June 13, 2022
BY Lance Cartelli

10 Fantasy Football Players to Buy/Sell Before 2022 NFL Season

The 2022 NFL season is almost here, so it's time to start thinking about your fantasy football team if you aren't already. 

Whether you play in a dynasty or keeper league, the key to long-term success is knowing when to buy or sell valuable assets -- such as studs like Cooper Kupp, Deebo Samuel, Aaron Rodgers and Jonathan Taylor, among others. 

We're making life much easier for fantasy football managers by deciding which players you should sell high and which stars you should acquire at a discount. 

Here are 10 players you should consider buying or selling before it's too late. 

Cooper Kupp (SELL)

Cooper Kupp is coming off one of the greatest statistical seasons in the history of the wide receiver position and just signed a fat new contract that ties him to the Rams for 5 more years, but I am absolutely selling. 

He’s about to turn 30 and there’s almost no way he can duplicate what he just did. He’s hitting that age cliff and I don’t want to be the one stuck holding the bag. He’s obviously great for a win-now team but if you’re not competing you absolutely have to sell.

Deebo Samuel (SELL)

Deebo Samuel’s still young at just 26 and coming off an incredible season that was really only outdone by Kupp at the wide receiver position. But to me, he’s a clear sell at this point. 

Here are six — yes, six! — reasons why: 

  1. He’s had only one year of elite production
  2. He’s had a history of injuries - and worrisome injuries to the lower body and feet. He’s built like a running back so he puts a lot more weight and pressure on his feet and I don’t see that aging well. 
  3. He still has that trade request out there. If he does get traded, he’s probably getting a downgrade on offense
  4. He reportedly no longer wants the Wide Back role where he’s a receiver and running back. That hurts his in-season value and his floor. 
  5. We dont know how much the 49ers will pass in Trey Lance’s first year as starter. They could be extremely run heavy. 
  6. There are a lotta mouths to feed on a low-volume passing game. Brandon Aiyuk is out of the doghouse and is apparently having his best offseason. George Kittle is healthy and Jauan Jennings has emerged as a reliable #3 receiver. 

So, yeah, I’m selling. 

Saquon Barkley (BUY)

Saquon Barkley is just 25, he’s had back-to-back years practically ruined by injuries and he’s now in a new offense that doesn’t utilize RBs and with a new regime that didnt draft him, but i’m absolutely buying Barkley. 

He’s now two years removed from the torn ACL which is usually when players get their athleticism and explosion back. The Giants don’t really have much depth behind him, there are a ton of questions at receiver and I think he’s finally got a creative play caller who should use him in the right ways. 

Barkley’s rookie year was incredible and I don't see why he wouldn’t be able to come close to that now. He’s got top-5 RB potential. I’m buying. 

Aaron Rodgers (SELL) 

Aaron Rodgers finished last season as QB6 and the #11 overall player in fantasy, but the Packers passer is just QB17 on KeepTradeCut’s dynasty ranking. And I’m still selling. 

Rodgers is nearly 40 and just lost his #1 receiver Davante Adams. Green Bay replaced him with a couple of rookies and now his top threat is undrafted Allan Lazard. 

While Rodgers should still have a strong season, I think the Packers will rely more on the running game and the b2b MVP will play more conservatively especially since GB has arguably the best defense in the NFL. 

The Packers will rely on that defense and the run game. It’s time to sell Rodgers while you can still get a decent return. 

Jonathan Taylor (SELL) 

This is a tough one. Jonathan Taylor is entering just his third season in the league. And at just 23, he’s easily the RB1 in dynasty. But that’s why he’s a sell — at the right price, of course. 

Taylor’s value cannot possibly go up. He’s never going to be younger than he is today. Unfortunately, that’s true for all of us. And he can’t be valued higher than RB1. 

The history of RBs repeating RB1 years is few and far between, too. 

Not to mention, there are already reports that the Colts want to limit Taylor’s touches to keep him fresh. And Nyheim Hines is a legitimately good weapon which will limit Taylor’s impact in the passing game, which is where running backs really up their value. 

I do think Taylor will have an impact in the passing games — especially with Matt Ryan as his new starting QB. But, if you’re not competing, it’d be smart to move Taylor for a bounty of picks or a guy like Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase. 

