Best Ball Values to Target by Round (2022 Fantasy Football)
The 2022 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, and most dynasty rookie drafts are over. So, now it’s the slow time of the year for the fantasy football world unless you take part in best ball leagues. If you don’t, you’re missing out.
Best ball is a great way to fill your fantasy football desires in the offseason without adding 20 new dynasty leagues every year. However, they are also a great way to set your money on fire if you don’t understand how the game works.
Like every other form of fantasy football, finding the best values throughout the draft is critical. So let’s look at the best value in each round of an 18-round Best Ball draft.
The average draft position (ADP) used for this article comes from Underdog Fantasy.
Round 1 — Derrick Henry (RB – TEN): ADP 6.1
Despite missing half the 2021 season with a foot injury, Henry ended the year as a top-16 running back. He was the RB1 on a point per game basis, averaging 23 fantasy points per contest. Coming off a 2,000-yard rushing season in 2020, Henry was on pace to match his numbers in 2021 before suffering the injury. After trading away A.J. Brown this offseason, the Titans will need to lean on Henry more than usual this season. He has averaged 19 or more fantasy points per game the past three years. Henry is one of the few running backs who can challenge Jonathan Taylor for the RB1 finish this season.
Round 2 — Leonard Fournette (RB – TB): ADP 23.9
After struggling to carve out a consistent role in 2020, Fournette stole the show last year. He averaged 90.4 scrimmage yards and 15.8 fantasy points per game in 2021. Furthermore, his 10 total touchdowns last season tied for the most in his career. Coming off arguably the best year of his career, the Buccaneers re-signed Fournette this offseason and let Ronald Jones walk in free agency. While they used a second-round pick on Rachaad White, Fournette will remain the featured running back. Fournette averaged a career-high 4.5 yards per rushing attempt last year and should have another excellent year in 2022.
Round 3 — Tee Higgins (WR – CIN): ADP 26.1
Over the first two years of his career, Higgins has averaged 11.6 fantasy points per game. More importantly, he took a step forward last year with Joe Burrow healthy all season long. As a result, Higgins had the first 1000-yard season of his career in 2021. He also improved in every statistical category last year despite missing three games. Furthermore, Higgins scored 20 or more fantasy points in nearly a quarter of the games last year. Everyone will want to draft Ja’Marr Chase in the first round. Instead, wait till the third round and grab Higgins.
Round 4 — Mike Williams (WR – LAC): ADP 37.1
Coming off the best year of his career, Williams signed a three-year contract worth $60 million with the Chargers. Last year, he had over 100 targets, 50 receptions, and 1,100 receiving yards for the first time in his career. More importantly, Williams was the WR10 last year, ahead of teammate Keenan Allen. Despite rumors that the Chargers would add a wide receiver early during the NFL Draft, they didn’t add any wide receivers in the draft or sign a veteran in free agency. Williams has too much upside to pass up in the fourth round, especially with Justin Herbert under center.
Round 5 — Allen Robinson (WR – LAR): ADP 53.1
Robinson had the worst year of his career last season, averaging only 5.7 fantasy points per game. However, none of that matters. Despite playing with Mitchell Trubisky, Blake Bortles, and a merry-go-round of other terrible quarterbacks, Robinson has averaged 11.3 fantasy points per game in his NFL career. Furthermore, despite the awful quarterback play, he has averaged 12.9 or more fantasy points per game in two of the past three years in Chicago. Now with the Rams, Robinson will play with the best quarterback of his career in Matthew Stafford. Moreover, Robinson will rarely see a double team with Cooper Kupp on the team.
Round 6 — Jalen Hurts (QB – PHI): ADP 64.9
As the full-time starter, Hurts was the QB9 and averaged 20.8 fantasy points per game in his first year as the full-time starter. Furthermore, he tied for the QB6 finish on a points per game basis with Aaron Rodgers. However, he should take another step forward in 2022. The Eagles made the blockbuster trade for Brown during the NFL Draft. They also signed Zach Pascal in free agency. More importantly, Hurts and Josh Allen were the only two quarterbacks to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 750 yards last season. Hurts is entering his second year as the unquestioned starter and should take a massive step forward in his development, especially with the addition of Brown.
Round 7 — AJ Dillon (RB – GB): ADP 72.1
After losing Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling this offseason, the Packers will lean on their two-star running backs in 2022. Last year, Dillon averaged only 3.6 fantasy points per game less than Aaron Jones despite playing 129 fewer snaps. Furthermore, Dillon had more rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns than Jones while nearly matching him in receiving yards. More importantly, Dillon has an ADP almost five rounds later than Jones. Therefore, fantasy players should pass on Jones early on and grab Dillon in the seventh round.
Round 8 — Damien Harris (RB – NE): ADP 90.3
There was only one running back in the NFL with more rushing touchdowns than Harris last year. That player is Taylor. After only 141 rushing attempts in his first two years in the NFL, Harris had 202 last season while averaging 4.6 per attempt. Furthermore, he scored 10.7 or more fantasy points in 67 percent of the games last season while scoring over 17 fantasy points in a third of them. While the Patriots added a couple of wide receivers this offseason, expect them to remain a run-heavy offense. Harris is entering the final year of his rookie contract, so the Patriots will likely run his wheels off before letting him walk in free agency this offseason.
Round 9 — Deshaun Watson (QB – CLE): ADP 107.6
While we still don’t know how long any potential suspension for Watson will be, now is when you want to grab him in Best Ball drafts. There are reports that Watson will get a 3-4 game suspension after not playing all of last year. However, his ADP will skyrocket if there is no suspension at all. The last time Watson was on the field, he averaged 23.1 fantasy points per game despite a poor situation in Houston. With Amari Cooper and David Njoku at his disposal, expect Watson to have a strong 2022 season with the Browns.
