Matthew Freedman’s Top Middle-Round Draft Picks (2022 Fantasy Football)
Matthew Freedman breaks down his Top 5 middle-round targets in 2022 fantasy football drafts, with one player for each of rounds six through 10. Is Brandin Cooks underappreciated? Is Gabriel Davis going to make a third-year leap?
ROUND 6 (61-72)
In Round 6, I love me Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks, WR25, No. 64 overall. Cooks is the only established pass catcher on the Texans, and he has gone over 1,000 yards receiving in every season in which he has played at least 15 games. In his final four games last year with quarterback Davis Mills, Cooks had 295 yards and three touchdowns. He has a high floor and an underappreciated ceiling.
ROUND 7 (73-84)
In Round 7, I’d be thrilled to get Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis, who is going higher in best ball leagues, but is WR31, No. 78 overall in redraft leagues. Quarterback Josh Allen is good enough to support two fantasy-relevant wide receivers, and Davis is dynamic enough to make a third-year leap. Wide receivers Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders are both gone, and 184 targets have opened up in their absence. Slot receivers Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie will seize their share of those vacated targets, but Davis is locked in as a perimeter player, and he has produced for two years with the Bills with 9.9 yards per target, including the playoffs, when he went off against the Chiefs. With his 12.1% touchdown rate, he’s a legitimate end-zone weapon at 6’2″ and a beefed-up 227 pounds, and he’s just 23 years old. Davis is a massive breakout candidate.
Cordarrelle Patterson had the best year of his career in 2021.
And he did it in his first season on a new team and in a new offense.
In total: 1,166 yards & 11 TDs in 16 games.
And people are like, "Watch out for that fifth-round running back."
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) May 19, 2022
ROUND 8 (85-96)
In Round 8, I’m taking Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson, RB33, No. 88 overall. Patterson is already 31 years old, but he has relatively little wear on his body, given that last year was his first with 100 carries. As a Deebo Samuel-esque “wide back” hybrid, Patterson amassed 1,166 yards and 11 touchdowns from scrimmage in 2021. This year he has a decent chance to replicate his usage of 153 carries and a nice 69 targets, even if fifth-round rookie running back Tyler Allgeier gets some playing time.
ROUND 9 (97-108)
In Round 9, I’m targeting 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, QB13, No. 101 overall. Jimmy Garoppolo is still on the roster, and if he stays with the team into the season, he could eventually take back the starting job if the 49ers struggle, but if that happens, no big deal, you can drop Lance and pick up another guy, because he’s just the QB13. At his ADP, he’s all upside, especially with his rushing ability. In 10 quarters of action last year, Lance had 161 yards on 31 carries. With all his receiving weapons and head coach Kyle Shanahan calling plays, Lance could be a league winner.
— Derek Brown (@DBro_FFB) July 18, 2022
ROUND 10 (109-120)
In Round 10, I’m taking Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard, WR46, No. 115 overall. Lazard could be the No. 1 receiver for the Packers. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has talked him up as the top guy, and wide receivers Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have vacated 224 targets. For his career, Lazard has 9.3 yards per target and an 8.4% touchdown rate (including the postseason). He’s better than people think.
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