In our world of Fantasy Football, it's never too early to look ahead. With that in mind, we held our first 12-team, 0.5 PPR mock draft for 2022 even before the divisional round of the NFL playoffs were over. If you know us, we love to draft, and we wanted to react to what just happened in the 2021 campaign.
The first round of this mock draft featured eight running backs, with Jonathan Taylor at the top. Christian McCaffrey, likely the most controversial player in the first round because of his injuries the past two seasons, went at No. 4 behind Taylor, Derrick Henry and Alvin Kamara. I have no problem with that because if he does play anything close to a full season -- he's only played 10 of the past 33 games -- he could be the No. 1 overall non-quarterback by a significant margin.
Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson and Tyreek Hill were first-round picks, and Ja'Marr Chase will likely be a first-round selection by August. These are likely the top-five consensus receivers heading into the 2022 season, with Stefon Diggs and potentially Deebo Samuel to follow. There were eight receivers drafted in the first two rounds, along with 13 running backs.
Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews and Kyle Pitts all went in Round 2, with Darren Waller and George Kittle coming off the board in Round 3. Kelce vs. Andrews will be a fun debate this offseason, as will Pitts compared to Waller and Kittle. As of now, my tight end rankings are Andrews, Kelce, Pitts, Waller and Kittle, so I'm fine with how this mock draft unfolded.
The first quarterback drafted was Josh Allen in Round 4, but Patrick Mahomes lasted until Round 6. Lamar Jackson was next in Round 7, and we had a quarterback run in Round 8 with Kyler Murray, Justin Herbert, Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers. Keep in mind in most analyst drafts, we wait on quarterbacks, but there's no reason to take one in the first two rounds in any one-quarterback league in 2022 -- or any year.
I waited until Round 9 to select Joe Burrow, and he was the No. 9 quarterback off the board. Burrow has top-five upside in 2022, and this was the perfect complement to my roster.
Picking at No. 6 overall, I started my team with Dalvin Cook, Javonte Williams, Keenan Allen, Calvin Ridley, Devin Singletary, Darnell Mooney, Dalton Schultz and Gabriel Davis -- and I couldn't be happier. Cook is a star, and Williams has star potential if he's the solo act in Denver as expected (Melvin Gordon is a free agent), especially if the Broncos solve their quarterback problem. And Singletary is proving to be an excellent No. 2 running back with his close to this season, so he was an easy selection in Round 5 as a flex on this team.
Allen was an easy choice in Round 3, and I loved getting Ridley in Round 4. Hopefully, he's back and ready to go in 2022 after leaving the Falcons after Week 7 to focus on his mental health. He might not return to Atlanta, but he still has the potential to be a top-five Fantasy receiver in all leagues.
Mooney is an excellent No. 3 receiver after his breakout campaign in 2021, and Davis is one of my favorite breakout receivers for 2022. He showed flashes of greatness this past season, but he should be even better in a bigger role in 2022.
Schultz could leave the Cowboys as a free agent, so we'll see what happens with him this offseason. As of now, he remains a top 10 Fantasy tight end heading into 2022.
My bench on this team is Gus Edwards, Kenneth Gainwell, Josh Palmer, Justin Fields and Marquez Callaway. Edwards and Gainwell should be the top backups on run-heavy teams, so they will be solid reserves. And Palmer will be one of my favorite sleepers, especially if he's the No. 2 receiver opposite Allen for the Chargers with Mike Williams likely gone as a free agent.
Callaway finally started to produce at the end of the season with Taysom Hill, and we'll see what happens at quarterback for the Saints in 2022. We'll also see if Michael Thomas returns to New Orleans, which will clearly impact Callaway as well. As for Fields, he should be a breakout candidate in 2022, depending on the new coach in Chicago.
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We're going to do a lot more mock drafts in different formats this offseason. But here's our first 0.5 PPR mock draft for 2022, and I hope you enjoy the results.
In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We also award 0.5 points for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE and FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There also are six reserve spots for a 14-round draft.
Our draft order is as follows:
1. Jacobs Gibbs, SportsLine Fantasy Analyst
2. Frank Stampfl, FBT Podcast Host
3. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
4. Chris Towers, Senior Editor, Fantasy
5. Jack Capotorto, CBS Sports HQ Producer
6. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
7. George Maselli, Fantasy Editor
8. Meron Berkson, CBS Sports HQ Producer
9. R.J. White, Managing Editor, SportsLine and CBS Fantasy
10. Daniel Schneier, Fantasy Editor
11. Adam Aizer, FFT Podcast Host
12. Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer