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2022 Fantasy Football Mock Draft 3.0

As my mock draft series rolls along, I’m starting to get a feel for where certain players are expected to go in real 2022 fantasy football drafts. This limits the shock value other drafters may have come draft season. That can lead to foolish, miscalculated picks. Mistakes can happen, but they are avoidable, especially if you mock draft early and often. So, let’s dive in to another pre-training camp mock draft and check in with the current values in the first 10 rounds of a fantasy football draft.

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Picking Third Overall in the Third 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 third 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-      Najee Harris (PIT RB)

1.04-        Derrick Henry (TEN RB)

1.05-        Cooper Kupp (LAR WR)

1.06-        Austin Ekeler (LAC RB)

1.07-        Justin Jefferson (MIN WR)

1.08-        Dalvin Cook (MIN RB)

1.09-        Alvin Kamara (NO RB)

1.10-        D’Andre Swift (DET RB)

MY PICK: Najee Harris

Najee Harris is the prime example that volume is king in fantasy football. As a rookie, Najee led all running backs with 381 total touches. His 307 carries are second to just Jonathan Taylor. He also led all backs in receptions while tying Austin Ekeler for most targets. Though he scored just 10 total touchdowns, Najee still ranks fifth in points per game amongst running backs and third in total points because of his massive workload.

Ben Roethlisberger is no longer under center in Pittsburgh which will undoubtedly improve the passing game. That likely means Najee’s quantity of touches will decrease, but the quality of touches should be a lot better. There is no credible threat to Najee’s workload in the Steelers’ backfield. I like him to log around 350 total touches with more total touchdowns in 2022. He is in the mix to finish as the top back in fantasy football.


2.01 –      Travis Kelce (KC TE)

2.02-      Ezekiel Elliott (DAL RB)

2.03-      Joe Mixon (CIN RB)

2.04-      Ja’Marr Chase (CIN WR)

2.05-      Davante Adams (LV WR)

2.06-      Stefon Diggs (BUF WR)

2.07-      Nick Chubb (CLE RB)

2.08-    Aaron Jones (GB RB)

2.09-      Leonard Fournette (TB RB)

2.10-      Ceedee Lamb (DAL WR)

MY PICK: Aaron Jones

This is now my second time drafting Aaron Jones in three mock drafts. Of the running backs available, Jones is most likely to lead them all in targets and, therefore, receptions. He continues to climb the rankings in most receptions by running backs each year, ranking seventh last season. A.J. Dillon is going to have a sizable role, but there’s no reason Jones can’t line up as a receiver even with Dillon in the backfield.

While I do like a lot of wide receivers that are available here, the depth at the position compared to running back is worth waiting for. As far as roster construction goes, I now feel solid in Najee Harris and Aaron Jones as weekly starters at running back. Especially in a PPR league, I believe I have the best combination of starting running backs here. My focus will likely shift toward building a top-notch wide receiver trio.

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3.01-      Mark Andrews (BAL TE)

3.02-      Saquon Barkley (NYG RB)

3.03-    Deebo Samuel (SF WR)

3.04-      Tyreek Hill (MIA WR)

3.05-      Josh Allen (BUF QB)

3.06-      Javonte Williams (DEN RB)

3.07-      Cam Akers (LAR RB)

3.08-      Mike Evans (TB WR)

3.09-      Keenan Allen (LAC WR)

3.10-       Tee Higgins (CIN WR)

MY PICK: Deebo Samuel

Even with wide receiver on my mind, adding Saquon Barkley in the third round of this mock draft is something I probably would have done. I like to leave every draft with at least five running backs. Adding three backs that rank in my top-10 is worth it. Don’t be so strict with yourself drafting for need or certain positions, especially in the early rounds. You should have established rankings, or tiers, of players and target the best players available. Once you have your team’s core, then start filling in holes at each position to build around them.

