Those deeply ingrained in the dynasty fantasy football world know there is no true offseason. And with the preseason officially underway and just a month until the regular season kicks off, here are the overall 2022 dynasty rookie rankings.
2022 dynasty rookie rankings
For these rankings, we are using 1QB as the default roster and PPR as the scoring format. Starting with the 1.01, let’s work our way through the first 10 spots.
1) Breece Hall, New York Jets (RB1)
Breece Hall did everything at Iowa State. He rushed for 3,931 rushing yards, including 1,472 in 2021. He set an FBS record with a touchdown in 24 straight games and was fourth in the nation in all-purpose yards at 147.2 per game. Hall then went on to run a 4.39 40-yard dash and posted a class-best 40″ vertical and 126″ broad jump.
The RB1, in the eyes of the vast majority of the fantasy community, was also the first running back selected in the NFL draft. Not only was he drafted, but the New York Jets traded up to pick No. 36 to select the Iowa State bell cow.
It’s also been a relatively quiet summer for Hall. It’s not a bad thing at all. All reports from OTAs and training camp have been glowing. There have been some reports suggesting Michael Carter is the lead back, but I am not placing too much emphasis on this as it was suspected to be a committee to some extent. Plus, dynasty is a multi-year format, meaning we shouldn’t make wild jumps off of a single headline. They also said the same thing about Jonathan Taylor with Marlon Mack.
Although he is in a committee with Carter, Hall is a hyper-athletic RB that has been touted since his freshman year in college and carries 250-touch upside in 2022. That’s a recipe for success. Hall remains the 1.01 in 2022 dynasty rookie rankings.
2) Drake London, Atlanta Falcons (WR1)
Drake London, despite being one of the younger players in the draft, has a big body (6’3 3/8″, 219 pounds) and can win over top of you and generate separation at all three levels of the route.
Now, he gets to be the focal point at the receiver position alongside Kyle Pitts at tight end. Behind London, it’s a newly added Bryan Edwards, Olamide Zaccheaus, KhaDarel Hodge, and Auden Tate. London is the undisputed No. 1, and it’s not even close. He’ll see a roughly 25% target share starting Day 1.
London lined up in the slot 96% of the time during his first two seasons at USC, but he flipped to 85% perimeter in 2021 and had a breakout campaign. Those saying he’s just a contested-catch receiver either have not watched the film or want to push a narrative.
Receiving a massive 38% target share, London had 88 receptions, 1,084 yards, and seven touchdowns. That’s not a contested-catch stat line. Atlanta can rotate him and Pitts inside and out to create mismatches on every play.
There is no getting away from the London highlights from training camp. All it has done is further cement everything I felt London could be in the NFL. He is burning every single corner he comes across. Even when he faces stiffer competition, London has the skills to win. Depending on your roster construction, London is absolutely deserving of being the No. 1 overall pick if you feel good about where your RB situation is.
3) Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks (RB2)
A transfer from Wake Forest, Kenneth Walker III was a completely different back once he landed in East Lansing. On his very first carry as a Spartan, Walker had a 75-yard house call and eventually ended the game against Northwestern with 275 yards and four TDs. Walker finished the season with 1,636 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Walker was No. 1 in the NCAA in yards after contact (1,169) and would rank 19th in the nation in rushing using only that total. He was No. 1 in the FBS in carries of 10+ yards (46) and 15+ yards (30).
Unlike Hall, Walker is facing more uncertainty in 2022. Reports coming out of training camp have pointed toward Rashaad Penny likely leading the team in carries. On a positive note, Walker has been linked to receiving work which is a fantastic thing for his upside as that’s the only box he has left to check.
In a 2022 redraft, I’ll pick whoever is the cheapest. Assuming one of them can be healthy, as Walker did miss time during training camp due to needing some kind of surgery and was ruled out indefinitely. It was initially reported to be a hernia, but there has been no clarification, and the quotes haven’t shed much more light on the subject. “This is really uncharted territory for him and for us too in that regard in what he’s coming back from,” Carroll said.
If someone is discounting Walker at all, I’d try to trade for him, as this is not a situation that shouldn’t worry dynasty managers for the long term.
4) Garrett Wilson, New York Jets (WR2)
Many have Garrett Wilson as their WR1, and I understand entirely based on the film. However, it’s the landing spot that is less than ideal when compared to London or Burks. For one, we are banking on a significant improvement from Zach Wilson.
