Second Year Players for Your 2022 Draft Season
Every year there are a few rookies who show some flashes of greatness that make fantasy players excited to draft them the following year. But it can be difficult to guess whether these now second-year players were just flashes in the pan or breakout candidates. We already took a look at Three Rookies to Draft from the 2022 draft class, but we can’t forget that there are a few young players who could build upon their own rookie seasons.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the 2021 rookies who showed some promise but weren’t necessarily fantasy-relevant on a week-to-week basis. But now they just might be the guys who you can grab late in drafts and watch them boom on your roster. I took ADPs based on 12-team half-PPR drafts .
You can also find our rankings here .
Now let’s dive into some of the second-year players that are worth taking a shot on this draft season.
Rhamondre Stevenson – New England Patriots
Rhamondre Stevenson had what I consider a solid amount of work as a rookie for a team that normally doesn’t trust their rookie players (cough Bill B cough). Stevenson finished the year with 133 carries for 606 yards and 5 touchdowns. He was targeted 18 times, catching 14 of them for an additional 123 yards.
Stevenson played second fiddle to Damien Harris, who carried the ball 202 times for 929 yards and a whopping 15 touchdowns. Now I don’t necessarily think that Stevenson will overtake Harris this season, but I do believe he is primed for more work.
First off, Stevenson is a much more natural pass-catching back than Harris is. Also, with James White trying to come back from a difficult injury, Stevenson may have to step up into more of a pass-catching role. If that truly is the case, Stevenson will be a great value as an eight-round ADP in half or full PPR leagues.
Nico Collins – Houston Texans
Quarterback Davis Mills is also entering his second season, and quite frankly he showed some flashes of brilliance in an otherwise horrible season for the Texans. Another bright spot, however, was rookie Nico Collins. Collins wasn’t overly involved in his first season, catching 33 passes for 446 yards and one touchdown.
That said, Collins was definitely building chemistry with Mills, and now has the chance to step up into a larger role in that offense. With the run game (and offensive line) probably going to struggle and only veteran Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks to steal targets, Collins should see plenty of targets in his second year.
Houston will have to throw the ball a ton to keep up in games in 2022, so look for Nico Collins to have a solid sophomore season. He is also going undrafted, so you can probably easily pick him up off Waivers for free.
Rashod Bateman – Baltimore Ravens
The biggest and best thing going for second-year player Rashod Bateman is the simple fact that Hollywood Brown was traded to the Cardinals this offseason. Bateman now steps into the number one Receiver role. That role saw 146 targets in 2021, so Bateman should have every opportunity to breakout this season.
Bateman himself saw 68 targets in 12 games, catching 46 of them for 515 yards and one touchdown. The next Receiver in the pecking order? Devin Duvernay… has been disappointing, to say the least. Tight End Mark Andrews is the only real threat to Bateman’s targets, but he already has been a staple in Baltimore.
Bateman is a decently sized Receiver at 6’2”, and has the speed (4.39-second 40-yard dash) to outrun plenty of defenders. Bateman is primed for a big sophomore season on a good offense. He is currently being drafted in the ninth round of half-PPR drafts, which is pretty late considering he will be the number one Receiver.
Trey Lance – San Francisco 49ers
Ho boy has Trey Lance been hyped ever since being drafted in 2021. But after seeing only two starts in his rookie season, he now will be the number one guy. Jimmy Garoppolo is all but gone (allowed to seek a trade finally).
Lance went 9-18 for 157 yards and two touchdowns in his first real action as a rookie, and then followed it up with a 15 or 29 for 192 yards and one interception performance against Arizona. He made up for the “meh” play with 16 rushes for 89 yards. In his second full start later on in the season, Lance played much better, throwing for 249 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also rushed eight times for 31 yards.
The 49ers are a run-first team, which is great for running Quarterbacks like Trey Lance. If Lance can consistently throw for over 200 yards and average over one touchdown a game, you will probably be pretty happy with his fantasy output week-to-week (figuring in his rushing stats).
This is definitely a “show us what you got” type of season for Lance, and as a ninth-round pick (QB13), Lance could easily outperform his ADP.
Kadarius Toney – New York Giants
Kadarius Toney is a bit of a strange one to predict after a strange rookie season that saw glimpses of greatness, injuries, and attitude problems.
Toney finished the season with 39 catches for 420 yards and no touchdowns. He missed eight games with various injuries and threw a punch that somehow didn’t end in any suspension.
Still, Toney showed flashes of brilliance in Weeks 4 and 5, catching 6 passes for 78 yards and 10 passes for 189 yards respectively. The Giants are not necessarily going to light up the NFL, but Toney for sure has a chance to be the top Receiver if he can stay healthy and on the field. Sterling Shepard seems pretty much done in the NFL, and Kenny Golladay massively disappointed. Tight End Evan Engram is also gone.
If Quarterback Daniel Jones can also stay healthy and take a step forward, Toney will be a solid fantasy receiver. Toney is going late in the 10 th round in half-PPR drafts, so if he doesn’t perform, it’s not too big of a loss.
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