Deebo Samuel is an easy choice after missing out on Saquon. I don’t expect Deebo to carry the ball as much out of the San Francisco backfield next year. He doesn’t want to and they won’t need him to, especially with quarterback, Trey Lance, posing a threat himself as a runner. Deebo is the most dangerous player once he has the ball. In 2021, he averaged 10.1 Yards After the Catch. That means he averaged a first down after getting the ball in his hands. He ranks fifth in receiving yards last season and first in plays of 40 yards or more (9). I’m drafting him as a WR1, as he should be. His ceiling is that much greater if he does, in fact, handle a few carries out of the backfield.


4.01-      Michael Pittman, Jr. (IND WR)

4.02-      D.K. Metcalf (SEA WR)

4.03-      D.J. Moore (CAR WR)

4.04-      A.J. Brown (PHI WR)

4.05-      DeAndre Hopkins (ARI WR)

4.06-      James Conner (ARI RB)

4.07-      Kyle Pitts (ATL TE)

4.08-    Dionte Johnson (PIT WR)

4.09-      Jaylen Waddle (MIA WR)

4.10-      David Montgomery (CHI RB)

MY PICK: Dionte Johnson

I regret investing another high draft pick in the Steelers’ offense. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to take Dionte Johnson in the fourth round of any draft. However, in the event Mitchell Trubisky, or even Kenny Pickett, struggle at quarterback, it could be a long season in Pittsburgh. So, to have two of my top players there could be rough.

I expect Trubisky to not only start, but perform better than Big Ben last season. I’m just not sure I want to double-up on Steelers players this high in a draft when other players I ranked similarly are still available.

This is a good time to learn from these sorts of mistakes by mock drafting early. Either way, Johnson is looking for a big-money deal and continues to improve in just about every stat each season. He will likely lead the team in targets and receptions, regardless of who is at quarterback. That sort of player, regardless of team, is worth targeting in the fourth round.


5.01-      Brandin Cooks (HOU WR)

5.02-     Terry McLaurin (WSH WR)

5.03-    Courtland Sutton (DEN WR)

5.04-     Amari Cooper (CLE WR)

5.05-     Darren Waller (LV TE)

5.06-     Patrick Mahomes (KC QB)

5.07-     Antonio Gibson (WSH WR)

5.08-     Allen Robinson (LAR WR)

5.09-      George Kittle (SF TE)

5.10-      Travis Etienne (JAC RB)

MY PICK: Courtland Sutton

I’m rounding out my starting wide receivers with Russell Wilson’s expected WR1, Courtland Sutton. He’s now two years removed from an early-2020 ACL tear. The Broncos also gave Sutton a four-year extension in the middle of last season as he bounced back to play all 17 games.

Denver is by far the most invested in Sutton of all of their wide receivers and he will likely be on the field the most. So, when Russ gets cookin’, I love Sutton to set new career-highs in receptions (72), yards (1,112), and, most importantly for fantasy football, touchdowns (6).

Prior to his season-ending injury, Sutton averaged 16.08 yards per reception on 117 total career receptions. He’s fallen victim to poor quarterback play in Denver so far in his career. That changes this season. At 6’4″ 215 pounds, he is likely going to see a ton of red zone work on this improved and efficient offense. Of the receivers on the Broncos roster, Sutton is as close to what Russ had in D.K. Metcalf in Seattle the last three seasons. Metcalf never logged less than 900 receiving yards or seven touchdowns.


6.01-      Mike Williams (LAC WR)

6.02-      Robert Woods (TEN WR)

6.03-      Chris Godwin (TB WR)

6.04-      Marquise Brown (ARI WR)

6.05-      Michael Thomas (NO WR)

6.06-      J.K. Dobbins (BAL RB)

6.07-      Justin Herbert (LAC QB)

6.08-    Rashod Bateman (BAL WR)

6.09-      Lamar Jackson (BAL QB)

6.10-      Darnell Mooney (CHI WR)

MY PICK: Rashod Bateman

At this point in the mock draft, quarterbacks are starting to come off of the board. Had Justin Herbert been there at my pick, I probably lock him up as I think he can finish as the overall QB1. As much as I love Lamar Jackson this season, I felt drafting the top receiver on his team was more important to my roster construction. Since I’m only starting one quarterback, it’s not as important to me to keep up with other teams and get my starter when they do.

