2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football: 5 Undervalued Players

by Connor Hierlihy
2021 Fantasy Football: JuJu Smith-Schuster Injury

What’s up football fans? This is my first article written for F6P and I am so excited to get started on this awesome website! If you like this article be sure to follow me on Twitter at @ChillyNFL for more 2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football content.

In this 2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football article, I will be looking at five players that I believe to be undervalued in Dynasty formats based on their current FantasyPros ECR ranking. This is for PPR leagues, but I also like these players in half-PPR as well.

Dynasty is a whole different beast than redraft. There is so much information to consider when playing Dynasty, whether it's age, contract situation, team changes and much more. That's why it can be so hard to rank players.

Some people value youth and future prospects with 2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football, while others just want players who they think will be great this season. Regardless of your personal 2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football strategy, I believe these five players can be useful on anyone's roster.

2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football: 5 Undervalued Players

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Michael Pittman Jr, WR, Indianapolis Colts

After a somewhat lackluster rookie season, Pittman's sophomore year saw him break out in a big way, netting over 1,000 receiving yards. His production was good enough to net him a WR17 finish, squarely in that WR2 range. This shows in his ECR, being ranked as the WR14 in Dynasty formats. So why do I still think this is a value?

Well, I believe that Pittman has the ability to become a top 5 receiver in the entire NFL. Here's why. Despite his breakout last year, Pittman was definitely limited by Carson Wentz. Wentz is just not a good Quarterback, plain and simple. The coaches knew this as well, which is likely why the Colts had the 5th lowest Passing Play Ratio.

Compare this to the Colts new starting Quarterback, Matt Ryan. Even on a Falcons team that had basically no wide receivers he still had 560 attempts last year, over 40 more than Wentz. He also had a higher completion percentage and a higher yards per attempt. Basically, Matt Ryan is a huge upgrade for Pittman.
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Still No Target Competition

An argument I have seen brought up against Pittman is the lack of competition for targets he had on the roster last year. However, I would argue that he still lacks any real competitor. Parris Campbell could be alright, but he has never shown anything at an NFL level.

As for Alec Pierce, I'm just not a huge believer in the talent. Now, I understand that my disbelief in Pierce is purely subjective. So for the sake of argument, let's say Pittman's 25.7% target share goes down to 23%. Based on Matt Ryan's stats in prior years, the increase in passing volume and efficiency would more than make up for it. Regardless, I'm not projecting a drop in target share because of Pittman's immense talent.

Pittman sometimes unfairly gets labeled as a contested-catch receiver, likely due to his height. This could not be further from the truth. Pittman is actually a very polished and skilled route runner. According to playerprofiler.com, Pittman finished 3rd in the NFL in Total Route Wins and 4th in Route Win Rate. Yes, he can go up and make a crazy grab, but he also can beat you with his footwork and fine-tuned routes.

Finally, Pittman is only 24 years old, meaning he has many years of great play left. This makes him an incredible asset in Dynasty. Pittman could be the cornerstone of your team for years to come. While Matt Ryan's contract does expire in two years, Pittman has shown that he can make it work with any quarterback. This is the player I end up with in all of my drafts.

AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers

AJ Dillon has had an interesting career so far. He was drafted to a Packers team that already had two good backs in Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Because of this, in his rookie year, he hardly got any work. With Williams being gone last year he got to show his talent off, albeit as the backup running back.

Despite his backup status, Dillon still saw meaningful work, getting roughly half of his team's rushing work. This leads to a very interesting situation. Aaron Jones is still in Green Bay, which is why Dillon's ECR is only RB21. However, I think this is far too low given his prospects both this season and in the future.

Let's start by focusing on the upcoming season. We know for a fact that Dillon will be splitting work with Aaron Jones. However, it is likely that there will be many times when both Dillon and Jones are on the field. We have already seen reports out of camp talking about Jones being used as a receiver while Dillon is in the backfield. The loss of Davante Adams will mean much more receiving work from Jones. In 8 career games without Adams, Jones averages 4.5 receptions and 48.5 yards per game. Jones being used this way could let Dillon take over the majority of carries.
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Receiving Work Too?

Dillon himself has also proven his worth as a pass catcher. Last year he had 313 receiving yards on an impressive 91% catch rate. He also could be in line for more receptions in Adams's absence. We all know that Dillon is a huge bruising back, who can get those tough yards.

In the past, Aaron Rodgers would opt to pass the ball on the goal line to one of the best red zone threats in the league, Davante Adams. Now that he is gone, I expect a boost in the number of Red Zone carries for Dillon, which should lead to more touchdowns. So when you break it down, I am projecting more carries, receptions and touchdowns for Dillon this year.

He's in line for a great year, but possibly an even better future. Aaron Jones's contract includes a potential out after this year, which many experts think they will exercise. If this happens, Dillon will almost certainly be a bona fide Bell Cow back. With his skill set that could mean a Top-5 Fantasy finish.

Even if Jones does stay, he will be 29 years old and most likely declining in skill. Dillon will be 25 next year, and in the likely scenario in which he is the lead back, he could have at least three years of RB1 play in him. Not bad for a guy you can get in the 6th round in startups.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Juju finds himself on a new team this year, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have completely retooled their receiving room following the departure of Tyreek Hill. They brought in JuJu, Marques Valdez-Scantling, and drafted Skyy Moore in the second round.

