As the 2022 rookie draft season approaches, there is no better time to familiarize yourself with some potential sleeper candidates. This 2022 class has been described as a weak draft class for skilled positions. This is not great news for us fantasy managers! However, drafts are never won or lost in the first round. Finding that late round gem can win you a championship after all! Let’s take a deeper look at the 2022 rookie class, to see who has potential to be a sleeper candidate.
2022 Rookie Sleeper Candidates
Jashuan Corbin (RB) Florida State
Measurables: 5-11, 202 lbs.
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Tampa Bay, Tennessee
A player who is not getting enough attention as a potential sleeper in the 2022 rookie draft class is Jashaun Corbin. At this year’s NFL Combine he measured in at 5-11, 202 pounds. He is a former top 20 recruit who earned All-SEC honors at Texas A&M in his freshman year for his special team’s work. This past season he led the ACC in yards per carry with an average of 6.20 yards. Also he tied a single season school record for two 75-yard touchdown runs in a single season. He totaled 60 receptions for over 300 yards in his career. This past season his 25 receptions lead the Seminoles. Showing us that he can also be a weapon in the passing game. This has become a very important trait for running backs at the NFL level.
Landing on a team that will allow him a year of seasoning while sprinkling him in may be his best path. Overall he could become a lead back over time. Two teams stand out as potential suitors Tennessee and Tampa Bay. Both team run similar concepts to the Seminoles and he could transition easily. They also have a lead back who can handle the load for a year while he learns the NFL game.
EJ Perry (QB) Brown
Measurables: 6-2, 210 lbs.
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Washington
Playing in the IVY league he has not draw a ton of attention, although he may deserve a second look. After transferring to Brown in 2019 he set an IVY league record for total offense with 3678 yards. 2948 of these where through the air, while completing 60% of his passes. Along with this he threw 22 passing touchdowns and added eight rushing touchdowns. Sadly to 2021 season was canceled due to covid-19. In 2021 he picked up where he left off throwing for over 3000 yards and completing 66% of his passes. He would finish 2021 with 31 all purpose touchdowns.
Looking forward landing in Washington makes a ton of sense for EJ Perry. He has a similar playing style to that of Taylor Heinicke. So why not learn first hand from him and Carson Wentz for a year or two. It may be a stretch that he ever becomes a fantasy option. However, he is worth a late flier in SuperFlex leagues.
Tyler Goodson (RB) Iowa
Measurables: 5-9, 197 lbs.
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Philadelphia, Titans, New York Jets
In 2021 Tyler Goodson finally got a chance to be the led guy for the Hawkeyes. He took this opportunity and ran with it! As he totaled 1151 rushing yards on 256 carries, while scoring 6 touchdowns. He displayed good elusiveness while forcing 37 missed tackles. This paired with his breakaway speed and solid vision make him a very good outside zone runner. His size is working against him though, as he is only 5-9, 197 pounds. However, he did show a good ability in the passing game as well. Totaling 70 receptions and 565 yards in three years with the Hawkeyes! This could be an avenue for him to carve out a role in the NFL if they deem him to small to be a lead back.
Landing in Tennessee seems like a great fit. They tend to run a similar run game package as Iowa, along with the fact he could be used as a spell back in year one. His speed and burst would be a great complement to Derrick Henry. Also he could be used as a pass catcher in an offense looking for more receiving weapons. This could lead him to become one of the best 2022 rookie sleepers.
Justyn Ross (WR) Clemson
Measurables: 6-3, 205 lbs.
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Detroit, New Orleans
After a disappointing 2021 Justyn Ross has slipped down many draft boards. To the point he can be discussed as a sleeper! In 2018 as a freshman he produced a 1000 yard season while scoring 9 touchdowns. He would follow that up with an 800 plus yard season as a sophomore. However, he sustained a terrible injury in 2020 leading him to miss the season. He would return to the field in 2021, however he was not super productive totaling only 514 yards. The talent has always been there for Justyn Ross, along with the size as he stands 6-4, 200 pounds. The question is consistency and health at this point in his career.
Many teams could use a talented 6-4 receiver, but the Lions make a lot of sense for him. There is no question they need more weapons on the perimeter. They also lack a ton of size in their current group of players. Landing here could allow him to be a nice complement to Amon Ra St. Brown. While giving him an opportunity to carve out a role that equals fantasy success.
Kevin Harris (RB) South Carolina
Measurables: 5-10, 220 lbs.
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Atlanta
This is a player who needs to be on your radar! In 2021 he had a down year coming off a back surgery he had in the offseason. He was never fully healthy until late in the season. In 2020 he rushed for 1138 yards on 185 carries, while adding 15 rushing touchdowns. On tape his power and vision really pop off the screen. But his contact balance is something that really helps him put up large YAC numbers. In 2021 he had 481 yards after contact with 23 forced missed tackles. This was more than 50% of his total yards of 658.
