We’ve witnessed some incredible breakout seasons by NFL rookies. If you’re in a dynasty league and didn’t strike gold with a first-year player, you’ll probably have a tough time prying one away from an opponent. But many rookies remain undervalued ahead of the 2022 fantasy football season, and some could pop. Here are our favorite high-upside dynasty trade targets among the 2021 rookie class.
Top NFC Dynasty Rookie Trade Targets for 2022
Some rookies take a while to adjust to the NFL. Others dive right in. A lot was expected of these two rookies by their respective teams. Much more will be expected down the road, making them excellent buy-low dynasty assets.
DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Some people hired me to draft for them last summer. On one occasion, I recall drafting Ja’Marr Chase and then passing on DeVonta Smith. The guy I was drafting for later asked me why I did it. Chase had a WR29 ADP, and Smith was the WR31. The problem, I believed, was that I trusted Joe Burrow as a passer more than I did Jalen Hurts.
A lot might change in Philadelphia these next few months. But one thing we do know is that Smith is an exceptionally talented wideout. The problem is that he’s not consistently targeted, and it seems apparent that this offense is not built around him. Yet, I’m buying Smith at his WR30 production value, in the belief that Philadelphia’s passing attack will improve in 2022, or 2023 at the latest. There’s a place in the near future where Smith can be a top-12 fantasy WR.
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
I highlighted Kyle Pitts as one of my favorite fantasy TE targets, so he certainly belongs here. Travis Kelce is probably a year or two away from falling outside the elite realm. Darren Waller doesn’t yet have an extensive track record. There’s an opening for Pitts to join the ranks of Mark Andrews and perhaps George Kittle as perennial elite fantasy TEs.
Keep in mind, Pitts has only 1 touchdown this year. Every other top-20 fantasy TE has 2 or more, and most have 4 or more. Pitts easily could be a top-three TE next year and a top-two option the following year as he continues to acclimate to the league. Every dynasty leaguer should target him if you can land him at his current TE5 production value.
Top AFC Dynasty Rookie Trade Targets for 2022
These two young tight ends have a knack for finding the end zone. They’re also capable of thriving in fantasy despite not being top-two offensive options on their respective teams.
Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers
When the Chargers drafted Joshua Palmer in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, they probably had their eye on Mike Williams’ impending expiring contract. Of course, Williams probably had his eye on Palmer, because after years of playing second fiddle to Keenan Allen, he finally showcased the talent we’ve all waited to see. The problem is that he was unable to sustain it beyond Week 5.
If Williams doesn’t return, Palmer would be a near lock to serve as L.A.’s No. 2 wideout opposite Allen. Last month, when given the opportunity, the rookie flashed twice, including a 5-66-1 receiving line in Week 14 and a 5-43-1 receiving line in Week 16. I have little doubt you can get him for fairly cheap. And I have even less doubt that he can be a top-35 fantasy WR if he claims that No. 2 job in 2022.
Elijah Moore, New York Jets
So good. So, so good. The second-round pick could be a mainstay in New York alongside Zach Wilson and Michael Carter, forming a formidable offensive nucleus that could turn this long-dormant franchise into a playoff contender by 2023.
In the meantime, few rookies have displayed big-play potential like Elijah Moore has. He has 5 touchdowns in his last five games, including 1 in Indianapolis and a pair against Buffalo. Assuming he and Wilson continue developing their chemistry, Moore has a shot to become the most prolific receiver in Jets history. For now, he’s a dynasty bargain.