The 2022 NFL Draft brings us Day 2, comprising of the second and third rounds. It was a frenetic opening day, which included a host of swapped picks and a pair of traded receivers. Follow along on the second day for all notable fantasy football reactions of the night.
Day 2 fantasy football reaction
34) Green Bay Packers | WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State
Green Bay traded up to acquire the 6-foot-4, 208-pounder. Watson is a superb athlete and has elite speed, especially for his size, clocking in at 4.39 in the 40. The Packers needed to replace Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s downfield traits, and they found the right man for the job.
Watson is a vertical threat by nature, but North Dakota State wasn’t afraid to work him in on jet sweeps and utilize his ability after the catch to hit home runs — a perfect skill set for what Green Bay likes to do with the position. And, he’s a decent enough blocker to fit right in.
Aaron Rodgers notoriously doesn’t like to rely on rookie receivers, so this one could be a shaky situation for fantasy purposes. If necessity is the mother of invention … in this case, opportunity is the mother a late-round fantasy gamble. Watson is a deep-league flier for now, but his worth drastically improves if Sammy Watkins doesn’t make the final roster.
36) New York Jets | RB Breece Hall, Iowa State
There are few things Hall isn’t great at, and he would have been a first-round choice in just about any other draft class. The pass-heavy nature of the league obviously dampens the desire to invest so early, too. At any rate, he’s now a Jet.
In New York, Hall will enter a likely time share with Michael Carter, a 2021 fourth-rounder who showcased NFL-caliber skills over 183 touches. In time, Hall should dominate the touch split, because he’s a three-down back who is strong in pass pro and catches like a wide receiver. The 5-foot-11, 217-pounder ran a 4.39-second 40 at the combine, so not only is he well-built but also can fly.
In 2022 fantasy drafts, Hall is a No. 3 for anyone concerned with getting appropriate value. With that established, gamers may need to draft up for him, though, because he’s likely to go in the top 20 or so RBs. Dynasty leaguers will have a likely top-10 fantasy back for years to come.
41) Seattle Seahawks | RB Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
Seattle re-signed Rashaad Penny in the offseason to a one-year deal after the former first-round selection broke out down the stretch with Chris Carson (neck) on the shelf. The veteran Carson is coming off surgery but is expected to be ready for Week 1. That said, he’s no stranger to injury, and Penny might as well live in the infirmary. Perhaps the selection of Walker is telling of Carson’s future.
Seattle bolstered its offensive line with the addition of left tackle Charles Cross in Round 1, and taking pressure off of Russell Wilson’s presumed heir apparent, Drew Lock, will be found through leaning on the running game. Walker isn’t particularly tested as a receiver out of the backfield, although his elite burst and long speed will butter the bread.
In fantasy drafts, Walker is bound to share reps with at least one of the two veterans. It wouldn’t even be a total surprise to see a three-back rotation if all of them are healthy. At running back, talent typically wins out quicker than other spots on the roster for rookies, and Walker will be a fun one to monitor as the offseason gets rolling. He has RB2 upside if the bulk of the touches are skewed in his favor, but the former Spartan probably nets out as a third option with the share in mind.
43) New York Giants | WR Wan'Dale Robinson, Kentucky
This selection likely solidifies the departure of Kadarius Toney. Robinson is a 5-foot-8, 178-pound slot receiver who ran a 4.44-second 40 at the combine. The Giants kept Sterling Shepard around this spring and paid big bucks to Kenny Golladay last offseason, but quarterback remains a glaring concern.
The rumor mill put Darius Slayton on the move, but nothing has materialized yet. Robinson would arguably be no better than the third aerial read on any given play, and it’s probably closer to fourth with the receiving skills of running back Saquon Barkley factored in. Look for a handful of manufactured touches per game from the rook.
There’s not a great deal of upside in drafting Robinson in single-year fantasy formats. He could have utility in daily fantasy action or make for a decent late-round gamble in best-ball formats. Over the long haul, he should see a larger role and hopefully have a better quarterback situation in 2023 now that Daniel Jones’ fifth-year option was declined.
44) Houston Texans | WR John Metchie III, Alabama
Houston was in need of another weapon for quarterback Davis Mills, and if Metchie hadn’t torn up his knee in December, it’s entirely plausible he would have gone in the first round.
The Texans extended Brandin Cooks, a downfield threat who showed chemistry with Mills, and the team also has big-body wideout Nico Collins as a work-in-progress with upside in the red zone. Metchie fits well between the two in terms of what he brings to the table. The former Crimson Tide standout is an excellent route runner and creates easy separation out of his breaks. Once healthy, we’re looking at a glorified possession receiver who will become a consistent chain-moving outlet.
