In round 1, you have a choice to draft one of the top wide receivers (WRs) in Ja’Marr Chase or a top end running back (RB) in Najee Harris or Joe Mixon from the 9th spot in fantasy drafts for half point per reception (PPR) leagues. In round 2, you continue to have flexibility in either drafting the top tight end (TE) Travis Kelce, top WR Cee Dee Lamb or top RB DeAndre Swift. In round 3, some strong wide receiver (WR) options are available.
Round 1 Pick 9: Justin Jefferson (Yahoo ADP 6.4), Derrick Henry (Yahoo ADP 4.9), Dalvin Cook: (Yahoo ADP 6.3): get one of them if they fall to this spot
Ja’Marr Chase (Yahoo ADP 9.1): Ja’Marr Chase was reunited with his college QB Joe Burrow last year and the chemistry they displayed in their first year together in the NFL was electric. This enabled Chase to finish as the WR4 overall last year in a historic season. We’re betting on an encore this year and for Chase to finish in the top 5 WRs overall again.
Najee Harris (Yahoo ADP 8.9): Pittsburgh doesn’t really have much of an offense beyond RB Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson, their alpha wide receiver, this year. With a new QB after the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, we expect the throwing offense to be conservative and for Harris to replicate his running volume from last season. If that happens, Harris has a shot of ending the season close to where he performed last year, an RB4 overall finish.
Joe Mixon (Yahoo ADP 10.7): Joe Mixon had an injury free season last year. Behind an explosive Cincinnati Bengals offense, he showed his potential by finishing as the RB3 overall in half PPR. He has a secure three down role with the Bengals, and has the receiving and goal line role in addition to the early down work in the offense. Barring injury, another top 3-5 RB finish beckons.
Round 2 Pick 16:
Travis Kelce (Yahoo ADP 16.7): Travis Kelce was tight end 2 (TE2) overall last year, producing 13.7 fantasy points per game from a usually anemic position. He’s 32 years old this year, although he has displayed no decline and plenty of durability the past few years. The Kansas offense figures to lean even more heavily on Kelce this year after the departure of superstar Tyreek Hill, widely regarded as the best wide receiver in the game. Expect Kelce to have another TE1 or TE2 overall season and perform at par with a WR1.
Cee Dee Lamb (Yahoo ADP: 17.8): After the departure of Amari Cooper from the Dallas Cowboys, Cee Dee Lamb is now the alpha of the offense. We expect plenty of receiving volume with seasoned QB Dak Prescott. The second best WR in the offense, Michael Gallup, is also injured to start the season. All of this means we’re projecting a monster season for Lamb, and for him to land a top 10 overall WR season.
DeAndre Swift (Yahoo ADP: 18.2): DeAndre Swift was in the middle of a top notch season last year, at RB7 overall through the first 11 weeks before injuries hit. He went on to play only one more game and finished at RB20 overall. Swift is fully healthy now, and continues to possess one of the best receiving workloads for an RB in the NFL. As a result we’re predicting a top 10 RB finish for him this year.
Alvin Kamara (Yahoo ADP: 22.2), Deebo Samuel (Yahoo ADP: 20.2), Leonard Fournette (Yahoo ADP: 20)
Round 3 Pick 33: Keenan Allen (Yahoo ADP 30.2), Ezekiel Elliott (Yahoo ADP 29.9): get one of them if available
AJ Brown (Yahoo ADP 34): AJ Brown has a shiny new contract that has made him one of the best paid WRs in the NFL and he also has a new team, the Philadelphia Eagles. This move is great from a fantasy perspective as well, as Brown’s old team, the Titans were a run first offense that worked through elite RB Derrick Henry. This severely capped Brown’s potential in the receiving game last year. We expect Brown to easily surpass his 11 fantasy points per game from last season and finish as a WR1.
Kyle Pitts (Yahoo ADP 39.4): Kyle Pitts finished at TE5 overall last year in his rookie season after being selected by the receiver needy Atlanta Falcons. We expect him to take another step forward in his sophomore year, when TEs at the NFL level improve substantially historically. Atlanta continues to have no receiving depth behind Pitts, with rookie receiver Drake London expected to be his closest competition this year. Because of all of this, we’re expecting a top 3-5 TE finish for Kyle, which will give you an advantage in a weak position if you get him here.
DJ Moore (Yahoo ADP 41.2): DJ Moore keeps piling on the 1100 yard seasons (he’s done that for each of the past 3 years) despite poor QB play in his team, the Carolina Panthers. We’re expecting the overall offense to be better though, with the return of star RB Christian McCaffery which will increase the touchdown (TD) potential for Moore. Expect a high end WR2 season with upside this year.
James Conner (Yahoo ADP 31.9), Tee Higgins (Yahoo ADP 30.3)
Round 4 Pick 40:
Kyle Pitts (Yahoo ADP: 39.4), DJ Moore (Yahoo ADP: 41.2): If one of them are available, get them here
Breece Hall (Yahoo ADP: 41.7): The New York Jets RB crew from last year, Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman et al disappointed with their performances on the field and their ability to stay healthy. As a result, the Jets invested major draft capital in this year’s NFL draft and recruited running back Breece Hall. Hall has the size, speed and hands to be able to handle all three downs for the Jets, which will ultimately reward fantasy managers who draft him here. But expect him to start the season slow, as Carter remains the starting RB.
