Diving into Patrick Mahomes’ 2022 fantasy football outlook—how did the Chiefs quarterback fare in 2021, and how can you expect him to finish this year?
There are typically only a few players every year who can single-handedly affect the outcome of a fantasy football season. Patrick Mahomes is going to be one of those players in 2022. As with every year, there are plenty of antagonists in the polarized Mahomes narrative, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that buying Patrick Mahomes fantasy stock this season will pay dividends all year round.
A look at how Mahomes finished up overall in 2021
Per Fantasy Pros, quarterbacks accounted for each of the top six highest scorers when comparing total points among all players last season. Patrick Mahomes (374) was fourth overall behind Josh Allen (417), Justin Herbert (395), and Tom Brady (386); just ahead of Matthew Stafford (346) and the reigning MVP, Aaron Rodgers (336).
There is one outlier here, Allen, who Mahomes may not be able to outscore for the fact that the Bills quarterback runs far more often. Both in terms of designed rushes and advantageous bail-outs, Josh Allen scrambles for positive yards with much greater regularity. Not to say Mahomes can’t run, as he’s created some of his most vintage moments doing just that, but he will not likely accrue the same volume—in attempts or total yards—as Allen does in any given season.
While Mahomes had Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in 2021, his additional offensive pieces were far inferior to those that Herbert and Brady enjoyed. The Chargers wide receiving corps—Jaylen Guyton, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen—was notably more rounded out, and with Austin Ekeler in the backfield, Herbert had options all over. Tom Brady’s Buccaneers featured Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and, briefly, Antonio Brown as the primary receiving targets; new Chief, Ronald Jones Jr., and Leonard Fournette were the leaders out of the backfield.
Whether that reads as an excuse for Mahomes, or if it is a founded point to highlight, the Chiefs QB finished just a tic behind each of the aforementioned in total points scored, and has improved weapons heading into the ’22 season. Yes, Tyreek is gone, and that will change a lot of things. The narrative that his absence will slow down Mahomes, however, is extremely tired. With the versatile skill sets brought in, the new receivers will let Mahomes improve upon his game in ways fans have yet to see.
Breaking down Mahomes’ potential in 2022
It is likely that the same crop of QBs will emerge among the top scorers in the 2022 fantasy season, with a healthy Lamar Jackson and developing star Joe Burrow injected into the mix as well. Mahomes, however, will stand out this season and is worthy of a first-round selection in re-draft leagues.
Of course, depending on your league rules—whether you play PPR, .5 point, or standard—you may not be interested in taking a first-round QB. You will be the envy of the league come playoff time, however, if you start the quarterback selection run by taking the Chiefs’ signal caller.
Behind the best offensive line he may ever play with, the names and versatile abilities surrounding Mahomes will create the perfect storm for his best season yet. The Chiefs have their speedster in Marquez Valdez-Scantling, a twitchy slot receiver in JuJu Smith-Schuster, a gadget guy coming off of a career year—motivated by ’23 being a contract year—in Mecole Hardman, an incredibly reliable set of rookie hands in Skyy Moore, and old faithful in Kelce, the unmatched, top producing tight end in the league.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is at full health entering the season, and the competition among the rostered running backs in camp is sure to produce an efficient rushing attack to balance out the Chiefs’ offense.
All things considered, Mahomes will have as many, or more consistent weapons as any of his closest competitors this year. A scary thought for the NFL, and an enthusiastic potential for fantasy team owners. Expect him to score 400 points this season, finishing in the top two for total scoring, and to be your worst nightmare if you’re unable to nab him in the draft.