2022 NFL Team Previews

Headshot of the posts author, Hans Kayser, @TailgateHans on Twitter
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NFL football is finally back and so is Tailgate's new type of fantasy football for fans!

Below is a quick rundown of what we expect from every team going into the 2022 season.

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Arizona Cardinals

#RedSea   #AZCardinals    

The Cardinals were busy making moves this offseason and roasting their franchise QB with a very specific film study clause that was leaked to the media.

During the draft they selected two offensive lineman, two defensive ends, and some additional help for their linebacking group and secondary. In free agency, the brought in Darrel Williams and let Christian Kirk and Chase Edmonds test the waters in Florida. I guess the dry heat isn't always better than 100% humidity after all. ️️

They also resigned James Conner, AJ Green, and Zach Ertz.

And perhaps most important of all of their offseason moves, they broke the bank for Kyler Murray and traded the 23rd overall pick for Marquis Brown, reuniting him with his college quarterback.

During their final year together in Oklahoma, the two generated just over 1,300 yards and 10 TDs in just 12 games. Brown is certainly a capable fill-in while DeAndre Hopkins serves a six-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy, and a very high end WR2 when Hopkins returns.

Most teams are not very deep at cornerback, and the Cardinals receiving corps has three extremely fast and sure-handed options that are going to give most teams matchup nightmares on the perimeter, especially when paired with an accurate, dual-threat quarterback in Kyler Murray.

Unfortunately under Kliff Kingsbury, they also have a pattern of coming up short at the end of seasons and in the postseason, like Kyler Murray trying to see over tall offensive linemen. After starting a white-hot 7-0 last season, they dropped four of their last five games and got bounced in the wildcard round by a division rival, and defending Super Bowl Champion, Rams.

Overall the Cardinals should have a very solid season, and they have plenty of great options, both offensively and defensively, for a Tailgate League or in season-long fantasy football.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Kyler Murray, QB - 313.2 total, 19.6/game

   Jalen Thompson, S - 261.8 total, 15.4/game

   James Conner, RB - 239.5 total, 17.1/game

   Isaiah Simmons, LB - 235.7 total, 13.9/game

   Zaven Collins, LB - 227.5 total, 13.4/game

   Budda Baker, S - 216.8 total, 12.8/game

   Marquise Brown, WR - 210.5 total, 13.2/game

Atlanta Falcons

#DirtyBirds   #Falcons

The Falcons look to improve on a 7-10 season in 2021 where they had one quality win against the Saints, but most other wins were against bottom feeders of the league. The offense will look much different with Matt Ryan no longer in town, but going into year two with Arthur Smith, they have some pieces to be excited about.

During the offseason, the Dirty Birds traded Matty Ice to the Colts for a 3rd round pick in the 2022 draft where they selected RB Tyler Allgeier. They also added veteran RB Damien Williams. The two additions at running back signal a more reasonable usage rate for Cordarrelle Patterson who started the fantasy season on fire but cooled down later in the year.

Atlanta was busy during the draft selecting eight players, five of which for their offense, including WR Drake London, QB Desmond Ridder, aforementioned Tyler Allgeier, G Justin Shaffer, and TE John Fitzpatrick. Ridder is an interesting long-term asset and a nice backup for starter Marcus Mariota as the two have similar styles of play and solid rushing floors.

The offense has a few players that will be fantasy viable including Kyle Pitts, Drake London, speedster Bryan Edwards, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Marcus Mariota, who offers coach Arthur Smith more athleticism at QB compared to the statue in the pocket that was Matt Ryan.

In free agency the Falcons lost LBs Foyesade Oluokun and Josh Harris, WR Russell Gage, TE Hayden Hurst, and DE Dante Fowler. It seems they are definitely in a rebuild, comparable to the Seahawks, who are also moving on from a stable franchise quarterback. You know what they say, birds of a feather flock together.

The defense is where the Falcons need to see improvement to stay competitive. They were 27th in the league against the run in 2021 allowing opponents to gash them for 4.3 yards per carry with an average of 30.5 attempts per game. The Falcons signed Casey Heyward to help at cornerback, but they really need the defensive line to generate sacks and get more pressure on quarterbacks so the secondary isn't left flying solo against opposing wide receivers for so long.

Atlanta has a few draftable players in season long, but you could do better when considering teams to use for Tailgate Leagues.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Cordarrelle Patterson, RB - 216.6 total, 15.5/game

   Rashaan Evans, LB - 205.5 total, 12.1/game

   A.J. Terrell, CB - 198.2 total, 11.7/game

   Kyle Pitts, TE - 197.7 total, 12.4/game

   Erik Harris, S - 193.3 total, 11.4/game

   Drake London, WR - 192.8 total, 12.0/game

   Deion Jones, LB - 174.5 total, 10.3/game

Baltimore Ravens

#RavensFlock   #Ravens

Injuries derailed the Ravens' 2021 season before it truly started. They lost their top two running backs before the week 1 opener and despite that, they were flying high early on starting with an admirable 8-3 record through the first 11 weeks.

If only the season lasted just 11 weeks right? The Ravens closed the year with a six-game losing streak and were [unfortunately] able to see what the team would look like without Lamar Jackson under center.


Someone get in touch with Lamar's mom and work out a contract extension already. The man deserves to be paid!

During the draft the Ravens selected RB Tyler Badie and two TEs. Sure, it's nice to have depth at a position, but when you have the machine otherwise known as Mark Andrews as your primary TE, it's fair to question drafting two new TEs. It could signal another shift in offensive philosophy, going back to being a run-centric offense and reducing the pass play percentage of 56%.

In free agency the Ravens added Mike Davis to participate in an already committee of J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards.

They also let Sammy Watkins, Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray, Ty'Son Williams, and Miles Boykin all walk in free agency, truly personifying the definition of addition by subtraction.

Most fantasy football analysts agree that Rashod Bateman should be the biggest beneficiary of the Marquis Brown trade, but Devin Duvernay will be inheriting quite a few looks as well.

Expect around a 10-win season from the big crows this year, similar to what Vegas predicts from the Bengals. They have studs on both sides of the ball to make an impact in season long, daily, and Tailgate Leagues this year.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

Lamar Jackson, QB - 310.0 total, 20.7/game

   Mark Andrews, TE - 232.6 total, 14.5/game

   Devin Duvernay, WR - 224.1 total, 14.0/game

   J.K. Dobbins, RB - 215.6 total, 14.4/game

   Patrick Queen, LB - 205.6 total, 12.1/game

   Marlon Humphrey, CB - 198.8 total, 11.7/game

   Kyle Hamilton, S - 189.8 total, 11.2/game

   Rashod Bateman, WR, 187.1 total, 11.7/game

Buffalo Bills

#BillsMafia   #Bills

The football gods levied a cruel and unusual punishment on the Bills to end 2021 with a 13-second overtime loss to the Chiefs in what may have been the greatest game ever televised. Definitely not cool of the gods to treat the Mafia with so much disrespect as one of the elite fan bases in the entire NFL. Maybe the mafia should have sacrificed a few more foldable tables during the season and it would've turned out better for them.

Most fans generally agree that in playoff games, both offenses should have opportunities to possess the ball. But frankly, for anyone crying about the results, teams should make a stop or score to win the game before it comes to that.

Thankfully the NFL caved to the public outcry and starting this year, both teams will have the opportunity to possess the ball on offense during overtime, in playoff games. The NFL can never have too much airtime in primetime, especially in the postseason.

As favorites to win the Super Bowl this year, the Bills have a lot working in their favor. The blockbuster free agent addition of the offseason was bringing in Von Miller to help get to opposing quarterbacks. They agreed to a four-year, $104 million extension with Stefon Diggs, and they signed a plethora of offensive pieces to really increase their depth with Case Keenum, Matt Barkley, Jamison Crowder, O.J. Howard, Tavon Austin, and Duke Johnson.

The Bills were all over the place in the draft, selecting two cornerbacks, two linebackers, running back James Cook, a wide receiver, and even a punter.

Even though Brian Daboll moved from upstate to uptown New York to coach the Giants, offensive continuity is still intact by promoting former passing game coordinator and QB coach Ken Dorsey to offensive coordinator. We expect the Bills to be a juggernaut- the class of a loaded AFC conference, and to easily win the AFC East.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

Josh Allen, QB - 376.6 total, 23.5/game

   Tremaine Edmunds, LB - 267.1 total, 15.7/game

   Stefon Diggs, WR - 258.5 total, 16.2/game

   Matt Milano, LB - 209.0 total, 12.3/game

   Jordan Poyer, S - 207.8 total, 12.2/game

   Gabriel Davis, WR - 207.4 total, 13.0/game

   Devin Singletary, RB - 187.7 total, 12.5/game

Carolina Panthers

#KeepPounding   #Panthers

The most famous panther worldwide is probably Bagheera from The Jungle Book, who notoriously has to bribe a pack of wolves to accept the man/baby-cub Mowgli. Or maybe it could be that pink panther who is on the bag of insulation in every home improvement store in the US, not that bad English detective movie.

