Earlier this week, I wrote up how the first round of a fantasy football dynasty rookie draft is shaping up as the dust settles on the 2022 NFL Draft. As you prepare your own fantasy football dynasty rankings, it's important to know how the incoming NFL rookies are being valued in dynasty drafts. While the order of the players included in the first round may vary, consider it an accurate representation on the whole as there are a few clear tier breaks among the top 12-15 fantasy football rookies this year. Expect little variation amongst the 12 players who go in a typical first round of a fantasy football dynasty rookie draft. The second round, though, is where things should get interesting based on how the owners of those picks view whoever is left on the board. How soon will Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett be taken? Will Dameon Pierce, Isaiah Spiller, or another rookie running back be a fantasy football sleeper? Below is a refresher of how the first round of this fantasy football dynasty rookie mock draft went before we dive into Round 2.
Fantasy Football Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft Round 1:
- Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets
- Treylon Burks, WR, Tennessee Titans
- Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons
- Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets
- Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints
- Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions
- Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seattle Seahawks
- James Cook, RB, Buffalo Bills
- George Pickens, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Skyy Moore, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
- Jahan Dotson, WR, Washington Commanders
- Rachaad White, RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fantasy Football Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft Round 2:
2.01 – Christian Watson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Watson could easily have slipped into the back end of the first round as he is part of the relatively flat secondary tier of players after the top five receivers and Walker/Hall are off the board. He essentially was a first-round NFL pick at No. 34 overall, and the Packers gave up two late second-rounders to move up and get him. At 6-foot-4 and 208 pounds, Watson is an athletic freak who ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash, 38.5-inch vertical, and 11'4" broad jump at the NFL Combine. His production needs to be adjusted for his competition at North Dakota State, but he averaged over 20.0 YPR on his 105 college receptions. The rookie will be stepping into an ideal situation with a newly re-signed Aaron Rodgers in desperate need of receiver production following the departure of Davante Adams’ 169 targets from last season. The landing spot and draft capital should mitigate any small school concerns.
2.02 – Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans
This is where I see a clear tier break and rookie drafts will start veering from consensus towards personal preference. Pierce has a strong contingent of fans in the dynasty community who have been driving up his price even before he landed in perhaps the best opportunity for immediate carries of any rookie running back. With only Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead ahead of him on Houston’s depth chart, I think this is a classic situation where drafters are going to overvalue situation vs. talent. Pierce never had more than 106 carries or 574 yards in any of his four college seasons before putting up mediocre numbers at the Combine and getting drafted in the fourth round. He did score 13 touchdowns his senior season and had 36 receptions combined his last two years at Florida, but there are several players I would look to before taking him (or try moving this pick for draft capital in 2023).
2.03 – John Metchie III, WR, Houston Texans
The Alabama graduate has the draft capital, name recognition, and production such that he will not be falling far past this slot in dynasty rookie drafts. Metchie was the Crimson Tide’s leader in receptions before he tore his ACL in the SEC championship game, rendering him incapable of participating in the pre-draft process – similar to teammate Jameson Williams. He established himself as a breakout 19-year-old sophomore and won’t turn 22 until the upcoming NFL season starts. Like Williams, all signs point to a clean bill of health in his recovery from knee surgery. Davis Mills played sneaky well last year, and the Texans' WR depth chart is wide open behind Brandin Cooks.
2.04 – David Bell, WR, Cleveland Browns
Those who pay attention to college football have had Bell on their radar for a while. He exploded onto the scene as an 18-year-old true freshman at Purdue with 86 grabs for 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns while playing with future NFL second-round pick Rondale Moore in 2019. Bell ended up with late-Round 3 draft capital and is now tied to an elite quarterback in Deshaun Watson. His lack of strong athletic measurables (4.65 in the 40, 33-inch vertical, 9'10" broad) has him a bit further down my personal board, but his age-adjusted production is undeniable. This is about where I see him going.
2.05 – Zamir White, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
White was the thunder to James Cook’s lightning at Georgia last season, serving as an early-down thumper while Cook soaked up change-of-pace and receiving work. White led the Bulldogs in rushing each of the past two seasons, has prototypical feature back size, and put up elite weight-adjusted metrics at the combine: 4.40 40-yard dash and the longest broad jump (10’8”) of all running backs. He was a five-star high school recruit who has overcome early-career knee injuries to get where he is. The dynasty community has never been in love with Josh Jacobs, who is in the last year of his contract after the Raiders declined his fifth-year option. That sentiment should push White up to early second-round rookie draft capital despite not going until the fourth round of the NFL Draft.
2.06 – Isaiah Spiller, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Spiller was my RB3 pre-draft after an extremely productive career in the SEC from the moment he stepped onto the field for Texas A&M as an 18-year-old true freshman – particularly in the receiving game, where he grabbed 74 balls over the last three seasons. His athletic measurables at his Pro Day were underwhelming, but not to the extent that I would overlook his production in the nation’s preeminent conference. I’ve seen the sentiment that the Chargers are a bad landing spot for him due to the presence of Austin Ekeler, which I think is extremely shortsighted. This offense will be in good hands for a long time with Justin Herbert, and it wasn’t that long ago that Ekeler himself was a backup usurping an incumbent starter. Ekeler is only signed through 2023 and tends to miss some games every season with injuries. I love Spiller as the long-term passing back tied to Herbert with upside for more. He could be a mid-to-late-second round steal in rookie drafts.