Garrett Wilson is a nuanced route runner who gets out of his breaks efficiently, can manipulate a CB with his feet, and has the footwork to quickly stack a defender and use his speed to get separation. Wilson backed up his explosiveness with a 4.38 40-yard dash, 36″ vertical, and 123″ broad jump in Indy. We’ll know in a few years who was the best receiver in the group. But I’m not letting a talent like Wilson fall past me in the middle of the first.
Wilson and 2021 standout Elijah Moore have been trading blows back and forth in the media for who can have the best highlight grab of the day during training camp. It’s a competition I expect to continue into the regular season as both of these guys are talented enough to be the No. 1 option.
While I feel Moore will lead the team in targets, they’re within two percentage points of each other in target share. Although not the same level of upside as you find in Cincinnati with Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, the Jets have the makings of one of the NFL’s brightest WR duos.
5) Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans (WR3)
At 6’2″ and 225 pounds, Treylon Burks has the mix of size and speed we covet in next-level alpha receivers. Yes, he did disappoint at the NFL Combine. I get it. However, I’m not letting this offset all his high-level game tape, and neither are the Tennessee Titans.
Let’s just examine the role Burks is filling. In A.J. Brown’s three years with the Titans (43 games), he recorded a 23% target share and 26.5% over the last two seasons. He also saw 44% of the WR targets the last two years with 45% of the yards. That equated to nearly 3,000 yards and a 15.1 PPR/game average along the way.
Sure, Burks is not a one-to-one fit, nor is he the prospect Brown was coming out of Ole Miss. But if you’re telling me he can inherit this type of utilization, I’m all-in.
Burks standing in the dynasty community has been similar to a roller coaster this summer. At its peak, Burks was a high upside pick, but at its lowest, he was a bust who can’t catch and is out of shape and a risk of an asthma attack. That’s how ridiculous narrative swings can be. Similar to Walker, if a discount can be had on Burks, take it.
6) Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints (WR4)
Chris Olave is one of — if not the — best route runners from the draft. He’s a downfield threat and can work in the NFL in a multitude of roles. His separation skills are top-notch, as was his penchant for finding the end zone on his way to setting a new Ohio State record with 35 touchdowns.
Olave is on the thin side (6’0 3/8″, 187 pounds), but he has a lightning-quick change of direction and posted a blazing 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He can play inside and out (28% slot in 2021) and does most of his damage downfield (14.1 aDOT).
Olave was the locked-in WR2 option, but after the Saints signed Jarvis Landry, he slips to the No. 3 for at least the 2022 season. Still, it’s a one-year deal for Landry, so Olave remains in a good spot to become a productive receiver down the road.
7) Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions (WR5)
An Ohio State transfer, Jameson Williams was unquestionably the nation’s top receiver. Recording 79 receptions, Williams totaled 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide. He had seven games with 100+ receiving yards and hauled in multiple touchdowns in four separate contests.
The only concern for Williams comes down to the torn ACL he sustained in the national championship. Clearly, this was not a concern for the Lions, who traded up 20 spots to select him.
Williams will be a weapon over the middle and deep for this team. Even with the possibility of starting his career on the PUP list, Williams could explode if the Lions select one of the top QBs in the 2023 class. Draft now, win later.
8) George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers (WR6)
If he hadn’t torn his ACL coming into the 2021 season, George Pickens could have been a Tier 1 receiver in rookie drafts. At 6’3 1/4″ and 195 pounds, Pickens is a bit wiry. But from a skills and traits aspect, he checks every single box. His body control is superb, and he catches the ball away from his body as well as anyone.
Those who doubted Pickens are quickly deleting those tweets because every single day, he is proving he’s not just the future but also the present. Although Diontae Johnson’s contract is the biggest headline, on the field, Pickens has been the talk of camp.
I would already take him over Chase Claypool strictly for the 2022 season and possibly over Johnson, as after back-to-back seasons of poor efficiency and a change of QB have me very worried about how his value will look in just a few short months. Based on ADP, Pickens might be the best-valued WR in 2022 drafts but has shot up in dynasty rankings. Knowing what we know now, I would be very curious to see if people would still let Pickens slide during their drafts. I’m glad I didn’t.
9) Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans (RB3)
The second pick of the fourth round, Dameon Pierce was the seventh RB off the board. He only went that late because of how Florida used — or should I say, misused — him.
Pierce has the film of a lead back. He personified efficiency as a senior, recording 13 touchdowns on just 100 carries (5.7 ypc). Pierce also showed receiving upside, hauling in 36 receptions in his last two seasons as a Gator.
