Le'Veon Bell's rookie season got off to a slow start in 2013, as he missed nearly the entire preseason and the Pittsburgh Steelers' first three regular season games due to a Lisfranc injury. Once he was back on the field, he was able to finish out the season with 860 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Bell ultimately rewarded his Fantasy owners and was even better the following season, when he finished as a first team All-Pro running back. Where should every running back be in your 2022 Fantasy football rankings?
Patience and optimism can be conflicting virtues when it comes to putting together a successful 2022 Fantasy football strategy, but the payoff can be worth it. A plan for which players are candidates to bounce back from injury will help you pinpoint who will end up as the top 2022 Fantasy football sleepers, breakouts, and busts. Before setting your 2022 Fantasy football draft strategy, be sure to check out the 2022 Fantasy football cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
Last year, the model accurately predicted that Colts running back Jonathan Taylor was being dramatically undervalued. Taylor was being drafted behind running backs like Aaron Jones, Ezekiel Elliott and Austin Ekeler last season but the SportsLine projection model predicted that he'd outproduce all of those backs and be a fixture in your Fantasy football lineups. The result: Taylor led the NFL with 1,811 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns to finish as the overall RB1 in 2021.
The same model has a proven track record providing Fantasy football tips, also identifying A.J. Brown as another sleeper in 2020 and players like Julio Jones and JuJu Smith-Schuster as Fantasy football busts last season. Additionally, it's called past Fantasy football sleepers like Derrick Henry in 2019, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara in 2018, and Davante Adams in 2017. Anybody who banked on players like those made a run at their league title.
The model is powered by the same people who generated projections for all three major Fantasy sites, and it beat human experts last season when there was a big difference in ranking. The projections update multiple times daily, so you're always getting the best Fantasy football advice.
Now, SportsLine has simulated the entire NFL season 10,000 times and released its latest Fantasy football rankings 2022, along with plenty of sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them.
Top 2022 Fantasy football sleepers
One of the 2022 Fantasy football sleepers the model is predicting: Cowboys running back Tony Pollard. Many had seen flashes of Pollard's ability over the past few years, but he simply hadn't had enough of a role in the offense to be a Fantasy contributor before last season. Although his opportunities in 2021-22 were still spotty, he finished with career-highs in rushing yards (719), receptions (39) and receiving yards (337).
Pollard missed two games last season, but had double-digit carries in eight other games. Starting running back Ezekiel Elliott appeared to lose some of his luster and the team may dial back his usage even further. Pollard also proved to be a weapon on special teams and returned a kickoff for a touchdown in Dallas' 36-33 win against Las Vegas to give Fantasy owners a spike in production in Week 12. See more Fantasy football sleepers 2022 here.
Top 2022 Fantasy football breakouts
The model is also projecting Jaguars running back Travis Etienne as one of its top 2022 Fantasy football breakouts. The 2021 first-round selection missed his entire rookie year after he suffered a Lisfranc injury early in the preseason. He appears ready to make up for his lost season this year and was a full participant for nearly the entirety of the Jags' OTA program.
Former head coach Urban Meyer envisioned Etienne as an all-purpose back when the team drafted him. Video released by the team and media has shown Etienne bursting in-and-out of cuts on passing routes and looking fluid in his movements. The team is banking on both James Robinson (Achilles) and Etienne to make full recoveries and contribute sooner rather than later, but Etienne has a much higher ceiling as a pass-catcher. That upside is why the model projects Etienne to have a better Fantasy season than others being drafted ahead of him like J.K. Dobbins, Miles Sanders and Elijah Mitchell.
Top 2022 Fantasy football busts
As for players to avoid, the model lists Falcons wide receiver Drake London as one of its 2022 Fantasy football busts. He was the first skill player off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft, as Atlanta took a stab at him with the eighth overall pick. London will step in immediately to help tight end Kyle Pitts shoulder the load offensively.
The Falcons have questions at quarterback following the departure of veteran Matt Ryan, who is now with the Colts. Marcus Mariota could be a downgrade from Ryan, and his ability to scramble should mean less passing volume as well. London is getting plenty of credit in most Fantasy football rankings 2022, but the model has more than 15 wide receivers ranked ahead of him with a worse 2022 Fantasy football ADP, making the rookie a bust candidate this season. See more Fantasy football busts 2022 here.
How to find proven 2022 Fantasy football football rankings
SportsLine is also extremely high on a surprising quarterback you aren't even thinking about being taken in the middle rounds of 2022 Fantasy football drafts. This quarterback is listed as a shocking top-five option ahead of superstars like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. You can only see who it is, and the 2022 Fantasy football rankings for every player, at SportsLine.
So which 2022 Fantasy Football sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get 2022 Fantasy Football cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Jonathan Taylor's huge season, and find out.