The NFL Draft has come and gone, which means it’s time to start analyzing the incoming rookie class for dynasty fantasy football purposes. Dynasty is one of my favorite formats for playing fantasy football as you get to see your young players go through their careers and watch them grow and evolve. In this article, I’ll offer my rankings of the incoming rookies in the 2022 NFL draft class.
I’ll drop the obvious caveat here that a lot of player value depends on the situation, perhaps even more than talent. For example, I had Terrace Marshall ranked ahead of Amon-Ra St. Brown in my big board last year, but I selected St. Brown over Marshall in my dynasty drafts due to perceived opportunity. You can be an incredible talent, but it won’t matter for fantasy football value if you’re not on the field.
This isn’t a class with an obvious number one in the rankings like Ja’Marr Chase was last year, and there’s not even really a Najee Harris or Jaylen Waddle-level dynasty prospect. That means there will be plenty of healthy debate about where the rankings will land, and I’ll likely be changing around these rankings as the offseason goes on.
2022 NFL Rookie Dynasty Rankings
#1 – RB Breece Hall, New York Jets
Breece Hall checks all of the boxes as a prospect. His production was elite with over 3,000 yards and 41 touchdowns in two years despite his offense never having elite blocking or a threatening passing element to keep defenses honest. He’s an exceptional athlete with a 9.96 Relative Athletic Score (RAS) featuring a 4.39-second 40-yard dash. Perhaps best of all, Hall was coveted by the Jets early on Day 2 of the draft and will have every opportunity to earn a three-down role with only Michael Carter to beat. The confluence of talent, proven production, and clear opportunity make Hall the obvious rookie 1.01.
#2 – RB Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks
Many of the great traits in Breece Hall’s dynasty profile are also present for Kenneth Walker, and I’m not sure why he’s not the consensus #2 overall rookie. Walker had a 9.24 RAS with a 4.38-second 40-yard dash. In his one season at Michigan State, he had 263 carries for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns. His lack of pass-catching production is somewhat concerning, but he’ll develop that aspect of his game over time. I have bigger concerns about the Seahawks’ lack of offensive line talent and unclear long-term plan at quarterback and head coach with Pete Carroll turning 71 years old this year. Still, he’s an elite talent who should be a three-down back very early in his career.
#3 – WR Drake London, Atlanta Falcons
At 6’5”, 210 lbs, Drake London is a physical beast at the catch point who will embarrass grown men defenders on the regular in the NFL. However, he’s more than a contested-catch threat as he has underrated speed and agility to separate at the stem of the route. He’s also an excellent player after the catch. London hasn’t even turned 21 years old yet, and the Falcons coveted him at the top of the draft as their WR1 of the present and future. Atlanta has a severe lack of talent in their receiving corps, and London could see 130 targets as soon as this season.
#4 – WR Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans
I was lower on Treylon Burks than most in the pre-draft process, but it’s impossible to deny the obvious opportunity in front of him. A.J. Brown’s departure leaves behind 351 vacated targets and 2,914 vacated air yards, the most in the NFL. After spending a first-round pick on him, the Titans will give Burks every opportunity to become their WR1 of the future. My concerns about his lack of route-running polish and experience against press coverage still exist, but the 6’2”, 225-pound wideout is a menace in the open field and has immense upside given the landing spot.
But I was told that Treylon Burks is already a bust.pic.twitter.com/LOTFwehGaY
— Dave Kluge (@DaveKluge) May 27, 2022
#5 – WR Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
Can Zach Wilson take a step forward in his second season? That’s the biggest question for Garrett Wilson in dynasty, as he enters an offense with plenty of mouths to feed with Elijah Moore and Corey Davis already at receiver. Zach Wilson had the worst passer rating of any full-time starter last season. Garrett Wilson is an elite athlete who specializes in creating yards after the catch and making acrobatic plays on the ball, and he has the talent to become a high-end NFL wide receiver. However, the concerns about the offense around him push him down my rankings a tad.
#6 – WR Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints
Chris Olave was the most polished route-runner in this draft class and Jameis Winston called him as “smooth as the other side of the pillow.” With that refined route-running and natural hands, Olave arguably has the highest floor of any receiver in this draft. The Saints won’t let Jameis Winston air the ball out as much as he did in Tampa Bay, but he’s still very capable of supporting fantasy-relevant receivers. If Michael Thomas can return to form this season and Alvin Kamara can stay on the field, Olave will have plenty of one-on-one opportunities in a high-powered offense.
I would say @Saints fans should get used to this. Jameis Winston (@Jaboowins) firing a perfect deep ball to Chris Olave (@chrisolave_ ) in stride. Take a listen to what Olave had to say after the play about catching deep passes from Winston's strong arm. @wdsu pic.twitter.com/5eZBVAbExi
— Sharief Ishaq (@ShariefWDSU) May 26, 2022
#7 – WR Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions
Williams ended up as my WR1 overall in this class due to his game-breaking speed and elite ability to separate downfield. The ACL injury shouldn’t scare you off from Williams in dynasty, as his recovery is reportedly going very well. The big concern here is the offense – the Lions were just the 25th-ranked offense in scoring last year and have several mouths to feed with D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. With a massive question mark at quarterback moving forward, the external circumstances will be a lot for Williams to overcome early in his career.
