The 2022 NFL free agency period and offseason were bonkers and sent massive shockwaves around fantasy football. That impact is being felt in how managers conduct their current 2022 dynasty fantasy football drafts. With less than two weeks until the NFL Draft, how does a 2022 dynasty 1QB fantasy football mock draft stand today?
2022 Dynasty PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft | Round 1
For reference, this mock was run using a 1QB/2RB/2WR/TE/Flex roster format with a 10-team league and PPR scoring settings. Also, incoming rookies will not be involved until after the draft takes place — their rankings can be found here.
1.01) Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (RB1)
In a 1QB format, I feel there are three players who can go as the 1.01 in a dynasty mock draft. It’s either Jonathan Taylor, Ja’Marr Chase, or Justin Jefferson. There is no wrong choice, but given the small amount of difference-making running backs in fantasy, my lean is Taylor.
In two NFL seasons, Taylor has cemented himself as the best RB in the league. After rushing for 1,169 yards and 11 TDs in Year 1 while splitting with Marlon Mack for part of the season, Taylor was even better last year. In 17 games, Taylor rushed 332 times, totaled 2,171 yards from scrimmage with 20 touchdowns. He’s a rare mix of youth along with “win-now” upside at the position.
1.02) Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (WR1)
This is about as razor-thin as it gets when we talk about Chase vs. Jefferson. On any play, Chase can go for a 75-yard score. As a rookie, he was the WR5 in PPR scoring despite tying for 17th in targets (128) and 18th in catches (81). He ended the fantasy season with 1,450 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns.
I am giving him the slightest of edges over Jefferson because of the connection with Joe Burrow and knowing this duo could be together for the next 10+ seasons.
1.03) Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (WR2)
This is the easiest pick of any dynasty mock draft for 2022. All you do is take whoever falls between Taylor, Chase, or in this case, Justin Jefferson. There is no wrong pick.
What Jefferson has done is remarkable. After smashing Randy Moss’ rookie records with 88 receptions, 1,400 yards, and 7 TDs, Jefferson followed it up with 108 receptions on 167 targets for 1,616 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 3,032 yards are the most in NFL history for a player in their first two years in the league, and he’s only getting better.
Even if there are questions surrounding Kirk Cousins’ long-term future, Jefferson is about as close to a sure bet as there is in dynasty.
1.04) Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos (RB2)
I think it’s safe to say I’m all-in on Javonte Williams. Weeks 12-14 gave fantasy managers a glimpse of what Williams could do in 2022, as he averaged 20.4 PPR points as the lead back.
Russell Wilson’s addition has only increased my bullishness on Williams as it looks apparent Melvin Gordon will not be back in town after parting from his former agent. Williams, in this offense, is set to explode. When looking at the other two backs in this tier (Najee Harris and D’Andre Swift), I have fewer concerns about the Broncos’ offense than the Steelers or Lions. I also believe Williams is uber-talented, which is what matters in the end.
1.05) Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers (RB3)
What Najee Harris did last season was incredible. As a rookie, he led the NFL in touches with 381, accumulating 1,667 total yards and 10 touchdowns. The part worth highlighting is his work on the ground.
Yes, Harris ran for 1,200 yards on the nose last season. But it took 307 attempts to do so. Since the Super Bowl era, there have been 323 instances of an RB rushing for 1,200+ yards. Harris is in the bottom 12% in yards per carry (3.9).
Yet, here’s what makes what Harris did remarkable. Of his 1,200 yards, 913 (76%) came after contact. That’s 2.97 yards of his 3.9 average coming after the first hit. It’s a testament to his rushing capability that he was able to pull that off behind that poor of an offensive line.
1.06) CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys (WR3)
CeeDee Lamb kicks off the second tier of receivers for me in dynasty. He’s young (23), tied to an elite QB, and has multiple years of high-level play, including 1,102 yards in a WR15 finish last season. With Amari Cooper in Cleveland, Lamb is the unrivaled No. 1 in Dallas. We have yet to see the best of him.
1.07) A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (WR4)
In 13 games last season, A.J. Brown caught 63 of his 105 targets for 869 yards and 5 touchdowns as the WR33. While it was a bit of a down year, it’s hard to call it a bust. It was just less efficient.
Brown saw 1 less target than the year before but finished with 7 fewer catches, 206 fewer yards, and 6 fewer touchdowns. This is more to do with Brown not being at full strength despite seeing similar volume.
A healthy Brown is one of the most dynamic players in the game. He’s yet to turn 25, and even if he moves teams in the coming years, he’ll continue to be one of the best weapons after the catch in all of the NFL. The only thing that can stop Brown is Chipotle.
1.08) D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (RB4)
After Taylor, you can shake up the next three backs, and I won’t argue it one way or another too hard. Williams, Harris, and D’Andre Swift are in a similar tier and should be staples of the position for years to come.
Swift is not only one of the more talented rushers in the NFL, but he’s also one of the best pass catchers out of the backfield. That’s a bonus given the lack of high-leverage touches in this offense. He is one of the few RBs I could say has a legitimate chance to be the overall RB1 in 2022 if everything goes perfect. The Lions are building something in Detroit, even if it is a few years out. If they take Malik Willis at No. 2, giddy up, folks.
1.09) Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (TE1)
Kyle Pitts was the TE6 last season as a rookie, and it’s like he disappointed people. I’ve actually seen people say that, which is baffling to me.
Pitts was first in yards per reception (15.1), second in percentage of air yards (30.35%) and average depth of target (11.2), and third in yards (1,056) and yards per target (9.58). Also, 57 of his targets came from 10 yards or more, with 12 being 20+ yards downfield. Pitts is exactly what I said he was back in 2020 — a unicorn. At 21 years old, Pitts could be your No. 1 “tight end” for the next decade.
1.10) Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers (RB5)
Christian McCaffrey is as good as it gets for fantasy when on the field. Since 2018, McCaffrey has averaged 25.6 ppg while finishing as an RB2 or better in 90% of his games. He scored 24+ points in four of his six outings in 2021. But the 23 missed games in the last two seasons have left a sour taste in the mouths of dynasty managers.