Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-Team, Half-PPR, No. 4 Pick (2022)
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Mock Draft Picks: 12-Team, Half-PPR, No. 4 Pick
Round 1, Pick 4: Derrick Henry (RB – TEN)
Those that faded Derrick Henry as a first-round pick in 2021 received suboptimal results. The Tennessee Titans running back led the position in fantasy PPR points per game (23.4) through eight weeks and bested his 2020 2,000-yard campaign by more than 2.5 PPR points per game.
The unicorn running back averaged 29.6 touches per game – seven more than the next closest running back before his injury. And although he didn’t play again until the postseason, Henry still finished 15th in the NFL in total touches and as the RB20 overall in just eight games played.
No running back better depicts the “volume is king” mantra better than the King himself and his guaranteed volume makes him nearly bulletproof.
Coming off an injury-plagued season does raise some concerns about whether Henry’s body is going to break down because of his insane workload. And the lack of pass-game usage is a detriment to his value in PPR formats. But it’s impossible to ignore his workload opportunity in 2022 within a Titans’ anemic passing offense. They don’t have any reason to not feature him and there are no indications that they are going to stop with him due $15M this season.
Seems more likely than not they ride Henry until his contract expires before the 2024 season when he hits age 30.
Round 2, Pick 9: Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG)
Last season was nightmare fuel for Saquon Barkley. In his return from the ACL injury, he posted his career’s lowest breakaway run rate (3.1%, per Playerprofiler.com) and yards after contact per attempt (2.69, per PFF). With Joe Judge and Jason Garrett’s special brand of season-destroying special sauce gone, Barkley has all the motivation to crush this year as a pending free agent. With the additions of Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinski, and first-round pick Evan Neal to pair with holdover Andrew Thomas, the blocking upfront should be much improved. A massive bounce-back campaign could be brewing.
Round 3, Pick 4: A.J. Brown (WR – PHI)
The veteran has never played in a pass-happy offense, and that doesn’t necessarily project to change too drastically if the Eagles run back their operation ground and pound from a season ago. Still, Brown’s talent has yet to hold him back amid a poor situation – WR5 in fantasy points per game in 2020 – and that shouldn’t stop in Philly.
He will be the alpha dog for the Eagles and remain a fantasy WR1 in 2022 fantasy leagues. Brown finished fourth in yards per route run (2.72) and in target rate per route run (28%) despite battling injuries last season.
Round 4, Pick 9: Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS)
Terry McLaurin has dealt with a history of sprains, strains, and putrid quarterback play that have limited our view of his true ceiling potential. Since 2019 McLaurin has endured two hamstring strains and two high ankle sprains that have only cost him three games but have drastically hindered his effectiveness at points. Since 2019 he’s suffered catchable target rates that have ranked 70th, 77th, and 41st in the NFL. Carson Wentz might not be amazing, but if he continues the deep ball prowess that he flashed last season, McLaurin could offer fantasy managers high-end WR2 production. In 2021 Wentz was fourth in deep-ball accuracy, which pairs well with McLaurin, who was second in deep-ball targets last year.
Round 5, Pick 4: DK Metcalf (WR – SEA)
D.K. Metcalf played last season with Geno Smith and a watered-down version of Russell Wilson under center and still managed to finish as WR20. While the pairing of Smith and Drew Lock might hamper his ceiling, Metcalf’s floor is as a low-end WR2. Metcalf’s volume and efficiency should still lend to spike weeks regardless of the quarterback. Last season he was eighth in target share (27.3%), 24th in targets per snap, and 20th in yards per route run (minimum 50 targets, per PFF).
Round 6, Pick 9: Kyler Murray (QB – ARI)
DeAndre Hopkins is being suspended six games for violating the NFL’s Performance Enhancing Drug policy. This penalty has massive fantasy football repercussions for the Arizona Cardinals’ offense, starting with quarterback Kyler Murray.
Murray’s production dipped last season without Hopkins in the lineup over the final four weeks of the season. He averaged 18.8 fantasy points per game and 6.3 yards per pass attempt.
Murray averaged 24.9 fantasy points per game and 8.7 yards per attempt in the nine games with Hopkins fully healthy. He also posted the No. 1-ranked PFF passing grade (90.5).
Losing Hopkins for six games cannot be ignored, but the addition of Marquise Brown figures to make up for some of the lost production.
Round 7, Pick 4: DeVonta Smith (WR – PHI)
DeVonta Smith concluded his rookie campaign as the WR36 in weekly fantasy scoring. Smith was productive in yards per route run, ranking 30th (1.77) among all wideouts with 50 or more targets and third amongst rookies with 25 or more targets (per PFF). He surpassed fellow highly touted receivers Elijah Moore (1.75) and Jaylen Waddle (1.75) in this metric. With A.J. Brown in town, the Eagles could return to the pass-heavy ways from the beginning of 2021. If this happens, Smith’s low-end WR3 status from last season could be the floor if he can increase his touchdown output. Smith was the WR37 last year in receiving yards per game.
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Round 8, Pick 9: Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE)
Kareem Hunt’s been rumored to be on the trade block this offseason. His contract expires in 2023, and the Browns have a mighty stable of backs behind Nick Chubb including D’Ernest Johnson, Jerome Ford and Demetric Felton.
If no deal is reached by the time the season starts, it would be much less likely that Hunt stays in Cleveland, making him a primed trade target for any team that suffers an injury at running back through training camp/preseason.
