Top 5 Rookies to Draft in 2022 Fantasy Football
Expectations for rookies in fantasy football seem to be growing higher and higher with each passing season. That's because players are continuing to ball out in their first NFL season. In 2021, both Najee Harris and Ja'Marr Chase provided constant production, along with top-five fantasy finishes.
Managers can get a leg up on the competition by seeking out high-upside rookies in the later rounds of the draft when everyone else is selecting established veterans to be on their bench. With that in mind, here's a deeper dive into the top five rookies to target in fantasy football leagues this fall.
Fantasy Football Rookies
5. Jahan Dotson, WR (WSH)
It cannot be overlooked that the Washington Commanders used the No. 16 overall pick on wide receiver Jahan Dotson when there were much bigger holes on the roster. It's clear that they see something special in the Penn State product and it's easy to come up with why. Dotson posted the eighth-most receptions in the country last year (91) and showcased incredible reliability when targeted. It's worth pointing out that starting quarterback Carson Wentz was on the field for all of Dotson's 22 snaps in Washington's preseason opener. The 22-year-old has the inside track to line up opposite Terry McLaurin on the outside and the kind of volume that comes with that role gives Dotson a ton of upside.
4. Treylon Burks, WR (TEN)
The Tennessee Titans enter the 2022 NFL season with more vacated targets from 2021 than any other team in the league. Without A.J. Brown or Julio Jones in the picture, Treylon Burks has an opportunity to quickly become quarterback Ryan Tannehill's go-to target. Burks was praised in college for his ability to break through tackles using his size, which sets him up well for a transition to the NFL level. This is a receiver that also averaged 8.5 yards after the catch over his final two college seasons. That ranked 14th out of 169 qualified wide receivers. Burks' ceiling is capped by Tannehill's tendency to take the easy throw, but he can still finish as a borderline WR3 when all is said and done.
3. Chris Olave, WR (NO)
Quarterback Jameis Winston is expected to be fully healthy by Week 1 and that should do wonders for improving the Saints' passing attack. Winston tossed 14 touchdowns in seven games last season and averaged a career-high 8.2 yards per attempt. He also loves to have a reliable deep threat and Chris Olave fits that role to a tee. With Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry keeping defenses honest over the middle, look for the former Ohio State standout to burn secondaries on a weekly basis. Olave scored seven touchdowns last year on throws of 20-plus air yards in 2021 and averaged an impressive 15.4 yards per reception in his college career. It shouldn't take him too long to find that same success in the NFL.
2. Drake London, WR (ATL)
Drake London may have the highest floor out of any of these rookie options. Calvin Ridley's year-long suspension and the departure of veteran Russell Gage means London enters Week 1 as the Atlanta Falcons' No. 1 wide receiver. His only true competition for targets is tight end Kyle Pitts. Yes, quarterback Marcus Mariota has never been known for his arm strength. However, he is going to have to pass the ball a ton if the Falcons find themselves down on the scoreboard as much as they did in 2021. London scored 15 touchdowns in 22 college games and averaged 7.3 receptions per game. The 21-year-old is used to making big plays and could push for a WR3 finish in fantasy football.
1. Breece Hall, RB (NYJ)
The New York Jets' ground game was nonexistent last season as they ranked 25th in rushing yards per contest (98.1) and 30th in rushing play percentage (36.7%). In fact, the Jets haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Chris Ivory in 2015. Enter Breece Hall. He destroyed during his time with the Iowa State Cyclones, racking up 4,675 yards from scrimmage and 56 touchdowns across three seasons (36 games). It led to him being the No. 36 overall pick in April's NFL Draft. The Jets added to an already strong offensive line with the signing of guard Laken Tomlinson in free agency, too. Drafting rookies is all about situation and Hall heads into the season in the perfect situation.
New users earn an instant FREE entry when you sign up for FanDuel DFS! Sign Up Now!
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.