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Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft: Four-Round, 1QB (2022 Fantasy Football)

May 11, 2022


 
The 2022 NFL Draft is officially in the books, which means it’s peak dynasty rookie draft season.

In an effort to help you navigate through selecting your favorite prospects beyond providing the industry’s top-tier rookie rankings in the dynasty rookie draft kit, I am your humble servant to provide you with the final results of my latest 1QB dynasty rookie draft conducted on MyFantasyLeague.

Andrew Erickson Mock Draft

Below you can see the full draft board and the picks made by myself (Andrew Erickson) among other analysts and die-hard fantasy players. It’s a little different than a standard mock draft because there is money on the line and a flurry of trades occurred throughout the draft — especially in the first round.

This draft review should give you a better idea of where rookies are expected to be drafted in the 1QB format, so you can unearth certain values to target. And for those IDP degenerates out there, this draft also includes them. The IDP landscape can be tough to gauge, so this should help provide a compass of who the top defensive rookies are in this year’s class.

A few off-the-path veterans were also thrown in the mix, so there may be something to keep an eye on their availability in your upcoming rookie drafts that allow free agent veterans to also be selected.

Be sure to also check out the FantasyPros Superflex Dynasty Mock Draft breakdown as well.

ROUND 1

The draft started out chalky with Breece Hall (RB – NYJ), Kenneth Walker III (RB – SEA), Drake London (WR – ATL) and Treylon Burks (WR – TEN) going as the top-four selections. But I decided to shake things up in a big way, by trading my 1.09 and 2.09 picks to get up to the 1.05 to select Detroit Lions wide receiver, Jameson Williams (WR – DET). Dan Campbell would be so proud.

 

Williams’ injury is the reason he continues to slide in drafts, so I’ll gladly take the aggressive approach on a player that would have been the No. 1 wide receiver drafted in the real NFL Draft had he been 100% healthy.

Sure, Jared Goff’s (QB – DET) lack of deep game isn’t ideal, but we have seen him fuel top fantasy WR seasons before in Los Angeles and Detroit. Most recently with Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR – DET), who was the fantasy WR3 to close out last season.

Williams’ No.1-ranked 13.1 yards per target last season suggests he will have a couple of massive games that will dramatically boost his dynasty stock heading into year two.

After a massive trade-up, you would think I would be done right? Wrong. I maintained my aggressive approach to get “my guy” Skyy Moore (WR – KC), so I could pair him with starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC) for the foreseeable future. I moved Jerry Jeudy (WR – DEN)who remains a sell-high for me in dynasty — for the 1.07 and a future 2023-second round pick.

Some might be curious as to why I went with Moore despite having Garrett Wilson (WR – NYJ) ranked higher. And it’s solely because I have Mahomes and wanted to stack the pairing together for the long run. I am betting on Moore being Mahomes’ guy for the next 10 years. It’s a reminder that your team roster construction and goals should be factored into your rookie draft strategy, and that you don’t have to be so adamant about following your rankings exactly. Every dynasty manager is in a different situation, so remain fluid when referring to your rookie rankings.

But I’ll be the first to admit that skipping over WR Garrett Wilson twice — my pre-draft rookie WR1 — could lead to a lot of sleepless nights in the future.

The only major surprise in the first round was fourth-round running back Isaiah Spiller (RB – LAC) going ahead of real-life first-round wide receiver Jahan Dotson (WR – WAS). In a vacuum, this doesn’t add up to me based on my research on valuing rookies in Year 1.

25% of first-round wide receivers finishing as top 24 options is slightly more probable than a third-round running back ending as a top 24 option (19%). Chances are that Spiller’s chances are even slimmer than 19% based on Day 3 capital. However, I don’t want to discredit this manager’s move entirely because their roster desperately needed help at the running back position.

Before Spiller was selected, there was an exchange for the 1.11 pick that turned into George Pickens (WR – PIT). Dawson Knox (TE – BUF) and the pick were traded for T.J. Hockenson (TE – DET). I am a Pickens-stan and would be happy to add him at the cost of downgrading from Hockenson to Knox.

ROUND 2

Round 2 saw the remaining top running backs drafted go off the board from picks 2.02-2.07, with the thirst so real at the position.

There’s a real tier break in running backs after the middle of the second round, so be aware that this is the range you need a selection in to snag a rookie RB. I contemplated trading down but ended up staying put because I knew I would miss out on running back if I did so.

