Now that your 2022 fantasy football draft is over, what do you do next? Well other than find another draft to take part in, that is. The real answer is to begin looking ahead towards Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season. That means the beginning of roster management as well as processing what is taking place during NFL training camp this summer. Part of that is combing through the NFL waiver wire, and while you do not want to overreact, you do want to be proactive when and where possible. So let us take some time to take a look at some early NFL waiver wire targets, or late round NFL draft targets. 

The scope we are working off of, is the 370 NFFC drafts that reached completion between July 21st and August 20th and the player population we are digging through has an ADP of 175 or later. In 12 team leagues, that means they are not selected before round 15, on average, if they are selected at all. It is possible, and quite frankly the hope, that we see these players duplicated in this space after Week 1, so let’s take a look at some early NFL waiver wire names to know.



Waiver Wire Quarterbacks

Kenny Pickett, PIT; ADP – 274

Being a quarterback in the NFL is not easy and doing it as a rookie makes things that much more difficult. We do not want to draw conclusions strictly from the pre-season, but Pickett’s career has gotten off to a strong start; albeit running being Mitchell Trubisky on the depth chart. But is anyone really scared of Trubisky? For any questions surrounding Pickett, he also has the most upside and the best surrounding talent of any other signal caller in this range. This is a pick for the long run though, or at least not Week 1, but the rookie is a name to keep an eye on. 

Jared Goff, DET; ADP – 207

If you are looking for a “boring” option to help out in the quarterback department, Goff could very well be that player as the 23rd signal caller coming off the board. He had a pedestrian start to his career in Detroit last year with 3,245 passing yards while throwing 19 touchdowns along with eight interceptions. While he is never going to truly light up the scoreboard, it was about 700 yards less than a year prior. The Lions are still not ready to really be a playoff team, but they are moving in the right direction and the talent level around Goff is improving. 


Waiver Wire Running Backs

Isiah Pacheco, KC; ADP – 189

Things are getting insane here. The rookie, Pacheco was selected in the seventh round this April, has been shooting up draft boards with a large amount of velocity. Pacheco’s ADP for all of draft season is 237, but with a minimum pick of 85 it is becoming increasingly clear that he is not going to come cheap. We know all about the firepower offensively in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes running the show, but how much can we trust Pacheco? And, perhaps more importantly, at what cost? I would say that it is safe to assume Pacheco has already surpassed Ronald Jones, and can we really trust Clyde Edwards-Helaire? While Pacheco is still playing behind the later running back, the rookie has also been on the field with Mahomes so far this preseason and even though the in-game results have not been exceptional, he has looked that way in training camp which is the source of the buzz. Once waivers run in all leagues, it would not surprise me to see Pacheco rostered in all leagues, and the only question here is how high is your risk tolerance in a crowded backfield as, after all, he is still just a rookie.

Hassan Haskins, TEN; ADP – 211

For those of you that drafted Derrick Henry, the price of Haskins means you can handcuff your first round pick for free. By all indications, Henry is fully healthy and slated for another strong season, but should that situation change, it is a clear path to playing time for the rookie and Haskins is readily available in a good number of leagues. We do not want to draw too many conclusions from the pre-season, but Haskins has been solid, and busy, to this point with 18 carries for 58 yards through two games with five receptions for 37 yards. It is very possible Haskins sits on your bench, or the waiver wire, all season but it is also possible he becomes a valuable commodity very quickly.

Rex Burkhead, HOU; ADP – 275

It is possible Burkhead only has value for one week, or not at all, but at this price risk is not a factor. All, and I mean all, of the buzz is surrounding Dameon Pierce this summer in Houston, but it might be foolish to overlook the veteran. Based on the fact that Pierce has received glowing training camp reports while also being kept under wraps in the preseason to this point, all indications are that he will play a vital role in Houston’s backfield early on this year. However, he is a rookie, and there is a learning curve. To some extent, Burkhead will still be involved, and after rushing for 427 yards last season while adding another 186 yards through the air, he could be the source of some sneaky value if Pierce struggles early on.



Waiver Wire Wide Receivers

Alec Pierce, IND; ADP – 177

To be honest, the initial thought was to look at players above pick 200, but I really wanted to include Pierce here, so 175 it was. The rookie receiver has already found a way onto a few of my rosters, so I am hoping this is not a jinx situation but Pierce’s price has risen substantially since April. Pierce is slated to start opposite Michael Pittman to begin the season, and with Matt Ryan now under center for the Colts, it should be a much-improved passing offense. While Pierce has been running with the starters, Parris Campbell is still hanging around on the depth chart, but the onus is more on the former to simply produce. With that being said, it should not be surprising that Pierce has had a fleeting role so far this preseason with three receptions for 36 yards. 

Romeo Doubs, GB; ADP – 182

We have another rookie here, and Doubs has potentially both a higher ceiling and a lower floor. The price here has become increasingly more costly, his ADP for this sample peaked at 103 on August 20th, and whether you will be bidding on Doubs this season likely depends on when your draft was this off-season. The reports from training camp, and his work with Aaron Rodgers, have not exactly been glowing and while the Packers are in need of receiving help, it is unclear whether or not the rookie has the trust of his veteran quarterback just yet but right now, I would answer with a no until we see otherwise. Doubs does have big play potential though and he has made some noise with Jordan Love this summer six passes on 12 targets for 69 yards with a touchdown in each game so far in the pre-season. 

KJ Hamler, DEN; ADP – 211

Between the season ending injury to Tim Patrick and Hamler’s return from the PUP list earlier this month, his ADP has risen in a corresponding fashion. Oh, and did we also mention that Hamler will now have Russell Wilson as his quarterback? Hamler only caught five passes last season before tearing his ACL, after he had 30 receptions for 381 yards in his rookie season, and to this point he has looked good in practice. The real test will come when Hamler immerses himself in full team work but there is still enough time prior to the start of the season and he should be in a strong position as defenses focus on Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy


Waiver Wire Tight Ends

Robert Tonyan, GB; ADP – 202

Stop me if you have heard this before, but someone has to catch passes from Aaron Rodgers this season, and after all he is still a pretty good quarterback. Tonyan was insanely inefficient in 2020 as he caught 52 off his 59 targets for 586 yards, and most importantly, 11 touchdowns. Before tearing his ACL in Week 8 last season, Tonyan took a step back catching 18 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and all indications are that he is fully healthy for the upcoming season. While it would be foolish to expect a repeat of 2020’s performance, someone does have to replace Devonte Adams’ production from last year. 

Hayden Hurst, CIN; ADP – 207

While we do not want to base our decisions solely on training camp reports and buzz, the early news surrounding Hurst was positive as he looks to replace C.J. Uzomah in a strong Cincinnati offense. Hurst has not consistently been given a chance to carry the load in his NFL career, and that was quite evident last season after Atlanta drafted Kyle Pitts. Two seasons ago though, Hurst had a solid performance with 56 receptions for 571 yards and six touchdowns. That puts him in the TE2 conversation, but if things go well in the best offense Hurst has ever been a part of, he could be a borderline TE1 by the end of the season. 


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