Jaylen Waddle (Yahoo ADP 43.6): While Ja’Marr Chase got all the headlines for his historic rookie season, fellow rookie Jaylen Waddle quietly had a season for the ages as well. Waddle finished as the WR17 last year despite being thrown to by mediocre QB Tua Tagovailoa. Waddle’s season was boosted by having the an extraordinary number of targets thrown his way, which will not be the case this year as superstar WR Tyreek Hill has joined the Dolphins. Despite this addition, and because we expect the overall offense to take a step forward, we’re predicting a WR2 season for Waddle.
Terry McLaurin (Yahoo ADP: 44.1): Terry McLaurin finished as the WR25 overall last year despite poor QB play for the Washington Commanders last year. This year, the Commanders have upgraded at QB by signing Carson Wentz. We’re expecting this to lift Terry’s performance into the WR2 range
Diontae Johnson (Yahoo ADP: 47.2), Travis Etienne (Yahoo ADP 51.4)
Round 5 Pick 57:
Courtland Sutton (Yahoo ADP 53.3): Superstar QB Russell Wilson leaving the Seattle Seahawks to join the Denver Broncos is having cascading effects for several fantasy players. One of those is Courtland Sutton, the primary deep threat for the Broncos. He should benefit immensely from the QB upgrade. We’re expecting Sutton, now fully recovered from ACL and MCL surgeries in 2020 to finish in the WR2 range as a result.
JK Dobbins (Yahoo ADP 56.1): JK Dobbins is a part of the run first Baltimore Ravens offense led by QB Lamar Jackson. Dobbins was out with an injury all of last year which he seems to have fully recovered from. In 2020, Dobbins finished at RB21 overall. If he’s healthy, we predict a similar finish for him this year as well.
DK Metcalf (Yahoo ADP 55): DK Metcalf finished at WR10 overall playing for the Seattle Seahawks in 2021. Why is he available this low? It’s because his star QB Russell Wilson is now with the Denver Broncos. Due to the severe downgrade from Russell to underwhelming Geno Smith, he’s not going to finish in the WR1 range. However, Metcalf’s talent is undeniable. As a result we’re predicting a WR2 finish for him this year.
AJ Dillon (Yahoo ADP 62.2): AJ Dillon plays behind Aaron Jones in the Green Bay Packers run offense. While Rodgers had an RB1 finish last year, Dillon also finished in the RB2 range, at RB22 overall. We expect the potent 1-2 punch of Rodgers and Dillon to continue to perform at a high level in 2022 as well. However, if Rodgers were to get injured, Dillon would be left with primary RB responsibilities and get catapulted to one of the top 5 RBs overall. This is why we’re recommending him to be picked this early.
Round 6 Pick 64:
AJ Dillon (Yahoo ADP 62.2), if available here, pick him
Brandin Cooks (Yahoo ADP 74.2): Brandin Cooks, all of 28, is already a fantasy legend due to his automatic 1000 yards receiving WR2 seasons almost every year for the past seven years. We expect this season to be no different, and for this QB agnostic receiver to put up another WR2 season.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Yahoo ADP 72.7): Clyde Edwards-Helaire plays the starting RB position for the explosive Kansas City Chiefs offense, and as a result has a high floor given his volume of work including goal line carries. While he put up a relatively mediocre season last year, finishing at RB39, this was also driven by the fact that he missed 6 games. He’s fallen in drafts to the point where he’s a must have at this ADP, as he will provide pretty safe RB2 production as long as he stays healthy.
Gabriel Davis (Yahoo ADP 73.7), Damien Harris (Yahoo ADP 66.8)
Round 7 Pick 81:
Brandin Cooks (Yahoo ADP 74.2), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Yahoo ADP 72.7), Marquise Brown (Yahoo ADP 74.8), Amon-Ra St. Brown (Yahoo ADP 78.1): Pick them here if available without thinking.
Michael Thomas (Yahoo ADP 83.6): Michael Thomas put up the WR1 overall season in 2019. He then proceeded to largely disappear from fantasy relevance because of an ankle injury which required him to get surgery that obliterated his 2021 season. He’s back having fully recovered from the injury. In the meanwhile, hall of fame QB Drew Brees has retired and Thomas has aged to 29. While we don’t expect a WR1 season from Thomas anymore, we still expect him to finish in the low end WR2 or high end WR3 range.
Rashod Bateman (Yahoo ADP 85.5): While Rashod Bateman had an injury marred rookie season last year, he flashed plenty of potential. The Baltimore Ravens team was convinced, and accordingly let alpha WR Marquise Brown depart in free agency. Sophomore Bateman now has the top WR role all to himself which will guarantee a healthy volume. If he and star QB Lamar Jackson can stay healthy, we’re predicting a finish in the WR2 range.
