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Fantasy soccer – Will Cooper Kupp repeat as high WR in fantasy?

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Cooper Kupp is coming off a historic marketing campaign, having set single-season information together with his 439.5 PPR and 294.5 non-PPR fantasy factors in 2021. He scored 20-plus PPR fantasy factors on a record-setting 14 events and reached the 30-point plateau a record-tying six occasions. Kupp additionally had a large influence on the Los Angeles Rams‘ Tremendous Bowl championship run, totaling 45 catches on 64 targets for 625 yards and 7 touchdowns in 4 playoff video games.

Taking all of that into consideration, it comes as no shock that Kupp is nearly universally considered fantasy soccer’s No. 1 broad receiver coming into 2022. As nothing has dramatically modified together with his circumstances, it is a valuation that is sensible.

Now, permit me to upend your first-round planning: I see each a really real looking chance that Kupp won’t solely fail to complete 2022 as fantasy’s WR1, however that he additionally shouldn’t be the primary broad receiver chosen.

Fantasy soccer’s large three broad receivers

Getting into 2022, there is a clear high tier on the broad receiver place: Kupp, Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. Kupp’s accomplishments listed above simply earn him a spot on this group, whereas Jefferson and Chase each completed ranked No. 4 (330.4) and No. 5 (304.6) in WR PPR fantasy factors final season, are 23 and 22 years outdated, respectively, and are the No. 1 targets in pass-friendly offenses.

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Tristan H. Cockcroft explains why Justin Jefferson is loads price your whereas within the first spherical of fantasy drafts, contemplating his position-leading potential.

Nonetheless, Jefferson stands out because the one who might unseat Kupp in 2022. He scored extra factors by means of his first 33 NFL video games than any broad receiver outdoors of Odell Beckham Jr. and Randy Moss for the reason that 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Jefferson additionally practically topped the place in PPR fantasy factors throughout the second half of final season. Here is a comparability of how Kupp and Jefferson carried out in fantasy in Weeks 10-18:

Kupp: 8 G, 204.1 FPTS (1st), 89 targets, 31.7% goal share
Jefferson: 9 G, 197.7 FPTS (2nd), 99 targets, 34.4% goal share

That’s the form of utilization that may gas a 400-point, 17-game fantasy marketing campaign, and Jefferson brings traits that give him one of many highest statistical ceilings of any broad receiver. He paced all NFL gamers with 2,082 air yards and was second within the league with 16 finish zone targets, issues that underscore his position as each a big-play receiver and his means to tempo the place in touchdowns.

Chase, in the meantime, is coming off a season wherein he totaled the second-most PPR fantasy factors by any rookie broad receiver (304.6). His 17.9 factors per sport was the sixth most amongst of any receiver in historical past who performed at the very least 10 video games. He flashed outstanding chemistry with quarterback Joe Burrow and broke out late within the 12 months with a 55.6-PPR-point masterpiece in Week 17 and 25 catches on 35 targets for 368 yards in 4 playoff video games.

Equally to Jefferson, Chase brings big-play means to the desk; his 9.0 yards after the catch per goal price throughout the season’s second half was the third greatest amongst certified broad receivers. His 13 finish zone targets for the season have been additionally tied for fifth on the place. Whereas it could be a stretch to count on Chase to leap to the highest of the broad receiver leaderboard, Jefferson’s substantial leap in his sophomore season final 12 months reveals that it may be completed.

Kupp’s prospects of a repeat

One of many strongest arguments towards Kupp repeating as fantasy’s WR1 is his harm historical past. He was restricted to solely eight video games in 2018 due to a torn left ACL that prematurely ended his 12 months, and in 2020 he missed one regular-season sport whereas on the COVID-19 listing and one other throughout the playoffs due to a knee subject. In whole, Kupp missed 14 of 70 video games mixed between the common season and postseason in his first 4 years within the NFL.

A 29-year-old with extra mileage on him, Kupp stands a barely larger likelihood at extra missed time than both Jefferson or Chase, who each have but to overlook an NFL sport.

Easy regression to the imply, too, may work towards Kupp. Final season, he grew to become solely the 18th broad receiver for the reason that merger to common at the very least 22.5 PPR fantasy factors per sport whereas taking part in in at the very least 10 video games within the given 12 months. Of the earlier 17 gamers, 10 noticed their level totals decline by at the very least 80 the next season, and solely Jerry Rice (1994-95), Terrell Owens (2000-01), Odell Beckham Jr. (2014-15), Antonio Brown (2014-16) and Davante Adams (2020-21) managed a 300-point marketing campaign of their follow-up seasons — be aware that solely Adams had a 17-game season.

These names give hope that Kupp might attain the 300-point plateau once more in 2022, however is 400 a sensible chance? The group noticed its per-game common decline by 5.0 PPR fantasy factors per sport within the follow-up 12 months, a price that, if Kupp matches, would place his last 2022 whole at 353.3. As is, we have projected him for a position-best 310.8 factors, that means we count on a great deal of regression as is.

So far as the expertise surrounding him, the Rams added Allen Robinson II to a strong group of receivers that already included Van Jefferson and tight finish Tyler Higbee. Robinson may’ve disillusioned in 2021, however he has three seasons of 150-plus targets and 250-plus PPR fantasy factors (2015, 2019 and 2020), and offers QB Matthew Stafford one other skilled wideout. Ought to Robinson rebound considerably, Kupp may lose a bit of his league-leading 192 targets, which have been 22 greater than anybody else within the league had.

The upshot is that not one of the large three broad receivers ought to be considered the flawed choose, at the same time as a first-rounder. The catch is that I see all three as equally legitimate, high-floor choices who’ve the most effective odds of any broad receiver at pacing the place in fantasy factors.

I do rank Kupp as my No. 1 broad receiver coming into 2022, as the vast majority of folks do. Coming off a historic season, with one of the crucial pass-friendly offenses within the league, the chances assist his candidacy greatest. But when I see Kupp go the choose earlier than me within the first spherical — and am not excited by any of the working backs on the board — I would not be afraid within the slightest to go for Jefferson or Chase.

In spite of everything, I’ve these receivers ranked fifth, sixth and eighth general, and a part of me is terribly tempted to select Jefferson first from this group due to his upside.

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