To improve as a fantasy owner, it’s important to take part in a reflection period. Examine your process and see which players that you were targeting succeeded, which failed, and most importantly, why. Here are the results from last season to help us learn which players outperformed the market as 2022’s fantasy football MVPs.

To determine the value of each player last season, it’s important to evaluate players in direct comparison with their position, not by comparing their total points. For instance, Trevor Lawrence is very likely to outscore Tee Higgins – but that doesn’t mean he should be drafted higher in one-QB leagues.

Quarterbacks – even mediocre ones – who start the entire season are likely to outscore all other positions. Therefore, we need to evaluate how much more (or less) each player scored compared to the average at their position.

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes


  • To find fantasy MVPs it is important to find baseline points for each position, or else it becomes impossible to compare position against the position.
  • 2022 was a very low-scoring year across the board.
  • Austin Ekeler and Justin Jefferson were the most valuable fantasy football players of 2022.

Points Above Average

To gain a baseline or average at each position, I use Fantasy Douche’s old baselines (from an article that is no longer available on the old Rotoworld) with Apex’s lineup and scoring settings. Apex utilizes PPR Scoring and weekly lineups of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex, K, and D. Defense and kickers were excluded from this study as they generally maintain little year-to-year predictability.

Below are the baselines for each position and their averages per game and for the entire season.

Baseline 16 43 60 18
Average Season 299.19 198.1 194.73 161.08
Average Per Game 19.67 13.12 13.24 10.61

The Baseline above refers to the number of players included in the average. The average season finds a replacement-level value for the entire season. The average per game is a replacement-level value for each position per game.

Even when comparing players by position, there is still the question of whether to compare them by points per game or for the entire season. Players who missed any time are not going to be viewed favorably if we’re comparing players by the entire season – as it is evaluated by a player’s total points for the entire season. It is important to include the per-game metric because of the high rate of injuries among NFL players, otherwise, a complete picture of the fantasy landscape would not be reflected in the data. Just because players don’t play the entire season, doesn’t mean they’re not dramatically improving your odds of winning.

The table below is sorted by Points Above Average Per Game (“PAA PG”) to give us the opportunity to fairly rank players who missed time due to injury. I also included a column for Points Above Average for the entire season under “PAA S”.

Another vital part of figuring out who was the most valuable is how expensive each player was in terms of draft capital – in other words, their average draft position (ADP). The cost of a player is a big determinant of how much value they can provide. Players like Tony Pollard, who are drafted at an inexpensive cost and produced at a high level, are league-winning players.

For this reason, the Average Draft Position (ADP) on Fantasy Pros from 2022 is listed in the table below.