Anyway, the dawgs in Cleveland had the Jungle Book situation in reverse and practically begged the panthers to accept Baker Mayfield in an offseason trade. The Browns traded him away for a conditional draft pick in either the 4th or 5th round, and they still had to pay $10.5 million of Baker's salary, meaning the Panthers received a starting-caliber QB for backup money.

But now they also have a QB controversy that was a hot topic in 2018; Sam Darnold vs Baker Mayfield.

With Matt Rhule in possession of one of the hottest coaching seats in the NFL, despite having a guaranteed contract through 2027, we know without a doubt he will go with the guy who gives the team a better chance at winning right now. We can't help but to think that QB is Sam Darnold because of his familiarity with the offensive system, better physical tangibles, and more tolerable intangibles off the field and at the podium, but we'll have to wait and see how it plays out in training camp and over preseason. Most sites with fantasy football experts project that Baker will have more fantasy points.

The Panthers started 3-0 and looked functional before losing Christian McCaffrey for five games due to a hamstring strain. He was sidelined again in late November with an ankle sprain, but now he's back and healthy and is a lock top-5 fantasy pick even considering his injury history.

In other notable offseason news, they signed punter Johnny Hekker, resigned cornerback Donte Jackson, signed offensive lineman Austin Corbett, drafted another elite o-line prospect Ikem Ekwonu, and extended their best wide receiver, DJ Moore.

It's a team to mostly avoid in fantasy football drafts, but the Panthers do have a few bright spots offensively and defensively to use in Tailgate Leagues.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Christian McCaffrey, RB - 310.3 total, 13.3/game

   Shaq Thompson, LB - 263.7 total, 15.5/game

   Jeremy Chinn, S - 235.6 total, 13.9/game

   DJ Moore, WR - 232.3 total, 14.5/game

   Baker Mayfield, QB - 212.1 total, 13.3/game

   Xavier Woods, S - 199.0 total, 11.7/game

   Donte Jackson, CB - 184.8 total, 10.9/game

Chicago Bears

#DaBears   #Bears

Nobody is expecting the Bears to take over the NFC North by any means, but we are anxious to see if Justin Fields is a franchise quarterback going into year two and with a new coaching staff.

The Bears hired Matt Eberflus as head coach and Luke Getsy as offensive coordinator, and both are in lockstep and know that the offense needs to be built around Justin Fields' strengths, unlike the former system with Matt Nagy.

The offense should be more run and play-action focused. David Montgomery is still a solid RB2 in season-long and perhaps the addition of more designed QB runs will help take advantage of Justin's 4.44 speed and will free up space to take shots to the speedy playmakers on the outside. We are expecting big gains in Fields' rushing efficiency.

Besides the coaching changes, the Bears offseason was highlighted by trading Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for two draft picks, a 2nd-round pick in 2022 and a 6th round pick in 2023. The move truly signaled that the Bears are retooling for the future as they save over $57 million in cap space over the next three seasons.

In free agency they lost star wide receiver Allen Robinson to the Rams. To make up for his departure, DaBears were busy signing, trading for, and drafting wide receivers. They brought in Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown, traded for N'Keal Harry, and drafted Velus Jones.

All of these moves add up to a team capable of finishing fourth in their division, but they have enough fantasy relevant players to keep things interesting on Sundays.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

Roquan Smith, LB - 319.6 total, 18.8/game

   Justin Fields, QB - 251.9 total, 15.7/game

   David Montgomery, RB - 232.3 total, 15.5/game

  Darnell Mooney, WR - 213.1 total, 13.3/game

   Eddie Jackson, S - 197.4 total, 11.6/game

   Velus Jones Jr., WR - 179.6 total, 11.2/game

   Jaquan Brisker, S - 144.9 total, 8.5/game

Cincinnati Bengals

#RuleTheJungle   #Bengals

The Bengals were quicker to beef up their offensive line this offseason than they were to add those white-tiger helmets to the uniform rotation.

Seriously, those helmets are straight fire. Well done Bengals 🔥

It seems that not only Joe Burrow and Jamar Chase have a wardrobe team in Cincy.

With their O line giving up the most sacks with 51 last season, the team pivoted nicely into a top-10 unit per Pro Football Focus. They did this by adding veterans to help keep Joey Bigtime upright and healthy, without the learning curve that comes along with young offensive linemen.

In free agency they signed guard Alex Cappa, center Ted Karras, and tackle La'el Collins to multi-year deals. They also inked head coach Zac Taylor to a five-year extension.

Vegas gave the Bengals the second-best odds at +185 to win the AFC North, second only behind the Ravens. Although the games will likely be tough fistfights in division, it would seem that the Bengals and Ravens are the only teams jockeying for playoff contention from the AFC North.

With the upgraded offensive line, plus another year of continuity and improvement overall, the Bengals will be a great watch this season, especially for Ja'Marr Chase managers. Dude is electric with the ball in his hands!

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Joe Burrow, QB - 296.1 total, 18.5/game

   Logan Wilson, LB - 277.7 total, 16.3/game

   Ja'Marr Chase, WR - 276.1 total, 17.3/game

   Joe Mixon, RB - 257.7 total, 17.2/game

   Tee Higgins, WR - 237.3 total, 14.8/game

   Vonn Bell, S - 218.9 total, 12.9/game

  Jessie Bates III, S - 205.6 total, 12.1/game

Cleveland Browns

#DawgPound   #Browns

The Browns are looking to finish with a happier ending than DeShaun Watson in all of his massage therapy sessions. They traded away everything and the kitchen sink to bring in the high-profile QB (as well as his ongoing legal cases and looming suspension), in the hopes that it will pay off in the long run.

The move basically reset the QB market by giving other guys way more leverage when negotiating with their perspective teams.

"If a guy with 'x' number of sexual assault cases got a fully guaranteed deal for $230 million, then what is my client worth?" must have been popular statement in agent circles this offseason, as more mega-contracts were signed since the massive blockbuster trade and contract extension went down in March.

Seriously, how much did the Browns hate Baker Mayfield to risk the unforgiving and relentless media attention by bringing in DeShaun? It seems they would've done anything to get rid of Baker before the season started.

Despite all the drama and noise, the Browns have a fantastic roster, anchored by the 2nd-rated offensive line per Pro Football Focus and two incredible running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

They traded a 5th and 6th round pick to the Cowboys in exchange for Amari Cooper after losing Jarvis Landry to the Saints in free agency. They also signed WR Jakeem Grant in free agency, inked a 4-year contract extension with TE David Njoku, and drafted WR David Bell in the 3rd round of the 2022 draft.

To hedge against a lengthy suspension for DeShaun, the Browns also signed veteran QB Jacoby Brissett.

It should be an interesting ride with the Browns this season to say the least. They have a balanced and good team, with plenty of fantasy-relevant players to keep you competitive in your Tailgate League this year.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB - 248.4 total, 14.6/game

   Nick Chubb, RB - 215.9 total, 14.4/game

   Grant Delprit, S - 205.7 total, 12.1/game

   Amari Cooper, WR - 204.0 total, 12.7/game

   Kareem Hunt, RB - 182.6 total, 12.2/game

   John Johnson III, S - 173.5 total, 10.2/game

  DeShaun Watson, QB - 162.4 total, 20.3/game

Dallas Cowboys

#CowboysNation   #DallasCowboys

Can someone please get Mike McCarthy and Dak Prescott one of those Wrap it Up boxes from Chappelle's Show so the assistant coaches can use it from the press box this season?

It's hard to imagine a bigger coaching gaff than calling a QB draw up the middle with 12 seconds left in a game, with no timeouts, for the sake of a closer field goal attempt. Hell, call a pass play to the sidelines and try to gobble up a few garbage yards if you're really don't trust your kicker. The game was in a dome for crying out loud, and the attempt would have certainly been makeable even if Dak threw it over someone's head or short-hopped it like he tends to do.

Either way though, the Cowboys were hilariously eliminated in prime time after a good 12-5 season and finishing atop one of the worst divisions in football, leaving Mike McCarthy to occupy one of the hottest coaching seats in the league. There are already rumors swirling of Sean Payton or Dan Quinn being front-runners for the job, but maybe McCarthy can extend his coaching life if he manages to hypnotize Jerry Jones with more analytics-speak and McGriddle breakfast sandwiches, with extra salt of course.

