Nine First-Round Running Backs in this Five-Round Fantasy Mock Draft

The NFL offseason has been an exciting ride. Many big-name players have changed teams, and some superstars were traded in huge trades. While some notable players are still free agents or could be traded, I think it’s safe to assert that most of the significant moves have been made as we inch closer and closer to the 2022 NFL Draft.

As a result, let’s look at how the numerous moves around the league have altered the draft value of some of the biggest studs in fantasy football. You might be surprised at the new faces that have appeared in my solo five-round mock draft, regardless of whether it’s Davante Adams or Tyreek Hills.

This mock includes 12 fantasy team members and is based upon a PPR scoring system. These teams used different methods “strategies”Here are their top three picks. This will allow you to see how the roster was built. Notice that no team selected a quarterback within the first four rounds.

Teams 1, 7, 10, Running back, running back wide receiver
Teams 2, 3: Running back. Wide receiver, wide receiver
Team 4: Running back, wide receiver and running back
Team 5, 9: Wide receiver and running back, wide receiver
Team 6: Running back, wide receiver, tight end
Team 8: Running back, running back, running back
Team 11: Wide receiver, tight end, wide receiver
Team 12: Wide receivers, wide receivers, wide receivers

ROUND 1

1.1. Jonathan TaylorRB, Indianapolis Colts
1.2. Derrick Henry, RB Tennessee Titans
1.3. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
1.4. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
1.5. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
1.6. Christian McCaffrey, RB Carolina Panthers
1.7. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
1.8. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
1.9. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
1.10. Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos
1.11. Justin Jefferson, WR Minnesota Vikings
1.12. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Taylor was the fantasy football’s best running back last season. He scored 20+ fantasy points nine times, including one where he scored 53.4 points. Taylor led the league with 1,811 yards of rushing, which was a whopping 552 yards better than Nick Chubb’s 1,259 rushing yards. He’ll be the consensus No. He will be the consensus No.1 overall pick going into 2022 drafts. Henry ran for 937 yards in eight games and scored 10 touchdowns before he was injured. If he had been able finish the season, Henry might have been the first player in league history to rush for 2,000 yards in consecutive seasons (he was currently on pace for 1,991 rushing yard). 

Kupp has just completed the greatest fantasy football year ever for wide receivers, scoring 439.5 point. He surpassed the previous record of 414.04 points set by Jerry Rice in 1995. Rice’s next season saw a decline in receiving yards, seven touchdowns, and 118.9 fantasy point (7.5 points per match). Kupp will be great, but it seems that Kupp is on the verge of a decline. McCaffrey has missed the most part of the last two seasons with injuries. This means that he may be closer to the end in some drafts. His talent is so appealing, despite the risks involved.

Kamara is still a top-round pick but his season isn’t as good as 2020. He finished with 67 catches and 47 targets. Both of these were career lows. Kamara had never been less than 97 targets or 81 catch in his four previous seasons with Saints. He could be subject to a league-imposed suspension. I’ll however keep him in the top-10 until we hear of any potential league discipline. 

Williams is ranked as though Melvin Gordon won’t be back in Denver. Williams will be dropped from the first round of my mock drafts if Melvin Gordon returns. The round ends with two highly talented wideouts, Jefferson, Chase, who were selected in the first round of all 2022 drafts. They’ll be joined by a number of wide receivers in Round 2.

ROUND 2

2.13. Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
2.14. Travis Kelce, TE Kansas City Chiefs
2.15. 2.15
2.16. Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
2.17. D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions
2.18. 2.18
2.19. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
2.20. Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Commanders
2.21. 2.21
2.22. Tyreek Hill, WR Miami Dolphins
2.23. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans
2.24. Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Notes: Samuel’s 2021 breakout season was a success. He finished third in wideouts in terms of points with 77 receptions, 1,405 receiving yard and 14 touchdowns. He was also an absolute nightmare to tackle, leading all wide receivers by having 22 broken tackles (and 291 yards after contact). The season saw no other wideout break more than 12 tackles (CeeDee Lam). Kelce moved up in the second round relative to my first mock draft, which was a result of the trade that sent Tyreek to the Dolphins. 

Hill dropped to the bottom third of the second round, due in large part to his downgrade from Patrick Mahomes (to Tua Tagovailoa). The Dolphins also possess a number of weapons, including Jaylen Wiggle. Fournette will return to Tampa Bay, making him a low end No. 1 fantasy runner (for now). Adams might be the best wide receiver in the NFL, but he’s dropped out of Round 1 after being traded to the Raiders.

