Stars of Week 17

QB: Joe Burrow, CIN: 30-39, 446 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs

RB: Rashaad Penny, SEA: 25 carries, 170 yards, 2 TDs

WR: Ja’Marr Chase, CIN: 11 catches, 266 yards, 3 TDs

TE: Noah Fant, DEN: 6 catches, 92 yards, 1 TD

Joe Cool goes back to back in the weekly honor roll, this time dislodging the reigning AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs. Burrow tossed 4 TDs en route to 446 passing yards, showing that his future is as bright as any QB in football. Look for Burrow to push his way into the discussion for top 5 fantasy QBs for next year’s fantasy drafts.

Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny has been flaming hot down the stretch, with the Detroit Lions his most recent victim. Penny averaged more than 6 yards per carry against Dan Campbell’s squad, rushing for 170 yards and 2 TDs. Penny has loads of talent, but just hasn’t been able to stay healthy during his four year NFL career. Penny heads to free agency this offseason, and it will be interesting to see if a team views him as its desired starter. In any event, Penny’s a name to keep in mind as we head into the offseason.

Just when people (ahem) started wondering if Tee Higgins is the Bengals’ WR to own in fantasy, Ja’Marr Chase went out and set the league on fire once again with 266 yards and 3 TDs. That’s a hell of a day for a 21 year old, much less anyone at any age. Check out the mock draft below to see just how high Chase goes.

Noah Fant started the season as a fantasy TE1, but the Broncos’ QB disfunction pushed him down to TE2 status. If the Broncos can upgrade at QB this offseason, Fant will jump back to an easy weekly must-start at TE. Fant had 92 yards and a TD in what was a quiet day for tight ends around the league.

2022 Fantasy Football Mock Draft

As teased last week, let’s mock the first four rounds of fantasy drafts for 2022. Note that this is for a 12 team league with 0.5 PPR, with snaking draft order (i.e. picks 12 and 13 held by the same team). Here we go!

Round 1

Team 1: Jonathan Taylor, RB – IND (RB1)

Team 2:  Cooper Kupp, WR – LAR (WR1)

Team 3: Davante Adams, WR – GB (WR2)

Team 4: Austin Ekeler, RB – LAC (RB2)

Team 5:  Dalvin Cook, RB – MIN (RB3)

Team 6: Derrick Henry, RB – TEN (RB4)

Team 7: Alvin Kamara, RB – NO (RB5)

Team 8: Najee Harris, RB – PIT (RB6)

Team 9: Christian McCaffrey, RB – CAR (RB7)

Team 10: Justin Jefferson, WR – MIN (WR3)

Team 11: Joe Mixon, RB – CIN (RB8)

Team 12: Tyreek Hill, WR – KC (WR4)

Jonathan Taylor should be the unanimous first overall pick in leagues. Dominant seasons by wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams, coupled by an absence of the same by running backs (excepting Jonathan Taylor and a half season of King Henry) lands us two WRs among the top 3 picks. Ekeler goes as the second RB as he’s the safest top option post-Taylor. Both Henry and McCaffrey should find their way in round 1, albeit expect variance as to where they go in leagues. Tyreek Hill ends the round as the fourth WR taken.

Round 2

Team 12: Deebo Samuel, WR – SF (WR5)

Team 11: Nick Chubb, RB – CLE (RB9)

Team 10: Stefon Diggs, WR – BUF (WR6)

Team 9: Ja’Marr Chase, WR – CIN (WR7)

Team 8: D’Andre Swift, RB – DET (RB10)

Team 7: Ezekiel Elliott, RB – DAL (RB11)

Team 6: AJ Brown, WR – TEN (WR8)

Team 5: CeeDee Lamb, WR – DAL (WR9)

Team 4: Mark Andrews, TE – BAL (TE1)

Team 3: DK Metcalf, WR – SEA (WR10)

Team 2: Travis Kelce, TE – KC (TE2)

Team 1: Dionte Johnson, WR – PIT (WR11)

Deebo Samuel enjoys a meteoric rise from his 2021 ADP, as his newfound WR/RB hybrid position makes him invaluable and impossible to stop. Nick Chubb flies off the board as the first RB in round 2, with D’Andre Swift and Zeke following in short order. This round is primarily dominated by WRs, with Metcalf and Johnson subject to potential movement down the board if their respective teams’ QB positions get downgraded. Ja’Marr Chase has the highest ceiling among all players in round 2. We also see our first two tight ends go off the board in Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce.

Round 3

Team 1: Jaylen Waddle, WR – MIA (WR12)

Team 2: David Montgomery, RB – CHI (RB12)

Team 3: Aaron Jones, RB – GB (RB13)

Team 4: Tee Higgins, WR – CIN (WR13)

Team 5: George Kittle, TE – SF (TE3)

Team 6: Keenan Allen, WR – LAC (WR14)

Team 7: Chris Godwin, WR – TB (WR15)

Team 8: Mike Evans, WR – TB (WR16)

Team 9: Calvin Ridley, WR – ATL (WR17)

Team 10: Antonio Gibson, RB – WAS (RB14)

Team 11: Terry McLaurin, WR – WAS (WR18)

Team 12: Leonard Fournette, RB – TB (RB15)

Wide receivers continue to fly off the board, with a few running backs and a tight end mixed in. Jaylen Waddle and Tee Higgins are the upside plays, with Chris Godwin (injury) and Calvin Ridley (leave of absence) comprising riskier picks. David Montgomery quietly outperforms naysayers every season, while on the flip side, Aaron Jones has AJ Dillon’s lurking shadow keeping him from going higher in drafts. George Kittle comes with risk as well due to frequent injury concerns over the past two seasons, but has as much upside as any TE in the league.

Round 4

Team 12: Josh Jacobs, RB – LV (RB16)

Team 11: Darren Waller, TE – LV (TE4)

Team 10: Elijah Mitchell, RB – SF (RB17)

Team 9: Javonte Williams, RB – DEN (RB18)

Team 8: Tyler Lockett, WR – SEA (WR19)

Team 7: Josh Allen, QB – BUF (QB1)

Team 6: Saquon Barkley, RB – NYG (RB19)

Team 5: Patrick Mahomes, QB – KC (QB2)

Team 4: Damien Harris, RB – NE (RB20)

Team 3: Kareem Hunt, RB – CLE (RB21)

Team 2: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB – KC (RB22)

Team 1: Kyle Pitts, TE – ATL (TE5)

Tight ends Darren Waller and Kyle Pitts each have a strong chance to provide significant ROI from their round 4 draft positions. Running back Javonte Williams will shoot up draft boards in case Melvin Gordon moves on from the Broncos. Saquon Barkley dropping to round 4 is hard to imagine when thinking out loud, but not if you dive into his numbers. He’s been all name, no production, and his ranking here may even be generous. We see the first two quarterbacks go off the board with Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes.

Rapid Fire Pickups for Week 18

Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case a player 1) who has NOT been featured above, and 2) remains available in more than 50% of leagues. [Note: Tough week for waivers!]

QB: Taysom Hill, NO (@ ATL)

RB: Dontrell Hilliard, TEN (@ HOU)

RB: Rex Burkhead, HOU (vs TEN)

WR: KJ Osborn, MIN (vs CHI)

WR: Gabriel Davis, BUF (vs NYJ)

TE: Tyler Conklin, MIN (vs CHI)

Personal Note

This is my last fantasy football article of the 2021 season. Thank you so much for reading my articles on RealGM! I have a request of you – if you enjoy my work, I kindly ask that you consider following me on Twitter if you aren’t already. My Twitter handle is @NeemaHodjatNFL. Your support is very much appreciated.