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Players to Watch on Day 3 of the NFL Draft

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Rapid-fire style — just like Friday’s Day 2 list! — Let’s break down all the players we should care about in fantasy football who will likely get drafted in Rounds 4-7 Saturday. 

Player order is loosely based on expected fantasy relevance, with Isaiah Spiller atop the list as the biggest fantasy difference maker a team will draft Saturday.

 

A quick note: no wide receivers appear on this list. When doing research on historical hit rates, Day 3 RBs hit around 12-15% of the time at the NFL level. TEs who go Round 4-5 hit around 15% of the time. QBs in Rounds 4-6 hit around 10% of the time. However, WRs going Round 4 or later in the draft hit less than 5% of the time. A player like Amon-Ra St. Brown is a massive outlier. Because of this, I won’t include any WRs on this list. In your dynasty rookie drafts, target RBs in the final rounds, as they hit over 2x-3x as often as WRs drafted in similar rounds.

You can see my breakdown of Players to Watch on Day 2 — some of whom ended up making it to Day 3 — at the bottom.

Players to Watch on Day 3 of the Draft

Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M

Isaiah Spiller is a three-year starter from Texas A&M who is a slick receiver with great vision. Long speed a concern for him, and I think he will be similar to David Montgomery in fantasy football. He’s still only 20 years old, so there’s real potential for him in dynasty if he falls into the right situation, and he’s probably giving you 10-15 fantasy points per game during his rookie deal. He probably goes early Round 4, and I have a hard time seeing the Texans at 107 or the Chargers at 123 passing on him.

Zamir White, RB. Georgia

Zamir White suffered through an ACL tear to each of his knees, so his production profile is understandably lacking juice in college. He never had more than 856 rushing yards any season at Georgia while splitting work with now-Bills RB James Cook. Also, White never had more than 9 receptions in a season. However, at this moment, White is showing flashes of what made him such a highly sought-after high school recruit. Finally healthy, he blazed a 4.40 40-time at the Combine while weighing in at 215 pounds The size/speed combo should be enough to get him drafted in Round 4.

Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU

The stocky BYU product had impressive production his junior and senior seasons, most notably compiling 1,601 rushing yards, 28 receptions for an additional 199 yards, along with 23 total touchdowns. Tyson Allgeier can do it all, and projects as a competent backup RB in this league. He’ll most likely be a popular waiver wire add at some point during the 2022 season.

Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State

Pierre Strong is an older prospect, turning 24 years old during the 2022 season. He produced all three years at South Dakota State, with back-to-back seasons at 20 or more receptions to go along with over 3,000 rushing yards over his career. Strong also blazed a 4.37 40-time at 207 lbs. He’s a high-upside backup RB wherever he lands in Round 4 or 5. If this class were to have an Elijah Mitchell, Pierre Strong fits that bill. 

Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri

Tyler Badie is a production monster who also ran an excellent 4.45 at the Combine. He had 1,604 rushing yards, 54 receptions and 18 touchdowns this past season. Each of the past three years he’s had at least 330 receiving yards, demonstrating his excellent pass-catching ability. Badie’s issue lies in his size, as he’s 5-foot-8 and weighs a touch under 200 pounds. The ceiling is Austin Ekeler, though he’s much more likely to be Kenneth Gainwell for fantasy football. He probably goes Round 5 to a team that needs a pass-catching back, and I like him with the Raiders, Texans, and Bengals.

Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati

Ford transferred to Cincinnati to play with Desmond Ridder and hopefully get more playing time after two years at Alabama. As a senior he was finally named the starter, and he put up over 1,500 scrimmage yards, including 21 receptions and 20 touchdowns. He’s fast, he’s 210 pounds, and he’s another RB who projects to be a competent backup and occasional waiver wire add the next few seasons. Expect him off the board in Round 4 or 5.

Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida

Built like a bowling ball, Dameon Pierce has the makings of a player fantasy gamers will hate. An elite pass blocker and skilled receiver, he could very well be the reason your favorite RB is not on the field on third downs. He probably gets Round 4 draft capital, but doesn’t project to be particularly fantasy relevant. I expect him to be the lesser half in a committee.

Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina

A four-year player at Coastal Carolina, he had 912 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior, elevating his draft stock. Some expected he’d go Round 3, so Isaiah Likely will “likely” go in Round 4. Like most Day 3 TEs, he’s not someone that we should expect to be fantasy relevant the next 2 seasons. Outside of TE-premium drafts, where he should go in Round 4 or 5, you can keep him off your rookie draft board.

Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame

Kyren Williams torpedoed his draft stock when he ran a 4.65-second 40, as he’s only 194 pounds. He’s an excellent pass-catcher, boasting 72 receptions the past two seasons, as well as over 2,000 rushing yards in that span. Unfortunately, the size/speed combination he possesses has never been fantasy relevant at the NFL level. He should get Round 4 draft capital though and is one of the most skilled players on this list, even if I believe he has a steep battle to producing fantasy points.

Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina

Ty Chandler likely goes toward the end of the draft in Round 6 or 7, but he has elite speed (4.38). Remember, Elijah Mitchell went Round 6 to the 49ers last season. Chandler’s size (204 pounds) and lack of pass-catching volume make him landing spot dependent, but the long speed should be enough for him to get a shot as an injury fill-in some time in the next year or two.

Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan

Hassan Haskins was a workhorse as a Junior at Michigan in 2021, with 1,327 rushing yards, 18 receptions, and 20 total touchdowns. He’s 6-2, 228, so think smaller, leaner Derrick Henry. He didn’t test, so with the unknown athleticism he’s expected to go in Round 5 or 6.

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Sam Howell has NFL size and put up 3,641 passing yards and a 38-7 TD-INT ratio as a freshman at North Carolina. As a junior, with many players moving on from the team, Howell proved he can get the job done on the ground, running over 15 times per game as a Junior. He had 8.6 yards per attempt or higher all 3 years, and showcases a surprisingly strong production profile, coupled with his mobility. The real question is if NFL teams view his game as translating to the NFL, as ACC defenses are far different from those in the NFL. He’s worth a flier in Round 3 of superflex rookie drafts regardless of landing spot.

Keaontay Ingram, RB, USC

Keaontay Ingram has a chance to go Round 7 thanks to his size (221 pounds) and speed (4.53 40-time at the USC pro day). The rushing production is lacking, though he did compile nearly 700 receiving yards in his four-year college career at Texas and USC. He’s another RB that may be a hot waiver wire add within the next two seasons.

Kevin Harris, RB, South Carolina

Even though he has a decent chance to go undrafted, Kevin Harris has a surprisingly strong profile. He’s 221 pounds and commanded nearly 10% of South Carolina’s targets in 2020. That size/receiving combination is tough to find, and he was also a standout in the vertical jump and broad jump at the combine, demonstrating his explosiveness. He’s the only likely undrafted free agent that I’d be very interested in snagging final round of my dynasty rookie draft.

 

Friday’s Look at Day 2 Players to Watch

Rapid-fire style, let’s break down all the players we should care about in fantasy football that will likely get drafted in Rounds 2-3 of the 2022 NFL Draft Friday night. 

Player order is loosely based on expected fantasy relevance, with Breece Hall atop the list as the biggest fantasy difference maker a team will draft in Friday’s action.

Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

The complete package: size (220 pounds), speed (sub-4.4 40-time), production (back-to-back seasons of at least 1,700 scrimmage yards) and draft capital (should go Round 2). He is the expected 1.01 in dynasty rookie drafts regardless of landing spot, and at worst almost certainly a mid- to high-end RB2 in 2022 redraft. Could go as early as Houston at 37, the Seahawks at 40/41, or the Falcons at 43. Don’t expect him to make it out of Round 2, with the Commanders (47), Cardinals (55) and Bills (57) looking like potential suitors, too.

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Malik Willis is the ultimate collection of tools and surprisingly wasn’t drafted in Round 1 Thursday. As a pure runner, he is a cross between Lamar Jackson’s speed/elusiveness and Jalen Hurts’ power. As a passer, there’s some Josh Allen to him, though it’s not necessarily the most flattering comp, as Allen the prospect was seriously flawed. Willis boasts the cannon, but it’s far from accurate, and his decision-making comes into question. He also took a lot of sacks in college. He’s a project, but the upside is top-three fantasy/top-10 real-life NFL QB. He should go mid-late Round 1 in dynasty superflex drafts, and mid-late Round 2 in redraft superflex drafts. The Seahawks (40/41), Falcons (43) and Lions (46) surely have their eyes on him.

Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State

The easy fantasy football comp for me is J.K. Dobbins. Kenneth Walker is explosive (sub 4.4 40-time) and a fantastic pure runner who has major question marks in the receiving game. Dobbins’ current role of 15 carries per game with 1-2 targets feels like a good benchmark for Walker. I don’t expect him to post any RB1-caliber seasons, as Nick Chubb feels like more than Walker’s ceiling outcome (Chubb is bigger and better), but a string of solid RB2 seasons feels like a good outcome to target. Take him middle of Round 1 in your rookie drafts. After two seasons of backup duties at Wake Forest, he transferred to Michigan State in 2021 and posted over 1,600 rushing yards along with 19 total TDs. I see fits with the Seahawks (40/41), Commanders (47), Cardinals (55) and Falcons (58).

Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

Skyy Moore came to Western Michigan on a scholarship to play cornerback, then proceeded to rack up over 800 receiving yards as a true freshman. As a junior in 2021, he averaged 108 receiving yards per game and led his conference in TD receptions. A natural playmaker who is short but stocky (5-foot-10, 195 pounds), Moore draws frequent Golden Tate comparisons. He has the ability to play both out wide and in the slot, though his size makes slot receiver his most likely NFL position. Could go as early as 34 to the Vikings, but I view the Bears (39/48), Ravens (45), Chiefs (50) and Steelers (52) as the more likely destinations.

Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M

He’s a three-year starter from Texas A&M who is a slick receiver with great vision. Long speed a concern for him, and I think he will be similar to David Montgomery in fantasy football. He’s still only 20 years old, so there’s real potential for him in dynasty if he falls into the right situation, and he’s probably giving you 10-15 fantasy points per game during his rookie deal. He probably goes late Round 2, if not Round 3, and I’d imagine Buffalo (57), Atlanta (58/74), Houston (68) and the Cardinals (87) all take a hard look at Spiller.

George Pickens, WR, Georgia

George Pickens was rising up draft boards as a true freshman when he posted 727 yards and 8 TDs at Georgia in the SEC. Injuries and attitude concerns have haunted him since then, but he has alpha WR size (6-3, 200) and traits. The nuts landing spot is the Chiefs (50) or Packers (53), but he could go earlier to a team like Chicago (39/48) or Baltimore (45) who desperately needs pass-catching help.

Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

If you went into a lab in 2018 and froze Marquez Valdes-Scantling, then thawed him four years later, you’d have Christian Watson. There aren’t many guys with their build (6-4, 208), speed (sub-4.4 40-times), and lack of polish as route runners. The ceiling for Watson could be Chase Claypool, but the floor is Miles Boykin. He’s a project from North Dakota State that has been rising up draft boards as NFL teams further emphasize explosive plays and the vertical passing game. There were Round 1 mumblings for Watson, so I expect him off the board sometime during Round 2.

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

A four-year starter at Cincinnati, Desmond Ridder protects the ball but doesn’t create many big plays himself in the passing game. After running in the 4.5s at the Combine, he smells like Tyrod Taylor to me: game manager with sneaky mobility. He’s a nice consolation prize for whichever team misses out on Malik Willis, as Ridder’s more NFL ready than the more-toolsy Willis.

John Metchie, WR, Alabama

The three-year Alabama wideout had Round 1 aspirations before a torn ACL late in his junior season. However, absent from his profile are any standout traits. He had over 2,000 receiving yards combined during his sophomore and junior seasons, but the target share lags behind the counting stats due to the Alabama offense. He’ll be an average No. 2 or strong No. 3 receiver in an NFL offense, as he’s polished yet lacks size (5-11, 187) and speed. He could go as early as 45 to the Ravens, but the Bears (48), Chiefs (50/62), Steelers (52), Packers (53) and Texans (68) feel more realistic.

Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

It’s tough to see any other TE leap-frogging McBride as the 1st off the board in this year’s draft. McBride played four years at Colorado State, starting his final three of them. He had 83 and then 93 receiving yards per game as a junior and then senior, with a 40-time in the 4.6s. He should be on the mid- to low-end TE1 radar for years to come, and that production could begin as early as Year 1 if the Buccaneers draft McBride, anticipating Rob Gronkowski’s retirement. I do not expect him to make it out of Round 2 of the NFL Draft, which is also where I see him going in dynasty rookie drafts, outside of TE-premium leagues, where he could creep up to late Round 1 if a team like Tampa Bay does end up selecting him.

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

A skinny frame with a decent arm, Matt Corral was thought to have an outside chance at Round 1 draft capital. He has a two-year track record of strong production at Ole Miss as a junior and senior, and his 10.2 yards per attempt as a junior in the SEC should not be taken lightly. Corral boasts decent mobility too, with over 500 yards on the ground (rush yards minus sack yards) each of the past two seasons. His processing speed needs work, but “capable NFL starter” is definitely a plausible outcome for him.

David Bell, WR, Purdue

A three-year player at Purdue with size (6-1, 209) and elite production — 1,035 yards as a freshman, and over 100 yards/game as a sophomore and junior. However, his 4.65 40-time and lackluster tape worry scouts and NFL teams. His production profile screams Round 1, but the putrid athleticism signals Bell goes in Round 3 of the Draft.

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Sam Howell has NFL size and put up 3,641 passing yards and a 38-7 TD-INT ratio as a freshman at North Carolina. As a junior, with many players moving on from the team, Howell proved he can get the job done on the ground, running over 15 times per game as a Junior. He had 8.6 yards per attempt or higher all three years, and showcases a surprisingly strong production profile, coupled with his mobility. The real question is if NFL teams view his game as translating to the NFL, as ACC defenses are far different from those in the NFL.

Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama

Decent size (6-1, 194) and speed (4.49) for the four-year product out of South Alabama. He absolutely dominated Sun Belt competition as a junior and senior, with over 2,500 combined receiving yards. He’s a big-play threat, with 17.6 yards per reception over the course of his college career. Whether he’ll be fantasy relevant is another question, as he may never provide consistent fantasy production. He should go somewhere in Round 3.

Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA

Flowing hair and decent long speed are the calling cards for UCLA’s Greg Dulcich. He averaged a very nice 69 yards per game over his junior and senior seasons and should go late Round 2 or Round 3. He’s unlikely to have much fantasy relevance in Year 1 though unless a team like the Buccaneers or Bengals snags him.

James Cook, RB, Georgia

The younger brother of Dalvin Cook is the kindest way to describe James Cook’s future fantasy outlook. Undersized but a slick pass-catcher, Cook admirers can hope for a Chase Edmonds or James White fantasy ceiling. Only 230 carries over his four-year Georgia career signals he should be a committee back at the NFL level, likely playing exclusively on third downs. He should go Round 3, and the Cardinals (87/100) and Raiders (86) come to mind as ideal landing spots long-term.

Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati

A four-year wideout from Cincinnati, Pierce has both size (6-3, 208) and speed (4.41 40-time), but the production profile is severely lacking. Unable to crack a 17% target share until Senior year, Pierce will probably be a situational big play threat at the NFL level, and a best ball only contributor in fantasy football. I’d like to see him end up with the Chargers (79) or in Tennessee (90).

Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky

Small (5-8, 179) but quick (4.44 40-time), Wan’Dale Robinson was a mega producer — 1,334 yards as a junior at Kentucky — who likely won’t play a full snap share at the NFL level. The ideal scenario is playing the slot for Buffalo long-term — and his 40% target share as a junior shows he can handle high volume, but he’s most likely a high-end gadget player at the NFL level. He will probably go Round 3.

Calvin Austin, WR, Memphis

A track star who lacks NFL size (5-8, 170), Calvin Austin has an uphill path to being more than a special teams/gadget superstar a la Deonte Harris. Back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at Memphis showcase he can handle some type of potential volume, but we have a long enough track record of this profile to know starter reps are a long-shot.

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