Fantasy football has evolved over the years as modern analytics and theory have reshaped the way many view the popular game. This year, it is estimated that 50 million fantasy football players will compete for a championship in at least one league.
Everyone is asking the same questions. Who should I draft to win my league? Which players will be league winners?
What you need to understand to win in 2022 is that you are not trying to just make your fantasy playoffs, or finish in the top half of your league. The goal of fantasy football is to win. Forget finishing in second place. You want to draft a team that gives you the best chance of bringing home a championship.
With this in mind, it is important to draft for a high ceiling (the most upside possible). You want to have a plan going into your draft and be able to create a team that can blow up any given week while also being constructed strategically.
As we prepare for the 2022 fantasy football season, here are five simple ways to draft for ceiling rather than floor and create a superteam.
Forget About RB
Last year there were plenty of league-winning RBs available late in drafts or on waivers: Elijah Mitchell, Rashaad Penny, Devin Singletary, James Conner. RBs frequently get injured, which means there are always backups you can pick off of waivers and get a decent start from. What is far rarer on waivers is a stud WR or TE.
This year, draft pass catchers first in your draft, and you can create a superteam once you find the late-round or waiver wire RBs as the season progresses.
Stack for Upside
If you want a team with elite upside, you want to draft players who will both be successful if their team does well. This is why stacking players can be so powerful, because they will produce massive games for you when their team gets involved in a shootout. For example, last year my Kelce, Hill and Mahomes stack went off for over 100 points between the three of them in the first week of the fantasy playoffs.
Think about which teams you suspect will have high-scoring offenses in 2022. Some of my favorite team stacks to target right now include the Broncos, the Chargers, the Bengals and (sleepers) the Bears and Lions.
Grab an Elite Tight End
There are five tight ends this year who can be considered elite prospects: Kelce, Andrews, Pitts, Waller and Kittle. Only half your league or less will have one of these tight ends, and the advantage will be massive. Get an elite tight end early and worry about other positions later.
Draft Talent Over Opportunity
Why in the world are people still drafting Ezekiel Elliot in round 3? The guy is not only old (see below) but he has performed so poorly on the field you’d think you’re watching a giant tortoise run a race. It seems that people are valuing Zeke’s workload highly despite his apparent lack of talent.
When building a ceiling team, draft players who are athletic and talented, because when they get the opportunity, they will smash their ADP. Tony Pollard may be available in round 9, by the way.
Stop Drafting Old Guys
I’m sorry, but somebody has to say it. Last year’s breakout players were Jonathan Taylor, Jamar Chase, Deebo Samuel and Cooper Kupp. Only Kupp was older than 25.
Younger players simply have higher ceilings due to their athleticism and elite upside. So stop drafting a 30-year-old hoping he can get lucky and catch 10 TDs, and draft young players who could break out for 1,300 yards and 12 TDs. When you hit on young players they will perform much better than just a decent veteran who catches a few balls a game.
Some of my favorite young receivers are going in the middle rounds this year: Hollywood Brown, Jerry Jeudy, Jalen Waddle, Gabriel Davis, Rashaad Bateman, Darnell Mooney, Traylon Burks, Brandon Aiyuk, Kadarius Toney, Chris Olave, Skyy Moore. Grab some young receivers like these and they will have the upside to be a top 10 guy if things break right.
The season is still a month away, but it is never too early to start preparing to build a super team. Now go draft a team with such a high ceiling that you annihilate your entire league.