1.  
RB  IND
Rush Att
338
Rush Yds
1621
Rush TD
15
Rush Avg
4.8
Rec
45
Rec Yds
359
Rec TD
2
Rec Avg
8.0
After a solid rookie season that finished with a bang, expectations were high for Taylor coming into 2021, and he exceeded them by a mile. He won his first of potentially many rushing crowns, and he nearly lapped the field doing it, as the 552-yard gap between Taylor and second-place Nick Chubb was the largest since 2009. Taylor's the total package as a runner, showing power, agility, vision and speed, but it's the latter trait that puts him over the top among his peers. He posted three of the five fastest top speeds recorded on touchdowns last year, including an NFL- best 22.13 mph on a 67-yard scamper Week 15 against the Patriots. The power and agility were highlighted by his 2.6 yards per carry after contact, good for third in the league. If there's a flaw in his skill set, it's that Taylor isn't a natural receiver out of the backfield, but the Colts have Nyheim Hines to handle those duties, and Taylor is still capable of contributing. Indianapolis' elite offensive line showed a couple cracks in 2021, and some natural regression could be coming for Taylor's league-leading 89 red-zone carries (more than 40 ahead of second-place Austin Ekeler), but the addition of Matt Ryan to replace Carson Wentz at quarterback shouldn't change the focal point of Frank Reich's offense. Expect Taylor to see big volume again in 2022 and consistently burn defenders with those touches.
2.  
WR  MIN
Rec
106
Rec Yds
1541
Rec TD
10
Rec Avg
14.5
Rush Att
6
Rush Yds
34
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
5.7
On a per-target basis, Jefferson's second NFL season (9.7 YPT) wasn't quite as dominant as his first (11.2). But that's nitpicking; the bigger picture shows he added 42 targets from the previous year and was still one of the most efficient wideouts in the league. Only 11 produced more yards per target, and that includes four who saw 70 or fewer passes. Jefferson finished fourth among WRs in targets and catches, second in receiving yards and tied for sixth in touchdowns. The 23-year-old often makes it look easy, seemingly playing both bigger and faster than his on-paper metrics suggest (6-1, 195, 4.43 40, 37.5-inch vertical). From a fantasy standpoint, there's just as much to like, with Jefferson playing in an above-average offense that has enough weapons to keep defenses honest but nobody to challenge him as the go-to guy. Jefferson surpassed Adam Thielen for that honor mid-2020, and while the 31-year-old Thielen scored 10 touchdowns last year, he saw 2.5 fewer targets per game than his young running mate (9.8 to 7.3). If anything, the split could go even more in Jefferson's direction this year, though there is another variable with new head coach Kevin O'Connell arriving from the Rams. Other than that, stability is the story, with QB Kirk Cousins and RB Dalvin Cook joining Jefferson, Thielen and TE Irv Smith to form one of the league's more well-rounded groups of skill-position players.
3.  
WR  LAR
Rec
111
Rec Yds
1469
Rec TD
10
Rec Avg
13.2
Rush Att
5
Rush Yds
32
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
6.4
Kupp became the second receiver in NFL history to catch 145 passes in a season, the second to reach 1,900 yards, the fourth in the last 55 years to win the triple crown and the eighth to win Super Bowl MVP. He did all that in one season, breaking out at 28 after being a fourth- or fifth- round pick in fantasy leagues. The question now is whether he can live up to the new price in Round 1. The argument against him, apart from regression to the mean, centers around Kupp's pre-2021 profile (that of a good player, not a dominant one). While concerns about his 4.62 40 or small-school college career are distant memories, Kupp's mediocre 2020 stat line isn't. A QB upgrade from Jared Goff to Matthew Stafford was a big part of the story, but Kupp himself took a huge step forward. His catch rate (75.9 percent) was a career high, and 10.2 YPT was his most for a full season by a full yard. To post those efficiency numbers while being targeted on 31.3 percent of routes (third highest among WRs) is impressive, to say the least. Also impressive? Leading the league in YAC (894) whilst ranking second in completed air yards (1,051). Or, leading the league in yards from out routes (296) and also placing second on crossing routes (346) and third on posts (258). Kupp has coach/QB stability, playing in a Sean McVay offense that annually ranks top 10 (and usually top 5) in neutral-situation pace and pass rate. If nothing else, Kupp is set up nicely for the second-best season of his career.
4.  
Rush Att
248
Rush Yds
1062
Rush TD
8
Rush Avg
4.3
Rec
86
Rec Yds
683
Rec TD
4
Rec Avg
7.9
For the second straight year, injuries derailed what might have been a tremendous season for McCaffrey. The 25-year-old played seven games in 2021 and only saw more than 40 snaps in four of them, but in those four contests he averaged 4.8 yards per carry and over 150 scrimmage yards per game. McCaffrey remains the premier pass-catching back in the league while still being dangerous on the ground, and those skills were still in evidence last year. His 2.3 yards per carry after contact was comparable to the likes of Javonte Williams and Aaron Jones, and McCaffrey broke a tackle every 8.3 carries on average, a better rate than Nick Chubb or Najee Harris, albeit with much less volume. None of the injuries McCaffrey has sustained appear to be chronic, so it's possible his luck will turn for the better in 2022. The Panthers added D'Onta Foreman in the offseason to give them another depth option aside from Chuba Hubbard, who didn't impress as a rookie, but if McCaffrey is on the field he'll still dominate the backfield touches and snaps. Apart from health, his biggest concern at this point is the overall quality of the Carolina offense with either Baker Mayfield at quarterback.
5.  
WR  CIN
Rec
92
Rec Yds
1430
Rec TD
10
Rec Avg
15.5
Rush Att
7
Rush Yds
41
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
5.9
Chase enjoyed one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history last year, instantly proving worthy of the No. 5 pick. Reports from training camp about repeated drops became a distant memory before long ... even though he ultimately committed a league-high 11. The Bengals aren't complaining, in light of the damage Chase did on his 81 catches, finishing second in YPT and YPR and third in YAC (651). He used 4.34 speed to beat defenders over the top — catching 15 of 34 deep targets for 576 yards and eight TDs — but he wasn't overly reliant on go routes, also posting efficient stats on shorter throws (he caught 48 of 62 targets within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, and 18 of 27 in the 10-to-19-yard range). If you're looking for negatives, Chase has serious competition for targets, namely from fellow wideout Tee Higgins, who technically got more looks per game than the rookie last year (7.8 to 7.5). But that also means defenses have two perimeter threats to worry about, making it all the harder to defend a monster like Chase. If anything, the offense might even take another step forward after Joe Burrow's 2021 breakout, with the team adding three O-line starters in free agency (C/G Ted Karras, G Alex Cappa, RT La'el Collins). That doesn't mean Chase will avoid regression on some of his loftier averages (e.g. 11.4 YPT, 8.0 YAC), but it does put him in great position to remain among the league's most efficient wideouts per target, with potential to add volume as well.
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