#8 – WR Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs
Skyy Moore’s meteoric rise up media big boards was well-deserved as his elite YAC ability and inside-out versatility are coveted traits at the position. While Moore was the 13th receiver off the board in the draft, he landed in an ideal situation with the Chiefs having 360 vacated targets, the most in the NFL, in the wake of the Tyreek Hill trade. With an ambiguous receiving corps in Kansas City, Moore has a chance to become a top target for Patrick Mahomes early in his career, and it’s hard to ask for much more from a landing spot than that.
#9 – WR George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers
Reported off-field and character concerns pushed George Pickens down the draft board, but that’s no reason to overlook an elite talent in your dynasty drafts. The Steelers have made a habit of drafting high-end receivers in the second round, and they may not be compelled to resign Diontae Johnson to a hefty contract next year when he becomes a free agent. Pickens has alpha traits with the athleticism, ball skills, and route-running to be a high-level X-receiver for Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh’s quarterback of the future.
#10 – WR Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers
The Packers swung for the fences in the second round of the draft this year, and you should too in your dynasty leagues. Christian Watson has a lot of work to do with route-running, ball skills, and overall mechanics before he can be a consistent producer in the NFL. However, Watson graded as the twelfth-most athletic receiver since 1987 with an absurd 9.96 RAS. At 6’4”, 208 pounds, he ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash and had a 38.5-inch vertical jump. They simply don’t make wideouts who move like Watson at his size very often, and that upside with Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball is absolutely tantalizing.
Welcome to #Packers, Christian Watson.
Watson is a do-it-all player with experience at WR, RB, and PR/KR. He will thrive in Lafleur's offense.
– 105 receptions
– 2,140 yards
– 14 TDs
– 20.4 YPC
– 4.36 40-yard dash
– 9.96 RASpic.twitter.com/a39CpTTH1p
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) April 29, 2022
#11 – WR Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders
Jahan Dotson will likely become a value in many dynasty drafts with his current ADP outside of the first round. The Commanders spent their first-round pick on Dotson, and he has the opportunity to become their WR1 of the future with Terry McLaurin’s long-term status a major question mark as he becomes a free agent next year. Dotson was over-drafted in my estimation, but that shouldn’t take away from the excellent ball skills and route-running he posseses, and the opportunity is significant despite the presence of Carson Wentz as the team’s new quarterback.
#12 – RB James Cook, Buffalo Bills
The Bills coveted a pass-catching skillset in their backfield and James Cook was far and away the best pass-catching running back in this draft. Cook can be utilized all over the formation as a receiver, not just out of the backfield, and his dynamic route-running and YAC ability will help take pressure off Josh Allen. At 5’11”, 199 lbs, it’s unlikely Cook ever becomes a 250-carry, three-down workhorse, but he will be very efficient when he is on the field. In a best case scenario, Cook can end up with a similar fantasy profile to Alvin Kamara, and that’s incredibly enticing.
#13 – WR John Metchie III, Houston Texans
I wasn’t quite as high as others on John Metchie coming off his ACL tear as I already perceived him to be a lesser athlete than his peers in this class, and that injury can sap some athleticism away. Still, the Texans coveted him in the second round, and he has a massive opportunity without much proven talent in the pass-catching corps for Houston outside of Brandin Cooks. The quarterback position isn’t resolved yet for Houston, but a top pick could be on the way in 2023, and Metchie profiles as a high-floor WR2 in the future with his refined route-running and consistent hands.
John Metchie III has some of the best YAC ability in this class!
— Jeremy (@PopesFFH) March 18, 2022
#14 – TE Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals
Trey McBride was the clear-cut TE1 in this year’s draft class with his elite high-usage production – he accounted for 38.1% of Colorado State’s passing yards the last two seasons. He won’t get that type of usage in Arizona, at least not right away, but his huge frame, polished route-running, and reliable hands should translate to the NFL immediately. Zach Ertz signed a three-year extension with Arizona this offseason, so McBride’s involvement may not be significant for a while. Still, in a league with very few reliable fantasy options at the position, McBride carries significant value.
#15 – RB Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rachaad White had 43 catches for 456 yards last season, and that pass-catching production should translate to the NFL in a similar role for the Buccaneers. White is excellent in space and can run routes from all sorts of alignments. Tom Brady has consistently utilized his running backs in the passing game throughout his career. Draft capital investment is a significant predictor for NFL success, and the Bucs clearly have a plan in place for White this season. In one of the best offenses in the league, that’s enough to make White a coveted dynasty asset.
#16 – RB Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders
The Commanders invested a third-round pick in Brian Robinson, the same round that they drafted Antonio Gibson in, and Robinson is likely to eat into Gibson’s workload far more than his dynasty owners would like. Robinson is a bruiser by nature, but the Alabama product also had 35 catches in his one full season as a starter. He’ll take on the short-yardage and goal-line work in Washington this year with the opportunity to become an every-down starter if Gibson’s fumbling issues continue or if he gets injured.