Landing in Atlanta makes a ton of sense, they are in need of some juice in the backfield. However, with a ton of other needs they will not be able to spend high draft capital on a top guy. This could thrust Kevin Harris into a large role quickly. If this happens he will be the best 2022 rookie sleeper for fantasy football.
Jalen Tolbert (WR) South Alabama
Measurables: 6-0, 195 lbs.
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Packers, Saints
If you like solid route runners who have good speed this guy is for you! Playing in the Sunbelt Conference he was facing much lesser competition than others in this class. However, he had back to back 1000 yard seasons in 2020 and 2021. The Jaguars offense ran through him, he was lineup both in the slot and out wide. This helped give him a diverse route tree that he runs well. In 2021 he created 581 yards after the catch, and forced 13 missed tackles. This did not surprise me as on tape his speed is unmatched by many defenders. He had many explosive plays resulting in large gains. One area of concern is the fact he had some drop issues, with some concentration drops. In 2021 he had 8, this is not the end of the world but definitely not something to over look.
One team that is in desperate need of wide receivers after loosing many in free agency, the Packers. Jalen Tolbert make a lot of sense for them. He could become a short area target for them, which is a key piece in Matt Lafleur’s offense. From day one he would have an opportunity to win a large role in the offense that would lead to both NFL and fantasy success.
Tyler Allgeier (RB) BYU
Measurables: 5-11, 220 lbs.
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Arizona, Cincinnati
Playing football for BYU does not always offer a ton of exposure to the masses. For this reason Tyler Allgeier is sliding under the radar. This makes him a great 2022 rookie sleeper candidate. With a thick frame of 5-11, 220 pounds he has that prototypical NFL lead back frame. He is coming off back to back 1000 yard rushing seasons, as well as a 23 touchdown season for the Cougars. However, it does lack top end speed. He does make up for that with solid vision and great contact balance and body control. As a runner he is physical yet can beat you with a wiggle when needed. He also 45 career receptions for 340 receiving yards. Showing he can also play on third downs when asked to. If he gets an opportunity in 2022 he could carve out a solid role leading to fantasy success in year one.
Arizona makes a ton of sense as a prime landing spot for him. He will go on day two which will be a great spot for them to take a player who plays similar to James Conner who they just extended. However, we know James Conners injury history. If something was to happen this could led to a chance for Tyler Allgeier to step up and take over the job. If not he can spell him at times and learn the game from him before taking over in a year or two.
Khalil Shakir (WR) Boise State
Measurables: 6-0, 193 lbs.
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Chargers
As we talk about the 2022 rookie class and it’s potential sleeper candidates we can’t skip Khalil Shakir. A now former 2 time All- Mountain West first teamer, he has been terrorizing the Mountain West for years now. In his four seasons as a Bronco he totaled 2878 receiving yards and totaled 20 receiving touchdowns. Doing most of his damage from the slot. On top of this he was a weapon in the run game producing 414 yards on 71 carries. He showed great vision and physicality as a ball carrier when called upon. This plus his solid 6-0, 193 pound frame gives you some Deebo Samuel vibes.
The Chargers have made a statement in free agency by bringing in a ton of defensive help. Their time is now, so why not add a versatile weapon for Justin Herbert. Khalil Shakir could learn from one of the best slot receivers to play the game in Kenan Allen. All well still being used in packages to help supplement the run game!
Greg Dulcich (TE) UCLA
Measurables: 6-4, 243 lbs.
Potential NFL Landing Spots: New York Giants, Buffalo
As a walk on freshman Greg Dulcich earned his way from day one, all the way to a scholarship. Over his four years as a Burin he totaled 1353 receiving yards, while carrying a career 17.6 yards per catch. In 2020 he led the Bruins in receiving yards and touchdowns. As a senior this past season he was a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award as the nations top tight end. Not surprising as his 17.3 yards per catch was 3rd among tight ends nationally. Along with his 725 yards and 5 touchdowns, he had a very impressive season! He possess good speed and great athleticism, this makes him a great candidate to become a true weapon at the position in the NFL.
A team in desperate need of good tight end play is the New York Giants. Landing in a prime location would definitely put Greg Dulcich in the 2022 rookie sleeper candidate list. With a new head coach in Brian Daboll who has done wonders with Dawson Knox. One could only imagine what he will scheme up for this field stretching tight end.
Jake Ferguson (TE) Wisconsin
Measurables: 6-5, 250 lbs.
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Arizona, Baltimore
This 6-5, 250 pound tight end has been a reliable target for the Badgers the past four seasons. Eclipsing the 400 yard mark in three of four seasons, and most likely would of had four season had 2020 not been shortened. While totaling over 1600 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns on 145 receptions. Coming in to 2021 he was on the John Mackey Award watch list after finishing as a semifinalist in 2020.
As a complete tight end prospect many teams will look Jake Ferguson’s way. However, Arizona seems like a great fit. His ability to block will help him find his way onto the field early. He also will get the chance to learn from Zach Ertz in year one. This would be great for his career arc, he could develop more as a receiver.