College Football Draft Kit: 2022 Wide Receiver Fantasy Rankings

College Football Draft Kit: 2022 Wide Receiver Fantasy Rankings

This article is part of our College Football Draft Kit series.

2022 College Football Draft Kit: Wide Receiver Rankings

Our Draft Kit rolls on with a look at the top receivers for the upcoming season. In 2021 we were treated to unbelievable performances from players who were under the radar before the season, such as Jerreth Sterns, Jameson Williams, Deven Thompkins and more. We have a loaded position group coming back for this season, headlined by Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba. However, you can find elite fantasy talents in all corners of the country from Tuscaloosa and Columbus to San Antonio and Mount Pleasant. Below, you'll find our other college fantasy football content to help you gear up for the 2022 season in addition to detailed writeups for the top wideouts in the country courtesy of the RotoWire College Football staff.

2022 College Fantasy Football Draft Kit

2022 College Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings and Outlooks

1.) Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Smith-Nigba's 347-yard, three-touchdown performance in the Rose Bowl gave a glimpse of what this offense will look like with him as the lead receiver and the Chris Olave-Garrett Wilson combo gone. He won't do that every week, of course, but JSN notched five straight 100-yard games to end the season while competing for targets. Now he will be the focal point for C.J. Stroud, and while the Buckeyes have promising options behind Smith-Njigba, he is Option A in what will be the most explosive passing offense in college football. Smith-Njigba is the slam dunk WR1 this year. -John McKechnie

2.) Jordan Addison,  USC

The Biletnikoff Award winner made waves with his decision to transfer and now he links up with Caleb Williams to form one of the most dangerous tandems in college football. Addison racked up 100 catches for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns at Pitt last year on a 30 percent target share. It's worth noting that USC has more receiving depth and talent than Pitt did and Lincoln Riley's offense tends to spread the ball around more, so while Addison should still put up WR1 numbers for fantasy managers, he may not have the target monopoly he enjoyed in 2021. -John McKechnie

3.) Xavier Worthy, Texas

For Worthy to come in as a true freshman and establish himself as the clear alpha among a talented Longhorn receiver group is plenty impressive. He led the Big 12 in receiving touchdowns with 12 and came up just short of 1,000 yards. What's scary is that Worthy can easily reach another level in 2022. He enters this year as the clear No.1 and won't have to work his way into that role. There's also the reality that Texas' upgraded quarterback situation with Quinn Ewers at the helm will take the offense to new heights. Worthy won't last much past the first round in drafts. -John McKechnie

4.) Cedric Tillman, Tennessee

Tillman was proof that the Josh Heupel offense can work in the SEC as he erupted for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns on 90 targets after entering the year with just eight career grabs. Quarterback Hendon Hooker is back in the fold and Velus Jones is gone, so Tillman's target share could climb even higher while having the potential for even sharper quarterback play while enjoying a favorable team context that pushes the pace and takes shots downfield. Put another way, Tillman is the No. 1 for the most explosive offense in the SEC outside of Alabama. Does that interest you? -John McKechnie

5.) A.T. Perry, Wake Forest

Perry managed to record 15 touchdowns on 135 targets last season despite competing heavily with Jaquarii Roberson for targets. Roberson is now gone, leaving Perry with room to push for upwards of a 30 percent target share in the most up-tempo offense in FBS with a talented veteran quarterback, Sam Hartman, at the helm. Donavon Greene returning will threaten defenses on the other side of the field, allowing Perry and his 6-foot-5 frame to continue to be a monster with high target volume and touchdown upside. Everything is in place for another huge year from Perry. -John McKechnie

6.) Jayden Reed, Michigan State

While Reed posted a solid campaign in his first year with the Spartans during 2020, he broke out last season with Payton Thorne at the helm, amassing 59 grabs for 1,026 yards and 10 touchdowns while sporting a sizable 26.8 percent target share. This turned up a notch down the stretch, with Reed amassing at least 10 targets in each of the last six games. With another offseason to work with Thorne on the horizon, there's reason to anticipate another jump in Reed's production, albeit not as large an increase as last year. -Chris Benzine

