2022 Dynasty Rookie Rankings
There is no offseason for dynasty league owners as many leagues complete their rookie draft in the first few weeks following the NFL Draft. This puts pressure on owners to stay plugged in throughout the spring and summer months, and encourages them to stay active in the down months.
With that in mind, it's never too early to go over our current dynasty rookie rankings and identify a handful of players worth targeting at their current CPA. Here are our top players from each fantasy position, and our current rankings can be found at the bottom of this article.
Rookie Running Backs to Target in Dynasty Drafts
With 6 running backs selected in the first round over the last 5 years, the running back position has become an afterthought in the NFL Draft. That being said, there is still plenty of value to drafting rookie running backs for your fantasy team (see Najee Harris and Elijah Mitchell). Here are some names to target in your 2022 dynasty draft:
Breece Hall (NYJ)
Hall’s addition to the Jets offense is good not only for Zach Wilson & Co., but for fantasy players as well. He’s a strong runner that can break tackles and will force opposing defenses to respect the running game as long as he’s getting the blocks necessary to find running lanes. Hall joins a backfield that was led in 2021 by rookie Michael Carter, and should immediately push for starting touches given where he was drafted.
Kenneth Walker (SEA)
Walker is another bruising runner that dominated the college game and will look to translate that running style to the professional ranks. Unlike Hall, Walker only had one year of 200+ carries at the college level, tallying 263 attempts in 2021. He fits the mold of Seahawks running backs in the Pete Carroll era, like Marshawn Lynch and Chris Carson, who absorb hits and keep the chains moving. His impact as a rookie will be determined by his effectiveness against veterans like Carson and Rashaad Penny, but he projects as a long-term type of workhorse back that fantasy players desire.
Dameon Pierce (HOU)
Pierce doesn’t bring the profile of historic collegiate success with him to Houston. However, he joins a Texans team whose backfield is laden with journeymen and injury-reclamation projects that leaves Pierce staring an an open door to a starting running back job in the NFL.
Pierce does not have the wear and tear of most highly-touted college running backs (his career high in carries was 106 in 2020) and has proven to be effective as both a rusher and pass-catcher in his time at Florida. He enters a Texans organization looking for a new direction in 2022. This provides the perfect opportunity for a young, talented player like Pierce to succeed.
Rookie Wide Receivers to Target in Dynasty Drafts
Like Harris and Mitchell at the RB position, we saw rookie receivers make huge fantasy contributions last season. Not the least of which was Ja'Marr Chase who finished WR3 in 2021. Here are the rookies we are targeting in 2022 dynasty league drafts:
Drake London (ATL)
London looks ready-made to follow in the footsteps of Julio Jones as a bonafide number 1 receiver. The Falcons may not have needed to use the 8th overall pick on London if Calvin Ridley had not been suspended for the season, but he now steps into the role of lead receiver along with second-year TE Kyle Pitts. With Ridley’s status for the future looking more clouded than ever, London is an extremely high upside player both in the long-term and as a contributor in his first year, assuming he’s fully healthy for the 2022 season.
Christian Watson (GB)
Green Bay fans were aching for an overhaul of receiver talent in the draft or a potential blockbuster trade with the Packers owning two first round draft picks. Instead, both first round selections were defensive players from Georgia’s national championship winning team, and Green Bay selected Watson out of North Dakota State with the second pick in round 2. Despite the slide to the second round, Watson is the highest-drafted receiver by the Packers since Javon Walker in 2002. He’s got the size and speed profile to develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber target. It will be up to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers staff to get Watson comfortable in this high-powered offense.
Rookie Quarterback to Target in Dynasty Drafts
There is no denying this was a weak rookie class of quarterbacks. We didn't see one taken until pick 20 (Kenny Pickett) and then didn't see another one come off the board until round 3. If we look back at last season, only 2 of the top 10, and 8 of the top 32, fantasy QB's were selected outside of the first round. If we look even closer, only Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins were able to do so without significant rushing production.
With Pickett, Corral, and Willis all going in the top 15 picks, we think Desmond Ridder may be a value pick worth targeting in your 2022 Dynasty rookie drafts.
Desmond Ridder (ATL)
Ridder is another Falcons draft pick who looks to be in prime position to secure a long-term job if he can translate his skillset to the professional level. As a four-year starter at Cincinnati, Ridder led the Bearcats to 44 wins and two top-10 AP poll finishes, including the fourth spot in 2021’s final poll. He’s billed as a winner with a lot of athletic ability who was responsible for 115 touchdowns in his college career. Ridder will likely begin his rookie season behind Marcus Mariota on the depth chart, but should have the opportunity to compete in what is historically a fantasy-friendly offense.
Rookie Tight Ends to Target in Dynasty Drafts
This rookie tight end class is rough, and it shows with the current Dynasty draft ADP data. At the moment, Trey McBride is going in the second round of drafts, while Greg Dulcich is going in round three. That being said, it's Jelani Woods, the third TE going off boards at the current ADP, that we have our eyes on.
Jelani Woods (IND)
Woods joins the Colts offense at a time when Matt Ryan takes over at quarterback and Jack Doyle retires from football. He’s now the fourth tight end on a roster that includes Mo Alie-Cox and 2021 draftee, Kylen Granson. Woods has an imposing frame at 6’7”, 275 pounds and is coming off his best collegiate season in his lone year at Virginia. The change in the offensive makeup of the Colts should give Woods the chance to build rapport with Ryan and prove he deserves snaps as a rookie while also allowing him to carve out a long-term role if he can perform.
Dynasty Rookie Rankings
Having highlighted some of our favorite targets for 2022 Dynasty Rookie drafts, let's have a more complete look at how we stack up this rookie class. Find our current rankings below, which are updated on a daily basis throughout the offseason.