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Sunday, August 14, 2022

2022 Fantasy Football Mock Draft 5.0

Welcome to August. You likely have a fantasy football draft this month. It’s possible you have more than one fantasy football draft this month. Maybe you lost count of how many drafts you have this month. Whatever the case may be, it’s time to get serious. NFL training camp is in full swing and the first preseason game kicks off this Thursday. With all that said, mock drafts are a crucial part of our draft preparation over the next few weeks. Let’s see how my latest mock draft turns out at the top of the month.

Picking Fifth Overall in the Fifth 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 fifth overall pick in this mock draft and will make selections from different draft positions each week.  For this mock draft, I will break down 12 of 16 rounds. That’s two more rounds of analysis than the first four mock drafts. With training camp getting going, it’s more worthwhile to break down the later rounds now than it has been. 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.

ROUND ONE

1.01-        Jonathan Taylor (IND RB)

1.02-       Christian McCaffrey (CAR RB)

1.03-       Austin Ekeler (LAC RB)

1.04-       Najee Harris (PIT RB)

1.05-      Justin Jefferson (MIN WR)

1.06-       Dalvin Cook (MIN RB)

1.07-       Derrick Henry (TEN RB)

1.08-       Joe Mixon (CIN RB)

1.09-       Cooper Kupp (LAR WR)

1.10-        Ja’Marr Chase (CIN WR)

MY PICK: Justin Jefferson

This is the first mock draft I’m leaving the first round with a wide receiver. It’s not as crazy as I thought it may feel. I have Justin Jefferson as my WR1 in the Fantrax staff 2022 wide receiver consensus rankings. Usually, I try to leave the first round with a stud running back. However, in this case, I feel better about Jefferson playing 17 games than most running backs that are left. He will likely score more points. Fair, simple logic, right?

The fifth pick is probably where most managers will face this dilemma. Additionally, an average of three wide receivers are coming off of the board through the first 10 picks of these mock drafts. That means multiple managers are deciding between running back or wide receiver. With that said, I feel good about the running backs that are likely going to come back my way in the second round.

As far as taking Jefferson over Cooper Kupp, it’s really splitting hairs. Get your guy. Both receivers should see the most targets on their respective teams. Jefferson’s new head coach in Minnesota, Kevin O’Connell, is the former offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams. The expectation is a pass-heavier approach with the Vikings and I love Jefferson’s ceiling as a result.

ROUND TWO

2.01 –      Davante Adams (LV WR)

2.02-       Travis Kelce (KC TE)

2.03-       D’Andre Swift (DET RB)

2.04-       Javonte Williams (DEN RB)

2.05-       Stefon Diggs (BUF WR)

2.06-     Aaron Jones (GB RB)

2.07-       Leonard Fournette (TB RB)

2.08-       Ceedee Lamb (DAL WR)

2.09-       Saquon Barkley (NYG RB)

2.10-        Deebo Samuel (SF WR)

MY PICK: Aaron Jones

If you’re following along with my mock draft series, you could probably have guessed Aaron Jones would be my second-round pick. I am on record believing Jones will lead the Packers in receptions. He’s Aaron Rodgers’ guy and one of the best pass-catching backs in the league. It’s a tough choice here between Jones and Saquon to be my RB1. Give me the guy with the more consistently proven track record and better quarterback.

Deebo Samuel just got PAID over the weekend. Pay attention to the guaranteed money of his deal. It’s a whopping $58.1 million. The biggest gripe Deebo supposedly had with the San Francisco 49ers is the risk he faces carrying the ball out of the backfield as much as he did last season. Rightfully so! With nearly 80% of his contract coming his way in the form of guaranteed money, I think Deebo may continue to have a sizeable role running the ball. That raises his ceiling considerably for me. He’s now a rock solid second-round pick.

ROUND THREE

3.01-       Tyreek Hill (MIA WR)

3.02-      Mike Evans (TB WR)

3.03-      Mark Andrews (BAL TE)

3.04-      Nick Chubb (CLE RB)

3.05-     Alvin Kamara (NO RB)

3.06-      Keenan Allen (LAC WR)

3.07-      James Conner (ARI RB)

3.08-      Josh Allen (BUF QB)

3.09-      A.J. Brown (PHI WR)

3.10-      Tee Higgins (CIN WR)

MY PICK: Alvin Kamara

This is probably my favorite pick so far of any mock draft I’ve done. Of course, if Kamara is going to miss time due to a suspension stemming from an altercation months ago, his value will obviously dip. For now, though, Kamara is an absolute steal in the third round.