2.07 – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickett was the only quarterback taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, so he is probably the only signal-caller in this class you can bank on seeing playing time this year. He still fell to the 20th overall pick and was never considered a blue-chip prospect, so he has a wide range of outcomes. Even in SuperFlex drafts, I’ve seen him go anywhere from 1.01 to 1.08 in the ones I’ve been in. The Steelers present him with a great situation in which to learn from an established coach and grow into the starting role. After the group of previously-taken running backs are off the board, I can see dynasty managers finding Pickett to be an appealing value pivot at this point in rookie drafts – if not sooner. The lack of viable options behind him at the position this year will have QB-needy fantasy managers scrambling to be the one who gets him rather than settling for a project like Malik Willis or Desmond Ridder.
2.08 – Jalen Tolbert, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Tolbert is a small-school prospect with a stellar production profile, which is more of a pre-requisite than a plus for a player from South Alabama. He has solid athletic measurables (4.49 in the 40, 36-inch vertical) with requisite NFL receiver size (6-foot-1, 194 pounds). Tolbert picked up Day 2 draft capital when the Cowboys selected him with their third-round pick. It seems like a crowded receiving corps in Dallas on the surface with CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup entrenched as starters for the foreseeable future. Even so, we have seen fantasy juice from the WR3 (Gallup, Cedrick Wilson) in Dallas in recent years given their high-volume offense. With Wilson and Amari Cooper out the door, Tolbert has a chance to step into that WR3 role and reap the benefits of the coverage Lamb and Gallup will draw.
2.09 – Alec Pierce, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Pierce and Desmond Ridder carried Cincinnati’s passing offense during their run to the College Football Playoff last season. It was Pierce’s only season of real production, but he did consistently display his efficiency on a per-catch basis throughout his college career with a 17.5 YPR on 106 receptions. Pierce has prototypical NFL wide receiver size at 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds, making the numbers he put up at the Combine all the more impressive: 4.41 40-yard dash, 40.5-inch vertical, 10’9” broad. His dynasty stock is further boosted by the fact that Indianapolis used the 53rd overall pick on him. Given the lack of marquee options behind Michael Pittman Jr. in the Colts offense, Pierce could easily be starting in two-receiver sets out of the gate. If he had a stronger production profile, he would be going even higher in dynasty rookie drafts, but he’s settled in as a late second-round pick. I think he presents upside at that cost.
2.10 – Tyquan Thornton, WR, New England Patriots
It’s tough to put a value on Thornton since he went much higher than expected in the NFL Draft. Generally considered a fourth, maybe late-third round pick, the Patriots traded up to take him at No. 50 overall in the second round. While they may not have any true WR1s, New England has a crowded receiver depth chart and it’s hard to see Thornton being more than a situational deep threat at the onset of his NFL career. Like Pierce, Thornton only had one strong season of production in college while at Baylor, but proceeded to light up the NFL Combine: 4.28-second 40 (fastest at his position), 36.5-inch vertical, 10’10” broad jump at 6-foot-2 and 181 pounds. He is the exact type of player Mac Jones and his deep ball accuracy thrived with at Alabama. I view him as high risk/high reward, and this is about the time in rookie drafts when managers start rolling the dice on upside.
2.11 – Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, San Francisco 49ers
One of the most well-paved narrative streets in fantasy football is Kyle Shanahan (much like his father before him) and the revolving door of running backs that he schemes up to be strong fantasy contributors. Many expected that player to be Trey Sermon this time last year. It instead turned out to be sixth-rounder Elijah Mitchell, who eventually took the reins of the San Francisco backfield. Mitchell looks poised to hang onto that role moving forward, but we’ve come to expect the unexpected with Shanahan and his San Francisco backfields. Davis-Price has feature-back size at 6-feet and 211 pounds, and he clocked a solid 4.48 40-yard dash at the Combine. He was LSU’s leading rusher the past two seasons but offered the Tigers little in terms of receiving production. I think dynasty managers are going to see the landing spot and reach for him in this range of rookie drafts.
2.12 – Pierre Strong, RB, New England Patriots
We finish off the second round with Strong, who is eerily reminiscent of Kenneth Gainwell at this time last year. Though he's unlikely to ever become a team’s workhorse, strong athletic measurables and passing-game chops will likely result in a long and fantasy-fruitful NFL career – especially in PPR leagues. Strong could not have landed in a better situation to take advantage of that skill set than New England, where he will try to carry on the long line of Patriots' PPR assets like Kevin Faulk, Shane Vereen, and James White. After suffering a hip injury last year, it’s hard to expect White to come back and fully be the player he once was now at 30 years old. Not to mention, he has no guaranteed money on his contract after this season. Strong probably won’t contribute much this year, but is an ideal taxi-squad stash for forward-looking dynasty managers.
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Looking for more Dynasty Fantasy Football content? Check out our 2022 Fantasy Football Dynasty Series throughout the NFL offseason!
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