Each year fans get excited about new rookies coming into the NFL, but few rookies will have huge impacts in fantasy football. In standard fantasy football drafts, managers need to be smart and not get excited about all of the new rookies entering the league and focus on the ones who can make an impact. Here are rookies to target in fantasy football redraft leagues.
1. Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets
Hall was he best running back in the 2022 NFL Draft class and landed in a good spot to get his career going. He will be joining second-year player Michael Carter in the backfield. Hall will likely handle early-down work and goalline work, while Carter proves his value on third downs. The Jets are likely going to start and use Hall a lot, which makes him the most coveted rookie in fantasy football.
During his time at Iowa State, he was able to immediately take over a backfield that lost David Montgomery when he was a freshman. He didn’t look back from there, as he had 3,941 career rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns. It is likely that Hall will get some third down work in the NFL too, as he showed the ability to catch passes out of the backfield with 82 receptions for 734 yards and six touchdowns. While he won’t be a first-round pick, Hall may be selected over the next few rounds in fantasy drafts.
2. Treylon Burks, WR, Tennessee Titans
The Titans made some interesting moves on draft night. They traded away A.J. Brown to the Eagles and selected Burks to replace him. The two are similar players and now Burks will have a chance to pair up with Woods in the wide receiver room. Rookie receivers don’t always have great opportunities, but Burks will.
In college, Burks had 146 catches for 2,399 yards and 18 touchdown receptions. While he wasn’t the best route-runner, Burks is a great athlete. The Titans may be able to get him the ball in creative ways. He may have some trouble with the Titans being more of a running team, but Burks will at least get some targets every game.
3. Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets
Wilson was drafted to give the Jets another weapon. He will join Elijah Moore and Corey Davis as key receivers for the Jets. While he may have to fight for targets, Wilson is the most technically gifted of the three. With three threats to catch the ball, it should help the Jets produce more points in 2022.
As a Buckeye, Wilson was a leader in a great wide receiver room. He had 143 receptions for 2,213 yards and 23 touchdowns in his career. Wilson is a good route-runner who separated well at the collegiate level. If his quarterback, Zach Wilson, can take a step forward this season, Garrett Wilson can reap the benefits.
4. Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons traded Julio Jones last offseason and now will be without Calvin Ridley due to a gambling suspension. They decided to draft Drake London to fill the void and to pair with new quarterback Marcus Mariota. Outside of Kyle Pitts, London is expected to be the only other major target the Falcons use in 2022.
London caught 160 passes for 2,153 yards and 15 touchdowns at USC. He is recovering from an ankle fracture that ended his 2021 season. If he is healthy, he has a good opportunity to produce if Mariota can get him the ball.
5. Christian Watson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay shocked the world when they traded Davante Adams this offseason. Aaron Rodgers was already without many good weapons, so the Packers traded up in the second round to draft Watson. He is expected to be one of the Packers’ leading receivers in 2022.
Watson had 43 catches for 801 yards and seven touchdowns at North Dakota State last season. He has a big frame and some speed to go with it. Someone has to be the beneficiary of Adams leaving town and it may just be Watson, even in his rookie season.
6. Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions
The Lions needed to add to their wide receiver room so they signed D.J. Chark and drafted Jameson Williams. They both will team up with Amon-Ra St. Brown in the Lions’ receiver room. Jared Goff struggled last year, but with a good offensive line and new receivers, the offense could improve.
Williams started his career at Ohio State, but transferred to Alabama where he had 79 receptions for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is recovering from a torn ACL, so make sure to monitor his health before drafting. If he is healthy, his game-changing speed can really make him productive.
7. Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints
New Orleans is set to get Michael Thomas back, but they finally got a viable number two receiver in Chris Olave. While Thomas is a bigger receiver, Olave is smaller, but quicker, which gives them two different types of players. Jameis Winston will have a lot of tools to help him succeed in 2022.
Olave could’ve entered the 2022 NFL Draft, but elected to go back to school. In his career, he had 175 receptions for 2,702 yards and 35 touchdowns. As a number two receiver, Olave can put up solid numbers even as a rookie. That’s what makes him a rookie to target in fantasy football.
Other Rookies to Watch
Jahaan Datson, WR, Washington Commanders- Washington selected Dotson in the first round, but the question is whether he can produce enough with Carson Wentz as his quarterback and with Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel fighting for targets.
John Metchie, WR, Houston Texans- Metchie is another receiver recovering from injury, but if he is healthy, he is worth a look. He will be one of the top options for the Texans outside of Brandin Cooks.
Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans- Pierce may not be the most heralded running back in the 2022 rookie class, but he has opportunity. Marlon Mack is the starter and Rex Burkhead is there, but Pierce could crack the starting lineup. Watch his progress in the preseason.
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