Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Pick-by-Pick Analysis & Takeaways (2022)
Welcome, fantasy friends and foes, to the Fantasy Football 12-team PPR Mock Draft.
Please allow me to take you through a mock draft I conducted using our FREE DraftWizard for a 12-team, 1QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, and two FLEX spots. I was randomly assigned the 10th pick.
Check out who I selected and why in the first 12 rounds of the mock draft.
Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football draft season.
Round 1, Pick 10: Ja’Marr Chase (WR – CIN)
Unfortunately, every running back I hoped would fall to this pick did not make it here. However, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is a slam-dunk selection. Chase had a fantastic rookie season with 81 receptions, 1,455 yards, and 13 scores. The bromance between Chase and quarterback Joe Burrow is quite evident and a no-brainer selection to lead your fantasy team.
Round 2, Pick 3: CeeDee Lamb (WR – DAL)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb has the potential to be a top-five wide receiver in fantasy this season. With the trade of Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns, Lamb will have many available targets for quarterback Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense. Lamb has caught 153 passes for over 2,000 receiving yards across his first two seasons, and the upside with the increase in targets should lead to a career season for Lamb. Although I debated selecting Stefon Diggs — he possesses a steady floor — I could not ignore Lamb’s league-winning upside.
Round 3, Pick 10: Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL)
There were many debatable options here. A potential wide receiver trio by adding A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin, or Michael Pittman Jr. was enticing, and zero running backs were thrilling here. However, the pivot to Kyle Pitts, who has the potential to finish as the TE1 overall, is hard to pass up. Pitts arrived with over-the-top hype that was impossible to match, but he still produced 68 receptions on 110 targets during his rookie season. He also became one of only two tight ends in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards as a rookie. Pitts will be the focal point of the Atlanta Falcons’ offense led by new quarterback Marcus Mariota. Positive touchdown regression is a given after scoring one touchdown last season. However, the overall fantasy picture and his elite talent make Pitts a massive advantage for fantasy managers at the tight end position.
Round 4, Pick 3: Travis Etienne Jr. (RB – JAC)
Admittedly, having Travis Etienne as the RB1 on your roster screams high risk, high reward for fantasy managers. However, Etienne’s return from a torn Achilles injury is going remarkably well, and he is projected to be the Jacksonville Jaguars’ RB1 in Week 1. He will play in the Jaguars’ offense with his college quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and his upside is undeniable as a PPR monster in new head coach Doug Pederson’s offense.
Round 5, Pick 10: A.J. Dillon (RB – GB)
One player that is one of my main targets in each draft is Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon. Dillon led the Packers in carries last season and produced 1,119 yards and seven scores. Dillon finished as the RB23, and backfield teammate Aaron Jones had an RB12 finish. Both backs need to make a more significant impact this season for the Packers’ offense. The loss of all-world wide receiver Davante Adams and serious threat Marquez Valdez-Scandling leaves a crater in Green Bay’s offensive attack. Dillon is still undervalued and underrated as a pass catcher, as he had 34 catches with a 91.9% catch rate last season. Dillon is the Packers’ short-yardage and goal-line back, and the overall timeshare should shift toward Dillon, with more receiving work heading towards Jones to help compensate for the lack of playmakers in the passing game. Grabbing Dillon as the second running back on your roster is the ideal upside option for fantasy managers.
Round 6, Pick 3: Darnell Mooney (WR – CHI)
Another favorite target and ideal WR3 in your starting lineup is Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney. Mooney is coming off a season where he caught 81 receptions on 140 targets for 1,055 yards and four scores despite being forced to play with three different quarterbacks and three different coaches running the offense. Of course, the excitement is that the final quarterback he played with, Justin Fields, who was a rookie last season, will improve with his decision-making and mechanics. The Bears hired former Green Bay Packers offensive assistant Luke Getsy to run the offense, which should upgrade the offense and aid in the development of the former Ohio State Buckeye. With Allen Robinson now with the Los Angeles Rams, Mooney is cemented as the No. 1 receiver in Chicago. However, the Bears’ offense was less than stellar last season, ranking 24th in the NFL in yards per game. Mooney is the only proven weapon in the Bears’ offense and is a lock to improve on consecutive seasons of four touchdowns. He is expected to improve on his 140 targets, which should lead to a better fantasy season. With a better offensive scheme with new coaching staff, an improved offensive line, and the gradual improvement of Justin Fields — selecting Mooney as the WR3 seems like a steal.
