The NFL regular season is behind us, and the playoffs are upon us. A good chunk of the league already knows where their draft picks will fall this spring and teams will start assessing their needs heading into free agency and the NFL Draft.
Let’s take a look at some team needs from an offensive perspective. I’ll include past production, coaching vacancies, future outlooks and contract information.
Atlanta has their tight end of the future in Kyle Pitts, but beyond that, this team remains a mystery. Matt Ryan is on the back half of his career and up-and-coming wide receiver Calvin Ridley stepped away from the team for personal reasons. Recent reports have suggested that Atlanta and Ridley are seeking a trade. The Falcons top option at running back this season was Cordarrelle Patterson, a 30-year-old hybrid player who is heading into free agency. This team has needs essentially everywhere.
Baltimore Ravens Team Needs 2022
Quarterback Lamar Jackson only appeared in three of the final eight games (illness/ankle) but remains one of the most dynamic players at the position. On paper, the Ravens have talent at almost every offensive position. J.K. Dobbins should be ready for next season as he recovers from an ACL injury. Mark Andrews erupted and became arguably the best tight end in football this season. Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman offer a dynamic 1-2 punch at wide receiver. Passing volume could limit the upside of the receivers, but the team appears set across the board. Heath remains the only question for the running back room.
Buffalo Bills Team Needs 2022
Josh Allen finished as the QB1 for the second consecutive season and Stefon Diggs finished as a top-seven receiver for the second season in a row as well. The running back room looked crowded and mediocre at the start of the year. but Devin Singletary became the bell cow down the stretch. He rewarded the Bills for the increased volume and was substantially more effective than his teammates.
Singletary is under contract for one more season while teammate Zack Moss has two years remaining on his current deal. The Bills could explore additional options at wide receiver with Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley both over 32 years old, though Gabriel Davis remains around and looked strong late in the season.
Carolina Panthers Team Needs 2022
This team probably needs a new head coach, but for on-field needs, it has to start with quarterback. The combination of Sam Darnold and Cam Newton was not effective, although it sounds like Darnold is set to return for another season. Christian McCaffrey remains one of the elite running backs when healthy and DJ Moore has quietly posted three straight seasons of 1,100-plus yards. Depth is lacking at all the skill positions. Without competent play from the quarterback position, though, it might not matter how much depth they have.
Chicago Bears Team Needs 2022
The Bears are in the market for both a new general manager and head coach this offseason. Justin Fields should enter next season as the unquestioned starter, but what he’ll have for weapons remains to be seen. Allen Robinson is an unrestricted free agent and could see employment elsewhere after a disappointing season. Darnell Mooney burst onto the scene and topped 1,000 receiving yards and 200 fantasy points. David Montgomery has quietly been a three-down running back and is still just 24 years old. If Robinson leaves, Fields will need more weapons than are currently rostered. The new GM/HC will provide insight as to where this team will go.
Cincinnati Bengals Team Needs 2022
2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow led all signal callers in completion percentage and adjusted completion percentage (minimum of 100 passing attempts), per our Advanced Passing Stats. He has arguably the best trio of wide receivers and an excellent young running back. In fact, the Bengals are the first team in NFL history to have a 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers all 25 or younger in the same season.
With three receivers over 90 targets and 800 receiving yards, there wasn’t a need for consistent production from the tight end position. This offense looks set to compete in the AFC for the next several seasons.
Cleveland Browns Team Needs 2022
Baker Mayfield hasn’t finished higher than QB16 in any of his four seasons and is scheduled to undergo surgery on his non-throwing shoulder soon. Jarvis Landry is the only wide receiver of note, and he’ll be 30 years old next November. The Browns run their offense through the rushing attack and Nick Chubb remains one of the best pure rushers in the league. Kareem Hunt is under contract for one more season. This team needs help at wide receiver and more consistent production at tight end.
Dallas Cowboys Team Needs 2022
The biggest change the Cowboys could experience this season is the loss of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Instrumental in the recent offensive success for the Cowboys, Moore is a trendy name for several coaching vacancies around the league. Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Dalton Schultz and Ezekiel Elliott all appear to be locked in (unless Schultz signs elsewhere since he’s a free agent). Michael Gallup recently suffered a torn ACL and could take his talents elsewhere in free agency. Toss in Tony Pollard and Cedrick Wilson and the Cowboys are as set on offense as any team heading into next year.
