Elijah Moore or Rashod Bateman: Who’s the better fantasy draft pick in 2022?

Sophomore WRs Elijah Moore and Rashod Bateman stand out as potential fantasy breakouts despite wildly different offensive situations. Both are close in the preseason rankings and have similar ADPs. So if you’re looking for a wide receiver in the early middle rounds, chances are you’ll be choosing between these two.

But who is the cheaper choice than WR3? Here’s a breakdown and a decision:

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2022 Fantasy Cheat Sheet

Elijah Moore Fantasy outlook, projections 2022

Finished in 2021 (half point PPR): WR48 overall, WR30 average

Moore started just six of 11 healthy games as a rookie with multiple starting QBs. He received 77 goals, 43 catches for 538 yards and five TDs. He added 54 yards rushing and another TD there.

The Jets have 218 vacant goals from last season, but they also have a real first-round pick on wideout Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis is on track to be healthy soon after missing eight games. They’ve also signed two notable veteran tight ends in free agency, CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin.

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Moore will still be at the heart of the interim offense. Until Wilson matches the promise he showed at Ohio State, Moore remains the Jets’ most talented and versatile receiver. He also has the most experience playing with sophomore QB Zach Wilson, who is unlikely to lose much time due to another right knee injury.

Before suffering a season-ending quad injury that cost him the final five games, Moore made a seven-game tear. He caught 45 of 57 targets at that stretch for 372 yards and all five of his TDs.

Despite the added depth, Moore has established himself as an all-around no. 1 of the team at camp. With that status, 75 catches for 1,000 yards seems like an absolute bottom with a high score.

The Jets’ defense is still a work in progress and will have some temporary volume attached to it. The 49ers-style offense under Mike LaFleur should show similarities between Moore and Deebo Samuel, giving Moore a shot at more important hybrid touches as a rusher to boost his stats.

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Rashod Bateman Fantasy Outlook, projections 2022

Finished in 2021 (half point PPR): WR73 overall, WR56 average

The Jets were a 63 percent passing team in 2021, good for the No. 3 in the NFL. The Ravens have thrown just 56 percent of the time, but with their offensive line revamp and better backfield health, they can go back to being the league’s busiest offensive player like they were in the ’20s. Then they threw far less than half the time.

That’s the first challenge Bateman faces when trying to outperform Moore. The other is, despite being traded the clear No. 1 in the wideout with Marquise Brown in the offseason, he’s still the No. 2 target for Lamar Jackson behind tight end Mark Andrews.

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There is limited reliable depth behind Bateman as the likes of James Proche and speedster Devin Duvernay will be battling for some of the 195 vacated WR goals from last season.

The Ravens rushed nearly 4,000 yards last season, but with Jackson, JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards all healthy, it should drop to about 3,000. So even though Brown and Sammy Watkins cleared 1,402 yards, there’s really only about 1,000 available. Bateman could command a large chunk of that, but some will be offset by Proche, Duvernay and other wide receivers.

AUCTION VALUES 2022 (Standard & PPR):
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Bateman will see a notable increase with his 46 catches (68 targets) and 515 yards in 12 games over the past year. Andrews’ volume of 153 goals should go down a bit to help. Oddly enough, Brown’s inefficiency as a big-play threat made his final numbers more possessive. That’s a helpful barometer of what Bateman can do as the No. 1 wideout.

Bateman could be looking at a cap of 80 catches and 800 yards and seven TDs — an adjusted mix of what Brown has done in his last two seasons as Raven.

Moore and Bateman are as close as it gets – and both are good stats as WR3 – but Moore has more advantages than Bateman to crack WR2 status based on his primary utility role in a busier passing game.

The choice is… Moore

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For RotoBaller’s take on Moore vs. Bateman—or four other players you’re considering in your draft—watch her exclusive Who to Draft? tool below:

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