Upcoming fantasy drafts can leave Metchie for the waning rounds as nothing but a flier. He’s unlikely to see the field before mid-October, and as a rookie, the learning curve already is steep enough without missing all of the offseason program. We love his dynasty potential here, particularly in PPR, so don’t be afraid of investing if you’re in position to redshirt him for 2022.
50) New England Patriots | WR Tyquan Thornton, Baylor
A lanky 6-foot-2, 181 pounds, Thornton is a track star but also a football player. He can uncork one with world-class speed, running a scorching 4.28 seconds at the combine in the 40.
The selection effectively ends Nelson Agholor’s tenure with the Pats. Thornton does a fine job tracking the ball down the field and is a presence defenders have to account for at all times.
He should be a hit-or-miss play in fantasy as a rookie, and possibly the duration of his career, but there will be manufactured plays for Thornton to let him work in space. He’ll be a late-round flier in deep fantasy leagues but realistically can be left off of rosters in more casual settings.
52) Pittsburgh Steelers | WR George Pickens, Georgia
Pickens tore an ACL in the spring of 2021 and was able to rehab at a breakneck pace, coming back for the final four games of the season. He hardly was utilized upon his return, though, and opted for the pros.
He has WR1 potential written all over him with a favorable blend of size (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) and speed (4.47), but it’s his hands and range that have him on said trajectory.
The Steelers drafted Kenny Pickett at quarterback in Round 1 after signing Mitchell Trubisky in free agency. A pair of dynamic receivers in Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson are joined by pass-catching outlets in tight end Pat Freiermuth and Najee Harris. Pickens can be developed at whatever pace is needed, although he shouldn’t have all too much of a learning curve coming from Georgia.
Draft Pickens as a future WR2 target with No. 1 upside in keeper leagues, but devalue him as no more than depth in 2022-only settings.
53) Indianapolis Colts | WR Alec Pierce, Cincinnati
It comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention that Indy drafted a receiver early on, and they snagged a good one in Pierce. He gives quarterback Matt Ryan another tall receiver at 6-foot-3 (211 pounds) to pair with Michael Pittman Jr. (6-foot-4, 223 pounds). The Colts still have unrealized potential oft-injured Parris Campbell, and tight end Mo Alie-Cox was re-signed to start at tight end.
Pierce is a “9” route waiting to happen, being one of the most proficient downfield threats in the league. He’ll hit a few out of the park on play-action passing with the defense choked up to stop Jonathan Taylor. A natural hands-catcher, Pierce will endear himself to Ryan out of the gates, and fantasy owners won’t be far behind.
Expect quality season-long stats as far as rookies go, but we might see inconsistent production trying to get there. Pierce may never develop into a WR1 for real or fake football, yet he’s going to be a recognized name in the long run. He’ll have plenty of chances to show what he can do in 2022 and is a WR4 target for drafting purposes.
54) Kansas City Chiefs | WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan
No one was going to outright replace Tyreek Hill, but if you’re looking for a profile of the type of receiver who could come close, Moore is the guy. He’s a compact 5-foot-9 5/8, 195 pounds, running in the low 4.4s in the 40. Ridiculously quick in and out of his breaks, the sure-handed Moore is a natural fit for what Andy Reid wants out of the position.
The offense will funnel through Travis Kelce, and we expect JuJu Smith-Schuster to man the slot, putting Moore on the outside where his get-off can put corners on their heels in a blink. Patrick Mahomes’ deep ball and penchant for keeping plays alive with his scrambling will lead to Moore uncovering for huge gains. Sound familiar?
The real concern here is how many passes will head his way after the Chiefs signed Marquez Valdes-Scantling for starter money and also have Mecole Hardman waiting for his chance to shine. After all, the latter was drafted as a Tyreek-lite option, although Hardman’s playmaking has left plenty to be desired.
Moore could be an instant hit in fantasy, depending upon how the Chiefs opt to utilize him. He has legit potential to be a weekly starter for the next decade. We’ll keep close tabs on his situation as the summer unfolds, because Hardman and MVS shouldn’t be sold short just yet.
55) Arizona Cardinals | TE Trey McBride, Colorado State
The Cardinals locked up veteran Zach Ertz with a three-year deal, but he may not make it to the end of that contract. Regardless, there’s room for both players to contribute this season. McBride was the best player at his position in this class, and he’s a pro-style tight end who can do it all.
Arizona added Marquise Brown on Day 1 in a trade with Baltimore, reuniting him with Kyler Murray. The selection of McBride gives the disgruntled quarterback another weapon, one who is extremely competitive and can attack down the seam.
All of those positive comments aside, rookie tight ends rarely contribute in a meaningful way for fantasy purposes. With Ertz on the field, we’re looking at a similar situation. How often do teams generate a pair of successful fantasy tight ends in general?
