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2022 NFL Draft: Dynasty Fantasy Football Winners and Losers from the AFC North

Did any veterans in the AFC North see a big value bump due to the NFL Draft? Which players might be losing out?

Lamar Jackson

With the 2022 NFL Draft now over, we can accurately re-assess the depth charts of teams around the NFL. In this series, we’ll be taking a look at players who either gained or lost value based on what their team did during the draft.

Next up, the AFC North.

It was French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr who said, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

This quotation is an irony in itself at this time of the year in the dynasty football landscape. On the one hand, for yet another off-season, like clockwork, we are analyzing every draft selection and its effect on NFL rosters. Yet, we must pay close attention to these moves as professional careers will not be staying the same for certain players.

The AFC North division went through a plethora of changes this off-season even before the pomp and circumstance in Vegas. However, once Rodger Goodell opened the 2022 NFL Draft, was saw some seismic value shifts within the teams of this division.


Draft Class

  • Round One, Pick 14: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
  • Round One, Pick 25: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
  • Round Two, Pick 45: David Ojabo, LB, Michigan
  • Round Three, Pick 76: Travis Jones, DT, UConn
  • Round Four, Pick 110: Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
  • Round Four, Pick 119: Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama
  • Round Four, Pick 128: Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
  • Round Four, Pick 130: Jordan Stout, P, Penn State
  • Round Four, Pick 139: Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
  • Round Four, Pick 141: Damarion Williams, CB, Houston
  • Round Six, Pick 196: Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri

Winner: Rashod Bateman, WR

The biggest veteran winner in the AFC North from draft weekend, and potentially the entire league, had to be Bateman. Not only did the Ravens not draft a single wide receiver despite making 11 picks, but they traded away WR1 Marquise Brown, and his 24.7% 2021 target share, to the Arizona Cardinals.

Bateman had a forgettable rookie season (46-515-1; WR71) but showed some flashes (7 for 103 in week 14 vs Cleveland) while battling injuries. The former Golden Gopher is now the unquestioned alpha of a Baltimore receivers’ room consisting of Devin Duvernay, James Proche II, Tylan Wallace, Binjimen Victor, and Jaylon Moore.

Yes, this will always be a run-heavy offense with Mark Andrews (25.8% target share) getting plenty of attention. However, Bateman’s successful collegiate career and first-round draft capital have his arrow pointing upwards. The 22-year-old should be acquired by contending and rebuilding teams alike as he should settle in as a solid WR2 with weekly WR1 upside. Savvy dynasty owners should wait to acquire him until right after the Ravens add another veteran wide receiver in the next few months.


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Loser: Lamar Jackson, QB

It’s never a great weekend for a quarterback when the team trades away your leading receiver from the past season. The Ravens signal-caller took to social media to voice his displeasure for the move on the draft’s opening night. While he still has Andrews and Bateman (and likely a veteran still to be signed), the Ravens failed to draft another receiver, leaving Jackson with the above collection of mediocrity for depth at the position. These players don’t inspire much confidence if one of his top targets was to miss any time.

Bubbling beneath the surface is of course Jackson’s ongoing contract status as he enters the final year of his rookie deal. If you are looking to roster the Baltimore franchise quarterback in a superflex league, this could be the time to acquire him at a slight discount.

Winner: JK Dobbins, RB

With all due respect to Tyler Badie, the Ravens not spending significant draft capital at the running back position is a great sign for both their short and long-term faith in Dobbins. As he looks to return from a 2021 training camp ACL injury, dynasty GMs have high hopes for a bounce-back season from the Ohio State alum. Being the leader of a backfield in the Baltimore read-option offense opposite Lamar Jackson is an enviable position.

Yes, John Harbaugh favorite Gus Edwards still looms on the Ravens depth chart. Yet in 2020, Dobbins not only finished as RB24 despite sharing the backfield with veteran Mark Ingram and Edwards, but the former Buckeye scored 26.2 more fantasy points than “Gus the Bus” despite ten fewer carries. Look for the third-year, 23-year-old back to be a top-15 option at the position with weekly top-five upside.

Rebuilding squads should look to cash in on Dobbins RIGHT NOW while those contenders in need of backfield help should feel confident in trading future assets to snag the Ravens’ RB1.

Writer’s note: This article was written before the Ravens signing of Mike Davis, but this signing does not change the outlook for Dobbins in the opinion of this writer.

