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Fantasy WR Tiers 2022: Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase Are Dominant

Use this breakdown of the top fantasy wide receivers to make smart draft decisions.

We are inching closer to the start of the 2022 NFL season, and with that, we're seeing an obvious increase in the number of fantasy drafts. That makes it more important than ever to put your players into positional "tiers." Unlike my regular player rankings, which you can also find on Sports Illustrated, tiers group players of similar value together. So, if you miss out on a particular player, you can see others on his tier as an alternative.

UPDATED: September 5, 2022

Fantasy Tiers: QB | RB | WR | TE

Tier 1 – The Elite
Cooper Kupp, Rams
Justin Jefferson, Vikings
Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals

Kupp is coming off the greatest fantasy season of all time among wideouts, so you have to expect some regression. Still, even a six or seven-point drop per game keeps him in the top five. Jefferson could surpass Kupp as fantasy's top wideout with new head coach (and former Rams offensive coordinator) Kevin O'Connell now calling the shots. Chase, who is coming off one of the best rookie seasons ever among fantasy receivers, should continue to shine in what figures to remain a high-octane Cincinnati pass attack.

Tier 2 – High WR1s
Davante Adams, Raiders
CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys
Stefon Diggs, Bills

Adams drops a few spots moving from the Packers to Las Vegas, but he’ll remain one of the top receivers in fantasy land. Just don’t expect him to produce on the same level as he did the last few years in Green Bay. Lamb is my favorite breakout candidate in the world of fantasy football, as he’ll now be the unquestioned top receiver in Dallas. Diggs has been a top-7 wideout in two straight seasons and will remain the top option once again for Josh Allen

Keenan Allen salutes the crowd after a game.

Tier 3 – Mid to Low WR1s
Tyreek Hill, Dolphins
Deebo Samuel, 49ers
Keenan Allen, Chargers
Michael Pittman, Jr., Colts
Mike Evans, Buccaneers
A.J. Brown, Eagles

Samuel could see regression based on his breakout 2021 season, but he’ll remain a valuable asset while playing that “wide back” role in San Francisco. Hill will see a decrease in value in Miami, but I still have him begrudgingly ranked in the top 10 among wideouts. That might change, so keep checking back. Allen is a reliable and consistent point producer who should continue to thrive with Justin Herbert under center. Pittman, who finished 17th in fantasy points among wideouts last season, is one of my favorite breakout candidates. He should post career bests with Matt Ryan at the helm. Evans could push for mid-WR1 totals in fantasy leagues depending on whether or not Chris Godwin (knee) is limited to the start of the season. Brown figures to lead the Eagles receivers in targets, but how much more balanced will the offense be compared to last season? He's a risk-reward WR1.

Tier 4 –High WR2s
D.J. Moore, Panthers
Tee Higgins, Bengals
Terry McLaurin, Commanders
Diontae Johnson, Steelers

Moore likely won't reach WR1 status, but he's consistently been in the WR2 conversation and should benefit with Baker Mayfield under center. Higgins put up nearly 16 fantasy points per game last season, even as the No. 2 option behind Chase while in Cincinnati. McLaurin will benefit from Carson Wentz being under center, while Johnson has experienced a decline in value without Ben Roethlisberger.

Tier 5 – Mid WR2s
Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins
Courtland Sutton, Broncos
DK Metcalf, Seahawks
Allen Robinson, Rams
Mike Williams, Chargers
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions

Waddle might have been in the WR1 conversation had the Dolphins not added Hill, but he's still a WR2 option. Sutton and Robinson are bounce-back candidates in the stat sheets. Metcalf was once considered a WR1 in fantasy football, but the loss of Russell Wilson and a questionable quarterback situation make him a low WR2 at best. St. Brown was a league winner in the second half of last season, but the Lions have more mouths to feed heading into 2022. Williams is coming off a career season and remains a strong No. 2 option in most leagues.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14)

Tier 6 – Low WR2s
Brandin Cooks, Texans
Gabe Davis, Bills
Marquise Brown, Cardinals
Adam Thielen, Vikings
Chris Godwin, Buccaneers
Darnell Mooney, Bears
Michael Thomas, Saints

Cooks has long been one of the more underrated receivers in fantasy football, and he'll remain the top option in Houston. Brown could be a star in Arizona until DeAndre Hopkins returns from a six-game ban. Mooney will now be the true top wideout in Chicago with Robinson in Los Angeles, and Thomas is back from missing most of the last two years due to an injured ankle. Davis is a prime  breakout candidate, and Godwin is coming off an ACL but appears good for Week 1. He'll be picked as a WR2 in larger leagues, but I'd prefer him as a No. 3 to alleviate risk.

