Fantasy football rankings 2022: Top 20 quarterbacks in your draft

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Fantasy football rankings 2022: Top 20 QBs in your draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Go ahead and look at who won your fantasy football league last season. There's a very good chance they had an elite quarterback atop their roster.

Of the 10 highest-scoring players in fantasy last season (half-point PPR), eight were quarterbacks. If you drafted an elite QB like Josh Allen, Justin Herbert or Patrick Mahomes, you likely reaped the benefits with a deep playoff run.

Drafting a QB isn't easy, however. It's arguably the deepest position in football, so there's a strong argument to wait until the later rounds to find value in a player like Matthew Stafford, who had an average draft position of 81 last season but was the fifth-best fantasy QB in football, per FantasyPros.

Then again, if you wait too long to draft your quarterback, you risk having a below-average player at the most important position on your roster.

So, what's the right QB balance to strike in 2022? We're here to help. Here's our ranking of the top 20 fantasy quarterbacks for the 2022 season, with projected draft rounds for each player.

USA TODAY Sports

1. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Bye Week: 7)

The best player in fantasy football in 2021 appears primed for a repeat. While Allen didn't top the charts as a passer last season -- he ranked eighth in passing yards and seventh in passing touchdowns -- he was a game-changer on the ground, amassing 763 rushing yards with six TDs. The addition of Jamison Crowder should help Allen in the passing game, so as long as he stays on the field, the dual-threat All-Pro should be a lock as a top-three QB in 2022.

Projected draft round: Third

2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye Week: 8)

Mahomes lost the NFL's most explosive wide receiver this offseason in Tyreek Hill, and it may take time for him to develop chemistry with new wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. But the former NFL MVP has been a top-five fantasy quarterback in three of the last four seasons (the only exception being his injury-affected 2019 campaign) and we expect that trend to continue into 2022.

Projected draft round: Third

3. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (Bye Week: 8)

Herbert enjoyed a breakout sophomore season in 2021, leading the AFC in passing yards (5,014) and passing touchdowns (38) with a respectable 302 rushing yards to boot. With plenty of weapons at his disposal and a strong offensive line in front of him, Herbert has the potential to vault Mahomes as the No. 2 quarterback in fantasy this season.

Projected draft round: Fourth

4. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (Bye Week: 10)

You can question Jackson's decision-making all you want after his career-high 13 interceptions in just 12 games last season. But his rushing ability automatically makes him a top-five QB if he's on the field for at least 15 games. The 25-year-old put up back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 2019 and 2020, and the return of No. 1 running back J.K. Dobbins should dissuade teams from loading up to stop Jackson on the ground.

Projected draft round: Fifth

5. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week: 7)

See above. Hurts led all NFL quarterbacks last season with 10 rushing touchdowns in addition to 784 yards, and he now has a new No. 1 wide receiver in A.J. Brown. Hurts still isn't the most polished QB, but he should have the ball in his hands a ton this season and rack up the fantasy points as a result.

Projected draft round: Sixth

6. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (Bye Week: 13)

Are you sensing a trend? Unless you're targeting a QB who will flirt with 5,000 passing yards, the safe bet is a guy who can run. An ankle injury limited Murray's effectiveness in the running game last season, but he rushed for 819 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2020 and could approach those numbers in 2022 if he avoids a major lower-body injury. There's definitely top-five potential here.

Projected draft round: Sixth

7. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bye Week: 11)

Don't sleep on the GOAT, kids. Brady led the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns last season at age 43. We're expecting a slight regression in 2022 if Rob Gronkowski indeed is retired for good, but that would still land Brady in the top 10 after he was the No. 3 quarterback in fantasy last year.

Projected draft round: Eighth

8. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Bye Week: 10)

The world got to see Joe Burrow's potential last season when he led the Bengals to the Super Bowl. The fantasy community got to see that Burrow should be a consistent top-10 fantasy QB for years to come, thanks in part to his bevy of weapons led by reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase. With a full season under his belt, Burrow could make a Herbert-like leap in 2022.

Projected draft round: Eighth

9. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Bye Week: 9)

Prescott lost a four-time Pro Bowler this offseason in Amari Cooper. That's the bad news. The good news is that the Cowboys appear committed to throwing the ball under offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, as Prescott has tallied 596 passing attempts in each of his last two healthy seasons. Prescott may not break into the top five, but he's a safe bet for the back end of the top 10.