Assuming these are the top-three pass catchers for 2022, the Cowboys should be rolling once again. Data is courtesy of our Air Yards tool:
The Lions were not expected to do much this season (new head coach, new quarterback), but there were some positive takeaways. Jared Goff actually finished as the QB2 in adjusted completion percentage. That metric removes spikes, throw aways, batted passes and hit-as-thrown passes.
Last offseason brought on the Aaron Rodgers saga. This offseason could very well bring the same story. Both Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams could be wearing different uniforms next year. The Packers don’t have a consistent option at WR2 or tight end. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion are a formidable duo at running back and Jordan Love remains inexperienced as the backup quarterback. Another exciting offseason awaits.
Houston Texans Team Needs 2022
Another team looking for its next coach, the Texans (maybe?) have an interesting option at quarterback in Davis Mills. Aside from Brandin Cooks, there are no viable options on this offense. This team needs a complete reset, and it could happen if Deshaun Watson lands on a new team next season.
Indianapolis Colts Team Needs 2022
After losing what was essentially a play-in game against the Jaguars in Week 18, Colts GM Chris Ballard did not sound confident in Carson Wentz heading into the offseason. Their actions this offseason will indicate how they feel about Wentz after his first season with the team. Indianapolis has an elite running back in Jonathan Taylor and a promising young wideout in Michael Pittman. However, there isn’t much for depth across the offensive skill positions. The Colts could be in the market for playmakers in the coming months.
Taylor led the league in rushing attempts, rushing yards and number of explosive runs (at least 15 yards).
Jacksonville Jaguars Team Needs 2022
No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars had an eventful season. The team locked up the No. 1 selection in the upcoming draft for the second consecutive season after dismissing head coach Urban Meyer partway through this year. James Robinson suffered a torn Achilles in Week 16, while Travis Etienne should be ready for next season after missing his rookie campaign. The wide receiver and tight end position have flashed promise but lack consistency and depth. The Jaguars figure to build around their franchise quarterback in some fashion.
Kansas City Chiefs Team Needs 2022
There’s not much that needs to be said about this offense. Anytime you have Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on the field, anything is possible. Load up on these playmakers in fantasy once again next season.
Las Vegas Raiders Team Needs 2022
The Raiders endured one of the most chaotic seasons in recent memory and capped it off by making the playoffs. It remains to be seen if Rich Bisaccia will maintain his role as head coach after he took over partway through this season. Derek Carr has finished between QB12 and QB20 in each of his eight seasons and would welcome upgraded weapons next season. Hunter Renfrow stepped up this year, but outside of him and Darren Waller, no pass-catchers offer consistent production.
Los Angeles Chargers Team Needs 2022
Say what you will about Brandon Staley, he has the Chargers on an exciting trajectory heading into 2022. Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen offer elite upside at their respective positions, while Mike Williams is one of the big-name free agents this offseason. The Chargers have intriguing depth at each skill position, but Williams’ decision will loom large in the coming months.
Los Angeles Rams Team Needs 2022
The Rams have been all-in for several seasons, actively trading away future first-round draft picks to bolster their current roster. The addition of Matthew Stafford, coupled with the eruption of Cooper Kupp, have the Rams thinking about a title run. Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel present a good problem for the team as each has produced when given the chance. Robert Woods’ recovery will be worth following this offseason. Also, Odell Beckham is on a one-year contract, so the receiver room is worth following this offseason.
Miami Dolphins Team Needs 2022
Brian Flores was a somewhat surprising name to land on the “Black Monday” list of head coaches who were relieved of their positions. As Miami looks for a new head coach, questions remain about Tua Tagovailoa and his ability to lead this franchise into the playoffs. Jaylen Waddle was every bit as good as advertised, but injuries to DeVante Parker and Will Fuller impacted the passing game. Myles Gaskin led a crowded backfield and has a year remaining on his deal. The Dolphins could invest capital in both receiver and running back this offseason.