I think Bateman can have a massive return for where he’s currently going in draft. In fact, I’m so bought in that I am on record with a bold prediction that he becomes the first ever Raven to make the Pro Bowl as a wide receiver. There is a massive target share (58%) to be had amongst Ravens wide receivers from last season. No current receiver on the roster has more than two years of NFL experience. Bateman is the most talented and most likely to command the largest chunk of those vacated targets. Sometimes you just have to get your guys. Rashod Bateman is one of my guys for the 2022 fantasy football season.


7.01-       Jerry Jeudy (DEN WR)

7.02-      Juju Smith-Schuster (KC WR)

7.03-     Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET WR)

7.04-      Adam Theilen (MIN WR)

7.05-      Gabriel Davis (BUF WR)

7.06-      Hunter Renfrow (LV WR)

7.07-      Joe Burrow (CIN QB)

7.08-      Daulton Schultz (DAL TE)

7.09-      Elijah Moore (NYJ WR)

7.10-       Breece Hall (NYJ RB)

MY PICK: Amon-Ra St. Brown

This round just oozes with potential, doesn’t it? A compelling case can be made to select just about every player here. I feel similarly about Juju Smith-Schuster and Chiefs’ vacated targets at wide receiver as I do about Rashod Bateman and the targets up for grabs in Baltimore. Having missed out on Juju, I go with Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is a notable “league winner” from last season for a ton of fantasy football managers.

In the final six games of the 2021 season, ARSB caught 51 of a whopping 67 targets and scored in five of the six contests. The counterargument to his success carrying over to this season is the absence of both D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson during his tremendous run. The Lions also added D.J. Chark and drafted Jameson Williams to this roster. I don’t think St. Brown gets the same attention from quarterback, Jared Goff, as he did in those final six games. However, I don’t think St. Brown wilts away to nothingness, especially for fantasy football purposes. He’s a talented player and I’m willing to add him to my wide receiver depth. If his draft stock was any higher, I’m probably letting someone else add him to their team.


8.01-      Kyler Murray (ARI QB)

8.02-      Aaron Rodgers (GB QB)

8.03-      Jalen Hurts (PHI QB)

8.04-      DeVonta Smith (PHI WR)

8.05-      Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)

8.06-      Drake London (ATL WR)

8.07-      Russell Gage (TB WR)

8.08-    Josh Jacobs (LV RB)

8.09-      Allen Lazard (GB WR)

8.10-      Dak Prescott (DAL QB)

MY PICK: Josh Jacobs

This is probably the least exciting pick for my mock draft team. That’s okay. Every pick doesn’t have to wow your league mates. We’re here to win a fantasy football championship. Winning will wow your league mates. Adding a player like Josh Jacobs this late in a draft could be a league-winning move. Over the last three seasons, Jacobs ranks inside the top-16 on a points-per-game basis in fantasy football each time. Yet, he’s the 23rd back taken in this mock draft.

Ahead of this season, the Raiders declined Josh Jacob’s 5th-year option. That means it’s a contract year so he’s playing for big money in Las Vegas or from whichever teams are interested next year in free agency. Jacobs is only 24 and has no less than 264 total touches each of his three NFL seasons. Though he’s not as notable of a pass catcher, he just set a career-high in receptions (54) and receiving yards (348).

The Raiders are now adding Devante Adams to a pass-catching group of Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. While Jacobs likely doesn’t continue to increase his passing-game work, he should see more scoring opportunities this year. As the third running back on this roster, I could do a lot worse than a player that consistently averages anywhere from 14.5 to 15.0 points per game.


9.01-      Elijah Mitchell (SF RB)

9.02-      A.J. Dillon (GB RB)

9.03-     T.J. Hockenson (DET TE)

9.04-      Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC RB)

9.05-      Miles Sanders (PHI RB)

9.06-      Damien Harris (NE RB)

9.07-      Brandon Aiyuk (SF WR)

9.08-      Devin Singletary (BUF RB)

9.09-      Tony Pollard (DAL RB)

9.10-       Treylon Burks (TEN WR)

My Pick: T.J. Hockenson

I know. I doubled up on another team, the Detroit Lions. With this pick, I add Hockenson to a roster that already has Amon-Ra St. Brown on it. However, ARSB isn’t a projected starter, at least early on, with the receivers I selected. Hockenson is going to start at tight end for me right away. This gives me a projected positional advantage over most of my opponents in this mock draft league.

