2022 Predictions Of NFL Fantasy Football Busts and Sleepers

Football | 8/25/22

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.

Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill
Abbie Parr/Getty Images
Abbie Parr/Getty Images

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.

Najee Harris
Cooper Neill/Getty Images
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

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.

Deebo Samuel WR San Francisco 49ers
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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.

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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.

Texans RB Dameon Pierce
Michael Owens/Getty Images
Michael Owens/Getty Images

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.

Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa
Mark Brown/Getty Images
Mark Brown/Getty Images

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.

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.

Damien Harris
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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.

Minnesota Vikings TE Irv Smith
Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.

Hunter Renfrow
Chris Unger/Getty Images
Chris Unger/Getty Images

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.

Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr
JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO/MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images
JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO/MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images

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.

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Chase Claypool
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

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.

Austin Hooper
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Jason Miller/Getty Images

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.

Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

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.

Rashod Bateman
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

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.

49ers QB Trey Lance
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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.

Denver Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy
AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images
AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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.

GettyImages-1366131939
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

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.

Elijah Mitchell
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

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.

Los Angeles Rams RB Cam Akers
Harry How/Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images

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.

Seattle Seahawks QB DK Metcalf
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

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 Patriots QB Mac Jones
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

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.

Arizona Cardinals WR James Conner
Cooper Neill/Getty Images
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

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.

Cleveland Browns WR Amari Cooper
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

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.

Buffalo Bills WR Gabriel Davis
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

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 Jaguars RB James Robinson
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

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.

Denver Broncos Tim Patrick
Cooper Neill/Getty Images
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

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.

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeVonta Smith
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

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.

New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas
Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.