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Dynasty Rookie Draft Picks to Target (2022 Fantasy Football)

Dynasty Rookie Draft Picks to Target (2022 Fantasy Football)

Today, we will look at specific dynasty rookie draft pick slots and players to target at each one. I typically approach my drafts rookie or redraft format – with a particular strategy early with the ability to pivot later on.

This year, the value in rookie drafts can be found in the second and early third rounds as this class is deep at receiver and has no standout quarterback prospect. For this article, I focused on my approach in 1-QB leagues. In a SuperFlex/2-QB draft, bump every QB up a half-round. 

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Pick 1.01: Breece Hall (RB – Iowa State), Treylon Burks (WR – Arkansas), Garrett Wilson (WR – Ohio State)

This class is more quantity over quality, so I would not want the 1.01 in a rookie draft this year. Typically, there is a slam dunk at the top of a draft. That isn’t the case this year, as each of these players has a lot of question marks.

That said if you have the 1.01, it probably comes down to roster construction as to where you go. Breece Hall is the most complete running back in the draft. He’s sturdy (5’11/217) and his 4.39 40-yard dash puts him in the 96th percentile at the position. He’s the only running back I see as a true three-down player. Treylon Burks is probably the safest pick because receivers have a longer shelf life than running backs. However, his NFL Combine numbers were disappointing, so there is some risk with him.

If you aren’t risk-averse, Garrett Wilson is the name to click as he is the only player in this class that gives me Ja’Marr Chase/Justin Jefferson vibes. A skilled route runner who ran a sub-4.4, Wilson is both strong after the catch and a field stretcher. He is quickly becoming my favorite player in this year’s class.

Pick 1.06: Isaiah Spiller (RB – Texas A&M), Kenneth Walker (RB – Michigan State), Malik Willis (QB, Liberty), Drake London (WR, USC)

Let me preface this pick blurb by saying that if Garrett Wilson is here, he is the name to click. With that out of the way, we can hone in on two running backs who I have in the second tier. Isaiah Spiller rushed for 1,000 yards in each of his last two years playing in the rugged SEC. I’m not sure he is a 250-touch back, however, which is what slots him behind Hall for me.

Kenneth Walker had a great showing at the Combine, running a 4.38 40 and having strong measurables in the other workout drills. He is built more in the mold of an early-down back but he should also find himself with a short-yardage and goalline role in the NFL.

This is also the part of the first round where I can talk myself into Malik Willis. In a 2QB/SuperFlex league, he might go in the top-5, but I think even that is a hard sell. Willis isn’t going to be a starter this year (at least not Week 1) and he needs a year of seasoning before taking the reigns of an NFL offense. His ceiling is undeniably high because of his rushing upside alone, but taking him is somewhat of a luxury pick.

Drake London was having a monster season last fall (88/1,084/7) before breaking his ankle. He has great size (6’4/215) and can win in one-on-one situations. He fits the mold of an athletic ‘X’ receiver that teams covet and, depending on where he is drafted, could make an immediate impact. 

Pick 1.10 – Chris Olave (WR – Ohio State), George Pickens (WR – Georgia), Jameson Williams (WR – Alabama)

As I said, there is a lot of value to be had in the middle/end of the first round. Chris Olave had more hype than his teammate Garrett Wilson coming into the season. Olave was incredibly productive with the Buckeyes finishing his career with 175 catches and a whopping 35 touchdowns. He is viewed by many as being the best route runner in the class and if he ends up playing with Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay, he could make for a steal at this stage of the draft.

George Pickens missed most of last season after tearing his ACL, but he is another physical receiver who runs in the mid-4.4-range so he can take the top off the defense. Assuming he is 100% healthy (he should be), Pickens could be a sneaky pick here.

As for Williams, he tore his ACL in the national championship but is coming off a season where he had over 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns. The risk here is that he will miss the beginning of the season due to his recovery, but drafting at the 1.10 for most dynasty managers means you can afford to wait. Williams would be a potential top-5 pick if he was healthy.

Early Round 2: Jahan Dotson (WR – Penn State), John Metchie (WR, Alabama), David Bell (WR – Purdue), Khalil Shakir (WR – Boise State), Brian Robinson (RB – Alabama), James Cook (RB – Georgia)

We have a group of wideouts who could pop in this range, plus a couple of running backs with differing resumes. Jahan Dotson averaged 17 yards per reception at Penn State and is a capable run-after-the-catch player. He lacks the size of the first-round receivers but was productive in college.

John Metchie and David Bell both had disappointing 40-times in Indianapolis, which will slide them into the second round of most rookie drafts. Bell may end up being quite the steal here, as he could be a WR2 on any number of potential suitors.

Brian Robinson played five seasons at Alabama and just turned 23, so despite his big 2021 season, youth isn’t on his side. Whoever drafts him will have to hope he churns out production early and often before he hits the cliff. James Cook is Dalvin Cook‘s younger brother and barely saw the field before last fall. He is more projection than productivity, but he has 4.42 speed and is a capable receiver out of the backfield. He could end up being the overlooked running back in this class who pops off next season. 

Late Round 2: Pierre Strong (RB, South Dakota State), Kenny Pickett (QB – PIttsburgh), Skyy Moore WR – Western Michigan), Calvin Austin III (WR – Memphis), Jalen Tolbert (WR – South Alabama), Christian Watson (WR – North Dakota State)

This is the part of a rookie draft where I love to be as any of these names could pop. Pierre Strong had a big week at the Combine with a great 40-time (4.37) to go along with some terrific measurables. He’s an FCS player, but he played in a rugged conference and should hold up fine. Kenny Pickett is a trap, and I will not have him on any rosters. Hand size aside, I think he is going to struggle at the next level.

Skyy Moore might be my favorite receiver in the draft not named Garrett Wilson. He’s a smooth combination of skills and productivity who could outshine some of his better-known counterparts. Jalen Tolbert and Christian Watson are raw, but they have crazy high ceilings. Watson, in particular, is dreamy with his 6’4 frame and 4.36 speed.

Round 3: Desmond Ridder (QB – Cincinnati), Tyler Badie (RB – Missouri), Tre McBride III (TE – Colorado State), Justyn Ross (WR – Clemson), Kyren Williams (RB, Notre Dame), Matt Corral (QB, Ole Miss), Carson Strong (QB – Nevada)

Some of my favorite draft prospects are in this group. Desmond Ridder might be the best quarterback in this class. He’s got prototypical size (6’3/207) and great speed (4.52) to go along with three years of tremendous production at Cincinnati. He wouldn’t get past me at the 3.01. Tyler Badie is going to slide too far given his measurables and collegiate production. He is a three-down back from the go in the right scheme.

Justyn Ross fell off after a big freshman season and had an awful 40-time (4.87), but that just means he will be had a discount. Same for Kyren Williams who is the best pass protector among the running back class. I’ll consider his subpar 40-time, but also know he outran his share of defensive backs while at Notre Dame.

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Jason Kamlowsky is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @JasonKamlowsky.

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