Welcome fellow fantasy friends. Today I will be going over the 2022 Fantasy Football Contract Year Players who are looking for their next deal. ‘
Players usually have career years during their contract year as it's an open audition for all NFL teams to look at them. After last season we saw Christian Kirk get a huge payday and the year before it was Kenny Golladay.
Is the player you are looking to draft performing to cash in during the off-season or should this be expected going forward?
We will look at that further in the 2022 Fantasy Football Contract Year Players article.
2022 Fantasy Football Contract Year Players
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Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady turns 45 today.
Tom Brady just came off a season where he led the league in passing yards (5316, a career-high!) and finished as the QB3 in fantasy.
— NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLFantasy) August 3, 2022
It feels crazy writing about contract year for a recently unretired 45-year-old, but doubting Brady can make you feel crazy.
While he is maybe playing for a new contract from the Buccaneers, I suspect next season will be an audition tape for a better-suited contender to land him. The news of Brady and the Dolphins tampering shows that Brady is always thinking one step ahead.
With the Bucs adding Russell Gage, Kyle Rudolph, and Julio Jones during the offseason, Brady won't have a shortage of weapons.
I don't see him finishing in the top three again in fantasy. But I don't see him falling outside the top ten with the passing volume Brady will have in this offense. He led the league in passing attempts last season.
Baker Mayfield, Carolina Panthers
It seems like it was just yesterday that Baker was drafted by the Browns and expected to turn that franchise around. But things didn't go as planned.
After being recently traded to the Panthers, Baker will need to have a great season to prove he is worthy of still being a starter in this league.
He will have Christian McCaffery and D.J Moore at his disposal but he's a QB2 at best and even then I wouldn't touch him unless it's a deeper league.
The Panthers probably won't announce a starter between him and Sam Darnold until the end of the preseason. Yet I would avoid this situation as whoever it is will most likely be in a game manager role.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
There was a lot of skepticism around Jones by critics when he was drafted and he hasn't done much to silence that. He is in a similar situation as Mayfield. Not only is he playing for an extension from the Giants but also to prove he’s a starter in this league.
Jones hasn't shown that he is a great passer yet and the only appeal he has in the fantasy aspect is his legs.
Even with that being said, Jones shouldn't be rostered in the majority of leagues. There are just too many better options. He hasn't thrown more than 3,000 yards or 11 touchdowns in a season since his rookie season.
Newly hired coach Brian Daboll just transformed Josh Allen in Buffalo, so maybe some of that magic will rub off on Jones.
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Do you trust Saquon Barkley this season?
Our wisdom of the crowd projections spit out
🏈 965 rush yds
🏈 7 rush TDs
🏈 382 rec yds
🏈 2.5 rec TDs
🏈 54 rec
That's 219 half-PPR points - RB14 #FantasyFootball
RB Projections ➡️https://t.co/Rw861k2urj pic.twitter.com/M1W1vqjXLg
— Fantasy Six Pack (@fantasysixpack) August 4, 2022
There was so much promise for Barkley coming into the league but he just can't stay healthy. And when healthy, he hasn't been that game changer.
To be fair he hasn't exactly had the best supporting cast around him. However, the Giants have improved their offensive line by drafting lineman in the first round in the last two drafts.
Barkley ended last season as RB21 and will look to finish this season better as free agency will be creeping next year.
Barkley may get drafted earlier than he should just off the name factor. Yet I wouldn't expect anything more than a high-end RB2 from Barkley. Even a great RB3/FLEX is more reasonable. He has let me down the last three seasons and I refuse to be disappointed again.
He is one of the most interesting players this season as he has the ability to win you your league, but also the ability to frustrate you every week.
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
Montgomery is one of those players you play on your roster and you know what you're going to get. Nothing more or nothing less. He isn't an exciting back but due to volume and the Bears' putrid offense, he will get his numbers.
He is one of those guys that get you three to four yards and a cloud of dust. But with no real outside weapons and a bad offensive line look for Fields to get the ball out of his hands fast.
Backup Khalil Herbert made some noise last season while Montgomery was out and with new management in I wouldn't be surprised to see them work Herbert in even more with Montgomery most likely not returning after this season.
He should be rostered in all leagues but I wouldn't start him until we see how the rotation pans out.
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
Everyone knows how good Hunt is which makes it frustrating knowing there will always be a ceiling as long as he’s behind Nick Chubb.
