Tyler Lockett Fantasy 2022
Tyler Lockett is coming off one of his best seasons in Seattle, setting a career-high with 1,175 yards with an impressive 16.1 yards per catch. Of course, those stats came with Russell Wilson throwing the ball, and with Wilson’s trade to Denver, Lockett is not likely to repeat those kinds of numbers.
Seattle will be facing a huge drop-off at the quarterback position, regardless if Geno Smith or Drew Lock is the starter. Wilson and Lockett had a special connection on deep targets last season, and only Cooper Kupp had more yards on deep throws (20+ yards) than Lockett. While Lockett could eclipse his 73 receptions from 2021, it is doubtful he will come close to his yardage or touchdown totals.
Although Pete Carroll says Geno Smith is ahead of Drew Lock on the depth chart, most experts believe Lock will enter the season as the starter. I agree and think Seattle needs to see what they have in Lock while he’s still on his rookie contract. If he succeeds, they have their quarterback of the future, and if he doesn’t, there’s a strong QB class in next season’s NFL draft. Assuming Lock is the starter, he has a strong arm and likes to sling the ball downfield. He needs to work on his accuracy, but his style of play could help Lockett’s big-play potential, giving him a level of upside to consider when choosing between him and other players with similar ADP.
If Smith wins the QB competition, we have some history from which we can project how Lockett would perform in that offense. In his five games with Smith at QB, Lockett has 26 catches for 298 yards and 0 touchdowns. However, in one of those games, Lockett had 12 catches for 142 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I checked the Seahawks’ schedule, and, unfortunately, they are not playing the Jags 17 times this year. Speaking of schedule, the Seahawks have the 22nd toughest schedule, according to Sharp Football Analysis. Lockett also had his two worst games of the season with Geno under center. Overall, Smith would lower Lockett’s ceiling and would make me less likely to draft him.
How Should We View Lockett In Our 2022 Fantasy Drafts?
Lockett finished 16th among wide receivers in PPR fantasy scoring last season, but Gridiron Experts has him (currently) projected as the 32nd ranked wide receiver this year, which is slightly above FantasyPros Expert Consensus Ranking. He has a 7th-round ADP in 12-team leagues, putting him in the company of receivers like Adam Thielen, Hunter Renfrow, and Devonta Smith.
Pete Carroll loves to run the ball, and with Wilson gone, you might expect an increase over last year’s 45.5% run percentage. However, Seattle will be playing in negative game scripts a lot in 2022 and will need to pass the ball more than they would like. Couple that with an offensive line that PFF ranks as the worst in the NFL, and I think the passing attempts could see a slight uptick over last season.
I’m projecting Seattle to throw the ball 550 times and for Tyler Lockett to catch 80 of those passes. I think there’s a good chance he can reach 1000 yards again, but I expect his touchdowns to be cut in half, down to 4 this year. At his current ADP, I think Lockett is a fair value. He has big-game potential, so there’s a decent chance he can outperform his ADP. It will depend on my roster construction on whether I’ll be drafting him, though. If I’ve drafted higher-risk wide receivers like Deebo Samuel or Tyreek Hill in the earlier rounds, I’d be more apt to draft Renfrow or Thielen in the 7th round for their safer floor. But, if I already have two rock-solid wide receivers, then I like Lockett’s higher ceiling for a WR3.
I’m slightly higher on Tyler Lockett this year than the expert consensus, but he does come with some uncertainty, especially if Geno Smith is the starter. He might not be an every-week starter for your team this year, but I would have no problem drafting him at his ADP.
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Doug Burrell is a lifelong NFL fan and has been playing fantasy football for over 25 years. He specializes in auction drafts and has been ranked in the top 1% of Yahoo owners since 2014. He enjoys breaking down advanced statistics and complicated game theory into easy, actionable steps that even novice players can use to gain an edge over the competition.
Doug is a veteran, an avid runner, and works as a copywriter. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and three dogs. You can reach him on Twitter @dougwburrell.