Target Breakdown: 2022 Wide Receiver Recap and 2023 Early Fantasy Rankings

Target Breakdown: 2022 Wide Receiver Recap and 2023 Early Fantasy Rankings

This article is part of our Target Breakdown series.

League-wide offensive stats were down in 2022, with a slew of passing and receiving stats hitting the lowest levels since 2017. Cumulative WR production was also at a five-year low, even though rushing stats for the position reached a modern-era high (2,904 yards and 25 TDs).

At the same time, Justin Jefferson and Tyreek Hill both topped 1,700 receiving yards, while Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs and A.J. Brown all finished with double-digit touchdowns and more than 1,400 yards. Then there's Cooper Kupp, who led the position in PPR points per game for a second straight year, though this time over only nine appearances and with a sizable dip in efficiency compared to his record-breaking year.

All of those guys look like viable first-round picks for 2023 — or at least early second-rounders — as do Ja'Marr Chase and CeeDee Lamb. We'll likely see more WRs than RBs selected in Round 1 of a lot of fantasy drafts, though Travis Kelce, Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley and a few other running backs will also get consideration.

You'll find my early 2023 WR rankings at the bottom of this article, but first let's take a quick look back at 2022 along with a brief preview of what to expect this offseason. Here's what you'll find below:

  1. 2022 Awards
  2. Injuries to Monitor this Offseason
  3. 2022 WR Stat Leaderboards (TPRR, aDOT, target share, etc)
  4. 2023 Free Agents & Potential Cap Casualties
  5. Early 2023 Fantasy Rankings (Top 32 TEs)

And if you want the same thing for RBs or TEs...

Backfield Breakdown: 2022 RB Recap and 2023 Early Fantasy Ranks

Target Breakdown: 2022 TE Recap and 2023 Early Fantasy Ranks

2022 Awards 🏆

Real-Life MVP: Tyreek Hill

Fantasy MVP: Justin Jefferson

Best Rookie: Chris Olave / Garrett Wilson

Best ADP Return: Tyreek Hill

Mid-Round Magic: Amari Cooper / DeVonta Smith

Late-Round Hero: Zay Jones / Christian Watson

Comeback Player: Curtis Samuel 

Most Improved: CeeDee Lamb / DeVonta Smith

Brightest Future (besides JJ): CeeDee Lamb / Jaylen Waddle

     

Least Valuable Player: Robbie Anderson

Biggest Fantasy Bust: Deebo Samuel

Biggest Fantasy Bust (non-injury): Courtland Sutton / Michael Pittman

Biggest Real-Life Bust: Elijah Moore

    

Offseason Injury Rehab 🚑

Cooper Kupp (high-ankle sprain - had surgery Nov. 16)

Allen Robinson (ankle/foot surgery - last played Nov. 20)

Michael Thomas (dislocated toe - last played Sept. 25)

Rondale Moore (groin - last played Nov. 21)

Rashod Bateman (Lisfranc surgery - mid-November)

Devin Duvernay (broken fifth metatarsal - suffered Dec. 20)

Darnell Mooney (ankle surgery on torn ligaments - last played Nov. 27)

Wan'Dale Robinson (ACL tear - had surgery Dec. 13)

Tim Patrick (ACL tear - had surgery Aug. 11)

KJ Hamler (hamstring - last played Oct. 30)

Nico Collins (foot - last played Dec. 4)

Jarvis Landry (ankle - last played Dec. 19)

2022 Stat Leaderboards 📈📈📈

My favorite stats for WRs are shown below, plus we have more good stuff on RotoWire's Advanced Stats and Red Zone pages.

