Predicting the fantasy football sleepers and breakouts for 2022

Now that the 2022 NFL season is upon us, let’s explore some under-the-radar fantasy football sleepers and some players poised for big breakouts this year.

Here is a look at each major position on offense and where to find the best value for your ultimate fantasy football team once drafting begins taking place.

Note that this list will continually be updated as roles shift, trades occur and players sign with new NFL franchises. Enjoy!

Related: Top NFL free agents of 2022

Fantasy Football Sleepers

Quarterback Sleepers

Mitchell Trubisky and Kenny Pickett quarterbacks, Pittsburgh Steelers

fantasy football sleepers; mitchell trubisky
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Both Trubisky and Pickett are late-round fantasy QB sleepers who should be rostered in deeper leagues. One should emerge as the clear-cut starter this season. With that said, both are worth rostering in two QB leagues as sleeper QBs who could provide quite the bang for the buck later in the year.

Drew Lock, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

Smith won the battle for starting QB in Seattle and will take the field in Week 1. However, it might not take much for Lock to slide in if Smith stumbles or become sidelined. This makes Lock a sleeper QB who could potentially be throwing to the dynamic duo of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Related: Fantasy football dynasty rankings for 2022

Running Back Sleepers

Ty Davis-Price, running back, San Francisco 49ers

Due to his preseason productivity, Davis-Price could be the No. 1 back behind Eli Mitchell this year. In deeper leagues, he is a sleeper who could have an impact on a 49ers offense that sometimes struggles to maintain healthy running backs.

Dameon Pierce, running back, Houston Texans

This is a rookie RB who could have a fantasy impact starting in Week 1. He has looked quite impressive in the preseason thus far, toting the rock at nearly five yards per carry. Keep Dameon Pierce on your radar as a fantasy sleeper who can be drafted in later rounds.

Raheem Mostert, running back, Miami Dolphins

If Mostert can stay healthy, he’s got a sneaky chance to reward as a lower-round draft pick playing alongside Chase Edmonds, whose health is questionable at times as well. When on the field with his former 49ers, Mostert averaged 5.7 yards per carry.

Rachaad White, running back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

White should be the RB to work in unison with Leonard Fournette once the regular season kicks off. He has looked sharp so far in the preseason and pass-catching skills are something QB Tom Brady could find handy. Rachaad White is a rookie RB fantasy sleeper you want to keep in mind come draft day.

Jaylen Warren rookie running back, Pittsburgh Steelers

Warren really turned heads in the preseason, pushing him to a solid No. 2 option behind fellow back, Najee Harris. If you draft Warren late, you could end up with a fantasy flex player who helps take the load off of Harris each week.

Isaih Pacheco, rookie running back, Kansas City Chiefs

Competing for touches with the oft-injured roster of Chiefs RBs, Pacheco has a chance to step up this season. Speedy with a durable 5-foot-11, 215-pound frame, Pacheco was a steal by the Chiefs in the seventh round of this year’s draft. Keep him on your radar as a later-round pick who could pay off this Fall.

Wide Receiver Sleepers

Kadarius Toney, wide receiver, New York Giants

With Daniel Jones’ fantasy stock on the rise in 2022, Toney is a fantasy sleeper to keep tabs on. Because of his injury-plagued rookie year, Toney can be had on the cheap in redraft leagues.

Jarvis Landry, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints

Landry could not have signed with a better team which makes him one of the best fantasy WR sleepers for 2022. He will be paired up with a QB (Jameis Winston) who could attempt upwards of 600 passes this year. This will bode well considering the 8.5 targets per game Landry has recorded throughout his career.

Romeo Doubs, rookie wide receiver, Green Bay Packers

Doubs could sneak up the ranks as a handy receiving option for Aaron Rodgers, making him a fantasy sleeper WR to take note of. He’s coming from a stellar 80-catch, 1,109-yard, 11-TD college season and he he is making an impact with fellow rookie WR Christian Watson slowly returning to practices.

Russell Gage, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Those who draft Gage in later rounds could have a fantasy sleeper on their hands. Catching passes from Tom Brady can turn any WR into a star! A change of scenery from Atlanta might be just what this 26-year-old receiver needs for a jumpstart.

Josh Palmer, wide receiver, Los Angeles Chargers

Palmer showed some promise as a rookie in 2021 and he could slide into a bigger role if either veterans Keenan Allen or Mike Williams misses time. Working with a polished passer in that of Justin Herbert, Palmer’s sleeper appeal is undeniable.

Braxton Berrios, wide receiver, New York Jets

fantasy football sleepers: braxton berrios,
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Berrios was a hot waiver wire add late in 2021 as a fantasy WR who received 29 targets in his last four games. He also recorded four touchdowns over this stretch. He’s a gadget player and a fantasy sleeper who makes for a great later-round fantasy pick — especially in best-ball leagues.

DeVante Parker, wide receiver, New England Patriots

When healthy, Parker has always played at a high level, averaging 14 yards per catch over his seven years in Miami. There is little risk and potentially high reward in taking a later-round flier on Parker in redraft leagues this year.

