Best Ball mock draft 2022: Jonathan Taylor goes No. 1, but who comes next?

Going by this Best Ball fantasy football mock draft, which players should you target, and when should you take them?

Regardless of what type of fantasy football league you’re playing in, it’s important to be prepared. Mock drafts are the most valuable tool you have to ensure you are ready to crush the real thing. Many of us use Best Ball drafts as a way to mock for our seasonal leagues. That doesn’t mean you can’t mock for the mocks, though. A little mock-ception, if you will. Here are the first four rounds of a best ball fantasy football mock draft.

*This mock draft is based on 1 QB PPR settings.

2022 Best Ball fantasy football mock draft | Round 1

1.01 Jonathan Taylor | RB, Indianapolis Colts

Very few things are absolute in fantasy football. After all, this is a game about predicting the future. We can’t “know” anything. With that said, Jonathan Taylor should be the first overall pick in every single quarterback redraft league.

Taylor averaged 21.9 PPR fantasy points per game last season and finished as the overall RB1. The most valuable asset in fantasy football remains the elite running back. Taylor is as sure as it gets at the position.

1.02 Cooper Kupp | WR, Los Angeles Rams

I just said the elite RB is the most valuable asset in fantasy football. Yet, here I am taking a wide receiver second overall. Cooper Kupp is all kinds of legit. His rapport with Matthew Stafford is like that of two guys who have been playing together their entire careers.

Kupp is coming off the single greatest fantasy season for a WR in NFL history. He led the league in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Furthermore, the Rams won the Super Bowl with Kupp being named Super Bowl MVP. It’s safe to say he won’t average 25.9 ppg again, but I’d be stunned if he didn’t average at least 20 ppg and finish top five at the position.

1.03 Christian McCaffrey | RB, Carolina Panthers

As Herm Edwards famously said, “You play to win the game. Hello.” Christian McCaffrey is not without risk. He’s missed 23 games over the past two seasons. But he also didn’t miss a game over his first three seasons.

When on the field, McCaffrey is a fantasy force like no other. He averaged 29.3 ppg in 2019. It was the second-greatest RB season in fantasy football history behind only the legendary 2006 LaDainian Tomlinson. Even if the Panthers scale back McCaffrey’s workload, the only thing standing between him and 25 ppg is health. I’m willing to gamble on the player with the highest fantasy ceiling.

1.04 Austin Ekeler | RB, Los Angeles Chargers

I feel like Austin Ekeler also gets slapped with the “he can’t stay healthy” label. Other than a 2020 hamstring strain that cost him six games, Ekeler has been remarkably durable. He’s played at least 14 games in every other season of his career. Last year, he only missed one game and it was due to COVID-19.

When on the field, Ekeler is McCaffrey-lite. He’s one of the best receiving backs in the league, racking up 647 yards on 70 receptions last season. Ekeler averaged 21.5 ppg and was the overall RB2 behind only Taylor. The Chargers’ offense continues to get better each year, which only raises Ekeler’s already high ceiling.

1.05 Justin Jefferson | WR, Minnesota Vikings

It was very close between Justin Jefferson and the next guy on this list. I went with Jefferson because he’s my pick to finish as the overall WR1 this season. In addition to being an elite talent, Jefferson’s offensive situation is ideal for fantasy success.

The Vikings run a very consolidated offense, funneling the ball through Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook. Jefferson had a 30% target share last season. He should be able to maintain that this year with the added bonus of the Vikings possibly throwing more with a new head coach that comes from Sean McVay’s coaching tree. Jefferson has amassed over 3,000 receiving yards in just two seasons. His arrow is pointed directly to the sky.

1.06 Derrick Henry | RB, Tennessee Titans

It concerns me that so many of the top running backs are past the age apex of 25 years old. Derrick Henry is not only the oldest of the bunch at 28, but he’s coming off a broken foot that cost him the second half of the 2021 regular season.

Henry’s efficiency dropped considerably last season. He averaged 4.9, 5.1, and 5.3 yards per carry the previous three seasons. But last year, he averaged just 4.3 ypc. Henry also leads the NFL in touches over the past three seasons at 955, and that’s with missing nine regular-season games.

With all that said, the Titans are going to feed the big dog as much as possible. Nothing is going to change. Even if Henry remains inefficient, volume is king. The Titans were one of three teams to run more than they threw last season. As long as Henry stays healthy, he’s going to be an RB1.

1.07 Dalvin Cook | RB, Minnesota Vikings

Yep. Another older running back who’s taken a beating throughout his career. Dalvin Cook has dislocated both of his shoulders multiple times. He’s torn his labrum and sprained his AC joints. He also tore his ACL as a rookie and has sprained his ankle more times than I can count. The man just keeps on ticking.

For all his maladies, Cook has played at least 13 games in three straight seasons. We know he’ll miss a couple of games here and there, but we also know his job is as safe as can be. Regardless of how well Alexander Mattison performs, Cook always gets his three-down role back.

Cook only averaged 15.9 ppg last season, down from 24.1 and 20.9 the previous two seasons. Nothing changed. He just had bad touchdown luck, only scoring six times last season compared to 17 and 13 in 2020 and 2019. Cook is probably undervalued going in the back half of the first round.

1.08 Ja’Marr Chase | WR, Cincinnati Bengals

What more can you say about the reigning rookie of the year? Ja’Marr Chase averaged 17.9 ppg as a rookie. Totaling 1,455 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns on just 81 receptions, Chase was remarkably efficient.

While that may be cause for concern for some expecting regression, what exactly is the “mean” here? Chase has only played one season in the NFL. I’m actually expecting progression in the form of more volume. Chase’s 23.7% target share was just 23rd in the NFL. That’s pretty low for an alpha WR1. Even if his efficiency drops, he’ll make up for it in volume.