Round 7, Pick 10: Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)
Brandon Aiyuk started last season in San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s dog house. Bad practice habits and horrible play on the field led to that. Aiyuk was on and off the field; it was mostly painful to watch when he was on the field. Aiyuk finished the first half of the season as the WR91. However, the light came on for Aiyuk, and he got in the good graces of Shanahan and helped the 49ers in their playoff push. In Weeks 8-16, Aiyuk was a fantasy force, producing WR14 numbers. The new-look Niners with sophomore signal-caller Trey Lance should open up the offense, leading to more opportunities for Aiyuk. Reports are that he has had a great camp, and Shanahan praised him for his improved play and commitment. Aiyuk slots in as a flex option in the lineup, which bodes well for the team’s fantasy fortunes.
Round 8, Pick 3: Rhamondre Stevenson (RB – NE)
Rhamondre Stevenson produced a solid finish to his rookie campaign by finishing as the RB26 for the final eight games last season. Stevenson is projected to be more involved in the passing game this season with the sudden retirement of veteran running back James White. He saw only 18 targets last season, but he is the logical choice to take over the pass-catching duties in the Patriots’ offense. Stevenson will share the New England backfield with Damien Harris, who finished with 15 touchdowns. However, Harris is in his contract year, and Bill Belichick is always looking towards the future, so a phase-out of Harris this season and turning to Stevenson seems inevitable. The initial timeshare seems daunting for fantasy managers. Still, the likelihood of Stevenson taking over the third-down work at the minimum should boost his value, especially here in the ninth round, where Stevenson steps in as the RB3 on the fantasy roster.
Round 9, Pick 10: Darrell Henderson Jr. (RB – LAR)
Admittedly, this was probably the worst selection of the draft. Darrell Henderson is a valuable running back to slot on the bench but does not possess much upside. The reports of Cam Akers and Henderson splitting the carries evenly in camp had to overtake the thought process here. With other available backs, such as James Cook and Melvin Gordon, this will probably result in a regretful selection. Henderson has a path to success with Akers’ injury concerns, but Henderson has health concerns that cloud his own fantasy outlook.
Round 10, Pick 3: Jakobi Meyers (WR – NE)
Jakobi Meyers led the New England Patriots in receiving last season and was rookie quarterback Mac Jones‘ favorite target. Meyers produced a career season with 83 receptions on 126 targets for 866 yards and two scores. The lack of touchdowns is an eye sore, but positive touchdown regression will arrive along with the maturation of Jones. Those factors will lead to another season of being the top target in the Patriots’ offense, even with the additions of DeVante Parker and second-round rookie Tyquan Thornton. Meyers is hard to pass up as the fifth wideout on your roster in the 10th round.
Round 11, Pick 10: Tyler Allgeier (RB – ATL)
The Atlanta Falcons selected BYU running back Tyler Allgeier in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Allgeier produced 23 rushing touchdowns last year, which were the most in college football. He is a physical one-cut runner with a path to be inserted immediately in short-yardage and goal-line situations. The prototypical bellcow-type running back has already received plenty of buzz in training camp. A quick look at the Falcons’ running back depth chart includes Cordarrelle Patterson, who proved last season that he could not handle the primary back role. Drafting the rookie running back in the double-digit rounds could result in an excellent return on investment. Fantasy managers should be encouraged that Allgeier will immediately make an impact in his rookie season.