It’s Brian Robinson time pic.twitter.com/9VgTGbdEU7
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 11, 2022
#17 – WR Jalen Tolbert, Dallas Cowboys
With Michael Gallup recovering from a late-season ACL tear and Amari Cooper no longer on the team, the Cowboys don’t have much proven pass-catching production outside of CeeDee Lamb. Jalen Tolbert was one of the most productive deep-ball receivers in college football over the past couple of seasons with 17+ yards per reception in each of the last two years. He’ll take on a similar role as a field-stretcher in Dallas, and the confluence of talent and opportunity in a high-level offense should make Tolbert a clear-cut second-round dynasty rookie pick.
#18 – QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
The only first-round quarterback selected this year, Kenny Pickett should have a great chance to win the starting quarterback job for the Steelers ahead of Week 1. Pickett is supported by some great skill position talent in Pittsburgh that will help overcome an underwhelming offensive line, and his ability to make plays with his legs and throw on the move will help with that as well. Quarterbacks aren’t as valuable in a non-super flex league, but Pickett should still go off the board sometime in the second round to a quarterback-needy team.
#19 – WR Wan’Dale Robinson, New York Giants
At first glance, you might be scared off by a 5’8”, 178-pound wide receiver as it’s rare for a player with those measurables to succeed in the NFL. However, Robinson was coveted by the Giants’ new regime featuring offensive genius Brian Daboll, and the second-round draft capital indicates a plan in place for him in the offense. Robinson isn’t just a gadget player as he had 16 deep catxhes and caught 104 passes for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns last year. In an ambiguous wide receiver room in New York, Robinson should have a great opportunity to make his mark on the offense this season.
#20 – RB Isaiah Spiller, Los Angeles Chargers
Isaiah Spiller’s draft stock was tanked by underwhelming athletic testing results, but he’s still just 20 years old and racked up 3,000 yards in three collegiate seasons. The Chargers’ run game was at its best when Melvin Gordon provided a power back element to spell Austin Ekeler and keep defenses on their toes, and Spiller should see work this season in tandem with Ekeler. If Ekeler were to miss time, Spiller has top-20 fantasy upside as well, and in a high-powered offense, he’s still very valuable for dynasty.
#21 – WR David Bell, Cleveland Browns
David Bell is a similar story to Isaiah Spiller as his underwhelming pre-draft testing hurt his draft stock considerably. However, Bell is a refined route-runner and consistent at the catch point. He had almost 3,000 yards through his three collegiate seasons despite often being the only reliable pass-catcher in the Purdue offense. The Browns don’t have a clear-cut WR2 outside of Amari Cooper, and Bell can win the starting slot role for them as soon as this season. With Deshaun Watson throwing him the ball, Bell represents an enticing floor for fantasy.
#22 – WR Tyquan Thornton, New England Patriots
Much was made of the Patriots’ draft being full of reaches, but they had a plan in mind with Tyquan Thornton as they added much-needed speed to an offense that was lacking a deep threat. Thornton is pencil thin at 6’2”, 181 lbs, but his 4.28-second 40-yard dash turned heads across the country. If Thornton can add weight and develop a better release package, he provides the type of upside that doesn’t require a heavy target volume to be productive in fantasy.
Here is a preview of what Tyquan Thornton can bring to the #Patriots offense.
He is a solid deep threat for Mac Jones. Nice to see a playmaker on New England’s offense. pic.twitter.com/PgvGDvY8iw
— Kevin Tame Jr. (@Kevin_Tame) April 30, 2022
#23 – RB Tyrion Davis-Price, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers surprised everyone when they spent another Day 2 pick on a running back, but we shouldn’t overlook that investment in the position with the team seemingly having a different leading rusher every season. Tyrion Davis-Price offers an intriguing blend of speed (4.48-second 40-yard dash) and physicality to fight through contact, but his inconsistency in college remains a concern. Still, any running back in a Kyle Shanahan offense should be coveted in fantasy as he has obvious potential if he ever takes over the starting job.
#24 – TE Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos
After the Broncos traded Noah Fant to the Seahawks, they had a significant need at the position. Greg Dulcich is a unique player as a former walk-on who carved out a significant role as a deep threat in the UCLA offense. Dulcich isn’t a refined blocker, but he has the athleticism to improve in that regard. In the meantime, he can fill the slot with ease with his size and quickness, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him make some big plays this season with Russell Wilson throwing him the ball.
#25 – QB Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons’ future plans at quarterback are up in the air after trading away Matt Ryan, and Desmond Ridder could take over as the starter as soon as this season. With Drake London and Kyle Pitts making up the team’s young nucleus and Arthur Smith in-house as a well-respected offensive coach, there are reasons for optimism for Ridder in this landing spot. Malik Willis was the higher-ranked prospect for me, but Ryan Tannehill is entrenched as the starter far more than Marcus Mariota is in Atlanta. Ridder’s athletic rushing ability and arm talent are highly intriguing attributes that could boost his fantasy potential.
#Falcons rookies Drake London and Desmond Ridder at camp.
The future stars of Atlanta? pic.twitter.com/J4ZRtb1i5Y
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) May 15, 2022