This somewhat questionable receiving room will have JuJu competing to be the team's top receiver. I believe he will be. If he in fact is, he will be an absolute steal at WR40 in ECR.

By now, most of us know the deal with JuJu. He had a great sophomore season when opposite Antonio Brown and then revealed himself to be a poser once Brown left. But is that true? I would argue no. Juju's first year without Brown was plagued with injuries. When he did play he was somewhat disappointing, but not awful. 2020 is when we start to see what happened to JuJu. He played the entire season that year, and was actually solid, posting 97 receptions. The problem, however, is that it only netted him 831 yards. In fact, let's take a look at his yards per reception over the years.

His YPR takes a nosedive in 2020 and sticks around there in 2021. This coincides with Big Ben's loss of throwing power. Look at Big Ben's Yards per Attempt over the years. You'll notice that (aside from 2019 when he only played two games) Ben had never averaged less than seven yards per attempt in his entire career until 2020. Is this a coincidence? Or is Big Ben's decline a huge factor in Juju's? I tend to think the latter.
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Can JuJu Be a WR1?

So what exactly am I saying? Am I saying it was all Ben and Juju is going to be the WR1? Well no. I am saying that it was likely a big factor, and that having Patrick Mahomes as his new Quarterback is sure to elevate his game and his YPR. Juju is most certainly a big question mark, but if you have the potential to get the WR1 for KC at WR40 value then you should do it.

Another thing I want to add is that despite going into his 6th season, Juju is still only 25 years old. He is still right in the middle of his prime. While he is only on a one-year contract currently, I would venture that if he performs as I expect him to this year he will absolutely get another from KC, and be tied to Patrick Mahomes for the foreseeable future.

Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

This one is interesting. We have never seen Etienne on an NFL field before, due to his injury before the start of last season. The unknown can be scary for people. We have no clue how he will play, which is likely why he is at RB15 in ECR. Even that may be too high for people, but I would argue that Etienne has top-5 upside for both this year and the future.

So to start let's get the obvious out of the way: Etienne will split work with James Robinson. It is still to be seen what exactly the timeshare is, but there is no denying that it will happen. Despite this, I believe that his elite receiving ability will let him overcome the timeshare. On top of that, he should see more and more work as the season progresses.

To show that elite ability, we can look at his college stats. In his four years at Clemson, he averaged a very impressive 7.2 yards per carry. Even more encouraging are his receiving stats. By his senior year, he was averaging four receptions a game and 12.3 Yards per Reception, insane numbers for a back.
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College Connection

You also need to keep in mind who was throwing to him: Trevor Lawerence. The fact that Etienne and his QB have this connection and chemistry already should prove very useful. His stats prove that he is not only a great runner but a dang good receiver as well. It cannot be stated how important that is in PPR formats.

Etienne is one of 12 running backs ever to get a 90+ grade from Next Gen Stats. Of those 12, 10 of them have gone on to have at least one Top-12 RB season. The only other back who hasn't so far is Breece Hall, which makes sense given neither Hall nor Etienne have played an NFL snap. Essentially what this confirms is that Etienne is a supremely talented back. Even if you dislike his situation, (which I do not) his talent is undeniable. I believe he can become a sort of D'Andre Swift-type back, except better at rushing. I know it sounds like I am exaggerating, but it is legitimately in the cards.

For Dynasty purposes, Etienne is super young and should only command more of the rushing share as he gets used to the system. He is tied to his college quarterback, and if Trevor Lawerence becomes even half of what he was advertised as, he should easily be able to support Etienne. I believe Etienne has a shot to be a perennial top-5 back and would take him in a startup within the first 10 running backs taken.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions

So this one is going to be controversial. There is growing negativity in the Fantasy Football community surrounding St. Brown. It seems like most experts are fading him. While I understand the reasoning for it, I am on the complete other end of the spectrum. I love St. Brown, not just for this year but for years to come as well. Let me try to outline why.

So the story of St. Brown's 2021 rookie season is well known. He was mediocre to bad until all of his competition for targets went down to injury, which allowed him to go on an absolute tear at the end of the season. But like... is that really what happened?

It seems to me like people are just forgetting that he was a rookie. That is what rookie receivers often do. In the Dynasty community, we are usually very forgiving of rookies who don't make an immediate impact. Usually, we expect more of a second-half mini-breakout, and even then we say that as long they got 525 yards then they should be good next year. Well, guess what, St Brown had 900 yards.
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No Fluke Here

That just is not a fluke. Plenty of receivers lack competition for targets, yet they don't put up nearly the numbers that St. Brown did. Over his final six games, he averaged 22.8 PPR Points per Game. That is impressive (especially for a rookie) no matter what. I understand the roster looks much better now. They have T.J. Hockenson and Swift back, and they brought in DJ Chark and Jameson Williams. Despite this, I would bet on St. Brown being the WR1, as he is the one who has proven capable and developed chemistry with Goff.

Some may say his Dynasty prospects are limited because they drafted Jameson Williams in the first round. However, there is no guarantee that he lives up to the hype. Plenty of first-round players bust every draft. That is not to say Williams is a bust, but that it is always a possibility. St. Brown is only 22 years old and has the potential to be his team's WR1 for the near future. WR34 in ECR is absurdly low, and a massive value.

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