upgrade a porous offensive line, and losing a receiver, means Fields will be a bust again.
Baltimore Ravens WR Rashod Bateman: Sleeper
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman made the most of playing only 12 games in his 2020 rookie season. Bateman had 515 receiving yards that season even though the offense was run-focused.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is returning from an ankle injury last season and will need Bateman’s receiving production.
San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance: Sleeper
Trey Lance is the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, or is he? Lance hardly played in 2021 because Jimmy Garoppolo was the starter.
Lance will have some offensive toys to play with eventually, while the 49ers continue looking for somewhere to ship “Jimmy G” before the season.
Denver Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy: Bust
The Denver Broncos luring QB Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks was supposed to be great news for third year wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.
Russell’s outstanding scrambling, passing ability, and 2013 Super Bowl ring may not erase turnover issues for Jeudy, who had a fumble and no TD’s last season.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: Bust
Fantasy football enthusiasts are probably confused by the notion of quarterback Aaron Rodgers being a bust for the Green Bay Packers.
Rodgers returns after winning his second consecutive MVP award, but he lost his favorite receiving target Davante Adams. Rodgers fantasy stats wll take a hit throwing to rookies.
San Francisco 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell: Bust
49ers running back Elijah Mitchell is the rare and unfortunate victim of having a receiver steal his rushing carries. Receiver Deebo Samuel is built like a back and rushes like one too.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan drafting more running backs means even less carries for Mitchell, plummeting his stock.
Los Angeles Rams RB Cam Akers: Sleeper
It is unfortunate, but players like Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers, who are returning from season-ending injuries, have their fantasy football value sink.
Akers returned in the last week of 2021 to help the Rams reach and win last year’s Super Bowl. Expect Akers to dominate in 2022.
Seattle Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf: Bust
Wide receiver of the Seattle Seahawks D.K. Metcalf is one of the NFL’s most talented and dangerous players. Last season Metcalf’s statistics dropped significantly due in large part to QB Russell Wilson missing major time.
Wilson was traded in the offseason which should mean another busted season for Metcalf.
New England Patriots QB Mac Jones: Bust
With Bill Belichick as the Head coach of the New England Patriots, it is inconceivable how quarterback Mac Jones could be projected as a Fantasy Football bust.
New England lost Josh McDaniels as Offensive Coordinator and failed to upgrade Jones’ offensive weapons. Belichick’s defensive mindset pushes down Jones’ value.
Arizona Cardinals RB James Conner: Bust
A running back as talented as James Conner of the Arizona Cardinals ordinarily would not be forecast as a fantasy bust.
Conners had Pro Bowl numbers his first season in Arizona rushing for his most ever TDs (15). Injuries have plagued Cooper since college and jeopardizes his fantasy value.
Cleveland Browns WR Amari Cooper: Bust
Dallas traded their most explosive receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns this offseason.
If it were not for the 11-game suspension of newly acquired QB Deshaun Watson, Cooper would elevate his fantasy value and the Browns’ offense. Cooper’s production has dipped and drops further without Watson as quarterback.
Buffalo Bills WR Gabriel Davis: Sleeper
Even the Buffalo Bills slept on their wide receiver Gabriel Davis. Davis has spent his two seasons in Buffalo as their third receiving option to QB Jake Allen.
All of that is about to change after Davis’ breakout 4 touchdowns for 201 receiving yards in last years’ divisional playoffs.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson: Bust
Playing for a team starving of talent like the Jacksonville Jaguars automatically raises Fantasy football red flags.
Jacksonville have not made the playoffs since 2017 and had a decade-long playoffs absence before then. Robinson is still recovering from suffering a season ending achilles injury making him a dangerous pick.
Denver Broncos WR Tim Patrick: Sleeper
The Denver Broncos depth at the wide receiver position distracts many Fantasy Football players away from picking Tim Patrick.
Patrick’s back to back seasons of over 700 receiving yards and the addition of Russell Wilson should change all that. If injuries continue to challenge Denver’s depth, Patrick’s value increases.
Philadelphia Eagles WR DeVonta Smith: Bust
Heisman Trophy-winning wide receiver DeVonta Smith of the Philadelphia Eagles faces two hurdles from his own team.
The first is that Philadelphia uses a run-heavy attack. The second hurdle facing him is that Philadelphia acquired A.J. Brown, a better receiver than Smith. These two factors hurt Smith’s fantasy value.
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas: Bust
In 2019 the New Orleans Saints made wide receiver Michael Thomas the highest paid receiver in the NFL.
Later that same season Thomas won the Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Thomas missed the entire 2021 season recovering from ankle surgery. Thomas’ fragility lowers his value.