Kamara’s 18.1 fantasy points per game during the 2021 regular season rank sixth amongst running backs. Amongst all non-quarterback players, it ranks 10th. It’s his second-lowest points per game average in his five-year NFL career. However, what’s really key here is that Kamara averaged the most amount of touches (22.07) per game in his career last season.

He only logged 47 receptions last season, down from an 81.5 per season average in his first four seasons. However, he carried the ball a whopping 240 times in 13 games. I expect a similar workload for Kamara to that of last year now with Jameis Winston at quarterback. Kamara should see more work in the passing game to get the ball in his hands. Finishing as the overall RB1 is in his range of outcomes. Even if he gets close, I’ll be thrilled to have gotten him in the third round.

ROUND FOUR

4.01-      Kyle Pitts (ATL TE)

4.02-      Ezekiel Elliott (DAL RB)

4.03-      George Kittle (SF TE)

4.04-      Dionte Johnson (PIT WR)

4.05-      Michael Pittman, Jr. (IND WR)

4.06-    D.J. Moore (CAR WR)

4.07-      Patrick Mahomes (KC QB)

4.08-      Travis Etienne (JAC RB)

4.09-      Jaylen Waddle (MIA WR)

4.10-      Cam Akers (LAR RB)

MY PICK: D.J. Moore

This is the second mock draft in a row I’ve gotten D.J. Moore. As I mentioned last time, Moore is the only wide receiver with at least 1,200 scrimmage yards each of the last three seasons. He now gets Baker Mayfield under center in Carolina, one of the better quarterbacks he’s played with. Hopefully, we see a WR1 season out of Moore as a result. I love his floor, regardless.

Ezekiel Elliott would be my pick here if he were to have fallen to me. Following up my first-round wide receiver pick with an RB-RB-RB run of Aaron Jones, Alvin Kamara, and Ezekiel Elliott would be electric. Though I grabbed Moore here, I feel as though Travis Etienne would have been a solid pick for that same three RB run hype. He should see the bulk of the touches out of the Jacksonville backfield, especially as a pass catcher. He’s an RB2 with RB1 upside.

ROUND FIVE

5.01-      Terry McLaurin (WSH WR)

5.02-     Darren Waller (LV TE)

5.03-     Brandin Cooks (HOU WR)

5.04-     Mike Williams (LAC WR)

5.05-    D.K. Metcalf (SEA WR)

5.06-     David Montgomery (CHI RB)

5.07-     Chris Godwin (TB WR)

5.08-     DeAndre Hopkins (ARI WR)

5.09-     Justin Herbert (LAC QB)

5.10-      Antonio Gibson (WSH WR)

MY PICK: D.K. Metcalf

Geno Smith is winning the quarterback battle out in Seattle. So, is this good news or bad news for D.K. Metcalf? Quite frankly, as a fifth-round pick in fantasy football, I don’t really care. Metcalf is a monster and will see the most targets on this Seahawks offense regardless of who’s throwing the ball.

In three starts last season, with Geno Smith in place of an injured Russell Wilson, Metcalf caught 14 of 18 targets averaging 65 yards per game and finding the end zone three times. His target share with Wilson running the show is slightly higher, but Smith is just good enough to get this guy the ball. This decrease in value from last season is one of the bigger targets for me this fantasy football season. Metcalf in the fifth is a low-risk, high-reward pick.

ROUND SIX

6.01-      Josh Jacobs (LV RB)

6.02-     Breece Hall (NYJ RB)

6.03-     Michael Thomas (NO WR)

6.04-     Elijah Moore (NYJ WR)

6.05-     Courtland Sutton (DEN WR)

6.06-   Marquise Brown (ARI WR)

6.07-     Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET WR)

6.08-     Lamar Jackson (BAL QB)

6.09-     Jerry Jeudy (DEN WR)

6.10-     Darnell Mooney (CHI WR)

MY PICK: Marquise Brown

Marquise Brown is reportedly dealing with a hamstring injury. I’m really high on him for this season, but I naturally will be monitoring that situation. Luckily, this is a mock draft, so I can operate as if he’s fully healthy. However, if he’s still working his way back later this month, I may turn my attention to a player with a cleaner bill of health. Hamstrings are tricky injuries, especially for high flyers like Hollywood Brown.

Michael Thomas is one of the more notable risers of this mock draft. He is off of the Physically Unable to Perform list and practicing for the Saints. We haven’t seen him play football in some time. If he’s on the field, Jameis Winston will surely be looking to get the ball his way. He’s one of the riskier picks that will surely draw some sort of reaction from your league if you’re willing to select him.