During the offseason, America's Team traded Amari Cooper to the Browns and let Cedrick Wilson walk in free agency to join the Miami Dolphins. It's truly put up or shut up season for CeeDee Lamb, but he undoubtedly has the talent to be a top-tier WR1 in fantasy football, he just may not be worth the draft price where he's been going in best ball drafts and mock drafts.

Michael Gallup is still finding his way back from an ACL injury, and the team selected WR Jalen Tolbert from Alabama in the 3rd round of the draft. Dalton Schultz should continue to ascend this year.

While Ezekiel Elliott may not have the burst or be the same running back he used to be, between Zeke and Pollard the Cowboys have enough to make opposing defenses be mindful of the running game and passes out of the backfield.

The Cowboys' main competition to win the NFC East this year are the Eagles. Making a run in the NFC Playoffs is an attainable goal for the boys, and they have great pieces on both sides of the ball to draft in season-long fantasy, and plenty of depth as a Tailgate team.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

Dak Prescott, QB - 318.1 total, 19.9/game

   CeeDee Lamb, WR - 268.3 total, 16.8/game

   Tony Pollard, RB - 244.7 total, 16.3/game

   Leighton Vander-Esch, LB - 229.3 total, 13.5/game

   Micah Parsons, LB - 222.1 total, 13.1/game

   Ezekiel Elliott, RB - 221.5 total, 14.8/game

   Jayron Kearse, S - 210.9 total, 12.4/game

Denver Broncos

#BroncosCountry   #Broncos

The Broncos are looking to buck the Kansas City Chiefs off the top of the AFC West. We don't want to put the cart before the horse, but the team's win total is set at 10.5 games so they should be in a much better situation than in recent years despite still being projected to finish 3rd in-division.

Denver massively upgraded at quarterback, trading three players and a slew of draft picks for Russell Wilson. Since entering the league 10 years ago, Russ has only been part of one losing season. He made the playoffs in 8 seasons, including back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl win.

The Broncos also parted ways with former head coach Vic Fangio, who managed to develop solid defensive players during his tenure but was never able to exceed seven wins in a single season, including consecutive 4th place finishes in-division.

Under Fangio's tutelage, Denver ranked 3rd in the league at points allowed during the 2021 season, and they were truly an elite unit, but that wasn't enough to save his job. Even with Vic's departure, they still have playmakers at all three levels on defense, including studs Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Kareem Jackson, Ronald Darby, and Patrick Surtain II.

The Broncos pivoted to an offensive-minded system by hiring former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as head coach, and former TE coach Justin Outten to be the new OC in the Mile High City. The pair has plenty of horses in the stable to work with, and the team should be an exciting watch this season if they let Russ cook.

On offense they have a great running back tandem in Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, who has been part of the all-hype team this offseason. The wide receiver group is solid too, including Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, but they did lose Tim Patrick for the year due to an ACL tear. Luckily Tim is not a real horse as they would've put him out to pasture for such an injury. The Broncos are also waiting on KJ Hamler to return to action as he makes his way back from a torn ACL in his right knee.

Not to beat a dead horse but the Broncos have ballers all over their roster. They have plenty of players to draft in season-long and will be one of the top teams in Tailgate Leagues.

We're done with equine metaphors for now.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Russell Wilson. QB - 301.1 total, 18.8/game

   Javonte Williams, RB - 238.6 total, 15.9/game

   Josey Jewell, LB - 228.2 total, 13.4/game

   Alex Singleton, LB - 217.7 total, 12.8/game

   Jerry Jeudy, WR - 212.3 total, 13.3/game

   Courtland Sutton, WR - 210.6 total, 13.2/game

   Kareem Jackson, S - 190.3 total, 11.2/game   

Detroit Lions

#OnePride   #Lions

A group of lions is called a pride, and the team has certainly played with a lot of it under head coach Dan Campbell. They lost seven games in 2021 by one possession and put together quality wins against the Packers and Cardinals, with another tie against the Steelers, all of which were playoff teams, despite being outmatched with personnel.

Garbage time still counts in fantasy football, and the Lions might as well be trash collectors with how much they have been able to fill stat sheets and backdoor cover the spread late, going back to the Matt Stat-pad-ford era.

The Lions were roaring this offseason, and not just because they will be featured on Hard Knocks. They selected Michigan native Aiden Hutchinson with the #2 overall pick in the draft. The offense is surprisingly potent, anchored by D'Andre Swift, who also happens to boast the most fitting last name of any active player to match his game. Swift is an electric back and has a high fantasy floor in PPR thanks to his pass catching prowess and the fact that the Lions are almost always playing from behind.

In free agency they added wide receiver DJ Chark. Chark has game breaking speed and levels-up his big cat game by upgrading from the Jaguars to the Lions, joining a better offensive situation which includes 2021 breakout WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, TE TJ Hockenson, and WR Jameson Williams (eventually).

Jameson Williams was an elite prospect before suffering from a torn ACL which he sustained in early 2021 during the college football national championship. The silver-lining to not being a contender is that the Lions don't have to rush Williams back into action, but when he returns the team will have one of the better skill position groups in the league.

There are plenty of fantasy-relevant players on offense to consider for season-long fantasy, and the Lions have enough depth to make a run at the "King of the Jungle" title in Tailgate leagues with friends and co-workers.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   D'Andre Swift, RB - 257.3 total, 17.2/game

   Jared Goff, QB - 236.2 total, 14.8/game

   Tracy Walker III, S - 233.6 total, 13.7/game

   Alex Anzalone, LB - 212.2 total, 12.5/game

   Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR - 209.6 total, 13.1/game

   TJ Hockenson, TE - 168.6 total, 10.5/game

   Jeff Okudah, CB - 147.0 total, 8.6/game

Green Bay Packers

#GoPackGo   #Packers

The Packers finished the 2021 season with an embarrassing 13-10 loss to the 49ers at home in the divisional round of the playoffs. The reigning back-to-back MVP seriously lost a home playoff game to a team who didn't score an offensive touchdown. The only thing colder than the temperatures in Lambeau Field that day was Green Bay's offense after the first drive of the game.

Fortunately, the Packers still play in the NFC North, and the only real competition for the division title and automatic playoff berth seems to be the Vikings, who also have a tendency to shrink in prime time and must-win games.

In a surprising offseason move, the Packers traded away Davante Adams, arguably the NFL's best wide receiver, for two draft picks in the 2022 draft to the Las Vegas Raiders. They also let Marquez Valdez-Scantling walk in free agency to join the better State Farm quarterback's team, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving plenty of opportunities for new guys to step up, or maybe Allen Lazard.

The moves may signal a shift in Matt LaFleur's offensive philosophy, going back to his roots of the Shanahan tree and zone-read rushing scheme. The Packers can certainly afford to be less reliant on Aaron Rodgers and more dependent on their stud running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion, who should both have huge fantasy seasons, like quadzilla's legs.

In free agency Green Bay signed Sammy Watkins, giving him one more chance to prove he can be a solid option on a good team if he can manage to stay healthy.

The Packers were also busy during the NFL draft, selecting wide receivers Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samari Toure.

For the first time in a long time, it would be wise to look elsewhere for a fantasy QB than to Aaron Rodgers as your primary starter. He would make a great backup or streaming option, but his lack of perimeter weapons and rushing floor makes other quarterbacks better options earlier in fantasy drafts.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

Aaron Rodgers, QB - 314.2 total, 19.6/game

   De'Vondre Campbell, LB - 294.5 total, 17.3/game

  Aaron Jones, RB - 242.1 total, 17.3/game

   Adrian Amos, S - 205.3 total, 12.1/game

   Christian Watson, WR - 163.2 total, 10.2/game

   Allen Lazard, WR - 161.5 total, 10.8/game

   AJ Dillon, RB - 159.3 total, 10.6/game

Houston Texans

#WeAreTexans   #Texans

Everything is bigger in the Lone Star state other than the Texans odds to win the AFC South or the Super Bowl.

The Texans parted ways with David Culley after one year of service before promoting defensive coordinator Lovie Smith to head coach of the team.

Too bad they weren't so quick and decisive when it came to the handling of DeShaun Watson and his legal cases, as it undoubtedly was a major distraction in 2021 and made things more difficult for rookie QB Davis Mills, who actually seemed like a capable NFL starting quarterback by the end of the season.

Houston was relatively quiet in free agency, but they did sign running backs Marlon Mack and Dare Ogunbowale after releasing RB David Johnson, QB Tyrod Taylor, and TE Jordan Akins.

