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Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-Team, Standard, 1QB (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Matt Barbato | @realmattbarbato | Featured Writer
May 19, 2022
Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook is still a rare bell-cow back on a good Minnesota offense.

May marks the beginning of the mock draft season. And with a long summer ahead, there’s no better way to prepare for draft-day scenarios than to mock, mock and mock some more.

Now that the dust has settled on the NFL Draft, we have a fair idea of what these rosters will look like for the upcoming season. There will be surprise cuts, trades, injuries, and training camp battles. But for the most part, we can begin our plan of attack for the 2022 season.

With that being said, let’s get the fun started with a mock draft for a 12-team, 1 QB, standard league. I randomly drew the second-eighth pick, and all of this was easily completed using our free mock draft simulator.

Pick 1.8: Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN)

My primary strategy in standard-scoring leagues is to prioritize running backs. But with the eighth overall pick, I was a bit concerned about what options I’d have to choose from.

Somehow, Cook fell to me at pick eight. Cook is still a rare bell-cow back on a good Minnesota offense. Durability is a concern, but the same can be said about every running back these days.

Najee Harris would’ve been my pick had Cook not been on the board.

Pick 2.5: Javonte Williams (RB – DEN)

Justin Jefferson was the best player on the board, but I’d rather not hitch my wagons to the Minnesota offense. Instead, I opted for Williams, the tailback with the highest upside and the fewest questions. Sure, Melvin Gordon is back for another rodeo. But I’m betting on Williams earning a larger workload in his sophomore season.

Williams could have RB1 overall upside in 2022. I’m loving this backfield duo.

Pick 3.8: Mike Evans (WR – TB)

My third-round pick left me with an interesting decision at receiver between Mike Evans, A.J. Brown, and Tyreek Hill. Each of these three pass catchers possesses elite upside, but I opted for a bit more certainty with Evans. While I have a higher regard for Brown and Hill from a talent perspective, their changes in scenery and downgrades at quarterback give me pause.

Evans is a safe bet for 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns with Tom Brady back in Tampa. I’ll take that stability for now and shoot for upside later on.

Pick 4.5: Michael Pittman (WR – IND)

If I could trade down from this pick, I probably would’ve. I was disappointed to see Saquon Barkley and DK Metcalf get picked right before me. This left me with a tough decision between Keenan Allen, Michael Pittman, Diontae Johnson, DJ Moore, and Terry McLaurin.

While 62% of our experts suggested I take Allen, I wanted to shoot for a bit more upside. That left me between Pittman and Johnson. Both finished as top 16 wideouts in 2021, and both will experience quarterback changes in 2022. The tiebreaker came down to the guys throwing them the ball, as I’d rather work with Matt Ryan than Mitchell Trubisky and/or rookie Kenny Pickett. Johnson is the better player, but his murky situation broke the tie.

Pick 5.8: AJ Dillon (RB – GB)

Dillon finished as the RB21 in standard leagues despite being behind Aaron Jones on Green Bay’s depth chart. And given the Packers just sent their best receiver, Davante Adams, to Las Vegas, I’d expect the team to emphasize the ground game a bit more in 2022. Dillon will be the goal line guy on a Packers offense that is well-coached and still has Aaron Rodgers. Running back gets gross after Dillon, so I’m thrilled to land him as my RB3, choosing him over Diontae Johnson, Terry McLaurin, and Patrick Mahomes.

Pick 6.5: Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE)

Last season, Hunt averaged 11 fantasy points in eight games in standard formats, which ranked 23rd amongst tailbacks. Nick Chubb is great. But Cleveland has shown a willingness to often work Hunt into the mix when he’s healthy. Hunt isn’t a handcuff, and he offers independent value and is a top 10 tailback if Chubb misses time.

I’d rather take a shot on Hunt than Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Devin Singletary, or Rashaad Penny, who were all still on the board and are ranked ahead of Hunt.

Pick 7.8: DeVonta Smith (WR – PHI)

The wide receivers are all starting to feel the same at this point in the draft. My advice is to simply take the swing on the guy you like the most. I’m a believer in Smith’s talent and would prefer him over fellow WR2s on the board like Marquise Brown and Gabriel Davis. A.J. Brown’s arrival might cap Smith’s volume, but it could make him a lethal WR2 in an offense that could put up a ton of points if Jalen Hurts can take another step.

Pick 8.5: Marquise Brown (WR – ARI)

Brown surprisingly fell to me in Round 8, so I decided to pass on quarterback and tight end one more time to pounce on the value. Brown posted a strong 2021 season and was rewarded with a trade to Arizona, where he’ll reunite with Kyler Murray. Brown will be the featured receiver for the first six weeks of the year and become an intriguing WR2 when DeAndre Hopkins returns from suspension.

Pick 9.8: Dak Prescott (QB – DAL)

Now is the part of the draft where I start thinking about tight end and quarterback. Hunter Renfrow is tempting me, but he isn’t as valuable in a standard league.

The top three players on the board are all tight ends: Dallas Goedert, T.J. Hockenson, and Dalton Schultz. But none of them genuinely excited me, so I decided to pass. That leads me to a quarterback and Dak Prescott.

Am I in love with Prescott? No. Do I think he’s an elite quarterback? Not really. But he’s a very good passer in a talented offense and should be a safe bet to finish as a top-10 player at his position. I’ll gladly take what Dak gives me at what feels like a discount.

Pick 10.5: Dalton Schultz (TE – DAL)

This worked out nicely. Schultz was the last of the three aforementioned tight ends left. So I’ll gladly grab him and stack him with Prescott. The Draft Wizard gods are smiling upon me.

Pick 11.8: Khalil Herbert (RB – CHI)

Seven consecutive tailbacks went off the board before this pick, including my handcuff Alexander Mattison. To keep with the trend, I’m going to add Herbert as an RB5 with some upside. I liked what Herbert showed as a rookie, and he could be a solid RB2 option should David Montgomery go down. I feel Herbert could be the future of Chicago’s backfield with the workman Montgomery entering the final year of his rookie deal. I’ll take a flyer on a talented young back.

Pick 12.5: Christian Kirk (WR – JAX)

Getting a team’s potential WR1 in the 12th round is a steal, even if it’s Jacksonville’s WR1. Kirk signed a lucrative $72 million deal this offseason, making him one of the league’s highest-paid receivers. While that narrative is often overblown, it does suggest Jacksonville was pretty high on Kirk.

Is Kirk deserving of such a contract? Probably not. But he’s still a good player who could be the leading receiver for a prodigious quarterback prospect. Kirk could be the biggest beneficiary if Trevor Lawrence takes a big step forward, and there are far worse WR5 options out there.

Pick 13.8: Brian Robinson (RB – WAS)

I’m taking a shot on a rookie tailback with a potential opening to starting duties with my final pick. Robinson is a battering ram out of Alabama, something Washington doesn’t have. After a rocky year for Antonio Gibson, it wouldn’t stun me if Washington entrusted Robinson to split the work as the early-down back. It’s purely speculative, and we won’t know how this backfield shakes out until at least training camp. But it’s May, and I’m taking a shot.

Draft Wizard Grade: 95/100 (A)

The Draft Wizard was kind enough to give me high marks for this draft. And not to toot my own horn, but I agree. This team has plenty of backfield depth and a strong mix of high floor and high upside receivers to make up for any deficiencies at quarterback and tight end.

What did you think of my mock draft? Let me know on Twitter, @RealMattBarbato!


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