7.) Nathaniel Dell, Houston

Dell is coming off a breakout 2021 with 90 grabs, 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns with a 32 percent target share and he reunites with quarterback Clayton Tune. Can he repeat it, though? Houston was over-reliant on Dell as no other pass-catcher had more than a 12 percent share. The Cougars have now bolstered their pass-catching depth. Dell's target dominance may regress slightly, but there's a chance his per-target efficiency ticks up as defenses will have to worry about containing other talented wideouts. Dell remains an elite fantasy receiver despite some regression risk. -John McKechnie

8.) Jalen Cropper, Fresno State

Cropper has been one of the nation's most productive receivers over the last three years and now he goes into his senior year paired with a fifth-year quarterback (Jake Haener) who just threw for 33 touchdowns. Cropper was Haener's clear lead target even in a deep group of pass catchers, as Cropper's 85 receptions led the team by 23 and his 11 touchdowns were seven more than the next closest player. Cropper is also a menace on gadget plays, making him a candidate to produce in ways other than receiving. -Mario Puig

9.) Kayshon Boutte, LSU

A lot has gone wrong for LSU since its 2019 title run but Boutte is not on that list. Boutte dominated as a true freshman and was on his way to another huge season with nine touchdowns in six games before suffering an ankle injury. He had a second procedure on the ankle this spring so his health will need to be monitored over the summer, but provided that he's ready to go by fall camp, Boutte will be the alpha of the LSU receiving corps and there's hope for improved quarterback play with either Jayden Daniels, Garrett Nussmeier or a healthy Myles Brennan at the helm. -John McKechnie

10.) Zay Flowers, Boston College

The Eagle offense hit the skids after quarterback Phil Jurkovec suffered an injury and Flowers' production took a hit as a result. Flowers and Jurkovec were showing strong chemistry prior to the injury and it reignited when Jurkovec returned late in 2021. Jurkovec returning means the runway is clear for Flowers to have a full season with quality quarterback play. Flowers in his own right is a big play waiting to happen, having averaged 16.2 yards per reception over 122 catches through three seasons. A 1,000-yard season for Flowers is expected if the tandem stays healthy. -John McKechnie

11.) Parker Washington, Penn State  

Washington emerged as the heir apparent to Jahan Dotson's lead receiving role last season, when he turned in a promising 64 catches for 820 yards and four touchdowns on 91 targets. The Nittany Lions return Sean Clifford for another campaign under center, giving Washington the continuity under center that should benefit his trajectory heading into the 2022 campaign. Considering Washington's 9.0 yards per target outpaced Dotson's 8.1, he could have a huge season in store if he graduates to Dotson's level of target share (30.4 percent). -Chris Benzine

12.) Marvin Harrison, Ohio State

Harrison has a larger frame than his dad, but he sports a similar ability to get himself open via his route-running abilities. Harrison began to make his own mark last season, capped off by a three-touchdown contest against Utah in the Rose Bowl. With Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson headed for the NFL, Harrison may be the primary candidate to fill a starting void behind Jaxson Smith-Njigba. As part of a lethal Buckeyes offense that returns C.J. Stroud at quarterback, who produced 4,435 yards and 44 passing touchdowns last season, Harrison could have a big season in store. -Chris Benzine

13.) Zakhari Franklin, UTSA

Even at a smaller school like UTSA, Franklin's production over the last three years is quick to jump out. He's led the team in receiving production in each of his first three years, and now he heads into his senior season with a fifth-year quarterback (Frank Harris) fresh off a 27-touchdown season. Franklin has always been good, but 2022 could be the best version yet, even after a junior season that saw him catch 81 receptions for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns on 125 targets. -Mario Puig

14.) Jermaine Burton, Alabama

Burton transferred from Georgia to Alabama this offseason and now links up with Bryce Young and gets to play in a more explosive, high-volume passing game than he did in Athens. Burton's 2021 production was sapped by nagging injuries but his talent is undeniable when healthy. With Jameson Williams and John Metchie gone, there are tons of targets up for grabs at Alabama and Burton is a prime candidate to take on a heavy share. Alabama of course has other talented options but Burton projects to be the No.1 target for Bryce Young, and that in and of itself is fantasy gold. -John McKechnie

