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Wide receivers to fade in 2022 fantasy football leagues

Fantasy football is back for 2022! We take a look at five wide receivers who you should fade in your fantasy drafts.

DK Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates his touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field on January 02, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.
DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates his touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field on January 02, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

We are getting into fantasy football season as we near NFL kickoff. With the preseason underway, it is time to start drafting your fantasy football teams. With each pick, you are not only trying to find the best player but also trying to maximize the value at which you make each pick. Along those lines, here are five wide receivers that you should fade in your upcoming fantasy football drafts.

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

Higgins is a talented wide receiver heading into the third season of his career. He was overshadowed a year ago by rookie Ja’Marr Chase. This Cincinnati offense is explosive but should find itself more balanced in the 2022 season. The Bengals made great strides to improve their offensive line, allowing their run game to perform better this year. Higgins is being drafted as the overall WR12, which means that he and Chase are expected to finish as WR1s, and I don’t see that happening.

Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts

Pittman is heading into the third season of his career and will do so with his third quarterback under center. The Colts traded for veteran quarterback Matt Ryan who is looking to prove he still has something left in the tank and can win away from the Atlanta Falcons. This offense is going to run through running back Jonathan Taylor. Pittman does come in as the top wide receiver on the depth chart, but I don’t think that’s enough to go as the WR13 in half-PPR formats. If Ryan continues his downward trajectory and Taylor is featured as much as last year, Pittman should be faded.

DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers

Speaking of issues at quarterback, that’s a big question in Carolina. It’s looking like Moore will have to rely on Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold or rookie Matt Corral under center. The good news is that he is unquestionably the best wide receiver on this team. His biggest competition for targets will be running back Christian McCaffrey, but CMC will be the beneficiary of a lot of check downs. Moore is being drafted as the WR18, and while he should be highlighted in this offense, he should be faded when it comes to fantasy football expectations.

DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

A common theme for these middle wide receivers in this list is a question mark at quarterback. Ryan should be the best of the bunch, and Metcalf will likely wish he was in Indy by the trade deadline. At the time of this writing, he will either have Drew Lock or Geno Smith throwing him passes. Don’t get me wrong, I think Metcalf will still be heavily targeted; I just question the quality of said targets. He is being drafted as the overall WR17 and that’s too high for me with his quarterback situation.

Russell Gage, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gage doesn’t have the problem of poor quarterback play as Tom Brady is unretired and wants to show that he still has plenty left to give to football. The problem for Gage is just trying to do enough to be fantasy relevant and carving out enough of a workload. Leonard Fournette will likely be holding down the run game and is used in the passing game sparingly. Wide receiver Mike Evans has never had fewer than 1,000 yards receiving in a season during his career, and Chris Godwin is a baller. Rob Gronkowski has retired, so several targets are up for grabs, especially in the red zone. Gage is a talented receiver, but I think he needs to be faded as the potential fifth receiving option on passing plays.