Austin EkelerRB3.8372.721.92174.608.80
Justin JeffersonWR5.5368.721.69173.978.45
Christian McCaffreyRB2356.420.96158.307.84
Travis KelceTE15316.318.61155.228.00
Tyreek HillWR19.8347.220.42152.477.18
Davante AdamsWR12.3335.519.74140.776.50
Josh JacobsRB49.5328.319.31130.206.19
Stefon DiggsWR12.5316.619.79121.876.55
Patrick MahomesQB29.8417.424.55118.214.88
CeeDee LambWR19.5301.617.74106.874.50
A.J. BrownWR30.8299.617.62104.874.38
Derrick Henry RB5.3302.818.93104.705.81
Josh AllenQB20.8395.524.7296.315.05
Saquon BarkleyRB20.328417.7585.904.63
Nick ChubbRB20281.416.5583.303.43
Jalen HurtsQB55.337825.278.815.53
Amon-Ra St. BrownWR63.5267.616.7372.873.49
Jaylen WaddleWR47.3259.215.2564.472.01
DeVonta SmithWR90.3254.614.9859.871.74
T.J. HockensonTE65.8215.412.6754.322.06
Joe BurrowQB60.3350.721.9251.512.25
Amari CooperWR67.824614.4751.271.23
Rhamondre StevensonRB100249.114.6551.001.53
Tony PollardRB86248.815.5550.702.43
Aaron JonesRB19.5248.614.6250.501.50
Ja'Marr ChaseWR8.3242.420.247.676.96
Christian KirkWR100.3241.914.2347.170.99
Tyler LockettWR96.5237.314.8342.571.59
Joe MixonRB10.3239.517.1141.403.99
Dalvin CookRB7.5237.813.9939.700.87
George KittleTE39.8200.513.3739.422.76
Terry McLaurinWR4122913.4734.270.23
Brandon AiyukWR98227.813.433.070.16
D.K. MetcalfWR48.3226.813.3432.070.10
Mike EvansWR26.8225.415.0330.671.79
Mark AndrewsTE21.8190.512.729.422.09
Chris GodwinWR61.8222.814.8528.071.61
Leonard FournetteRB22226.114.1328.001.01
Jamaal WilliamsRB170225.913.2927.800.17
Tee HigginsWR33.8220.913.8126.170.57
Najee HarrisRB8223.513.1525.400.03
Michael Pittman Jr.WR33.5216.513.5321.770.29
Garrett WilsonWR138215.712.6920.97-0.55
Miles SandersRB84.5216.712.7518.60-0.37
Evan EngramTE193.8176.910.4115.82-0.20
Alvin KamaraRB13.3211.714.1113.600.99
Jerry JeudyWR65.8204.213.619.470.37
Travis EtienneRB40.5205.112.067.00-1.06
Cooper KuppWR4201.422.386.679.14
Geno SmithQB#N/A303.917.884.71-1.79
Kenneth Walker IIIRB116202.513.54.400.38
D.J. MooreWR43.8199.111.714.37-1.53
Chris OlaveWR110.8198.213.213.47-0.03
Zay JonesWR254198.112.383.37-0.86
James ConnerRB29.3200.
Jerick McKinnonRB216.3196.311.55-1.80-1.57
Justin FieldsQB14829619.73-3.190.06
Trevor LawrenceQB155295.617.39-3.59-2.28
D'Andre SwiftRB15.5191.113.65-7.000.53
Kirk CousinsQB125.3291.617.15-7.59-2.52
Tyler HigbeeTE155.31528.94-9.08-1.67
JuJu Smith-SchusterWR74.3185.311.58-9.43-1.66
Daniel JonesQB213.828918.06-10.19-1.61
Ezekiel ElliottRB30.3185.812.39-12.30-0.73
Pat FreiermuthTE108.5148.29.26-12.88-1.35
Cole KmetTE121.8147.38.66-13.78-1.95
Diontae JohnsonWR43.8180.710.63-14.03-2.61
Jakobi MeyersWR162.3180.312.88-14.43-0.36
Adam ThielenWR73.318010.59-14.73-2.65
Jared GoffQB214.8284.316.72-14.89-2.95
Taysom HillTE216.5145.89.11-15.28-1.50
Drake LondonWR98.5178.610.51-16.13-2.73
Justin HerbertQB34.5281.316.55-17.89-3.12
Mike WilliamsWR46176.513.58-18.230.34
Dalton SchultzTE57.3142.79.51-18.38-1.10
Curtis SamuelWR263.3176.310.37-18.43-2.87
David NjokuTE161.814210.14-19.08-0.47
Dallas GoedertTE70.5141.211.77-19.881.16
Allen Lazard WR104.5174.811.65-19.93-1.59
Devin SingletaryRB82.5177.911.12-20.20-2.00
David MontgomeryRB36.5177.711.11-20.40-2.01
Gerald EverettTE189.3139.58.72-21.58-1.89
Gabe DavisWR67.3171.611.44-23.13-1.80
Dawson KnoxTE90135.79.05-25.38-1.56
Joshua PalmerWR202.3169.310.58-25.43-2.66
Juwan JohnsonTE#N/A134.88.43-26.28-2.18
Deebo SamuelWR17168.412.95-26.33-0.29
Tom BradyQB72271.715.98-27.49-3.69
Tyler BoydWR137.8167.110.44-27.63-2.80
Donovan Peoples-JonesWR253.7167.19.83-27.63-3.41
George PickensWR127.8166.59.79-28.23-3.45
Tyler ConklinTE250131.57.74-29.58-2.87
Raheem MostertRB144.8168.310.52-29.80-2.60
AJ Dillon RB67.8167.69.86-30.50-3.26
Christian WatsonWR188.3164.111.72-30.63-1.52
Keenan AllenWR28.316416.4-30.733.16
Dameon PierceRB83.5166.412.8-31.70-0.32
Antonio Gibson RB64.8165.911.06-32.20-2.06
Courtland SuttonWR58159.410.63-35.33-2.61
Noah FantTE164.3122.67.21-38.48-3.40
Tyler AllgeierRB186.3159.49.96-38.70-3.16
Marquise BrownWR61.515613-38.73-0.24
K.J. OsbornWR226.7155.69.15-39.13-4.09
Jeff WilsonRB167158.59.91-39.60-3.21