Unlike in free agency, the Texans were extremely busy filling holes all over their roster during the draft. They selected CB Derek Stingley Jr., OG Kenyon Green, S Jalen Pitre, WR John Metchie III, LB Christian Harris, RB Dameon Pierce, DT Thomas Booker, TE Teagan Quitoriano, and OT Austin Deculus. The extra help, particularly on the offensive line, should raise the team's expectations higher than Laremy Tunsil wearing a gas mask.

Davis Mills has the benefit of continuity with his top two receiving options Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins and should take a second-year leap and continue to make strides as a starter this season.

The Texans are one of the rare NFL teams with better defensive personnel and depth for fantasy football purposes than offensive. While Brandin Cooks is definitely draftable in season long leagues, the team as a whole is much better to play in Tailgate Leagues.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Christian Kirksey, LB - 254.9 total, 15.0/game

   Brandin Cooks, WR - 215.0 total, 13.4/game

   Davis Mills, QB - 199.8 total, 14.3/game

   Eric Murray, S - 194.0 total, 11.4/game

   Desmond King II, CB - 177.7 total, 10.5/game

   Derek Stingley Jr., CB - 168.2 total, 9.9/game

   Nico Collins, WR - 154.0 total, 9.6/game

Indianapolis Colts

#WeAreTexans   #Colts

The only thing more obnoxious than the "Carson Wentz is not a leader and cost the Colts a chance at the playoffs crowd" is typing the word "Indianapolis" several times on the keyboard.

Seriously, what's with that letter placement? It's basically a word of all pinkies.

We're certainly not saying that Carson Wentz is elite, but he had a respectable 27 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions season while finishing middle of the pack in passing yards. Did we mention his best target was Michael Pittman Jr. who most fantasy GMs consider to be a high end WR2, and definitely not a bonafide WR1?

Chris Ballard was even able to fetch two draft picks in 2022, and a third draft pick in 2023 in a trade that sent Wentz to the Washington Commanders. Not a bad haul for a guy who stinks according to casual football fans, and significantly more than the Browns received for former #1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.

Indianapolis looks to rebound in 2022 after a season-ending loss to the Jaguars in week 18 to miss the playoffs. They have a lot to be excited about going into the season. To start, Jonathan Taylor is a total stud workhorse and the consensus #1 overall pick in most fantasy leagues. He led the NFL in big plays, rushing touchdowns, rushing attempts, and rushing yards last season, and figures to do the same this year.

The Colts also traded for veteran QB Matt Ryan in a move signaling they are in win-now mode, trying to knock the Titans off the top spot in the AFC South. They also signed veterans DE Yannick Ngakoue and CB Stephon Gilmore to strengthen their already stout defense, anchored by the best linebacker in the NFL, Darius Leonard.

Indy has one of the most balanced teams in the NFL for fantasy football purposes. You can't go wrong by selecting them as your team in Tailgate Leagues either.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

  Jonathan Taylor, RB - 319.3 total, 21.3/game

   Darius Leonard, LB - 276.2 total, 16.2/game

   Bobby Okereke, LB - 257.6 total, 15.2/game

   Matt Ryan, QB - 236.8 total, 14.8/game

   Michael Pittman Jr., WR - 227.2 total, 14.2/game

   Kenny Moore II, CB - 223.0 total, 13.1/game

   Isaiah Rodgers, CB - 183.0 total, 10.8/game

Jacksonville Jaguars

#DUUUVAL   #Jaguars

The terrible on-field performance from the Jaguars in 2021 was actually the least of their problems. Hiring and firing controversial assistant coaches, questionably signing Tim Tebow to play tight end in free agency, hookups and lap dances after blowout road losses, calling assistant coaches "losers", and our personal favorite, kicking dudes in the ass, is not ok as it turns out, though it sounds like just another day in north Florida.

Urban Meyer was a joke of a coach in the NFL, and frankly college football too. He notoriously leaves situations with a trail of destruction, and body bags too if you count Aaron Hernandez's tenure under Meyer. You know what they say, a leopard always shows its spots.

At least the Jaguars did the right thing and fired him before the season ended. Why bother waiting until Urban's next "health scare" to step down?

Well done Jags.

Looking ahead to this season, the Jaguars have a lot to be excited about. They hired a very competent head coach, and super bowl champion, Doug Pederson, to work with Trevor Lawrence and retool the offense. If anyone can instill confidence into a bunch of "losers" it's a guy who famously ended the reigning dynasty at the time with a backup quarterback under center.

We expect Trevor to look more like the all-time prospect he was slated to be coming out of Clemson now that he's surrounded by grownups who have been there, done that. Sunshine is going to be just fine.

In free agency Jacksonville signed wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, as well as tight end Evan Engram. Wide receivers around the league owe Christian Kirk a thank you as he basically reset the WR market with his deal. He will need to prove he's capable of being a top option against opposing team's best corners, but at least he'll have help schematically with Pederson as a play designer.

During the draft the Jags added RB Snoop Conner to join fellow running backs Travis Etienne and James Robinson. Robinson is still recovering from a late-season achilles tear, but Etienne should be ready to go week 1 as he tries to prove he has three-down versatility. He has great hands and is an excellent route-runner who should live up to all the hype this offseason.

Jacksonville only has a few safe options to draft in season-long leagues, but they are playable in Tailgate Leagues if you're feeling dangerous.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Foyesade Oluokun, LB - 336.0 total, 19.8/game

   Trevor Lawrence, QB - 259.5 total, 16.2/game

   Andre Cisco, S - 198.7 total, 11.7/game

   Christian Kirk, WR - 192.4 total, 12.0/game

   Darious Williams, CB - 190.0 total, 11.2/game

   Travis Etienne Jr., RB - 189.8 total, 12.7/game

   Devin Lloyd, LB - 174.3 total, 10.3/game

Kansas City Chiefs

#ChiefsKingdom   #Chiefs

The Chiefs gave us one of the most memorable playoff games in history after a 13-second comeback win against the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round of the 2021 playoffs. They were also up 21-3 against the Bengals in the AFC Championship the following week, and it seemed they were going to cruise to the Super Bowl...

*Joe Cool has entered the chat*

You know the rest of the story. Burrow and the Bengals outscored Mahomes and the Chiefs 23-3 in the final 31 minutes of the game, eliminating the Chiefs at home. We blame Jackson and Brittany Mahomes. Clearly they did something douchey on Tik Tok to jynx the team in the second half.

The Chiefs offseason was highlighted by a blockbuster deal that sent Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for five draft picks. We love Cheetah as much as the next guy, but you almost have to get rid of a wide receiver for an offer of that magnitude, no matter how elite he is. They also let wide receivers Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle and running back Darrel Williams walk in free agency.

To make up for Hill’s departure, KC signed Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster to play alongside Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, while also forming the all-hyphen team of the league. They added running back Ronald Jones and wideout Justyn Ross in free agency as well.

In the draft the Chiefs selected WR Skyy Moore and RB Isaiah Pacheco. With Hill out of the picture, expect Travis Kelce to reclaim his spot as top tight end in the NFL after letting Mark Andrews borrow his crown last season. As a whole it seems the wide receiver room actually upgraded this offseason, and we suspect both MVS and JuJu will have good seasons, though it is hard to guess who will lead the group in fantasy production.

The AFC West is absolutely loaded and basically every game will be must-see TV this year. We still like the Chiefs to win the division, but every game will be a battle.

There are plenty of Chiefs to select in season long leagues and daily, and if you happen to be a fan of KC, they will be a favorite in Tailgate Leagues too. 

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

  Patrick Mahomes, QB – 353.6 total, 22.1/game

   Nick Bolton, LB – 240.9 total, 14.2/game

   Travis Kelce, TE – 240.1 total, 15.0/game

   L’Jarius Sneed, CB – 210.4 total, 12.4/game

   Willie Gay, LB - 208.0 total, 12.2/game

   Mecole Hardman, WR – 204.4 total, 12.8/game   

   JuJuSmith-Schuster, WR – 197.8 total, 12.4/game

Los Angeles Chargers

#BoltUp   #Chargers

The better Los Angeles team for fantasy football purposes is listed first here, not just because of alphabetical order. That's right, we said it.

On paper at least.

Now will it play out that way on the field this season? Probably not, because the Chargers will always do Charger things and find their way to lose a game to get into the playoffs when the other team is only playing for a tie.

Still hilarious.

The Chargers have a lot going for them this year. Going into year three, Justin Herbert is already near the top of the league as a talent, and he posted two of the most dominant seasons to start a career of all time.

The bolts are bringing back many of the same offensive personnel, including fantasy favorites Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, and certified freakshow Mike Williams who got the bag this offseason. Williams is uber-talented but doesn't have as safe a fantasy floor compared to the aforementioned Allen and Ekeler.

