Two Bengals land in top fantasy wide receiver tier in 2022
By Kristen Wong
It’s never too early to start planning for fantasy football, and these two Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver will be worth drafting early.
Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins each enjoyed an illustrious 2021 season under the arm of Joe Burrow, finishing first and second respectively in team receiving yards. It should come as no surpise, then, that Chase and Higgins are touted to be two of the most coveted fantasy wideouts in 2022.
Pro Football Focus’ Dwain McFarland recently ranked the top wide receivers in fantasy football for 2022 and picked Chase and Higgins as a cut above the rest.
In his analysis, McFarland considered factors such as target pedigree, offense quality, and passing volume and created several layered tiers to categorize players. Chase belonged in the highest, 1A, while Higgins landed not far behind in 1C.
"Ja’Marr Chase posted the second-most points per game (18.0) for a rookie behind another LSU Tiger — Odell Beckham Jr. (24.8 over 12 games). His target share isn’t as high as Kupp and Jefferson, but he doesn’t have to, thanks to his explosive play rate. No other receiver brings a more potent combination of downfield prowess and ability to generate yards after the catch (YAC) to the table than the second-year receiver.Tee Higgins will challenge for targets, but the Cincinnati Bengals have an ascending offense projected for a good season behind a top-six ADP quarterback in Joe Burrow."
Bengals’ trusty slot guy Tyler Boyd ranked at 4C with the likes of Jaguars’ Christian Kirk and Broncos’ Tim Patrick.
Cincinnati Bengals have two of the most productive fantasy wideouts in 2022
Though fantasy success doesn’t always translate to real-life success, it’s refreshing to see Chase and Higgins get higher marks than, say, Tyreek Hill or Deebo Samuel, two uber-talented wideouts who nonetheless will feature in a sub-par passing attack in 2022.
Whereas both Hill and Samuel will have to adjust to new quarterbacks, Joe Burrow remains the steady franchise signal-caller for Cincinnati and could enjoy an even more impressive Super Bowl-contending campaign in hopefully his second full season in the league.
Much ink has already been spilled on Burrow’s undeniable connection with Chase, yet Burrow has also helped buoy Higgins’ performance as Higgins recorded career-bests in receptions (74), receiving yards (1091), and catch rate (67.3 percent).
When defenses start to double-team Chase, as many did at the end of the 2021 season, Higgins could turn into the team’s most underrated star with more open looks and more scores.
There’s no doubt that Chase is the Bengals’ WR1 after his historic rookie season, but if he’s off the board early in fantasy (which he likely will be), Higgins isn’t a bad second option.
Here’s to another year of offensive dominance from Burrow and his elite cohort of pass-catchers.