The Fantasy Footballers’ 2022 NFL Draft Predictions
Today is the day.
All of your hopes and dreams are either about to come to fruition or you sink into a pool of sadness if you team takes an offensive tackle or a fringe player you didn’t know existed before today.
Andy, Jason, and Mike gave their NFL Draft Predictions on Thursday’s Fantasy Footballers podcast but the real joy in this “game” is who loses… the most.
Last year, we had a friendly competition that I tracked and I thought you could get in on the fun. A glamour shot is on the line as Mike’s Famous Pose from last year was his punishment for finishing 3rd in the annual Footballers’ NFL Draft competition. I track this in a number of ways:
- # of Picks Correct– The lowest is the loser. Jason won this competition in 2021 starting out 6-for-6 with his picks, which was an incredible run.
- Current Odds– I update this throughout based on Vegas Odds & the Collective KO available. Based on the initial picks, Andy has a slight lead.
- Collective KO– This is the “knockout” effect of the predictions. For example, if Andy gets a WR pick correct that also affects a future selection of Jason, it “knocks out” that pick. I gave each pick a “power” of two KO if it affects the other. The most powerful KO on the board this year is eight KO.
Let’s walk through the major players for fantasy and the discrepancies in the Ballers’ selections.
- Malik Willis is an enigmatic prospect to evaluate. I wrote up his Rookie Profile earlier in the offseason and have some major concerns about his If he falls to Pittsburgh at 20th overall (or they trade up) it would be a differentiator for Andy in this competition wiping out Jason’s pick of Kenny Pickett staying in his college town of Pittsburgh.
- Kenny Pickett to Carolina is the favorite betting odds (+150) destination although many draft experts agree the 6th overall is quite rich.
- While the Ballers all agreed on Desmond Ridder becoming a Detroit Lion, Jason pegged him to go at pick 34 in the 2nd round while Andy & Mike have him at the end of the 1st. Regardless, Ridder’s current draft position line (30.5) makes this one of the more likely picks on the board.
- All three Ballers pegged Breece Hall to go to the Jets at the top of the 2nd round. New York picks at 35 & 38 which both put him in range of recent stud RBs like Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift, and Javonte Williams who were early Day 2 picks. The Jets do have a bit of a “high-T” approach and Hall would vault to easily being the best pure runner on the team ahead of Michael Carter.
- Kenneth Walker III‘s line suggests he’ll go mid-2nd round so Andy’s selection of Seattle is spot on. Mike’s prediction of Kenneth Walker III being taken by Buffalo in the first round would be one of the biggest shocks of Day 1 if it were to occur. But him going before Breece Hall is not as far-fetched as people think. Hall is -200 to be the first RB selected while Walker (+200) is not that far behind.
This is where the bulk of the future fantasy goodness will ooze from this draft. We love wide receivers in dynasty but the reality is the hit rate is way lower than you might imagine. I recently wrote a couple of dynasty articles combing through every single pick over the last seven years and what fantasy managers might’ve been considering at the time. Here were some of the main takeaways:
I won’t comment on every single one of these WRs but I do want to point out some of the thinking behind some of the picks and (more importantly for our friendly competition) where the biggest knockout punches can come from.
- The Jets and Commanders are a huge hinge point for Andy in this competition as picks 10 & 11 could deliver a major knockout punch to both Jason & Mike who are lockstep on both of their picks for Garrett Wilson and Drake London. Their current DraftKings Sportsbook draft position lines are hovering at those exact spots.
- Jameson Williams going top-10 has gained a ton of steam the last couple of weeks. All three Ballers have him going to the Falcons, which would make me a very happy fan (and rich man per the DFS podcast).
- Green Bay is another popular destination for WRs and if Chris Olave goes there, Andy will be a happy man as it also knocks out the Treylon Burks pick for Jason & Mike.
- The Kansas City Chiefs are likely taking a WR with one of their first two picks (29 & 30) but all three Ballers have different players (Jahan Dotson– Mike, George Pickens– Andy, Christian Watson– Jason) landing there. Each of those picks carries an eight point knockout which would drastically give the correct pick a massive leg up on the competition. Also watch KC to trade up.
- McBride’s line is late 2nd round. The argument was what type of role he would have if he went somewhere like Kansas City. Regardless, he looks like the only TE to have any semblance of confidence in for fantasy from this draft.
I’ll be watching the draft eating wings and a fine Borgognoni Sandwhich.