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Top 12 Rookies to Target in Redraft Leagues (2022 Fantasy Football)

Aug 16, 2022
Breece Hall

Breece Hall should be a workhorse for the Jets in his rookie season.

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.

Player rankings based on our redraft Expert Consensus Rankings for half-PPR leagues.

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Top 12 Rookies to Target in Redraft Leagues

Running Backs

Breece Hall (NYJ): RB19
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): RB38
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.

Isaiah Spiller (LAC): RB46
The Chargers are no strangers to taking shots on bigger but unathletic running backs on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. Joshua Kelley was the guy in 2020 and Larry Rountree was the guy in 2021. Isaiah Spiller represents the latest rehash of the Chargers trying to find an appropriate thunder to Austin Ekeler‘s lightning, and I for one think Spiller is already the best bet currently on the roster. The former Texas A&M running back has the capacity for three-down spot start duties with an all-encompassing skill set and desirable size – 6-feet and 217 pounds. Spiller should be a solid producer for the Chargers if given the opportunity although his lack of top-notch speed could keep him from being elite. He had only eight carries of 20-plus yards in 2021. But I’d be hard-pressed to ignore his impressive age-adjusted production as one of his most encouraging traits. Since Day 1 at Texas A&M, Spiller has been the lead dog for the Aggies. As a true freshman in 2019, he scored 10 rushing touchdowns and finished 16th in the nation in yards after contact per attempt en route to a 22% dominator rating. The power running back capped off his first year in impressive fashion with back-to-back seasons of 1,000 rushing yards and 100 missed tackles. Spiller also displayed receiving prowess, commanding at least an 8% target share and an average of 25 receptions per season. With Justin Jackson still an unsigned free agent, Spiller looks slated for instant impact in Year 1.

Rachaad White (TB): RB55
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): RB70
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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Wide Receivers

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.

Treylon Burks (TEN): WR43
Treylon Burks finished first in his class in yards per route run (3.57) while also ranking No. 1 in yards per route run when lined up outside (6.08) among all receivers. It’s an encouraging sign that a size-speed specimen delivered when aligned on the perimeter, as he spent 77% of his career in the slot. The rookie’s 8.5 yards after the catch rank 14th among 169 qualifying wide receivers (92nd percentile) over the past two seasons. His elite college production and top-notch 32% dominator rating speak for themselves. And the best part is, he should produce from Day 1 after being drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. There’s hardly any competition for targets outside of Robert Woods), who is coming off a torn ACL. And with a similar YAC-ability to A.J. Brown, Burks should be able to step on the field on day one and offer immediate fantasy football appeal as a top-30 fantasy option.

Skyy Moore (KC): WR52
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.

Jahan Dotson (WAS): WR60
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.

George Pickens (PIT): WR71
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.

Wan’Dale Robinson (NYG): WR79
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): WR86
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

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

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