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NFL
TEN
BAL
o31.5
-3.5
7:30PM • PREVIEW
CLE
JAX
o35.5
-1.5
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NYJ
PHI
o35.5
+1
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KC
CHI
o35
-3.5
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IND
BUF
o34
-1.5
4:00PM • PREVIEW
SEA
PIT
o36
-3
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MIA
TB
o31.5
+1.5
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DAL
DEN
o31.5
-2.5
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LAR
LAC
o30
-3.5
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NO
HOU
o33.5
+1.5
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NYG
NE
o34
+2
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MIN
LV
o34
-3.5
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ARI
CIN
o31.5
-2.5
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GB
SF
o33
-2.5
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CAR
WAS
o36.5
-3
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ATL
DET
o35
+1
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Which Second-Year Quarterbacks Will Dominate the 2022 Fantasy Football Season?

Will Desvallees Jun 1st 4:51 PM EDT.

Now into June, NFL rosters are starting to take shape. Teams like the Jaguars and the Patriots have made terrific moves this offseason which will give second-year QBs Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones a real chance to play much better in 2022. Let’s examine the 2021 NFL quarterback class and what fantasy football owners should expect as these young gunslingers head into their second professional season.

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QB Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

Although Justin Fields only played in 12 games in his rookie campaign, they were absolutely disastrous. In three consecutive contests, Fields failed to produce a QBR over 35.0. He threw for seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing just 58.9% of his passes. The Ohio State standout had a rough rookie campaign despite scoring a rushing touchdown in Week 1 following Andy Dalton’s injury. Fields has explained that he has a “completely different outlook” going into this season, yet the Bears’ offense took a huge hit. Allen Robinson left Chicago to join the reigning Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West. Chicago did sign former Kansas City Chiefs possession receiver Byron Pringle and they do have Darnell Mooney. With David Montgomery in the backfield, Fields could take a step forward in 2022 but the Bears are still going to struggle in a very competitive division. 

QB Mac Jones, New England Patriots

Mac Jones had the best season of all rookie quarterbacks in 2021. His passes were caught 67.6% of the time for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns, and only 13 picks. With a passer rating of 92.5 in his first year in New England, the sky's the limit for what Mac Jones can accomplish. This is especially true considering his consistency and ability to be poised despite a less-than-stellar receiving group. Jones will get some much-needed help in 2022. Former Miami Dolphins wideout, DeVante Parker, will serve as Jones’ go-to target. Plus, the Patriots were able to retain Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne, as well as Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith at the tight end position. Expect the Alabama phenom to exceed his already terrific rookie numbers in his second professional season. 

QB Zach Wilson, New York Jets

The Jets boosted their offense this offseason in large part by selecting Ohio State wideout Garrett Wilson in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. This should go a long way to help second-year franchise quarterback, Zach Wilson. In his rookie season, the BYU product passed for 2,334 yards and nine touchdowns but threw 11 interceptions. The Jets finished dead last in the AFC East as Wilson managed to play just 13 games. Fortunately for Wilson, Elijah Moore turned it on late last season in his rookie year and should improve his numbers with a fully healthy season. In Moore’s last five games of the 2021 campaign before suffering a season-ending surgery, the youngster corralled 28 receptions on a whopping 45 targets (nine per game), 392 receiving yards, and five trips to the end zone! With Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios also in the mix, Wilson can definitely improve his game in his second season. The Jets will ask a lot from their signal caller since they should be playing from behind in most contests. Expect at least 3,500 passing yards and around 20 touchdowns in Year 2 from Wilson.

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QB Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo held off the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft last season and led the Niners to the NFC Conference Championship where they were defeated by the Los Angeles Rams. Unfortunately for Jimmy G., a game-sealing interception he threw when San Francisco was driving, down by three points with one minute remaining likely paved the way for Lance to start out of the gate in 2022.

Trey Lance played just six games last season as a rookie, in which he only recorded 603 yards. Still, he scored five touchdowns compared to a mere two interceptions. Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Zach Wilson all tossed more picks than touchdowns in their rookie season. So Lance at least has that going for him. Lance is also the second-most mobile quarterback in this class behind Fields. He totaled 168 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground last year. Although Deebo Samuel requested a trade out of San Francisco, the Niners did not accommodate his request and Deebo will remain the WR1 in this offense. Lance will also have Brandon Aiyuk at his disposal. Aiyuk started the season extremely slow but got hot at the right team. He should be in good shape heading into 2022. Plus, the Niners were fortunate enough to see Jauan Jennings mature and grow before their eyes last year. The kid hauled in six receptions for 94 yards and two scores against the Rams in the NFC Conference Championship. And of course, George Kittle is still lining up at tight end for the Niners. 

Although we haven’t seen as much from Lance as we have from the other quarterbacks in this class, he undoubtedly has the best weapons in his arsenal. Considering his ability to move the chains with his legs and his arm, Lance could very well surprise some people and be the most improved second-year quarterback in 2022. 

QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Down in Jacksonville, the first overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft had a rough rookie season. Though he was drafted alongside Travis Etienne (with whom he played with at Clemson), the two have not gotten to share the field in the NFL yet. Now that Etienne is returning to the Jaguars healthy, the two could erupt on the field as they did together as Clemson Tigers. 

The Jaguars did an entire overhaul on the offensive roster. The backfield will look different simply with Etienne’s presence but James Robinson will still have a role. Jacksonville also boosted their depth at the tight end position by adding former New York Giant, Evan Engram, to play alongside Dan Arnold (one of Lawrence’s favorite targets late last year). The Jags weren’t done there though. They also improved the wide receiver room immensely by bringing in Zay Jones and Christian Kirk. With those additional weapons at his disposal and a healthy Travis Etienne, things are looking much better for Trevor Lawrence in year two than in year one. 

So which second-year QBs will improve the most in 2022? 

Based on moves made by these teams in the offseason, particularly the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots; Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones are the sophomore quarterbacks with the most upside going into this NFL season. In contrast, Zach Wilson might have another rough season with the Jets. Justin Fields is a bit of a wild card but his mobility definitely gives him some upside. Overall, fantasy owners should rank these second-year signal-callers as follows:

  1. Trevor Lawrence
  2. Mac Jones
  3. Trey Lance
  4. Justin Fields
  5. Zach Wilson

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