We are through the first two days of the 2022 NFL Draft, and a lot has happened that will reverberate throughout dynasty leagues. Of course, we will be updating our dynasty and rookie rankings at the conclusion of the draft, but here are 10 thoughts we have after the first 105 picks.
1) Don’t bank on long-term landing spots for WRs.
The theme of this NFL offseason has been WR movement. That continued on Thursday night with A.J. Brown and Marquise Brown being traded to the Eagles and Cardinals respectively. It is unclear how long this trend will go, but there is no question that Trent Baalke‘s top-of-the-market deal with Christian Kirk has made it more difficult for teams to retain their WRs into their second and third contracts. Just another reminder to draft and hold talent at the position. Don’t plan on WRs having long careers in the same place.
2) Treylon Burks and Drake London have a massive opportunity.
Throughout the pre-draft process, Burks and London were our top two rookie WRs for dynasty. On Thursday night, they also got perhaps the two best landing spots of the draft. Burks was selected as a Brown replacement in Tennessee — an interesting position given that Brown was a popular comp for him — while London will go to the talent-bereft Falcons. Two awesome talents with tremendous immediate target volume will put the pair at the top of the board for rookie drafts.
3) Superflex drafts got a lot less interesting.
Our final pre-draft rankings had five QBs in the top 14 for Superflex/TE premium rookie drafts. However, just one of them — Kenny Pickett — was taken in the first round, followed by none in the second. Sam Howell still hasn’t been selected. The rankings at this position have changed by far the most during this draft.
4) With that said, we still aren’t completely out on this QB class.
While we had just one QB through the first two rounds come off the board, there are still reasons for optimism in the three signal callers taken in Round 3. For starters, Round 2 QB selections are quite rare — there have been just eight of them the last 10 drafts. We also have a supposedly stacked QB class coming in 2023, and it appears that teams would rather position themselves to take a QB next year than this year.
The individual landing spots for Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder, and Matt Corral are also just as good as we had hoped they’d be even though they came later in the draft. Tennessee traded up for Willis to be the potential heir apparent to Ryan Tannehill, a QB they can easily get off of after 2022. The Falcons will be able to create an infrastructure to support Ridder given that their bridge QB, Marcus Mariota, was a popular comp for their new rookie. The Panthers opted to trade up for Corral rather than trade for Baker Mayfield, and only Sam Darnold stands in his way for playing time.
5) Devin Singletary won’t be a workhorse again — and likely was never going to.
Singletary had a fantastic finish to the 2021 season. Rendering Zack Moss a weekly inactive, he was the lead back for Buffalo, and averaged 20.5 PPR points over his final six games (including playoffs). That appears to be unlikely to happen again. After nearly securing J.D. McKissic in free agency, the Bills opted to select pass catcher James Cook in the second round of the draft. It seems clear that the Bills do not intend on giving Singletary so much work in 2022, including the all-valuable pass-catching work.
6) Skyy Moore, Christian Watson, and David Bell were Day 2 winners.
Heading into Friday night, there were some promising WR talents still on the board. Two of our favorites in Moore and Bell landed in outstanding spots. The former gets to play with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, while Bell has a great chance to be the WR2 in Cleveland for Deshaun Watson. The North Dakota State prospect was not one of our favorites, but it is impossible to deny the chance he will have to succeed playing with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. The Packers have minimal viable pass-catching talent, though it is worth noting that rookie wideouts have rarely succeeded with Rodgers.
7) The Jets and Lions could be fantasy-friendly offenses.
New York and Detroit have not been teams to target in any fantasy format, but that could be changing given the talent added through the draft. The Jets added another high-end WR talent in Garrett Wilson, and also secured the top RB in the class in Breece Hall. TE Jeremy Ruckert was the final piece to a great first two days of the draft. Meanwhile in Detroit, the Lions added speed-demon Jameson Williams with the 12th overall pick. He is the elite downfield threat the team needs. Both of these offenses could be goldmines for fantasy if the QB play of either Zach Wilson or Jared Goff improves. The former sees a huge bump in dynasty value, while the latter will have yet another chance to prove his worth ahead of the 2023 draft.
8) Jelani Woods could have an immediate impact.
Woods is perhaps the most exciting TE prospect in the entire class given his incredible physical profile. But as we know, TE production is difficult to come by early in careers. That may be made a lot easier in Indy, as the Colts lack meaningful receiving weapons behind Michael Pittman. They have been known to use multiple TEs in the past, but Woods is capable of playing in the slot in addition to inline. He is an exciting rookie prospect.
9) Seattle is going back to its roots.
The writing was on the wall here after trading away Russell Wilson, but Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are definitely about to #EstablishIt. With only Drew Lock at QB, the team has so far passed on every prospect at the position, opting instead to draft RB Kenneth Walker on Day 2. This direction is likely bad news for all Seahawks for the short term in dynasty.
10) Sam Howell, Calvin Austin, and Justyn Ross are the biggest rookie losers so far.
Draft position is a huge part of determining fantasy success for incoming rookies, with QB and WR being most sensitive to the first two days. Our research has shown that hit rates at these positions are remarkably low at WR and QB for Day 3 prospects. Howell was one of our favorite QB prospects, while Austin and Ross had some potential upside in their profiles, but most of that promise is now gone as we complete the second day of drafting.