Darnell Mooney (Yahoo ADP 94.9), Russell Wilson (Yahoo ADP 75)
Round 8 Pick 88:
Kareem Hunt (Yahoo ADP 91.4): Kareem Hunt has the 1B RB role in the Cleveland Browns offense, playing behind 1A RB Nick Chubb. He’s also Chubb’s primary handcuff. In his role playing behind Chubb, Hunt already has RB2/RB3 potential. If Chubb goes down due to injury. Hunt will instantly become one of the top 5-7 RBs overall in the league. In addition, Hunt also has a formal trade demand in place. If he is dealt to an RB needy team, Hunt should provide RB1 production based on his talent.
Darnell Mooney (Yahoo ADP 94.9): Darnell Mooney is now the focal point of the Chicago Bears receiving offense due to the departure of primary WR target Allen Robinson to the LA Rams. Last year was a breakout year of sorts for Mooney – he finished as the WR26 overall and close to 1000 yards. Justin Fields is no longer a rookie, and we’re expecting an improved performance from him and better chemistry with Mooney. We’re also expecting that Mooney benefits from the additional volume. We’re expecting Mooney to finish in the WR2 range.
Chris Godwin (Yahoo ADP 91.9): Chris Godwin has been a superstar WR in the NFL for the past few years. He’s also benefited in recent years due to his pairing with GOAT QB Tom Brady. As a result Godwin finished in the WR1 range last year. Unfortunately Godwin tore both his ACL and his MCL in week 15 of last year. He’s had surgery to address the issue but recovery from such injuries typically takes a year or more. As a result, we don’t expect Godwin to be at full speed for at least some if not all of this year. But a WR3 finish is still very much on the cards even with him at 70-80%. That’s plenty of value to get this late.
Tony Pollard (Yahoo ADP 94): Tony Pollard plays behind Ezekiel Elliott in Dallas, as the primary change of pace back. In this role, he has RB3 potential anyway. However, if the ageing Elliott were to get injured and miss a few games, Pollard’s talent and role in the Dallas offense will catapult him to the RB1 range.
Rhamondre Stevenson (Yahoo ADP 96.9): Rhamondre Stevenson is entering his sophomore season this year. As a rookie, despite being in legendary coach Bill Belichick’s doghouse to start the season, Stevenson built credibility with the coaching staff en route to an RB2 finish over the last 8 games. This season, after the retirement of pass catching back James White, that role goes to Stevenson. So we’re predicting an RB2/RB3 workload anyway. If lead back Damien Harris were to get injured, Stevenson would inherit a three down role and provide RB1 production.
Hunter Renfrow (Yahoo ADP 97.2), Elijah Moore (Yahoo ADP 98.6)
Round 9 Pick 104:
Rhamondre Stevenson (Yahoo ADP 96.9), Tony Pollard (Yahoo ADP 94), Hunter Renfrow (Yahoo ADP 97.2), Elijah Moore (Yahoo ADP 98.6): If you get any of them here, go for it.
Trey Lance (Yahoo ADP 106.7): The fantasy community is rejoicing due to the ascension of sophomore Trey Lance to the starting QB role in San Francisco. Why? Because in his two starts last year, Lance averaged 60 running yards a game. If he’s able to pull off that level of production for a whole year in the uptempo San Francisco offense, he could finish somewhere within the top 5 QBs. If you’ve prioritised other positions earlier in the draft and need a QB, don’t look beyond Lance here.
Kenneth Walker (Yahoo ADP 102.6), Brandon Aiyuk (Yahoo ADP 106.5)
Round 10 (Pick 112):
Drake London (Yahoo ADP 121.5): Drake London takes his show to the NFL this year as one of its most exciting rookies. His college exploits were defined by making full use of his size, speed and skill to manhandle opponents. He’s now been drafted by an Atlanta Falcons team that is desperately needy for receiving production. We expect London to compete for alpha duties with sophomore TE Kyle Pitts and finish with a large volume of targets. This should guarantee WR3 production, with potential for a WR2 finish within the range of outcomes.
Christian Kirk (Yahoo ADP 122.3): Christian Kirk had a breakout season with the Arizona Cardinals last year, finishing as a WR2. He was rewarded as a result, getting a huge payday with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Unfortunately for Kirk while this move firmly establishes him as the alpha of his new team, it also involves a downgrade at QB. Kirk goes from receiving passes from star Kyler Murray to sophomore Trevor Lawrence, who did not impress in his rookie season despite being drafted at #1 overall last year. After accounting for all of the above we’re predicting a WR3 season with upside for Kirk.
Robert Woods (Yahoo ADP 124.4), Michael Carter (Yahoo ADP 123.5), Darrell Henderson (Yahoo ADP 124.5), Alexander Mattinson (Yahoo ADP 125), Julio Jones (Yahoo ADP 124.1)
Targets for Round 11 and later:
Chris Olave (Yahoo ADP 126.8), Kadarius Toney (Yahoo ADP 128), Sony Michel (Yahoo ADP 128.6), Garett Wilson (Yahoo ADP 129.1), Isiah Spiller (Yahoo ADP 130.6)