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Fantasy Football Tiers: Wide Receiver Rankings 2022

Athlon Sports logo Athlon Sports 8/10/2022 Sarah Lewis

Breaking down the 2022 wide receiver options in tiers to help you get ready for your fantasy football drafts.

It will be interesting to see how Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are treated in fantasy drafts with Russell Wilson now in Denver. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports © Provided by Athlon Sports It will be interesting to see how Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are treated in fantasy drafts with Russell Wilson now in Denver. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

As more and more running backs seem to get hurt each year, fantasy football managers are looking to draft wide receivers before running backs in the early rounds. While Jonathan Taylor may be the player you're looking to grab with 1.01, other savvy owners in your league may be looking ahead to a wide receiver. In PPR formats, especially, wide receivers tend to have more value over the course of a season than most running backs. Many fantasy managers are starting to gravitate toward drafting a wide receiver early in the first round.

Related: 2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings

Here are the tiers of wide receivers for 2022, note they are not ranked within the tier, but rather listed in alphabetical order.

2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Tiers

Tier 1: As solid as it gets

Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

For fantasy managers looking for a set-it-and-forget-it WR1, these three guys are your go-to. Especially in PPR formats, Kupp will likely be one of the top wide receivers drafted. With the most receptions and receiving touchdowns of all wide receivers in 2021, he should continue to dominate in PPR leagues. In his sophomore season, Chase should challenge Kupp for that touchdown title. He was only three behind him (with 13) in 2021. Jefferson had the second-most receiving yards among wide receivers in 2021 (behind Kupp), giving him a spot in Tier 1.

Tier 2: Not quite as solid

Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders

Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

The five wide receivers in Tier 2 are certainly WR1s, however, there is a bit of a risk associated where they may not excel every week. The reason Adams dropped to this tier is because of the reports that he won't be playing much in the slot. In 2021, he had the second-most receptions among wide receivers, but a lot of those came from the slot. It's hard to say how he'll do in his new home. Hill also is in a new home, and while he should continue to put up big numbers, it will depend on quarterback play.

Tier 3: The last remaining possible WR1s

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers

Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

Fantasy managers love math, and you'll notice there are eight WRs in the first two tiers. This means that not all players in Tier 3 will be WR1s each week — nor will they be drafted as such. However, the potential is there. Two Chargers receivers are on this list, mostly thanks to Justin Herbert. He has emerged as a solid QB1, and he has two solid options to throw to as wide receivers. Both should do well, but it's hard to predict which will be better each week. Higgins has competition with Chase (see Tier 1), which puts him in the same position.

Tier 4: Solid WR2s

Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals

Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos

Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers

Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

Allen Robinson II, Los Angeles Rams

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

Tier 3 contains players who will be a solid second wide receiver on your team. Some fantasy managers who go TE/RB in the first two rounds may end up looking at these players for their No. 1 wide receiver slot, and that's valid a draft strategy as well. The players on this list primarily have questions when it comes to quarterback or health. The one exception is Sutton, who, after missing nearly all of the 2020 season, returned to play 17 games in 2021. He will have Russell Wilson throwing to him, and Tim Patrick is now out for the season as well. He is the best option in this group if all are available to you when you're on the clock.

Tier 5: WR3s with upside

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens

Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns

Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

Elijah Moore, New York Jets

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs

Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

The group of wide receivers in Tier 5 are those who will likely have one or two big games but, overall, can be counted on for single-digit points in any given week. Bateman is the top WR option in a Ravens offense that doesn't like to pass and has injury concerns. Godwin and Thomas are coming off injury themselves. Overall, this group of wide receivers isn't going to fly off the draft board but will provide value inconsistently throughout the season.

