Because there’s so much talent at the top of fantasy football draft boards, I don’t sweat about my first-round pick.
Even if I’m at the bottom of the round and all of the workhorse running backs have been picked, I know there’s going to be a star wide receiver still available (don’t sleep on Stefon Diggs behind Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase).
After the first round or two, I do begin to game plan specific picks who could represent fantastic value during the season.
Here’s a quick look at seven players I try to target in every fantasy football draft leading up to the 2022 NFL season for you last-minute types.
RB Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders
First of all, obviously what’s most important with Robinson is that he is OK after he was shot twice during an attempted robbery.
In terms of football, though, Robinson (150 ADP) is currently on the non-football injury list, so he won’t be eligible to return until Week 5, and there’s no guarantee that he will be activated to the 53-man roster as soon as he become eligible.
Even if Robinson needs longer than four weeks to get back on the football field, he’s still worth selecting with your final fantasy pick in case he eventually emerges as Washington’s starting running back.
I’ve been drafting Robinson with my final skill position pick in every draft and placing him on injured reserve to begin the season.
WR Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
Gallup (139 ADP) is expected to miss at least Week 1 while recovering from last season’s ACL injury. Once he returns to the field, Gallup will be locked in as the Cowboys’ No. 2 receiver following the departures of Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson this offseason. You might have to wait a few weeks, but at some point this season, Gallup could emerge as a legitimate WR2 option in fantasy, and all it takes is a late-round pick to draft him.
QB Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
It’s wild that 10-12 quarterbacks are being drafted before Lance (QB13, 101 overall ADP) goes off the board. I’ve been letting other managers target the top-ranked QBs, and then I target Lance when the draft gets closer to his ADP. I’m a big believer in Lance, and I’d rather stock up on WRs and RBs early and get still him than use a top pick to select a QB going off the board earlier.
RB Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans
Pierce’s stock has skyrocketed this summer, but he’s still has a reasonable ADP of RB33 (86 overall). I really like him as a RB3 and absolutely love him as an RB4. Houston’s depth chart was released Tuesday, and Pierce is officially listed as the starter, confirming that he’s poised to lead their backfield in 2022.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
Even if you target RBs early, it’s still possible to end up with St. Brown (64 overall ADP) as a WR3, and that could prove to be fantastic value. Coming off a 90-912-5 season as a rookie, St. Brown is now more familiar with quarterback Jared Goff, and he’s poised to serve as Detroit’s WR1 this year.
WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen is the consensus QB1 in fantasy football this offseason and an early favorite to win the NFL’s MVP award. Stefon Diggs is Allen’s favorite target, but there are going to be plenty of receptions and touchdowns to go around in Buffalo, and Davis (67 overall ADP) is the team’s WR2 this year. Playing in such a high-scoring offense with a QB who has thrown 73 TD passes over the last two years, Davis is poised to have a big season.
TE Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys
Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Kyle Pitts, George Kittle and Darren Waller are the top tight ends in fantasy this year, and I love letting other managers target those five TEs before I take Schultz near his ADP of 55th overall after loading up with talent at WR and RB. Dallas no longer has Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup is expected to miss at least Week 1, leaving Schultz as the team’s second-best receiving option behind CeeDee Lamb. Even after Gallup returns, Schultz will be a key part of the Cowboys offense, and you can get him much later than the top-five TEs.