Riskiest Players for Fantasy in 2022
Javonte Williams: If you remember, I wrote in a previous article that I believe Williams has the potential to finish as the overall RB1 for fantasy. This is because the Denver offense is vastly improved with the addition of Russel Wilson and Williams is an ultra-talented player who could take over the backfield from Melvin Gordon. However, he is still an extremely risky pick. If Gordon is just as involved in the offense as last year (203 carries), Williams might not even finish as a top 10 running back due to a lack of volume. Currently being drafted in the 2nd round, he carries extreme boom or bust potential.
Michael Thomas: Michael Thomas hasn't caught a touchdown pass for almost three years and has only played 7 games in the last two seasons. However, the last time Thomas was healthy in 2019 he finished the season as the WR1 overall in fantasy. A lot has changed since then. Jameis Winston has replaced Drew Brees as the saints quarterback, head coach Sean Payton is gone, and the team has brought in rookie Chris Olave and veteran Jarvis Landry to compete with Thomas for targets. No one knows what the Saints’ offense will look like this year, and if Thomas is truly recovered. If Winston can put together a solid season and Thomas is healthy, he could be a top 20 receiver. If his injuries affect him as a player and Winston struggles, it could be the end of Thomas’ fantasy stardom.
Antonio Gibson: Gibson has been a top 15 fantasy running back his first 2 years in the NFL. However, he has always had an issue with fumbling. We saw this on full display in the Commanders first preseason game. Gibson fumbled, rookie Brian Robinson replaced him, and then Gibson only returned to the field once the backups went in the game. We already knew that Gibson would lose receiving work to J.D. McKissic but now, if his fumbling continues, he could lose carries, and maybe even his starting job, to Brian Robinson.
Kyle Pitts: Pitts is one of the most special players in the NFL and I truly believe that 2 to 3 years from now he will be going in the 1st round of every fantasy draft and might even be a top 5 pick some years. There is no question that his athletic ability will allow him to have fantasy seasons with over 1400 yards and double digit touchdowns. However, I think it is extremely unrealistic for fantasy managers to expect this level of production from Pitts this year. Everyone wants to think that Pitts will be better, but the reality is his quarterback situation got worse, and the team brought in more target competition by drafting Drake London. If Marcus Mariota can surprise some people and Pitts continues to dominate targets, there will be upside. But if Pitts has a similar season to last year, his 3rd round draft price isn't worth it.
Elijah Mitchell: Mitchell was fantastic as a rookie but also missed 6 games due to injury. Despite being the lead back when healthy, the 49ers are also known to use the backfield-by-committee approach. In addition, the 49ers also spent a 3rd round draft pick on rookie Tyrion Davis-Price. If Mitchell stays healthy and is the feature back he could be a fantasy stud in one of the NFL’s best rushing offenses. But if he is injured or part of a running back committee, Mitchell could be a huge bust - especially if new quarterback Trey Lance vultures red zone touchdowns.