A two-year starter, Pierce has all the contact balance and leg drive to break tackles as a violent finisher at the next level. Having won the job so convincingly that Houston cut Marlon Mack, Pierce has been the biggest riser of the summer. And based on where he went in rookie drafts, he proved to be a fantastic value.
I’d bet money Pierce will quickly be featured on Good Morning Football’s “Angry Runs” segment in 2022. Even in a class with Hall and Walker, Pierce is the only one to have the guaranteed starter job come Week 1.
10) James Cook, Buffalo Bills (RB4)
James Cook‘s catching ability and versatility are unparalleled in the 2022 fantasy rookie class. He did it all. Whether it was out of the backfield on swing passes, angle routes against linebackers, in the slot, or even split out wide. And he wasn’t just a decoy. Cook was a legitimate threat in the Z for Stetson Bennett.
Cook has excellent speed, both in the long game and via his acceleration and burst. He’s a rapid runner and can easily take the edge or hit daylight. On multiple occasions, Cook would rattle off chunk plays. In fact, almost 40% of his 2021 rushing total (290) came on rushes of 10+ yards. That is the skill set the Bills are banking on. After striking out on J.D. McKissic, the Bills have their passing back.
There is every chance that despite this being a “committee,” Cook is the lead back and the one to roster in PPR formats. Although Devin Singletary will be the primary rusher, given how often the Bills are throwing from the shotgun, Cook could see more high-leverage situations. Not to mention a target is, on average, three times more valuable than a rush in terms of fantasy points. After cutting Duke Johnson, Cook has locked up the job.
There’s also the chance he disappoints in 2022 and is labeled the next Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Cook might very well be the riskiest pick of a dynasty rookie draft, given the range of outcomes and the investment required due to his lofty ADP. But if he hits, Cook could have a great career ahead of him.
11) Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders (WR7)
Jahan Dotson is a highlight-reel kind of player. He’s a small (5’10 1/2″, 178 pounds), athletic (4.43 40-yard dash), versatile, and reliable WR. His one-handed highlight catch against Ohio State was one of my favorite single plays of this draft class.
Dotson had a significant 30% target share in 2020, followed by 31% in 2021. Last year, Dotson posted a 91-1,182-12 receiving line on those targets while hauling in 91% of his catchable targets (second in the class) and dropping only two balls. He can be used as both a deeper threat or in the intermediate passing game, giving him versatility at the next level.
Unfortunately, the landing spot is a concern. This year, he’ll have to compete for targets with Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Antonio Gibson, and McKissic. Also, his production is in the hands of Carson Wentz. While Wentz did play better than given credit last year, by no means is he an ideal option. With that said, situations change. I’ll bet on the talent of Dotson to shine through.
12) Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs (WR8)
The minute this pick was made, the sound you heard was Skyy Moore’s ADP skyrocketing. Get used to the puns; they won’t stop anytime soon.
Moore is on the smaller side, standing around 5’9 1/2″, 195 pounds, but his talent jumps off the screen. He gears up incredibly quick off the line, breaks down very well at the stem, and sinks to get in and out of his cuts. He was a massive contributor for Western Michigan, soaking up 30% of the targets in his three years both on the inside (39% slot rate) and outside.
Outside of one or two catches by JuJu Smith-Schuster, Moore has dominated the headlines in Kansas City. All reports have said he has been unguardable, and recently, we even saw Moore lined up in the backfield and receiving carries.
If you’re telling me Andy Reid is about to get creative with someone like Moore, I’m all-in. In fact, I already have a few wagers on Moore leading the Chiefs’ wide receiver room in 2022. Although I do think in 2022 Patrick Mahomes will spread the ball around more than usual, investing in a piece of this offense is a gamble worth taking.
13) Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (RB5)
I like Rachaad White, and I even like the landing spot as the No. 2 for the Buccaneers. However, he won’t take over the RB1 spot after Leonard Fournette signed a three-year, $21 million contract in the offseason. But if Tampa decided to move to a two-back scheme, White’s value would noticeably rise.
After reports of Fournette showing up to camp looking more like Eddie Lacy than Lombardi Lenny, White might be involved more than we initially thought.
White rushed for 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns on 183 carries (5.5 ypc) this past season. Adding to his résumé, he caught 43 of 48 targets for 456 yards and another score. His 16% target share was the second-highest in the 2022 class. Accounting for 1.97 yards per team play in his two seasons, White was one of the more impactful RBs in the Pac-12.
White’s second gear is fantastic and gives him home-run speed once in the open field (4.48 40-yard dash). His contact balance is the only major concern I have for him, but given how I grade RBs, that’s a significant trait. White is also on the older side and will turn 24 during his rookie season.
