Fantasy football leagues are often won on the backs of your top players performing up to their potential. Jonathan Taylor, Austin Ekeler, Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams were just a handful of big-name players who carried managers to championships last season.
But finding that diamond in the rough can be just as essential as hitting on your top draft picks. Having a player drastically outperform his average draft position (ADP) can take your team from good to great.
Here are three undervalued players who could smash expectations in 2022.
Allen Robinson, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Robinson is coming off a down year in 2021, amassing just 410 receiving yards and one touchdown in 12 games with the Chicago Bears. In his first season with the Rams, we're expecting the 29-year-old to look more like the 2019 and '20 version of himself.
The former Pro Bowler is second on the Rams' wide receiver depth chart and figures to soak up a ton of targets behind No. 1 wideout Cooper Kupp. Los Angeles has a great track record of getting the most out of its receivers, with Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Odell Beckham Jr. all recent success stories.
Combine the volume of targets with a serious quarterback upgrade — Matthew Stafford over Bears pivot Justin Fields — and Robinson could finish as a top-20 fantasy receiver in 2022.
Christian Kirk, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars dropped some jaws around the football world when they gave Kirk a four-year, $72-million contract in the offseason. With that type of investment, Jacksonville is going to do all it can to keep him heavily involved in the offense.
Kirk has never gone over 1,000 yards over his four-year career, but looked good when DeAndre Hopkins was out of the Arizona Cardinals' last season, commanding a 21 percent target share. Kirk is the best receiver on the Jaguars' roster and will give sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence a vertical slot receiver who beats zone coverage.
Jacksonville should also see an uptick in play volume this year under new head coach Doug Pederson. The Jags could finish in the top 10 of pass attempts, with Kirk likely to receive the most targets.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions
St. Brown burst onto the scene late in his rookie season, totalling 560 yards and five touchdowns on nearly nine targets per game over the final six weeks of the 2021 campaign, making him the third-best wide receiver in fantasy over that stretch. He may not replicate those numbers over the full season, but he's currently going as the 27th wideout in terms of ADP, which feels like a bargain.
The 2021 fourth-round draft pick can make plays down the field, in the short game and after the catch. The Lions even baked in some running plays for the dynamic receiver down the stretch last year.
Jared Goff isn't the most inspiring of quarterbacks and D'Andre Swift should be the focal point of the Detroit offense, but snatching up a weapon like St. Brown later in your draft could take your team over the top.
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