Finding value in the second half of a fantasy football draft is often what allows great teams to separate from the pack over the course of a season. Leagues where players can be kept for multiple seasons put a premium on finding these late-round talents.
This is especially true among the players who are suiting up for their first professional seasons. Let’s take a look at some rookies going in the latter rounds of 2022 fantasy drafts who could make a difference in the championship aspirations of our fantasy teams.
Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans (ADP: 133)
Burks was the focal point of the Arkansas Razorback offense last season, hauling in more than double the receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns of any other player on the team. His acquisition was a direct result of the pick the Titans got from Philadelphia for AJ Brown is no coincidence.
Tennessee will rely on Burks to mirror Brown’s imposing presence on the edge. Tannehill may find that there isn’t much drop-off between the two, and Burks will only have Robert Woods to compete with at the top of the pass-catcher food chain for the Titans.
Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders (ADP: 172)
Dotson is already turning heads at Washington training camp with his expansive catch radius and reliable hands. He’s listed at 5’11”, 182 pounds, but proved during his time at Penn State that acrobatic catches are just part of what teams can expect from him on a routine basis.
Washington re-signed Terry McLaurin, who will garner the attention of opposing teams’ best cornerbacks, leaving room for Dotson to take advantage of matchups. He hauled in 91 catches for over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns during his junior year in Happy Valley.
George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP: 174)
Pickens is another rookie receiver stealing training camp headlines with aerial catches and trash talk. He racked up over 1,300 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns in two full seasons at Georgia before a shortened 2021 campaign when the Bulldogs won the title.
With Mitchell Trubisky slated to start the season, there is some concern about pass catchers in this offense for fantasy purposes. That said, Pickens has established himself as worthy of Pittsburgh’s third receiver spot in the lineup and will have opportunities to contribute in his rookie year.
Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons (ADP: 115)
Fresh off a 1,600-yard, 23 touchdown season at BYU in 2021, Allgeier joins a Falcons backfield that presents an opportunity for a young, talented runner to emerge. Swiss-Army knife Cordarrelle Patterson led the team in rushing attempts, yards, and touchdowns last season, totaling over 1,100 scrimmage yards and 11 touchdowns.
With the departure of Matt Ryan to the Colts, there’s plenty of room for new stars to emerge in the Atlanta offense amid what appears to be a rebuilding time period ahead. Allgeier should get the carries needed to prove whether he deserves a chance at the starting role in the future, which should be all the opportunity he needs.
Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans (ADP: 127)
Pierce is sharing a backfield with Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead as he begins his rookie season. That situation is about as rookie-friendly as it gets for a fourth-round pick like Pierce, and he’ll have the chance to cement a long-term role in the NFL if he can flash in this Houston offense.
With multiple matchups against the Jaguars and the team playing a last-place schedule, there will be some enticing matchups for Pierce to emerge among this group of running backs in 2022.