Fantasy Football rest-of-season rankings: Stash QBs; James Cook pushing for more time

Eric Karabell ranks players for their value the rest of the 2022 season by position every week. Use the information to optimize the players on your bench for their future potential. Eric's top 100 can be found below the positions in this column.


Rankings changes: Perhaps the big newsmakers at QB are the ones leaving the rankings. The 49ers lost their second starter in Jimmy Garoppolo (foot), after losing Trey Lance (ankle) in Week 2. Now it's Brock Purdy time ... unless the 49ers sign another QB. We hear Baker Mayfield is available. Purdy played competently in relief Sunday, surrounded by stars, and debuts on this list ahead of quite a few established NFL starters.

The Rams will not successfully defend their Super Bowl title. They won't even make the playoffs. John Wolford is their new starting QB, if healthy, and those still rostering Matthew Stafford can move on. Wolford doesn't crack our top 30 QBs here. Tyler Huntley of the Ravens, however, does, just in case Lamar Jackson has to miss games with a knee injury, which seems likely.

The top 10 sees only minor change at the back end, as Seahawks surprise Geno Smith really deserves the spot over Jackson, whom Smith has easily outscored since Week 4, and Deshaun Watson, who struggled in his season debut with the Browns, but figures to improve in the coming weeks. Smith remains available in 15% of ESPN standard leagues, despite outscoring Justin Herbert and all but six QBs this season.

Stashing away: With trade season over for ESPN leagues, think about adding (if you have the room) Huntley, even if you're hoping you don't need to. You don't want to lose in the playoffs to a Huntley-led squad. It's also possible, as the playoff berths slip away, the Packers turn to Jordan Love and the Falcons see what Desmond Ridder can do in advance of next season. These fellows would likely outperform statistical strugglers such as Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson and Mac Jones.

Running back

Rankings changes: Lions star D'Andre Swift enjoyed 18 touches Sunday, tying for his most of the season, set in Week 1. Those are, by the way, his best two statistical weeks of the season. Welcome back to the top 20! The Ravens' J.K. Dobbins and Rams' Cam Akers rejoin the overall top 100, with further rise likely. Dobbins, who last played in Week 6 due to knee problems, may come off injured reserve this week while Akers scored 19 PPR points Sunday, nearly doubling his season high.

On the other side, the Saints' Alvin Kamara struggled again on Monday, the fourth time in five games he's been held to single-digit PPR points. Not good enough, and now the Saints serve their bye week. He slips deep into RB2 territory. We await further word on Seahawks rookie Kenneth Walker III. He may play this week. The Falcons' Cordarrelle Patterson has gone four games with nary a scrimmage touchdown, and he's hardly piling on the yards or catches.

Stashing away: The Bengals should get Joe Mixon back from a concussion this week, but Samaje Perine surely has proven himself in recent weeks and should remain rostered. Zonovan Knight moves up as the top Jets RB, but managers should hold onto Michael Carter. DeeJay Dallas or Tony Jones could matter in fantasy if Walker misses time. The Bills' Devin Singletary looks fine, but rookie James Cook looks really fine and could push him.

Wide receiver

Rankings changes: Raiders star Davante Adams is on quite a run, having topped 30 PPR points in three of five weeks, and he forces himself into the top overall spot. The Bengals' Ja'Marr Chase looked great in his first action since Week 7. The first five overall spots, for the first time in this space, belong to wide receivers. The Lions' Amon-Ra St. Brown is back in the top 20.

Rookie alert! The Saints' Chris Olave has first-year company in mid-WR2 range, as the Packers' Christian Watson and Jets' Garrett Wilson join him. Watson and Wilson were top-10 WR performers in Week 13, while the Falcons' Drake London, Colts' Alec Pierce and Commanders' Jahan Dotson played well. The Titans' Treylon Burks caught a touchdown before leaving with concussion symptoms, but he certainly looks like a factor in fantasy. The Lions debuted Jameson Williams. He will be a factor.

Stashing away: It's hard to recommend stashing wide receivers in fantasy because of the positional depth, but keep an eye on the Jets and Chiefs in future weeks. Corey Davis played well in Week 13, but Elijah Moore remains in play. No Chiefs WRs scored double-digit PPR points Sunday, but that should change moving forward. See if someone in your league dropped the Chargers' Mike Williams, Broncos' Jerry Jeudy or Cardinals' Rondale Moore.

Tight end

Rankings changes: Not a great week for this position, as no tight ends scored 15 PPR points. Tampa Bay's Cade Otton led the way with 14.8 PPR points, edging out the Broncos' Greg Dulcich. The Chiefs' Travis Kelce and Ravens' Mark Andrews were held in check. The 49ers' George Kittle was worse. The Bills' Dawson Knox and Dolphins' Mike Gesicki didn't catch any passes at all! Anyway, not much movement here and don't all run out to get the Seahawks' Noah Fant or Jaguars' Evan Engram. Stick with the top names you trust and see if the Eagles' Dallas Goedert is available.