2022 Fantasy Football Top 10 Riskiest Players

by Mike Bonni
2022 Fantasy Football Top 10 Riskiest Players to Draft

Welcome everyone to the 2022 Fantasy Football Top 10 Riskiest Players article here at F6P!

This article, just as the name says, will cover which players are the riskiest to draft. I'm not saying that these players shouldn't be drafted. All I'm saying is that these ten can break your season. Whether it be from an injury or their ADP has gotten out of hand, it would be wise to think twice before drafting them.

2022 Fantasy Football Top 10 Riskiest Players

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10.) Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons, TE (TE3, Overall 37)

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Currently, Kyle Pitts is going as the TE3 off the board and 37th overall (Fourth Round). This means he is getting drafted before George Kittle (Fifth Round) and Darren Waller (Fifth Round).

Among other notable players he's being drafted ahead of: Terry McLaurin, Brandin Cooks, and an abundance of top-flight QBs (Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes).

So, let's start with the bad news first.

Kyle Pitts will be catching passes from Marcus Mariota. It's a significant downgrade compared to Matt Ryan, so you can expect a slight drop-off in target quality for Kyle Pitts. Other than this, Kyle Pitts is only risky for who he is being drafted ahead of right now (Kittle and Waller). It's also worth mentioning that Pitts busted five times ( T-3rd most among TE1s) and only had six TE1 finishes ( T-12th).

Kyle Pitts does have some good news percolating for him. As the most reliable option, Pitts should be peppered with targets in 2022. Will they be good targets? That is the big question.

Expect 100-120 targets, as well as being a prime candidate for positive TD regression. Let's not forget that Marcus Mariota guided Delanie Walker to two TE6 finishes. During those years, Walker saw 102 and 111 targets with a 22% target share. I can see Kyle Pitts getting a similar workload.

But with everything going on around him, or the lack of it, Pitts could be in for a rough time. With him being such a high draft pick, this has the potential of ruining your season.

Going in the fourth round, I would much rather have a top-flight QB over Kyle Pitts. The safer pick would be drafting Kyle Pitts in the fifth round, behind George Kittle and Darren Waller.

9.) Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos, RB (RB12, Overall 22)

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In 2021, Javonte Williams was the RB17. He ran for 903 yards with four touchdowns in a legit 50/50 timeshare (w/ Melvin Gordon).

In some encouraging news, Javonte Williams led the snaps between himself and Melvin Gordon after their bye week (Week 11), leaping up all the way up to RB8 during this time.

I expect this to carry over to 2022. Javonte Williams should see increased usage but is still in an RB committee. This is something you will have to keep in mind while drafting.

Now onto the bad news and why he has found himself as the ninth-riskiest player in fantasy.

In 2021, Javonte Williams only had three RB1 finishes (T-19th) and was T-22nd in RB2 finishes. Melvin Gordon isn't going away in 2022, which means he will be competing for touches again. Expect a 55/45 in favor of Javonte Williams and even that won't justify his RB12 ADP.

Other than Aaron Jones, how does anyone in an RB committee deserve to be in RB1 territory? Nonetheless, Javonte Williams? Please don't be taking him this early.

Javonte Williams shouldn't be drafted as an RB1. This is drafting him near his ceiling and you never want to do that. He is going before Nick Chubb (RB Committee, but proven) and Alvin Kamara (possible suspension could be why). To me, this ain't cutting it. Let one of your draftmates take a shot at him.

8.) Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills, WR (WR33, Overall 79)

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This one is sure to cause some controversy. Everyone is all aboard the Gabe Davis train but I can't seem to get behind it. Yes, he has some good things going for him, he is on one of the best offenses in football and he is the number-two option.

This screams breakout, unfortunately not every player that gets thrust into a new role succeeds. This could very well be Gabe Davis. I'll go through it all below.

Since 2020 (Rookie season), Gabe Davis has never finished higher than WR57. Sure you can say he was stuck behind Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders (33) but if he is so talented, why couldn't he usurp them on the depth chart? Now he has Jamison Crowder coming into town, who has been very productive (when healthy) with the Jets. It's not looking as good for Gabe Davis as everyone thought.