Bucs running backs coach Todd McNair compared White to David Johnson and how his role worked in Arizona because he could split out and work as a normal RB. Also noted was his size and how much the added length aids a QB, using the direct comparison between the window White presents on a slant when split out wide and how it compares to Giovani Bernard.
It appears likely White will assume the RB2 role behind Fournette. If he pops and has a big game, I would be willing to test the waters to trade him for a 2023 pick or a player you like.
14) Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers (QB1)
While I believe Malik Willis has the highest upside, the NFL told us everything we need to know: Draft capital is everything for a quarterback.
Not only did just a single QB go on Day 1, but only one went inside the first 73 picks. Kenny Pickett is the heir apparent of the Pittsburgh Steelers and enters a competition with Mitch Trubisky for the starting role, with Trubisky the leader in the clubhouse.
Pickett can make every throw and brings some rushing upside, which is pivotal for fantasy upside. However, Pickett is not going to drive the ball like Josh Allen. He doesn’t have that level or arm strength.
The Steelers have plenty of playmakers on offense, including his future top target in Pickens. Pickett is going No. 7 overall in 2022 dynasty rookie Superflex drafts and should be the only QB to go in the first round.
15) Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers (WR9)
We all have a type. For me, I love big guys who can move. And no player watched their draft stock ascend quicker this offseason than Christian Watson. Not only was he the winner of the Senior Bowl, but he backed it up at the NFL Combine, measuring in at 6’4 1/8″ and 208 pounds with 10 1/8″ hands. Watson ran a 4.36 40-yard dash, had a top-five vertical jump at 38.5″, and posted a best-in-class broad jump at 136″.
Watson was already a gamble for dynasty managers. He needed to get off to a hot start to feel better about his situation.
It’s been the opposite.
Watson reportedly struggled during OTAs and is currently on the PUP list, missing crucial reps. Usually, I wouldn’t be this concerned, but when Aaron Rodgers is giving glowing comments about Romeo Doubs, who was drafted in the fourth round, I’m getting nervous about what 2022 could look like for Watson. At worst, Watson is the next Marquez Valdes-Scantling. His ceiling is astronomical if the upside comes to fruition. If/when we begin to see the first signs of his upside, buy Watson immediately, if not sooner.
16) Brian Robinson, Washington Commanders (RB6)
Truth be told, I was not a massive proponent of Brian Robinson coming out of Alabama, but I knew he would have a role. At 6’2″ and 225 pounds, Robinson is a battering ram who can grind out the tough yards, a role which will never go out of style in the NFL despite how much we love to watch guys like Christian McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara with their finesse.
When Robinson went to the Washington Commanders, we knew this would be a mess. What I didn’t expect was for Robinson to win the job apparently outright, with Antonio Gibson at one point returning punts and kicks while Robinson rested with the starters.
Robinson has the pedigree to be a No. 1 rusher in a committee. He saved his best year for last when handed the keys following Najee Harris’ departure. As a senior in 2021, Robinson rushed 207 times for 1,016 yards with 14 touchdowns. What is also impressive is despite his size, he also has 30 runs of 10 yards or more, including a long of 63. Although he isn’t someone we want hitting the edge, Robinson has some giddy-up in his step.
Unfortunately, Robinson was the victim of an attempted robbery which resulted in Robinson being struck in the lower half multiple times. Thankfully, he is expected to make a full recovery. While we have no timeline on when he will be back, Robinson is worth the investment knowing where he was at the time of the incident and their clear lack of faith in Gibson.
17) Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders (RB7)
Once we hit the second round, I’m betting on athletic profiles and what guys did on film. With a bit of a “what if” career, Zamir White is the perfect example of this. Still, there are red flags.
For Zeus, it’s the two ACL tears he suffered early in his college career. He was able to come back from those, and in 2020 and 2021, White rushed 304 times for 1,635 yards (5.3 ypc). In each of those seasons, he scored 11 touchdowns, ending his career with 25.
White is a power back (6’0″, 214 pounds) with the speed (4.40 40-yard dash) to confidently hit the edge. The landing spot is intriguing. At first glance, you saw Josh Jacobs (a 250+ touch back) and Kenyan Drake ahead of him. However, the Raiders have declined Jacobs’ fifth-year option and cut Drake.
Josh McDaniels and the Raiders showed us everything we need to know about what they think of Jacobs by playing him for multiple possessions in a meaningless game on a wet field. White is not only the future of this backfield, but he’ll likely see a decent amount of run time this season.
