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2022 fantasy football

Decisions, Decisions: Inventory

by Mike Tulanko

Moving into Week 17, you are either one of two people left standing in your league or you are not. 

Either way, this is a great time of year to take inventory and start calibration for the 2022 fantasy season. Grab paper and something to write with. This will work for you no matter if you play redraft or dynasty. Let’s tabulate!

What Went Well?

The first offer of business is to figure out what went well for you. Even if you ended the season outside of the playoffs, something went well. All you have to do is figure out what that was. 

If only what went wrong seems to come to mind, write ALL of those things down on a separate piece of paper. Make sure you get it all out. Leave no stones unturned. Got it all? Great! Stand, put that piece of paper on your seat, sit down on it. We are done with that for now. Time to think about what went well – Below are some suggestions of things that may fit in this category.

  • What players did you pick in the early rounds that delivered on the high stock you placed in them?
  • When you tried out some new strategies for drafting this year, where did it go right? 
  • What trades benefitted both teams and ultimately made yours a better one?

What Will You Change?

Once you have tackled what went well, it’s time to focus on change. This is not a beat-up session for yourself. It’s an opportunity to fix what you deem broken. This prompt is also a chance to bring that paper back out from under your booty and think about it constructively. 

We could talk about what is and is not constructive for a long time. That sounds like another column though. For now, frame this year’s shortcomings as opportunities for expanding your mind or process – below are some suggestions of things that may fit in this category. These are set up as such:  

(Problem) Question to ask about it. 

(I drafted a quarterback too early this season) How can I identify good targets at quarterback who will be available later in the draft next year? 

(My star players are very boom-bust and they can’t seem to get on the same page) What resources can you use to gauge consistent output to avoid this next year?

Shout out to Bob Lung and his yearly guide – It’s a great place to start. 

(My league mates seem to have very similar strategies to me) Where can I learn some new strategies and processes and how to implement them?

Who Will Exceed/Return Value Next Year?

One favorite bit of strategy for yours truly is to learn what players my league mates don’t find appealing, yet have high potential for delivering results. Then, target those players. Flashy names are always nice to have. Yet, it’s the players that seemingly nobody gets excited about that can help you yield superior results. 

Here are some players to think about as we move forward. Let the “unsexiness” commence!

Decisions, Decisions: Unsexy Names to Target in 2022

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, Detroit Lions)

We got a glimpse of the spark in him during the early season. Cut to Week 16 results:  Amon-Ra St. Brown has been nothing short of awesome for the past few weeks. 

If you are in the championship round and can get him, do it! St. Brown gave us plenty to think about in the preseason and has risen to claim the crown of top wide receiver in Detroit. He should be considered as a 1A-1B in the passing game with T.J. Hockenson in 2022. 

For dynasty purposes, one should wait until at least the second week of the NFL playoffs for the dust to settle on St. Brown and the Lions. Even post-NFL draft would be a fantastic time to make the move – assuming you have that kind of patience. 

If you aren’t in the championship, this exercise in waiting will allow players to forget about what we have seen recently. Redraft players should expect to grab him at a mid to mid-late round next year and reap the benefits of an otherwise “unsexy” point-getter. 

Hunter Renfrow (WR, Las Vegas Raiders)

Hunter Renfrow has made a name for himself in a year when we expected big things out of the second-year Vegas receivers. Before, during and after the major drama of this 2021 season for the Raiders; one thing remained constant:  Hunter Renfrow. 

Similar to St. Brown, expect people to cool off on him after the season ends. Especially, when the Raiders miss the playoffs. While you will be looking around mid-round (or slightly earlier at best) for him in redraft next year, it’s best to grab him right after Vegas signs or drafts another “big” receiver in the off-season when playing dynasty. 

This will allow people to quickly forget that he is a WR1/2 by the end of this season. Renfrow has carved out a role for himself similar to Jarvis Landry in Miami and it feels like he is here to stay. 

The Injured Reserve (IR) Crew (RB, a few teams)

What do Travis Etienne, J.K. Dobbins, and Cam Akers have in common? If they are on a dynasty team headed for the playoff finals, it’s not too late to get them on your team. 

Fantasy is a “what have you done for me lately” game. Cash-out on an older running back and take a gamble on one of these younger players. If you are playing redraft, remember these names next season. You will find them a round or two later than they were drafted this year. All of them are highly talented. All of them could give you the spark you need at the RB position – especially if you are waiting on the position. 

Use the same principles you see above and tell me who you think will be an “unsexy” player that will pay back dividends for you next year. Be sure to write that name down and go get them!

Make today a great day! And don’t forget to be awesome (DFTBA)!


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