The bad news doesn't stop there. In these two years, he has yet to go north of 600 yards, 63 targets, or 35 catches. It's also worth mentioning that Gabe Davis is very TD dependent (averaging 6.5 a year). At some point, Davis is due for TD regression.

Another stat that needs to be noted is that Gabe Davis has only scored 10 or more fantasy points in 13 of 32 games.

Other than an epic playoff run, Gabe Davis hasn't done much in the NFL.

Currently going in the seventh round (before Adam Thielen, and Dak Prescott), Gabe Davis could be one of the riskiest picks in your fantasy drafts this year.

7.) Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars, RB (RB19, Overall 39)

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I'm just going to say this now, Travis Etienne's RB19 ranking is a little ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of him, but RB19? The Clemson product has done nothing in the league and let's not forget that he is coming off a Lisfranc injury.

Etienne also has to deal with James Robinson when he eventually comes back, which some reports are saying could be earlier than expected.

Travis Etienne has never been a guy that gets a huge workload, he was just insanely efficient at Clemson. With that being said, please don't expect a heavy workload in the NFL.

He is currently going in the fourth round, ahead of Terry McLaurin, Brandin Cooks, Josh Jacobs, and Breece Hall. Just to name a few. Call me crazy but I would rather have any of those players named above, including Breece Hall. I just don't know how that injury will hold up, it scares me.

6.) Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR (WR31, Overall 73)

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As of right now, Chris Godwin is expected to miss six weeks. There are rumblings that the Buccaneers are hopeful that he will be ready for Week One. Let's not set that in stone, Godwin still isn't that far removed from an ACL injury.

This is why he finds himself on this list. There is no doubt about it, Chris Godwin is very talented and he gets to catch passes from Tom Brady. That right there should make anyone want to draft him, unfortunately, he had a major injury late in 2021.

Currently going in the seventh round (WR31), Chris Godwin might be a little too spicy to take there. It's not even a guarantee that he comes back after six weeks, the Buccaneers could have him sit longer for a playoff run. This, to me, would make total sense for Tampa Bay.

He has fallen from WR25 to WR31, so fantasy players are starting to come around (finally) to the point where Godwin could even be considered a value pick. I would wait till he falls a little bit farther if you want him, Elijah Moore should be taken ahead of him. As well as Tony Pollard, Joe Burrow, and even Adam Thielen.

5.) Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns, WR (WR22, Overall 53)

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This can be a totally different story if Deshaun Watson plays, but I'm under the assumption that he won't be playing this year. Since we are going that route, Amari Cooper finds himself as one of the riskiest players you can draft in 2022.

Amari Cooper will be catching passes from Jacoby Brissett. With two good RBs (Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt) and a sub-par QB, targets/target quality will come down drastically.

Even with Dak Prescott, Cooper struggled to stay significant. In 15 games played, he only had two 100-yard games. Amari Cooper was only able to catch five or more passes in three games, he also only received seven or more targets in just seven games.

In terms of fantasy, Cooper only had eight games where he scored 10+ points placing him as WR27 in 2022. Another thing to note is that Amari Cooper busted the third most times among the top 36 WRs.

The fact that Amari Cooper is going before Marquise Brown, Jerry Jeudy, Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, and many more really grinds my gears. Cooper has been a boom/bust player his whole career, now he has subpar QB play? You can miss me with that stuff, I would rather draft any of those WRs I mentioned above before even thinking about Amari Cooper.

Let one of your draftmates deal with the headaches, not you.

4.) Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins, WR (WR8, Overall 21)

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Putting Tyreek Hill here was quite a weird feeling. Hill is experiencing a lot of new things. He is on a new team (Dolphins), with a new QB (Tua), and more target competition (Waddle/Gesicki).

This can go one of two ways. Either Tyreek elevates Tua to superstar status, or Tua proves to everyone that he can't support a top-flight WR. Time will tell on how this all shakes up and I couldn't be any more excited about it.

In 2021, Tyreek Hill finished as WR6. Before the bye week (1-11), Hill was WR2 and was looking like his normal self. He exploded for 20+ points in six of 11 games. This includes 47, 37, and two 27-point performances.

