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2022 Free Agency Winners: Wide Receivers

There has been a flurry of moves this offseason as teams try to replicate the success that the Rams and Bengals achieved after being aggressive last offseason. Some big wide receiver trades have shaken up the fantasy landscape heading into the 2022 season, and even wide receivers who’ve stayed put have seen changes to their quarterback. Here are the biggest free agency winners at the wide receiver position.

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2022 Free Agency Winners: Wide Receivers


Allen Robinson

It was clear that Allen Robinson‘s lack of production in 2021 had more to do with his lack of desire to be in Chicago on the franchise tag rather than a decline in ability. Now on a contending team in Los Angeles with the best quarterback he’s had in his career in Matthew Stafford, Robinson’s 2022 fantasy outlook seems much improved. On top of getting to catch passes from Stafford, the Rams’ subsequent trade of Robert Woods to the Titans also gives Robinson an opportunity to see immense target volume alongside Cooper Kupp this coming season. Robinson will turn 29 years old in August, which caps his dynasty value long-term, but he’s a strong fantasy WR2 with upside for contending teams for the next couple of seasons, putting him atop the list of free agency winners at the wide receiver position.


JuJu Smith-Schuster

It’s been a roller coaster ride for JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s dynasty value since entering the league. His dynasty startup ADP peaked at near 10th overall back in 2019 and has since slid to 93rd overall as of March. With his one-year prove-it deal in Kansas City, Smith-Schuster will see an immediate quarterback upgrade going from a feeble Ben Roethlisberger to an electric Patrick Mahomes. The trade of Tyreek Hill to Miami further opens up opportunity for Smith-Schuster to make a big impact on offense even with the Chiefs likely to address the wide receiver position via one or more of their four picks in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft. Still just 25 years old, Smith-Schuster has a chance to revive his dynasty value this coming year and could be a volume-based WR3 if he builds chemistry with Mahomes and carves out a significant role.


Russell Gage

Flying under the radar among the biggest free agency winners at wide receiver is Russell Gage. With Tom Brady back in Tampa Bay after his brief retirement, the Buccaneers’ wide receivers all have high fantasy ceilings for this coming season. Following Chris Godwin‘s ACL tear in Week 15 and Antonio Brown‘s abrupt exit in Week 17, no other Tampa Bay receiver stepped up to secure the no. 2 receiver role. With Godwin’s status uncertain for Week 1 of the 2022 season, Gage has a chance to play a major role on offense to start the year. Even once Godwin returns, both he and Gage can play both outside as well as in the slot, so Gage should still maintain a starting role even with Godwin on the field. There’s a fair chance of Gage starting the year as a top-24 fantasy wide receiver if Godwin isn’t ready, and Gage can provide flex production even after Godwin is back.


Darnell Mooney

Considering his production profile and fifth-round draft capital, Darnell Mooney doesn’t profile as a true no. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. Still, he will have ample opportunity to make his case in 2022. Robinson left for greener pastures in Los Angeles, and the Bears haven’t signed any impact receivers to replace him so far in free agency. And while Chicago should and probably will add some additional receiver help for sophomore Justin Fields via the draft, they don’t have a first-round pick this year, with two second-round picks instead at pick no. 39 and 48 being their earliest. As the de facto no. 1 receiver for this coming season, Mooney can come close to 100 targets as a fantasy WR3 with upside, and if Fields can elevate the talent around him, the entire offense could be more efficient and give Mooney more touchdown upside as well.


Allen Lazard

Green Bay having traded away Davante Adams to Las Vegas makes Allen Lazard one of the big free agency winners at wide receiver. Additionally, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is now in Kansas City, Equanimeous St. Brown signed in Chicago, and while Robert Tonyan remains with the Packers on a one-year deal, it remains to be seen when he’ll be back from his ACL tear. Although the Packers will undoubtedly address their barren receiver room with one or more of their four top-60 picks in the upcoming draft, Lazard has a leg up on the incoming rookie receivers when it comes to rapport with Aaron Rodgers. Make sure not to overrate Lazard’s dynasty value right now, as he should be a sell-high candidate for an early second-round rookie pick or more. However, he does have a high weekly fantasy ceiling heading into the 2022 season as one of Rodgers’s go-to targets.


For more fantasy football and NFL content, follow me on Twitter @FFA_Meng.

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