Mack HollinsWR#N/A154.29.07-40.53-4.17
DeAndre HopkinsWR83.3151.716.86-43.033.62
Cordarrelle PattersonRB85.8154.711.9-43.40-1.22
Latavius MurrayRB#N/A154.211.86-43.90-1.26
Jordan AkinsTE#N/A116.57.77-44.58-2.84
Zach ErtzTE88.8115.611.56-45.480.95
Parris CampbellWR212149.18.77-45.63-4.47
Robert TonyanTE177.81126.59-49.08-4.02
Brandin CooksWR56145.611.2-49.13-2.04
Jonathan TaylorRB1146.413.31-51.700.19
Hayden HurstTE206105.48.11-55.68-2.50
Samaje PerineRB249.5142.18.88-56.00-4.24
Cam AkersRB39.8141.39.42-56.80-3.70
Hunter HenryTE130.3103.96.11-57.18-4.50
Rachaad WhiteRB193139.18.18-59.00-4.94
Aaron RodgersQB80.3239.214.07-59.99-5.60
Richie JamesWR#N/A132.57.79-62.23-5.45
Mike GesickiTE12998.25.78-62.88-4.83
Lamar JacksonQB43.5236.119.68-63.090.01
Isiah PachecoRB1781357.94-63.10-5.18
Austin HooperTE20997.45.73-63.68-4.88
Chigoziem OkonkwoTE#N/A97.25.72-63.88-4.89
Jahan DotsonWR174.8130.610.88-64.13-2.36
Darius SlaytonWR#N/A128.48.03-66.33-5.21
D'Onta ForemanRB2191317.71-67.10-5.41
Cade OttonTE#N/A93.15.82-67.98-4.79
Tua TagovailoaQB140.5230.917.76-68.29-1.91
Isaiah LikelyTE22191.35.71-69.78-4.90
Russell GageWR145.5123.69.51-71.13-3.73
Kareem HuntRB85.3126.87.46-71.30-5.66
Michael CarterRB1171267.88-72.10-5.24
Marquez Valdes-ScantlingWR148.8122.47.2-72.33-6.04
Russell WilsonQB77.5225.815.05-73.39-4.62
Will DisslyTE#N/A86.95.79-74.18-4.82
Isaiah McKenzieWR176.3119.87.99-74.93-5.25
Greg DulcichTE#N/A86.18.61-74.98-2.00
Foster MoreauTE28485.25.68-75.88-4.93
Darren WallerTE44.884.89.42-76.28-1.19
Marvin JonesWR212.3116.97.31-77.83-5.93
Kalif RaymondWR#N/A116.26.84-78.53-6.40
Devin DuvernayWR#N/A116.18.29-78.63-4.95
Robert WoodsWR103115.76.81-79.03-6.43
Chris MooreWR#N/A115.17.19-79.63-6.05
Derek CarrQB113.3219.114.61-80.09-5.06
Noah BrownWR#N/A114.57.16-80.23-6.08
Khalil HerbertRB181.3117.89.06-80.30-4.06
Greg DortchWR#N/A113.17.07-81.63-6.17
Alec PierceWR211.3112.37.02-82.43-6.22
DeAndre CarterWR#N/A112.36.61-82.43-6.63
Breece HallRB52.3115.116.44-83.003.32
Logan ThomasTE208.377.35.52-83.78-5.09
Olamide ZaccheausWR#N/A1106.47-84.73-6.77
Brian Robinson Jr.RB153.8112.79.39-85.40-3.73
Kyle PittsTE32.875.67.56-85.48-3.05
Daniel BellingerTE#N/A756.25-86.08-4.36
Michael GallupWR139.3105.47.53-89.33-5.71
Chase ClaypoolWR116.31057-89.73-6.24
Josh ReynoldsWR#N/A103.97.42-90.83-5.82
Demarcus RobinsonWR#N/A103.86.11-90.93-7.13
DeVante ParkerWR161.5102.97.92-91.83-5.32
James CookRB120105.76.61-92.40-6.51
Romeo DoubsWR176.3101.67.82-93.13-5.42
Darnell MooneyWR73.5101.58.46-93.23-4.78
Kenyan DrakeRB221.3104.18.68-94.00-4.44
Rashid ShaheedWR#N/A100.58.38-94.23-4.86
Isaiah HodginsWR#N/A100.210.02-94.53-3.22
DJ CharkWR147.598.28.93-96.53-4.31
Corey DavisWR211.597.67.51-97.13-5.73
Nico CollinsWR213.897.19.71-97.63-3.53
Kyler MurrayQB53.8200.518.23-98.69-1.44
Clyde Edwards-HelaireRB6498.39.83-99.80-3.29
Dak PrescottQB82198.616.55-100.59-3.12
Treylon BurksWR131.894.18.55-100.63-4.69
Mecole HardmanWR168.893.811.73-100.93-1.51
Marcus MariotaQB235.5196.615.12-102.59-4.55
Marquise GoodwinWR#N/A90.26.94-104.53-6.30
Jaylen WarrenRB25893.35.83-104.80-7.29
Irv Smith Jr.TE175.855.26.9-105.88-3.71
Kendrick BourneWR23588.35.52-106.43-7.72
Elijah MooreWR9088.15.51-106.63-7.73
Rondale MooreWR186.387.910.99-106.83-2.25
Damien HarrisRB83.890.98.26-107.20-4.86
Eno BenjaminRB22589.65.97-108.50-7.15
Ameer AbdullahRB242.589.55.26-108.60-7.86
James RobinsonRB11788.68.05-109.50-5.07
Alexander MattisonRB13588.45.2-109.70-7.92
Allen RobinsonWR62.884.98.49-109.83-4.75
Kenneth GainwellRB146.887.95.17-110.20-7.95
Chuba HubbardRB19387.75.85-110.40-7.27
Ben SkowronekWR#N/A84.36.02-110.43-7.22
Melvin GordonRB107.587.18.71-111.00-4.41
Terrace Marshall Jr.WR#N/A835.93-111.73-7.31
Jauan JenningsWR29382.65.16-112.13-8.08
Randall CobbWR224.581.76.28-113.03-6.96
Deon JacksonRB#N/A84.55.28-113.60-7.84
Samaje PerineRB249.583.25.2-114.90-7.92
Hunter RenfrowWR83.3797.9-115.73-5.34
Van JeffersonWR217.378.97.17-115.83-6.07
Nyheim HinesRB140.581.45.09-116.70-8.03
J.K. DobbinsRB5281.210.15-116.90-2.97
Davis MillsQB250181.512.1-117.69-7.57