15.) Myles Price, Texas Tech

There's a lot of intrigue surrounding the Texas Tech passing game this season with the brain trust that turned Western Kentucky into an offensive juggernaut in 2021 coming to Lubbock. The expectation is that the high-flying offense previously synonymous with Texas Tech will return and Price is at the front of the line. He averaged 10.5 YPT on 50 targets last season and with Erik Ezukanma gone, Price is set to lead this group. Fantasy managers can't expect Jerreth Sterns-level production from Price, but 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns are well within range. -John McKechnie

16.) Josh Downs, North Carolina

The graduation of Sam Howell is a bummer for Downs' 2022 projection, but Downs proved in 2021 that he's the real deal and capable of star-level play. He went over 100 receptions on a team where the second-leading target had 31 receptions, and his 1,335 yards accounted for 40.2 percent of the team's passing yardage – an extremely high figure. Downs saw double-digit targets in all but three of his 13 games last year, and a similar 2022 workload could be in store as Downs looks to seize the attention of NFL scouts. -Mario Puig

17.) Quentin Johnston, TCU

It's easy to overlook Johnston's production over the last two years due to its modest volume, but when accounting for age and team context Johnston's numbers begin to look highly promising. He led TCU in receiving production both his true freshman and sophomore seasons even despite competing against upperclassmen for targets and missing four games over that span. Johnston has the profile of a player who could get better quickly and without notice, although those previously mentioned upperclassmen wideouts (Taye Barber and Derius Davis) both returned for fifth seasons. -Mario Puig

18.) Donavan Greene, Wake Forest

A.T. Perry is set to be the leader of the receiving corps this season but Greene's return gives reason to believe that the Wake Forest passing attack will not drop off following Jaquarii Roberson's departure. Greene missed all of 2021 with a  knee injury but is ready to go this fall. In two seasons, Greene has caught 42 of 82 targets for 831 yards (10.1 YPT) with four touchdowns. There is more than enough room in Wake Forest's up-tempo, pass-happy system to support two high-level producers at receiver and Greene should be the Option B to Perry. -John McKechnie

19.) Stefan Cobbs, Boise State

The No.1 receiver in the Boise State offense has long been a staple as a top-end fantasy commodity and Cobbs appears to be the next in line to carry that tradition. Cobbs battled through injury for much of last season which sapped some of his effectiveness at times but he still managed 9.6 YPT and five touchdowns on 44 targets. Look for that target volume to spike towards triple digits this season, especially with Boise State's lack of experience elsewhere at receiver. Cobbs is a safe WR2 selection, just don't expect him to be available much past the seventh round. -John McKechnie

20.) Puka Nacua, BYU

Nacua was long considered to be the future of the Washington passing game but after two tough seasons there, he transferred to his hometown team and finally delivered on his promise with a breakout 2021. He caught 43 of 67 targets for 805 yards and six touchdowns in his first season in Provo despite competing for targets with more established players. Gunner Romney's return caps some of Nacua's fantasy upside, but it's still possible that he pushes closer to 80-90 targets while carrying his elite efficiency. Having Jaren Hall at quarterback certainly won't hurt, either. -John McKechnie

21.) Dallas Dixon, Central Michigan

Transitioning from a backup position to starting role can be a difficult adjustment, but Dixon should have to problem taking over as one of Central Michigan's top wide receivers in 2022. He is one of the most skilled wideouts returning to the Chippewas and this will help him acclimate to his more involved role with the team. Kalil Pimpleton and JaCorey Sullivan, both of whom have left the team, had a combined 1,647 receiving yards in the 2021 season, but Dixon was second on the team last year in both receiving yards with 701 and touchdowns with eight. Only time will tell if Dixon or transfer Carlos Carriere will be the top receiver on the team, but no matter the title, Dixon looks to be a promising offensive weapon for the Chippewas. -Alexa Rappaport

22.) Gunner Romney, BYU

Romney has been one of the top wideouts for BYU for years now, so his decision to return for a fifth season is one that can only benefit the team. Following the 2020 season he was expected to be the team's top receiver, but transfer Puka Nacua was eventually added and had a fantastic season complete with 805 yards, 43 receptions and six touchdowns. Romney totaled 594 yards, 34 receptions and three touchdowns in 2021, and while the receiving yards were lower than his junior year, he and Puka Nacua created a stellar offense for the Cougars. Romney has put up consistently high numbers throughout his career, so more of this production can be expected in his final year of collegiate eligibility. -Alexa Rappaport

