Another week closer to the 2022 fantasy football season means it’s time for another mock draft. Just from last week, there are slight variations in when and where certain players are coming off of draft boards. Staying on top of said movement is key to avoid getting blindsided when it’s time to actually draft. A lot is sure to change still, especially when training camps open, but check out how my second mock draft team looks drafting with the second-overall pick!
Picking Second Overall in the Second Mock Draft
The following mock draft was completed, simulating my strategy and results for a 10-team, 1 quarterback, Points Per Reception league. The hypothetical roster consists of 3 wide receivers, 2 running backs, 1 tight end, and 1 RB/WR/TE Flex position. I drafted from the second overall pick in this mock draft and will make selections from different draft positions each week. For this mock draft, I will break down just the first 10 of the total 16 rounds as many Average Draft Positions, particularly for the later rounds, are bound to change once NFL training camps begin. As always, I spend my final two picks on a Defense/Special Teams and Kicker so they won’t be included as we focus on individual player analysis.
1.01- Jonathan Taylor (IND RB)
1.02- Christian McCaffrey (CAR RB)
1.03- Austin Ekeler (LAC RB)
1.04- Dalvin Cook (MIN RB)
1.05- Derrick Henry (TEN RB)
1.06- Cooper Kupp (LAR WR)
1.07- Najee Harris (PIT RB)
1.08- Justin Jefferson (MIN WR)
1.09- Ja’Marr Chase (CIN WR)
1.10- Davante Adams (LV WR)
MY PICK: Christian McCaffrey
If you believe in what Christian McCaffrey can do when he’s healthy, then it’s arguably a steal to get him with the second overall pick in fantasy football drafts. That’s why I took him first overall in my first mock draft and am grabbing him again here, right after Jonathan Taylor.
McCaffrey is currently flirting with +1000 odds to win the 2022 NFL Comeback Player of the Year. If sports betting interests you, it may be a good time to put some cheddar on that line, responsibly, of course.
Looking at the rest of this first round, you will start to see a trend in a higher volume of wide receivers coming off of the board. As the league becomes more “pass-happy,” and teams start to rotate multiple running backs into their backfields, wide receivers become more appealing from a volume standpoint in fantasy football. Here, we have four wide receivers selected, and this is just a 10-team mock draft. Peeking ahead at Round Two, Stefon Diggs gets selected (spoiler alert), which is nearly a 50% rate of wide receivers drafted in the first 12 picks.
That said, don’t be shy to get “your guy.” In years past, drafting Travis Kelce, or a wide receiver, over a running back may have seemed daring. Just make sure you leave the first round with a player that you think has a chance to finish near the top of their position.
2.01 – Nick Chubb (CLE RB)
2.02- Stefon Diggs (BUF WR)
2.03- Joe Mixon (CIN RB)
2.04- D’Andre Swift (DET RB)
2.05- Travis Kelce (KC TE)
2.06- Alvin Kamara (NO RB)
2.07- Aaron Jones (GB RB)
2.08- Mark Andrews (BAL TE)
2.09- Leonard Fournette (TB RB)
2.10- Ezekiel Elliott (DAL RB)
MY PICK: Leonard Fournette
No draft will look the same. There can be a certain level of predictability, but that’s not always the case. Especially when it comes to mock drafts. Those participating may be more creative with their selections to see how certain decisions pan out over the course of a draft. That’s a good reason to mock draft and mock draft often! See what works and what doesn’t.
In this particular mock draft, given the run of wide receivers in the first round, I anticipated a pivot to running backs for just about every team. Those who did not have one yet would likely select one and those that did may double down for a rock-solid 1-2 punch at the position. So, once they start coming off of the board here, I made sure to look at my rankings and prepare to take the best available.
I am loving the value of Leonard Fournette at the back of this round of the mock draft. Perhaps recent pictures of a slightly overweight Fournette circulating around the internet caused a dip in his draft stock.
Last season, prior to a Week 14 hamstring injury that ended his regular season, Fournette averaged nearly 18 touches per game. No other running back on the roster came close to that sort of volume. Ronald Jones, who was second in touches, is no longer on the team. Fournette’s playing under a new contract extension and Tom Brady clearly prefers him in his backfield.