Last year Hunt was limited to just eight games due to a calf injury – but he maintained his effectiveness when healthy through the first six weeks of the season. He was a top-10 running back in PPR averaging 17 fantasy points per game averaging just south of 15 touches per game.
Hunt’s true upside will always be capped in a backfield as the Robin to Chubb’s Batman. But should an injury occur to Chubb or another star running back, Hunt would easily flirt with league-winning upside if he is awarded the requisite volume to do so.
His sixth-ranked yards after contact per attempt (3.54), sixth-ranked yards per route run (1.81) and 26% target rate suggest he’s not slowing down entering his age 27-season. All he needs is a change of scenery to recapture his rookie year accolades when he led the NFL in rushing yards.
Round 9, Pick 4: Chase Claypool (WR – PIT)
Chase Claypool’s second-year breakout was inevitably halted by Ben Roethlisberger’s lack of downfield throwing ability: On throws with 20-plus air yards, Big Ben graded 31st out of 38 qualifying QBs.
Claypool commanded a 27% air yards share on the season and led the team in the metric over the final four weeks. Better days should be ahead of the Notre Dame product if Pittsburgh can get better downfield quarterback play from Kenny Pickett/Mitchell Trubisky.
Claypool is also due for positive touchdown regression after catching just one of his 12 end-zone targets last season. The 6-foot-5 monster is no stranger to hitting paydirt, after being one of eight wide receivers to score double-digit touchdowns as rookies since 1998.
However, Claypool’s range of outcomes is quite wide heading into his third season with 2022 second-round pick George Pickens, chomping at the bit to be the No. 2 on the offense behind Diontae Johnson.
Round 10, Pick 9: Alexander Mattison (RB – MIN)
Alexander Mattison has played out of his mind when given the opportunity with Dalvin Cook sidelined. In the four games since 2020 with 60% or higher snap counts, he’s averaged 23.5 rushing attempts with 148.2 total yards per game. In that quartet of games, he was the RB7, RB6, RB8, and RB4 in weekly scoring. Assuming Kevin O’Connell doesn’t upset the order of things or Ty Chandler or Kene Nwangwu don’t hop him on the depth chart, Mattison is primed to remain one of the top handcuff options in fantasy.
Round 11, Pick 4: Zach Ertz (TE – ARI)
The stage is set for Zach Ertz to volume hog his way to another top 12 tight end season. With DeAndre Hopkins missing a chunk of the season, Ertz should get off to a fantastic start. Last season without Hopkins in the lineup (Weeks 9-11, 15-18), Ertz saw a 23.7% target share and finished as a top ten tight end in 71.4% of his games. Arizona adding Marquise Brown and Trey McBride will muddy the target waters some, but Ertz’s role in the offense and Hopkins’ missing time should allow him to get off to a fast start and propel him to another TE1 season.
Round 12, Pick 9: Rachaad White (RB – TB)
Despite inking Leonard Fournette to a new three-year deal, resigning Giovani Bernard, and still having incumbent Ke’Shawn Vaughn on the roster, the team spent a third-round draft pick on Rachaad White. White followed up his final season at Arizona State, where he racked up 3.38 yards after contact per attempt and 2.25 yards per route run (ninth, minimum 20 targets per PFF) by blowing up the combine. White finished with an 84th percentile speed score and 87th percentile burst score. This looks like a crowded backfield on paper, but the team has shown the willingness to utilize one back as a do-it-all rusher and receiver. This would leave White as the Uncle Len backup plan with workhorse upside if the injury bug bit Fournette.
Round 13, Pick 4: Jarvis Landry (WR – NO)
Jarvis Landry signed with the New Orleans Saints this offseason, providing much-added depth to the team’s wide receiver room.
The 29-year-old’s best season with the Browns came back in 2019 when he averaged 12.2 fantasy points per game in half-point scoring as the WR13. The former LSU star’s production fell off in the last two seasons amid quarterback Baker Mayfield‘s struggles.
However, Landry displayed a higher fantasy ceiling in games that Odell Beckham Jr. missed from 2020-2021 averaging 11.2 points per game in 2020 (nine games) and 9.5 points per game in 2021 (ten games).
So although his WR56 and 8.9 fantasy points per game in 2021 suggest Landry may be on the decline, he was more a victim of bad circumstances. His 25% target rate per route run ranked top-12 last season – tying him with the likes of D.J. Moore, D.K. Metcalf, Brandin Cooks and Stefon Diggs.
He’ll compete for his fair share of targets in an offense alongside what now appears like a sneaky good pass-catching corps between veteran Michael Thomas, first-round rookie Chris Olave and running back Alvin Kamara.
There’s a clear path for steady fantasy WR2 production with Landry if Thomas doesn’t overcome the remaining hurdles stemming from his ankle rehab.
Round 14, Pick 9: Mecole Hardman (WR – KC)
Mecole Hardman will see an expanded role after the Tyreek Hill trade, but too often he has failed to fire when asked to take a step forward in the No. 1 WR’s absence.
The Chiefs adding a plethora of WRs in free agency along with second-rounder Skyy Moore in the NFL Draft hints they aren’t expecting a massive leap for Hardman.
My advice is to not get overly aggressive drafting a player that has yet to rid the role of a gadget player since entering the league. Because although the thought of a speedy wide receiver attached to Patrick Mahomes is enticing the on-field production really has not been there for Hardman even from a spiked-week perspective.
Case in point, he has finished as a top-18 weekly WR in PPR once in three years to go along with a handful of 18-20th overall finishes.
Mock Draft Results and Analysis
FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings
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