If I don’t land one of the top tight ends, I’m more likely than not going to stream a different tight end week-to-week based on matchups. Hockenson, in the ninth round, and to fill out my starting lineup, is too good of a value to pass up on. Prior to a season-ending injury, Hockenson was a top target for Goff on the Lions. Had he played a full 17-game season, he had been on pace for nearly 90 receptions. Even if you extrapolate his stats through 12 games over the course of just 16 games, he would have finished as TE7 in total points.

I could have added more running back or wide receiver depth here. There’s just something about not having to worry about who to start at tight end that seemed worth going for this late in the mock draft.


10.01-    Kareem Hunt (CLE RB)

10.02-    Rhamondre Stevenson (NE RB)

10.03-    James Cook (BUF RB)

10.04-    Cordarelle Patterson (ATL RB)

10.05-    Chase Claypool (PIT WR)

10.06-    Garrett Wilson (NYJ WR)

10.07-    Christian Kirk (JAC WR)

10.08-  Chase Edmonds (ARI RB)

10.09-    Ken Walker III (SEA RB)

10.10-     Melvin Gordon (DEN RB)

MY PICK: Chase Edmonds

I’m chasing the money here in Miami. Yes, it’s a crowded running back room. However, Chase Edmonds is by far the highest-paid back here after signing a two-year/$12.6 million deal this off-season. So, there’s solace in knowing that Myles Gaskin, Sony Michel, Savon Ahmed, or Raheem Mostert could be cut or trade, while I know Edmonds is a shoe-in to be on this star-studded roster.

We have yet to see Edmonds lead a backfield as a clear-cut bell cow. That’s not what he is or what I expect him to be in Miami. He does, however, have two seasons with at least 43 receptions in Arizona. His 53 in 2020 ranked seventh amongst the position while 43 last year tied for 13th. Keep in mind he only played in 12 regular season games last year.

This late in the draft, I’m chasing upside. Edmonds’ upside as the leader in targets out of the Dolphins’ backfield is absolutely worth it in the 10th round. It’s worth noting that players with similar roles also come off of the board here. Kareem Hunt and James Cook, especially, carry similar upside to that of Edmonds in PPR leagues. Hunt is the preferred player of the three, but Edmonds is a very close next best thing, in my opinion.


QB – Tom Brady (12.08)

RB – Najee Harris, Aaron Jones

WR – Deebo Samuel, Dionte Johnson, Courtland Sutton

TE – T.J. Hockenson

FLEX – Rashod Bateman

Bench: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Jacobs, Chase Edmonds, Rashaad Penny (11.3), Devante Parker (13.08), Tim Patrick (14.03)

Mock Draft 3.0 CONCLUSION

Three pairs of my mock draft players are on the same team. That’s okay, but it’s worth a reminder to avoid investing heavily in any one NFL team for fantasy football. It’s best to diversify. If Najee Harris rushes for a 20-yard touchdown, that’s one less scoring opportunity for this fantasy football roster since Dionte Johnson missed out. Don’t completely avoid players on the same team, just consider the likeliness they have of scoring big in fantasy on a week-to-week basis on the same NFL team.

In hindsight, selecting Bateman over Lamar Jackson looks even better when you land a player like Tom Brady at quarterback in the 12th round. A constant reminder that there is value at quarterback later in drafts when your league only requires you to start one.

Circling back to the idea of selecting Saquon in the third round, it would have swayed my decision to select Jacobs, Edmonds, and Penny when I did. I still left with five running backs, which I like to do. Just remember to be flexible. I didn’t plan to select RB-RB-WR-WR-WR with my first five picks. So, had Saquon been there in the third round, I wasn’t going to pass that up by strictly drafting certain positions in certain rounds.

Overall, this mock draft team carries a good amount of risk. I’m not quite sure the reward that comes with it is a fantasy football championship.

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