NFL Draft: The rookies we're most excited to draft in fantasy

·4-min read

The 2022 NFL Draft is in the books. Many of us fantasy football players are excited about what this new class will bring, and our analysts are no different. Below, they highlight the rookies they're most looking forward to drafting this season, and why.

Positional players offer excitement, but quarterback reigns king

-The excitement surrounding Chris Olave, Drake London and Garrett Wilson (in that order) is understandable. Breece Hall is an obvious target. And Kenneth Walker offers intrigue, too. But, as an avid Superflex-er, I'm thrilled to see Desmond Ridder land in Atlanta.

The former Bearcat brings athletic mobility and a self-assured passing presence to the position. As outlined in my Rookie Snapshot series, he comps quite closely to Marcus Mariota. Whether it be via injury or incompetence on the part of Mariota, I firmly believe Ridder will get a shot to start. On a team with two skyscrapers and in a division with QBs who like to push the ball downfield, Ridder figures to splash and flash down the stretch. — Liz Loza

An underrated runner with huge upside

-Breece Hall is the obvious answer here, but otherwise give me Rachaad White, who’s one Leonard Fournette injury away from being a three-down back on a Tom Brady-led offense. White was a terrific college receiving back and is a good athlete, and Tampa Bay’s backfield is wide open after Fournette with Ronald Jones gone. White is intriguing, especially during a down year for rookies in redraft fantasy leagues. — Dalton Del Don

The first wide receiver and the second running back drafted have a road to success

-Drake London for me. There's a ton of immediate opportunity, and USC wideouts have generally been good bets in recent years. I also suspect Kenneth Walker will be Seattle's best fantasy back, though he could be tied to ugly game scripts as the Seahawks likely navigate the NFC West's weakest roster. — Scott Pianowski

The sky is the limit for Skyy Moore

-I won't pretend to have all the answers regarding draft prospects, but you will never, ever convince me there were 12 better receivers than Skyy Moore in the 2022 class. Twelve! That's how many receivers went ahead of this guy:

No way.

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Moore can play inside or outside, his routes are crisp, his highlights are of the highest quality, plus he has 4.4 speed and preposterously large hands (10.25 inches). He hauled in 95 balls for 1,292 yards last season. Moore now gets to spend perhaps his entire career catching passes from Patrick Mahomes, so there's a silver lining to his draft slide. He doesn't have the same clear path to first-year targets as Drake London or Treylon Burks, but I like him as much as anyone in his class, long-term. — Andy Behrens

London, Olave and Walker feature intrigue and a clear path to production

As a wide receiver die-hard, I'll be plenty excited to grab Chris Olave and Drake London. Those are the two wideouts most likely to make Year 1 noise. London should clear 100 targets as the alpha in Atlanta from the get-go. Kyle Pitts will be the odds-on favorite to lead the team in targets but London is a dominant underneath receiver with big-play upside thanks to his contested-catch chops. His physical nature in the YAC game and ability to sink his hips on in-breaking routes makes him a perfect fit for Arthur Smith's offense.

Drake London poses onstage after being selected eighth by the Atlanta Falcons during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft
Will Drake London succeed in Year 1 of his NFL career? (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Olave's pro-ready route running combined with vertical explosion should bring plenty of chunk gains in Year 1. If the Saints let Jameis Winston sling it a bit more this season, Olave should be the primary beneficiary. It wouldn't be even a slight shock if he leads all rookies in receiving yards this season.

Beyond the receiver room, if drafters are set to overrate the impact of Chris Carson In Seattle's running back rotation, I'll be gassed up to draft Kenneth Walker. Carson has serious medical concerns and may not see the field in 2022. Rashaad Penny was retained on a one-year deal but has been the picture of unreliability outside of a small sample to end last year. Walker should be the favorite to lead Seattle in carries. The Seahawks re-invested in their offensive line and we know they want to lean into a slow, run-first version of football in the post-Russell Wilson reality more than they ever have before. — Matt Harmon

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