Dynasty Fantasy Football: Mining the 2022 NFL Draft for value buys from Day 3 to target in your rookie drafts - bdsthanhhoavn.com

Dynasty Fantasy Football: Mining the 2022 NFL Draft for value buys from Day 3 to target in your rookie drafts

The 2022 NFL Draft came and went, and after taking some time to reflect on it, that has to have been the most exciting Day 1 I can remember. But the draft is always about more than that — and Day 2 and Day 3 picks ultimately define the winning and losing franchises over time. That is also the case for your Dynasty Fantasy Football rosters. It’s easy to draft Breece Hall in the first round of your rookie-only draft, but when you get to Rounds 3 and 4 is where you have the opportunity to really make a difference-making value pick that can shape your Dynasty roster for years to come. That’s what this piece today is all about.

I’ll dive into players from all four positions you can target later in your rookie-only Dynasty drafts. The rules are pretty simple: I will only feature players who were selected on Day 3 or signed as UDFAs — that means Rounds 4-7 plus the undrafted free agents. These are ultimately players I feel like were drafted at big-time values from their NFL franchises and can do the same to help your Dynasty roster accrue value. The focus will be less on how the team that drafted them impacts their 2022 value — this isn’t a redraft piece.

Before we dive in, I wanted to discuss a few trends we saw in the draft. For starters, teams waited on the quarterback position like nothing we’ve ever seen before. In the past, the Jake Lockers and Blaine Gabberts of the world were pushed up into the first round of drafts without any surefire quarterback prospects. In this class, after Kenny Pickett was selected on Day 1, we didn’t see another quarterback come off the board until Round 3. This is important because draft capital (what round and how high a player was selected) is one of the stickiest factors in a player’s future Dynasty success. We also saw an insane wide receiver run from the first day all the way through the second and third rounds. This impacted what was left to choose from on Day 3, but in a class so deep with receiver talent there was still plenty to choose from. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into these Dynasty gems from Day 3 that you should target in your rookie-only drafts and also in deeper keeper leagues.

Chandler was my favorite value at the running back position during the pre-draft process and he couldn’t have found a better Dynasty home than in Minnesota. Kevin O’Connell will bring with him that Rams wide zone run scheme and from a schematic standpoint it fits Chandler’s skill set perfectly. Despite falling in the draft because he’s an older prospect (23), Chandler was one of the most intriguing prospects at the position. On tape, he showed an excellent ability to pace and set up his blocks with his feet despite not having elite change of direction. Where Chandler stands out most is his burst and home run hitting ability — he plays just as fast as his 4.38 40-yard dash. Chandler also tested as an elite short-area burst athlete with excellent 10 and 20-yard splits — that also shows up on tape. The cherry on top here is Chandler’s ability as a receiver — where he made an impact up the seam and on wheel routes. 

There are salary cap outs in Dalvin Cook’s contract in both 2023 and 2024, and the Vikings are routinely strapped against the cap with Kirk Cousins on board and Justin Jefferson next to become the highest-paid receiver. Alexander Mattison is a free agent after this season. The long-term path is there for Chandler.

If not for an injury profile that includes a torn ACL in opposite years in consecutive seasons, White would’ve been selected on Day 2 of the draft. He’s that talented and has game tape that backs it up. White appears to be fully healthy now and that was on full display at the Combine when he ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at 214 pounds. That’s feature back size and speed. He also impressed by showing off his quickness (10-yard split in 91st percentile) and explosiveness (broad jump in 94th percentile). White has flashed as a receiver as well and that skill set is what has me most excited about his fit with play caller Josh McDaniels in Vegas. The Raiders did not pick up Josh Jacobs’ fifth-year rookie option and this depth chart will look a lot more wide open if they ultimately decide to let him walk — as seems likely — in 2023.

Allgeier was far from my favorite running back prospect in this class, but he in ways reminds me of what had me so excited about targeting Jordan Howard when he joined the Bears from the Indiana Hoosiers — scheme fit. Allgeier perfectly fits what Falcons coach Arthur Smith wants to do in the wide zone run blocking game and he had a lot of success running behind that scheme at BYU. With a 5-11, 244-pound frame, Allgeier can carve out a nice role on an Atlanta depth chart that doesn’t have much competition at running back outside of hybrid back Cordarrelle Patterson.

Calvin Austin, WR, Steelers

Sometimes you have to trust the team drafting these players and the Steelers have a better track record than any team in the NFL when it comes to locating and developing wide receiver talent in Round 3 or later. They grabbed Austin in Round 4 and it’s easy to see him carving out a role sooner than later because he offers something no one else on their depth chart can when it comes to his ability after the catch. Austin ran a 4.32 40-yard dash with an 88th percentile 10-yard split, 87th percentile 20-yard shuttle, 87th percentile vertical jump and 97th percentile broad jump. He’s one of the most elite pure athletes in this class despite being just under 5-8 and 170 pounds.

Those Dynasty managers who played the long game with the last Bills wide receiver to be selected in Round 4 are about to be rewarded with the coming Gabriel Davis breakout. I’ll bank on Buffalo finding another gem in Shakir who may not be the most exceptional athlete but has exceptional short area burst. Shakir’s game shows up on tape though and not in testing. He has unique vision, contact balance and creativity as a runner after the catch. And now he is attached to Josh Allen.

We viewed Hunter Renfroe as a Dynasty afterthought and I was guilty of this as well — I won’t let the same happen for Kyle Phillips — a prospect I graded considerably higher than Renfroe. Like Renfroe, Phillips has a knack for finding soft spots against zone coverage and using his nuanced route running skills to beat man coverage. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of a poor man’s Cooper Kupp — not nearly as strong but equally adept at getting open.

The Ravens love doubling up at the tight end position in the draft and they did it again in this one. Kolar was one of my favorite prospects at the position overall with a 6-6 frame that he puts to excellent use as a chain mover and when he’s at his best, in the red zone. Kolar is ready to contribute right away as a receiving option though he has a long way to go as a blocker. That won’t matter for Fantasy if the Ravens decide to use him as a big slot.

The Titans have a type at tight end and in a lot of ways Okonkwo reminds me of Jonnu Smith and Delanie Walker, two tight ends who came before him on this team. He’ll never be a true Y tight end, but as we’re learning — at least from a Fantasy standpoint — that’s a good thing. Get him on the move and let the 6-2, 238-pound tight end put his 4.52 40-yard dash speed to good usage. Okonkwo has the long speed but also the short-area quickness and excellent leaping ability — Jonnu Smith light.

It’s rare for a quarterback selected even as early as Round 2 to make an impact, so it’s never wise to prioritize them in Dynasty. But if you’re playing in Superflex or 2QB leagues, Howell is my favorite late-round QB to target. Howell has a long way to go in his development, but he has NFL arm talent and can throw with velocity to all three levels of the field. In 2021, he proved that he also will add some as a runner (over 1,000 yards). He won’t be able to find as much success as a rusher at the NFL level, but he won’t be a nothing there either, and that adds significant value to his Dynasty outlook.

Also deserving of mention: Dameon Pierce, RB, Texans: Pierce would top this list and he qualifies as a fourth-round pick, but his landing spot (on a wide open Texans depth chart) has pushed him all the way up draft boards and he is no longer someone you’ll be able to get later in your rookie-only drafts. For that reason, I left him off the list. But I’m a big fan of Pierce’s projection to the next level and he remains a target of mine at his inflated value. Here’s a full draft profile I wrote on Pierce before the draft that includes strengths, weaknesses, advanced stats, Dynasty outlook and more.

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