Round 12, Pick 3: Khalil Herbert (RB – CHI)
Khalil Herbert displayed his potential during David Montgomery‘s absence with RB15 production. However, Herbert was limited to no more than five touches per game with Montgomery healthy. The new coaching staff should leave more balanced touches between the two running backs. Last season, the Bears’ offense struggled in every facet, including producing a lowly 2.8 red-zone scoring attempts per game. Herbert will be the winning lotto ticket if Montgomery gets injured, but the eye test emphasizes that Herbert might be a better running back. Selecting Herbert here in the 12th round could be a league-winner.
Round 13, Pick 10: K.J. Osborn (WR – MIN)
K.J. Osborn enters the season as the Minnesota Vikings’ third wideout behind stud wideout Justin Jefferson and veteran Adam Thielen. Drafting Osborn here is a steal with a projected increased role in a new Vikings offense under new head coach Kevin O’Connell, who arrived in Minnesota after two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, who ranked top 10 in pass attempts last season. As a result, there will be plenty of opportunities to improve his 13.1 yards per reception and seven receiving scores from last season.
Round 14, Pick 3: Kirk Cousins (QB – MIN)
The waiting on quarterback strategy worked out perfectly. However, the hope was that Derek Carr would fall here, but Carr was selected two picks before the selection of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins has averaged over 4,000 yards and 30+ touchdowns over the past four seasons, which has led Cousins to be a QB1 for fantasy managers. Cousins will play behind an improved offensive line and with an impressive group of offensive talent with stud wide receiver Justin Jefferson, veteran Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook out of the backfield. More importantly, Cousins is reunited with the offensive-minded Kevin O’Connell (who was his quarterbacks coach in Washington), which should provide more upside for fantasy managers.
Round 15, Pick 10: K.J. Hamler (WR – DEN)
K.J. Hamler is on a path to being ready for Week 1, and an unfortunate ACL injury to Tim Patrick sets Hamler up to become a deep pass-catching option for new quarterback Russell Wilson. Hamler’s speed and the deep-ball accuracy from Wilson should make Hamler an attractive wide receiver option for fantasy managers.
I completed the roster with four wide receivers in this three WR and two flex half-PPR league. I kicked off the last four rounds with a wideout getting plenty of buzz this preseason in Buffalo Bills wideout Isaiah McKenzie. There is an open competition for the team’s slot receiver role between McKenzie and Jamison Crowder to replace Cole Beasley. Crowder has missed multiple practices this camp, providing a path for McKenzie to continue getting first-team reps for slot duties in an explosive Bills offense. McKenzie is an excellent dart-throw selection at this point of the draft. The addition of DeVante Parker to the New England Patriots’ wide receiver room is nice, but Kendrick Bourne was a pleasant surprise with a career year last season with 55 receptions, 800 receiving yards, and five scores. Fantasy managers should not ignore the chemistry Bourne has with quarterback Mac Jones. The addition of Zay Jones to help support quarterback Trevor Lawrence should bode well for the Jacksonville Jaguars and fantasy managers. His production in the final six games of last season has catapulted Jones into a sneaky PPR monster with tremendous upside. Finishing the draft, the selection of Randall Cobb was another dart-throw pick. Aaron Rodgers handpicked the veteran Cobb to bring back because of their chemistry and trust.
This roster has plenty of promise and should be pretty competitive this season. The upside potential is enormous for Travis Etienne, A.J. Dillon, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Darnell Mooney. If two or three of these picks reach their ceiling outcomes, this team is destined for a deep playoff run.
QB – Kirk Cousins
RB – Travis Etienne, A.J. Dillon, Rhamondre Stevenson, Darrell Henderson, Tyler Algeier, Khalil Herbert
WR – Ja’Marr Chase, CeeDee Lamb, Darnell Mooney, Brandon Aiyuk, Jakobi Meyers, K.J. Osborn, K.J. Hamler, Isaiah McKenzie, William Fuller, Zay Jones, Randall Cobb
TE – Kyle Pitts
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 Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.