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, 5th Pick
1.05 - Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
Henry has never had 20 receptions in a season, but who cares? Of course, more involvement in the passing game is preferred (and he was more involved before his injury with 18 catches in eight games), but Henry has finished as a top-three fantasy running back in half-PPR formats in both 2019 and 2020. His dominance as a rusher (303/1,540/16 and 378/2,207/17, respectively) more than compensates for a relatively modest receiving role.
Henry rushed for 219/937/10 through eight games last season, equivalent to a 465/1,991/21 full-season pace, and was fantasy's RB1 across all scoring formats through Week 8. One could argue that missing the final nine regular-season games of 2021 boosts his outlook for 2022 given the heavy workloads he has shouldered over the past few seasons. Either way, he's my third-ranked player overall, so I'll gladly take him at No. 5.
2.08 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evans has started his career with eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and there is little doubt that he'll extend that streak barring injury. In his two seasons with Tom Brady, Evans has a total of 27 touchdowns and the two highest seasonal totals (13 and 14, respectively) of his career.
3.05 - Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Fantasy managers can take Allen's consistency to the bank. Allen has a minimum of 97 receptions and 992 yards in five consecutive seasons, although he has scored more than six touchdowns in only one of those five seasons. During that span, he's finished no worse than WR14 in half-PPR scoring in any season.
4.08 - Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Mitchell missed six games as a rookie, but he was the clear lead back when he was on the field. Counting three playoff games, Mitchell had a minimum in 17 carries in 11 of 14 games in 2021. (Mitchell had 68.3% of the non-QB carries in those other three games.) While the 49ers used a third-round pick on Tyrion Davis-Price, that says more about the role of Trey Sermon, last year's third-round pick, than it does Mitchell's.
5.05 - J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Few teams, if any, will operate a more run-centric offense than the Ravens in 2022. While Dobbins missed all of 2021, he had 134 carries for 805 yards (6.0 YPC) and nine touchdowns as a rookie. While Lamar Jackson could lead the team in rushing for a fourth consecutive season, Dobbins is likely being underdrafted compared to his ADP as long as his health cooperates.
6.08 - Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Schultz set career highs in targets (104), receptions (78), yards (808) and touchdowns (eight) last season as he finished as a top-three fantasy tight end. Schultz lacks the ceiling of the elite tight ends. For example, his season high last year was 82 yards, but he has a solid floor as he finished with five-plus targets in 13 of 17 games. Given the offseason changes to the team's group of pass catchers, there's a chance he's even more involved in 2022 than he was last year.
7.05 - DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Smith had a productive rookie season (64/916/5), but the trade for A.J. Brown limits Smith's upside and potential to make a big second-year leap, making him more of a WR3 than WR2 in fantasy.
8.08 - Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Aiyuk exceeded 15 receiving yards in only two of his first six games and totalled only 9/96/1 receiving during that span. That said, he was much more productive and consistent from Week 8 on, as he closed the season with 47/730/4 over the final 11 games of the season. If he could put together a more consistent season from beginning to end, he could turn out to be a bargain.
9.05 - Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos
Wilson missed three games in 2021, his first season finishing outside the top 11 fantasy quarterbacks. Even though he won't have D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett as targets, the Broncos arguably have a more talented group of wideouts when comparing each team's top four receivers. Barring injury, Wilson should once again finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in 2022.
Jones' numbers in 2021 were (more than) halved from the prior season. Last season, Jones had only 111 touches for 492 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns. A change of scenery could serve him well even though he'll be competing with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon for snaps.
11.05 - Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts
As a change-of-pace option to Jonathan Taylor, Hines has a minimum of 40 catches in each of his four NFL seasons. That said, it would take an injury to Taylor for Hines to become a weekly play outside of bye weeks.
12.08 - Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos
Patrick has back-to-back seasons with at least 50 catches, 700 yards and five touchdowns. Even if he enters 2022 as his team's WR3 behind Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, more competent quarterback play boosts the passing game overall and an injury to either Jeudy or Sutton would give Patrick plenty of upside as a late-round pick in drafts.
13.05 - Pat Freiermuth, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
More productive than the typical rookie tight end, Freiermuth finished 2021 with 60 receptions for 497 yards and seven touchdowns on 79 targets. He's ranked as a top-10 fantasy tight end in our early 2022 rankings.
14.08 - Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears
Herbert showed what he could do during 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.
15.05 - Saints D/ST, DST, New Orleans Saints
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