Fantasy football drafts are all about maximizing value at each spot, whether that means reaching for your guy or picking that stud who looks to be falling for no obvious reason. In this series, I’ve taken a look at groups of three players with similar current ADPs and have selected the one I’d be picking if it was me on the clock.
Which veteran receiver are you taking at the end of the second round: Tyreek Hill (2.10), Mike Evans (2.11) or Keenan Allen (3.04)?
My pick: Mike Evans
Any easy choice for me between these three players. Mike Evans is an absolute machine in fantasy football and has been the most consistent wide receiver over the past three years when looking at NECC rating. In fact, he’s so consistent and efficient, he has the 4th best NECC rating of any fantasy player since 2019, behind just Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen and Christian McCaffrey.
Evans comes into 2022 after completing yet another top-10 fantasy season in 2021, finishing as the WR9 in .5PPR scoring, despite missing essentially two games after a hamstring injury suffered in Week 15 meant he missed Week 16 (baaaad timing for your fantasy playoffs last year). He was the WR3 in NECC rating, finishing behind just Cooper Kupp and Ja’Marr Chase With Tom Brady returning and Chris Godwin not a lock to suit up in Week 1, Evans will start the season as the main weapon in an offense that has just signed Julio Jones as insurance for Chris Godwin.
The Bucs have the 10th easiest schedule in 2022 and this bodes well for Evans finishing as a top-10 receiver once again. I have Evans as my WR7 and have already drafted him multiple times as my WR1 in redraft leagues and you should too.
Tyreek Hill is a solid choice but red flags surround his high profile trade to the Dolphins. Can he bring the same spark and fantasy production he had playing with Patrick Mahomes as he transitions to Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins’ offense? Hill is the WR5 in NECC rating over the past 3 years, though had a drop-off year in 2021 as he only finished as the WR23. While this didn’t affect his overall fantasy totals (WR6), it did mean you got some really spotty play as Hill had 9 games where he scored fewer than 10 fantasy points.
I still think he will have big days in fantasy in 2022 and I have ranked Hill as my WR9, but I want consistency over boom and bust in redraft and is why I’m not pulling the trigger on Hill in round two this year.
Keenan Allen remains a super productive fantasy option for 2022, and finished as the WR11 in scoring in 2021 as he and Mike Williams (WR12) benefitted from the Justin Herbert breakout season. Though his scoring was good, Allen wasn’t overly consistent, finishing as the WR34 in NECC rating in 2021, and over the past 3 years he’s been even worse as the WR51. Despite these inconsistencies, I’m projecting Allen to be the WR10 in fantasy this year.
I’m forecasting the Chargers’ offense to finish as the league’s best per my NEFF rankings, and Allen to see 140+ targets in that high volume offense. It only requires modest improvements to last year’s yardage (1086) and touchdowns (6) from these targets for Allen to get there—and I’m confident he will—but it won’t be enough to finish ahead of Mike Evans.
Who would you pick if you were on the clock with Evans, Hill and Allen available?