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Way Too Early 2022 Mock Draft for Fantasy Football - Rounds 5-12 Breakdown

Chris Godwin - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

As the playoffs roll on to determine the 2021 NFL champion, we're not waiting to look ahead to the next fantasy football season. We gathered 12 RotoBaller analysts to conduct a very early 2021 mock draft over 12 rounds. The format was full PPR and roster construction as follows: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 5 BENCH).

A lot will change from now until August, especially after the NFL Draft takes place. This exercise is still useful to see where players are being valued at season's end and who might be undervalued or overvalued. In this recap, I will evaluate each round to determine which picks provided the best value. Check out the full draft board on Sleeper here.

Note: This is part 3 of this series breaking down results of our first mock draft of 2022. This piece will review rounds 5-12 of the draft. Read the Round 1 breakdown here and Rounds 2-4 here.

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Complete Mock Draft Board

Click image to enlarge 


Best Value Picks

  • Last season, I would have criticized Kyle Pitts being selected in round five of a redraft league. Heading into his sophomore season, it's a solid value. He finished as the TE6 in 2021 after accumulating 1,026 receiving yards but only scored one touchdown and was inconsistent as the whole Atlanta offense was. He should definitely see positive regression in TD% and will take on an even bigger role if Calvin Ridley is traded away. It looks like Matt Ryan is the guy for one more season but that should still serve Pitts fine.
  • Allen Robinson is the "winner" of the infamous Fantasy Flop Award for biggest bust of 2021. There's no denying he was terrible and will consequently be avoided like the plague by many fantasy drafters who he burned. That might be a mistake. A-Rob is a free agent and should have a prominent role with whatever team acquires him. He was never happy with the franchise tag and didn't seem to be putting in full effort at any point this season. It's not as if the Bears offense was particularly friendly to receivers anyway. Robinson will definitely be better with a fresh start and is easily worth a shot as a WR3.
  • Are there really 30 running backs better than Damien Harris? I don't think so. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry and scored 15 touchdowns despite missing a pair of games and playing through a hamstring injury in others late in the season. He gets dinged slightly in PPR leagues because of his limited work as a pass-catcher but he has the type of weekly ceiling that should push him higher in drafts.
  • It would be hard to convince anyone that Melvin Gordon is a league winner and he probably won't be. He is a low-end RB2 with a solid floor that is perpetually undervalued because he's no longer a young player. Gordon totaled 1,131 yards and 10 touchdowns last season despite splitting time with Javonte Williams. Since getting shut out of the end zone as a rookie, Gordon hasn't scored fewer than nine times in a season, averaging 11 TD over the past six seasons. If he re-signs with Denver, it'll be more of the same. If he bolts in free agency, his usage might even go up. He isn't going to be as exciting as a rookie but it's hard to fathom how Williams could surge to first-round status while Gordon is left for the eighth round when they essentially put up the same stats.
  • The end of any draft should come with fliers and high-upside sleepers. There's a fine line between a flier and a wasted pick, though. The smartest picks in the last two rounds of this mock were: Josh Palmer, Russell Gage, Sony Michel, Justin Fields, and D'Onta Foreman. Palmer and Gage could each benefit from a key target on the team leaving (Mike Williams in free agency, Calvin Ridley via trade). Michel and Foreman will return to backup roles if Cam Akers and Derrick Henry return to full strength next season but they are among the best insurance policies to hold. Fields could take a leap forward with a new coaching staff and he possesses dual-threat ability that could make him a QB1 for fantasy purposes.


Reaches and Risks

  • Chris Godwin in round five would be a bargain if not for his torn ACL. He suffered the injury on December 19 so a nine-month recovery period would roughly have him ready for Week 2 of the 2022 season. Of course, that assumes no setbacks and a successful rehab that lands him on the short end of the typical recovery time. Taking him as a WR3 isn't overly aggressive even if he misses the first couple of games but the fifth round still seems unnecessarily soon.
  • We should be willing to overlook terrible playoff performances from Kyler Murray and Dak Prescott because that should have no bearing on their regular-season stats next season. DeAndre Hopkins will come back to resurrect Murray's fantasy value after a down second half. Prescott was the QB4 over the final three games of the regular season and a rock during the fantasy playoffs. All that said, I don't know if either needs to be taken over a healthy Lamar Jackson or as early as round six in a single-QB league. Maybe it's just the late-round QB drafter in me.
  • Hunter Renfrow is a throwback player so it's only fitting that he experienced what used to be known as the third-year breakout at receiver. Nowadays, receivers break out by their third pro game. While he racked up 103 receptions and 1,038 yards, I'm going to throw cold water on his ascension to fantasy starter status. One-third of his production came in a binge between Week 12-14 which coincided with Darren Waller getting injured. His end-zone target share kept him relevant in the second half but he isn't a stud receiver in the making. With all the questions surrounding the Raiders this offseason (Will Derek Carr still be their QB? Do they sign a big-name WR like Davante Adams or Mike Williams? Who will be their head coach?) there is more risk than people realize with this pick.
  • It's fascinating that three Jacksonville receivers were taken between rounds 9-12 and of those, Marvin Jones was last. He led the team with 73 receptions and 832 yards, finishing strong over the final three weeks after Urban Meyer was fired. Shenault was never really involved in the offense and Chark missed all year with a torn ACL. Ageism could be at play here as Jones would seem to be the best of the bunch and the one who has the best chemistry with Trevor Lawrence.
  • It's a mock and anyone selected in the last couple of rounds can be easily dropped and replaced during the season, but some players just don't need to be drafted this year. Namely Myles Gaskin, Marlon Mack, Trey Sermon, Will Fuller, and Julio Jones. A running back without a job can be left on waivers and Jones just seems to be done.

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