The 2022 fantasy football season was full of twists and turns resulting in one of the wildest fantasy football seasons ever. If this fantasy football season taught us something, it’s that anything can happen. We saw the #1 projected player disappoint fantasy owners along with other high valued players. We’re breaking down 5 players who were drafted in the earlier rounds that were the biggest busts of the fantasy football season. We intentionally excluded players who missed significant time to injury such as Trey Lance.
Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts
In most leagues, Jonathan Taylor was the consensus #1 overall fantasy pick after a breakout campaign in 2022. The Colts offensive line was injured this year and the play from whoever was starting at quarterback was dismal. Taylor missed a few games due to injury, but even outside of that, he was sitting outside the top 10 fantasy running backs in most weeks he played. Taylor was a big bust if you drafted him at the #1 overall spot.
Kyle Pitts – Atlanta Falcons
After Travis Kelce & Mark Andrews, the #3 tight end spot seemed to be locked up by Kyle Pitts who was heavily favored to have a breakout year, unfortunately he did everything but that. He regressed in his 2nd year going from over 1,000 yards receiving in his rookie season to less than 400 this past year. Pitts was drafted as high as the 3rd round with people looking to get a tight end with Andrews & Kelce both off the board already. Pitts was a huge letdown for a lot of fantasy owners who drafted him, wasting one of their crucial round picks.
Russell Wilson – Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos pulled off a blockbuster trade to acquire Russell Wilson in the off season giving up a lot of draft capital in the process. The Broncos ended up being one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2022 and that 1st round pick they gave to Seattle is a top 5 pick. The Seahawks got the better end of the deal and made the playoffs with a lot of optimism for their future. The Broncos not so much as Russell Wilson looked like one of the worst trade deals in NFL history. Wilson was just outside the upper echelon of quarterbacks in fantasy, but this year, he took a huge slide down with his successor in Seattle, Geno Smith being over 10 spots higher than he finished.
Diontae Johnson – Pittsburgh Steelers
A trendy WR#2 pick in this past year;s draft as Johnson was coming off a career high year in 2021 setting new career marks for receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Johnson was supposed to be the clear wide receiver 1, but once Pickett stepped into the starting quarterback role, George Pickens was where his eyes went to more often than not. Johnson saw less targets and failed to score once on the year. This was surprising even after Chase Claypool was traded and George Pickens missed some time with injury, Johnson just did not get those red zone targets and went from projected WR #18 to WR #37 in ½ PPR formats for the year which is a big step back for someone who is coming off a 1,000 yard plus campaign.
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
Another running back drafted early who didn’t live up to their ADP was Alvin Kamara. Kamara was a late 1st, early 2nd round pick and was very boom or bust throughout the year. We’re used to Kamara having boom games, but his floor is usually much higher, whereas this year it was awful. Kamara had 7 games scoring single digit points in ½ PPR formats which is not the Kamara we’re used to seeing. Kamara scored a career low 4 combined touchdowns on the season which is the same amount of lost fumbles he had on the year. Coming into this season, he only had 2 fumbles lost in his career and fantasy owners who had Kamara went through a lot of pain with the fumbles and lack of scoring plays this year.