He was limited to eight games last season due to a hamstring injury. During that time he was a top ten fantasy back. Hunt will look to make the best of this year as he looks for a new team to potentially start for next season.
The news on Deshaun Watson plays a role as well because if Watson is out for longer than the six games that were reported initially then the Browns' game plan changes. I can see Hunt getting a bunch of work in the passing and running game playing behind ultimate game manager Jacoby Brissett.
I would draft Hunt with RB3/FLEX expectations but he is a great stash regardless because there's a chance Chubb gets hurt or the Browns look to deal him around the deadline to an RB-needy team.
If injuries fall into place for the former Rookie of the Year, he would instantly fall into the RB1 category. It was just 2017 when he lead the league in rushing.
JuJu Smith Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs
JuJu exploded on the scene his first two seasons with the Steelers but he just couldn't keep that magic once Antonio Brown was exiled. Since then he has made more noise for his dance moves and TikTok, rather than on the field.
He will look to put that behind him and look to make a new start. He'll do that with arguably the best arm in the league with Patrick Mahomes and the explosive Chiefs offense.
With Tyreek Hill now gone he should have the focus of Travis Kelce’s leftovers as the other wide receivers are afterthoughts.
I think he is in the perfect position to have a bounce-back season. I have him as a WR2 with the potential to be a low-end WR1 by the end of the season. He is one of the biggest steals in fantasy this year.
Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers says Allen Lazard is the Packers' WR1 going forward. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/A3HDmS6ZYR
— theScore (@theScore) July 30, 2022
With Davante Adams being traded to Las Vegas, many expect Lazard to step up as the main receiver on the team. His only competition is oft-injured Sammy Watkins. Being on his contract yea,r this would be the perfect situation for Lazard to have a breakout season. However, I'm not buying the hype.
He should be a factor in PPR because he runs a bunch of short to immediate routes but I just don't see the Packers offense being as pass-heavy as it was last season. I envision the Packers leaning heavily on their defense and running the ball. So while Lazard may end up as the WR1 on the Packers, it's more of an indictment on the roster than his talent level.
I see him as a nice FLEX or even low-end WR2 depending on the matchup.
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
Like teammate Barkley, Shepard has disappointed since his rookie season with a lot of it resulting from injuries. When he’s actually on the field he’s a PPR machine. However, he’s only played a total of 28 games over the past three seasons.
With the Giants drafting receiver Wan’Dale Robinson in the second round, and Kadarius Toney in the first round last season, the receiver corp has become crowded. That's not even mentioning Kenny Golladay, the big free agent signed two seasons ago.
Add in the fact that Daniel Jones is the quarterback and Shepard shouldn't be drafted even in the deepest of leagues.
Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys
Dalton Schultz's Fantasy Football outlook for the 2022 NFL seasonhttps://t.co/GdSnYGsTXy
— Cowboys Nation (@CowboysNationCP) August 5, 2022
Schultz surprised everybody last season and went on to finish as TE3 last season. He was one of the biggest steals of the season. Some of this is skewed because Darren Waller and George Kittle were dealing with injuries, but I see him right outside of the top five.
Schultz was targeted 104 times last season. That was the third most for TEs in the league. With the Cowboys trading away Amari Cooper, more pressure will be on Ceedee Lamb and I expect him to be the beneficiary. You know the Cowboys will be throwing a ton.
He is right below the short list of elite tight ends.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
Knox made a lot of noise last season in that dangerous Bills offense, on his way to a career-high nine touchdowns. While he is playing with MVP candidate Josh Allen, I just don't see him repeating this type of success again. He isn't heavily targeted in the passing game.
Our rankings have him ranked as TE10. That's around the same area I see him as well. With the Bills signing O.J Howard in the offseason things have just got muddier.
The tight end position is so shallow that you have to roster him. Yet you’ll be crossing your fingers he finds himself in the endzone.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
His numbers have improved each season since being drafted back in 2018. Still, I’m not a fan of Gesicki. The Dolphins brought in coach Mike McDaniels from the 49ers. Therefore, you know there will be a lot of pounding the football.
The blockbuster trade for Tyreek Hill doesn't help things either. The Dolphins will make sure to get Hill and Jaylen Waddle the ball.
Only four tight ends had more targets than Gesicki last season. Yet he didn't necessarily take advantage of that, ending the season as a middle-of-the-pack tight end.
I view Geisicki just as that, a middle-of-the-pack tight end. Be prepared to be frustrated if you roster him.
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