4 Best Ball fantasy football bold predictions for the 2022 season

With seasonal fantasy football drafts still months away, let's make some bold predictions focused on 2022 Best Ball leagues.

Who doesn’t love bold predictions? It’s only June so it’s a bit too early for seasonal bold predictions. Instead, here are four Best Ball bold predictions for the 2022 fantasy football season.

2022 Best Ball fantasy football bold predictions

For the most part, Best Ball and seasonal fantasy football are similar. You want the players that will score the most points. But the lack of lineup decision aspect of Best Ball does impact our predictions, including the bold ones you’re about to see! Let’s get to it.

Leonard Fournette enters lineups every week he plays this season

This comes with the caveat that there will be Best Ball rosters out there where other players have monster weeks such that Leonard Fournette isn’t needed. This 2022 bold prediction is based on the average fantasy football Best Ball roster.

Last season, Fournette led all running backs in targets per game with six. His receiving involvement gives him an incredibly high floor, and his presence on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ elite offense keeps his ceiling as the overall RB1.

Last season, in Week 4, the Bucs turned to Fournette as their true three-down back. From that point forward, Fournette finished inside the top 24 weekly scoring in all but one week.

Given his talent and role, my bold prediction for 2022 fantasy football Best Ball leagues is that Fournette finishes inside the top 24 every game he plays and, on average, always enters Best Ball lineups.

AJ Dillon posts more RB1 weeks than Aaron Jones

I’m involved in fantasy Twitter. I keep up with what various experts in the community are saying, and it’s become abundantly clear that I’m very much on an island when it comes to Aaron Jones. While I still have Jones ranked ahead of AJ Dillon for seasonal leagues, in Best Ball, I prefer Dillon.

Last season, from Weeks 1-9, Dillon did not exceed a 42% snap share in any game over that span. From Week 10 forward, Dillon played at least 50% of the snaps in six of the final eight games. Over that span, Dillon averaged 13.8 carries per game against Jones’ 9.2. Essentially, Dillon became the lead runner, and Jones transitioned into more of a receiving role.

Most importantly, Dillon staked his claim to the goal-line role, and I don’t think he’s giving that up. Dillon out-touched Jones 17-5 in the red zone following Jones’ return from his MCL sprain. Touchdowns dictate ceiling weeks, and I expect Dillon to have a lot more of them than Jones.

By no means will Jones be a bust, but he’s more floor than ceiling. If you want the spike weeks, my bold prediction for the 2022 fantasy football season is Dillon is the better Best Ball asset with more RB1 weeks than Jones.

Tim Patrick is just as good as Jerry Jeudy

On our recent dynasty buy-low episode of PFN’s Premier Fantasy Football Podcast, Senior Fantasy Analyst Tommy Garrett and I discussed Courtland Sutton. Naturally, Jerry Jeudy’s name came up.

In fantasy circles, the common debate seems to be over whether Sutton or Jeudy is the better fantasy asset. Tommy argued Jeudy is closer to Tim Patrick than he is to Sutton. I agree.

After posting 704 receiving yards as a rookie, Sutton broke out as a sophomore in 2019 to the tune of 72-1,112-6. He averaged 13.9 PPR fantasy points per game. Sutton tore his ACL in the first week of the 2020 season and then had to deal with awful quarterback play in 2021 that saw his yards per reception drop to a career-low 13.4.

This season, Sutton gets a massive upgrade at quarterback in Russell Wilson. I’m expecting him to be the alpha WR1 — Wilson’s new DK Metcalf. The thing is I’m not entirely sure Jeudy is the Tyler Lockett. Patrick got a nice three-year extension last season and averaged more ppg than Jeudy in both 2020 and 2021.

Last season, Patrick entered Best Ball lineups as a top 36 receiver six times in 16 games. Jeudy did the same three times in 10 games. That’s 37.5% compared to 30%. I’m not suggesting Jeudy is going to be bad this season, but merely that Patrick provides similar upside at a far lesser price.

My bold prediction is that 2022 fantasy managers in Best Ball leagues will get similar value from Patrick as they will from Jeudy.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling has at least four long touchdowns

Players like Marquez Valdes-Scantling are more valuable in Best Ball than in seasonal leagues. We know they’re going to post a handful of WR1/2 weeks; we just don’t know when they will be. In Best Ball, we don’t care when they are as long as we’re confident they will happen.

MVS has never been a fantasy-relevant player. His career-best finish is WR60 and his highest ppg average was 8.6 in 2020. Playing with Patrick Mahomes is, of course, a great thing, but it’s not like Valdes-Scantling was playing with some scrub quarterback at his old gig. He couldn’t sustain consistent fantasy value in any of his four years with Aaron Rodgers. I doubt that changes now.

With all that said, Valdes-Scantling has had moments in every year of his career. In 2020, he led the NFL in yards per reception at 20.9. In Best Ball, all we need from him is a couple of those long touchdowns. With Mahomes, I think he has at least four.

MVS has caught 13 touchdowns in his career. A whopping eight of them have been from at least 40 yards out. In Kansas City, Valdes-Scantling should have more opportunities and command a higher target share than he did in Green Bay. Without Tyreek Hill, defenses are not going to be as fearful of the deep ball. MVS should have plenty of opportunities downfield for one of the NFL’s most accurate passers to hit him deep.

Valdes-Scantling has scored at least 14.9 fantasy points in 12 of his 13 games in which he scored a touchdown. If he catches four touchdowns, that’s almost a quarter of the season where he will enter Best Ball lineups. If he catches four long touchdowns, we’re looking at WR1/2 numbers from a WR4.

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here.

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