Javonte Williams (SELL) 

Here’s another one I was on the fence about. Javonte Williams was rated as high as RB2 in KeepTradeCut’s rookie dynasty rankings this past offseason until the Broncos re-signed Melvin Gordon, which dropped him down to #4. 

Williams was certainly impressive in his rookie year, but I think he’s slightly overhyped and I love selling players on hype, so — shocker — I'm selling him. 

The second-year back is now part of an upgraded offense with Russell Wilson under center. Unfortunately, Wilson isn’t much of a check-down guy and that’s not exactly where Williams excels. Williams is clearly a tough runner who can break tackles with the best of them, and he should flirt with double-digit touchdowns this year just based on the upgraded offense. But he’s probably not going to gain a ton of value in the near future. 

He’s in a timeshare and doesn’t catch a ton of passes. I’d be a lot more bullish if Gordon wasn’t there. In college, Williams was part of a timeshare and that just might be the kind of back he is. And that’s not a RB2 or RB4 value for me. 

Mark Andrews (SELL)

Here’s another one that will surprise you: I’m selling (again). 

Mark Andrews absolutely destroyed over the second half of the season last year, so why would I sell an elite TE who will turn 27 right before the season starts? 

He’s another guy I just don’t see his value rising. He had a perfect storm last year which led to his incredible season. 

The Ravens transformed into a pass-happy team last year after injuries to pretty much every running back on their roster, including JK Dobbins. Then once Lamar Jackson got hurt, backup QB Tyler Huntley fed Andrews week after week. But, with Jackson, it was Marquise Brown who was really dominating. I know Hollywood is gone and the Ravens have Rashod Bateman and almost nobody else, but I still can’t see Andrews duplicating his production from a year ago. 

I expect the Ravens to be extremely run-heavy with their lack of weapons. Andrews will stay a top-five TE, but at 27, this is a great time to sell him at his peak value. 

Russell Wilson (BUY)

I went back and forth on this one. You could probably talk me into either buying or selling him, but I think I’m buying. 

Wilson was bad at times last year and there’s certainly a question if Wilson has peaked and is now on the backside of his career. That’s even more likely for a QB who relies so much on his athletic ability. But the Broncos offense might be too talented to fail. 

Despite playing with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf last year, Wilson gets a big upgrade on offense. The Broncos are stacked at every position on offense with players who fit Wilson’s strengths. 

There’s also the possibility that Denver lets Russ Cook. Him going from a slow, run-heavy offense to one that will potentially allow him to do more could be a huge upgrade for fantasy. 

At 33, Wilson could be in his prime for another five years, too. I’m buying if I need a QB to chase a chip. 

Jaylen Waddle (BUY)

Jaylen Waddle was fantasy gold last year. The rookie receiver played a much different role than many expected as he was more of a chain-mover than a deep threat, which proves that the former Alabama receiver is much more than a speed guy. 

And now he’s going to get a huuuuge upgrade on offense with new coach Mike McDaniel taking over. Of course, the Dolphins added some major competition at pass catcher with Tyreek Hill and Cedric Wilson entering the mix, but I’m still buying Waddle. And hopefully at a discount after the Tyreek addition. 

Waddle is young and should excel in the short passing game that the Dolphins will implement. He might not have the ceiling now that Tyreek is in South Beach, but, at his age, he’s still a big buy. You might have to be patient to see Waddle fully hit his potential, but he’s the kind of guy a rebuilding team should target. 

Justin Fields (BUY)

Here’s one of my favorite buys, even if it comes with some serious risk. 

Justin Fields has been put in a position to fail, which is not what you want for a talented second-year QB. And there’s a legitimate chance that he’s on the outs in Chicago after this season. But I can’t deny his talent. 

The dude is built to be a fantasy stud. 

He’s an accurate deep passer who plays with aggression and is already one of the better scramblers at QB. 

It’s going to be a tough year for Fields, but if he can overcome with the front office has provided him then Fields has a bright, bright future. 

The Bears will also probably be one of the worst teams in the league, which means Fields will have to do even more and play from behind. That’s exactly what you want in a fantasy QB who can run. The Bears might win four games, but Fields should flirt with being a QB1. If not, another team will take a chance on him in the future. 

With all the negativity surrounding him and the Bears, Fields is a great buy at the right price. 

Photo: Getty Images