In free agency the Chargers signed tight end Gerald Everett to a two-year deal. They also selected running back Isaiah Spiller in the 4th round of the draft.

Their defense has powered-up too, with new additions Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson, and Kyle Van Noy being added to an already sweet core group including Derwin James, Joey Bosa, and Asante Samuel Jr.

The Chargers should be another fun watch this year, and not just because they go for it on 4th down a lot. They lost five games in 2021 by one possession and with another year of continuity they should be even better, despite playing in the toughest division in football.

They have plenty of depth to be formidable in Tailgate Leagues, and several players to consider in season-long leagues and daily fantasy stacks this season.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Justin Herbert, QB - 330.9 total, 20.7/game

   Austin Ekeler, RB - 295.0 total, 19.7/game

   Derwin James Jr., S - 253.6 total, 14.9/game

   Keenan Allen, WR - 238.2 total, 15.9/game

   Nasir Adderley, S - 212.4 total, 12.5/game

   Mike Williams, WR - 211.4 total, 14.1/game

   J.C. Jackson, CB - 165.4 total, 9.7/game

Los Angeles Rams

#RamsHouse   #Rams

Reigning Super Bowl Champions Los Angeles Rams have a good shot at repeating this season.

I have to publicly eat some crow after calling the Rams quarterback Matt Stat-pad-ford for the past few years on Twitter. I know he's as talented as they come, including a mega arm and the ability to throw no-look passes, but I still contend he is a byproduct of a well-oiled machine that did take Jared Goff to the Super Bowl a few years prior, not the QB God that everyone makes him out to be now that he has one ring.

It helps when you have boy genius Shawn McVay scheming up the offense and white Jerry Rice otherwise known as Cooper Kupp getting all the YAC yards...

AT&T Wink 😉

In all seriousness, the Rams are the class of the NFC, and other teams in the conference aren't that close.

Despite losing Odell Beckham Jr. in the Super Bowl, the Rams rebounded nicely by adding Allen Robinson in free agency. Stafford is easily the best QB that Robinson has ever played with, and he will draw the lesser cornerback on opposing teams thanks to Cooper Kupp getting most of the attention on the other side of the field.

Speaking of Cooper, he is worth the asking price in season-long leagues and maybe he'll finally shed the "deceptively fast" white guy label after winning the triple crown last season. He is the son of former NFL quarterback Craig Kupp, and it should surprise nobody that he has his master's degree in route running and getting separation after training with his pops his whole life.

In other offseason news, the Rams traded wide receiver Robert Woods to the Titans for a 2023 pick. They also parted ways with running back Sony Michel, clearing up space to draft RB Kyren Williams from Notre Dame in the 5th round and adding him to an already crowded committee of Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr.

Another sweet move was adding Bobby Wagner, joining Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and Leonard Floyd and re-solidifying them as one of the top defenses in football.

Even with the toughest strength of schedule, including butting horns with division rival 49ers, expect the Rams to be the class of the NFC and win their division.

They have numerous options to draft in season-long fantasy and will be very formidable in Tailgate Leagues.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Bobby Wagner, LB - 311.7 total, 18.3/game

   Cooper Kupp, WR - 310.8 total, 19.4/game

   Matt Stafford, QB - 288.7 total, 18.0/game

   Cam Akers, RB - 230.1 total, 15.3/game

   Jordan Fuller, S - 209.0 total, 12.3/game

   Allen Robinson II, WR - 198.9 total, 12.4/game

   Jalen Ramsey, CB - 182.2 total, 10.7/game

Las Vegas Raiders

#RaiderNation   #Raiders

The Raiders are looking to come up fatter than Pai-Gow players playing the fortune bet on the strip. They called Jon Gruden's bluff with his lawsuit against the team and put their chips all-in for a rebuild by hiring Josh McDaniels and trading for superstar wideout Davante Adams.

Ok, that enough of the poker puns for now.

Las Vegas had a great offseason. Not only did the city do a fantastic job of hosting the NFL Draft (we vote to hold it in Vegas every year), but they also made a splash in free agency and drastically improved their team to rise to the level of competition in their division.

The Raiders improved at head coach by bringing in a guy who didn't have a 10-year hiatus from the league in Josh McDaniels. He has a plethora of offensive weapons to work with including Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow, Josh Jacobs, and of course, Derek Carr.

Fun fact: did you know that Derek Carr leads the league in 4th quarter comebacks since entering the league in 2014? Look for Carr and Adams to have great chemistry right away as the two know each other's tendencies in-and-out from their time together at Fresno State. During that time, they scored 39 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards in just two seasons of play.

The Raiders also improved defensively this offseason, adding stud defensive end Chandler Jones and trading for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Chandler joins Maxx Crosby to form the best 1-2 punch at defensive end in the NFL.

In the draft they selected RB Zamir White in the 4th round, leaving us to speculate that Josh Jacobs' days as the starting back are numbered. He is on a contract year though, so maybe they'll lean on him heavily to get every last drop out of his current deal.

The Raiders will be in plenty of good games this year and shouldn't disappoint. They have to make it through the gauntlet of the AFC West for a spot in the playoffs, but they have as good a shot as any other team for a playoff berth.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Denzel Perryman, LB - 288.2 total, 17.0/game

   Derek Carr, QB - 232.6 total, 16.4/game

   Davante Adams, WR - 254.4 total, 17.0/game

   Johnathan Abram, S - 252.6 total, 14.9/game

   Josh Jacobs, RB - 214.1 total, 14.3/game

   Hunter Renfrow, WR - 206.8 total, 12.9/game

   Darren Waller, TE - 188.5 total, 11.8/game

Miami Dolphins

#FinsUp   #Dolphins

The Dolphins look to improve on their 9-8 record from last year and boost morale around the office. They fired former coach Brian Flores presumably not because he was a bad coach, but rather he was because he wouldn't take a million dollars to purposely tank and lose games.

As if the Dolphins needed any extra help with that historically...

Rumor has it that Flores was difficult to work with to say the least. In a classic overreaction move and complete 180, Miami hired a guy who the media, players, and fans all adore in Mike McDaniel. He seems to be an offensive guru, albeit unproven, but he should be able to get the most out of Tua if anyone is able to.

The Dolphins had a busy offseason, trading for superstar WR Tyreek Hill and beefing up their offensive line with tackle Terron Armstead and guard Connor Williams.

With the upgraded offensive line, Tua should have more time to under-throw his blazing fast receivers, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who both figure to have very nice fantasy seasons. They also added WR Cedrick Wilson after trading WR DeVante Parker to the Patriots in-division.

In other moves, the Dolphins upgraded their running back room. They added Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, and Sony Michel over the offseason. Raheem the dream has played in a Shanahan system before so he should have familiarity with what McDaniel is trying to implement in South Beach, but all three will have a role it what should be a very effective committee.

Mike Gesicki popped last year, but someone will have to regress with all the extra mouths to feed and our guess would be him, though McDaniel has watched a tight end dominate first-hand for years in George Kittle, so maybe he'll find ways to keep Gesicki's productivity high.

Overall, the Fins have plenty of offensive pieces to consider for season-long leagues and enough depth to make a splash in Tailgate Leagues.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Jaylen Waddle, WR - 271.9 total, 17.0/game

   Tua Tagovailoa, QB - 255.3 total, 17.0/game

   Tyreek Hill, WR - 247.2 total, 15.5/game

   Jerome Baker, LB - 222.1 total, 13.1/game

   Jevon Holland, S - 205.5 total, 12.1/game

   Brandon Jones, S - 197.8 total, 11.6/game

   Elandon Roberts, LB - 167.2 total, 9.8/game

Minnesota Vikings

#Skol   #Vikings

The Vikings made sweeping changes over the offseason. They parted ways with GM Rick Spielman after 10 years on the job and coach Mike Zimmer after 8 years. Both guys had success during their tenure, but they could never get the team over the hump and deliver significant postseason wins or consistent division titles.

Looking ahead to this season, the Vikings have a lot to sound the Gjallarhorn about.

They hired former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell as head coach, shifting from a defense-focused scheme to a pass-centric offensive scheme. Not a bad move for a team who has tremendous weapons in Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, K.J. Osborne, and Irv Smith, who could have a top-10 season at tight end.

Minnesota selected RB Ty Chandler in the 5th round of the draft. He'll have a tough time making an impact on the field playing behind stud Dalvin Cook and arguably the best handcuff in the league, Alexander Mattison, but both have an injury history so it's not impossible.

The Vikings also extended Kirk Cousins, who has more natural gifts of making bank than he has raw arm talent. That said, unlike in real-life, Kirk is a bargain at the QB position for fantasy purposes and should have another good year as captain of their vessel.