Tight End Sleepers

Kyle Rudolph, tight end, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Don’t sleep on getting Rudolph on your roster with Tom Brady now throwing him the ball. Brady loves his pass-catching tight ends, and Rudolph still has some gas in the tank to make a fantasy impact as a later-round pick fantasy TE.

Harrison Bryant, tight end, Cleveland Browns

Bryant is a TE fantasy sleeper who has been standing out at his OTAs thus far. It’s possible he could surpass TE David Njoku — who has yet to make much of a fantasy impact — especially with Deshaun Watson throwing the ball. Keep tabs on this situation.

Daniel Bellinger, tight end, New York Giants

Bellinger stands to have an immediate role on offense, making him a rookie fantasy TE sleeper who can be drafted ultra-late. He’s been working with the starters and is noted to be a capable pass-catcher not just a blocker.

John Bates, tight end, Washington Commanders

If veteran Logan Thomas misses any time at the start of the season (torn ACL), Bates is a deep sleeper at TE for 2022. He’s next in depth and will be playing with a QB (Carson Wentz) who has always kept his tight ends very relevant in the passing game.

Related: Top 100 NFL players of 2022

Fantasy Football breakouts

Daniel Jones, quarterback, New York Giants

fantasy football breakouts: daniel jones
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Once again, Daniel Jones should be on the brink of a breakout fantasy season. No, really! The Giants have faith that Jones should thrive working with his new head coach, Brian Daboll, who is “very high” on him. Jones will have had plenty of time to heal from a neck injury and will be a late-round fantasy football QB who could far exceed his draft expectations.

Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles

Hurts is primed to make that pro step and could be one of the biggest breakout quarterbacks in 2022! He’s surrounded by talent and his mobile skills make him a dual threat to score QB1 fantasy points on a regular basis this year.

Trevor Lawrence, quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars

Let’s not forget that Lawrence was a stud at Clemson. So, toss Lawrence’s rocky rookie season aside and get ready for him to break out in 2022. A refresh in head coach and new weapons on offense could be all Lawrence needs to be a start-worthy fantasy quarterback this season.

Related: Ranking top NFL QBs of 2022

Davis Mills, quarterback, Houston Texans

Mills was really finding his groove towards the latter part of his 2021 rookie year, throwing for eight touchdowns versus just two interceptions in his last four games. He will be a steal of a fantasy QB to draft in very late rounds as a talented player who should improve his fantasy stats greatly in 2022.

J.K. Dobbins, running back, Baltimore Ravens

Look for Dobbins to eventually make a healthy comeback (torn ACL) and to light up the field a little later in 2022. He might be drafted slightly lower than he should having missed his entire 2021 sophomore year. But, the breakout potential is there for Dobbins to be a fantasy RB1 playing on a run-first Ravens offense.

Rhamondre Stevenson, running back, New England Patriots

fantasy football breakouts: rhamondre stevenson
Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

As a rookie in 2021, Stevenson turned out to be a hot fantasy waiver wire target who saw his role increase playing alongside Damien Harris. Stevenson rushed at a quick pace of 4.6 yards per tote and is reportedly working with the first team in training camp — setting him up for a fantasy breakout year in 2022.

D.J. Chark, wide receiver, Detroit Lions

With rookie, Jameson Williams possibly unable to play in Week 1 (ACL), Chark has the ultimate opportunity to break out as a wide receiver on his new team. Draft him in later rounds to pair up with Jared Goff who helped make rookie WR Amon-Ra St. Brown a fantasy rock star last year.

Allen Robinson, wide receiver, Los Angeles Rams

Allen Robinson’s fantasy breakout potential just skyrocketed! Robinson will now be catching passes from Matthew Stafford this fall. He should rebound big-time from his dismal 2021 campaign with the Chicago Bears.

Isaiah McKenzie, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills

With Cole Beasley off the roster, McKenzie stands to inherit the slot return position. This means McKenzie could see plenty of targets working with one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Draft him late and stash him as a fantasy sleeper who sports tons of upside.

Courtland Sutton, wide receiver, Denver Broncos

With Russell Wilson under center, it should bring Sutton back to the fantasy limelight. Sutton scored a criminal two touchdowns in 2021, which is unacceptable. By the end of last year, Sutton was waiver wire fodder. With Sutton catching passes from Wilson, he should break out into that fantasy stud we all know is hidden within.

Michael Thomas, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints

Those who land Thomas in later rounds of drafting may have a fantasy breakout on their hands. With Jameis Winston at QB, Thomas could regain his stride. He was a fantasy stud in 2019, producing a league-high 1,725 yards — as was Winston in 2019 — with his league-high 5,109 passing yards.

Kyle Pitts, tight end, Atlanta Falcons

Pitts should rebound from a one-touchdown rookie season. The targets and yards should be plentiful as they were in 2021 (110/68/1,026), setting Pitts up for the perfect breakout season.

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