Five players ready to score big points early

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4for4 takes the use of schedule strength for fantasy to a different level with its signature metric, schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, or aFPA. By removing programming bias, we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an apples-to-apples fashion.

Making decisions about who to draft into ADP can come down to a number of factors, but for this article, I’ll point out some players who have an easier start to the season than others so you can maximize points early on.

By ensuring a solid start to the year, starting 3-1 or 4-0, we can greatly increase our chances of reaching the promised land of fantasy in the cold winter months: the playoffs. In a fantasy league where 6 teams out of twelve make the playoffs, there’s a 92 percent chance of making the playoffs if you start 4-0; conversely, if he starts 0-4, his odds are 9%.

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I skipped the elite players you’d be recruiting anyway and focused on more of the mid to late round guys that we sometimes have a hard time telling each other apart.

Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts (Yahoo ADP: 131.1)

There are plenty of reasons to like Matt Ryan for fantasy purposes in 2022, so his easy schedule early on only sweetens the pot. Indy begins the season with the Texans, Jaguars, Chiefs and Titans, who all ranked 19th or worse in QB aFPA in 2021.

Ryan is off to a fresh start with the Colts and has solid young talent in Michael Pittman Jr. Y jonathan taylor share the field, along with a much better offensive line than he’s had in recent years in Atlanta. Ryan is currently being drafted at QB27, but he has the potential to break into the top 15, for a very cheap 14-round draft price.

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Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns (Yahoo ADP: 18.1)

I know I said I wasn’t going to include the drafted players here, but Nick Chubb’s stock has fallen steadily this summer, and he’s now midway through the second round, so I’m including the Cleveland RB. With the Browns’ quarterback situation murky, to say the least, writers seem unsure what to do with his entire offense.

It should continue to be a run-first situation in Cleveland, and Chubb is one of the best pure running backs in the game, but he doesn’t have that pass-catching advantage that fantasy GMs crave. However, he’s off to a glorious start to the 2022 season. After a Week 1 tilt with Carolina, Chubb faces the Jets, Steelers, Falcons and Chargers, who ranked 32nd, 23rd, 26th and 28th, respectively. in RB aFPA last year. Chubb is currently ranked 9th back off boards and ranked 13th in Yahoo’s mid PPR rankings.

Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints (Yahoo ADP: 124.4)

There are a multitude of reasons to like Chris Olave this season, including his path to volume, his deep threat ability, and how the rookie’s big style of play could mesh nicely with the way he james winston deliver the football

Chris Olave #12 of the New Orleans Saints has the fantasy on the rise

Chris Olave has a chance for early fantasy success this season. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Add to Olave’s charm a favorable schedule to start his NFL career. The Saints’ first two games are division rivals, with the Falcons in Week 1 followed by Tampa Bay, both in the bottom seven in WR aFPA last season. They get a stronger Carolina secondary in Week 3, but then face a late Vikings unit that yielded 33.3 aFPA to enemy WRs the following week. Olave is being drafted as a fantasy WR4, but the edge is there to get over this season.

Jalen Tolbert, Dallas Cowboys (Yahoo ADP: 129.2)

The stars seem to be aligning for another rookie, as Jalen Tolbert is in a great place to find success early on. With both miguel rooster Y james washington sidelined for the start of 2022, Tolbert is in line for WR2 duties and should be third in targets behind Cee Dee Lamb Y Dalton-Schultz.

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He also works for Tolbert who the Cowboys are facing to start their first year in the league. The average rating of his first four opponents was 24, with an average aFPA for enemy wide receivers of 30.0 half PPR points per contest. The consistency may not be there all season for the 23-year-old, but with his opportunity and his comfortable schedule, Tolbert could be a sneaky late-round flex play early on.

Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals (Yahoo ADP: 95.1)

Zach Ertz will not only eat in the first six weeks of the season due to the suspension of andre hopkins, but the 31-year-old also faces some shady defensive units when it comes to defending TE in that time frame. Four of those six teams ranked 20th or worse in 2021 in TE aFPA, yielding an average of 12.5 half PPR points for opposing TEs per matchup.

Ertz leaves the draft boards as TE10 and has the potential to play a few spots based on predictive volume and opposition. However, he will be sure to monitor his status from Week 1, as he has been dealing with a calf issue.

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Jennifer Eakins, a proud alumna of the UGA Grady College of Journalism, has been working in the sports industry for over a decade. She has had stints with CNN Sports, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Colorado Rockies. Her first fantasy football draft took place in 1996, where she drafted Ricky Watters with the first overall pick, and she’s been a fantasy degenerate ever since.

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