3.01- Tyreek Hill (MIA WR)
3.02- Ceedee Lamb (DAL WR)
3.03- Mike Evans (TB WR)
3.04- Saquon Barkley (NYG RB)
3.05- Josh Allen (BUF QB)
3.06- Javonte Williams (DEN RB)
3.07- Deebo Samuel (SF WR)
3.08- James Conner (ARI RB)
3.09- Keenan Allen (LAC WR)
3.10- David Montgomery (CHI RB)
MY PICK: Ceedee Lamb
This mock draft team is nearly identical to last week’s mock draft team after three picks. Selecting Ceedee Lamb in the third round is something I’m going to try to do for as long as it’s possible. There are over 150 vacated targets in this offense from last season amongst the wide receivers alone. Following the Amari Cooper trade, Lamb is expected to be “the guy” and sure will be with a healthier Dak Prescott looking his way a majority of the time. I expect career highs across the board for Lamb, especially when it comes to targets, which I expect to be north of 150 on his own.
Mike Evans is a solid pick for your third-round considerations, but considering I just took Leonard Fournette, I did not want to load up on two Buccaneers, and three NFC South players, with my first three picks. That’s a lot of weight in two teams that play each other twice a year. I have Lamb ahead of Evans in my rankings, anyway.
Two mock drafts in and Josh Allen is the first quarterback off of the board both times. That won’t change. It also appears if you do want him on your roster, it will likely have to be with your third-round pick or reaching with your second, depending on your draft spot. That’s just too early for me at a position that only requires one player to start.
4.01- A.J. Brown (PHI WR)
4.02- Patrick Mahomes (KC QB)
4.03- Kyle Pitts (ATL TE)
4.04- Cam Akers (LAR RB)
4.05- Tee Higgins (CIN WR)
4.06- George Kittle (SF TE)
4.07- D.J. Moore (CAR WR)
4.08- Travis Etienne (JAC RB)
4.09- Michael Pittman, Jr. (IND WR)
4.10- DeAndre Hopkins (ARI WR)
MY PICK: Michael Pittman, Jr.
Of the wide receivers available to me at this point in the mock draft, Pittman, Jr. perhaps has the highest ceiling. With Matt Ryan under center, Pittman should continue to build upon his first two, successful seasons. In five of his last seven seasons, Ryan has targeted one player on offense over 129 times while every other player saw less than 100 each of those seasons. That player, each time, was Julio Jones, who saw an average of roughly 161 targets in those five seasons with a low of 129 and a high of 203.
Now, I am not here to say Michael Pittman Jr. is the next Julio Jones. However, if Ryan shows similar attention to any one pass-catcher on the Colts offense this season, it’s Pittman. He is slightly taller than Julio Jones, with a similar build, and can get downfield just the same. I expect closer to 150 targets for Pittman this season. I’m drafting Pittman as a top-15 receiver fully expecting top-15 numbers from him.
5.01- D.K. Metcalf (SEA WR)
5.02- Dionte Johnson (PIT WR)
5.03- Jaylen Waddle (MIA WR)
5.04- Brandin Cooks (HOU WR)
5.05- Terry McLaurin (WSH WR)
5.06- Antonio Gibson (WSH WR)
5.07- Amari Cooper (CLE WR)
5.08- Mike Williams (LAC WR)
5.09- J.K. Dobbins (BAL RB)
5.10- Justin Herbert (LAC QB)
MY PICK: Dionte Johnson
Part of the decision to select Pittman, Jr. last round is to grab his upside a few picks early knowing that one of Hopkins, Metcalf, Johnson, or McLaurin would be available to me in this round of the mock draft. A good strategy during snake drafts is to look a round ahead, count how many picks between your current and next, and look at your rankings to formulate an idea of who you have a shot at drafting. Think of it as a mock draft within your real draft!
The decision to select Dionte Johnson here as my WR3 is simple: Mitchell Trubisky and/or Kenny Pickett can be no worse than Ben Roethlisberger has been. In three seasons with the Steelers, Johnson has seen no less than 92 targets averaging 156.5 in each of the last two seasons. Yes, there are a lot of playmakers on that offense, but Johnson, as of now, is the clear-cut top option in the passing game. He is currently waiting for a contract extension that hopefully gets done before training camp opens.
Side note, this is too high for anyone to be drafting J.K. Dobbins. He is returning from a late-summer ACL tear and, in this mock draft, is slated to be that team’s RB1. Too much risk on an offense where Lamar Jackson is the ball carrier to target the most.