Negative numbers refer to players who finished below the replacement-level average.

Macro Observations

I wrote the same study last year – below is the change in scoring at each position.

Season Change -13.11 5.07 -7.09 -14.74
Per Game Change -0.15 -0.9 -0.16 -0.94

Peaking in 2020 with 22.21 points per game, quarterback scoring fell down to 19.67 this season. Defenses were determined to stop explosive passing attacks and it shows in fantasy scoring.

Running back was very interesting this past season. While the position made a recovery in season-long scoring to a baseline of 198.1, running back scoring per game still dropped by almost a full point. This shift took place across the board as workloads for all players appear to be reduced as coaches favor keeping players fresh and healthy.

Wide receiver and tight end both experienced big drops in season-long production. QB, WR, and TE experienced the lowest season-long totals in my four years of running these numbers. The per-game totals were the lowest for all positions since I began charting.

2022’s Fantasy Football MVPs

In terms of the player results from the table above, Austin Ekeler and Justin Jefferson were the most valuable. Ekeler provided 174.6 points above average when compared with his position, and Jefferson finished with 173.97.

Amazingly, in terms of points above average per game, Cooper Kupp still led all players at 9.14. Ekeler finished second with 8.8. Jefferson (8.45), and Kelce (8) were the only other players above 8. Per game, Christian McCaffrey, Tyreek Hill, Ja’Marr Chase, Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams, and Josh Jacobs all finished with more than 6 PAA per game.

The cost or draft position must be mentioned when referring to fantasy football MVPs. Kelce was selected as the 15th player overall and was the 4th most valuable over PAA for the season. At pick 49.5, Josh Jacobs finished as the 7th most valuable player, one of the best values last season. With QB scoring dropping, Mahomes provided excellent value (9th best vs. an ADP of 29.8).

Other excellent value picks include Jalen Hurts, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, TJ Hockenson, Joe Burrow, Amari Cooper, Rhamondre Stevenson, Tony Pollard, Christian Kirk, Tyler Lockett, Brandon Aiyuk, Jamaal Williams, Garrett Wilson, Evan Engram, Kenneth Walker, Jerick McKinnon, Justin Fields, and Daniel Jones.

You can toggle between the “PAA S” and “PAA PG” above to see who were the most valuable players last year.