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Draft Class

  • Round One, Pick 20: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
  • Round Two, Pick 52: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
  • Round Three, Pick 84: DeMarvin Leal, DE, Texas A&M
  • Round Four, Pick 138: Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis
  • Round Six, Pick 208: Connor Heyward, TE, Michigan State
  • Round Seven, Pick 225: Mark Robinson, LB, Ole Miss
  • Round Seven, Pick 241: Chris Oladokun, QB, South Dakota State

Loser: Chase Claypool, WR

Imagine you had to go out on national television and announce the hiring of a recent college graduate your boss brought in not only as direct competition, but to steal your job if successful. This was Claypool’s personal hell on day two of the NFL draft as he was at the podium to notify the world of the Steelers’ selection of George Pickens.

Looking to capitalize on a strong 2020 rookie season (WR22), the Notre Dame product was plagued by drops (56.2% catch rate) and poor quarterback play en route to a disappointing fantasy finish (WR39) in 2021. The optimism that the physically gifted wideout could see a rise in both actual and perceived value with a quarterback upgrade is now dead. Pickens represents immediate competition to Claypool for targets both this season and in the future.

For those who are looking to “buy the dip” on high upside players, this is a golden opportunity. Pickens’ injury history and off-the-field issues are well documented; the Georgia product reaching his potential is far from a guarantee. Also, WR1 Diontae Johnson is an unrestricted free agent next season meaning the Steelers could let him (and his 23.9% two-year target share average) walk come next off-season.

Winner: Najee Harris, RB

Pittsburgh not taking a running back in the draft was not a surprise but is a nice confirmation the Bama alum (and his league-leading 381 RB touches) is entrenched as a top-five dynasty running back. However, the Steelers selection of Kenny Pickett should have ancillary benefits for Harris. Whether Mitchell Trubisky or Pickett is under center, a mobile quarterback should open up rushing lanes for Harris.


Draft Class

  • Round Three, Pick 68: Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
  • Round Three, Pick 78: Alex Wright, DE, UAB
  • Round Three, Pick 99: David Bell, WR, Purdue
  • Round Four, Pick 108: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
  • Round Four, Pick 124: Cade York, K, LSU
  • Round Five, Pick 156: Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati
  • Round Six, Pick 202: Michael Woods II, WR, Oklahoma
  • Round Seven, Pick 223: Isaiah Thomas, DE, Oklahoma
  • Round Seven, Pick 246: Dawson Deaton, C, Texas Tech

Loser: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR

If someone tries to tell you the Browns waiting until the late third round to select a receiver is good news for Peoples-Jones’ dynasty value, ignore them. David Bell had a productive collegiate career and projects to be a very good NFL wide receiver. Cleveland got a steal nabbing him that late in the proceedings.

Yes, Peoples-Jones led the team in receiving yards (597) last season. However, he failed to seize upon his opportunity in the final nine contests (18-331-1) after the departure of Odell Beckham Jr while being plagued with drops and inconsistencies. No matter what the Browns’ depth chart says right now, Bell will be the starting receiver opposite Amari Cooper come September. I hope you traded DPJ for a third-round pick back in the winter as advised… it might be too late now.


Draft Class

  • Round One, Pick 31: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
  • Round Two, Pick 60 (from Buccaneers via Bills): Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska
  • Round Three, Pick 95: Zachary Carter, DT, Florida
  • Round Four, Pick 136: Cordell Volson, OT, North Dakota State
  • Round Five, Pick 166 (from Cardinals via Eagles, Texans, Bears): Tycen Anderson, S, Toledo
  • Round Seven, Pick 252: Jeffrey Gunter, DE, Coastal Carolina

Winner: Hayden Hurst, TE

If you’re a contender and need a short-term option at the tight end position (especially in a TE-premium league), Hayden Hurst should be on your radar. No, the former Falcon is not going to win you the league, but he makes for an intriguing flex option/spot start in a pinch.

The Bengals are committed to Hurst as their starter after signing him to a one-year contract and drafting no competition at the position. CJ Uzomah had seven top-24 finishes (including two overall TE1 weeks) in this offense last season. There’s no reason to think Hurst (with a TE10 fantasy finish in 2020) could not replicate this production.

2022 NFL Draft: Dynasty Fantasy Football Winners and Losers from the AFC North
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Chad Gorick
10 months ago

Great analysis Josh. As a fan of Cleve, how do you see the speedy Schwartz? Does he have a shot to be the WR2 or WR3 in Brownville?

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