  • Rts = Routes Run
  • Rt/DB = Routes Run / # of Team QB Dropbacks
  • TS = Target Share (adjusted to only include games the TE played in)
  • AY = Air Yards
  • AYS = Air Yard Share (adjusted to only include games the TE played in)
  • TPRR = Targets per Route Run
  • YPRR = Yards per Route Run (receiving yards only)
TeamPlayerSnapSn%RtsRt/DBTgtTSRECYDSTDAYAYSaDOTTPRRYPRR
MINJustin Jefferson108892.4%67594.3%19328.2%13518568182338.1%9.927.5%2.71
MIATyreek Hill81575.7%51583.2%18530.4%12617797209640.9%12.334.0%3.42
LVDavante Adams99094.5%59295.6%18032.3%100151614211341.6%11.732.5%2.74
BUFStefon Diggs85176.6%52085.8%16327.6%115154311166434.3%10.824.6%2.28
DALCeeDee Lamb103086.9%54994.7%16228.6%111142710155835.8%1028.6%2.49
TBChris Godwin90481.2%57274.1%15521.6%1141108381718.7%5.828.5%2.05
SEADK Metcalf90281.6%54788.4%15425.5%10011848156337.1%11.125.7%1.91
JAXChristian Kirk101488.8%59294.9%14723.1%9211869122829.9%9.223.3%1.94
PITDiontae Johnson99089.4%58195.7%14726.8%868820151733.2%10.324.7%1.48
NYJGarrett Wilson85479.7%57586.2%14725.0%8311034150031.1%10.226.8%2.01
CINJa'Marr Chase80193.8%49375.5%14729.3%96113010124538.3%9.226.0%2.02
DETAmon-Ra St. Brown79777.8%46876.8%14627.7%1061161688125.0%633.4%2.66
PHIA.J. Brown95684.8%53492.1%14528.9%88149611175041.3%12.128.7%2.96
INDMichael Pittman102096.7%61592.6%14125.8%999254104629.8%7.426.8%1.76
TBMike Evans95584.9%61579.7%13819.8%8311986166636.9%13.124.4%2.16
PHIDeVonta Smith103291.5%55896.2%13626.9%9511967131130.9%9.625.3%2.22
JAXZay Jones95387.0%54687.5%13422.2%908976103426.3%8.523.9%1.63
CLEAmari Cooper92983.0%52590.2%13225.9%7811609160037.9%12.126.0%2.29
SEATyler Lockett80978.4%50381.3%12522.8%9010729123531.3%10.622.8%2.01
MIAJaylen Waddle80374.6%50581.6%12420.7%7814008137726.8%11.823.6%2.74
WASTerry McLaurin101689.1%55391.9%12022.5%7711915150735.3%12.624.2%2.41
SFBrandon Aiyuk100790.6%51795.4%11922.5%8110888110432.9%9.728.6%2.55
NOChris Olave58465.6%41876.0%11926.6%7210424168842.6%14.231.2%2.73
CARDJ Moore93996.3%47295.7%11827.6%638887154048.0%13.123.8%1.79
ATLDrake London79278.3%38084.6%11730.0%728664119331.6%10.229.2%2.16
CINTee Higgins77269.7%51478.7%11520.8%7810667119331.5%10.924.4%2.31
LACJoshua Palmer93781.1%59579.7%11317.0%74800396123.8%922.9%1.65
MINAdam Thielen105089.2%65691.6%11117.1%737666104021.7%9.718.0%1.21
DENCourtland Sutton83488.5%51080.6%10923.4%648292131932.0%12.122.7%1.73
ARIMarquise Brown74291.0%46265.2%10723.7%677093119136.9%11.124.5%1.63
SFDeebo Samuel67376.1%36367.0%10323.9%62765340115.6%4.333.0%2.22
BUFGabe Davis93589.4%52586.6%10217.9%549498138530.5%14.916.1%1.45
LACKeenan Allen57176.1%33845.2%10222.5%72813475129.4%8.431.9%2.7
KCJuJu Smith-Schuster73170.9%49673.6%10117.1%78933371917.5%7.120.9%1.93
GBAllen Lazard82989.6%46277.8%10021.1%607886119431.6%11.925.6%2.02
DENJerry Jeudy68171.0%43067.9%10021.1%679726112928.3%11.322.8%2.21
LARCooper Kupp51895.2%33056.1%9831.1%75812669135.1%7.136.4%3.02
CLEDonovan Peoples-Jones100589.7%53491.8%9619.2%618393114427.1%11.919.1%1.67
NEJakobi Meyers65378.9%40770.2%9621.9%67804691728.3%9.625.7%2.16
