Fantasy Football Expert Analysis for Garrett Wilson, NFL Draft Day 1 Rookies
If you play in a fantasy football league that includes defensive players—or only wide receivers—Thursday’s first round of the NFL draft gave you a lot to mull over.
In all seriousness, there were quite a few players who will factor heavily into fantasy football drafts this summer—especially dynasty ones—including six wideouts. But Round 1 was notable for the fact that only one quarterback was drafted, a year after the position went one-two-three in Round 1.
The last time only one first-round quarterback was drafted was in 2013, when the Buffalo Bills drafted EJ Manuel.
The run on wide receivers started at No. 8 overall, when the Atlanta Falcons made USC’s Drake London the first one to come off the board. From there, five were selected in the next 10 picks, including three in a row between Nos. 10 and 12.
As expected, no running backs came off the board on Thursday. Tight end Trey McBride had first-round hype, but his position was not represented in Round 1, either.
Let’s take a look at some early fantasy football analysis for the skill position players who were drafted on Thursday night.
No. 20, Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, Pitt: The first quarterback to come off the board was one executives called the most pro-ready in this class. Pickett boasts “above-average overall arm strength,” per B/R NFL scout Nate Tice, and scrambles to fight for extra yards. The Heisman finalist threw for 4,319 yards (8.7 y/a) and notched 42 touchdowns to seven picks through the air last season, adding another 98 rushing attempts for 233 yards and five touchdowns. He’s the consensus No. 2 QB in dynasty rookie rankings, though it’s worth noting he’s the No. 22 rookie player overall. Focus your early dynasty selections on the other skill position players. In regular leagues, Pickett is QB39 and shouldn’t factor into your draft.
No. 8, Atlanta Falcons: Drake London, USC: There was speculation heading into Thursday that Drake London could fall in Round 1, given that he’s coming off a fractured ankle suffered in the fall and, as a result, didn’t run the 40-yard dash in any of the pre-draft activities. However, the Falcons made him the first wideout off the board. In 2012, London tallied 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games. Given the Falcons’ depleted receiving corps heading into the 2022 season, London is line to see major targets from Marcus Mariota right away. FantasyPros tabs him as having WR3 value as a rookie and as a WR1 in dynasty.
No. 10, New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, Ohio State: Though he competed for targets with teammate Chris Olave at Ohio State, Garrett Wilson ended up coming off the board one pick before him in Round 1. He scored 12 receiving touchdowns on more than 1,000 receiving yards in 2021, but in the NFL, it’s fantasy managers who use PPR (points-per-reception) scoring who should be really excited about targeting him in this summer’s drafts. Wilson can “create yards out of nothing on underneath throws and on wide receiver screens,” wrote Tice. In fantasy, Wilson is ranked WR63 overall. In dynasty, he has WR1 value.
No. 11, New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, Ohio State: The Buckeyes’ receiving leader in 2020, Olave was celebrated leading up to the draft for his speed as well as his polished route-running. He’ll hit the ground running with the Saints, who traded up to nab him. Per Tice, the Ohio State product projects as a “Day 1 starter as an inside and out ‘Z’ WR for any NFL offense due to his comfort level with an assortment of concepts and his steady and consistent play style.” In dynasty, he’s WR5; in fantasy, he can be among your earlier bench adds.
No. 12, Detroit Lions: Jameson Williams, Alabama: Once the run on receivers started, the Lions couldn’t pick up the phone fast enough. They traded up from their No. 32 (via LAR) selection to No. 12 to get their guy, Alabama receiving leader Jameson Williams. It’s entirely possible Williams would have been the first wideout off the board had he not torn his ACL in January’s National Championship Game. Even so, when he’s ready to go, Tice thinks he can compete to be a No. 1 wideout and will be one of the league’s “fastest and most dangerous players.” Per FantasyPros, even a lack of playing time in 2022 won’t make Williams dip below the top six overall in dynasty, but he’s not WR1.
No. 16, Washington Commanders: Jahan Dotson, Penn State: At 5'10 5/8" and 178 pounds, there are some who feel that Dotson will see most of his targets in the slot at the NFL level. Despite that below average size, however, Tice argues that “his ability to consistently win versus press coverage will allow him to continue to align wherever an NFL team wants him.” Either way, Dotson will provide greater value in PPR leagues. He’s WR7 in rookie dynasty rankings and may be a late bench selection in fantasy, depending on the size of your league, as WR92.
No. 18, Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks, Arkansas: After a wild trade that saw AJ Brown head to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Titans drafted the player many have compared to Brown throughout the scouting process. Burks’ unique skill set “at his size and with his athleticism makes his potential sky high,” writes Tice, who says he could be “one of the more dynamic weapons in the NFL.” Sure enough, he’s ranked WR2 in dynasty and WR70 in fantasy. In 12 games last season, he totaled 67 receptions for 1,123 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Dynasty rookie rankings and fantasy projections courtesy of FantasyPros