Derek Carr is a fine player, but he’s not Aaron Rodgers and the Raiders have more people to feed than the Packers in recent seasons. Swift missed four games last season because of injuries. He still finished as RB15 in PPR leagues, and averaged more that 16 points per match. Lamb’s value is rising with the Amari Cooper trade to the Browns. He should be able to have a career year in 2022. While Mitchell isn’t without risks due to injuries, he’s still an elite No. 2 running back.

ROUND 3

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3.25. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
3.26. 3.26
3.27. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
3.28. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
3.29. 3.29
3.30. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
3.31. 3.31
3.32. 3.32
3.33. 3.33
3.34. D.K. Metcalf WR, Seattle Seahawks
3.35. Terry McLaurin WR, Washington Commanders
3.36. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins

Although Hopkins was disappointing last season, he did score eight touchdowns and should get plenty of targets from Kyler in Arizona. Godwin is coming off of a torn ACL so his draft stock may be a little question. However, Tom Brady will throw him the ball again. This is the lowest Elliott was ranked in fantasy football mocks. However, you need to be concerned about his durability and the presence Tony Pollard. Andrews will be the second tightest end on most fantasy drafts. However, some degree of regression is expected for the veteran in 2022. 

Barkley’s days of being a fantasy running back in elite leagues seems over. He’s been plagued by injuries for the better part of the last two years, during which time he’s averaged just 3.5 yards per rush. He finished outside the top 30 fantasy backs in points this past season. Jones was not in the top five fantasy players for the first two years. A.J. Dillon has made Jones a No. 2 runner. 

McLaurin didn’t meet expectations last season, but the addition of Carson Wentz is good news for his outlook. Metcalf’s stock took a big hit when the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson, and it doesn’t help that his current No. Drew Lock is Drew Lock’s current No. 1.

ROUND 4

4.37. Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
4.38. James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals
4.39. 4.39
4.40. Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
4.41. 4.41
4.42. Brandin Cooks, WR Houston Texans
4.43. 4.43
4.44. 4.44
4.45. D.J. Moore, WR Carolina Panthers
4.46. 4.46
4.47. Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets
4.48. Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders

Akers miraculously returned to play after a torn Achilles. But will the Rams use Darrell Henderson in a committee with him? Although I think he is unlikely, he is a high-risk, high-reward option. At this point, Conner is the number 2 runner. Conner cannot duplicate the 18 touchdowns last season, but Chase Edmonds signed for the Dolphins and he is now the undisputed top back at Arizona. Marcus Mariota, the Falcons’ new quarterback, will give Pitts plenty of targets. 

Thomas has not played in the past two seasons so it is difficult to project his future. He is a low-end No. 2 fantasy wideout. Dobbins missed last year with an injury to his knee. However, he’s a young runner and should be back sooner than later. Carter’s potential as a Jets offense player is something I love. He’s a small running back, but he’s still a versatile back who could still make a splash in the stats. 

Waller falls two rounds compared to his 2021 ADP totals, but he’s still one of the top tight ends in fantasy football. His ceiling will be lowered by Adams’s addition.

ROUND 5

5.49. 5.49
5.50. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
5.51. JuJu Smith-Schuster WR, Kansas City Chiefs
5.52. Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots
5.53. Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
5.54. Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
5.55. 5.55
5.56. 5.56
5.57. Elijah Moore, WR, New York Jets
5.58. 5.58
5.59. Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Atlanta Falcons
5.60. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills

St. Brown was a league winner for fantasy fans at the end of 2021, and I don’t think the addition of D.J. Chark will not hurt his stock. While Kittle was fourth in points among tight ends, he still drops to Round 5, with the emergence Deebo Samson. 

Smith-Schuster is currently the No. Chiefs have Smith-Schuster as the current No. 1 wideout. However, the team will likely add more talent at this position in the NFL Draft. JuJu is my favorite No. 2 fantasy option. Allen is the sole quarterback in this mock. But, I see a huge run at the position in two to three rounds. Williams was a top-12 fantasy wideout last year, so it’s a huge plus to have Justin Herbert as your quarterback in Los Angeles. 

Lockett was the WR16 for this season, but he was inconsistent and will now be catching passes by Lock (or Baker Mayfield?) Wilson. Moore may be ranked higher after his rookie season but I want him to shine in the stat sheets for sophomore. Patterson will remain in Atlanta, but he won’t duplicate his top-10 fantasy finish among running backs. He is more of a flex player for me. Singletary was a star in the final stretch of last season, but the Bills wanted J.D. McKissic was linked to Iowa State running back Breece Hill in recent NFL mocks. As a result, I see Singletary’s stock dropping very soon.

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Michael Fabiano is an award winning fantasy football analyst for Sports Illustrated. He is also a member of Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. Click here to see all his articles on SI Fantasy. Follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, InstagramFor the latest fantasy news and best analysis in the industry!


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