ARIDeAndre Hopkins52288.2%33647.4%9628.7%64717394542.4%9.836.4%2.72
LVMack Hollins97893.3%58294.0%9416.7%576904114022.5%12.117.9%1.31
MINK.J. Osborn86873.8%57179.7%9314.1%62670674215.5%8.216.5%1.19
LACMike Williams68076.0%44960.1%9317.8%638954111433.2%1225.5%2.45
HOUBrandin Cooks62881.1%41567.6%9320.6%576993100231.3%10.821.8%1.64
WASCurtis Samuel80971.0%48981.2%9218.0%64656463215.4%6.919.5%1.39
INDParris Campbell93785.0%58287.7%9115.9%63623359715.8%6.617.9%1.22
TENRobert Woods77478.0%43987.1%9120.7%53527276622.8%8.422.3%1.29
JAXMarvin Jones73367.7%45272.4%8714.5%495584103725.8%12.818.7%1.22
CINTyler Boyd80772.9%53481.8%8513.7%61788577318.6%9.416.5%1.53
PITGeorge Pickens83975.7%54890.3%8415.5%528014125527.4%14.915.8%1.51
KCMarquez Valdes-Scantling73667.3%51676.6%8113.3%426872113625.7%1416.2%1.37
DALMichael Gallup75675.5%40970.5%8016.7%44470577621.8%10.518.6%1.07
NYGDarius Slayton73066.6%36263.8%7919.4%50812284237.1%11.920.9%2.14
INDAlec Pierce69565.9%45969.1%7814.0%41593290325.7%11.620.7%1.57
BALDemarcus Robinson64457.6%32762.5%7816.8%50507367618.1%925.4%1.55
TBRussell Gage54557.0%36547.3%7812.8%5343653529.5%522.1%1.34
NYGRichie James54247.0%31355.2%7617.6%61600447119.3%6.721.3%1.73
DALNoah Brown81272.0%43875.5%7514.8%45573380820.7%11.120.0%1.52
HOUChris Moore65067.9%42268.7%7414.9%48548264317.4%8.719.7%1.46
LACDeAndre Carter69857.0%47263.2%689.9%48555356313.7%8.716.3%1.35
GBRomeo Doubs50762.1%30451.2%6715.5%42425360018.9%922.6%1.44
GBChristian Watson49056.1%26043.8%6615.2%41611787424.9%13.231.1%2.88
HOUNico Collins42171.4%28245.9%6619.0%37481273131.3%11.127.2%1.98
NYJElijah Moore70369.1%47971.8%6512.1%37446174816.7%11.515.4%1.06
BUFIsaiah McKenzie52953.8%34857.4%6512.7%42423453212.0%8.215.3%1
NYJCorey Davis59070.0%38157.1%6413.4%32536285923.2%13.418.9%1.59
DETKalif Raymond52448.1%31251.2%6412.0%47616061116.8%9.520.9%2.01
ARIGreg Dortch48645.1%32746.1%6415.4%52467235112.8%5.522.6%1.65
ATLOlamide Zaccheaus71070.2%33073.5%6116.8%40533369419.1%11.419.6%1.71
LARBen Skowronek68082.2%39166.5%6113.7%39376045115.1%7.421.3%1.31
WASJahan Dotson62074.3%36059.8%6115.5%35523780425.2%13.219.3%1.66
CHIDarnell Mooney60483.2%26160.0%6127.7%40493270835.4%11.620.3%1.64
SFJauan Jennings49246.5%29153.7%6111.7%37457146614.7%8.324.1%1.79
DETJosh Reynolds59665.5%37261.1%5913.9%38479369822.2%11.819.3%1.57
ARIRondale Moore43481.0%26136.8%5622.9%41414129818.0%5.320.3%1.5
TENTreylon Burks37758.2%24348.2%5417.9%33444164227.4%11.921.8%1.79
MIATrent Sherfield63258.7%38662.4%539.7%30417254511.0%10.715.5%1.27
NENelson Agholor45548.4%28248.6%5312.4%31362261219.2%11.524.8%1.69
TBJulio Jones36847.1%24031.1%539.8%31373361720.4%14.723.2%1.65
LARAllen Robinson55090.8%35660.5%5214.9%33339346420.8%8.919.8%1.29
DETDJ Chark51870.8%33154.4%5213.7%30502380030.3%15.417.7%1.71
PHIQuez Watkins65157.7%37765.0%5110.5%33354346211.2%9.115.7%1.09
NYGIsaiah Hodgins46379.6%22639.9%5117.1%41456537726.7%920.6%1.72
TENNick Westbrook-Ikhine74675.2%39378.0%5012.3%25397363519.6%12.714.7%1.17