18) Isaiah Spiller, Los Angeles Chargers (RB8)
The most decorated RB in Aggies history, Isaiah Spiller posted 541 attempts for 2,993 yards and 25 touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. In his three seasons, he also hauled in 74 passes for 585 yards and a score.
Spiller’s feet are phenomenal for a bigger back (6’0 3/8″, 217 pounds). He shows patience, allows the gaps to develop, stays off the backs of his OL, and bursts through the hole — thanks in large part to his excellent vision. Running backs weighing 217 pounds shouldn’t be able to move as he does in open space.
I’m perfectly fine with Round 4 draft capital for Spiller (No. 123), but what I love more is the landing spot. Strictly on film grading, he was my RB2, but that has obviously changed. Listening to what is coming out from beat reporters and the Chargers themselves, Spiller is going to have a role from the start.
19) Jalen Tolbert, Dallas Cowboys (WR10)
Jalen Tolbert is a big play waiting to happen on every target. Tolbert solidified his standing in 2022 dynasty rookie rankings at the NFL Combine with 10″ hands, a 76 3/8″ wingspan, 4.49 40-yard dash, and 36″ vertical jump. Since 2019, no FBS player has had more receptions of 15+ yards than Tolbert (77).
Although I’ve got London locked in as the WR1 for this year‘s rookie class, don’t be surprised if Tolbert is the second-best receiver, even over guys like Burks or Wilson. It’s all about opportunity, and he has a massive one in 2022.
With Michael Gallup (ACL) still not ready to return and James Washington suffering what is believed to be a Jones fracture, Tolbert steps into Week 1 as the WR2 for Dak Prescott. It’s hard to find a better opportunity cost than Tolbert for dynasty.
20) David Bell, Cleveland Browns (WR11)
David Bell is this year’s version of Rashod Bateman — he’s good at everything, but he’s just not elite as an overall prospect. Bell had three seasons of high-level production, with 232 receptions, 2,946 yards, 21 TDs, and a three-year average of a 25.7% reception share, all while playing with Rondale Moore.
In his 29 games at Purdue, Bell had a per-game average of 11.6 targets, eight receptions, 101.2 yards, and 0.72 touchdowns. The knock on Bell is he tested poorly at the Combine, running a 4.65 40-yard dash with a 33″ vertical and a 118″ broad jump.
While the testing numbers underwhelm, the landing spot does not. Bell is set to become the No. 2 for the Browns alongside Amari Cooper.
Deshaun Watson, last we saw, was a top-five talent in the NFL and fantasy. If that holds true, Bell could be a steal in the second round of 2022 dynasty rookie drafts.
How does the rest of the 2022 rookie class rank in dynasty?
21) Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs (RB9)
22) Wan’Dale Robinson, New York Giants (WR12)
23) Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons (RB10)
24) Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals (TE1)
25) Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts (WR13)
26) Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos (TE2)
27) Malik Willis, Tennessee Titans (QB2)
28) Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons (QB3)
29) Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers (WR14)
30) Tyquan Thornton, New England Patriots (WR15)
31) Khalil Shakir, Buffalo Bills (WR16)
32) Danny Gray, San Francisco 49ers (WR17)
33) Tyrion Davis-Price, San Francisco 49ers (RB11)
34) Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (QB4)
35) Hassan Haskins, Tennessee Titans (RB12)
36) Kyle Philips, Tennessee Titans (WR18)
37) Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants (TE3)
38) Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens (TE4)
39) Pierre Strong Jr., New England Patriots (RB13)
40) Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans (TE5)
41) Calvin Austin III, Pittsburgh Steelers (WR19)
42) Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams (RB14)
43) Snoop Conner, Jacksonville Jaguars (RB15)
44) Keaontay Ingram, Arizona Cardinals (RB16)
45) Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TE6)
46) Jelani Woods, Indianapolis Colts (TE7)
47) Zonovan Knight, New York Jets (RB17)
48) Velus Jones Jr., Chicago Bears (WR20)
49) Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns (RB18)
50) Kevin Harris, New England Patriots (RB19)
51) Erik Ezukanma, Miami Dolphins (WR21)
52) John Metchie III, Houston Texans (WR22)
53) Justyn Ross, Kansas City Chiefs (WR23)
54) Lance McCutcheon, Los Angeles Rams (WR24)
55) Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings (RB20)
56) Trestan Ebner, Chicago Bears (RB21)
57) Cole Turner, Washington Commanders (TE8)
58) Matt Corral, Carolina Panthers (QB5)
59) Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers (QB6)
60) Jeremy Ruckert, New York Jets (TE9)
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