6.01- Michael Thomas (NO WR)
6.02- Darren Waller (LV TE)
6.03- Cortland Sutton (DEN WR)
6.04- Lamar Jackson (BAL QB)
6.05- Chris Godwin (TB WR)
6.06- Jerry Jeudy (DEN WR)
6.07- Marquise Brown (ARI WR)
6.08- Allen Robinson (LAR WR)
6.09- Darnell Mooney (CHI WR)
6.10- Robert Woods (TEN WR)
MY PICK: Darnell Mooney
Keeping the theme of targeting NFL teams’ top wide receivers, I make sure to select Darnell Mooney with my sixth pick of the mock draft. The Chicago Bears are one of the more tricky teams to evaluate given just how disastrous last year was under head coach Matt Nagy. Even still, Mooney’s ability to post six games with either 120+ receiving yards and/or a receiving touchdown, with multiple quarterbacks last season, should not go ignored. I’ll gladly start him as a flex with major upside on this mock draft team with high hopes of a Justin Fields breakout.
Every other wide receiver in this round is either returning from injury, on a new team, or has a new quarterback leading their offense. Mooney may not be the best of the bunch, but his familiarity with Fields is a plus.
7.01- Kyler Murray (ARI QB)
7.02- Josh Jacobs (LV RB)
7.03- Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET WR)
7.04- Daulton Schultz (DAL TE)
7.05- Adam Theilen (MIN WR)
7.06- Elijah Moore (NYJ WR)
7.07- Juju Smith-Schuster (KC WR)
7.08- Gabriel Davis (BUF WR)
7.09- Breece Hall (NYJ RB)
7.10- Hunter Renfrow (LV WR)
MY PICK: Josh Jacobs
I think this pick could be the steal of this mock draft. Josh Jacobs isn’t going to be the flashiest pick of any 2022 fantasy football drafts. That’s okay. Sometimes we just need cut and dried pieces that we know what to expect when they’re in our lineups. Jacobs is just that, having averaged 14.7, 15.0, and 14.5 PPR points per game in the last three seasons respectively.
Jacobs does not have any legitimate threat to steal touches from him. He is not much of a pass-catcher but does not have to be on an offense that just added Davante Adams to a receiving corps of Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. This offense should finish in the top half of the league in scoring. If they make their way into the top-10, Jacobs should have a crucial role in doing so as their lead back.
Again, he isn’t the top-tier RB1 caliber back from Alabama that perhaps we once thought he could be. But, when it comes to fantasy football, he hasn’t finished outside the top-20 yet and I just got him as the 22nd running back off of the board.
One last thing: the Raiders declined his 5th-year option so it’s officially a contract year for Jacobs.
8.01- DeVonta Smith (PHI WR)
8.02- Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)
8.03- Joe Burrow (CIN QB)
8.04- Rashod Bateman (BAL WR)
8.05- Dak Prescott (DAL QB)
8.06- Drake London (ATL WR)
8.07- Russell Gage (TB WR)
8.08- Jalen Hurts (PHI QB)
8.09- T.J. Hockenson (DET TE)
8.10- Brandon Aiyuk (SF WR)
MY PICK: T.J. Hockenson
Hockenson is the last tight end available at this point in the mock draft that I believe presents a legitimate advantage at that position. To round out my roster, I feel really good about plugging in his potential with my eighth pick. It’s a while before another tight end is selected which only solidifies my confidence in the decision.
In the 12 games Hockenson took the field for in 2021, he logged eight or more targets in eight of them. His 84 targets in 12 games over a 17-game span would have slid him in as the third-most targeted tight end, behind Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. Even if you extrapolate the number over a 16-game span, he would then have tied for third at the position.
The Lions are an up-and-coming team whose best attribute on offense may be their line. Giving Jared Goff time to throw, and the mismatches Hockenson could create with added weapons in the passing game, could create even more opportunities in 2022. Let’s just hope he stays healthy.