Round 10 — Rashaad Penny (RB – SEA): ADP 115.8
Penny is arguably the most polarizing running back in fantasy football. After scoring only 140.6 fantasy points in his first three years in the NFL, Penny scored 118.7 fantasy points in 10 games last season. However, 107.7 (90.7 percent) of his fantasy points from last season came over the final five weeks of the year. Furthermore, the Seahawks used a second-round pick on Kenneth Walker while Chris Carson is still on the roster. All of that is why Penny is a risk pick in redraft leagues. However, his strong finish to the 2021 season makes Penny the perfect upside pick in Best Ball. If Penny can stay healthy this season, he is a potential league winner.
Round 11 — Dameon Pierce (RB – HOU): ADP 121.8
Houston was an ideal landing spot for a rookie running back, given the current players on the roster. Veterans Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead are Pierce’s competition for the starting role in Houston. However, they shouldn’t keep Pierce off the field as a rookie. Mack has 37 touches over the past two years, while Burkhead had one game with over 47 rushing yards last season. Pierce could quickly earn the starting role and become a steal at his current price. Rarely can you find running backs with mid RB2 upside outside the top 100 picks. However, Pierce has that level of upside.
Round 12 — Isaiah Spiller (RB – LAC): ADP 137.1
The Chargers have been looking for a backup running back for Austin Ekeler since Melvin Gordon left in free agency a few years ago. Unfortunately, Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree haven’t worked out. However, they’ve finally filled that void with Spiller. The former Texas A&M star averaged 5.5 yards per rushing attempt in his college career. Ekeler has missed seven games the past two years, including Week 16 last year. Jackson scored 26.2 fantasy points filling in for Ekeler that week. If Ekeler misses time with an injury this year, Spiller becomes a top-12 running back during the games Ekeler is out.
Round 13 — Darrell Henderson (RB – LAR): ADP 150.4
Anyone who drafted Henderson this time last year likely won the league. Before Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles, Henderson was a dart throw or lottery ticket in best ball drafts. However, he became a fantasy star after the Akers injury. Henderson averaged 15.3 fantasy points per game over his first seven games of the season, scoring 14 or more in 75% of those contests. While Henderson has dealt with injuries in his career, Akers has played only 14 out of 33 games in his two-year NFL career. If Akers misses significant time again this season, Henderson will once again become a league winner.
Round 14 — Jameis Winston (QB – NO): ADP 158.5
Despite a lack of weapons, Winston had 14 passing touchdowns and only three interceptions in seven games last year before tearing his ACL. He scored over 25 fantasy points in two of those contests. Instead of drafting a quarterback with one of their two first-round picks, the Saints used the draft capital on Chris Olave and Trevor Penning, giving Winston help on offense. Furthermore, they signed Jarvis Landry earlier this month and should get back Michael Thomas after he missed the entire 2021 season. Winston was the QB14 on a points per game basis last year. With a trio of new weapons, Winston has top 10 upside this season.
Round 15 — Tyrion Davis-Price (RB – SF): ADP 171.4
Every year the 49ers have a new leading running back. The last time San Francisco had the same leading rushing in back-to-back seasons was Carlos Hyde in 2016 and 2017. Could Davis-Price become the 49ers’ leading rushing in 2022? Absolutely. Elijah Mitchell dealt with injuries as a rookie, missing six games.
Meanwhile, Trey Sermon had only 41 rushing attempts in his rookie year. Furthermore, the 49ers might limit Deebo Samuel‘s rushing attempts, which is reportedly partly why he wants out of San Francisco. So even if Davis-Price is the lead back for only a third of the season, you will get low-end RB2 value with plenty of upside this late in the draft.
Round 16 — Brian Robinson (RB – WAS): ADP 187.6
Even after re-signing J.D. McKissic, Washington used a third-round pick on Robinson. They didn’t use that high of a draft pick to give him 2-3 rushing attempts per game. Instead, Robinson will see consistent touches as the Commanders try to lighten Antonio Gibson‘s workload. Gibson has only missed three games in his NFL career but has repeatedly been slowed down by shin and toe injuries. Robinson will likely steal some early-down work and goal-line attempts from Gibson. Furthermore, Robinson becomes a league winner if Gibson misses significant time with an injury.
Round 17 — Keaontay Ingram (RB – ARI): ADP 195.4
While he is coming off the best fantasy season of his career, James Conner averaged a career-low 3.7 yards per rushing attempt last year. More importantly, Conner has never played an entire season in his career. Last year he missed two games because of a heel injury and 20% of the games in his career. After letting Chase Edmonds leave in free agency, the only addition Arizona made to their backfield was Ingram. If Conner misses significant time because of injuries, Ingram is the next man up. He would be the featured back on a good Arizona offense when Conner is out of the lineup.
Round 18 — Romeo Doubs (WR – GB): ADP 211.1
Even after losing their top two wide receivers from last year’s squad, the Packers didn’t draft a wide receiver in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Instead, they waited till the middle rounds to grab Christian Watson and Doubs. While Watson is the more appealing rookie to draft, his ADP is over 100 spots higher and comes with too much risk. Meanwhile, Doubs had over 2,100 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in his final 20 games at Nevada. He won’t turn into the next Adams, but Doubs could become the new No. 1 wide receiver in Green Bay this season. He is a total wild card, but if Doubs impresses during camp, his ADP will be at least 75-100 spots higher come August.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.