While not as highly touted as classes in recent years, the 2022 rookie wide receiver class could present fantasy football managers with several chances to find productive players to fill their roster. As talent, situation, and opportunity shape the upcoming redraft season, the below 2022 fantasy football rookie WR rankings list those first-year wide receivers you should keep an eye on heading into your drafts.
2022 redraft fantasy football rookie WR rankings | 1-5
In all likelihood, there’s not a Ja’Marr Chase or Justin Jefferson in this class. It’s unlikely one of these guys will finish inside the top 10 for fantasy, but as a whole, pass catchers are the strength of this class, and I expect to see them all over starting lineups in 2022.
Which rookie WRs could be this year’s Jaylen Waddle or Amon-Ra St. Brown, and who could break out? With training camps firing up across the country, these are the latest 2022 rookie WR rankings for fantasy football.
1) Drake London, Atlanta Falcons
It’s impossible to get away from the Drake London highlights coming out of training camp. He’s dominating the headlines with his flashy plays despite the overwhelming narrative leading to the NFL draft that London couldn’t separate.
I said this was incorrect then, and I stand by it. London is the best bet for which rookie WR will finish as the WR1 of the class and could crack the top 20 in fantasy for 2022.
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. Receiving a massive 38% target share, London had 88 receptions, 1,084 yards, and seven touchdowns. That’s not a contested-catch stat line or one for a guy who can’t separate.
Given the likely struggles of the Falcons this year, along with a need to pass in garbage time, I’m all in on London.
2) Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans
Is Treylon Burks the same as A.J. Brown? No, he’s not. Brown was a more polished prospect coming out of college. But it just so happens the player who was the common comparison for Burks is the one who he is inheriting his role. And it’s a role that has been very fantasy friendly.
Let’s just examine the role Burks is filling. In 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 since 2020 with 45% of the yards. That equated to nearly 3,000 yards and a 15.1 PPR/game average along the way.
This would be the ceiling for Burks, and he’ll be given all the chances he could want given the Titans’ depth chart. With Brown and Julio Jones gone, the Titans enter 2022 with 76% of their air yards (2,914) and 351 of their targets (67.1%) from 2021 vacated. The ideal hope is Burks, along with veteran Robert Woods and even rookie Kyle Philips, can assume control of this passing attack. Burks is a rare combination of both talent and opportunity in 2022.
3) Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs
Folks, Skyy Moore is legit, and the 31 other teams in the NFL are to be blamed for allowing him to fall into the laps of the Kansas City Chiefs. Take the Western Michigan logo off his helmet and put a random SEC school on it, and Moore would be the talk of the town.
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 the Broncos, soaking up 30% of the targets in his three years both on the inside (39% slot rate) and outside.
Every single report on Moore has been glowing, and it looks as if KC is getting creative with their rookie WR, even lining him up in the backfield. Moore is at worst the No. 2 wide receiver for Patrick Mahomes, but it could even be a 50/50 split with JuJu Smith-Schuster. Moore is a likely flex play, but he’ll have weeks inside the top 20 of fantasy WRs for 2022.
4) Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
From a dynasty perspective, Garrett Wilson could very well end up the No. 1 of this draft class. However, in 2022, he slides just a few spots, although that’s not to say Wilson won’t shine in New York.
Wilson’s 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. That, along with his consistent play at Ohio State, led to his selection at pick No. 10 overall in April as the comparisons to Stefon Diggs seemed to grow louder and louder.
The real competition will be between Wilson and second-year phenom Elijah Moore. Moore did get off to a bit of a slow start last year, as he fought for playing time and snaps with Jamison Crowder. But once he broke through, Moore was sensational. From Weeks 6-13, Moore was the WR8 in PPR scoring, posting 35 receptions on 57 targets for 472 yards and five touchdowns (17.7 PPR points/game).
While Moore only ran a route on 47% of the Jets’ passing plays, he was targeted on 24% of them. I expect Moore to lead Wilson in target share but likely won’t separate from him, as both are in the 100+ target range. While I have Moore (WR30) over Wilson (WR45) currently in my 2022 fantasy football WR rankings, I can see a path where Wilson leads the Jets this year.
5) Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints
Even with Michael Thomas (ankle) presumably back after missing nearly two seasons, the New Orleans Saints still have gaps in their WR depth chart they need to figure out. New Orleans knew this and made an aggressive move, trading up in the 2022 NFL Draft to acquire Ohio State WR Chris Olave at pick No. 11 overall.
Olave is on the thin side (6’0 3/8″ and 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). That will work perfectly in the Saints’ offense alongside Thomas and veteran Jarvis Landry, who they signed in the offseason.
Olave, the TD record holder at OSU with 35, would be competing with Landry for the lead role should a setback happen to Thomas at any moment. Olave is closer to a boom-or-bust WR4 at the moment, but there should be enough volume to keep all three receivers busy.
2022 redraft fantasy football rookie WR rankings | 6-15
6) George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers
7) Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders
8) Jalen Tolbert, Dallas Cowboys
9) Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts
10) Wan’Dale Robinson, New York Giants
11) Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers
12) David Bell, Cleveland Browns
13) Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers
14) Kyle Philips, Tennessee Titans
15) Danny Gray, San Francisco 49ers