The long-term outlook is tremendous. Ertz’s contract offers an easy out after 2023, and at that stage he may be thinking retirement anyway. McBride has all of the tools to be a fantasy starter for eight-plus seasons.
63) Buffalo Bills | RB James Cook, Georgia
Quickness and finesse is Cook’s game. The younger brother of Dalvin Cook, this former Bulldog is a patient runner but a more valuable receiving asset. He can be flexed into the slot and even out wide, but we’re not talking about a guy who’ll be counted on for 200-plus touches many times in his career. He’s not the workhorse we’ve come to love in his brother.
The Bills have a wealth of weapons and even saw a surprising turnaround in the development of Devin Singletary last year after a lackluster start to his career. The offense prefers to pass and won’t become a ground-n-pound design anytime soon, so understand this one is about selective deployment to take advantage of mismatches.
Draft him as a handcuff to Singletary and a standalone depth piece. Exciting running backs coming out of prominent schools tend to get overdrafted in fantasy. The situation doesn’t warrant taking such a chance, unless you’re not sold on what we saw from Singletary in 2021.
71) Chicago Bears | WR Velus Jones Jr., Tennessee
It’s not hard to see the comparison to Cordarrelle Patterson, a former Bear and Volunteer himself. Jones’ game a little bit of what many of us thought Laviska Shenault Jr. should have developed into by now, too. A dynamic returner on special teams, Jones also is a thick-bodied playmaker in the open field on offense. He still needs to work on his hands a little, but that’s what coaching is for after all.
Chicago saw Darnell Mooney continue his ascension last year as Allen Robinson fizzled out. This offseason, the Bears have added the eye-catching likes of Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown at receiver as well as James O’Shaughnessy and Ryan Griffin at tight end. Translation: Jones shouldn’t have much trouble finding his way onto the field.
In fantasy, it may not be pretty as Justin Fields has yet another new offense, his third in as many years dating back to college. There will be a lot of defensive scrutiny, too, unless someone steps up in addition to Mooney. Jones is merely a flier in the deepest of leagues for now, but we’ll keep a close eye on his offseason maturation for more clarity as fantasy draft season heats up. There’s WR2 potential in the long run for dynasty leagues.
73) Indianapolis Colts | TE Jelani Woods, Virginia
It’s rare to see a 6-foot-7, 253-pound tight end who runs a 4.61-second 40 time and can catch. That’s what Woods brings to the table. Indy re-signed Mo Alie-Cox to be the starting tight end, even though he’s more of a “move” guy than a true Y. Woods can be that inline man for this offense, but he’s actually a dangerous receiver down the seam and is tough to beat in 50-50 situations.
He should catch a handful of touchdowns in 2022. Unfortunately, trying to figure out when those plays will come might be maddening. The Colts are doing a fine job of building a skyscraper offense with all of this height.
Woods should develop into a viable weekly starter in 2023 or beyond. As it currently stands, gamers can leave him in the waiver pool after their drafts this summer.
74) Atlanta Falcons | QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
The Cincinnati standout brings everything you’d like to see in a franchise quarterback, and it may not take long before he bumps Marcus Mariota from the perch of presumed starter.
Ridder brings a pro-style build and was a winner for the Bearcats. While his mechanics are a strength, maturity level is what everyone raves about when evaluating him. In some ways, he’s a better version of Mariota. Ridder can roll out and even has the wheels to make some noise with his legs down the field.
Atlanta doesn’t have the strongest group of weapons just yet, and fantasy owners should avoid Ridder in 2022 redrafts. His long-view worth is a solid QB1 territory as a dual-threat fantasy option.
80) Denver Broncos | TE Greg Dulcich, UCLA
A former wide receiver turned tight end, Dulcich brings a vertical presence to the position in the Mile High City. He’ll be a nice complement to Albert Okwuegbunam and can stretch the field from any level.
There will be a few splash plays to come from Dulcich in 2022. His true worth in fantasy will come in a few seasons. If he has a chance to see meaningful snaps if should something happen to Albert O. this year, we could be pleasantly surprised. Avoid him on draft day in single-year formats.
86) Tennessee Titans | QB Malik Willis, Liberty
The wait is finally over! Willis will back up Ryan Tannehill for the near future … just how long is a matter of debate. The veteran’s contract offers an out after the upcoming season, and given the sour note his season ended on in 2021, we could be looking at a changing of the guard that quickly.
The talent is undeniable, but Willis is raw and needs time to learn. He has no 2022 fantasy value, barring an injury to Tannehill, but the sky is the limit over the duration of Willis’ career. The arm talent and running ability will make him a QB1 in a few years.
