Comparing Yahoo, ESPN fantasy football rankings for 2022 to find sleepers, busts

Not all fantasy football cheat sheets and sleeper lists are created equal. With so many experts and so many websites, figuring out the best source for overall player rankings from one year (and draft) to the next can be overwhelming. The constantly updated consensus rankings at Fantasy Pros are a helpful compilation, but even as other sites gain popularity heading into 2022, chances are many will design and play most of their leagues on either Yahoo or ESPN.

Although Yahoo uses a half point PPR by default and ESPN follows the standard, there are some intriguing differences between the main rankings of both sites. If you’re playing on both, different sleeper/bust targets may appear, and you’ll likely need to use a slightly different draft strategy.

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Even if you only play on one side, it’s important to understand that the draft applet you’re using may have different criteria for its ranking than what you studied before the draft.

QB’s | RB’s | WRs | TEs | D/STs | foosball | Top 200 | Superflex

There’s a guarantee — neither Yahoo nor ESPN will be 100 percent accurate on all positions, as will Sporting News, CBS Sports, Pro Football Focus, etc. Here’s a look at the most divisive players leading to the biggest anomalies in 2022 , so you can plan accordingly for your designs:

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Yahoo Fantasy Rankings vs. ESPN Fantasy Rankings 2022

Yahoo’s default is halfpoint PPR; ESPN’s default setting is Standard

Aaron Jones, RB, Packers (Yahoo Ranking: 12 | ESPN Ranking: 22)

Let’s start with a strange one. Jones is a skilled pass catcher and Aaron Rodgers will have to rely more on that aspect of his game as they sort out more in the receiving corps. Jones has a lot more value in any non-standard format, so Yahoo’s number is more apt.

Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants (Yahoo Rank: 19 | ESPN Rank: 28)

With that, Yahoo, ESPN and much of the industry are banking on Barkley staying healthy and suddenly returning to rookie form. In any case, this is pretty rich for an attempt at what volume-based RB2 services could be based on the massive durability risk.

QB’s | RB’s | WRs | TEs | D/STs | foosball | Top 200 | Superflex

James Conner, RB, Cardinals (Yahoo Rank: 32 | ESPN Rank: 21)

Conner deservedly gets a sizable boost from half to full PPR on ESPN. He should see some TD drop after scoring 18 goals last season, but he’s more in a feature situation where he’ll see an increase in his good receiving power.

Allen Robinson, WR, Rams (Yahoo Ranking: 44 | ESPN Ranking: 65)

Given the volume Cooper Kupp demands, Robinson seems like a better default option at first, but he’s averaged 100 receptions in his last two “motivated” seasons in Chicago and Robert Woods hit 90s twice with the Rams before falling in the last Torn cruciate ligament this season. Robinson’s reach at Yahoo is reasonable, and he might be underestimated even for PPR.

QB’s | RB’s | WRs | TEs | D/STs | One from each team

Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens (Yahoo Rank: 47 | ESPN Rank: 70)

ESPN tends to push QBs down relative to other positions in the rankings, but here, since PPR is not a factor, Jackson is considered a late six-rounder versus a late four-rounder. Jackson should go square in the fifth.

AJ Dillon, RB, Packers (Yahoo Rank: 48 | ESPN Rank: 97)

Again, ESPN may not give the Packers’ backs enough credit for what they can do in the passing game to support Rodgers. Dillon is considered the power complement to Jones, but he caught 34 of 37 targets last year to complement Jones’ 52 grabs on 65 targets. He won’t last anywhere near the ninth round in any format.

AUCTION VALUES 2022 (Standard & PPR):
QB’s | RB’s | WRs | TEs | D/STs | foosball | In total

Chase Edmonds, RB, Dolphins (Yahoo Ranking: 64 | ESPN Ranking: 98)

Edmonds is the top defenseman in Miami considering Raheem Mostert’s injury issues, Sony Michel’s limited game and Myles Gaskin’s youthful fading. Edmonds is a positive RB3 because he’s a good receiver instead of being a reliable goalscorer. It should actually have more value in PPR.

Elijah Moore, WR, Jets (Yahoo Ranking: 70 | ESPN Ranking: 89)

Moore averaged seven goals per game as a rookie with a 55.8 percent save rate. Those two numbers are bound to rise regardless of New York’s questionable QB situation. His floor seems to be an 80 catch player and he needs more love in PPR.

QB’s | RB’s | WRs | TEs | D/STs

Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears (Yahoo Rank: 76 | ESPN Rank: 54)

Yahoo needs to get Mooney at least into the sixth round here. He’s also a standard star with good volume and needs more WR2 love overall.

Marquise Brown, WR, Cardinals (Yahoo Rank: 77 | ESPN Rank: 45)

Some see “Hollywood” being a target monster again after catching 91 of 145 targets in Baltimore, but that’s sure to go down as Kyler Murray still spreads the ball even before DeAndre Hopkins returns. Brown is also inefficient and inconsistent as a big play and scoring threat. It’s generally wiser to play deeper with Brown.

