5 Rookies I Love for 2022 Fantasy Football


Every year, we see rookies make their mark on the fantasy football landscape. Often, these guys are some of the bigger names of their respective classes, like Ja’Marr Chase, Najee Harris and Kyle Pitts last season. This year, we don’t necessarily have that sort of high-end talent in this year’s class, but there are several very interesting players.


You don’t have to be a high-profile rookie to make a fantasy football impact. Elijah Mitchell likely went undrafted in your redraft leagues last year and ended up serving as a high-volume option in the 49ers offense. Amon-Ra St. Brown came out of nowhere down the stretch and help many fantasy managers to the league’s championship. Even Jaylen Waddle came as a bit of a surprise surprise. Despite his first-round pedigree in the 2021 NFL draft, he was a ninth-round ADP last year. 

Who are the top candidates to be this year’s rookie fantasy football sleepers? Here are the five rookie I love in 2022 redraft fantasy football leagues:

Note: I do not consider Breece Hall or Ken Walker as rookie sleepers.

Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans

While he may not have been the most coveted running back in this year’s class, we shouldn’t sleep on Dameon Pierce. Last year at Florida, things happened when he got his hands on the football. Pierce racked up an insane 16 scores on just 119 touches. Of course, that touch volume does leave something to be desired, but don’t hold it against Pierce. He was comically misused by the ill-fated Florida coaching staff.

In Houston, he steps into an uber-thin depth chart. Yes, fantasy Twitter will tell you that the immortal Marlon Mack is there too, but don’t take that cheese. Mack hasn’t done anything for fantasy purposes since 2019 and that isn’t likely to change this season. Of course, it’s tough to envision the Texans offense being any good in 2022. But as James Robinson showed us in 2020, running backs can put up big fantasy numbers in bad offenses. Pierce has a fast track to lead duties and is a sneaky breakout candidate.

Tyler Allgeier, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Like Pierce, Tyler Allgeier is positioned well on a thin depth chart. It’s tough not to see similarities between Allgeier and former BYU back Jamaal Williams. Like Williams, Allgeier has a three-down profile and enters the NFL with good size. Of course, he does not wow you with speed or athleticism. But Allgeier is just a rock-solid all-around player who excelled as a zone runner at the college level. He also has plus hands as a receiver.

While his lack of burst and top-end speed isn’t optimal, Allgeier’s ability to handle a big workload bodes very well given his landing spot. With Mike Davis now in Baltimore, the Falcons really only have Cordarrelle Patterson left from last year’s backfield. While Patterson did impress last season, he isn’t a true running back. The team has also made it clear that he’s going to move around the formation. That means there’s a prime opportunity for Allgeier to seize the lead ball-carrier job in camp.


Treylon Burks, WR, Tennessee Titans

Seemingly every offseason, NFL beat writers love to find fault with high-profile rookie wide receivers. Last season reports widely circulated of Ja’Marr Chase consistently dropping passes in OTAs. Well, that turned out to be a bunch of baloney, as Chase put up one of the best rookie wide receiver seasons in NFL history. This year beat writers regaled us with tales of Treylon Burks’ poor conditioning and asthma. Now, that’s not to say that Burks is going to have a Chase-like rookie year, but we should take those offseason reports with a grain of salt.

Instead, we should evaluate Burks in two areas: his ability as a player and his opportunity. Burks has the intangibles that you look for in a fantasy wideout. Of course, the elephant in the scouting room is his lackluster performance at the NFL combine. Sure, the 40 time doesn’t look great, but it’s far from unprecedented for a player to have success after running in the 4.5s. DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Brown and Davante Adams all come to mind. Burks is a versatile mismatch who can make plays all over the field and all around the formation. In some ways, he’s like a bigger Deebo Samuel. We could also say that he has similarities to AJ Brown, whom he’ll replace in the Titans offense. He’ll have the opportunity to hit the ground running as the Titans No. 1 wideout but won’t cost you an arm and a leg thanks in part to those offseason narratives.

James Cook, RB, Buffalo Bills

You don’t even need to read the last name to see similarities between James Cook and his brother Dalvin. He bears a striking similarity to the Vikings back in mannerisms and running style. However, the younger Cook doesn’t quite have the size of his older brother. As such, he profiles more as a passing down back at the pro level. And that just so happens to be the position that the Buffalo Bills have been trying to fill for the past few seasons.

Cook will almost certainly serve as the primary passing-down back right from the gate, though it should be noted that Devin Singletary looks to be locked in as the early-down option. While passing-down backs do come with more weekly volatility, it’s hard not to like Cook in that role for one of the league’s most explosive offenses. He also has added upside as a quasi-handcuff to Singletary. Cook’s Alvin Kamara-esque skillset suggests we could see even more out of him than we initially anticipate.

Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans 

Chris Olave has route-running ability for days and the speed and ball skills to hold his own. From a route standpoint, he’s arguably the most polished of this year’s rookie wideouts. He displays an advanced and nuanced understanding of route concepts. As such, he can play both inside and outside. The biggest knock on Olave is his slight frame, but he makes up for that with his speed and high-end route running chops. 

Olave will step into a big role immediately for the Saints. Yes, Michael Thomas figures to be the top target, but he simply doesn’t offer the speed profile of Olave. That ability to fly around the field will mesh well with Jameis Winston’s propensity to chuck the ball downfield. Olave offers a very high ceiling and will almost certainly be buried in the late middle-rounds of this year’s fantasy football drafts.

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