It would be unfair to only focus on the Vikings offense as they have plenty of gamers on defense too including LB Eric Kendricks, S Harrison Smith, CB Patrick Peterson, LB Jordan Hicks, and DEs Danielle Hunter and Za'Darius Smith. Other teams do not want to get behind early as they are definitely capable of pinning their ears back and getting pressure on opposing QBs.

Is this the year that Minnesota finally conquers the NFC North and usurps Green Bay as division winners? They definitely have the personnel to do it.

Draft the Vikings skill players with confidence in season long leagues and they are definitely formidable in Tailgate Leagues.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Justin Jefferson, WR - 288.8 total, 18.0/game

   Eric Kendricks, LB - 287.3 total, 16.9/game

   Kirk Cousins, QB - 272.1 total, 17.0/game

   Dalvin Cook, RB - 258.4 total, 18.5/game

   Harrison Smith, S - 240.7 total, 14.2/game

   Jordan Hicks, LB - 200.2 total, 11.8/game

   Adam Thielen, WR - 193.6 total, 12.9/game

New England Patriots

#ForeverNE   #Patriots

Offensive and defensive coordinators are overrated.

Who needs an OC when you can win games against the best team in your division by passing the ball a total of three times? Why distract everyone on the team with "titles" and "responsibilities" when you can have an ambiguous web of confusion instead?

The Patriots continue to prove that they are indeed the sports version of the Boston mafia. It's a tight-lipped family business always draped in some sort of conspiracy on and off the field, and this year it's who will be calling plays in a bold new leadership strategy by the Don, Bill.

It would seem that the defensive responsibilities will be shared by Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick for the second straight year, but the offense is anyone's guess. Obviously, Bill Belichick will be more involved in the offense because he knows anyone would be better at calling plays than Matt Patricia or Joe Judge.

The real question everyone has on their mind is whether or not Mac Jones will take a step up in year two. The Patriots seem to be willing to let Mac10 fire away, but it would be to an average receiving corps.

During their busy offseason, New England traded for WR DeVante Parker and drafted WR Tyquan Thornton in the 2nd round. Both could be sneaky valuable in fantasy playing alongside Jakobi Meyers, and it will be interesting to see who emerges as the Patriots WR1, if Belichick is willing to hand that out as a title.

The already crowded backfield of Rhamondre Stevenson, Damien Harris, and James White now includes gadget player Ty Montgomery and RB Pierre Strong who was drafted in the 4th round.

On defense the Patriots resigned CB Malcom Butler, while adding CB Terrance Mitchell, LB Mack Wilson, and S Jabrill Peppers to a unit full of new faces after releasing and trading several players.

The Patriots have a balanced roster for Tailgate Leagues and maybe some diamonds in the rough for season-long.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Mac Jones, QB - 235.9 total, 14.7/game

   Ja'Whaun Bentley, LB - 232.0 total, 13.6/game

   Adrian Phillips, S - 186.8 total, 11.0/game

   Jakobi Meyers, WR - 181.9 total, 11.4/game

   Nick Folk, K - 169.7 total, 10.0/game

   Damien Harris, RB - 167.8 total, 11.2/game

   Kyle Dugger, S - 164.3 total, 9.7/game

New Orleans Saints

#Saints   #NO

The Saints had a strange but memorable and effective offseason, like Jameis Winston's rehab and physical therapy drills.

Sean Payton retired abruptly, and rumors are already swirling that he will be the next coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Payton's retirement provides ample opportunity for defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to step up and prove he's head coach material and not just an elite defensive guy. The Saints had a top 5 defense for the third consecutive season under Allen, and they improved once again by adding S Tyrann Mathieu to an already fantastic secondary highlighted by Marshon Lattimore.

Both Honeybadger and WR Jarvis Landry return to Louisiana where they played college football.

They probably missed the cooking in The Big Easy.

Offensively, New Orleans signed Landry and drafted standout WR Chris Olave 11th overall. These moves, coupled with the return of Michael Thomas, will make the Saints more formidable on offense than the last few seasons. Last time we checked, Alvin Kamara is still a PPR monster and having to cover three shifty wide receivers will be challenging for opposing defenses.

The Saints will be competing with the Bucs to win the division and they can certainly make the playoffs in the lesser NFC conference.

You can definitely do worse than getting Alvin Kamara and Jarvis Landry at their current ADP in season-long (22 for Alvin, 127 for Jarvis). The Saints give you many options on Sundays in Tailgate Leagues too.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Alvin Kamara, RB - 256.9 total, 18.3/game

   Jameis Winston, QB - 242.4 total, 16.2/game

   Demario Davis, LB - 222.2 total, 13.1/game

   Pete Werner, LB - 208.2 total, 12.2/game

   Marcus Maye, S - 204.7 total, 12.0/game

   Michael Thomas, WR - 188.4 total, 13.5/game

   Chris Olave, WR - 179.2 total, 11.2/game

New York Giants

#TogetherBlue   #Giants

The New York Football Giants brought in several QB whisperers to finally surround Daniel Jones with competent coaching. Jones has been said to be a poor man's Josh Allen (more like a bankrupt man's Josh Allen), but if anyone can elevate Jones' talent, it's new head coach Brian Daboll.

In Daboll's final two seasons as offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, he led the offense to consecutive top-5 finishes in both yards and points, while continuing to develop Allen into one of the league's premier quarterbacks.

Jones does have good size and speed, so that's a plus, but also an uncanny knack for making bone-headed plays. One play in particular perfectly personifies his play as a pro thus far. Against the Eagles a few seasons ago, Jones broke out on an 80-yard, sure to be touchdown run, only to trip himself and fall a few yards short of what should have been the play of his career.

In the highlight Jones is literally running away from defensive backs in pursuit, so we know the athleticism is there, but it will be up to Daboll, OC Mike Kafka, and QB coach Shea Tierney to unlock his potential and determine if he is a franchise quarterback for the G-Men going forward. Kafka previously worked with Patrick Mahomes and Tierney was assistant QB coach for Josh Allen, so if anyone can get more out of Jones, it's this group of guys.

Another big addition for the Giants was drafting tackle Evan Neal. The offensive line for New York was more like a revolving door and they ranked near the bottom of the league in 2021. That said, Neal and fellow tackle Andrew Thomas are nice pieces that should help keep the pressure of Daniel Jones and create running lanes for Saquon Barkley, whose current ADP is in the 3rd round of season-long leagues. Barkley has first-round fantasy talent but a lengthy injury history, making him a potential league winner if you can stomach the risk-reward and get him at the right spot in your draft.

Kadarius Toney is the best Giants receiver and will flash brighter than Times Square at points this season, though it may be difficult to predict when the breakout performances will happen.

New York could find a way to compete in the weak NFC East, but they have the lowest projected win total in the division at 7.5 games.

The Giants have a handful draft-worthy players in season long fantasy, but you may have your work cut out for you if you select them in a Tailgate League.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Blake Martinez, LB - 289.1 total, 17.0/game

   Daniel Jones, QB - 257.9 total, 16.1/game

   Saquon Barkley, RB - 225.7 total, 16.1/game

   Julian Love, S - 202.4 total, 11.9/game

   Xavier McKinney, S - 192.4 total, 11.3/game

   Adoree' Jackson, CB - 182.9 total, 10.8/game

   Kadarius Toney, WR - 176.8 total, 11.8/game

New York Jets

#TakeFlight   #Jets

The expectations for the Jets are already at cruising altitude and they certainly weren't delayed unlike most flights coming in and out of La Guardia.

In 2021 the Jets were near the bottom of the league in scoring. They also allowed the most yards per game defensively in all of football. It's fair to say Robert Saleh is on the hot seat considering he is a defensive guy, and the defense has regressed over the past two years per PFF's rankings, going from 25th in the league in 2020, to dead last in 2021.

Gang green had a fantastic draft though, which is the main reason for the optimism going into this season.

In the first round of the draft, the Jets added CB Sauce Gardner, WR Garrett Wilson, and DE Jermaine Johnson, following up with RB Breece Hall in the second round. All four of these guys can really play and should help the Jets take-off both offensively and defensively.

In free agency they added guard Laken Tomlinson to bolster the offensive line. He joins Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and George Fant in what should be a much-improved unit. The Jets also added TE C.J. Uzomah, CB D.J. Reed, DT Solomon Thomas, and S Jordan Whitehead.

All of the aforementioned additions will mean nothing if quarterback Zach Wilson doesn't step his game up, and we're not talking about his game when hitting on his mom's social circle. He has packed-on a few pounds of muscle this offseason and has the arm talent to take advantage of the Jets nice perimeter weapons Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, and Corey Davis, but we'll need to see it on the field before joining Tony Romo in anointing the man as a Patrick Mahomes comp.