23.) Tyrone Tracy, Purdue

Purdue's offense is unlike any other in the Big Ten as it relies on tempo, volume passing, and very little run game. This has fueled monster seasons for Rondale Moore and David Bell. Milton Wright was set to be the next man up before being ruled academically ineligible. Tracy, an Iowa transfer, could take up that mantle. It's important to weigh the downside though as Purdue has experienced talent within this system so Tracy may not ultimately get that kingmaker role, but the upside is undeniable if it is ultimately Tracy as the No.1. -Ryan Wollersheim 

24.) Keytaon Thompson, Virginia

Thompson has had one of the more unique career arcs for a college football player in recent memory, going from being a dual-threat quarterback at Mississippi State to a gadget player at Virginia in 2020 before breaking out as a slot weapon last season with 78 catches and six total touchdowns. A coaching change at Virginia invites some skepticism as it pertains to the Cavaliers maintaining the same foundation that made it a tremendous source of fantasy upside in recent years. Will Virginia continue its warp speed, pass-first ethos under new coach Tony Elliott? Thompson is still a viable WR2 in fantasy; his role is secure and he has the athleticism to be a difference-maker with his opportunities. Going over 100 targets again may be a tall order, however. -John McKechnie

25.) Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois

Perhaps best known for his 309-yard, three-touchdown performance under the bright lights of MACtion last fall, Rudolph is more than a flash in the pan. He notched a team-high 24 percent target share and was efficient with that volume at 10.4 YPT with seven touchdowns. Northern Illinois ranked 111th in pass attempts per game, but with such a high target share, Rudolph remains firmly on the fantasy radar. The one clear area for improvement for Rudolph would be consistency as there were some duds last year, but the fantasy upside is undeniable with his role and talent. -John McKechnie

26.) Rashee Rice, SMU

Few schools hit the transfer portal harder than SMU did at receiver this offseason, though Rice remains a constant for the Mustangs. Rice is the main holdover after catching 64 of 79 targets for 670 yards and nine touchdowns last season. With Danny Gray and Reggie Roberson gone, Rice projects as the top target in Highland Park and the SMU offense is as reliable as it gets in terms of passing production and volume. The new coaching hire, Rhett Lashlee, fits that ethos and Rice is now in line to challenge for strong WR2 production for his fantasy investors. -John McKechnie

27.) Luther Burden, Missouri

It's not often that Missouri beats out the likes of Georgia and Alabama for a five-star prospect, but that's what happened with Burden in this recruiting cycle. The offense has a healthy passing volume projection baked in (35 attempts/game) but few players with a claim to those targets. Keke Chism is gone and the leading receiver in 2021, Tauskie Dove, also had zero touchdowns. Burden may be the best player on the team already and anything less than a featured role would be surprising for him this year. Don't let Missouri's otherwise dour projection scare you off Burden. -John McKechnie

28.) Jacob Cowing, Arizona

Cowing is a transfer from UTEP, where he was an absolute menace for the past three years, but especially in 2021. Cowing averaged 11.8 yards per target while producing 69 receptions for 1,354 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games last year, a showing that he turned into a transfer opportunity to Arizona. Cowing arrives at the same time as Washington State transfer quarterback Jayden de Laura, who encouragingly threw for 23 touchdowns last year. Cowing's UTEP production implies the jump in competition will be no problem for him, especially if he has stable quarterback play. -Mario Puig

29.) Tyler Harrell, Alabama

While Jermaine Burton is expected to be the new No.1 for the Tide, it's not set in stone with talent like Harrell also in the mix. JoJo Earle and Ja'Corey Brooks will also have a say, but this transfer from Louisville checks a lot of boxes. Considered one of the fastest players in college football, Harrell comes in having averaged 29 yards per reception last year on an admittedly small sample of 18 receptions. A transfer with world-class speed having a chance to reach a new level alongside Bryce Young in an explosive Alabama offense, now where have we heard that before? -John McKechnie

