Vikings WR Justin Jeffererson is poised to have another dominant season in 2022. The 23-year-old has already eclipsed 3,000 yards after just two years in the NFL, and I’d expect a new career-high from him this season.
Jefferson became the Vikings #1 receiver in 2021 thanks to his on-field talent, as well as an unfortunate injury to teammate Adam Thielen. In that role, Jefferson put up 108 receptions, 1,616 yards, and 10 touchdowns, averaging 13.08 fantasy points per game. He finished the year as the fourth-best fantasy receiver in the league, behind the likes of Cooper Kupp, Deebo Samuel, and Ja’Marr Chase.
He averaged 9.7 yards-per-target, which was good for 12th among eligible receivers, but the expectation is that that number will go up under new head coach Kevin O’Connell, who is bringing over a brand new offense that will blend well with the Vikings offensive talent. With the Rams, O’Connell served as the offensive coordinator from 2020-21, during which Los Angeles averaged the fifth-most passing yards per game with 287.8. Minnesota may not have Cooper Kupp, but the core of Jefferson, Thielen, and rookie Jalen Nailor – who is my pick for sleeper of the 2022 Draft – should give O’Connell all the tools he needs to build another elite passing offense.
Jefferson is the perfect receiver for O’Connell’s offense. At 6’1”, 195 lbs, he has the ability to play above his size (something he often does). Much like Reggie Wayne did in his days with the Colts, Jefferson runs great routes and utilizes excellent positioning against opposing corners, and his hands are reliable too. He dropped just seven passes last season, which gave him a drop rate of 4.2% (the same as Cooper Kupp).
Jefferson hasn’t missed a game in his first two NFL seasons and doesn’t come with any injuries to worry about. He’s a consistent and reliable Low Risk option in the first round. The only notable injury he’s dealt with was an AC joint sprain he suffered during training camp last season. His Injury Risk is Low (6%) and his Health Performance Factor is Peak (97%). I think he’s the third receiver taken, behind Kupp and Chase.