Minnesota Vikings Team Needs 2022
The Vikings are looking for a new general manager and head coach. These shifts in management always offer unique opportunities for both players and fantasy managers. Kirk Cousins has finished as a top-13 quarterback six times in the last seven years while Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook are elite options at their positions. Adam Thielen recently underwent ankle surgery and will be 32 years old at the start of next season. K.J. Osborn developed nicely this season, but the team could bolster that position this spring. Tight end Irv Smith is also expected back next season.
New England Patriots Team Needs 2022
The Patriots were a fun story this season, but their flaws were exposed in a beatdown by the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card matchup. Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson offer a nice 1-2 punch at running back, but there are few legitimate weapons beyond them. Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Henry stepped up nicely, but this team needs significant upgrades for Mac Jones as he continues his development as the franchise quarterback.
New Orleans Saints Team Needs 2022
For the Saints, you have to start at quarterback. Jameis Winston (ACL), Taysom Hill (Lisfranc injury), Trevor Siemian and Ian Book all started at some point this season, but none looks like a franchise option. It’s impossible to say with any certainty what will happen with Michael Thomas, which leaves Alvin Kamara as the only guaranteed option. Expect this team to undergo major changes this offseason.
New York Giants Team Needs 2022
The Giants are another franchise that is now looking for a new general manager and head coach. Quarterback Daniel Jones appears set to return for another season. Saquon Barkley has a year remaining on his contract, but he has struggled with health and production since his historic rookie season. The team signed Kenny Golladay to a four-year/$72 million contract last offseason ($40 million guaranteed), and he failed to score a single touchdown in 14 games. The new GM/HC will help provide clarity as to where this team is headed.
New York Jets Team Needs 2022
This team does have reason for optimism heading into 2022. Zach Wilson, Michael Carter and Elijah Moore, all coming off rookie campaigns, offer intrigue at three offensive positions. The Jets signed Corey Davis to a three-year contract worth $37.5 million before this season, but he only appeared in nine games before landing on injured reserve with a groin injury. The Jets are still in a tough division and need a big second-year leap from Wilson to be competitive.
Philadelphia Eagles Team Needs 2022
The Eagles looked entirely outmatched against the Buccaneers in their Wild Card matchup this weekend. It appears the Eagles will continue to roll with Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback. Dallas Goedert looks like he can take the next step without Zack Ertz in the picture. DeVonta Smith had a remarkable rookie campaign, but pass-catching options are thin beyond those two. Miles Sanders & Co. led a robust rushing attack and five players topped 60 rushing attempts. Wide receiver is the biggest offseason need, which is a bit ironic given the string of recent draft picks.
The 49ers upset the Cowboys on the road over the weekend and will head to Green Bay next week. Rookie quarterback Trey Lance waits in the wings for his starting role, and Jimmy Garoppolo could land with a new team next season. Running backs Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon were drafted this season, and Mitchell has clearly established himself as the primary option. Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle are locked in for the foreseeable future.
Seattle Seahawks Team Needs 2022
The AFC West remains the toughest division in football. Russell Wilson struggled for stretches of this season but finished on a strong note. There are murmurs the team could move on from the veteran quarterback this offseason, but who knows. As long as he has Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, Wilson will be a threat to pour on the fantasy points. Rashaad Penny came on strong at the end of the season and looks the part of a former first-round pick, although he is a free agent after this season. Chris Carson is dealing with a neck injury and his future is in question. It doesn’t sound like Pete Carroll is in danger of losing his job at this juncture.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team Needs 2022
Chris Godwin is scheduled to become a free agent after this season, but the talented wideout suffered a torn ACL in Week 15. Leonard Fournette and Rob Gronkowski are also free agents. so the Buccaneers will have some decisions to make with three of their top offensive options. The presence of Tom Brady could lead to team-friendly deals, but the result of this postseason run could factor in as well.
Tennessee Titans Team Needs 2022
Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown. The Titans have talent at every level, but depth remains a concern. However, the Titans absorbed the loss of Henry over the second half of the regular season to hang onto the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Additional playmakers are needed, but as long as their current stars remain healthy, the Titans are as dangerous as anyone.
Washington Football Team Needs 2022
The Washington Football Team has elite talent at running back (Antonio Gibson) and wide receiver (Terry McLaurin) but have a desperate need at quarterback and no promising depth at each skill position. The defense played well for stretches this season but without a component signal-caller, their offensive ceiling remains limited.