8 Expected Target Share Risers (2022 Fantasy Football)

I like to think of myself as an optimistic person. I’m always looking for the bright side, whether in trade negotiations or deciding who to start each week. That being said, these are the players that I am most optimistic about heading into the 2022 season. These eight players all saw fewer than 100 targets in 2021, but I think they are on the rise and will see their target shares increase in 2022.

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN)
2021 Targets: 98 (19% share)

Sutton is one of two Broncos on this list and probably the one with the more challenging path to increase overall target share. He played in all 17 games with a mix of Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock and wide receiver Kendall Hinton at QB and averaged a meager 5.8 targets per game. With new QB Russell Wilson coming to town, it’s hard to imagine this offense looking any worse. Even if Sutton is the second option on this offense, I expect Russ to cook and get Sutton more looks than he earned last season as the team’s leading target getter, even over his teammate to be mentioned later.

Elijah Moore (WR – NYJ)
2021 Targets: 77 (13% share)

Even though Moore missed time due to injury, he still led the Jets in targets last season. He averaged seven targets per game on what wound up being a pretty paltry offense with lots of room to improve. This year, the team drafted two offensive studs in Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson, which should undoubtedly improve the team’s overall offensive output greatly. This rising tide should lift Moore’s boat as well and get him more looks, both per game and on the season, as long as he stays healthy.

Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI)
2021 Targets: 76 (16% share)

Jalen Hurts had a pretty good season in 2021, but overall the Philadelphia offense wasn’t stellar by any stretch of the word. They were dead last in attempted passes, second-to-last passes completed, and 25th in passing yards. The offense was somewhat anemic, and I don’t think that will happen again. However, Hurts should come out firing, and with the team trading for AJ Brown, I believe this is another situation where we will see a significant bump in offensive output in 2022. This should help Goedert raise his overall target share from 16%, an average of 5.1 targets per game, as defenses will have more options to cover, and the offense will see their numbers rise as a result.

Rashod Bateman (WR – BAL)
2021 Targets: 68 (12% share)

This one should be a no-brainer. Last year, Bateman was third in line for targets behind stud TE Mark Andrews and now-departed Marquise Brown. The team threw more than people thought they would in 2021, finishing ninth overall in attempted passes. Additionally, they opted not to replace Brown with another option as of the writing of this article. That leaves Bateman in line to move up the order and see his targets increase dramatically. His 5.7 targets per game average could almost double if the team starts the season with their current depth chart. Bateman is a buy in all formats and in dynasty and redraft unless something else changes on that offense.

Gabriel Davis (WR – BUF)
2021 Targets: 63 (10% share)

We all know that vacated targets aren’t really a thing, but Davis makes my list for reasons similar to Bateman’s. Davis earned a lowly 10% of targets as the team’s fourth option in the passing game last year, but down the stretch, he proved why he deserves to see more this year. The Bills let Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders walk in free agency, which tells me they want to give Davis more work this year. Not only that, but most NFL fans remember when Davis got four touchdowns in the Bills’ last game of the season, a playoff loss to the Chiefs. They leaned on him heavily when the season was on the line, so it’s clear to me that his numbers are set to rise in 2022.

Nico Collins (WR – HOU)
2021 Targets: 60 (11% share)

The Houston Texans are tough to predict, especially with all of the changes occurring on and off the field surrounding the QB position. However, Davis Mills is set to start for the team again this year, as he did for most of last season when Collins was quietly the team’s second-highest passing option. His 60 targets were less than half of Brandin Cooks‘ team-leading 134, but second is still second.

The Texans added John Metchie in the draft and will expect to see Brevin Jordan take a step up, but I’m anticipating Collins will see the bulk of the bump here. His 11% target share could double into the 20s if Cooks gets doubled or slows down at all. He’s a solid sleeper option for me this year.

Jerry Jeudy (WR – DEN)
2021 Targets: 56 (11% share)

Jeudy is the other Broncos player on my list of target share risers, mainly because injuries are hard to predict. That said, even on a per-game basis, Jeudy only earned 5.6 targets from Lock at QB. Like I said for Sutton, I think Wilson at QB uses his top two assets much better than any of the other Denver QBs ever could, and both see their shares increase.

This would likely mean that fellow pass-catchers Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler could have an uphill battle in seeing their numbers go up from last season. But, overall, I think Jeudy and Sutton both have a 20% share potential and should be much better for fantasy managers this year.

Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)
2021 Targets: 51 (10% share)

Last but not least is the sole running back on this list, and it’s probably not a running back many people would have predicted. The Colts sent Carson Wentz packing and added Matt Ryan to replace him. Ryan is a much better QB than Wentz by most accounts, so I’m expecting this offense to see an uptick in production on the whole.

Also, Taylor saw his targets go from 2.6 per game in 2020 to three per game in 2021. It’s not much, but it still shows that he did what he needed to earn more looks. Now that the QB position has been upgraded, I expect Taylor to take that next step up and earn even more targets this year. Even if he only gets up to four per game, that would still increase his overall target share by 3%. That’s substantial for the consensus RB1 in fantasy and would make him even more elite. Sign me up.

CTAs


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Andrew Hall is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Andrew, check out his profile and follow him @AndrewHallFF.

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