The Best Value in Every Round for Best Ball Drafts (2022 Fantasy Football)
The 2022 NFL season is less than four weeks away, and redraft league drafts are underway. While most of the fantasy football world has turned their attention to redraft leagues, Best Ball drafts are as popular as ever. Now is the time to get the best value on certain players while avoiding others.
However, like every other form of fantasy football, it is critical to find the best values throughout the draft. So let’s look at the best value in each round of an 18-round Best Ball draft.
The ADP used for this article comes from Underdog Fantasy.
Round 1 – Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN): ADP 8.8
Last season was a down one for Cook. The veteran averaged 14.6 fantasy points per game last year, his lowest average since his second season. However, Cook had over 1,150 rushing yards for the third straight year. He also averaged 4.7 yards per rushing attempt, matching his career average. The reason for Cook’s struggles was a lack of touchdowns. He had only six last season after scoring 29 rushing touchdowns the previous two years. With a new offensive-minded head coaching running the show in Minnesota, Cook could end the year as the overall RB1 despite being the fifth running back off the board.
Round 2 – Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG): ADP 15.1
The former No. 2 overall pick had a historic rookie season, averaging 22 touches and 21.3 fantasy points per game. Unfortunately, Barkley has struggled to stay healthy since his rookie season, missing 42.9 percent of the games the past three years. However, the Giants have done everything possible to help Barkley out this offseason. They added several new offensive linemen, including top-10 pick Evan Neal. Health has always been the issue for Barkley. However, he has played well in training camp, and the team expects a big year from him. If he stays healthy, Barkley could end the year as the overall RB1.
Round 3 – Mike Williams (WR – LAC): ADP 30.7
Coming off the best year of his career, Williams signed a three-year contract worth $60 million with the Chargers. Last year, he had over 120 targets, 75 receptions, and 1,100 receiving yards for the first time in his career. More importantly, Williams was the WR10 last year, ahead of teammate Keenan Allen. Despite rumors that the Chargers would add a wide receiver early during the NFL Draft, they didn’t add any wide receivers in the draft or sign a veteran in free agency. Williams has too much upside to pass up in the third round, especially with Justin Herbert under center. Furthermore, if Allen starts to regress due to age this year, Williams has the potential to end the year as a top-three wide receiver.
Round 4 – Cam Akers (RB – LAR): ADP 47.8
Last year was a lost year for Akers. While it’s impressive that he returned only six months after suffering a torn Achilles, Akers didn’t look 100% during the playoffs. However, fantasy players should be encouraged by how Akers ended his rookie season. He averaged 13.2 fantasy points per game over his final five games in 2020. Akers then had 46 rushing attempts for 221 yards and two touchdowns and averaged 4.8 yards per rushing attempt in the Rams’ two playoff games that year. Now that Sony Michel is in Miami and Darrell Henderson‘s injury history, Akers has a pathway to a featured role.
Round 5 – Darnell Mooney (WR – CHI): ADP 59.7
Coming off a solid rookie season, Mooney broke out last year. He ended the season as the WR24, averaging 10.5 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he was a top-24 wide receiver despite scoring only four receiving touchdowns. However, Mooney’s production improved once Allen Robinson got hurt. He averaged 9.4 targets and 11.7 fantasy points per game in the five games without Robinson. Over a 17-game pace, Mooney would have ended the year as the WR15. When the Bears let Robinson leave in free agency, they did very little to replace him. Meanwhile, Justin Fields is locked in as the starter this year and ready to go. Expect him to target Mooney plenty this season, making the former fifth-round pick a top fantasy receiver.
Round 6 – AJ Dillon (RB – GB): ADP 65.2
After losing Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling this offseason, the Packers will lean on their two star running backs in 2022. Last year, Dillon averaged only 3.6 fewer fantasy points per game than Aaron Jones despite playing 129 fewer snaps. Furthermore, Dillon had more rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns than Jones while nearly matching him in receiving yards. While his ADP has risen the past few weeks, Dillon remains a value in the sixth round. Fantasy players should pass on Jones early on and grab Dillon at his current ADP.
Round 7 – Tony Pollard (RB – DAL): ADP 80.1
Ever since he entered the NFL, Pollard has been a favorite of the fantasy football community, and the hype around him has grown during the offseason. Despite Ezekiel Elliott playing all 17 games and averaging 16.7 touches per contest, Pollard was the RB28 last season, averaging 9.1 fantasy points per game. Given Dallas’ limited healthy weapons, Pollard should have a career year in the receiving game. If Elliott struggles to start the year, Pollard could take over as the lead guy and turn into a top-12 running back. Even if Zeke remains the lead guy, Pollard should see enough volume to end the season as a low-end RB2.
Round 8 – Tom Brady (QB – TB): ADP 86.7
Last year Brady was the QB3, averaging 22 fantasy points per game despite rushing for only 81 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the lack of running ability, Brady has been a top-seven quarterback both years in Tampa Bay. Furthermore, Brady led the NFL in pass attempts, averaging 42.3 pass attempts per game. He was also second in deep ball attempts per game (5.1) and third in third-down pass attempts per game (9.7) last season. More importantly, the Buccaneers added Russell Gage and Julio Jones in the offseason, while Chris Godwin is on track to play in Week 1. Despite limited rushing production, Brady could end the year as the overall QB1 in 2022.
Round 9 – Kenneth Walker (RB – SEA): ADP 103.1
Rashaad Penny is coming off his historic finish to last year. He will reportedly see 20 rushing attempts per game. However, there is zero chance that happens for the entire season. Penny has missed 43.1% of the games in his career because of various injuries. Meanwhile, Walker will reportedly handle the receiving role out of the backfield. While Walker recently had surgery to address a hernia injury, he could return for Week 1. Even if he misses the first week or two of the year, fantasy players would be wise to buy the dip and draft Walker. Once Penny is forced to the sideline with an injury, Walker will have a featured role.
