2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts

by Garrett Ball
2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts

Welcome to Fantasy Six Packs 2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts!

This time of year, everyone is excited to find the next breakout. The next big thing. To call your shot on a player and be right. Breakouts and sleepers are fun. Wide receivers especially with the rise of PPR formats and the use of more starting WR/FLEX slots bring a lot of attention to the position. Nailing the correct upside picks can give you a significant advantage.

But, as echoed by other F6P staff in our sleepers and bust series, it is just as essential to avoid the busts. You probably did well last season if you faded guys like Allen Robinson, Amari Cooper, AJ Brown, Kenny Golladay, or Chase Claypool. None of them were obvious fades, Robinson, Cooper, and Golladay were their team's top targets, Claypool had a great rookie season, and AJB is a monster.

Granted, some things you can't see coming. Like Robinson's disappearance (though, the offense was horrid). But guys like Claypool were playing with an aged Big Ben. Golladay was on a bad Giants team. AJ Brown lacked the volume needed to succeed when his QB's efficiency fell.

We're going to look at the top-36 WRs by Fantasy Pros Consensus ADP in our search for potential fantasy busts. It can be tough spotting a potential bust among top wideouts. Why? They're drafted high because they're good!

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However, as I said above, finding them can save you a lot of pain. And I found six guys that have some red flags for 2022. Alright, let's get to it.

2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts

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Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle - ADP WR8/WR14

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With the move to Miami, Hill has gone from a system that passed the second most to the second least in 2021. Cheetah's new head coach, Mike McDaniel, comes from the San Francisco system with pass attempts per game ranking 31st, 16th, 31st, and 20th the past four years.

McDaniel may not execute a carbon copy of the San Francisco offense head coached by Kyle Shanahan, but I do expect it to be similar given the offseason moves they made (namely, adding a LOT of running backs). I will give them credit that they are trying to build around Tua and his preference to avoid tight window throws by adding the fastest man in the NFL.

Miami's other top wideout, Jaylen Waddle, broke the NFL record for receptions by a rookie wideout with 104 on 141 targets. Tyreek Hill had 159 last season. Between the two of them, that adds up to 300 targets.

The target percentages and target volume will likely take a dip with so many mouths to feed (Gesicki, Wilson, Edmonds, to name a few). For Waddle, who has been used mostly as a short area receiver with an ADOT of 6.3, that presents a problem.

Looking ahead to 2022, taking away just 20 of his 2021 targets using his last season's catch rate and yards per reception, Waddle would have 865 yards this year. The offense should be better, so he may score more. But, I have a feeling both he and Tyreek are going to be better real-life players than fantasy players this season.

Terry McLaurin - ADP WR16

This hurts me because I want McLaurin to be good for fantasy so bad. But I can't believe in him right now, and the main reason is Carson Wentz. Wentz had a decent season when looking by the numbers, over 3500 yards, 27 TD, and 7 INTs is not a bad stat line when your offense runs through Jonathan Taylor.

And as the season went on, they used Wentz less and less. He wasn't coming through in clutch situations, culminating in a week 18 loss to the lowly Jaguars and missing the playoffs. They paid a high price for Wentz and moved on after one season. The former MVP candidate has just not been the same guy the last few years.

Wentz supported Michael Pittman to a mid-WR2 finish last year, so there's reason to hope he can do the same for McLaurin. But, Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas missed most of last season and they're looking to bounce back. Washington added first-round wideout, Jahan Dotson, into the fold as well.

Pittman was all the Colts had in the passing game last year. The same can't be said for the Commanders, who have several options outside of McLaurin to siphon away targets in 2022.

DK Metcalf - ADP WR18

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Much like their NFC West rivals, Seattle is going to be run-heavy. Russell Wilson is gone, and Pete Carroll can finally establish the run without the presence of Mr.Unlimited. Geno Smith was capable enough when Russ went down, but there's a reason he's been a backup for so long. He's not Seattle's long-term starter. Wilson's departure and the passing volume going down hurts Metcalf enough already.

But there's another layer to this as well. I did a study earlier this year about wide receivers who could see TD regression based on the number of touchdowns scored compared to their receiving yards. Metcalf scored nearly six more touchdowns than he should have based on his yardage stat. It's not a perfect formula, but it does give us a useful baseline when looking at players.

The one plausible scenario where Metcalf works out is if Seattle gets Jimmy Garopollo. As of right now, that has yet to happen, and Smith is the Seahawks QB1. For now, I'm fading Metcalf in redraft.

Amon-Ra St.Brown - ADP WR24

I feel like I'm about to make so many people upset, or I already have. "Yes", you might say, "I get you're making the case why many of my favorite players might not hit this season, but why Amon-Ra? Why the man who won many people's fantasy championships in 2021? Why Garrett?"

For starters, when St.Brown went on his incredible run from weeks 13-18, D'Andre Swift missed a good portion of it. In the two games Swift did play, he had a combined 17 touches. Swift wasn't much of a factor. Tight end TJ Hockenson missed all but one of those games. So, two of Detriot's top offensive weapons weren't there.

However, just because your team is decimated with injuries doesn't mean you will get oodles of targets. Just look at the Marquez Callaway hype from the 2021 preseason. You have to have the skill and the talent to earn opportunities in the NFL. St.Brown is talented, but so are a lot of the pieces around him.

Coming into 2022, the Lions are healthy again. Swift and Hockenson are healthy. And they added DJ Chark and Jameson Williams. It sounds like Williams will miss at least half of the season, but Chark is a good receiver. And so is Josh Reynolds, who also had a short run of success towards the end of the year.

With everyone back healthy I'm expecting Lions QB Jared Goff to spread the ball out more this year.

Hunter Renfrow - ADP WR30

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If you haven't watched much Hunter Renfrow, go watch some of his highlights. The way he can put defensive backs on skates is an absolute thing of beauty. He had a breakout season and finished the 2021-22 season as the PPR WR10 overall. There are just one or two problems that will keep him from repeating that, and frankly, his ADP shows it, but maybe not enough.

The first problem is the Raiders traded for a wide receiver by the name of Davante Adams. Maybe you've heard of him, but I've heard he's pretty good and demands a high target share. The second is the Raiders' tight end, Darren Waller. When Waller missed time last season Renfrow's PPR PPG rose, but it wasn't Waller's absence that meant most to Renfrow.

When Henry Ruggs was still a Raider in weeks 1-7 of 2021, Renfrow averaged 12.8 PPG. Without him in weeks 8-18, that number rose to 16.9! That's a massive jump.

To put that in a different way, that is jumping from the WR32 in PPG to the WR10! Waller's missing time after Ruggs was cut from the team did give Renfrow a boost, but nothing like what he got with the before and after the Ruggs situation.

This leads me to Davante Adams. Put plainly, he is a much better receiver than Ruggs. Adams is going to demand more from Derek Carr than Ruggs did, and Waller will get his share, leaving Renfrow the third target.

I'm not too bullish on Carr throwing enough touchdowns to make every Raider fantasy relevant (he's thrown more than 30 only once in his career). His draft cost isn't high, but I wouldn't be depending on Renfrow as my WR3 if I were you.


That is going to do it for Fantasy Six Packs 2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts! Thanks for reading and go crush those drafts!


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