ROUND SEVEN

7.01-      Kyler Murray (ARI QB)

7.02-     Allen Robinson (LAR WR)

7.03-     Amari Cooper (CLE WR)

7.04-     Daulton Schultz (DAL TE)

7.05-    Rashod Bateman (BAL WR)

7.06-      T.J. Hockenson (DET TE)

7.07-      Joe Burrow (CIN QB)

7.08-     J.K. Dobbins (BAL RB)

7.09-     Adam Theilen (MIN WR)

7.10-      Gabriel Davis (BUF WR)

MY PICK: Rashod Bateman

I’m all in on Rashod Bateman. Many believe the Ravens’ passing game will take a major dip since trading away Marquise Brown. However, a fully healthy Rashod Bateman, with a full training camp working with Lamar Jackson, should not be overlooked. In fact, Bateman is even firing back on Twitter to make it known:

Bateman is referring to this specific play from Baltimore’s open practice that took place in front of fans over the weekend:

More please! We’ve seen Lamar target Bateman heavily as a rookie when both were on the field. In their last game together, Bateman recorded his first 100-yard performance. More where that came from in 2022.

ROUND EIGHT

8.01-       Jalen Hurts (PHI QB)

8.02-      Juju Smith-Schuster (KC WR)

8.03-      Hunter Renfrow (LV WR)

8.04-      Drake London (ATL WR)

8.05-      Tom Brady (TB QB)

8.06-    Elijah Mitchell (SF RB)

8.07-      Allen Lazard (GB WR)

8.08-      DeVonta Smith (PHI WR)

8.09-      Trey Lance (SF QB)

8.10-       Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)

MY PICK: Elijah Mitchell

Deebo Samuel’s guaranteed money likely means he will still see some sort of a role out of the backfield. Elijah Mitchell is still the true running back I want on the 49ers roster. Not only was he the only back to record over 200 carries (207) last season, but he did so in just 11 games.

Furthermore, five of those 11 games resulted in 100 or more rushing yards. So, yes, while Trey Sermon is still on the roster, the team is adding third-round rookie Tyron David-Price into the mix, and Deebo Samuel should see some carries, Mitchell isn’t going anywhere. Health, as it is for most running backs, is the only thing truly standing in his way.

ROUND NINE

9.01-      Christian Kirk (JAC WR)

9.02-      Tony Pollard (DAL RB)

9.03-      A.J. Dillon (GB RB)

9.04-      Robert Woods (TEN WR)

9.05-    Chase Edmonds (ARI RB)

9.06-      Miles Sanders (PHI RB)

9.07-      Brandon Aiyuk (SF WR)

9.08-      Chase Claypool (PIT WR)

9.09-      Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC RB)

9.10-       Damien Harris (NE RB)

MY PICK: Chase Edmonds

This Miami backfield is crowded. We know this. I’ve been talking about “following the money” and drafting Chase Edmonds is just that. He’s going to finish the season with the most touches of any back on this roster. Of course, the value is in his pass-catching ability.

What I love more than anything is that he’s the highest-paid back on a Mike McDaniel run team. McDaniel, of course, is the new Miami head coach who comes from San Francisco as their former run game and offensive coordinator. Edmonds comes from a Cardinals offense where he averaged 13.25 touches per game in 2021 even with James Conner as the clear-cut lead back. His new competition, as of now, is Sony Michel, Myles, Gaskin, and Raheem Mostert.

Of the running backs available here in the mock draft, Edmonds’ ceiling is the highest. That’s what I’m looking for as the mock draft is nearly 100 players deep. Damien Harris is the only other back I considered here. His lack of receiving and a likely uptick in passing in New England is what makes me lean Edmonds here.

ROUND 10

10.01-     Devin Singletary (BUF RB)

10.02-     Ken Walker III (SEA RB)

10.03-     Russell Gage (TB WR)

10.04-     Treylon Burks (TEN WR)

10.05-     Kareem Hunt (CLE RB)

10.06-   Rashaad Penny (SEA RB)

10.07-     Michael Gallup (DAL WR)

10.08-     Melvin Gordon (DEN RB)

10.09-    Cordarelle Patterson (ATL RB)

10.10-     Garrett Wilson (NYJ WR)

MY PICK: Rashaad Penny

I am just keeping the run of running backs going. At this point of the draft, I’m working on building the best bench possible. That means taking the best players available and finding value, regardless of position. Rashaad Penny in the 10th is just that. Not only is Penny back with the Seahawks, but it’s on a one-year deal. That’s a “prove it” deal for Penny to earn a larger contract after this season, but also presents an opportunity for the Seahawks to feed him the ball without any long-term investment in case he suffers an injury.