PITChase Claypool43686.3%28446.8%5017.4%32311152721.9%10.515.2%0.95
GBRandall Cobb35744.1%24340.9%5012.0%34417145514.4%9.122.9%1.91
LVHunter Renfrow35460.1%28445.9%5015.2%36330235111.5%718.9%1.25
BALDevin Duvernay60268.7%32161.4%4912.5%37407343213.8%8.817.2%1.43
NEKendrick Bourne42444.3%28749.5%489.8%35434147613.1%9.919.4%1.76
CARTerrace Marshall62176.2%30361.5%4715.0%28490157223.4%12.216.7%1.74
ARIA.J. Green52752.1%34448.5%479.4%24236250114.5%10.718.2%0.91
NEDeVante Parker51767.1%30452.4%4712.5%31539372527.0%15.418.5%2.12
NETyquan Thornton50265.6%31454.1%4512.3%22247260023.6%13.319.4%1.06
LARVan Jefferson48677.8%27947.4%4416.9%24369368534.2%15.621.9%1.84
SEAMarquise Goodwin39850.8%28245.6%4210.0%27387444514.7%10.615.3%1.41
CHIDante Pettis50250.6%25358.2%4113.0%19245338013.5%9.318.0%1.07
CARShi Smith46047.2%30361.5%4110.5%22296234312.0%8.412.0%0.87
HOUPhillip Dorsett44249.6%27244.3%408.8%20257144413.5%11.116.8%1.08
TBScotty Miller25322.7%18724.2%408.3%23185045715.2%11.425.3%1.17
NOJarvis Landry28756.4%19836.0%3914.4%25272136413.6%9.322.2%1.55
CHIEquanimeous St. Brown53557.3%23153.1%3813.1%21323147518.6%12.521.6%1.84
CLEDavid Bell49346.7%28949.7%357.8%2421402476.5%7.113.1%0.8
LARTutu Atwell30039.8%16928.7%3511.4%18298158525.8%16.727.3%2.33
KCJustin Watson47443.4%27140.2%345.5%15315260613.7%17.813.0%1.21
NORashid Shaheed29241.9%18233.1%3411.2%28488238815.9%11.420.2%2.9
KCMecole Hardman28152.5%18527.4%3410.8%25297427112.3%816.3%1.43
DENKendall Hinton43157.2%27042.7%339.4%2431102619.6%7.912.5%1.18
KCSkyy Moore29728.6%15823.4%336.9%2225002337.2%7.123.1%1.75
NOMarquez Callaway38244.9%18433.5%3210.1%16158136714.1%11.521.1%1.04
NYJBraxton Berrios28626.7%17726.5%326.6%1814501985.1%6.219.9%0.9
LARBrandon Powell28428.5%12721.6%328.2%241560391.4%1.227.1%1.32
CARLaviska Shenault20226.5%8617.4%3211.6%272721-28-1.2%-0.923.0%1.96
NYGWan'Dale Robinson21855.5%12121.3%3119.0%23227117315.0%5.618.9%1.38
JAXJamal Agnew13613.4%8513.6%316.4%2418931654.9%5.538.0%2.37
BALRashod Bateman18049.1%11121.2%2917.3%14140036827.3%13.123.5%2.39
NOTre'Quan Smith38743.4%17231.3%289.5%15285230812.7%11.421.1%2.17
BUFKhalil Shakir29130.2%12721.0%276.1%1320612086.8%10.420.6%1.66
SFRay-Ray McCloud28125.3%16330.1%255.8%1321212789.9%11.118.7%1.81
NYJDenzel Mims26442.7%15623.4%258.1%14243130411.9%12.218.4%1.37
NYGSterling Shepard15680.0%8515.0%2528.2%11186023043.9%9.636.9%2.37
ATLDamiere Byrd30536.8%15233.9%248.3%13154145616.3%19.815.0%1.75
CINTrenton Irwin27943.7%18027.6%237.0%13268227212.0%11.813.9%1.4
PITSteven Sims27634.3%14523.9%238.4%1523141286.0%5.620.0%0.9
NYGMarcus Johnson30231.5%17330.5%2314.8%14104024225.6%1114.0%0.63
INDAshton Dulin21827.4%11617.5%228.7%13206026815.9%12.232.8%3.09
NOMichael Thomas13069.5%9918.0%2219.8%15207122317.8%10.122.2%1.73
LVKeelan Cole35240.2%23838.4%226.9%16171334212.2%16.312.1%0.81
LACMichael Bandy22329.3%13718.3%217.1%1014111849.6%8.817.4%0.74
ATLKhaDarel Hodge19018.8%7316.3%219.9%1089026012.2%1340.8%4.12
PHIZach Pascal32428.7%14725.3%205.3%1320211143.4%621.8%1.72
KCKadarius Toney10422.8%578.5%176.4%8620874.5%5.124.3%2.44