Guy Boston Sports writer Andy Nason selected Zamir White (RB – LV) at the 2.05 and had this to say about the value of the pick.

Can’t say enough about my Zamir White value at 2.05. Powerful runner who is primed for a starting job next year since LV has no ties to Josh Jacobs (RB – LV) and already declined his fifth-year option. Strong passing game is going to allow him to thrive in space.”

It’s a great selection with eyes on 2023, as that is when White could easily take over starting RB duties in Las Vegas.

I ended the second round with quarterback Malik Willis (QB – TEN) at 2.12, which I believe is an appropriate draft slot to take him. Chances are he does completely nothing his rookie season behind Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN). But the massive upside still exists with him because of his rushing ability, and that is worth an investment in a 1QB-league where you need actual difference-makers at quarterback to move the needle.

Very interesting that I also took Willis in the recent three-round Superflex mock draft, just three spots earlier (2.09).

I will admit though that Jalen Tolbert (WR – DAL) would have been my selection had he fallen to me. But I knew in my gut that the owner would draft Tolbert. Not only because he was probably the best player available, but because the manager also has Michael Gallup (WR – DAL) on his roster. I’d be looking to scoop up Tolbert in a rookie draft as Gallup insurance.

ROUND 3

Sam Howell (QB – WAS) going in the top of Round 3 was very surprising to me, particularly because Desmond Ridder (QB – ATL) and Matt Corral (QB – CAR) were still on the board. Ridder went a few picks later, but Corral fell all the way to the 5.06.

Rich Pallarino was the one that pulled trigger on Howell and had nothing but glowing reviews of the UNC passer, saying “I like his mechanics. To me, he has a quick release, he comes from a school with barely any weapons and he put up solid numbers. Stays in the pocket, steps up and makes throws. I also like the situation. The current QB in Washington isn’t a sure thing for the future. He’s always hurt and turns the ball over a lot, as we all know. With the weapons Washington has, Howell is put into a good system and a good situation. I think Howell ends up getting some reps by year 2. I think QB’s should sit a year coming out of college. It’s a risk, but I think Howell deserved the pick at 3.01.”

I don’t think it’s crazy to think that if Carson Wentz (QB – WAS) bombs in Washington, Howell could get a chance at the starting gig. His real-life fifth-round draft capital doesn’t do him justice, but drafting him this early seemed a tad excessive.

Especially with Wan’Dale Robinson (WR – NYG) still on the board, who the New York Giants invested a high second-round pick in. That draft capital commitment is going to get Robinson on the field sooner rather than later; the same can’t be said for guys like Kadarius Toney (WR – NYG) or any other leftover Giants skill players from the previous regime.

For my pick at the 3.06, I couldn’t pass up on Tyrion Davis-Price (RB – SF). I don’t even think that highly of the San Francisco 49ers running back as I wrote about in my SuperFlex mock breakdown, but the price of a running back with Round 3 capital is too good here.

Above all, the 49ers’ offense breeds an efficient running game like no other and I already have Elijah Mitchell (RB – SF) on my roster. The worst-case scenario is I just have Mitchell’s immediate backup that I can turn to should an injury occur.

After my selection, the first crop of defensive players trickles in between Aidan Hutchinson (EDGE – DET) and Devin Lloyd (LB – JAC), both of whom should provide long-term starting value and upside at their respective positions.

An interesting note about the Hutchinson pick is that was a result of a trade that sent Christian McCaffrey (RB – CAR), the 3.07 and a 2023 third-round pick for J.K. Dobbins (RB – BAL) and a 2023 1st-round pick. Seems like the market price for CMC is a 2023 first-round pick, plus another young running back.

The other name I want to highlight here at pick 3.12 is Justyn Ross (WR – KC). The former Clemson superstar signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as UDFA, so there’s a chance that he makes the roster with Tyreek Hill (WR – MIA) out of the picture.

As the manager from SB Nation, Elvin Ryan, who made the pick, writes, “spinal injury scared people away, but drafting him where I did was purely an upside pick.”

Can’t say I disagree.

At 18 years old, Ross led the Clemson Tigers in receiving yards despite playing alongside older teammates Tee Higgins (WR – CIN), Amari Rodgers (WR – GB) and Hunter Renfrow (WR – LV), who were future pros. He was PFF’s second-highest-graded WR in his first season (91.2).

