We held our first 12-team, PPR mock draft for the 2022 season this week, and it felt like a trip down memory lane. It was fun drafting guys who missed most of the 2021 campaign with the hope of what they can be next season, including Cam Akers, J.K. Dobbins and Travis Etienne, among others.
We didn't include incoming rookies in this draft. This exercise is done mostly to react to what happened in 2021 and how it could impact next season. And the results are interesting and worth digesting.
In Round 1, Jonathan Taylor is the expected No. 1 overall selection, which happened here. But No. 2 overall is up for debate, with the likely candidates being Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey. I took Ekeler second, and I'm counting on him to build off what he did in 2021 and continue to show he's among the best running backs in the NFL, especially as a receiver out of the backfield.
Henry and McCaffrey went after Ekeler, and then the first receiver went at No. 5 in Davante Adams. Another fun debate in 2022 will be Adams vs. Cooper Kupp, and I like Adams better if he stays in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers. Adams, Kupp (No. 7 overall) and Justin Jefferson (No. 12) were the only receivers drafted in Round 1.
Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews, in that order, were drafted in Round 2, and that's the right spot for them. I like Andrews better than Kelce, and hopefully both are exceptional once again.
The first quarterback wasn't drafted until Round 6, and Josh Allen went two picks ahead of Patrick Mahomes, which I agree with. Justin Herbert was the No. 3 quarterback selected, and he also was drafted in the sixth round.
I waited on a quarterback and ended up with Tom Brady in Round 9. I also took a flier on Justin Fields in Round 13, and he should be a breakout candidate in 2022, depending on the new coach in Chicago.
After drafting Ekeler in Round 1, I struggled with my Round 2 pick, which ended up being Antonio Gibson. I would have preferred a receiver there, but my top choices were Keenan Allen, Mike Evans and Diontae Johnson. Gibson has top-10 upside in 2022 if Washington finds the right quarterback, especially if J.D. McKissic leaves as a free agent to solidify Gibson's role in the passing game.
I ended up with Allen in Round 3, so that worked out, and I loved getting Elijah Mitchell in Round 4. Hopefully, the 49ers stick with him as their lead running back in 2022, and he could be a top 10 Fantasy option in all leagues.
Having neglected receivers so far, I went with the always underrated Brandin Cooks in Round 5. He finished as the No. 21 PPR receiver in 2021 with 90 catches, 1,037 yards and six touchdowns, and he should be a reliable Fantasy option again in 2022.
My next two picks were all about upside with Etienne and Jerry Jeudy. Etienne should be fine after missing his rookie campaign with a foot injury, and he could be Jacksonville's lead running back in 2022 if James Robinson (Achilles) is out to open the season.
Jeudy will hopefully get a quarterback upgrade in 2022, and he still has amazing potential despite a down sophomore season where he was injured and didn't score a touchdown. With the right quarterback, I'll go back to Jeudy as a breakout candidate next season.
I went with Dalton Schultz in Round 8, and he's a good tight end to wait for, especially since he just finished as the No. 5 tight end in 2021. And then I got Brady in Round 9, and hopefully he's still an elite quarterback at 45 years old.
The rest of my draft was focused on receivers with D.J. Chark, Antonio Brown, Marquez Callaway and Corey Davis with four of my final five picks. All have plenty of upside but also significant question marks.
Chark played in just four games because of an ankle injury, and he's a free agent this offseason. With the right team and quarterback, he can still be a quality Fantasy receiver, especially since he's only 25.
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Brown might never play in the NFL again after the way his tenure ended in Tampa Bay. But even at 33, he was still among the most productive receivers in Fantasy in 2021 -- he averaged 17.3 PPR points per game in seven outings -- and all it takes is one team giving him a chance.
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.
And Davis should be among the top two receivers for the Jets, along with Elijah Moore. He's a great late-round pick in all leagues, as he should be a favorite target for Zach Wilson next season.
It will be fun doing more mock drafts in different formats this offseason. But here's our first 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 one point 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. George Maselli, Fantasy Editor
2. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
3. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
4. Adam Aizer, FFT Podcast Host
5. Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
6. Daniel Schneier, Fantasy Editor
7. Ben Schragger, FFT Podcast Producer
8. Frank Stampfl, FBT Podcast Host
9. Jack Capotorto, CBS Sports HQ Producer
10. Jacobs Gibbs, SportsLine Fantasy Analyst
11. Chris Towers, Senior Editor, Fantasy
12. Meron Berkson, CBS Sports HQ Producer