By Mikey Ostrowski

The off-season is one of the best times of the year for dynasty football players. It is filled with free agency, the NFL Draft, and a ton of speculation as to who “the next big thing” is.

I’ve put together a list of 5 wide receivers that definitely won’t be “the next big thing”, but they could add some much-needed depth and upside to your roster… for a very cheap price (and I recently did the same type of article with running backs as well… just in case you missed it)! All 5 of these players could be fairly volatile in 2022, but they’ve got as good of a chance as anyone to really increase their role and show out with some solid production. 

Olamide Zaccheaus (Atlanta Falcons)

As I write this, Zaccheaus is THE WR1 for the Atlanta Falcons in 2022. I can’t imagine it stays this way, but stranger things have happened. My guess would be that they draft a rookie receiver with pick #8 in the NFL Draft, but that would still bode well for Zaccheaus’ usage in 2022. Calvin Ridley is suspended, Cordarelle Patterson is currently a free agent, Russell Gage signed with Tampa… that offense is a mess. Not only is Zaccheaus going to be a beneficiary of those departures, but he’s also been tendered by the Falcons. This means that they want to protect him so badly that they want to give themselves the opportunity to match any offers he may receive in free agency. The chances of him being their WR1 by the start of the 2022 season are minimal, but it is in the realm of possibilities. At the very worst, Zaccheaus would likely slot in as the WR2 and become 3rd on the pecking order (Kyle Pitts and their rookie being #1 and #2). In an offense that will undoubtedly be playing from behind most games, Zaccheaus could have plenty of opportunities. According to KTC, he is worth a mid-4th round pick… or as I’d like to say “He’s pretty much free”.

Isaiah McKenzie (Buffalo Bills)

McKenzie recently re-signed with Buffalo and is the early favorite to replace Cole Beasley in the slot and that is great news for his fantasy stock. Josh Allen has featured his slot receivers many times in key situations and I’d expect him to keep building trust with McKenzie along the way. McKenzie has a small sample size but has most definitely proven that he can be productive for the Bills. In week 16 against the Patriots, McKenzie was forced into a large role for Buffalo and he did not disappoint. He balled out that week and caught 11 of 12 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. It was totally unprecedented, but he did prove that he belonged on that field and was given the extension by Buffalo this off-season as a result. I’m not saying that you’re going to be getting 20+ fantasy points from him every week, but there will be a handful of weeks where he receives 6 to 8 targets if the Bills do officially move on from Beasley. He’s another guy that should be virtually free in your dynasty league.

Donovan Peoples-Jones (Cleveland Browns)

DPJ has been one of my favorite guys to monitor over the last couple of years. I don’t know what it was about him, but I was extremely excited for him to enter the NFL and have been following him closely ever since. Before we get into it, I will warn you that he’s not exactly as cheap as the last two guys I’ve listed out, and is currently valued around pick #25 in those rookie drafts. Perhaps that price is too rich for your blood, but I think it’s worth it. DPJ will find himself in an expanded role in 2022, playing second fiddle only to Amari Cooper. Cleveland has been a run-first offense for a while now, but has been good enough to produce two solid fantasy receivers. In 2021, DPJ was listed as the 3rd/4th receiver on the depth chart but did manage 597 yards and 3 touchdowns. He had seen 5+ targets in six of the last seven games in 2021 and those numbers can only go up in the new campaign. He’s big, physical and should have a lot of pressure taken off of him if he gets to line up opposite of Cooper. At the young age of 23 (he’s played in two full seasons already), DPJ could be well worth that early 3rd-round pick.

Noah Brown (Dallas Cowboys)

Phew… the Cowboys sure are losing free agency right now. They’ve seemed to make bad decision after bad decision and that has me very concerned for them in 2022. However, one team’s loss is another man’s treasure, and Noah Brown may have lucked into the WR3 role in Dallas. Cooper is gone, Cedrick Wilson is out of there… that leaves Brown as the top receiver to play behind CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. I know you may be thinking “there’s not really anything sexy about the WR3 on an offense”, and that’s a fair concern to have… but you’ve gotta think it through. Dallas has continuously pumped out great fantasy assets over the last couple of years. In 2020, Dak Prescott supported three high-end fantasy receivers with Lamb, Gallup and Cooper. In 2021, he did it again (except this time Dalton Schultz was one of the top three names). In 2022… I fully expect him to do it again. Noah Brown has shown small flashes here and there, and while I’m not “blown away” with his abilities as a receiver, he could be worth a shot in the dark. He’s even cheaper than Isaiah McKenzie and Olamide Zaccheaus… hell, he may even be on your league’s waivers right now. Stash him away, he could be in line for a decent opportunity in the upcoming season.

Tim Patrick (Denver Broncos)

Tim Patrick is the man! Did you know that despite having 13 less targets than Courtland Sutton he had 3 more touchdowns and only 33 less yards than Sutton? Did you also know that Sutton’s price tag is currently a 1st round pick, while Tim Patrick can be picked up for a late 2nd-round pick or even early 3rd? Well, you know it now. Seriously though, Patrick is one of the best depth pieces to roster at the wide receiver position. He’s got a great quarterback coming to town in Russell Wilson, he’s arguably the top red-zone target in Denver and he’s proven over the last two seasons that he deserves to be a part of the game plan. Another interesting tidbit to mention is the receivers ahead of him. You may be thinking “yeah, well Patrick has no value when Sutton and Jerry Jeudy are both healthy” … well, not only are you wrong, but you also thought of the “big if” of “when healthy”. Sutton fought injury in 2020, Jeudy fought injury in 2021, and while I wouldn’t go as far to say that they are injury prone I would be remiss not to mention it. Those two haven’t been on the field a ton together over the last two seasons and if one were to miss any time… we’d be right back in Patrick SZN! At the end of the day, Wilson will be more than capable at producing three fantasy-relevant options at the receiver position, and I think that Patrick is a safe bet for his 3rd straight season of 50+ catches for 700+ yards and at least 5 touchdowns. If I am a contender and I need depth at receiver, I am 1000% reaching out to inquire about Tim Patrick.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with our latest articles, rankings and posts. Feel free to tweet at us or send us a direct message for any of those tough dynasty decisions and we’ll be more than happy to lend a helping hand. Thanks for reading, we’ll see you next time!