The Jets are surprisingly solid for Tailgate Leagues and have some decent pieces to draft in season-long.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   C.J. Mosley, LB - 301.6 total, 17.7/game

   Zach Wilson, QB - 237.4 total, 15.8/game

   Breece Hall, RB - 210.2 total, 14.0/game

   Jordan Whitehead, S - 202.0 total, 11.9/game

   Garrett Wilson, WR - 194.6 total, 12.2/game

   Elijah Moore, WR - 187.8 total, 11.7/game

   Braxton Berrios, WR - 183.9 total, 11.5/game

Philadelphia Eagles

#FlyEaglesFly   #Eagles

The Eagles worked harder to exceed their 2021 expectations than Bo Cruz running up Manayunk Wall in Philly in Adam Sandler's movie Hustle.

Going into last season there were a lot of doubters and critics of Nick Sirianni after his opening press conference, but the team flew above the noise and managed to make the playoffs, despite a 1-7 record against teams who were above .500.

The Eagles have good continuity, bringing back both offensive and defensive coordinators. They also had a memorable draft night trade, acquiring AJ Brown from the Tennessee Titans in exchange for the 18th and 101st overall picks in the 2022 draft. Brown then agreed to a four-year, $100 million contract, making him a key component to their offense for the foreseeable future.

They also selected DT Jordan Davis and LB Nakobe Dean during the draft.

AJ Brown joins fellow wideout DeVonta Smith and TE Dallas Goedert as the focal points on the outside, though the Eagles were known as a run-first team in 2021, finishing with the second most rushing attempts per game.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts is a fantasy rockstar with a very high rushing floor to offset his lack of passing proficiency. He led all quarterbacks in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, which is an important factor considering that rushing yards are 2.5x more valuable than passing yards and rushing TDs are 1.5x more valuable than passing TDs in most fantasy leagues.

The O line is the real story behind the offensive success for the Eagles though. They rank #1 per PFF, allowing time for Jalen Hurts to not only take his time when dropping back to pass, but also big running lanes when the play breaks down or designed runs.

The Eagles can go toe-to-toe with the Cowboys in a battle for the NFC East and have some nice pieces for both season-long and Tailgate Leagues.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Jalen Hurts, QB - 323.9 total, 20.2/game

   Kyzir White, LB - 264.7 total, 15.6/game

   A.J. Brown, WR - 223.3 total, 14.0/game

   Miles Sanders, RB - 195.5 total, 13.0/game

   DeVonta Smith, WR - 194.3 total, 12.1/game

   Anthony Harris, S - 186.9 total, 11.0/game

   Avonte Maddox, CB - 157.1 total, 9.2/game

Pittsburgh Steelers

#HereWeGo  #Steelers

Big Ben deteriorated over time, and unlike the clock in London that could be repaired, the QB called it quits and was just a shell of himself in 2021.

Roethlisberger was the starter in Pittsburgh since 2004 and helped lead the Steelers in two Super Bowl victories while making an appearance in a third. He won offensive rookie of the year and comeback player of the year early in his career, but by his final year, he was just throwing a ton of check downs to his first or second read, averaging 2.26 seconds per release, which was also the fastest in the NFL.

Looking ahead to this season, Steel City brought in a competent bridge starter in Mitchell Trubisky and drafted a long-term quarterback in local favorite Kenny "tiny hands" Pickett. They also selected WR George Pickens with the 52nd pick in the draft. Trubisky seems to be the starter for now and honestly that's not too bad for the team's fantasy outlook.

During his time in Chicago, Trubisky supported a top 10 fantasy wide receiver in Allen Robinson and offered a nice rushing floor to fantasy managers. It's likely that he is actually an upgrade at QB compared to Big Ben's final season, and the offensive cast has plenty of playmakers around him with RB Najee Harris, WRs Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, and TE Pat Freiermuth.

Don't expect another 380+ touches, or 19 targets in a single game, from Najee Harris again this year, but he should stay very busy regardless of who is under center and is getting drafted in the top 10 of nearly every fantasy league.

The Steelers will likely revert back to an old-school, ground-and-pound style of offense, leaning more on their stout defense and trying to win low scoring games. They have some dogs at all three levels on defense with DE T.J. Watt, LBs Myles Jack and Devin Bush, and S Minkah Fitzpatrick ball-hawking in the secondary.

Pittsburgh has the longest odds in the AFC North to win the division at +900, but it shouldn't shock anyone if they steal a few fistfight games and persevere on toughness alone.

The Steelers as a whole are good enough to use in Tailgate Leagues, but only offer a handful of draftable players in season-long leagues.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Najee Harris, RB - 265.0 total, 17.7/game

   Minkah Fitzpatrick, S - 247.3 total, 14.5/game

   Myles Jack, LB - 241.4 total, 14.2/game

   Diontae Johnson, WR - 219.1 total, 13.7/game

   Chase Claypool, WR - 181.2 total, 11.3/game

   Terrell Edmunds, S - 164.4 total, 9.7/game

   T.J. Watt, DE - 161.3 total, 9.5/game

Seattle Seahawks

#GoHawks  #Seahawks

Fans are sleepless in Seattle knowing that their beloved Seahawks will have either Geno Smith or Drew Lock starting at quarterback.

Pete Carroll is returning for a 13th season, but the Legion of Boom is long gone and has been replaced by guys that the Jets and Broncos were willing to part with.

Someone needs to make sure that Pete has plenty of gum to feverishly chew on the sidelines while he contemplates the age-old question, "why wouldn't I just let Russ cook?"

The Russell Wilson trade actually wasn't that bad for Seattle, if their goal is tanking like we suspect it is. They received QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, and DE Shelby Harris from the Broncos, as well as five total draft picks, four of which are in the first and second rounds.

Aside from the Wilson trade, the Seahawks also parted ways with 8-time pro bowler Bobby Wagner who later signed in-division with the Los Angeles Rams.

In the draft Seattle selected RB Kenneth Walker with the 41st overall pick. Walker joins Rashaad Penny to form an interesting running back duo, and it's worth mentioning that Chris Carson has retired because of a lingering neck injury. He was a fun player to watch run violently at opposing defenses and will definitely be missed.

Fortunately for the Seahawks, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are both talented enough to still be fantasy relevant wide receivers, but it will be interesting to see how their numbers regress with a change at quarterback. At least DK got paid early and not after his numbers decline due to Geno Smith or Drew Lock tossing him the rock.

Seattle is probably competing for the #1 overall pick in 2023, but there are a few bright spots on their roster to consider in season-long fantasy. It would be smart to avoid them like the bird flu in Tailgate Leagues though.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Jordyn Brooks, LB - 333.0 total, 19.6/game

   Cody Barton, LB - 241.7 total, 14.2/game

   Jamal Adams, S - 222.0 total, 13.1/game

   DK Metcalf, WR - 211.7 total, 13.2/game

   Tyler Lockett, WR - 206.2 total, 12.9/game

   Sidney Jones IV, CB - 185.7 total, 10.9/game

   Quandre Diggs, S - 184.3 total, 10.8/game

San Francisco 49ers

#94Niners  #49ers

Who would you rather, Jimmy GQ or Trey Lance?

The question is not in the same context that you're used to as we already know who the most attractive man in all of sports is thanks to the media and broadcast crews constantly reminding us every week.

The 49ers still have a QB dilemma going into the season, but at least this year it's not who will be the starter, rather what are they going to do with Jimmy G? Will they be able to find a trade partner, or will they end up releasing him? Kyle Shanahan has already named Trey Lance as the starter and there's no way the 49ers could keep stringing-along someone who has as many options as Garoppolo, right?

Be that as it may, most teams that are still in the quarterback market already have their rosters mostly set for the year, so making a significant offer for a guy who is likely to be released would just be bad business this close to the season.

Either way, the Trey Lance era begins this year, and it should be a fun one. Lance has exciting potential from a fantasy perspective offering a high rushing floor comparable to Jalen Hurts. In the two games he started last year, Lance averaged 12 rush attempts which is more than enough to fill up the stat sheet with easy fantasy points.

The offense has the benefit of continuity with players who have been in the system for a good amount of time including TE George Kittle and WRs Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.

The running back situation is going to be a large committee of Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr., JaMychal Hasty, and rookie Tyrion Davis-Price. Playing too many snaps at running back was one of Deebo's beefs when negotiating with the 49ers, so hopefully the added depth will keep him playing wide receiver and not taking the punishment that he endured as the best gadget player of all time last season.

San Fran's defense is still an elite unit featuring household names Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, and Fred Warner. They also signed CB Charvarius Ward to a 3-year deal in free agency, and we'll finally get to see cornerback Jason Verrett back in action after injuries cut his last few seasons short.  

