Leader of the Cincinnati Bengals offense and 2021 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, Joe Burrow fantasy football managers have been and will continue to be happy. Burrow and the Bengals are coming off of the best season in franchise history and are looking for more. It’s time to look at the fantasy football impact of one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
2022 Fantasy Football Outlook: Joe Burrow
2021 Season Recap
Last season, Burrow finished as QB8 with 328.1 points across 16 games. He shattered the Bengals single-game and single-season passing marks. He led the Bengals to its first AFC North Division title in seven years.
Burrow had a pair of back-to-back elite games in Weeks 16 and 17. Against the Ravens, Burrow scored 38.1 points and against the Chiefs, he earned 34.8 points en route to clinching the divisional title. During the season, Burrow was up and down. He scored greater than 20 points eight times but was held to fewer than 10 points twice.
In a last-place schedule with absolutely no offensive line, Burrow averaged 20.5 points per game; 18.2 in the first 14 games. To start the year, Burrow was working back from an obliterated knee and the knowledge that Cincinnati refused to address the Achilles’ Heel and the reason he was brutally injured. In the biggest moments, however, Burrow stepped up for both his team and fantasy football players.
2022 Season Outlook
Offensive Line Improvements Help
Burrow was sacked over 70 times in 2021. In addition to the obvious fact that it inhibited their ability to even run an offense, getting hit that often takes a mental toll. As opposed to their lack of approach before the 2021 season, the Bengals addressed their issue.
The Bengals and Burrow were able to do what they did without being able to run an offense. The sky is the limit if the additions of La’el Collins, Ted Karras, and Alex Cappa cut the sacks to league average. Already, Burrow is one of the league’s most accurate quarterbacks. The world saw what he could do with no time whatsoever. Unfortunately, They also remember the final image of Aaron Donald bearing down on him on fourth down with little-to-no opposition.
Protecting Burrow is good for loads of value. Even against a first-place schedule, the added time in the pocket will translate to success.
The Bengals Weaponry
Ja’Marr Chase. Tee Higgins. Tyler Boyd. Joe Mixon.
Despite that offensive line and despite being held to fewer than 50 yards in five games (plus Week 18 where he only played a few snaps), Chase broke the Bengals single-season receiving record as a rookie. Plus, he broke the NFL’s single-game rookie receiving record and the most receiving yards by a rookie in a single season since 1960. On seven occasions, he scored fewer than 10 fantasy points. He finished as WR3, Higgins was WR17, and Boyd was WR33.
No other NFL team has a trio of wide receivers within the top 33. Burrow reaps the benefit of having such a group. Chase won AFC Rookie of the Year and is considered a consensus top-five receiver. Higgins is a criminally underrated receiver in the NFL. Cincinnati will face off against four of the top ten cornerbacks who allowed the most receiving yards by reception this fall: Trevon Diggs (907 yards allowed), Anthony Brown (836), Marshon Lattimore (826), and Bryce Hall (794).
Mixon finished as RB3 in 2021. With the improvements to the offensive line, Mixon has a real shot to repeat as a top-five running back and break records. Even though a team does not actually need to have an effective rushing attack to establish the play-action, having a threat like Mixon will not hurt. Defenses will have to respect it.
Projected Average Draft Position
Based on projections, Burrow will not have an easy path. Of the 14 different teams Cincinnati plays in 2022, Burrow has suited up against just six. He’s averaged 23.7 points against the Ravens, 18.9 against the Titans, 22.8 against the Browns, 34.8 against the Chiefs, 21.3 against the Jets, and 16.2 against the Steelers.
Burrow will have to perform above projections. The Bengals opponents are set to allow just 300.4 points to Burrow in 2022, according to points allowed to quarterbacks in 2021,
He will be a top-50 overall player in ADP and a tick above how he finished in 2021 at QB6. Burrow is going to have himself a career year and further establish himself among the elite both in fantasy football and on the field.