Fantasy Football 2022: Mock Draft Strategy, Dynasty and Keeper Cheatsheet

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2022

Fantasy Football 2022: Mock Draft Strategy, Dynasty and Keeper Cheatsheet

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    Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

    Week 2 of the NFL preseason is set to begin, which means that we're right in the thick of fantasy draft season.

    We're now in Year 2 of the league's new scheduling format, which features only three preseason games. Most of the starts, starters and fantasy-relevant skill players will be done with exhibition play after this week. Draft rankings should remain fairly static between now and Week 1.

    You'll find a look at our latest point-per-reception (PPR) rankings here. We'll also examine the first two rounds of a mock fantasy draft simulated with FantasyPros' Mock Draft Simulator, dive into some tried-and-true draft strategies and discuss some tips for dynasty and keeper leagues.

    All rankings are for PPR scoring formats.

2022 Fantasy Rankings

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    Don't wait to grab a receiving back like the Chargers' Austin Ekeler. (Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    1. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

    2. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

    3. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

    4. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

    5. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

    6. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

    7. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

    8. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

    9. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

    10. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

    11. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

    12. Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

    13. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills

    14. D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions

    15. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

    16. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

    17. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

    18. Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins

    19. Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    20. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    21. Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

    22. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens

    23. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

    24. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

    25. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

    26. Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos

    27. Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts

    28. Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

    29. D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers

    30. A.J. Brown, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

    31. Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons

    32. James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals

    33. Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills

    34. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

    35. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Commanders

    36. Travis Etienne Jr., RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

    37. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears

    38. Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

    39. Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

    40. Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans

    41. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins

    42. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos

    43. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

    44. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

    45. Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Commanders

    46. Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers

    47. Allen Robinson II, WR, Los Angeles Rams

    48. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

    49. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

    50. Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Two-Round Fantasy Mock

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    Colts RB Jonathan Taylor will be the top choice in many fantasy drafts this season. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

    Round 1

    1. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

    2. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

    3. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

    4. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

    5. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

    6. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

    7. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

    8. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

    9. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

    10. D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions

    11. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

    12. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs


    Round 2

    1. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills

    2. Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

    3. Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos

    4. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

    5. Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    6. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

    7. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

    8. Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

    9. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

    10. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

    11. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

    12. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens

Draft Strategy

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    Dual-threat backs like Christian McCaffrey should be at the top of fantasy draft boards. (John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    In our simulated draft, we saw eight running backs go in the first round. This shouldn't be a surprise, as high-volume dual-threat backs generally form the backbone of a successful fantasy roster.

    Why? Because these are the players who see the most touches and, therefore, provide the highest floor. Managers should draft for upside and a high ceiling. However, few things in fantasy feel worse than using a first-round pick on a player who simply disappears in some weeks.

    A back like Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts, who logged a league-high 332 carries and 40 receptions last season, isn't going to disappear.

    Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is back in the top-tier list after a pair of injury-plagued seasons. He topped both 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards when he was last healthy in 2019 and has similar potential in 2022.

    McCaffrey appears to be back to 100 percent and will have a new starting quarterback in Baker Mayfield.

    "The Carolina Panthers are expected to name Baker Mayfield their starting quarterback against the Cleveland Browns for Week 1 of the 2022 season," Jeff Howe and Joseph Person of The Athletic wrote.

    With an upgrade at quarterback, McCaffrey should again be a PPR star.

    Targeting high-volume receivers like Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase is a great fallback strategy if a bell-cow back isn't available in Round 1. While top receivers aren't guaranteed the same workload as top backs, they're rarely going to bust for the week.

    Quality receivers and tight ends can usually be found in the middle rounds, though, which is why only the best should be targeted in the first two. The same is true for tight ends. Players who serve as their teams' de facto No. 1 receiverโ€”the Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravensโ€”will go early. Serviceable tight ends will be found much later.

    Similarly, high-floor quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Josh Allen are going to go early. If you're not willing to bet highly on a signal-caller, don't reach for one. Starters and streamers can be found in the middle-to-late rounds.

    Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, for example, has an average draft position (ADP) of 69, according to FantasyPros. He threw for 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns last season and can likely be found in the sixth or seventh round.

    Because the swath of starting-caliber quarterbacks is wide, managers in keeper leagues should focus on running backs and receivers with their keeper selections. Dynasty managers, however, will want to scoop up a young quarterback if they're rostering an aging star like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. The window with an older quarterback can close in a hurry.

    Dynasty managers will also want to value young backs and receivers highly because they'll potentially solidify a position for many, many years. If you can land a player like 29-year-old Davante Adams, do it, because he should have several good seasons left in the proverbial tank. However, guys like Jefferson and Chase should perform well for the next decade.

    At the same time, dynasty managers should be wary of rookies because they are unproven. They're worth a late-round flier because of their ceilings, but there is no guaranteed floor here. Perhaps the one exception this year is rookie wideout Drake London, who was a blue-chip prospect and who is walking into a No. 1 receiver role with the Atlanta Falcons.

    None of the quarterbacks taken in this year's draft are currently worthy of a high selection in dynasty leagues. Kenny Pickett of the Pittsburgh Steelers is worth a late-round look, but he's not expected to be the Week 1 starter.

    Don't overdraft a defense and never take a kicker before the last two rounds. Always pay attention to the latest injury reports on draft day, too. You don't want to be the manager who wasted a late-round pick on James Washington because you didn't know that he's expected to miss 6-10 weeks with a foot fracture.

    Knowledge is a powerful tool when it comes to fantasy drafting. Take advantage of it.

Dynasty and Keeper Rankings

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    Chargers QB Justin Herbert should be a star for years to come. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

    Quarterback

    1. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

    2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

    3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

    4. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

    5, Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks

    6. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

    7. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

    8. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

    9. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

    10. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers


    Running Back

    1. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

    2. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

    3. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

    4. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

    5. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

    6. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

    7. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

    8. D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions

    9. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

    10. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints


    Wide Receiver

    1. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

    2. Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

    3. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

    4. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders

    5. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

    6. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

    7. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

    8. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    9. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

    10. Drake London, Atlanta Falcons


    Tight End

    1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

    2. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

    3. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

    4. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

    5. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

    6. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

    7. Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks

    8. Hunter Henry, New England Patriots

    9. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

    10. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills

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