Top Rookies to Target in Redraft Leagues (2022 Fantasy Football)
While rookies are the hot topic this time of year, there are always plenty of second-year NFL players ready to either break out or continue the hot start to their professional career. Let’s take a look at redraft-relevant 2022 rookies, including rankings and player notes.
- Rookie Quarterback Rankings & Player Notes
- Rookie Wide Receiver Rankings & Player Notes
- Rookie Running Back Rankings & Player Notes
- Rookie Tight End Rankings & Player Notes
Player rankings based on our redraft Expert Consensus Rankings for half-PPR leagues.
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Rookies to Target in Redraft Leagues
Breece Hall (NYJ): RB18
My highest-ranked rookie running back is Breece Hall. The Jets selected the Iowa State product at the top of Round 2, signifying his status as the team’s locked-in RB1 for the foreseeable future. Hall’s three-down skill set suggests he never has to come off the field, and the sheer volume he garners will vault him into redraft top-20 running back territory. The Iowa State product totaled over 4,500 yards from scrimmage, 50 touchdowns, and 80 catches over three seasons in the college ranks. A workload of approximately 240 touches – based on ESPN fantasy analyst Mike Clay’s projections and how many touches the cumulative Jets RB1 earned last season – would place Hall inside the top-15 considering every running back last season that hit that threshold finished inside that ranking.2021 fourth-rounder Michael Carter had his moments as a rookie, but the Jets know he’s just a No. 2 running back. Anticipate Hall to shoulder 15-20 touches per game based on the workload that Carter received last season when Tevin Coleman missed time. From Weeks 7-9 with Coleman sidelined, Carter averaged 19 touches per game and a 66% snap share. Upon Coleman’s return from injury in Week 10, Carter averaged 14 touches per game and a 55% snap share in the games they played together.
James Cook (BUF): RB39
Rookie running back James Cook has immediate sleeper fantasy appeal across all PPR formats based on his second-round draft capital, pass-catching prowess, explosiveness, and offensive situation. The 5-foot-11, 199-pound running back has more than enough heft to manage a decent workload, especially as a receiver out of the backfield. The 5-foot-7, 203-pound Devin Singletary was the RB3 over the last six weeks of the regular season when the Bills entrenched him as the featured guy. Cook with an ECR of RB44 seems priced closer to their floor than his ceiling considering Round 2 running backs have finished as top-36 running backs more than half the time (55%) since 2013.
Rachaad White (TB): RB51
Despite inking Leonard Fournette to a new three-year deal, re-signing 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.
Tyrion Davis-Price (SF): RB69
If it’s not Elijah Mitchell taking back the reigns, then it’s equally viable Tyrion Davis-Price could be that dude. After the team burnt a third-round pick the year before on bench warmer extraordinaire Trey Sermon, the hesitation to invest in this backfield is real. Davis-Price performed well in his athletic testing with a 77th percentile 40-yard dash and 73rd percentile 10-yard split time. Since 2020 the 49ers are fifth in neutral rushing rate (47%). There’s volume to support multiple rushers as matchup or flex players or one rusher that could easily be a weekly top 20 option.
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Drake London (ATL): WR37
Drake London arrives in Atlanta to give Kyle Pitts a run for his money as the Falcons’ target leader in 2022. In his final season at USC, London gobbled up looks, averaging a mind-melting 14.8 targets, 11 receptions, and 135.5 receiving yards. He’s primed to vacuum up opportunities in his rookie season as a versatile wide receiver that ranked fifth in yards per route run among FBS wide receivers last year (minimum 50 targets per PFF). The rookie wide receiver explosion in recent years could easily continue with the London liftoff this season.
Skyy Moore (KC): WR51
Western Michigan WR Skyy Moore is being undervalued versus other Round 1 rookie WRs because he was a second-round pick as the 13th wide receiver selected in the draft. But Moore has a chance to hit the ground running in the post-Tyreek Hill era, competing for targets with fellow newcomers Juju Smith Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. His impressive YAC ability – tied for first with 26 forced missed tackles in 2021 – and ability to play both inside/outside helps him stand out from the other Chiefs’ WRs. With Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback, Moore could smash his current ECR into the stratosphere. It’s not that outlandish to think a second-rounder can make an immediate impact considering six of the 12 highest-scoring Round 1 & 2 rookie WRs selected since 2017 were second-rounders.
George Pickens (PIT): WR54
The Steelers selected George Pickens at pick No. 52 in the 2022 NFL Draft, with WR3 an area of need and Diontae Johnson (slated for free agency in 2023. I absolutely love the fit for Pickens here with the Steelers, who seem to never miss selecting wideouts on Day 2. Injuries and off-field issues plagued Pickens’ draft stock, but he looks fully healthy based on his testing at the NFL Combine. And Pittsburgh seems like the right spot for him to get his head on straight. I already can’t wait for the heated training camp fights between him and Chase Claypool as the gloves come off – well not really – for target supremacy. Pickens’ college profile screams that of a true alpha, so I’d be looking to stash him across the board before he is fully unleashed. The Georgia Bulldog WR broke out as a true 18-year-old freshman, finishing 2019 as PFF’s the 17th-highest-graded receiver in the nation (88.0) – ahead of future NFL wideouts like Jerry Jeudy, Justin Jefferson, DeVonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle.
Jahan Dotson (WAS): WR62
Jahan Dotson should immediately start in two wide receiver sets opposite Terry McLaurin. Dotson’s 90th percentile college dominator and 95th percentile target share while at Penn State illuminate the caliber of player he is. The Commanders’ passing rate could cap Dotson’s ceiling this year if the coaching staff comes to the same realization that the Colts did. That Carson Wentz is nothing more than a glorified game manager at this point in his career. As erratic as Wentz is, Dotson should enjoy an upgrade over the collegiate quarterback play he suffered through. The lone bright spot for Wentz is if Dotson can use his speed to get loose deep, Wentz should be able to hit him in stride. Wentz was fourth in deep-ball accuracy last season.
Wan’Dale Robinson (NYG): WR72
Wan’Dale Robinson concluded his career at Kentucky with a 98th percentile college target share and 95th percentile breakout age (per Playerprofiler.com). Last year he was 18th in yards per route run and 13th in receiving yards from the slot (minimum 20 slot targets, per PFF). He’ll compete for targets in year one for targets against Kadarius Toney, dusty Kenny Golladay, and Sterling Shepard, who is recovering from an Achilles tendon rupture. It doesn’t take a wild imagination to envision Robinson taking over the slot role and leading the team in targets this season. He’s an upside later-round flier in all formats.
Jalen Tolbert (DAL): WR74
With Michael Gallup‘s health questions and underwhelming effectiveness and the departure of Amari Cooper, Jalen Tolbert can compete for the number two role behind CeeDee Lamb immediately with Dalton Schultz. Tolbert dominated at South Alabama with a 96th percentile college dominator and 95th percentile target share (33.4%). Over the last two seasons, he was seventh and sixth in receiving yards among all FBS wideouts. If he seizes the number two spot, he’ll be a screaming value in fantasy football.
FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings
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