Congratulations. You have landed that holy grail of Fantasy Football, the #1 pick. You’ve started well, but you need to nail your draft to make this count. Here’s a round by round discussion of target picks for you from this spot for 0.5 point per reception (PPR) leagues.
Round 1 Pick 1:
Jonathan Taylor (Yahoo Average Draft Position (ADP) 1.1): Jonathan Taylor provides the best combination of risk and productivity. He will score a lot of points, and since he is relatively young, should be a safer option than other choices.
Christian McCaffery: If we could guarantee health for Christian McCaffery, he would be the pick to make here, no question. However, McCaffery has only played a total of 10 games the last two years due to a variety of injuries. In the 5 games he played ~half the snaps last year, he averaged more than 20 fantasy points a game. But the risk is likely too high to pick him over Taylor
Other targets – Top tier WRs:
Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson are both considerations here, if you want to go wide receiver (WR) with your first pick. But there is a considerable drop off in running backs (RBs) between pick 1 and pick 24, your next pick, so we’d suggest picking an RB here.
Round 2, 3 Picks 24 and 25:
Saquon Barkeley (Yahoo ADP: 23.1): Saquon has been injured recently, only having played 2 and 13 games the last two years through a combination of freak injuries. But his 3 down role is secure in New York and his talent is unquestionable. The Giants have also made investments in the offensive line. If he’s able to stay healthy, a top 3 RB finish in fantasy is not outside the realm of possibility.
Alvin Kamara (Yahoo ADP: 22.2): Kamara, along with McCaffery is one of the best receiving backs in the game, and has a secure 3 down role with the Saints. This should, in all likelihood, result in a finish around the overall RB5 in fantasy, if he plays all games. That “if” has a wrinkle in the form of a potential looming suspension due to legal issues stemming from a violent confrontation with a man in a Las Vegas casino during pro bowl weekend. By all accounts it looks like the suspension will most likely happen in 2023. If that is the case, Kamara would be a steal at his current ADP.
Mark Andrews (Yahoo ADP: 24.5): While you can get tight ends (TEs) in the later rounds as well, Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews are at least a tier better than other options. Andrews had a 25% target share last year, and Marquise Brown who was his target competition last year in Baltimore is now in Arizona. This means that Mark Andrews will have a big role in the explosive Baltimore offense this year.
If everyone else is taken:
Keenan Allen (Yahoo ADP: 30.2), AJ Brown (Yahoo ADP: 34)
Round 4, 5 Picks 48, 49:
Travis Etienne (Yahoo ADP 51.4): We never got to see Etienne last year as his season was obliterated by preseason Lisfranc surgery. The Jaguars season also imploded due to a combination of poor coaching and well, the fact that they are the Jaguars, the current laughingstock of the NFL. Trevor Lawrence, the number one pick in the NFL draft also had a terrible season. But all of this should change this year. Not only is Etienne fully healthy, he was also on the same college football team as Lawrence, which means that they could extend that chemistry to the NFL. His main competition at RB, James Robinson himself went through a torn Achilles late last year. This means Etienne could run away with the job, and across all three downs. If that even comes close to happening, he will be a steal at his current ADP and could finish somewhere around the top 12 RBs in fantasy
Mike Williams (Yahoo ADP 49.4): Which Mike Williams are we going to see this year? Is it the Mike Williams from the first 5 weeks of last year, when he was overall WR2? Or the Mike Williams who considerably cooled off towards the latter part of the season after picking up a few niggles? He finished at WR12 last year, and even if there is some regression from there, he could be a value in the beginning of round 5. After all, he does have a superstar Quarterback (QB) in Justin Herbert, just signed an awesome new contract and has only a somewhat ageing Keenan Allen for target competition. What’s not to like?
Courtland Sutton (Yahoo ADP 53.3): Sutton seemed to be on the verge of stardom in 2020 when he went through a torn ACL in week 2. He flashed at times but was ultimately stymied by poor QB play and not having fully recovered last season. These are no longer factors in 2022. His QB is now Russell Wilson, which should supercharge this offense. Tim Patrick is lost for 2022 as well, which means more targets for Sutton (and fellow WR Jerry Jeudy).
Diontae Johnson (Yahoo ADP 47.2), J.K. Dobbins (Yahoo ADP 56.1), Brandin Cooks (Yahoo ADP 74.5)
Round 6, 7 Picks 72, 73:
Brandin Cooks (Yahoo ADP 74.2): Brandin cooks the stats and piles on the fantasy points year after year despite not getting enough love from the drafting community. He had more than 130 targets, 90 receptions and 1000 yards last year. That is unbelievable production at this ADP. He’s also the unquestioned top target for his QB, Davis Mills. If you get him here, thank your lucky stars and prepare for the points to roll in.