Tier 6: Starters in deeper leagues

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers

Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers

DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

Drake London, Atlanta Falcons

Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders

DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions

Robert Woods, Tennessee Titans

In leagues that have 16 fantasy managers or start three or more wide receivers, these players are going to be taken on draft day as starters. London is the highest-ranked rookie, as he falls into the No. 1 wide receiver role on the Falcons by default. It is a lot of pressure, but he should be able to put up WR3 numbers this season. Lazard is also a player to watch on draft day. He's the No. 1 receiver in an Aaron Rodgers offense with two rookies behind him. It's well-known that Rodgers prefers players he is comfortable with, and it seems that Lazard fits that description. He scored eight touchdowns last season and could easily expand upon that this year.

Tier 7: Starting on fantasy benches

Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans

Russell Gage, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys

Kenny Golladay, New York Giants

Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars

Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs

Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

Kadarius Toney, New York Giants

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs

Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

In most formats, the players in Tier 7 will begin the year on fantasy benches. They will be drafted, but managers are going to wait and see how they play. Toney and Golladay for the Giants had rough 2021 seasons due to injury or just poor performance. They both have potential with a new offensive coordinator to step up, but fantasy managers may want to see it first. In addition, the rookies in this tier will see playing time, but again how much?

Tier 8: Holding out hope

Robbie Anderson, Carolina Panthers

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals

DJ Chark Jr., Detroit Lions

Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders

Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers

Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots

Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals

K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings

Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers

DeVante Parker, New England Patriots

In Tier 8 is a list of players who fantasy managers hope exceed their current ADP. Doubs, for example, has excelled in Packers training camp with Christian Watson (Tier 9) sidelined. While it's hard to see how that situation shakes out for the No. 2 role on the team, Doubs may be given the opportunity to succeed. In New England, Parker and Meyers will be vying for targets from Mac Jones. The offense has struggled a bit, but Meyers did finish the 2021 season with 866 receiving yards.

Tier 9: Possible fill-ins

Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts

Corey Davis, New York Jets

KJ Hamler, Denver Broncos

Mecole Hardman Jr., Kansas City Chiefs

Julio Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jarvis Landry, New Orleans Saints

Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills

Wan'Dale Robinson, New York Giants

Jalen Tolbert, Dallas Cowboys

Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers

The wide receivers in Tier 9 are players to add to your bench with the hope that by the time bye weeks roll around, perhaps they can fill in for a player that is out. Campbell seems to be the most likely to help fantasy managers from this list — if he can stay healthy. He and Matt Ryan have been practicing, but injuries have plagued his career; he hasn't played more than seven games in his three seasons in the NFL.

Tier 10: Late-round hopefuls

David Bell, Cleveland Browns

Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots

Nico Collins, Houston Texans

Jamison Crowder, Buffalo Bills

Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams

Marvin Jones Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns

George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers

Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants

Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions

Fantasy owners will be looking for someone who might be a sneaky pick in the late rounds. In Tier 10, some possibilities exist. Jefferson is coming off knee surgery but should be able to play in September (although possibly not for Week 1). In keeper leagues, Williams should be off the board much sooner than this, but in re-draft leagues, it is possible he doesn't see the field until November after tearing his ACL in January.

Tier 11: Filling out the roster

Braxton Berrios, New York Jets

Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers

Devin Duvernay, Baltimore Ravens

A.J. Green, Arizona Cardinals

Velus Jones Jr., Chicago Bears

Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars

Terrace Marshall Jr., Carolina Panthers

Byron Pringle, Chicago Bears

Khalil Shakir, Buffalo Bills

Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

Sammy Watkins, Green Bay Packers

Cedrick Wilson Jr., Miami Dolphins

Fantasy managers in deeper leagues are going to be struggling to find wide receivers in the late rounds of their draft, and that's where the players in Tier 11 come in. Green is 34, but with DeAndre Hopkins out for six games, he will see playing time at the beginning of the season. He's not a bad late-round draft pick for receiver-needy teams. Duvernay has been in the league for two seasons but has yet to make an impact. Perhaps this is the year, with Marquise Brown gone, but fantasy managers shouldn't hold their breath.

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