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Dynasty Rookie Draft Advice & Rankings: Andrew Erickson’s Players to Avoid (2022 Fantasy Football)

May 25, 2022
Kenneth Walker

The 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone, and that means it’s time for dynasty rookie and startup drafts to really take off. We’ll have you covered throughout the draft season. You can find our full dynasty startup, dynasty rookie, and dynasty superflex rookie rankings that will be updated through draft season.

You can also practice and prepare for your dynasty rookie and startup drafts using our FREE dynasty mock draft simulator. Let’s take a look at a few of Andrew Erickson’s top dynasty rookie draft players to avoid.

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Dynasty Rookie Draft Players to Avoid

Kenneth Walker III (RB – SEA)
No. 8 overall, -3 vs. ECR

Kenneth Walker III made a massive splash upon transferring to Michigan State in 2021, leading his class in rushing yards (1,634), missed forced tackles (89), and explosive runs (46) en route to winning the Doak Walker Award – an honor bestowed upon college football’s best running back. His success earned him a 34% dominator rating, which considers the number of touchdowns and receiving yards a player commands within their offense. The number is solid considering Walker commanded just a 4% target share in his junior year, catching 13 passes for 80 receiving yards. His massive accomplishments this past season were inevitable after he rushed for 13 touchdowns as PFF’s 15th-best graded running back in 2020 as a sophomore at Wake. With the second-most missed tackles forced over the past two seasons – trailing only Iowa State’s Breece Hall – and third-most rushing yards after contact, Walker possesses the groundwork to be an effective rusher at the next level. Breaking tackles and creating after contact in college translates to the pros extremely well, as seen most recently by Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams. Williams led the nation in missed tackle rate (48%) in his final season at North Carolina and would go on to lead the NFL in the same metric at the conclusion of his stellar rookie season. Elusiveness is just one trait Walker has in common with Williams, as both skipped their senior years to enter the draft. Declaring early is a positive sign for a running back in dynasty formats, as they save themselves from another year of wear and tear. The lack of work in the passing game is really the only major blemish on Walker’s prospect profile because his testing at the NFL scouting combine was also exceptional. He weighed in at 211 pounds and ran a 4.38 40-yard dash (96th percentile). “The player I am avoiding is running back Kenneth Walker III. With a rookie draft ADP in the top-3, it’s just too steep a price to pay for a running back that is projected to be used heavily on early downs on an offense that easily projects to be bottom-5 in the NFL led by the unsurprising duo of Drew Lock/Geno Smith at quarterback. Even if Walker can carve out a first-year workload similar to that of Chris Carson circa 2020 – 16.4 touches per game, 56% snaps share when healthy – it’s still going to be a massive uphill battle for him to be a fantasy producer in Year 1. Pete Carroll has a stable of backs including Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, and DeeJay Dallas who all figure to work in at some point despite Walker’s Round 2 draft capital. Again, even when Carson was the RB1, he was splitting snaps. Penny was brought back on a one-year deal for $5 million (12tth-highest cap hit), Chris Carson – if healthy – is due $6.1 million (10th-highest cap hit) and Homer/Dallas have routinely worked as pass-catchers out of the backfield. Seattle also finished dead-last in targets to the RB position last season, creating serious doubt that Walker will be used in that fashion in any capacity as a rookie. Part of that is on Russell Wilson‘s lack of juice in the screen game, but the offense itself doesn’t predicate much RB pass-game usage. Geno Smith posted a meager 12% RB target rate (three per game) in his three starts last season. Drew Lock was at 17%. The Seahawks have the chance to be a running back by committee and dumpster fire on offense this season for all the reasons I’ve laid out, which is why I am adamantly against paying the premium for Walker. If this team falls behind in games, there’s no telling which RB will even be on the field. I feel so much better about going with one of the many rookie WRs selected in Round 1 ahead of Walker based on his landing spot. Hopefully, opportunities should open in this backfield in Year 2 for Walker with Penny likely leaving in free agency. But does he get replaced with another Day 2 running back? Will Seattle’s offense even be efficient in 2023 and beyond? So much uncertainty with this entire situation has me hesitant.

Chris Olave (WR – NO)
No. 11 overall, -4 vs. ECR

Even with Michael Thomas presumably back in the fold, there was still a gaping hole at the wide receiver position in the Big Easy. Long-time general manager Mickey Loomis has had zero issues spending high-end draft capital on WRs in the past, so it’s not surprising the Saints traded up to draft Chris Olave at No. 11. The former Buckeye doesn’t offer the same skill set as Thomas, but he can separate from defenders at an elite level downfield. Olave wrapped up his 2021 season in the 96th percentile in separation versus single coverage and caught seven touchdowns on throws of 20-plus air yards. Olave draws parallels to Calvin Ridley with his impressive route running ability. But like Ridley coming out of school, Olave doesn’t offer much after the catch. His forced broken and missed tackle rate ranked 43rd among 43 qualifying wide receivers in the class. His yards after the catch per reception (4.2) ranked 37th. Without much YAC-ability in an offense that ranked fifth in that YAC/reception last season and a firm seat in the WR2 chair behind a healthy Thomas, I have trouble getting overly excited for Olave in New Orleans as nothing more than a boom-or-bust WR4.

Alec Pierce (WR – IND)
No. 25 overall, -7 vs. ECR

Alec Pierce earned solid Day 2 draft capital with the Indianapolis Colts, but I’d be hard-pressed to admit I like the landing spot with Matt Ryan. Pierce figures to slide into that vertical field-stretching role for the Colts vacated by veteran T.Y. Hilton based on the rookie’s speed and vertical profile from his college career at Cincinnati. But how valuable of a role is that with the team committed to both Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. as the clear touch hogs of the offense. Not to mention, Ryan’s deep ball rate (9.1%) ranked 32nd out of 38 qualifying quarterbacks in 2021.

Andrew Erickson Mock Draft

2022 Dynasty Rookie Rankings

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyProsECR (TM) – Expert Consensus Rankings

 

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