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2022 Saints Fantasy Football Outlook: QB Jameis Winston

After a strong start to 2021, Jameis Winston should finish as a top-10 quarterback play for Fantasy Football in 2022.

Jameis Winston's last NFL season in which he played at least 16 games was in 2019 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winston made NFL history that season, becoming the first player to toss for 30 or more touchdowns and interceptions in the same season. And though the Buccaneers failed to make the playoffs with the former Florida State standout at the helm, countless fantasy football teams were led deep in the playoffs by Winston.

In 2019 standard scoring leagues, Winston averaged nearly 21 points per week. Which was good for third best by all quarterbacks, trailing only Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson. His season was one of a true gunslinger as he became one of eight (now nine) players to toss for 5,000 yards in a single season.

Winston's play style is a fantasy football owner's dream. While his role has changed since he joined the Saints, he has proven his fantasy value and showed glimpses of elite fantasy play in 2021.

Reviewing Winston's 2021 Fantasy Football Season

Sep 12, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) throws during the first half Green Bay Packers at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In a small sample size, Jameis Winston reminded many why he was the first overall pick back in the 2015 NFL Draft and why so many relied on him to produce for their fantasy team over the years. Jameis started 2021 with a bang tossing for five touchdowns in Week 1 and finishing as a top-four scoring quarterback in fantasy football with 29.62 points.

However, Winston crashed back down to earth in Week 2 with a measly performance against Carolina racking in under 10 points. After back to back weeks hovering around 13 points per game, Jameis returned to top-10 form throwing four touchdowns against Washington and earning 25.76 fantasy points.

Following their bye week, the Black and Gold got just another game and a half out of Winston before he tore his ACL against Tampa Bay. The injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

Winston concluded 2021 playing in seven games, tossing 14 touchdowns to 3 interceptions and finishing with 117.4 fantasy points. In the injury shortened season he finished 33rd among fantasy quarterbacks. However, if Winston continued the season, based on his weekly average, he would have finished as the 11th rated fantasy quarterback for the season.

Outlook for Winston's 2022 Fantasy Football Season

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Less than eight months removed from ACL surgery, Winston returned to the field participating in New Orleans Saint mini-camp. Despite an obvious limp, which is to be expected after a major surgery, Winston impressed and is visibly excited to work with an upgraded wide reciever corps which includes newcomers Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry.

In 2021, New Orleans had the worst producing receiving corps in fantasy football with Marquez Callaway leading the way with 6.2 points per week in standard scoring. Injuries depleted the Saints a year ago and in his short run as the team's starting quarterback, Winston did not have many strong options outside of running back Alvin Kamara. This year however, he will have Pro-Bowlers in Jarvis Landry and Micheal Thomas, along with Olave, the best route runner in his draft class.

With more weapons and a full healthy season, Winston could easily jump into producing as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. Remember, he would have been just shy of that mark a year ago if he stayed healthy and would have done so with a much less talented group. 

There is no guarantee that Winston or his top target Micheal Thomas return to peak form in 2022. Frankly, with injuries of that magnitude, this is never a guarantee. But with continued built chemistry and a healthy rehabbing process, the Saints offense could be flying high this season with Jameis at the helm.

Winston is not high on a lot of draft boards and frankly will go in mid-late rounds in many up-coming fantasy drafts. If you are looking at a sleeper pick at quarterback or even a back-up that might eventually be your week to week starter, look no further than Winston.

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