It’s never too early to do a sleeper or a bust list. Basically, as soon as experts start to put out their rankings, we can start to see patterns and ebbs and flows develop. After all, for the 95% of people who aren’t on fantasy football Twitter in February, these rankings will make the draft lists come August. But, nothing is perfect. That’s why we are going to take a look at FantasyPros Expert Consensus Rankings to suss out some sleepers and busts for the 2022 fantasy football season. Is it too early for QB sleepers? Probably! But, here they are, anyway.
2022 QB Sleeper: Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (QB13, 103 Overall)
I am going to start off with who my fellow 49ers fans have started to call “The Kid.” While I don’t think that he will be the NFL’s version of Ken Griffey, Jr., who also carried the moniker, I think that he could hit the ground running for the 49ers. And that’s not a play on words, I think that he could have a Jimmy Garoppolo 2021 season with a whole lot of running on top of it. The 49ers already announced that they and Garoppolo’s representatives are trying to find him a good landing spot, which means Trey Lance is the 49ers’ starter for 2022.
Lance had two starts for the 49ers in 2021, and he averaged 60 yards rushing per game. Jimmy Garoppolo quietly finished as QB17 in fantasy points per game last year (15.8 points per game), if you add an extra six fantasy points onto that, that vaults Trey Lance into top-five quarterback territory. At QB13, that’s excellent value for Lance.
2022 QB Sleeper: Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (ECR: QB15, 109 Overall)
Unlike Lance, Justin Fields had an extensive tryout last year, to mixed results. Unfortunately, that all came with Matt Nagy at the helm. With new head coach Matt Eberflus at the helm, Fields should have a greater opportunity to prove himself in 2022. He really didn’t have a shot to prove himself in 2020, with Nagy handcuffing the offense to the point that the Browns’ Myles Garrett called out his unoriginality after sacking Justin Fields 4.5 times.
While Fields averaged just 15.8 fantasy points per game, the same as Handsome James Garoppolo, his arrow is pointed up. The Bears are in a position to snag Fields’ former college teammate, Chris Olave, in the second round, which might open things up for Fields. It’s worth noting that the Bears let Fields run the ball more than five times on seven different instances, and he topped 30 yards rushing in all of them, with a 10/103/1 day against San Francisco as his peak output.
2022 QB Sleeper: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (QB18, 135 Overall)
I Want to Believe. Tua has had two uneven seasons in his first two years with the Dolphins. Probably because their owner and head coach had possibly the most toxic relationship in sports. Now, Tua gets Mike McDaniel, who spent ages under the wise tutelage of Kyle Shanahan. Considering Flores was a defense-first coach, Tua had a massive glow up in that department. There isn’t a lot to like about Tua’s 2021 from a raw output perspective; he stopped running, and he had just 222 passing yards, 1.4 touchdowns, and 0.8 interceptions per game, with one game over two passing touchdowns (wherein he also had two picks).
Tua was basically Jimmy Garoppolo, and I’m curious if Mike McDaniel can give him his own glow-up. There’s a lot to like about Tua, namely that he was top-ten in all completion rate stats on PlayerProfiler.com. If you’re new to this: quarterbacks completing passes is a good thing.