It’s also hard to ignore Penny’s potential here. Though his body of work is mostly plagued by injuries, he logged at least 135 rushing yards in four of the final five games of last season. Penny also scored six touchdowns in that same stretch. Rookie Ken Walker should see the field, but I view him more as an insurance policy to Penny, at least for now. A healthy Penny is the back I want in Seattle. Obviously, this opinion may differ league to league as Walker goes before Penny here.

ROUND 11

11.01-     Chris Olave (NO WR)

11.02-    Kadarius Toney (NYG WR)

11.03-    Jakobi Meyers (NE WR)

11.04-    James Cook (BUF RB)

11.05-   Rhamondre Stevenson (NE RB)

11.06-    Tyler Boyd (CIN WR)

11.07-    Michael Carter (NYJ RB)

11.08-    James Robinson (JAX RB)

11.09-    Dameon Pierce (HOU RB)

11.10-     Alexander Mattison (MIN RB)

MY PICK: Rhamondre Stevenson

I like to leave my fantasy football drafts with at least five running backs. Rhamondre Stevenson is my sixth and last RB of this mock draft. Sure, I don’t have a tight end or quarterback yet, but I only need to start one of each. Plus, there are still plenty of starting caliber players at each of those positions. Instead, I continue to pile up my running back depth, something many managers wish they had done last season.

So far through Patriots training camp, Stevenson is an emerging star. He’s reportedly down to 225 pounds, is working with the first team offense, and is seeing his fair share of targets. Ahead of his second season, Stevenson has the making to be a fantasy football breakout back.

I understand if you want to tread lightly. Bill Belichick doesn’t care about your fantasy football teams. Banking on a Patriots running back can sometimes be a headache week-to-week. On one hand, Stevenson could seize the starting job and Harris could see more of a situational role. The other hand could be Damien Harris carrying the ball 18 times and Stevenson playing just a handful of snaps in Week 1. This will be a situation to monitor, but I’m willing to roll the dice with my 11th round mock draft pick.

ROUND 12

12.01-    Dak Prescott (DAL QB)

12.02-   Skyy Moore (KC WR)

12.03-   Devante Parker (NE WR)

12.04-   Dallas Goedert (PHI TE)

12.05-    Nyheim Hines (IND RB)

12.06-  Zach Ertz (ARI TE)

12.07-    Marquez Valdes-Scantling (KC WR)

12.08-    Ronald Jones II (KC RB)

12.09-    Russell Wilson (DEN QB)

12.10-     Julio Jones (TB WR)

MY PICK: Zach Ertz

Zach Ertz is no stranger to being a top-tier fantasy football TE1. He’s done it for just about his entire career. In fact, in his last five games in Arizona last season, he finished as a TE1 every week and as the TE1 in Week 11. Even with a team change last year, Ertz still saw the seventh-most targets per game amongst the position.

He’s returning to Arizona on a three-year extension and the team will not have DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games. Even if Ertz surprises me and isn’t his TE1 self for the entirety of the 2022 fantasy football season, I’ve got confidence in his first six weeks being some of his best. While everyone is looking for the next tight end breakout, I’ll go with Ertz who is one of the most reliable guys playing the game.

STARTING LINEUP

QB – Aaron Rodgers (13.05)

RB – Aaron Jones, Alvin Kamara

WR – Justin Jefferson, D.J. Moore, D.K. Metcalf

TE – Zach Ertz

FLEX – Marquise Brown

Bench: Rashod Bateman, Elijah Mitchell, Chase Edmonds, Rashaad Penny, Rhamondre Stevenson, Tim Patrick (14.06), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (14.07)

Mock Draft 5.0 CONCLUSION

Aaron Rodgers in the 13th Round? Aaron Rodgers in the 13th Round.

It’s becoming abundantly clear that values of quarterbacks are all over the place. The most important point here is to know your league. Whether they like to draft quarterbacks early or wait to select their starter, you more often than not can snag a worthwhile starter in double-digit rounds. If you play in a 2QB or Superflex league, prioritize the position more than a 1QB league.

Since training camp is underway, it’s obvious which players are climbing and falling in this mock draft as a result of positive and negative camp reports. Pay attention! Be on the lookout for weekly training camp reports on Fantrax. Don’t miss a thing and wonder why your “late-round sleeper” from July is now a mid-round target for the rest of your league.

Through five mock drafts, it’s officially the year of the first round wide receiver. You will need to decide if you’re that type of manager or leave the first round, as always, with a top-ranked running back.

August is the biggest mock draft month of the fantasy football season. Don’t forget to keep up with mock drafts of your own.

If you enjoyed Colin’s mock draft analysis, check out the rest of the series in our 2022 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!

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