Round 10 – Dameon Pierce (RB – HOU): ADP 108.5
Veterans Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead are Pierce’s competition for the starting role in Houston. Mack has 37 touches over the past two years, while Burkhead had one game with over 47 rushing yards last season. However, Pierce has been the talk of training camp for the Texans and nearly averaged 10 yards per rushing attempt in Houston’s first preseason game. If Pierce isn’t the Week 1 starter, the Texans aren’t putting their best players on the field. He has three-down ability and could be the best rookie running back this season. Rarely can you find running backs with mid-RB2 upside outside the top 100 picks. Yet, Pierce has that level of upside.
Round 11 – Cole Kmet (TE – CHI): ADP 123.5
My favorite double-digit round tight end target is Kmet. While he had zero touchdowns last year, Kmet was second on the team in targets with 93. He also had 23 third down targets, 12 red zone targets, and nine deep targets. After receiving a 17.7% target share last season, Kmet should break the 20% barrier this year, given Chicago’s lack of weapons. Furthermore, his play improved in Fields’ final three healthy games last season. Kmet averaged 8.3 fantasy points per game in those contests. Over a 17-game pace, he would have been the TE8 with that average. Kmet is this year’s Dalton Schultz, so grab him in as many drafts as possible.
Round 12 – Romeo Doubs (WR – GB): ADP 137.6
Despite losing their top two wide receivers from last year’s squad, the Packers didn’t draft a wide receiver in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Instead, they waited till the middle rounds to grab Christian Watson and Doubs. He has been the star of training camp, repeatedly winning one-on-one matchups in drills. Furthermore, Doubs had three receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown in the Packers first preseason game. Last month I said Doubs’ ADP could be 75-100 spots higher before the start of the season. His ADP has risen 77 spots in the past month. Yet, he’s still a massive value as a 12th-round pick.
Round 13 – Nico Collins (WR – HOU): ADP 152.5
One of my favorite second-year wide receivers to draft is Collins. The former Michigan star wide receiver averaged only 4.8 fantasy points per game last year. However, he played only 61.9% of the snaps and had a route participation rate of 73.1%. More importantly, Collins saw an uptick in targets in the red zone. He had a 14.3% red zone target share and had five targets in the green zone (inside the 10-yard line). Furthermore, Collins was second on the team in deep targets behind Brandin Cooks. With rookie John Metchie likely out for the year after getting diagnosed with Leukemia, Collins is the clear-cut No. 2 wide receiver in Houston and could have a breakout year in 2022.
Round 14 – Brian Robinson (RB – WAS): ADP 157.2
Even after re-signing J.D. McKissic, Washington used a third-round pick on Robinson. They didn’t use that high of a draft pick to give him 2-3 rushing attempts per game. Instead, Robinson will see consistent touches as the Commanders try to lighten Antonio Gibson‘s workload. More importantly, Robinson was very productive in Washington’s first preseason game, while Gibson fumbled and was benched. Furthermore, Gibson has recently spent time with the third-string and special teams units in practice. Robinson reportedly already earned the goal-line role. However, if he takes over as the lead back, Robinson becomes a league winner in the 14th round. He is currently my most drafted player in Best Ball.
Round 15 – Alec Pierce (WR – IND): ADP 175.5
Last season, the Colts had only one player with over 40 receptions in Michael Pittman (88). Yet, the Colts did very little to improve their receiving core other than drafting Pierce. The former Cincinnati star receiver ran a 4.41 40-yard dash with a 41-inch vertical jump at the NFL Combine at 6’3″. More importantly, Pierce has flashed during training camp, repeatedly winning one-on-one drills against the first-string defense. While Pittman is a popular breakout candidate, and with good reason, Pierce is an appealing late-round pick.
Round 16 – Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN): ADP 187.4
Tannehill had a down year last season, averaging only 15.8 fantasy points per game. However, it was only two years ago that Tannehill had the best fantasy year of his career. He averaged a career-high 21.5 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Tannehill had 40 total touchdowns that year, a 30% increase from his previous career-high. While he no longer has A.J. Brown, Tannehill does have the veteran Robert Woods and a pair of appealing rookie receivers in Treylon Burks and Kyle Philips. Tannehill has seven rushing touchdowns each of the past two seasons. If he can return to his 2020 passing numbers, Tannehill will be a top-10 quarterback this year.
Round 17 – Brevin Jordan (TE – HOU): ADP 198.9
One of my favorite late-round tight ends to target is Jordan. He was the TE29 on a points per game basis last year, averaging 5.1 fantasy points per game. However, Jordan produced for fantasy teams when targeted. He averaged 1.64 fantasy points per target last year. Furthermore, Jordan averaged 7.9 fantasy points per game in the four games with four or more targets. More importantly, the Texans leaned on Jordan in the red zone. Despite seeing only 28 targets last year, 14.3% of them came in the red zone, resulting in three touchdowns. The Houston offense lacks proven weapons other than Cooks, so Jordan has a path to a second-year breakout.
Round 18 – Desmond Ridder (QB – ATL): ADP 215.6
While Marcus Mariota is currently the Week 1 starter, it’s only a matter of time until the Falcons make the switch to the rookie. Once he takes over as the starter, Ridder will have two elite athletic freaks to throw to in Kyle Pitts and Drake London. He is also a capable runner and could have 400 or more rushing yards if he starts most of the games. More importantly, the Falcons will be in a negative game script most of the season. If he can develop a connection with Pitts and London early in the year, Ridder could sneak into the top 15 as a rookie.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, 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, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.