    

2023 Free Agents & Possible Cap Casualties 💰💰💰

Scheduled Free Agents

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Jakobi Meyers & Nelson Agholor

Mecole Hardman

DJ Chark

Allen Lazard

Darius Slayton & Richie James

Parris Campbell

Others: Marvin Jones, Jarvis Landry, Julio Jones, Mack Hollins, Olamide Zaccheaus, Noah Brown, Chris Moore, DeAndre Carter, Demarcus Robinson, Trent Sherfield, Dante Pettis, Randall Cobb, Sterling Shepard

    

Potential Cap Casualties

Michael Thomas

Kenny Golladay (would add up to $13.5 million in 2023 cap room)

Robert Woods (up to $13.75 million)

Adam Thielen (up to $13.4 million)

Corey Davis ($10.5 million)

Curtis Samuel (up to $10.6 million)

Tyler Boyd ($8.9 million)

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (up to $9 million)

DeVante Parker ($6.3 million)

Kendrick Bourne ($5.5 million)

Braxton Berrios ($5 million)

Robbie Anderson ($12 million)

Jamal Agnew ($4.75 million)

       

2023 Predictions & Rankings 🔢🔢🔢

2023 Fantasy MVP: Cooper Kupp

2023 Real-Life MVP: Justin Jefferson 

2023 Best Rookie: Jordan Addison

    

Too-Early 2023 WR Rankings (Full PPR)

  1. Justin Jefferson
  2. Tyreek Hill
  3. Cooper Kupp
  4. Ja'Marr Chase
  5. CeeDee Lamb
  6. Stefon Diggs
  7. Davante Adams
  8. Amon-Ra St. Brown
  9. A.J. Brown
  10. Jaylen Waddle
  11. DeVonta Smith
  12. Tee Higgins
  13. DeAndre Hopkins
  14. Keenan Allen
  15. Chris Godwin
  16. DK Metcalf
  17. Amari Cooper
  18. Chris Olave
  19. Garrett Wilson 
  20. Deebo Samuel
  21. Terry McLaurin
  22. Michael Pittman
  23. Jerry Jeudy
  24. DJ Moore
  25. Mike Evans
  26. Mike Williams
  27. Tyler Lockett
  28. Drake London
  29. Brandon Aiyuk
  30. Calvin Ridley
  31. Christian Kirk
  32. Christian Watson
  33. Diontae Johnson
  34. Treylon Burks
  35. Marquise Brown
  36. Jordan Addison (R)
  37. Quentin Johnston (R)
  38. Jahan Dotson
  39. Darnell Mooney 
  40. Jaxon Smith-Njigba (R)
  41. Courtland Sutton
  42. Rashod Bateman
  43. Jameson Williams 
  44. Michael Thomas 
  45. George Pickens
  46. Gabe Davis
  47. Jakobi Meyers
  48. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  49. Brandin Cooks
  50. Zay Jones

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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