9.01- Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC RB)
9.02- Elijah Mitchell (SF RB)
9.03- Miles Sanders (PHI RB)
9.04- Allen Lazard (GB WR)
9.05- Damien Harris (NE RB)
9.06- A.J. Dillon (GB RB)
9.07- Treylon Burks (TEN WR)
9.08- Tony Pollard (DAL RB)
9.09- Cordarelle Patterson (ATL RB)
9.10- Chase Claypool (PIT WR)
My Pick: Elijah Mitchell
I’m willing to spend my ninth pick in this mock draft on the presumed lead back in San Francisco. You never really know, though, who will be the lead ball carrier in a Kyle Shanahan offense. Last year’s third-round pick, Trey Sermon, was a surprise Week 1 healthy scratch while sixth-round pick, Elijah Mitchell, went on to lead the team in carries (251 including playoffs) on the season. Go figure.
With all of the above in mind, it’s not out of the question that Sermon, or even this year’s third-round pick, Tyrion David-Price, mix in for more work on a week-to-week basis. I just think it’s Mitchell’s job to lose after an impressive 963 yards on the ground with a 4.7 yards per carry average. I love this pick even more if the team chooses not to run Deebo Samuel as much out of the backfield.
This round is very running back heavy and I feel I have the back with the most upside. That’s the name of the game when we start to creep into the double-digit rounds. Had I drafted Aaron Jones again, like I did in Mock Draft 1.0, perhaps I would have grabbed A.J. Dillon here just to have the Packers’ backfield.
10.01- Kadarius Toney (NYG RB)
10.02- Devin Singletary (BUF RB)
10.03- Rashaad Penny (SEA RB)
10.04- Chris Olave (NO WR)
10.05- Kareem Hunt (CLE RB)
10.06- Garrett Wilson (NYJ WR)
10.07- Chase Edmonds (ARI RB)
10.08- Rhamondre Stevenson (NE RB)
10.09- Christian Kirk (JAC WR)
10.10- Ken Walker III (SEA RB)
MY PICK: Christian Kirk
This seems low for Christian Kirk, doesn’t it? Or have we forgotten his massive payday from the Jacksonville Jaguars this off-season? Sure, he is likely a product of “the Jaguars tax,” in that they had the money to spend so they could add more juice to their free agency deals to ensure they got their guys, but that’s just it. They got their guy in Christian Kirk to be a crucial piece in second-year quarterback, Trevor Lawrence’s, development.
I will say, $37 million in guaranteed money to a wide receiver who doesn’t have a 1,000-yard season to his name, nor has he scored more than the six touchdowns, is definitely a little whacky.
However, on a situational basis, Kirk is a crucial piece to this offense, especially as an explosive slot receiver who can make big plays lining up outside, as well. Even in an Arizona Cardinals’ offense that continued to add other weapons, such as Rondale Moore, A.J. Green, and Zach Ertz, to a receiving corps of DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk, Kirk managed over 100 targets last season with six or more in nine games. He should see plenty more from Trevor Lawrence.
I’m not relying on Kirk to be an every-week starter at this point in the mock draft. He can be, though, and I have him as one of my biggest sleeper picks of the 2022 fantasy football season. Look at the other receivers taken in this round. I would much rather Kirk’s proven track record than hoping one of the rookies or Kadarius Toney breakout.
QB – Trey Lance (14.09)
RB – Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette
WR – Ceedee Lamb, Michael Pittman, Jr., Dionte Johnson
TE – T.J. Hockenson
FLEX – Darnell Mooney
Bench: Josh Jacobs, Elijah Mitchell, Christian Kirk, Jakobi Meyers (11.2), Ronald Jones II (12.09), Alexander Mattison (13.2)
Mock Draft 2.0 CONCLUSION
I already like this mock draft team more than my last. It has a lot of really safe players that I know what to probably expect on a week-to-week basis, but that have a ton of upside that could really pay off. There is a good balance of proven production and powerful potential. A lot of that has to do with the age of these players. Every one of my starters is 26 years old or younger, five of whom are 25 or younger.
What really sticks out to me is my bench. Josh Jacobs and Elijah Mitchell were starters on a lot of fantasy football teams last year. They probably should be this season, as well. Having those two backs ready to rock in the event of an injury to McCaffrey or Fournette is something I can find solace in.
I like to leave my fantasy football drafts with five or six running backs. Here, I have six, all of whom could be their team’s lead back on a consistent basis at any point in the season. Mattison, of course, if Dalvin Cook is unavailable, which is not something we haven’t see before.
There was a massive quarterback run in the 13th round where Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Tom Brady all got drafted. I expect Trey Lance to start in San Fran, but if he, for some reason, underwhelms early on, I know there are a few safe options to pick up as free agents in a 1 QB league.