The best way to become good at something is to practice. So, what should you do if you want to draft a better fantasy football team?
Practice, of course!
Leading up to the start of the 2022 NFL season, we will use the 2022 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros) to complete fantasy football mock drafts.
We will use a variety of scoring formats -- PPR, half-PPR, standard scoring and even 2-QB leagues, league sizes and draft slots. The goal is to give you a good representation of the team that you may be able to construct given your league settings and the rationale of why we made the picks we did.
> Our mocks will be tracked here: Fantasy Football Mock Drafts.
That said, nothing beats practicing yourself so (check out the simulator) and complete a mock in a matter of minutes.
Half-PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 6th Pick
The NFL Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl LVI MVP, Kupp had an absolutely dominant season in 2021. Not only did he become the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to win the triple crown of receiving, leading the league in receptions (145), yards (1,947) and touchdowns (16), but his receptions and yardage totals each rank as the second-most ever. His historic numbers should come down a bit, but he remains the favorite to lead the league's wideouts in fantasy points in 2022.
Fournette missed three games in 2021, but he more than doubled up Ronald Jones II in touches (249 to 111), scrimmage yards (1,266 to 492) and touchdowns (10 to four). With Jones now in Kansas City, there is an opportunity for Fournette to handle an even larger share of the workload in 2022. Fournette finished last season as fantasy's RB7 in half-PPR formats.
Allen's volume has allowed fantasy managers to take his consistency to the bank. The veteran receiver has a minimum of 97 receptions and 992 yards in five consecutive seasons, although he has scored more than six touchdowns only once during that stretch. During those five seasons, he's finished as fantasy's WR14 (or better) in half-PPR scoring every season.
4.07 - Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets
As the focal point of Iowa State's offense, Hall rushed for 3,044 yards and 41 touchdowns while adding 59 receptions for 482 yards and five touchdowns over the past two seasons. Hall is a patient runner with outstanding vision and contact balance and he's a reliable receiver out of the backfield.
Cooks has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in back-to-back seasons and six of the past seven. In addition, he has finished as a top-20 fantasy receiver in six of the past seven seasons. As the team's clear go-to receiver, he'll be a reliable WR2 for (most) fantasy managers in 2022 (and offers me plenty of upside as my WR3).
6.07 - A.J. Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers
With Jamaal Williams off to Detroit, Dillon finished as fantasy's RB23 in half-PPR scoring formats in 2021. While he played two more games than Aaron Jones, his touches (221) and scrimmage yards (1,116) were nearly identical to Jones (223, 1,190) last season. If Jones were to miss any time, Dillon's upside is through the roof.
Hurts threw only 16 touchdowns in 2021, but only one quarterback -- Justin Herbert (12) -- had more QB1 weekly finishes last season than Hurts (11). Hurts was tied for second with Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Josh Allen. His elite rushing upside (10 rushing scores in 2021) matters more than his modest passing numbers, but the trade for A.J. Brown to join Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert should lead to more prolific passing stats in 2022.
Penny was a surprise first-round pick in 2018. Partly due to his durability issues, the former San Diego State Aztec has only 280 rush attempts over four seasons. Despite the limited workload, Penny has been productive and efficient with 1,580 rushing yards (5.6 YPC) and 11 touchdowns on those 280 carries. Fantasy managers got a glimpse of how productive a healthy Penny can be down the stretch last season. Over the final five weeks of 2021, Penny posted a 92/671/6 (7.3 YPC) rushing line and led all running backs in fantasy points (half-PPR) per game (21.54). In addition, Penny has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in six of seven career games with at least 12 carries.
9.06 - Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Zach Ertz was traded in October, and Goedert had back-to-back 100-yard games in December. If it weren't for the addition of A.J. Brown, who I project to lead the team in receiving, Goedert would be poised for another big leap forward. Topping the team's depth chart at tight end, Goedert is a mid-tier TE1 and my top-ranked TE still available at this spot.
Boyd posted a 67/828/5 line on 94 targets to finish as a top-33 fantasy receiver in 2021, but he also set four-year lows in targets, receptions and yards. Boyd enters 2022 as a solid (but relatively low-upside) WR4 and provides a bye-week replacement or depth in the event of injury.
Similar to Boyd, Meyers provides depth at WR although I'd almost certainly start the trio of Kupp, Allen and Cooks every week. Meyers finally scored an NFL touchdown, actually two of them, to go along with 126 targets, 83 catches and 866 yards in 2021.
12.07 - Jamaal Williams, RB, Detroit Lions
Like D'Andre Swift, Williams missed four games in 2021 but set a career high in rushing yards (601) and tied a career high in rush attempts (153). While his targets per game (2.15) was near a career low, he set a career high in catch rate (92.9%) and finished with 2.0 receptions per game, his career average. Swift has missed three and four games, respectively, in his two NFL seasons, and Williams has plenty of upside if/when Swift misses a few games in 2022.
Herbert showed what he could do during David Montgomery's four-game absence, as the rookie totaled 78 carries for 344 yards and a touchdown with nine receptions for 44 yards. Herbert was fantasy's RB16 over that stretch. Outside of that four-game span, however, Herbert never exceeded four carries or five touches. With a new coaching staff in place, the gap betwen Montgomery and Herbert is unlikely to remain as large in 2022 as it was last season.
14.07 - 49ers DST, San Francisco 49ers
16.07 - Robbie Anderson, WR, Carolina Panthers
Anderson's second season with the Panthers was a huge disappointment as his production plummeted. He finished with 53/519/5 in 17 games in 2021 after posting a 95/1,096/3 line in 2020. While he suggested he could retire, the addition of Baker Mayfield should only increase his odds to bounce back from last year's dismal performance.
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