With the 2022 NFL draft looming, many fantasy managers are looking to rookie drafts to replenish rosters. Breece Hall, Treylon Burks, and more headline this year’s draft class. But not all top rookies will be immediate booms for fantasy purposes. Amongst the teams making Day 1 and 2 selections, there are a few that provide great situations for incoming rookie playmakers. In this piece, I discuss the teams who will be fantastic spots for the top rookie playmakers in fantasy. Be on the look out for the skill players that arrive at these spots.
Green Bay Packers
Playmaker Need: WR
As Green Bay’s skill position groups stand before the draft, only the RB group provides confidence in production for fantasy. The receiving corps looks depleted after Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling departed with Target Shares of 31.6-percent (No. 2 among qualified wide receivers) and 14.6-percent (No. 66), respectively. Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and Amari Rodgers all return. Sammy Watkins has been newly signed. Still, none of these receivers invoke confidence to command a high Target Share, especially for fantasy purposes. A new, young WR coming into the group will be enticing with none of the current WR room threatening to command a large amount of Aaron Rodgers‘ attention.
The Packers have not used a first round pick on a WR, RB or TE since 2002.
The 19 straight drafts without such a pick marks the longest streak by any team ever in the Common Draft era.
With picks at 22 and 28 plus a need a WR, it feels like that streak could come to an end.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 15, 2022
Green Bay has five selections on the first two days of the NFL draft, including two first round picks. It has prime opportunity to snag a top WR; with the likes of Garrett Wilson, Drake London, and Treylon Burks generating buzz to go in round 1. Any top selection contains the alpha traits to command a heavy Target Share and has the advantage of playing with an MVP, boosting the future rookie playmaker’s stock further. The Packers WR room is wide open with 224 WR targets leaving between Adams and Valdes-Scantling. A top rookie receiving playmaker will be a smash for fantasy purposes.
Playmaker Need: WR
Chris Ballard has slowly built the Colts up throughout the offseason. Starting with swapping out Carson Wentz for Matt Ryan. He can continue building the Colts up as a contender by adding to Ryan’s offense. Michael Pittman is the only current Indy WR that saw a Target Share over 11-percent last season. Parris Campbell is the current slot WR. But he has an injury history, with only eight games played over the last two seasons. Ryan would benefit from adding more weapons outside of Pittman, the RB group, and Mo Alie-Cox. Despite being a run-heavy team, a WR2 behind Pittman would see a large share of undistributed Ryan targets on a team that intends to contend.
Jahan Dotson: next great slot machine 🎰 pic.twitter.com/D2NOfUVWvn
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) April 13, 2022
Unlike the other teams on this list, the Colts have no first round picks, with two Day 2 selections. While top receiving threats will not be available, receivers like Skyy Moore and Jahan Dotson are options. Both Moore and Dotson in particular are slot receiving threats. An area where the Colts have not had much stability, especially with Campbell’s injuries. They can come in immediately and receive the bulk of Ryan’s slot targets. They would have the opportunity to be Indy’s WR2 with a good veteran QB, pulling them up rookie draft boards more than if a team like Philadelphia or Detroit selected them. Passing down opportunities across the field and in the red zone are available for a playmaking rookie WR to take in Indianapolis.
Playmaker Need: WR, RB
As it stands now, Buffalo is one of the top contenders in the AFC. However, the high-octane offense is just open enough for a rookie contributor to make an impact. Behind Stefon Diggs, there is plenty of open target competition among Gabriel Davis, Jamison Crowder and company. A new outside receiver would have the opportunity to be WR2 in a high-volume Bills offense. A new top RB would also have the opportunity for a high amount of touches with no current Buffalo back looking like a lead back. A highly selected young RB would take the reins from Zack Moss and Devin Singletary. Neither of whom ranked top-30 among 2021 RBs in Fantasy Points Per Opportunity with the No.1 Game Script in the league.
The Bills have three selections on Days 1 and 2 of the draft. With these picks, the team can add a WR like Treylon Burks, Drake London, and Jameson Williams, among others. While taking an RB in the first round may not be ideal, Breece Hall or Kenneth Walker would be a top backfield target with Buffalo’s first couple picks. Hall especially would be in a smash spot of a situation; with a clear path to being the lead back in one of the top offenses in the league. The Bills offense has the room to give a rookie playmaker high opportunity to become a smash in fantasy.
Kansas City Chiefs
Playmaker Need: WR
Another contender with room for a top rookie playmaker to grab a chunk of opportunity, the Chiefs are an obvious pick. An RB would not be a great pick for Kansas City given its history with handling guys like Clyde Edwards-Helaire and adding Ronald Jones to the mix. However, a WR would have great opportunity with Patrick Mahomes. The recently departed Tyreek Hill received a 25.1-percent (No. 16) Target Share last season, leaving behind 159 (No. 7) targets. New signees JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling will take a portion of those targets, but neither would threaten a top rookie WR’s target opportunity. Behind Travis Kelce, the competition for targets in a high-volume passing offense is wide open.
Jameson Williams only knock was a single ACL tear everything else looks fire 🔥#NFL #NFLDraft #FantasyFootball pic.twitter.com/Vhm0VkmQ2F
— PlayerProfiler (@rotounderworld) March 29, 2022
After the initial wave of the offseason, Kansas City built up its draft capital to six picks on the first two days of the draft. A wave of WRs from Jameson Williams to Skyy Moore would be high level playmakers to slot right into the Chiefs offense. Williams even recently visited the Chiefs. No current WR on the Chiefs’ roster received a Target Share greater than 15.0-percent last season, so the opportunity with gunslinger Mahomes is there. If a top WR is selected by Kansas City, he should automatically get a bump for rookie drafts.