Projected draft round: Ninth

10. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos (Bye Week: 9)

Wilson is the biggest wild card in the top 10 following his move from Seattle to Denver. The Broncos deployed a conservative offense in 2021 that ranked 24th in pass attempts and have a relatively pedestrian receiving corps. But an AFC personnel evaluator told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler that Denver is "tailoring" its offense around Wilson, so we could see Wilson returning to QB1 status after finishing 16th among fantasy QBs last season.

Projected draft round: Ninth

11. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (Bye Week: 7)

The Stafford-Sean McVay marriage appears to be a perfect match, as the former Detroit Lion amassed 41 passing touchdowns last season while leading the Rams to a Super Bowl title. The departures of Robert Woods and Odell Beckham Jr. aren't insignificant, however, and teams likely will load up to stop catching machine Cooper Kupp in the passing game. We wouldn't be shocked if there's a slight Super Bowl hangover in L.A.

Projected draft round: Ninth

12. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Bye Week: 13)

Speaking of significant departures... Rodgers lost his go-to wideout in Davante Adams, leaving him with a wide receiver group topped by Allen Lazard and newcomer Sammy Watkins. It seems like blasphemy to rank the back-to-back NFL MVP outside of the top 10, but sometimes fantasy differs from reality.

Projected draft round: Ninth

13. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (Bye Week: 6)

Don't underestimate the Josh McDaniels effect in Las Vegas. Carr has a new No. 1 target in Davante Adams and a head coach who spent nearly two decades with the greatest quarterback of all time in New England. Carr ranked fifth in the NFL in passing yards last season, so if he can increase his touchdown total, he has top-10 fantasy potential.

Projected draft round: 10th

14. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (Bye Week: 7)

Let's face it: Cousins isn't the most exciting QB to have on your roster. But he's a pretty safe bet for 4,000-plus yards and 30-plus passing touchdowns, and he was the No. 11 QB in fantasy in both 2020 and 2021. If you invest in other positions early in your draft, Cousins is a smart late-round pickup who can put up fringe QB1 numbers.

Projected draft round: 10th

15. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (Bye Week: 9)

If Wilson is the biggest wild card in the top 10, Lance is the biggest wild card on this list. The expectation is that San Francisco will move on from Jimmy Garoppolo and hand the keys to its second-year QB in 2022, and Lance's running ability gives him top-10 upside. Then again, we saw him complete just 57.7 percent of his 71 pass attempts as a rookie. High risk, high reward here.

Projected draft round: 11th

16. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (Bye Week: 11)

Will this be Tagovailoa's breakout year? We've heard that narrative for two years, but now the Alabama product has Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle at his disposal. If there was ever a time for Tua to elevate to QB1 status, it's this year, so he might be worth a flier in the later rounds. Just be prepared for the possibility of another down year.

Projected draft round: 11th

17. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (Bye Week: 11)

Lawrence led all rookie quarterbacks in pass attempts last season, and now he has a competent, offensive-minded head coach in Doug Pederson. Add Christian Kirk and a healthy Travis Etienne to the mix, and we could see Lawrence flirting with the top 15, mostly thanks to a high volume as the Jaguars play catch-up with their opponents.

Projected draft round: 11th

18. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (Bye Week: 14)

Fields had a predictably bumpy rookie year in Chicago, in part due to a mediocre supporting cast and an uninventive offense. The supporting cast still isn't great, but new head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy should put Fields in better positions this season. His threat to run makes him a solid QB2.

Projected draft round: 12th

19. Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts (Bye Week: 14)

After languishing on a 7-10 Atlanta Falcons team without Calvin Ridley last season, Ryan will benefit from a move to Indianapolis, which has a rock-solid offensive line and a strong running game that will open up the passing attack. Ryan probably isn't cracking the top 10 at age 37, but he's more than serviceable as a QB2 or backup QB1.

Projected draft round: 12th

20. Mac Jones, New England Patriots (Bye Week: 10)

Is Jones ready to make the Year 2 leap? On the one hand, the 23-year-old went from offensive wizard Josh McDaniels to Matt Patricia and Joe Judge as his de facto coordinators. On the other, he has a full season under his belt and a full training camp to prepare after spending his rookie preseason battling Cam Newton for the starting job. If newcomer DeVante Parker produces and tight end Jonnu Smith can provide some production at tight end, we like Jones as a QB2 with upside.

Projected draft round: 12th

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