This article is part of our Call of Duty series.
The Call of Duty League is back for the 2022-23 season. Reigning champions LA Thieves are running it back with the same roster while Atlanta FaZe look to find a championship, something that eluded them in the entirety of 2021. Fan-favorites OpTic Texas are hoping to send Scump off with a successful final season after he announced his retirement following the 2022 campaign, but many have pegged them as a solidly middle-tier team based on preseason results. With all of that in mind here's a look at some players to target and fade in Week 1 of Stage 1.
Players to Target
I couldn't start the 2022-23 season without mentioning reigning MVP Cellium. He's simply the perfect player for fantasy, he's nearly impossible to kill on the server and piles up the counting stats with some incredible gun skill. He's the top option until proven otherwise. He's still surrounded by elite talent that should open space for him to take over and shine.
Scrappy is perhaps the most hyped rookie to enter the professional Call of Duty scene since Simp in 2018. The reports about the massive favorite for Rookie of the Year from the preseason have indicated that Scrappy is everything he is hyped up to be. Toronto look like early contenders for the top spot in any preseason power rankings and Scrappy is worth targeting in all formats going into the first week of Stage 1. Scrappy will also have upside as he was specifically brought in to give Insight more freedom on the map, meaning Scrappy could be left in consistent power positions.
If I had to mention the reigning MVP I might as well mention the reigning Rookie of the Year, and one of the early frontrunners for an MVP title in 2022-23. Pred lit the league on fire for Seattle Surge and even though they had a disappointing finish at Champs, Seattle is running it right back. Pred and Sib are given more freedom to slay than any other duo in the world, although admittedly that's largely because Accuracy and Mack aren't very good. That doesn't matter for fantasy managers as long as Pred produces. Surge have had a mixed preseason, but until Pred and Sib have their roles changed they are both top-tier options heading into Modern Warfare II.
Players to Fade
Arcitys departed Atlanta FaZe and finds himself in the red - though with a caveat. There's two ways this season could go for Arcitys, with less talent surrounding him he may struggle to carve towards the top of the standings, such as his early days in eUnited. Of course the main AR has also shown the ability to step up and be a superstar carry himself when not required to be an in-game leader, similar to his showing for Chicago in Modern Warfare (2019). I'm putting him in the red due to his poor showings in 2022 - but there's a chance Arcitys is straight back into the blue for Week 2.
iLLeY is the in-game leader for OpTic Texas and was dropped alongside Dashy to open free agency... before being brought back due to community backlash? The OpTic offseason was strange to say the least, and the reports out of the preseason have been a divided camp, saying that the team wasn't even playing together until the final week before the season begins. Coming off a major injury and with all of this uncertainty surrounding him, it's impossible to trust iLLeY for fantasy purposes.
Prolute failed to slay out in a star-studded roster that was competing for titles in 2022 and now comes into Vegas Legion, a new-look roster still built around Temp. There's every chance this is the situation that finally works for Prolute, but I'd rather put him in red and be safe than bank on a Legion player to open the season. Prolute and Las Vegas Legion have had incredibly positive reports coming out of pre-season matches and practice, but it's still hard to trust a team that, at its core, has been stapled to the bottom of the standings more often than not.
Stats courtesy of Breakingpoint.gg