The NFL season concluded this weekend, and sadly it means the end of our 2022 fantasy season. However, it has been a wild ride, and we learned so much on our quest for a championship in 2023. I am here to discuss a few takeaways from the AFC this year and what to look for as we head into 2023. 

 

Be sure to check back tomorrow where I will discuss my Fantasy Football Takeaways in the NFC. 

Miami Dolphins skill players are worth the price tag

This past offseason, there were a ton of question marks around the Dolphins and how much they would produce for fantasy. If you believed they would explode with Mike McDaniel at the helm, then you were right. We saw previously written-off Tua Tagovailoa battle multiple concussions to finish as a top-15 fantasy quarterback with 238.92 points in only 13 games. Additionally, he finished as a top-12 quarterback five times, four of which were top-5 finishes. He tailed off in the back half of the season though, so I think we should be a bit wary going into 2023.

Tyreek Hill WR Miami Dolphins

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle both finished as top-10 options at the wide receiver position this year. Hill led the way as WR2 with 341.2 points and finished as a top-12 option seven times. Not to be outdone, Waddle finished as WR8 with 259.2 points while finishing inside the top 12 four times. This is the first time we have seen a Dolphins wide receiver finish inside the top 12 in season-long scoring since DeVante Parker in 2019 and the first time two Dolphins wide receivers finished inside the top 12 in over 10 years. Sadly, this success did not translate to the running backs and tight ends, as none of them finished inside the top-24 PPR scorers at their position.

Trevor Lawrence takes a huge leap forward

Last season, it was fair to say that Trevor Lawrence was a disappointment, finishing as QB22 in fantasy scoring with only 216.04 points as a rookie. There were doubts that he would turn it around in 2022. He silenced those doubts early on, though, finishing inside the top 12 at the position in two of the first three weeks. He did have a few dud weeks early on too, finishing outside the top 20 five times. However, in his final 12 games, he only finished outside the top 12 on three occasions – while finishing inside the top 5 on five occasions. This helped lead him to a top-10 finish at the position in season-long scoring with 303.62 points. 

This was quite a turnaround year for Lawrence, and the additions of Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Evan Engram were significant for his growth. Lawrence set career-highs in yards (3,901), completion percentage (66.5), touchdowns (24) and a career-low in interceptions (12). Next season, he is likely to get route-running extraordinaire Calvin Ridley back from suspension, which will only help him take his game to the next level. I am buying into this year's success and will be targeting Lawrence in my 2023 drafts. 

Jerick McKinnon was the Chiefs’ running back to roster 

One of the hottest topics all offseason was whether we should draft Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Ronald Jones. While Jones fell off quickly when rookie Isiah Pacheco beat him out in camp, it seemed Edwards-Helaire would be the guy early on. Ultimately, it turned out none of these guys were the answer, as Jerick McKinnon became the most productive PPR asset for the Chiefs this season. McKinnon got off to a slow start, not topping 10 PPR points until Week 9 of the season. But after that, we saw him finish inside the top 24 at the position eight times – including two top finishes and four top-10 finishes over the last 10 weeks of the season. 

From Week 9 and beyond, he finished as RB5 with 153.8 points, and his 15.4 PPR points per week were ninth-best during this span. This incredible performance was aided by an incredible stretch of touchdown luck, as he scored in six straight games, including three two-touchdown performances. As a result, I am wary of buying into this success going forward, especially since he will be 31 years old next year and is a free agent this spring. However, if he sticks in Kansas City, he’s the best running back to invest in going forward.

 

Buffalo Bills players disappoint in 2022 

It seems like it has become the norm for the Bills players to produce a significant amount of fantasy points, but that wasn’t the case this year. Josh Allen continued his strong play, finishing as a top-2 quarterback for the third straight year (389.48 points), while his 24.34 points per game were third-best in the league. This was all while battling a UCL injury he sustained in Week 9. We also saw this offense produce a top-5 wide receiver in Stefon Diggs, who finished with 194.8 points. However, he had a four-week span where he finished outside the top 40 and did not top 11 PPR points in any week – and that disappointing stretch occurred during the fantasy playoffs. 

Gabe Davis finished the year with 164.7 PPR points, which was good enough for WR34 on the season – his top finish yet. Yet it was disappointing, considering he was drafted as WR24 (according to FantasyPros) this August. Additionally, Devin Singletary finished as RB22 with 176 points, which was down from 2021 when he finished as RB18 with 197.8 points. We also saw a down year from Dawson Knox, who only finished as TE16 with 126.4 points, down significantly from last year when he posted 164.1 points and a TE11 finish. Outside of Allen and Diggs, it appears we might not be able to trust any of the Bills’ playmakers going forward, especially if their ADPs stay inflated. 

Davante Adams had a rollercoaster year  

In his first season in the AFC, we saw Davante Adams finish as WR3 with 335.5 PPR points – his lowest since 2019 when he only played in 12 games. This may have been a down year, but it was an impressive performance nonetheless, as he dealt with subpar quarterback play. He was less reliable than usual, only finishing inside the top-12 weekly scorers eight times this year. Additionally, he finished outside the top 50 weekly scorers four times – the most since 2016 when he finished outside the top 50 five times. 

Going forward, Adams will continue to be a quality fantasy asset even at the age of 31, but more bust weeks should be expected in Las Vegas. We will have to monitor the quarterback situation this offseason, which will likely affect his consistency going forward. However, even with a young quarterback, he still possesses elite upside.