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Pope’s Pick 6: Quarterbacks to Target in Fantasy in 2022

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Welcome to Pope’s Pick 6. Twice a week I’ll be bringing you a quick look at my fantasy football thoughts in quick-hit form. Today: Quarterbacks to target in fantasy in 2022.

 

With superflex and two-quarterback leagues increasing in popularity, the quarterback position has become even more valuable. That makes it that much more important to hit on each one you draft, especially in redraft leagues where trading can be harder. Avoiding the below names may just help you find yourself making it to championship week in your league. 

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Last season in his first season after his crushing 2020 injury, Dak Prescott finished as the QB9, averaging over 19 points per week. He finished as a QB1 nine times over the season, producing 261.7 yards and 2.17 passing touchdowns per game. That accounted for a majority of his fantasy points, as he was limited in the run game — he produced only 146 yards on the ground (his career low other than his five-game 2020) and 1 touchdown (he’d never had fewer than 3). This is going to change in 2022, as the team said in minicamp. Take Prescott’s already-productive passing and add an increase in rushing attempts, and he would be able to take the next step in his fantasy production and jump into the position’s top tier once again. He has already proven that he is an elite passer with two seasons of 4.400-plus passing yards and 30-plus passing touchdowns in the last three years. Prescott was the overall QB2 in 2019 with over 4,900 passing yards and over 300 on the ground — that’s a realistic outcome for his 2022.

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Hurts 2022 fantasy football qb targets

Last season, Jalen Hurts showed enough in his first full season as an NFL starter to earn a second season. He finished as the QB9, even after a very rough second half of the season. Prior to fading down the stretch, Hurts was in line to finish as a top-five QB, with top-10 fantasy finishes every week through Week 7 en route to 11 weekly finishes as a QB1 for the season. What he lacked was weapons.

This offseason, the Eagles worked to fix that, bringing in A.J. Brown to help give the passing game a boost. And drawing more defensive attention to the passing game should also open Hurts up to use his legs even more, letting him improve on his QB-leading 782 rushing yards last year. Overall offensive improvements should get the team into the red zone more often, and the red zone is where Hurts can really thrive—he led all QBs last year with 33 red-zone rush attempts and 9 red-zone scores. Hurts is in line for a potential top-five fantasy finish in 2022.

 

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

Derek Carr has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks for fantasy throughout his eight-year career. He’s never finished worse than QB20 on a season or better than QB11. In recent seasons, his weaponry has improved, first with Darren Waller, then with the breakout of Hunter Renfrow last year, and finally with the arrival of his ex-college teammate Davante Adams in a trade this offseason. Coming off his fourth straight 4,000-yard season and seventh career season with 20-plus touchdown passes, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Carr improve in both now that he has Adams. In fact, it would not be surprising to see Carr exceed 5,000 passing yards for the first time in his career in 2022 en route to finishing as a top-12 fantasy quarterback. Even with limited rushing upside, Carr still has enough passing production to be a weekly starter with a safe floor for your fantasy team. His ADP has been rising, but even with that it’s currently only QB14 — good value for a potential top-10 quarterback. 

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins 2022 fantasy football qb targets

When it comes to players who are underrated in fantasy, Kirk Cousins lives at the top of the list. Since earning a starting job in 2015 in Washington, he has finished as a QB1 every year save for a 16th-place finish in 2019. That’s pretty impressive for a guy generally available in drafts as a QB2. He has had six 4,000-yard seasons in his last seven years and has never thrown for fewer than 25 touchdowns as a starter. Heading into 2022, he is now paired with a new head coach who loves to throw the ball. The past two seasons Kevin O’Connell and the Rams finished top 15 in passing attempts and yards with back-to-back 4,000-yard passing seasons. This past season the Rams also ranked second in passing touchdowns. With the same playmakers that have helped him to a lofty finish the last few years but now a new pass-friendly coach, Cousins could produce career numbers in 2022. 

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence’s rookie 2021 campaign was a huge disappointment for fantasy managers, with the first overall pick finishing as fantasy’s QB23, averaging only 12.34 points per week. His 59% completion percentage was 29th in the NFL among quarterbacks who had at least 375 dropbacks. On the bright side, he had 22 highlight throws (per the FTN Fantasy advanced passing stats), showing the talent is there. He also ranked eighth among quarterbacks in the NFL in rushing yards (330) and scored two rushing touchdowns. Now with a new head coach in Doug Pederson (who helped get the best out of Carson Wentz in Philadelphia) there’s a chance Lawrence makes a huge jump in 2022.

The Jaguars also added Evan Engram, Christian Kirk and Zay Jones this offseason and are getting 2021 first-round pick Travis Etienne back from injury. The improved weaponry should help the overall Jacksonville offense take a step forward and improve on the team’s league-worst 14.9 points per game last year. If the offense around him improves, Lawrence would almost have to do so as well even if the underlying performance didn’t improve, and there’s plenty of reason to expect that to get better as well, all helping Lawrence get to the next level as a fantasy performer.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

As a rookie in 2019, Daniel Jones started 13 games, throwing for 3,027 yards and 24 touchdowns (both still career highs). He also threw 12 interceptions that year, also his career high. In the years since he’s improved his completion percentage each year (61.9% to 62.5% to 64.3%), but that hasn’t led to improved production. In Jones’ defense, though, 2020 and 2021 were both injury-riddled years, not just for the quarterback — he missed two games in 2020 and six in 2021 — but for his overall offense, with more than 50 player-games missed by the team’s skill players the last two years.

The offense is healthy heading into 2022. More importantly, the team has a new coach in Brian Daboll, brought over after a four-year stint as the offensive coordinator in Buffalo, where he helped oversee the development of Josh Allen from a toolsy-but-raw prospect to the top quarterback in fantasy football. Daboll has excelled at putting his players in favorable positions, something he’ll attempt with Jones in 2022. We’ve seen flashes from the Giants QB, but they’ve been inconsistent. If Daboll can harness the good and unleash it more often, Jones can become a more reliable fantasy producer. 

 
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