30.) Broc Thompson, Purdue

Thompson put up pedestrian numbers as Purdue's fifth receiving option last season, but he should be poised for a bigger role after a historic bowl game performance to cap off the 2021 campaign. Though Thompson had to recover from offseason surgery on both of his knees, the senior wideout should be Purdue's top returning receiver alongside transfer portal additions Tyrone Tracy and Charlie Jones. The Boilermakers likely will lose their top four leading receivers from last season and will need to rely on a promising, yet unproven cast of pass catchers in 2022 as a result. Thompson stands to see his regular-season usage increase in the Boilermakers' prolific passing offense, which has churned out numerous top-tier receiving production under head coach Jeff Brohm over the past few seasons. -Ryan Wollersheim

31.) Dante Wright, Colorado State  

Wright took a bit of a back seat to tight end and eventual second-round NFL draft pick Trey McBride, but it wasn't that long ago that Wright as a true freshman outproduced McBride in 2019. Wright has quietly been one of the nation's best receivers in general the last three years, and with McBride out of the way, Wright could finish his college career with his best season yet. That's particularly true with the arrival of coach Jay Norvell, who helped make Nevada a high-powered passing offense in recent years. -Mario Puig

32.) Isaiah Neyor, Texas

Another noteworthy transfer with a chance to perform on the big stage, Neyor comes to Texas by way of Wyoming where he averaged 20 yards per reception, which ranked second in the nation among receivers with at least 80 targets. He also had a 30 percent target share, which won't be the case in Austin. That concern is lessened by the fact that Texas will throw it much more than 36 percent of the time, as was the case at Wyoming. Neyor will at best be second fiddle to Xavier Worthy, but there's plenty of room for more than one receiver to produce in this offense. -John McKechnie

33.) Tyrese Chambers, Florida International

The quarterback situation at FIU is quite dreary, and the play at that position will likely hold back Chambers in some sense. It's also possible that Chambers posts big numbers even after incurring whatever penalty the quarterbacks present. Chambers has an age advantage over the field and a skill advantage over his C-USA competition, so he should be in good position to either maintain or build on last year's box score of 45 receptions for 1,074 yards and nine touchdowns on 79 targets. -Mario Puig

34.) Konata Mumpfield, Pittsburgh

Pitt will look a lot different this year with Kenny Pickett, Jordan Addison and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple gone. That creates opportunity for some new blood to get a shot, though, and the offense should remain potent with transfer Kedon Slovis at the helm. Mumpfield comes to Pitt by way of Akron, where he racked up 751 yards and eight touchdowns amid otherwise awful conditions with the Zips ranking 119th in yards per play. He won't be gifted the No.1 role, but Mumpfield's Akron production suggests there is more potential to be unlocked with better team context. -John McKechnie

35.) Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia

The same concerns about Virginia's offensive philosophy that were mentioned in Keytaon Thompson's outlook also apply to Wicks. There's no denying Wicks was a league-winning type of pick last year with 57 catches for 1,203 yards and nine touchdowns while maintaining a dominant 12.7 YPT mark. Quarterback Brennan Armstrong is back, which should safeguard against a major regression from Wicks. However, expecting Wicks to replicate or improve on last year's number is an aggressive expectation based on the schematic changes coming to Charlottesville. -John McKechnie

36.) Isaiah Williams, Illinois

Williams is a former quarterback who thrived in his new role as a receiver last year with 47 catches for 525 yards and four touchdowns. There's room for improvement in terms of catch rate for a slot receiver (56 percent) but that's to be expected with a player switching to a new position. Even with the learning curve, it's extremely encouraging that Williams led the team in target share (26 percent). With some improvement due to experience and some better quarterback play from Syracuse transfer Tommy DeVito, Williams could be a force, especially in PPR formats. -John McKechnie

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Chris Benzine
Chris is a sports editor for various sports on the site and also a consistent contributor in the college sports arena.
John McKechnie
John is the 2016 and 2021 FSWA College Writer of the Year winner. He is a Maryland native and graduate of the University of Georgia. He's been writing for RotoWire since 2014.
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
Ryan Wollersheim
2022 University of Wisconsin graduate and blind lover of all things college football. Also an unbiased observer of NFL, CFB, NBA and CBB for all teams not located in the cheese capital of the world.
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