Every summer, we take a deep dive into the fantasy football average draft position (ADP) of players on each real-life NFL team. We do this so that we can determine which guys are undervalued, overvalued, or valued just right. As we Goldilocks this ADP, our draft board forms based on our opinions of players and where they go in fantasy football drafts. Since drafters draft (mostly) by site algorithms, site algorithms drive ADP on that site. So, we use FantasyPros’ aggregate average draft position data in order to smooth out those edges. To really smooth out the edges, I will use half-PPR average draft position, which you can find here.
The Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams is something I hate to say, as unfortunately, they beat my San Francisco 49ers to get to the Super Bowl. With Robert Woods a Tennessee Titan, and Odell Beckham’s status up in the air, the Rams might not repeat in 2022. But, for our purposes, we just need to know: who are their 2022 fantasy football sleeper, breakout and bust players?
Sleeper: Darrell Henderson Jr., Running Back (RB43, 123 OVR)
So here’s the thing about Darrell Henderson. He’s good at football. In his ten games prior to his injury in 2021, Henderson averaged 14.2 carries per game and 2.7 receptions per game for 82 yards per game. That isn’t to say that Cam Akers wasn’t good before his Achilles tear, either. In Akers’ last ten regular-season games, he averaged 12.4 carries and 1.3 receptions for 64.4 yards per game. So, I’m not saying that Akers and Darrell Henderson are going to be insanely different. More-than-likely, they split the load and produce relatively close numbers overall.
So why is Darrell Henderson a sleeper? Because he’s RB43 off the board and I don’t see a whole lot of daylight between his median range of outcomes in 2022 and Cam Akers’ median range of outcomes. Should Cam Akers finish higher? Absolutely, after all, he is going 87 picks earlier. But are there 87 picks worth of difference in their likely end-of-year value? I would submit there are not, and that it’s closer to 8.7 than 87 picks.
Breakout: Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver (RB41, 99 OVR)
I’m not entirely certain why Allen Robinson is going so low here. Yes, he sort of fell off the face of the earth last year… while playing for a Bears team that franchise tagged him while he desperately wanted a longer-term deal, which was in the middle of switching back and forth between two quarterbacks, and who was in-and-out of the lineup to end the year. I kind of… can’t really blame Robinson. Everyone has their breaking point and Robinson, who turns 29 this August, was playing with yet another terrible quarterback situation. He gave up, crushing his fantasy value, and now he’s with the Rams.
Now before I get into any figures about Allen Robinson, let’s talk about some massive vibes upgrades for poor Allen Robinson. He’s caught passes from Blake Bortles, Chad Henne, Mitchell Truubisky, Chase Daniel, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton, and rookie year (not ready yet) Justin Fields. He’s been around a ton of bad quarterback play in his life. Now, he arrives at fantasy point nirvana, with Matthew Stafford slinging him the ball on routes drawn up by Sean McVay. The man is finally free, and we reward him by slamming him all the way down to 99 overall. Yes, he had a bad season. It was also forgivable, given his circumstances.
Allen Robinson was coming off of two seasons where he averaged 100 catches, 1,198 yards and 6.5 touchdowns before running headlong into an awful situation. Bet on him, bet on the bounce back. We all know who Allen Robinson is, and last year wasn’t it. This year he is the clear #2 target for one of the better offenses in the NFL. Lean into that and reap the rewards.
Bust: Cam Akers, Running Back (RB19, 36 OVR)
Cam Akers wasn’t supposed to play last year, he tore his Achilles in the offseason, and that’s always a death knell for that particular year. Also, he shouldn’t have played last year because he came back too early and was not very good. The Rams leaned on him out of necessity thanks to a Darrell Henderson injury, but Darrell Henderson came back and outgained Cam Akers in the Super Bowl while Cam Akers out-touched him sixteen to nine. I really feel like being in on Cam Akers is all vibes based this year based on a couple of high profile good games from 2020 before he tore his Achilles, and I fear that we are all ignoring his downside. It’s hard to figure out what to write here because I will never, ever draft a running back the year after their Achilles tear. Cam Akers tore his Achilles last year. So, I’m out. Let someone else take a gamble on Akers on your team, don’t turn it into a science experiment. Short and sweet.