After the bye week, Tyreek Hill faltered tremendously. From Weeks 12-to-18 (six games), Hill was WR46. Yes! You read that right, WR46. In six games, he had three games under ten points, two just over ten, and was blessed with a 32-point performance. Without that 32-pointer, Tyreek's season could have been much worse.

Tyreek Hill is currently going in the late second round ahead of Keenan Allen, Deebo Samuel, Tee Higgins, and two great RB choices (Nick Chubb and Alvin Kamara). With everything new around Tyreek Hill, I would honestly rather have any of those WRs or even swing on one of the RBs.

3.) Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints, WR (WR29, Overall 66)

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Does he even like football anymore? Is he even ready to play in 2022? If he does play, will he be back to his normal self? Without Drew Brees, can Michael Thomas succeed?

There are just too many questions surrounding Michael Thomas for me to want to draft him, anywhere. Going as WR29, ahead of Juju Smith-Schuster (Cheifs WR now), Kareem Hunt (High-End RB2 when healthy), and even fellow risky WRs Chris Godwin and Gabe Davis just flabbergast me. The fact that I would rather have Chris Godwin (ACL Injury) should show you how I feel about Michael Thomas.

The last time Thomas played was in Week 14 of 2020. In that year (7 games), Michael Thomas averaged 11.6 fantasy points. That was with Drew Brees by the way. He did score 10+ fantasy points in four of those seven games at least but it wasn't anything special. He had two games where he finished as a WR2, none as a WR1.

With Drew Brees gone, a lack of motivation, and more target competition, Michael Thomas finds himself as one of the riskiest players in 2022. I won't be drafting him anywhere and I feel good about it. If you do draft him, I wish you the best.

2.) Saquon Barkley, New York Giants, RB (RB11, Overall 19)

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This should surprise no one, hopefully.

Saquon Barkley is an enigma in 2022, for many reasons. He has one of, if not, the widest range of outcomes. There's a strong chance he finishes as an RB1, but there is also a chance he gets injured again (god forbid). It's worth mentioning that he has only played one full season in the NFL (43% of games). The rest has been hampered by multiple injuries, including his knee, ankle, and hamstring.

In 2021, Barkley was able to play in 13 games. Before his injury (1-4), he was RB10 (16.9). After his injury, Barkley tumbled all the way down to RB21 (10.5). He was only able to muster up one boom, three RB1 finishes, and four RB2 finishes (less than Mike Davis, just for context).

One thing that should be noted about Saquon Barkley is his efficiency or lack thereof. In 2021, he was 23rd in evaded tackles, 17th in juke rate, 39th in breakaway runs (his bread and butter), and 65th in YPC (3.5). As you can see, Saquon Barkley struggles running the football.

Going as RB11 is a little spicy for me. I would rather draft Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, or even Nick Chubb over him. You can even make a case for James Conner and Ezekiel Elliott to be picked ahead of him, but that is a risk.

Saquon Barkley is one of the only players in 2022 that can either win you your league or send you to the nether realm (last place).

If Barkley is on here, that means you probably can guess who number one will be.

The Riskiest Player in 2022

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1.) Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers, RB (RB2, Overall 2)

There is a saying in fantasy football that resonates with this player perfectly. "You can't win your league in the first round, but you can most certainly lose it". You can lose your league by drafting the wrong player in the first round, which I'm sure many of you have felt these past two years when drafting this man.

Don't get me wrong, if Christian McCaffrey plays, he is the best fantasy RB in the NFL. In 2021 (seven games), McCaffrey averaged 18 points (5th). He was an RB1 or better in four of seven games, including three booms (top-three RB) and only one bust.

This is a big if though. Since 2020, C-Mac has only played in 30% of games. This is the ONLY reason why he has found himself on this list. If he missed one year, he wouldn't be on here but the man just can't stay healthy right now.

Currently going as the second player overall, you must be praying to the gods that he will stay healthy. As for me, I think I would rather go with Austin Ekeler (25/25 games without busting), or Derrick Henry (was averaging 24+ fantasy points before injury) before risking it on C-Mac.

That should do it for the 2022 Fantasy Football Top 10 Riskiest Players article. Stay tuned for the Top 10 Safest Players!


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