The 49ers have the 2nd best odds to win the NFC West behind only the Rams and are definitely capable of making the playoffs in a down NFC.

They have playmakers on both sides of the ball to use in Tailgate Leagues and a handful of players to draft in season-long fantasy.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Trey Lance, QB - 285.7 total, 17.9/game

   Fred Warner, LB - 283.5 total, 16.7/game

   Deebo Samuel, WR - 259.8 total, 16.2/game

   Dre Greenlaw, LB - 218.6 total, 12.9/game

   Charvarius Ward, CB - 204.2 total, 12.0/game

   Elijah Mitchell, RB - 199.2 total, 13.3/game

   George Kittle, TE - 180.9 total, 12.1/game

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

#GoBucs  #Bucs

Most people move to Tampa to retire, not un-retire, but that's exactly what Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr did. The goat also signed a broadcasting deal with Fox that will be in effect the moment he actually does hang it up and was apparently colluding to become a part owner of the Miami Dolphins.

Talk about a workaholic. It's no wonder why he and Bruce Arians didn't last very long.

Brady's short-lived retirement is just one of many offseason storylines for the Buccaneers. They demoted former head coach Bruce Arians to some cush office job, which actually sounds like an upgrade for a guy who likes to clock out early and enjoy a cocktail with his friends and family compared to the coaching grind of a season. We all know that "consultant" is really just a fancy title meaning he will work when he wants and "conduct a lot of business" at the golf course anyway. You're not fooling us by saying it was all smooth-sailing Tampa.

Now it's Todd Bowles szn in South Florida and he gets another chance to prove he can lead a team with expectations of winning, unlike his former team the New York Jets. The Buccaneers need to be sure to have plenty of Chips Ahoy! packages and tall glasses of milk for when Todd celebrates wins as they have the most projected wins in the NFC and are tied with the Bills for most in the league.

Bowles' background as DC bodes well for Tampa's top-5 defensive unit. They are loaded at all three levels on defense, including the D line, linebackers, and secondary.

The Bucs also have one of the top offenses in the league. They added Russell Gage who decided to abandon ship from Atlanta, and resigned Chris Godwin to a three-year, $60 million extension. That's a lot of doubloons to pay for a guy still making his way back from a torn ACL suffered late last season, but he should step right back into a fantasy-relevant role when he returns to action. 

Later in the offseason the Bucs added Julio Jones, who may not be the elite WR1 from a few years ago, but still has plenty left in the tank to contribute, especially when on the same field as Mike Evans. They also added TE Kyle Rudolph to play alongside Cameron Brate.

During the draft the Bucs selected RB Rachaad White in the 3rd round after letting Ronald Jones walk the plank in free agency. White and Leonard Fournette will lead a nice running back committee that is sure to involve way too much Giovani Bernard and Ke'Shawn Vaughn for fantasy managers to be comfortable with.

Tampa Bay might have the most draftable players in season-long and are one of the better teams to select in Tailgate Leagues.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Tom Brady, QB - 306.7 total, 19.2/game

   Leonard Fournette, RB - 258.7 total, 17.2/game

   Devin White, LB - 250.9 total, 14.8/game

   Lavonte David, LB - 246.4 total, 14.5/game

   Antoine Winfield Jr., CB - 231.6 total, 13.6/game

   Logan Ryan, S - 225.9 total, 13.3/game

   Mike Evans, WR - 222.6 total, 13.9/game

Tennessee Titans

#TitanUp  #Titans

The Titans' fantastic 12-win regular season was quickly overshadowed by a dud playoff performance and loss at home, once again prompting the question if byes in the playoffs do more harm than good. They looked flat and wasted the #1 seed in the AFC, losing a close game 19-16 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

One would think that a week off to rest and extra time to prepare for your opponent would help, especially when you handle the type of volume that Derrick Henry does. Henry averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 27.4 carries per game over the course of the season, but he only posted 62 yards rushing when they were eliminated by Cincy. You can't blame King Henry for the loss though, Ryan Tannehill threw 3 interceptions and only completed 15 passes for 220 yards.

It's hard to see the Titans having another 12-win season looking ahead to this year. Their current win total is projected at 9 games per MGM, and they traded their best receiver, A.J. Brown, to the Eagles on draft night in exchange for a 1st and 3rd round pick, both in 2022. Fortunately for the Titans they still play in a terrible division, truly personifying the corny pick-up line "are you from Tennessee, cuz you're the only ten I see" when compared to the rest of the AFC South and projecting win totals.

Over the offseason the Titans extended reigning Coach of the Year Mike Vrabel. They also traded for WR Robert Woods in exchange for a 2023 6th round pick and signed veteran TE Austin Hooper to a one-year deal. While neither of these guys can replace A.J. Brown's production, they are nice pieces to add at very reasonable asking prices.

In the draft Tennessee selected WR Treylon Burks with the 18th overall pick and Liberty QB Malik Willis as a long-term project. Willis has raw talent and is progressing nicely by all accounts in camp, no thanks to Ryan Tannehill who said he would not mentor Willis earlier this summer. 

We've been very offensive focused with the Titan's team preview, but their defense is an above average unit as well that should be near the top 10 by the time the season is over. If the Titans defense plays like it did late in 2021, and if they continue leaning on Derrick Henry to control time of possession and bruise opposing defenses, they could once again be one of the top teams in the AFC.

They will do just fine in Tailgate Leagues and have a few players to consider for season-long.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Derrick Henry, RB - 265.7 total, 15.7/game

   Ryan Tannehill, QB - 251.8 total, 15.7/game

   Zach Cunningham, LB - 227.3 total, 13.4/game

   David Long Jr., LB - 213.4 total, 12.6/game

   Kevin Byard, S - 201.0 total, 11.8/game

   Treylon Burks, WR - 193.1 total, 12.1/game

   Amani Hooker, S - 191.8 total, 11.3/game

Washington Commanders

#HTTC  #Commanders

The Washington Football Team branding lasted about as long as Taylor Heinicke did as the starting QB, and frankly we miss it already. "Commanders" is as cliche a "create a team" name as any, and their new logo somehow manages to suck more than their new name.

Unlike the team's branding though, the coaching continuity for the Commanders is surprisingly tenured, returning head coach Ron Rivera, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, and offensive coordinator Scott Turner for a third consecutive season. During that time, the team went 17-32, including a playoff appearance in 2020 with a losing regular season record, which says much more about the garbage that has been the NFC East than it does about the team itself.

Washington was busy this offseason including a trade where they gave the Colts three draft picks in exchange for Carson Wentz. Carson was better in Indy than most people on Twitter are willing to admit with 27 TDs and 7 INTs and is certainly an upgrade at QB over Taylor Heinicke despite being eliminated by the Jaguars in a win-and-get-in final game of the regular season. 

His addition is a gamble for Riverboat Ron and company, but the Commanders acquired him for a reasonable price for someone that has his ceiling. He should improve the offensive numbers overall, especially for pass catchers Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas.

It may not be sexy to feature offensive lineman as notable free agents, but the Commanders signed a tremendous left tackle in Charles Leno after being inexplicably cut by the Chicago Bears. His addition will really be felt in pass protection and helps boost the O line's rank to 15th in the league going into the season per PFF.

In the draft the Commanders added 8 players: WR Jahan Dotson, DT Phidarian Mathis, RB Brian Robinson, S Percy Butler, QB Sam Howell, TE Cole Turner, G Chris Paul (not the NBA point guard, rather the offensive guard), and CB Christian Holmes.

By drafting another running back it's fair to assume that Antonio Gibson will have less volume than his 300 touches in 2021. Brian Robinson is a no-nonsense power back with the ability to gain extra yards after contact and he figures to vulture some goal-line touches that Gibson would have previously received.

J.D McKissic is still a PPR monster and has standalone fantasy value based on his pass catching skills alone as only Alvin Kamara has more targets at RB over the last two seasons. So, while the committee at running back has definitely improved Washington's real-life football team, it spells trouble for Antonio Gibson who was already just a middling RB2 in fantasy football.

Washington offers a few draftable players in season-long fantasy and will be an ok selection in Tailgate Leagues.

Top Projected Players (Total Pts & Avg):

   Cole Holcomb, LB - 292.6 total, 17.2/game

   Carson Wentz, QB - 254.5 total, 15.9/game

   Kamren Curl, S - 233.0 total, 13.7/game

   Terry McLaurin, WR - 221.8 total, 13.9/game

   Jamin Davis, LB - 218.7 total, 12.9/game

   Antonio Gibson, RB - 206.1 total, 13.7/game

   Kendall Fuller, CB - 189.0 total, 11.1/game

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