Three sets of teammates are being slept on but can win you your fantasy leagues late in drafts in 2022. Their NFL teams underperformed in 2021, but they are diamonds in the rough for fantasy managers.
Sophomore slumps beware. These second year sleepers, who happen to be teammates, have something more to prove to the league, and your fantasy team could benefit from them if you draft them at the right time. All of these players carry risks, but their potential for a fantasy breakout in 2022 is worth it. They may not make it into the top 10 at their respected positions, however, they carry loads of upside at their ADP.
First up is the Dynamic Duval Duo of Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne.
Trevor Lawrence had a statistically rough rookie season, completing only 12 touchdowns to 17 interceptions. With the loss of D.J. Chark in the first month of the season and the Urban Meyer debacle that lasted longer than it should have, there’s nowhere to go but up. New head coach Doug Pederson has been a QB whisperer of sorts in the past with the likes of Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, which can only progress in Trevor’s growth.
Travis Etienne is coming off a Lisfranc injury that cost him his 2021 season. His competition for carries, James Robinson, tore his achilles late in the 2021 season. While performing modestly with the ample usage he received, Robinson lacks the draft capitol that Etienne brings with him. With four picks in the top seventy in the 2022 draft, the Jaguars will look to bolster their offensive line to open up some holes and protect their future. Both Lawrence and Etienne can easily outperform their fantasy draft positions if you’re looking for sleeper candidates.
Davis Mills and Nico Collins are the Texans Tandem to Draft Late in 2022.
Davis Mills came on strong to finish his 2021 season and looks to build on that momentum in 2022. A 16/10 touchdown to interception ratio last season over 13 games played isn’t anything to write home about. However, with a rookie head coach in David Culley and an under-experienced offensive coordinator in Tim Kelly, Davis had minimal help from the sidelines in terms of growth. The lack of a run game made the offense sputter and opposing defenses were able to sit on the pass even more.
Besides Brandin Cooks being his normal above-average self, Nico Collins came in as the Texans second leading receiver, bringing in 33 receptions for 446 yards. With only one TD reception, he has plenty of potential for positive regression in that category. The Texans have four picks in the top eighty for the 2022 Draft, and they’ll have to hit if they want to be competitive after the disaster that former Head Coach and GM Bill O’Brien left them. They do have a couple of bright spots with Davis Mills and Nico Collins, though. Extra Sleeper: Tight End Brevin Jordan was becoming a favorite target of Davis Mills in the second half of the season. Keep an eye on him, too!
Zach Wilson and Elijah Moore lead a youth filled Jets team in their second year in the league.
Zach Wilson was hit-or-miss in his rookie season with a 9:11 TD to interception ratio while playing only 13 games. Losing Corey Davis, the Jets’ preseason WR1, early in the season left Wilson with a ragtag bunch of receivers in Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios and Keelan Cole–all of whom combined for just over 1,300 yards and 5 TDs. With his lack of WR talent, Wilson was also able to add 4 rushing TDs on the year which makes him a threat near the goal line. He made the most of what he had and performed well, especially with the newfound connection with Elijah Moore. Moore led the Jets in receiving TDs with only 5, while adding a rushing TD as well. Moore and Wilson’s connection started to really spark, as Moore was seeing a 55%+ snap share, until a quadriceps injury followed with a stint in the COVID protocol ending his rookie campaign.
The Jets have two draft picks in the top-10 and five of the first seventy picks overall. These should add help in the receiving corps for Wilson and ease the pressure on Moore. The Jets are heading in the right direction with their decade-long rebuild nearing completion. Extra Sleeper: Running Back Michael Carter took over the lead back role and should hold the position heading into 2022. Great chemistry with Wilson allowed him to be a strong asset out of the backfield.
Sleepers can help, but be cautious when drafting.
Late round sleepers can boost your team to become a contender for a playoff push, but don’t push your luck and draft them too early. Most sleepers stay asleep for the season and sometimes their careers. The players listed above have already shown a glimpse of what they can become in the league. The season is still a long way away, and a lot can change between now and then, but drafting in start-ups and early best ball drafts are where to keep an eye out for these players.
Thank you for reading my article “6 Second-Year Sleepers Primed to Breakout in 2022”.
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