With free agency and the NFL Draft out of the way, fantasy owners can now focus on building their rosters for the 2022 season. You will have many options to choose from regarding finding rookies that can contribute to the upcoming year. A total of 17 wide receivers were taken in the first three rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft. In addition, a league-record setting six wideouts were selected in the first round alone.
The demand to have the position established on an NFL roster has grown significantly over the past five years. That’s because offenses have become more complex every year. You may not find a receiver that will put up Ja’Marr Chase-like numbers this year, but there will be rookies that will become impact players on your fantasy roster. Let us look at the top rookie wide receiver options for playing fantasy football in 2022.
Skyy Moore: Kansas City Chiefs
After moving on from superstar wideout Tyreek Hill, the Kansas City Chiefs moved fast to find his replacement. They signed free agents JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez-Valdez Scantling. However, they would not stop with the signing of those two individuals. The Chiefs selected Skyy Moore out of Western Michigan in the second round.
Out of all the receivers taken in 2022, Moore is the player that is in the best situation. The Chiefs’ offense is friendly to wide receivers, and Moore fits the vision of what the team looks for at the position. Because of his potential upside with Kansas City, Moore could ascend to becoming a highly coveted pick in numerous fantasy drafts.
Chris Olave: New Orleans Saints
One thing for sure is that the Saints’ wide receiver group will be vastly improved compared to last season. The group now features Michael Thomas, Marquez Callaway, Jarvis Landry, Deonte Hardy, and rookie Chris Olave. New Orleans gave up their third and fourth-round picks to move up to the 11th spot to select Olave.
The former Ohio State standout will take a lot of pressure off of Michael Thomas, making the Saints’ offense unpredictable as it has been in previous years under former head coach Sean Payton. However, suppose Thomas is still not up to becoming his former self, along with Alvin Kamara missing time for an off-the-field incident. In that case, Olave’s production can increase, which is a massive plus for fantasy owners.
Drake London: Atlanta Falcons
USC’s Drake London was the first wideout to come off the board in the 2022 draft. The addition of London ushers in a new era of Atlanta Falcons football. Due to not having Calvin Ridley for an entire year because of a suspension and the departure of Russell Gage, London will be the Falcons’ top wide receiver.
Outside of Kyle Pitts, there’s no one to compete with when London receives targets. London’s physical stature and playing style can be somewhat compared to Michael Thomas. Listed at 6’4, 219 lbs, London is poised to become a physical nightmare for opposing defenses. Do not let the Falcons being in rebuilding mode discourage you from taking the former USC prospect.
Christian Watson: Green Bay Packers
Like Skyy Moore, NDSU’s Christian Watson is a player that is going to a good situation. The Green Bay Packers took Watson in the second round. As a result, Watson will have a chance to become the Packers’ WR1 in an offense that saw its’ receiving core change drastically during free agency.
All pro-Davante Adams reunited with former Fresno State teammate Derek Carr in Las Vegas. Former teammate Marquez Valdez-Scantling signed with the Chiefs. Many draft experts had first-round grades on Watson but believed he could fall to the second round due to being a raw talent.
Aaron Rodgers doesn’t usually mesh well with younger players. But that line of thinking may have to change this season. Currently, Rodgers will have Sammy Watkins, Alan Lazard, and Randall Cobb for depth at receiver. However, none of those players mentioned should threaten Watson when it comes to production on the field unless Odell Beckham Jr. is added to the roster.
Jalen Tolbert: Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys were among the many teams to replenish their receiving core. They shipped off Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for draft compensation. Cooper’s former teammate Cedrick Wilson signed with the Miami Dolphins. In the third round of last month’s draft, they selected Jalen Tolbert out of South Alabama. With Michael Gallup recovering from a torn ACL, Tolbert will have an opportunity to become a viable option in the Cowboys’ passing attack. Right now, his only competition for the WR2 role is James Washington. If Tolbert is still available in your fantasy draft, you need to take him. His upside to become a mainstay in the Cowboys’ offense is evident.
Treylon Burks: Tennessee Titans
Despite the Tennessee Titans being primarily a run-first offense, wide receivers still have opportunities to be productive. Former Titan A.J. Brown was a prime example of that notion. However, he is no longer with the team after Tennessee shipped him off to the Philadelphia Eagles. To fill the void left behind by Brown, the Titans selected Treylon Burks with the 18th pick. Burks has been compared to players such as Deebo Samuel regarding his playing style. Listed at 6’2, 225 lbs, Burks is a slightly bigger version of Samuel. With Robert Woods coming off a torn ACL, Burks will have opportunities to get targets and become a focal point of the Titans’ passing attack.
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