The 6-foot-4 and 205-pound wideout followed up with an impressive sophomore campaign, leading the team in receptions (66) as Trevor Lawrence’s (QB – JAC) most heavily targeted receiver.

Ross was well on his way to being a locked-and-loaded Round 1 selection for the 2021 NFL Draft, but the aforementioned rare condition affecting his neck and spine forced him to miss the entire 2020 season.

He came back in 2021 to show that he was fully healthy, but an anemic Clemson offense that ranked 87th in PFF’s grading torpedoed his numbers. Only 64% of his targets were deemed catchable, which ranked in the 28th percentile.

If he recaptures his playmaking ability with Mahomes at the helm — watch out. I’m just bummed I didn’t get Ross in any of my rookie drafts for one reason or another. Don’t be like me.

ROUND 4

But unlike Ross, Hassan Haskins (RB – TEN) I have had zero trouble acquiring in rookie drafts. He is by far my most-drafted rookie throughout several dynasty rookie drafts that I have been a part of.

 

He immediately looks like a direct back-up for Derrick Henry (RB – TEN), who showed us last season that he is mortal. There is also a chance that Haskins carves out some stand-alone value as an RB on third down alongside Henry. His work in pass protection is pretty refined for a rookie.

Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst (TE – CIN) is not a rookie, but it’s hard to not view him as a winner post-draft. The former Falcon is in sole possession of C.J. Uzomah’s (TE – NYJ) vacated role from last season offers some fantasy appeal.

Uzomah’s 78% route participation ranked fourth-highest among tight ends in 2021

Every-down tight ends on the field that often in high-scoring environments will stumble into fantasy scoring. It’s a highly coveted role primed to ooze fantasy points. However, being on the field doesn’t always translate to the requisite fantasy production, especially in offenses loaded with other weapons. Uzomah’s 13% target rate per route run ranked last among tight ends with at least 40 targets in 2021. Hurst’s 15% target rate wasn’t much better.

It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that Hurst is the clear-cut late-round tight end to target in 2022, but he is well worth adding off the dynasty waiver wire. Hurst is just one year removed from a TE9 overall finish in 2020.

ROUND 5

If Hurst had not been taken in Round 4, I would have been all over him in Round 5. But alas, I let the TE slip beneath my grasp. To get over my loss, I selected running back Jerome Ford (RB – CLE) at 5.09. Again, I felt like the value was solid here for a running back that posted the ninth-highest dominator rating (27%) in the class on the back of 1,300 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns in 2021.

I don’t necessarily think Ford has the talent to rise the depth chart — an issue he ran into in college before transferring out of Alabama — to become Nick Chubb’s (RB – CLE) direct handcuff in 2022. But with Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE) trade rumors swirling, it could just take one D’Ernest Johnson (RB – CLE) injury for Ford to become extremely fantasy relevant.

Selecting Ford was a no-brainer for me here considering I have both Chubb and Johnson on my roster.

Guy Boston Sports writer Andy Nason selected George Karlaftis (DE – KC) at 5.05 and had this to say about his sneaky good defensive pick.

“He compares well to Justin Tuck, who under Steve Spagnola was a consistent double-digit sack guy with the Giants.”

Hard to argue with that spot-on analysis, based on how weak the Chiefs defensive front was last season at accumulating sack production. It also lacks depth entering the season, making it more likely the Purdue pass-rusher offers an immediate impact.

ROUND 6

Not much glamor or glitter was left in the rookie draft in Round 6, but I must say that I was sniped again on drafting Titans wide receiver Kyle Philips (WR – TEN). First, he was taken one spot before me by FantasyPros’ own Pat Fitzmaurice after I waxed poetic about him on Pat’s Fitz on Fantasy podcast in the FantasyPros in-house dynasty league.

So to lose out on him once again was another gut punch. And that’s because I do believe he has some sneaky Hunter Renfrow-like slot skill that many will overlook, but NFL teams like the Titans will love.

Philips commanded a 30% target share in 2021 at UCLA and could potentially become a top underneath option for Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee.

With Philips off the board, I was forced to “settle” on Rutgers rookie running back Isaih Pacheco (RB – KC). It’s a total shot in the dark with Pacheco being a seventh-round pick, but weirder things have happened. Neither Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC) nor Ronald Jones (RB – KC) hardly has a vice grip on backfield duties. And Pacheco’s 4.37 40-yard dash speed (95th percentile) should help him separate from the slower and sluggish RBs in KC.

CTAs


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