Marquise Brown (Yahoo ADP 74.8): Marquise “Hollywood” Brown takes his show to Arizona this season after having made an impact with the Baltimore Ravens last year. He has highly regarded QB Kyler Murray throwing him the ball. Deandre Hopkins, who would normally have been the alpha in this offense is suspended for the first 6 weeks of the season. This leaves an ageing (old) Zach Ertz, A.J. (even more run down) Green, and unproven sophomore Rondale Moore as his only competition for targets for the first part of the season. Even if Hopkins comes back for the second half in shape and ready to go, Brown will continue to have good weeks and provide stellar value at this ADP
Amari Cooper (Yahoo ADP 76.7): Amari Cooper would finish somewhere in the WR2/WR3 range if his quarterback was going to be Jacoby Brissett this season. This is reasonable expectation from this spot in the draft. This would also be in line with what Amari has done in his career, taking into account that he is going to be the primary pass catching option in Cleveland. But Deshaun Watson is now coming back a couple of weeks before the fantasy playoffs. If Watson comes back in week 13 in shape, you could get that additional help getting into the playoffs in the last couple of weeks of the fantasy regular season. Also, your team would be a potential juggernaut in the playoffs. We won’t condone Deshaun’s alleged behaviour or comment on his legal troubles here, but as a passer he’s demonstrated the ability to transform his receivers into fantasy studs. Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks will attest to that.
Gabriel Davis (Yahoo ADP 73.7), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Yahoo ADP 72.7), Darnell Mooney (Yahoo ADP 94.9)
Round 8,9 Picks 96,97:
Darnell Mooney (Yahoo ADP 94.9): Getting Darnell Mooney in round 6 or 7 is good. Here it’s an absolute steal. With Allen Robinson having left Chicago for LA, Mooney is now the alpha. Sophomore quarterback Justin Fields should take another step forward this year. With the massive volume he’s expected to get this year alone, Mooney should finish as a high end WR3. Progression of chemistry between him and his QB is all additional upside.
Elijah Moore (Yahoo ADP 98.6): Elijah Moore’s season was curtailed due to COVID-19 and injuries last year. But when he played, he was great. He finished in the top 24 WRs in the last 6 games he played. Granted, quarterback Zach Wilson might have suffered an injury in the preseason that slows him down some in the early part of the year. Also, he will have some more competition this year from the 10th pick in this year’s draft, Garrett Wilson. But this is all more than baked into his current ADP.
Rhamondre Stevenson (Yahoo ADP 96.9): Rhamondre Stevenson had one of the most prolific rookie seasons ever for a running back in a Bill Belichick offense. Weeks 9 through 17, he was the RB22 in fantasy. Damien Harris is great too, but does not have a role in the receiving game. And with James White now retired, Stevenson will have that part of the role sewed up. He should return plenty of value as is at this ADP. But if Harris gets injured or Stevenson supersedes him, he has league winning upside due to his 3 down skillset
Trey Lance (Yahoo ADP 106.7), Hunter Renfrow (Yahoo ADP 97.2), Kenneth Walker (Yahoo ADP 102.6)
Round 10, 11 (Picks 120,121)
Drake London (Yahoo ADP 121.5): Drake London was the first wide receiver taken in this year’s NFL draft. For good reason. He absolutely torched college football and was named Pac-12 offensive player of the year in 2021. London also has no competition for targets aside from second year tight end Kyle Pitts in Atlanta. He could very well be the Ja’Marr Chase of 2022. Chase the upside if you find him this late.
Julio Jones (Yahoo ADP 124.1): Julio Jones is no longer the top wide receiver in the NFL. But he’s no slouch either. He’s in a high octane Tampa Bay offense led by the GOAT Tom Brady. Brady has worked well with veteran wide receivers in the later part of their careers, such as Randy Moss and most recently Antonio Brown. If Julio stays healthy, he should easily return WR3 value with upside. And you are getting him for literally nothing here.
Robert Woods (Yahoo ADP 124.4): Robert Woods is entering his year 30 season and is switching teams. He is also moving to a team in the Titans that is notorious for being run heavy and running their offense through superstar Derrick Henry. But he has been a safe WR2 for the last few years, including last year before he got injured. He has no competition aside from rookie Treylon Burks. And before his injury he showed no signs of slowing down. You are getting him for free at this spot. Definitely a value add.
Michael Carter (Yahoo DP 123.5), Darrell Henderson (Yahoo ADP 124.5), Alexander Mattinson (Yahoo ADP 125)
Targets for Round 12 and later:
Chris Olave (Yahoo ADP 126.8), Kadarious Toney (Yahoo ADP 128), Sony Michel (Yahoo ADP 128.6), Garett Wilson (Yahoo ADP 129.1), Isiah Spiller (Yahoo ADP 130.6)