The Fantasy Six Pack Fantasy Football Draft Kit rolls on, this morning with a rundown on 2022 Fantasy Football High Impact Rookies Worth Drafting.
When I say "worth drafting," in this case, I mean PPR redraft leagues.
We won't necessarily be evaluating the Dynasty potential for these players, but it goes without saying that their inclusion on a list like this means they should be drafted early and often in your Dynasty leagues.
Let's go over my top-four rookies I'm suggesting you target in redraft leagues this year: three running backs, and one wide receiver.
2022 Fantasy Football High Impact Rookies Worth Drafting
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Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets (ADP: RB22, Overall 44th)
Hall is the premier rookie halfback headed into the 2022 Fantasy Football season, as evidenced by both his ADP and his pedigree as an all-around workhorse at Iowa State. He is also my highest-ranked rookie at any skill position.
His build has drawn comparisons to that of Jonathan Taylor and Saquon Barkley, and given that the Jets traded up to draft him, they're banking on riding that kind of athleticism to some very real production this year. Perhaps more accurately, though, we can take a look at former Cyclone David Montgomery as a direct athletic comparison. Hall clocks in at 5' 11" and 217 pounds.
Each year at Iowa State, his target share increased, capping at 9.9% with 44 total targets in 2021. He caught 36 of those balls, and translated them into 302 receiving yards.
This is the paramount reason we're all-in on Hall this year as a legit RB2 with RB1 upside: he's got receiving chops that, at the very least, rival current Jets running back Michael Carter's. There is some concern that Carter will eat into his passing down snaps, and that's fair. But don't forget the Jets traded up to get Hall. This should give us enough confidence that he'll overtake Carter's role in most situations.
I like Hall about half a round more than his current ADP. I've got him ranked at RB17, and 36th-overall in PPR leagues. The Jets have an extremely favorable schedule this year, and I think people are undervaluing him just because of the team name on the front of his jersey. People will let him fall into the mid-40s overall. I think you should jump for him.
Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons (WR 41, Overall 91st)
I know, I know—the Falcons quarterback room entering the 2022 season is likely the worst in the league. But with Calvin Ridley suspended for a year, and Russell Gage now a member of the Bucs, Drake London is poised to be Atlanta's indisputable WR1.
We've seen great wide receivers transcend mediocre quarterback play, even as rookies—recall A.J. Brown's rookie year in Tennessee. It's not out of the question that London, the eighth-overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft, can take advantage of the touches that are sure to come this way.
He is, indeed, a physical force: his arm length of 33 7/8" clocks in at the 95th percentile among all college wide receivers. I am not concerned whatsoever about his ability to overpower cornerbacks with his body. Admittedly, however, his lack of speed is a bit of a concern.
One thing to note, too, is that his Breakout Age metric of 18.1 is good for the 99th percentile among all college wide receivers. In his age-18 year at USC, he played eight games total, and he often outshined his fellow wideouts, Michael Pittman, Jr. and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Those guys are now NFL mainstays.
Point being, don't let too many statistics obscure you from this oft-overlooked but obvious reality: the most talented and most promising athletes perform at a high level from an incredibly young age (think Tiger Woods, Bryce Harper, etc.). Especially, in the case of London, when these young players are excelling against or among players older than they are.
London is just 21 years old now in his first NFL year. We can be slightly concerned about his durability and his speed, and certainly skeptical about his quarterback situation. But to pay a mid-round price for his definitive role in this offense feels like a worthy risk.
Isaiah Spiller, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (RB47, Overall 122nd)
Let's just go ahead and throw those injury-riddled combine numbers out the window, shall we?
I guarantee some of your leaguemates will refuse to do so, and will fade Spiller rather overzealously. There might be the guy who drafted Austin Ekeler who is especially eager to handcuff himself to this backfield. But everyone else, in this range, will probably pass on Spiller because of his offseason woes.
Don't buy into it. Consider that, across his entire career at A&M, Spiller commanded and average of 9.7% target share, good for the 76th-percentile of all college backs. Consider also that, when Justin Jackson filled in for an injured Austin Ekeler last season, Jackson played over 70% of snaps and finished as the RB1 that week.
He is in contention for the most valuable handcuff in Fantasy Football right now, neck-and-neck with Alexander Mattison. I've got Spiller ranked as my RB39 (Mattison is my RB41), at 102nd-overall.
He's a must-draft if you snagged Ekeler in the first round, but I think he's more than just a handcuff, and there's standalone value here. Take the gamble in the ninth round.
Tyler Allgeier, RB, Atlanta Falcons (RB53, Overall 162nd)
I surprised even myself that two Falcons made this list, but here we are.
How fun was this guy to watch at BYU last year? He ran over everybody. With his mammoth, clutch runs, he made BYU betting darlings week-in-and-week-out. He finished the year tied for the lead for most rushing TDs by any running back, with 23 total.
As has been widely reported everywhere the last few days, Steve Wyche of NFL Network has said the Falcons have massive expectations for Allgeier's potential in their offense. I don't think this is just hot air. Cordarrelle Patterson can't play every snap, and he doesn't have Matt Ryan looking for him through the air anymore.
The Falcons signed Mike Davis last year with the hopes that he'd be the bell cow, which spectacularly failed. But I'm willing to bet they're serious about Allgeier taking some snaps on first-and-second downs, especially given that veteran Damien Williams is his only other competition for volume.
He can catch the ball, too: in his final year at BYU, he commanded a 10% target share, good for 28 receptions and 199 yards.
Call me crazy, but I think there's legit RB2 upside here. I ranked Allgeier as my RB40, at 108th-overall. I think this could be a steal. His ADP might continue to rise parallel to the buzz he generates at camp. Take him over Mattison when your turn comes around in the ninth/tenth rounds.
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