Skip to main content

Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Pick-by-Pick Analysis & Takeaways (2022)

by Matt Barbato | @realmattbarbato | Featured Writer
Jun 24, 2022
Najee Harris

Najee Harris has the talent and opportunity to return plenty of value towards the end of the first round of fantasy drafts.

I have a love-hate relationship with the month of June.

June represents the time of year where the weather is best (I like the heat, sue me) and marks the time where my (highly-mediocre) golf game starts rounding into form. But June also represents the “quiet” time on the NFL calendar as players rest up before training camp.

From a fantasy football standpoint, our perspectives hardly change in June once the dust has settled on the NFL Draft. That being said, June is the time to start preparing, start mock drafting and to start identifying values in ADP that we can exploit later in the summer.

Practice makes perfect, so let me take you through a mock draft I conducted using our FREE DraftWizard for a 12-team, 1QB, full-PPR fantasy league. I was randomly assigned the eighth pick.

Hopefully, this draft goes better than my last round of golf…

Fantasy Football Redraft Draft Kit

Round 1, Pick 8: Najee Harris (RB – PIT)

Full PPR formats obviously elevate the value of top receivers with huge target shares. But nabbing Harris with the eighth pick is too much value to pass up. Harris finished as the RB3 in PPR formats last season as a rookie. He likely won’t see quite as many check-down receptions with Ben Roethlisberger retired, but Harris is still a vastly talented three-down back. His fall ends here.

Round 2, Pick 5: Stefon Diggs (WR – BUF)

I’ll gladly take Diggs as my WR1, as he offers a great weekly floor in this format with immense upside. Diggs finished as the WR7 last year after catching only 103 passes. The year before he caught 127. Diggs is a safe bet so long as he and Josh Allen are healthy.

Round 3, Pick 8: Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)

I’m presented with a few viable options at receiver with this pick. The safest floor player is Keenan Allen, a target and reception hog. But his upside is a bit capped with Mike Williams alongside him. A.J. Brown is probably the best receiver left on the board, but I’m skeptical of his team change and his new quarterback. Diontae Johnson is a great player, but I don’t want to be overly committed to Pittsburgh’s offense.

That leads me to Tee Higgins. Ja’Marr Chase gets all the love for his phenomenal rookie year, but Higgins finished as the WR24 despite playing just 14 games. Cincinnati’s offense could take another step forward in 2022, and Higgins could be poised for a massive year in 2022.

Round 4, Pick 5: Breece Hall (RB – NYJ)

I like shooting for upside in these mock drafts, and there aren’t many RB2s with higher upsides than Hall. The second-round rookie was a highly productive three-down back in college and could make an immediate impact on a Jets offense that might actually take a step forward in 2022. Michael Carter will be there to make things messy, but I’ll take a shot on Hall’s upside.

Round 5, Pick 8: J.K. Dobbins (RB – BAL)

Again, upside is the name of the game here. Dobbins is coming off a torn ACL, but could be the lead back in a Baltimore running game that we know can be outstanding when everyone’s healthy. Last year, Dobbins went as high as Round 2. In 2022, his talent comes at a steep discount. I’d rather take a flyer on him than guys like Antonio Gibson and Josh Jacobs, who don’t have as much upside but have their fair share of questions too.

Round 6, Pick 5: JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – KC)

Calling my shot, I think Smith-Schuster will be a steal at this price in fantasy drafts. He’s put up two years with at least 97 receptions and moves to a better situation with Patrick Mahomes as his QB and a wide-open receiving depth chart. I’d rather take a shot on Juju than alternatives like Jerry Jeudy, Rashod Bateman or Amon-Ra St. Brown, who I’ve seen less from.

Round 7, Pick 8: Russell Wilson (QB – DEN)

This is a bit early for me to take a quarterback, but Wilson is one of the last guys remaining who I could stomach as my starter. Plus, the options at receiver and running back weren’t overly appealing. There will be an acclimation period, and it’s fair to argue that Wilson’s downgrading in weapons. But it’s hard not to get excited about a big year for Wilson.

Round 8, Pick 5: DeVonta Smith (WR – PHI)

Can Jalen Hurts support two fantasy-relevant receivers? I’m skeptical, but hopeful. Smith is immensely talented and knows how to get open. Is Brown a better player? Yes. But I believe in Smith’s talent as a high-upside WR4.

Round 9, Pick 8: Michael Carter (RB – NYJ)

Am I terrified that I’m committing two roster spots to Jets players? You bet. But New York’s offense could be turning a corner, and I suspect they could have two fantasy viable tailbacks this year. It might not be Nick ChubbKareem Hunt, but I could see a scenario where both Hall and Carter are worthy starters, especially in PPR formats.

Round 10, Pick 5: Allen Lazard (WR – GB)

Options are getting slim, folks. Lazard has done nothing to warrant any trust. But as Aaron Rodgers‘ most viable veteran target, maybe lightning strikes and Lazard can finish as a WR2.

Round 11, Pick 8: Mike Gesicki (TE – MIA)

Guess it’s time to take a tight end… and I guess I’ll settle on Gesicki, who is a perfectly suitable starter. As you can tell, tight end excites me as much as watching grass grow. But it’s hard to go wrong with last year’s TE8. He isn’t great, but he’s at least consistent. Dawson Knox has more upside, but I didn’t want to commit to two Bills targets.

Round 12, Pick 5: Tyler Allgeier (RB – ATL)

Cordarrelle Patterson is still in Atlanta, but Allgeier could emerge as Atlanta’s early-down back as a rookie. It’s either that or someone like Nyheim Hines, Raheem Mostert or Jamaal Williams. Boring!

Round 13, Pick 8: Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG)

Sterling Shepard is a nice player! The problem is he’s rarely on the field. But with picking slim, I’ll pray Shepard stays intact this year.

Round 14, Pick 5: Tim Patrick (WR- DEN)

Maybe Tim Patrick overtakes Jeudy as Denver’s WR2. Maybe I drop him in Week 3. Talk about a boom or bust pick!

Round 15, Pick 8: Robert Tonyan (TE – GB)

Ending my draft with a second tight end is gross, but I was a bit boxed in. I would’ve rather taken someone like Mecole Hardman or Jamison Crowder, but didn’t want to draft someone behind two of my primary starting receivers. So instead, I’ll take another bet on who could benefit from Green Bay’s passing game. The hope is that Tonyan puts together another double-digit touchdown campaign. But if it doesn’t pan out, I can cut bait and use the roster spot on a tailback or receiver.

Draft Wizard Grade: 85/100 (B)

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

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 Trade Analyzer – which allows you to instantly find out if a trade offer benefits you or your opponent – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.

Featured, Featured Link, Mock Drafts, NFL