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Amari Cooper, WR, Browns (Yahoo Rank: 83 | ESPN Rank: 56)

ESPN wants Cooper to be a reliable volume receiver regardless of the Cleveland QB. Yahoo is skeptical about this QB situation. Share the difference and watch Cooper finish sixth.

Dawson Knox, TE, Bills (Yahoo Ranking: 87 | ESPN Ranking: 120)

Knox has mixed feelings as the Bills upped the ante for Josh Allen. The rise of Gabriel Davis, the engagement of James Cook, the enthusiasm of Isaiah McKenzie and the presence of OJ Howard are some of the factors pushing Knox down the pecking order and also down the rankings.

Quarterbacks | rewind | wide receiver | Close end

Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, Rams (Yahoo Ranking: 93 | ESPN Ranking: 175)

Yahoo raises some concerns about Cam Akers staying healthy, and that’s reflected here. That confirms that Akers is one of the biggest boom-or-bust picks this season.

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks (Yahoo Rank: 99 | ESPN Rank: 73)

Geno Smith might give Lockett more hope than Drew Lock. Anyway, being overly optimistic about Lockett on an offense without Russell Wilson isn’t the way to go.

Dameon Pierce, RB, Texan (Yahoo Rank: 101 | ESPN Rank: 138)

Pierce is a trendy rookie pick because Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead don’t inspire anyone while they’re ahead of them on the depth chart. You must be on the yahoo site earlier to get the jump on Pierce.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers (Yahoo rank: 105 | ESPN rank: 83)

Rodgers is dragged into QB2 territory in the rankings because he thinks the sky is falling over the Packers’ passing game. ESPN even got him in the right wheelhouse more in the seventh round for a theft.

Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers (Yahoo Ranking: 106 | ESPN Ranking: 52)

ESPN is betting that Godwin is his sane self almost immediately, while Yahoo isn’t. Use that on Yahoo, and more optimistic reports should be coming out of Tampa Bay soon.

Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Broncos (Yahoo Rank: 110 | ESPN Rank: 214)

Albert O polarizes as a tight end sleeper. Some see him as the No. 3 receiver behind Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy with Tim Patrick (left knee) below. Others see Wilson as having an inconsistent history of throwing at the tight end, or hybrid rookie backup Greg Dulcich as a key factor. Okwuegbunam was supposed to be drafted somewhere in round 10, so Yahoo has it right here.

Kadarius Toney, WR, Giants (Yahoo Rank: 113 | ESPN Rank: 75)

The Giants’ passing game has become a complete wildcard with Daniel Jones substituting for Mike Kafka and Brian Daboll. Toney or newcomer Wan’Dale Robinson? Will Kenny Golladay or Sterling Shepard recover? The Big Blue wide receiver crew seems to be a big avoid in the top 100.

Justin Fields, QB, Bears (Yahoo rank: 118 | ESPN rank: 164)

Fields is another polarizing stat in Drafts. His running ground and immense physical ability in a much-improved offensive scheme say he’ll be closer to Round 10 than Round 14.

Kenneth Gainwell, Eagles (Yahoo Rank: 129 | ESPN Rank: 186)

ESPN is higher on Miles Sanders, even with his limited reception pop. Gainwell is underestimated as a real threat to eliminate key touches in a dangerous pass-leaning offense.

Matt Ryan, QB, Colts (Yahoo Rank: 138 | ESPN Rank: 245)

Ryan or Jared Goff? These are old-school former QB1 veterans who have no interest as buried QB2s. Yahoo is a little too high on Ryan, but ESPN is definitely way too low.

Skyy Moore, WR, Chiefs (Yahoo Rank: 147 | ESPN Rank: 112)

ESPN is really loving that Moore is emerging as a key factor on the committee to replace Tyreek Hill and others behind Travis Kelce. We’re more with them than Yaho as we wary of the veterans over the dynamic rookie.

Khalil Herbert, RB, Bears (Yahoo Rank: 149 | ESPN Rank: 183)

You can make a risky earlier pick as RB2 on David Montgomery or wait for a much better value from the Bears backfield in his more explosive backup. Be on the lookout for that Herbert as early as lap 10.

Rachaad White, RB, Buccaneers (Yahoo Ranking: 151 | ESPN Ranking: 196)

Leonard Fournette should theoretically be in line for another strong season with Tom Brady, but there’s always some durability risk. White is a top-notch handcuff at worst, and his pass-catching skills suggest he’s more of a 12th- or 13th-round guy than a late-draft flyer.

Romeo Doubs, WR, Packers (Yahoo Rank: 155 | ESPN Rank: 271)

Yahoo has caught up to make the quick adjustment to the feisty newcomer merging with Rodgers. ESPN lags behind there. But it’s clear that Doubs should be taken in the later rounds in all drafts regardless of format.

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