5 Teams Set to Improve in Fantasy in 2022


The 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl by being (a) one of the best teams in the league, but also (b) one of the healthiest teams in the league. The team famously re-signed basically everyone, and in 2021, they repeated (a), but by the end (b) had fallen apart like … well, one of the Bucs’ players’ ligaments.

Injuries. Regression. Development. Age. There are any number of reasons why what happened to a team in Year X might not bear as much relation to Year X+1 as we might assume. That’s doubly true when a team made a big jump (in either direction) in the first year.

For example, the 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers were a good offense. In 2019, though, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell were gone, Ben Roethlisberger got hurt, and the team saw its PPR production (offensive positions only) drop by 37.2% in 2019.


So things in Pittsburgh are bad now, right? Well, that big drop was followed by health for Roethlisberger and the arrival of Diontae Johnson, and in 2020 the Steelers jumped back up by 41.6%.

So things in Pittsburgh are good now, right? Well, that big gain was followed by Roethlisberger realizing he’s ancient and the offensive line disintegrating, and in 2020 the Steelers fell back off by 7.9%.

It’s extremely basic, but it’s still extremely true: Almost any time a player, a team, anything, makes a big leap in one direction, it falls back in the other direction. Maybe not as much or as far, but huge moves rarely continue in a straight line.

So today, we’re look at the five teams who saw their fantasy production climb by the most in 2021 … in other words, the five teams most likely to drop off in 2022.

All fantasy scoring refers to PPR, and is quarterback/running back/wide receiver/tight end only.

5 Teams Set to Improve in Fantasy in 2022

From the 2006 season to the 2020 season, there have been 24 teams that have decreased in year-over-year fantasy production by at least 20%, for an average of a 26.1% decrease. In the year after, those teams have jumped back by an average of 20.7%, with only two franchises (the 2006-2008 Rams and the 2014-2016 Broncos) declining again in Year 3. Compared to Wednesday’s data on the increasing teams, there are fewer examples, but the examples we do have are much more statistically sound. 

In other words, this is not a guarantee, but if you’re picking, you’d expect the below teams to improve in 2022, and probably significantly.


1. New Orleans Saints (-24.4%)

2020 fantasy points: 1,731.4
2021 fantasy points: 1,308.3

What went wrong

Drew Brees retired, and the replacement cadre of Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, Trevor Siemian and Ian Book wasn’t remotely up to the task. Michael Thomas wasn’t great in 2020, but at least he played some, which is better than you can say for 2021. Alvin Kamara missed more time than he ever had before. The team didn’t get much from the tight end position. Basically “what went wrong” was “everything.”

Why they might improve

Not wasting starts (intentionally or otherwise) on guys like Siemian and Book will help, as will the presumed return of Thomas. Sean Payton’s departure hurts, but the coaching staff is intact otherwise, including longtime offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. All bets are off if the Kamara legal situation isn’t resolved, though.

2. Houston Texans (-20.8%)

2020 fantasy points: 1,564.1
2021 fantasy points: 1,238.7

What went wrong

This franchise was fantasy relevant in 2020 only because of Deshaun Watson, and his absence for all of 2021 really helped crater what was already something of a disastrous roster. A surprise performance from Davis Mills and a typically strong Brandin Cooks season were all that kept this roster afloat from a fantasy (or, to be honest, non-fantasy) perspective.

Why they might improve

You have to hope the team spends significant effort on the offensive line this offseason and also starts to amass weapons. But there are already rumors of a Cooks departure, and there are no obvious replacements. Maybe the team rolls with Mills or maybe there’s a new name under center. Either way, your hopes for improvement in Houston hinge largely on, “Can it really get worse?”

3. Atlanta Falcons (-14.1%)

2020 fantasy points: 1,525.8
2021 fantasy points: 1,311.3

What went wrong

The Saints and Texans were the only huge droppers in 2021, so the remaining three names here might not be as dramatic. Still, the Falcons sent Julio Jones out of town, and his presumed replacement, Calvin Ridley, made it only five games. Mike Davis flamed out, and while Cordarrelle Patterson was a big surprise and Kyle Pitts was a stud as a rookie tight end, the fantasy prominence in Atlanta was lacking.

Why they might improve

Patterson could easily leave as a free agent and Ridley might be gone as well, but a second year for Pitts could offer a big productivity jump, and you have to assume that Ridley or no Ridley, this team addresses the receiver position in a big way. It was the worst fantasy season in Atlanta since 2008, so don’t expect it to continue.


4. Seattle Seahawks (-11.9%)

What went wrong

Russell Wilson had never missed a game in his career, then he missed three. Chris Carson had missed plenty of games, and that continued, as he only played four. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett were good but definitely not great.  And somehow, the team was hell-bent on putting up the worst “plays for/plays against” differential ever. They were at least good at that:

Why they might improve

There are few rosters more unsettled this offseason than the Seahawks’ … maybe. Will they send Wilson out of town? There are rumors about Metcalf as well. Rashaad Penny was incredible down the stretch, but now he’s a free agent, so can Carson stay healthy for a full(-ish) season? If this offense stays intact, the improvements seem inevitable. If there’s a big shakeup? Who can say.

5. Tennessee Titans (-10.9%)

2020 fantasy points: 1,627.6
2021 fantasy points: 1,449.9

What went wrong

Derrick Henry played eight games. A.J. Brown played 13, and didn’t look like himself for some of those. Julio Jones played 10, and didn’t look like himself for any of those. The team had more injury problems than anyone. Ryan Tannehill had comfortably his worst performance in Tennessee. Basically, the fact that this Titans team was the AFC’s No. 1 seed was one of the craziest results of 2021.

Why they might improve

Will Henry be healthy? Will Brown be healthy? Will Jones be healthy? If you get a yes from even one of those three, that’s your answer right there. Two and we’re definitely set. All three? Go nuts, Titans.

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