Tier 7 – High WR3s
Rashod Bateman, Ravens
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chiefs 
Jerry Jeudy, Broncos
Amari Cooper, Browns

Bateman should benefit from the absence of Brown, who was traded to the Cardinals and left behind a near 25% target share. He has WR2 upside in Baltimore. Jeudy, much like Sutton, will be a more valuable cog in the fantasy machine with Wilson under center. He'll be a WR3 in most drafts. If Smith-Schuster can avoid injuries, he could be the best fantasy wideout in Kansas City this season. He's a risk-reward WR3 option. Cooper's value is based on the status of Deshaun Watson, who will miss the first 11 games due to a league-imposed suspension. 

Tier 8 – Mid WR3s

Elijah Moore, Jets
Hunter Renfrow, Raiders
Drake London, Falcons
Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks

I'm expecting Moore of Elijah in New York, as he could become the best fantasy wideout in the Big Apple. Renfrow should still have some value in Las Vegas even with Adams in the offense. Remember, new coach Josh McDaniels loves to use slot men (Wes Welker, Julian Edelman). London should lead the Falcons wideouts in targets as a rookie, even in a questionable passing attack. Lockett loses plenty of luster without Russell Wilson. 

Tier 9 – Low WR3s

Allen Lazard, Packers
Robert Woods, Rams
Devonta Smith, Eagles
Christian Kirk, Jaguars
DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals*

Lazard could be the top option in Green Bay for superstar Aaron Rodgers. Woods projects as the top option in Tennessee, and Aiyuk has reportedly looked great in 49ers training camp. Hopkins will be a WR1 for the Cards and fantasy fans, but he’s out for the first six weeks. Smith loses much of his luster with Brown now in Philadelphia, while Kirk moves up a bit as the new top option in the pass attack for the Jags.

Tier 10 – High WR4s

Isaiah McKenzie, Bills
Jakobi Meyers, Patriots
Chris Olave, Saints
Michael Gallup, Cowboys 
Tyler Boyd, Bengals
George Pickens, Steelers
D.J. Chark, Lions

This tier includes many players who have a chance to outperform their draft position, including McKenzie, Olave and Pickens. Gallup won't be put on the PUP list, which is good news for his long-term value and makes him worth a draft and stash. Chark could be a value pick in Detroit while Jameson Williams (knee) is out of action. 

Tier 11 – Mid WR4s
Jahan Dotson, Commanders
Russell Gage, Buccaneers
Chase Claypool, Steelers
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Chiefs
Kadarius Toney, Giants
Skyy Moore, Chiefs
Treylon Burks, Titans
Rondale Moore, Cardinals

The wide receiver position is deep, so there are some decent deep sleepers even this late in drafts. Burks, who has received mixed reviews in camp, could be worth a late pick to stash away until his role in the Titans offense becomes clear, at least for 2022. The Chiefs and fantasy fans are hopeful that one of MVS or Moore can exceed expectations, and Moore could see a bigger role for the Cardinals with Hopkins out for the first six weeks. Claypool could be usurped by Pickens as the No. 2 wideout in Pittsburgh, making the rookie an attractive late-round option. Toney has struggled with injuries (again) and has seen his sleeper stock decline in recent weeks.

Tier 12 – Late Fliers

Wan'Dale Robinson, Giants
Jarvis Landry, Saints
DeVante Parker, Patriots
Garrett Wilson, Jets
Romeo Doubs, Packers
Nico Collins, Texans
Jalen Tolbert, Cowboys
Kenny Golladay, Giants
K.J. Osborn, Vikings
Mecole Hardman, Chiefs
Marvin Jones Jr., Jaguars
K.J. Hamler, Broncos

This tier fields some good talent that could pop at times this season but might also lack the consistent production needed to be a regular fantasy starter. Doubs has seen his stock increase in camp, and Collins is a nice late rounder as a No. 5 wideout. 

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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!