If you compete in a dynasty league, it’s always a good time to engage in trade negotiations with frustrated or worried opponents. Don’t talk to the champion. Talk with the last-place teams with wide receivers likely to outproduce 2022 expectations. They won’t thank you, but I’ll bet deep down they’ll admire you for fleecing them. With that in mind, here are our favorite dynasty WR trade targets for the 2022 fantasy football season.
Top NFC Dynasty WR Trade Targets for 2022
You won’t hear anything about Cooper Kupp or Davante Adams here. I’m more interested in deeper dives on established, pre-prime receivers coming off disappointing campaigns.
Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team
When it’s time to sell high, I urge readers to sell high. And as we know, buy-low moments are often just around the corner. That’s true for Terry McLaurin, one of 2021’s most disappointing fantasy wideouts. The problem is that his QBs have not fed him effectively. As we’ll see below, this is a recurring theme for undervalued WRs.
For example, the Colts selected Reggie Wayne with the 30th pick of the 2001 NFL Draft. Paired with Peyton Manning, he eventually became a must-start fantasy WR for seven straight seasons. But had the Raiders drafted him two picks earlier, would Wayne have done half as much catching balls thrown by Rick Mirer, Kerry Collins, and JaMarcus Russell?
The point? Trading for WRs is tricky. So much hinges on who’s throwing to them. With McLaurin, you’re getting a WR3 with significant upside as (objectively) Washington’s most talented receiver. We’ve seen flashes of elite-level production. And given his WR25 production this season, you might be able to get him at that cheap price.
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
Amari Cooper is still only 27 years old. That’s right, he’s barely in his prime. And he’s wrapping up the second-worst statistical season of his career. Michael Gallup probably isn’t coming back. Dak Prescott has nowhere to go but up after a relatively muted campaign. This offense has top-two potential in the league, and Cooper is expected to be a big part of it.
Here’s what I like: Dallas probably won’t win it all this year. If you’re a Cowboys fan, don’t take it personally. But I think they might be one year away, knowing that Tom Brady will be a year older and Aaron Rodgers might be elsewhere. There’s an opening for an improved Dallas team to go 13-3, especially considering they’ve lost three games by 3 points or less. I expect Amari and the Cowboys to return next fall on a take-no-prisoners mission to overwhelm opponents with the offensive prowess we saw in 2020 before Dak got hurt. Cooper should be a top-16 WR next year.
Top AFC Dynasty WR Trade Targets for 2022
These two pre-prime wide receivers have suffered because of poor QB play and offensive game planning. I’m betting on both factors to improve in 2022 for each of these talented wideouts.
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos
I could also recommend Jerry Jeudy or even Tim Patrick. The point should be clear: Denver cannot compete in the AFC West unless they land a top-16 NFL quarterback. Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock are not the answers. The Broncos’ passing game has let down Courtland Sutton and his talented receiving teammates.
You probably can’t land Sutton at a value comparable to his current WR42 production. But you can likely snag him as a top-36 WR. That’s a nothing-to-lose investment in a guy who racked up a 72-1,112-6 receiving line as recently as 2019. A former second-round pick, Sutton earned a new contract this season, meaning he’s not going anywhere. The Broncos didn’t reinvest in a 700-yard wideout. They know what he can do, and I believe they’ll ensure they get their money’s worth starting in 2022.
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
Chase Claypool can be had for cheap. Ben Roethlisberger is expected to retire after what has been objectively one of his worst offensive seasons. No offense to the grizzled veteran who deserves universal accolades for amazing NFL achievements, but Big Ben held back this offense.
Only last year, Claypool earned 62 receptions, 873 yards, and 9 touchdowns — and that was while playing alongside the marginally more productive Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster. This year, Claypool has comparable catches and yardage but only 1 touchdown, and that’s occurred despite playing most of the year without Smith-Schuster.
Roethlisberger simply hasn’t generated enough of a passing attack to sustain more than one fantasy wideout. Assuming Pittsburgh secures a better option than Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins, Claypool will return to fantasy streaming conversations.