The 2021 fantasy football season is officially in the rearview mirror, but the grind never stops! As soon as one season ends, we immediately start looking ahead to the next. With Davante Adams potentially entering free agency, let’s see where he might play in 2022 and analyze the fantasy impact his arrival would have on those teams.
Davante Adams will be a WR1 wherever he goes
It may feel to some like Adams hasn’t been an elite wide receiver for that long. If you feel that way, it’s because it’s true. Since Adams broke out in 2018 at age 26, he’s really only had four elite seasons. In 2021, Adams posted a career-high 123 receptions for 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Although Adams will turn 30 during the 2022 season, he is nowhere near done. Wide receivers that rely on their raw athletic ability can still be highly effective in their early 30s. Someone like Adams has a skill set that will age very well. His decline should be more gradual than we’ve seen with receivers like Andre Johnson or the late Demaryius Thomas. Wherever Adams goes, he will remain a highly sought-after fantasy asset.
Davante Adams’ 2022 options
Typically, at age 30, a wide receiver will be free to go wherever he wants. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Adams. Given his status as a clear top-five WR in the NFL, he will be well worth the average salary of the top five salaries over the past five seasons. It’s very possible, if not likely, the Packers slap Adams with the franchise tag.
If Adams enters free agency, he will have no shortage of options. Where might we see Adams play football in 2022?
Green Bay Packers
I highly doubt Adams wants to stay in Green Bay without Aaron Rodgers. It just may not be up to him. The Packers and Adams will certainly work towards negotiating an extension. If they can’t come to an agreement, it’s just not realistic to expect the Packers to let Adams walk.
Unless Adams intends to hold out and refuse to play on the franchise tag, it’s hard to see him getting out of Green Bay in 2022. There’s still a lot of time, and anything can happen. We’ve seen stranger things. The Packers could also agree to trade Adams. But if I had to bet on where Adams would play in 2022, I would still bet on the Packers.
While Adams is a WR1 wherever he goes, whether he has overall WR1 upside depends upon his quarterback. It’s still possible Rodgers returns to the Packers. If so, then it’s status quo for one of the best QB-WR duos of all time. If Rodgers leaves and Adams stays, his value will depend heavily on what the Packers do to replace Rodgers.
They could stick with Jordan Love, which would relegate Adams to more of a lower WR1 in fantasy. It’s possible they sign a bridge quarterback in free agency. Who that guy is will heavily impact Adams’ ceiling. At this point, it’s just too early to speculate. Regardless, Adams will be a desirable asset in fantasy because of his elite talent.
Wherever Aaron Rodgers goes
The second most likely scenario for Adams is he follows Rodgers. Don’t ask me to begin to contemplate how this would work, especially since Rodgers’ most likely landing spots are Pittsburgh and Denver, two teams without a need at wide receiver.
Nevertheless, we know Adams and Rodgers want to play together. It may not be feasible anywhere other than Green Bay, but they will certainly explore all options available. If Adams is with Rodgers on another team, their fantasy values would remain just as high.
Las Vegas Raiders
If Rodgers and Adams do go their separate ways, I could see Adams finding his way to Vegas. Hunter Renfrow was a revelation in 2021, but he’s a possession slot receiver. Las Vegas can’t feel confident heading into 2022 with Zay Jones and Bryan Edwards as their top outside receivers.
Adams would immediately become the top option for Derek Carr, ahead of Darren Waller. We’ve seen Carr hone in on his elite pass catcher before. Waller caught 107 of 145 targets in 2020 for 1,196 yards and 9 touchdowns. Adams’ upside would naturally be lower with Carr than Rodgers, but he could still be an elite WR1 on the Raiders. His presence would vanquish Jones and Edwards while reducing Renfrow to more of a floor-based WR3.
I’ve seen the Detroit Lions thrown around as a potential landing spot for Adams in free agency. However, I just don’t see him going to a non-contender. As talented as Adams is, the Lions are not going to be competitive with Jared Goff at quarterback.
If Adams is going to stay in the NFC North, the Bears make much more sense. Allen Robinson played the 2021 season on the franchise tag and could be elsewhere in 2022. Darnell Mooney’s breakout could help facilitate ARob’s departure.
Mooney is a very nice player and someone I like a lot. He’s coming off a 140-target, 1,000-yard season. With that said, Mooney still profiles more like a real-life WR2. Adams could step in and replace Robinson as Chicago’s WR1. He and Mooney could form a tremendous duo and help Justin Fields ascend in his sophomore campaign.
Mooney’s fantasy value with Adams would depend upon Fields’ growth. We could safely pencil in Adams to lead the team in targets. Could Fields support two fantasy-relevant wide receivers? Probably. But it’s unlikely Mooney would be able to repeat his 12.9 PPR fantasy points per game with Adams in town.
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.