Derek Brown’s Top Middle-Round Draft Picks (2022 Fantasy Football)
The 2022 NFL season is approaching, and that means it’s time to prepare for your fantasy football draft. What better way to do that than to practice drafting with our free mock draft simulator! Beyond our tools, we’re also going to have you covered throughout the draft prep season with our content.
The goal of every fantasy football manager is to complete the perfect draft. Impossible, you say? Let’s call it a stretch goal and strive for fantasy football glory. Here’s Derek Brown’s perfect 2022 fantasy football draft.
*All data utilized in this article courtesy of FantasyPros, PFF, Football Outsiders and Playerprofiler.com unless otherwise specified.*
Derek Brown’s Top Middle-Round Draft Picks
Round 5 Target
- Rashod Bateman: Rashod Bateman‘s 2022 season has breakout written all over it. Marquise Brown commanded the 12th highest target share among all wide receivers last season. That volume is in the range of outcomes for Bateman, who is a better route runner and separator than Brown. Matt Harmon’s analysis with Reception Perception concluded that Bateman’s success rate was in the 85th percentile against zone coverage and 81st percentile versus press. It’s rocket ship time for Baltimore’s new X receiver.
Round 6 Target
- Jalen Hurts: Jalen Hurts haters will never admit it, but Hurts could lead you to a league title again in 2022. The rushing upside is a known commodity as he was pacing towards 1,000 yards on the ground before his injury last year. The passing upside is what could push him over the top this season. He continued to show improvement in this area as the season wore on. Over his final six games, he was 16th in PFF grade, 15th in adjusted completion rate, and 13th in deep-ball completion rate (minimum 100 dropbacks). While none of these are among the elite-level quarterbacks in the NFL, with Hurts’ rushing dynamism, he doesn’t have to be that good as a passer to continue to ascend in fantasy football.
- Gabriel Davis: It hurts not to pick Drake London here, I’ll admit. If you’re looking for an alternate selection, it’s London. Sometimes we don’t have to make it complicated, yet here we are. Davis is the full-time wide receiver tied to Josh Allen in one of the best offenses in the NFL. Just stating this should make you drool, but if that analysis is too broad for you, enjoy this next nugget. In 2021 after becoming a full-time starter, he logged a 2.10 yards per route run. Throughout a full season, this would have been ranked 13th among wide receivers (minimum 50 targets). Don’t overthink it. Draft Gabriel Davis if you like talented players on high-scoring teams.
Round 7 Target
- Tony Pollard: Tony Pollard was one of the most efficient running backs in the NFL. Last season he was fourth in yards after contact per attempt behind only Rashaad Penny, Nick Chubb, and Jonathan Taylor (minimum 100 carries, per PFF). He was also first in yards per route run at the position. Pollard offers stand-alone production as he was the RB30 in fantasy points per game last season. If anything happens to Ezekiel Elliott, Pollard has league-winning upside, but his stand-alone upside is being slept on. I’m buying into the camp buzz that he’ll be used from the slot more this season and in the passing game. The Cowboys will remain one of the pass-heaviest teams in the NFL, and with them being short on receiving weapons, Pollard should gobble up targets this season.
Round 8 Target
- Rhamondre Stevenson: Once you’ve reached the middle rounds of a draft, the name of the game is home run swings. Which players can you target at these junctures that, if they hit, will be moonshot grand slams? Rhamondre Stevenson is one of those players. He displayed an explosive three-down skill set when on the field last year, ranking fourth in juke rate, 15th in yards created per touch, and eighth in yards per route run (minimum 20 targets). While Damien Harris is no slouch, he doesn’t have the receiving skills Stevenson does. Stevenson can dominate the passing down work if James White can’t work his way into game shape and eat into the early down work.
Round 9 Target
- Kadarius Toney: In this realm of the draft, the name of the game is home run swings. Kadarius Toney is a fastball right down the heart of the plate in round 11. Even though it was a limited sample, Toney tickled our curiosity with possibly insane upside. Last year among wide receivers with 100 or more routes, only Toney, Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, and Antonio Brown had a 29% or higher target per route run rate and 2.20 or higher yards per route run. The risk is baked into his ADP, but the upside isn’t.
Derek Brown’s 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings
ADP – Average Draft Position
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