The Bengals also lost 51 pass attempts last season to Joe Burrow sacks. With an improved offensive line, Burrow should be able to attempt at least one more pass per game, which is more volume for the wide receivers. Chase is the real deal, and I trust him more than the running backs.

1.09 Joe Mixon | RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Mixon will benefit from the same things Chase does. The improved offensive line and improved defense will have the Bengals leading more often than not. While the Bengals did throw the ball 49% of the time in positive game script (when leading by at least eight points), positive game script keeps Mixon on the field.

The biggest risk with Mixon is how frequently the Bengals pulled him in clear passing situations for Samaje Perine. Mixon actually averaged three targets per game and was effective in the passing game…when on the field. The more Cincinnati is leading, the less they’ll be inclined to pull Mixon.

He’s locked into a featured role and guaranteed 18 touches per game. Those types of running backs are rare in the modern era. With elite job security on an ascending offense, Mixon is as safe as it gets and worthy of a top-10 pick in this Best Ball mock draft.

1.10 Najee Harris | RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Volume is king, and Najee Harris is the king of volume. You don’t have to like it. It won’t be pretty. But Harris is going to play a three-down role and touch the ball well over 300 times.

Last season, as a rookie, Harris saw a whopping 401 opportunities (carries + targets). He scored 10 touchdowns and turned his volume into 17.7 ppg, a mid RB1.

The move from Ben Roethlisberger to either Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett is not going to hurt Harris. His target share may tick down from the 14.5% it was last season, but he should be more efficient than 3.9 yards per carry. Both Trubisky and Pickett are far more threatening to opposing defenses than the 2021 ghost of Big Ben.

The Steelers’ offense does cap Harris’ ceiling a bit, but the volume is not going anywhere. He’s definitely more of a floor play than a ceiling play, but having a guy like Harris to enter into your lineup every week has value in Best Ball. You can find your volatile ceiling guys later.

1.11 Stefon Diggs | WR, Buffalo Bills

This one is pretty simple. Stefon Diggs is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. He’s on one of the best offenses in the NFL and tied to one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The Bills were second in the league in neutral game script pass rate at 64%. They throw…a lot.

Diggs was the overall WR3 in 2020, averaging 20.5 ppg. His fall to 16.8 ppg in 2021 had nothing to do with his ability. It was really just variance and not at all his playing falling off. There’s a very real chance Diggs returns to 2020 levels this season. Take him here and plan to pair him with Josh Allen two rounds later.

1.12 Leonard Fournette | RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This one is probably controversial, but it shouldn’t be. In fact, the only reason I have Leonard Fournette here instead of a couple of picks earlier is because I know you can wait. In fact, you can probably get him in the second round. I’ll never understand it, and I’m quite confident over the course of the next three months, Fournette’s ADP will rise to a surefire first-round pick.

Fournette is on one of the best offenses in football playing with the greatest QB of all time. Tom Brady loves to throw to his running backs and not just check it down — deliberately designed pass plays to the position.

Fournette led all RBs with six targets per game last season. He was the overall RB3, averaging 18.3 ppg. Fournette is locked into a three-down role with massive receiving and touchdown upside. Sure, the soft tissue injuries are a concern, but injuries are a concern for every running back. Give me a super talented player on an elite offense with an elite volume role.

2022 Best Ball fantasy football mock draft | Round 2

2.01 D’Andre Swift | RB, Detroit Lions
2.02 Travis Kelce | TE, Kansas City Chiefs
2.03 Davante Adams | WR, Las Vegas Raiders
2.04 Javonte Williams | RB, Denver Broncos
2.05 CeeDee Lamb | WR, Dallas Cowboys
2.06 Mark Andrews | TE, Baltimore Ravens
2.07 Tyreek Hill | WR, Miami Dolphins
2.08 Mike Evans | WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2.09 Alvin Kamara | RB, New Orleans Saints
2.10 Deebo Samuel | WR, San Francisco 49ers
2.11 Keenan Allen | WR, Los Angeles Chargers
2.12 Ezekiel Elliott | RB, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Best Ball fantasy football mock draft | Round 3

3.01 Nick Chubb | RB, Cleveland Browns
3.02 James Conner | RB, Arizona Cardinals
3.03 Tee Higgins | WR, Cincinnati Bengals
3.04 Aaron Jones | RB, Green Bay Packers
3.05 Saquon Barkley | RB, New York Giants
3.06 Kyle Pitts | TE, Atlanta Falcons
3.07 Diontae Johnson | WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
3.08 Michael Pittman Jr. | WR, Indianapolis Colts
3.09 Terry McLaurin | WR, Washington Commanders
3.10 A.J. Brown | WR, Philadelphia Eagles
3.11 Josh Allen | QB, Buffalo Bills
3.12 DK Metcalf | WR, Seattle Seahawks

2022 Best Ball fantasy football mock draft | Round 4

4.01 George Kittle | TE, San Francisco 49ers
4.02 Courtland Sutton | WR, Denver Broncos
4.03 David Montgomery | RB, Chicago Bears
4.04 Amari Cooper | WR, Cleveland Browns
4.05 Darren Waller | TE, Las Vegas Raiders
4.06 D.J. Moore | WR, Carolina Panthers
4.07 Jaylen Waddle | WR, Miami Dolphins
4.08 J.K. Dobbins | RB, Baltimore Ravens
4.09 Cam Akers | RB, Los Angeles Rams
4.10 Allen Robinson | WR, Los Angeles Rams
4.11 Justin Herbert | QB, Los Angeles Chargers
4.12 Marquise Brown | WR, Arizona Cardinals

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here.

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