88) Dallas Cowboys | WR Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
The departures of Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson pave the way for Tolbert to see early action. He’s a touchdown waiting to happen and led FBS in catches and yardage on plays of 20-plus yards over the last two seasons.
Wide receiver Michael Gallup underwent knee reconstruction in February and likely won’t be himself until midseason, even though reports say he should be healthy by August. There’s a big difference between being physically recovered and in game shape. Any which way one slices it, there are opportunities to be seized, even after the James Washington signing.
Tolbert is a late-round flier in deeper formats but could find his way into lineups as early as Week 1.
91) Tampa Bay Buccaneers | RB Rachaad White, Arizona State
Smooth in the open field, White is better on the perimeter than between the tackles, even if his frame suggests otherwise at 6-foot 3/8, 214 pounds. He ran 4.48 in the 40 and is an effective receiver out of the backfield.
Speed and patience define White’s running style. He is mainly a handcuff for Leonard Fournette in 2022-only leagues, which may be optimistic if the Bucs are comfortable with Ke’Shawn Vaughn being in that spot. We’ll have a better feel for this one as the summer churns along. In a couple of years, White has the makings of an RB2 in fantasy.
93) San Francisco 49ers | RB Tyrion Davis-Price, LSU
Davis-Price is a height-weight-speed guy whose quick cuts will fit nicely into the Kyle Shanahan rushing scheme. The Niners currently have Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr., JaMycal Hasty, and Trey Sermon in the backfield. Assuming the offseason impasse comes to an end, the addition of another back suggests we’re going to see a lot less of Deebo Samuel toting the rock.
Given the mess load of backs, we’ll wait to see how the offseason shapes up. It’s safe to say Sermon is likely the odd man out. Hasty can do a few things the others don’t, which may give him a shot at sticking around.
Talent alone, Davis-Price is a two-down back who offers possibly RB2 value if given the majority of reps, but that’s not going to happen without some serious personnel shakeups. He’s safely viewed as a late-round flier or handcuff to Mitchell for now.
94) Carolina Panthers | QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss
Corral is extremely accurate and has a lightning-quick release. The mechanics are there, and he can extend plays with his feet. The long ball needs some refinement, though. His two best traits perfectly mesh with this offensive system’s demands.
Carolina has ample weaponry to make this an easier transition, but Corral will need to show he has the maturity to unseat a veteran starter in Sam Darnold. The former USC standout will be on thin ice, and he hasn’t been the most durable of QBs, either. Even if Corral secures the job ahead of Week 1, he’s a rookie quarterback and will take his lumps. How he handles that is what will determine if Corral can remain in the lineup throughout the campaign.
He’s not draftable in 2022 for the time being, and earning the starting gig still makes Corral no better than a fringe QB2 or flier third option. Dynasty value is hard to project given his personal issues. The talent for low-end No. 1 returns is there, but so is flaming out in short order. Tread cautiously.
98) Washington Commanders | RB Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama
Robinson is a grown man among men and loves himself some contact. He a battering ram and has a nose for paydirt. No SEC player broke more tackles last year, according to ESPN.
How will he fit into a backfield with Antonio Gibson entering Year 3 after a promising second campaign? Robinson should be a spell and may garner a series or two per game at first. But if Gibson takes an unexpected step in the wrong direction, Robinson has a real shot at taking over on first and second downs.
The former Alabama bruiser won’t offer help in the receiving department for fantasy. He’s a TD or bust for the most part as a rookie, barring that unlikely aforementioned scenario with Gibson. Handcuff Robinson to Gibson to cover your bases.
99) Cleveland Browns | WR David Bell, Purdue
Deshaun Watson needs more targets, and Bell is a nifty route runner whose game is built on precision. He won’t win many races, nor is he particularly imposing.
The former Boilermaker is a sure-handed zone-eater and offers a viable third target with Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones locking down the top spots. However, the rookie will have to outshine Anthony Schwartz and Jakeem Grant before getting an earnest shot in this run-heavy system.
Bell is a deep flier and isn’t a lock to contribute in Year 1. Avoid him in single-season drafts for the time being.
101) New York Jets | TE Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State
It’s not that Ruckert is a poor receiver as much as he was an underutilized one at Ohio State. He’s a tremendous blocker and will begin his career buried behind offseason additions C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. He has no fantasy value at this time.
105) San Francisco 49ers | WR Danny Gray, SMU
Gray is a dangerous open-field runner after the catch and can blaze down the field. He’s a competent route runner who uses body lean and nuances to create separation in addition to relying on his speed. Gray is the type of player creative coaches love to design a few plays around for exploiting defensive mismatches in space.
The offense is loaded with talent but also has a question mark (sort of) at quarterback. There’s just not enough to go around for Gray to warrant a fantasy selection in 2022.