The safest picks you can make in Rounds 1-10

While finding players with championship upside is an essential part of a successful fantasy draft, avoiding those who might end up having dismal seasons is just as important. The top draft picks will mix in some upside picks with several players who have a high floor due to their age, skill and expected role. Let’s take a look at the safest picks in each round of the 2022 Yahoo drafts, recognizing that I’ve included running backs whenever possible due to the annual struggle to find safe picks at a position that is inherently risky.

Drafting Jefferson is the perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep. The former LSU star amassed over 3,000 yards in his first two NFL seasons and just recently turned 23 years old. He is the clear No. 1 weapon in an attack that is expected to pass more often this year and his teammates such as Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen they are good enough to keep the chains moving when they get their chances.

As I mentioned before, no RB is truly safe, but we have to start two of them and some are safer than others. Jones will undoubtedly be needed in a Packers offense that is led by an MVP-caliber QB, but lacks weapons at WR and TE. Sure, Jones will share opportunities AJ Dillonbut Jones has the versatile skill set, lengthy resume and big contract to ensure he gets plenty of touches.

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Round 3: Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (Overall ADP 31.1)

I understand the reasons not to draft Allen — he’s never posted a double-digit TD season and recently hit the wrong side of 30 — but in terms of consistency, he can’t be topped. The rising star’s favorite target Justin Herbert (more on him below) has caught between 97 and 106 passes in each of the past five seasons, averaging 1,184 yards and tallying at least six scores in those campaigns.

Round 4: Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers (Overall ADP 37.7)

As you can already tell, I have a lot of confidence in the Chargers passing attack. Herbert is arguably the safest QB option this year as he enters his 3rd year as an established star with the ability to throw for 5,000 yards and the rushing ability to contribute points in multiple ways. And the Chargers offense returns all of Herbert’s top weapons from last season.

Round 5: Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (Overall ADP 43.4)

I could have chosen Mike Williams to this point, but by now I’ve made my faith in the Chargers pass rush clear. For those who want a star QB and miss out Josh AllenHerbert and Patrick MahomesJackson is the latest option that combines a high floor with a huge ceiling.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is a fantasy star

Lamar Jackson combines floor and ceiling to provide maximum fantasy security. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The fifth-year pro is too quick to leave fantasy managers high and dry, as he would have posted his third straight 1,000-yard campaign last year had he not missed five games due to injury. Jackson posts such remarkable rushing totals that he doesn’t even need to be an average passer to secure a fantasy spot in the lineup.

Round 6: Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys (Overall ADP 56.3)

A 6th round investment in Schultz is unlikely to be the key to a championship, but he’s also among the safest picks in any round. The 26-year-old is a favorite target Dak Prescott, which resulted in 78 catches for 808 yards last year. And with his departure Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup still recovering from a knee injury, Prescott is set to open the season with few established options at his disposal. CeeDee Lamb and Schultz will do a lot of heavy lifting for a Dallas passing game that should be productive.

Round 7: Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans (Overall ADP 69.9)

Cooks has shown the change can’t slow him down, compiling six 1,000-yard seasons for four different teams by the time he celebrates his 28th birthday. He’s also proven he can be productive in an otherwise mediocre offense, which is good because that’s exactly the situation he’s in this season. Sophomore QB Davis Mills it should undoubtedly rely heavily on its more established receiver.

[2022 Fantasy Draft Rankings: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DEFs | Ks]

Round 8: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions (Overall ADP 73.0)

Round 8 picks aren’t exactly safe, with St. Brown to emerge as a choice because of his great relationship with Jared Goff. Lions have added WR talent this year, but rookie Jameson Williams he’s recovering from a torn ACL and there’s no guarantee about that DJ Chark, who played four games last year, will find chemistry with Goff. As the Lions’ primary host option, St. Brown will catch a lot of passes underneath.

Round 9: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (Overall ADP 89.6)

The safety drop that occurred in Round 8 continues through the next 10 picks. And since we’ve reached the point in the draft where the RB and WR picks have mostly undefined roles, this is a great place for those who have been waiting to draft a QB to get a future Hall of Famer.

Sure, Rodgers needs to find a new No. 1 receiver, but we’ve seen him face this problem before, and he always makes it work. In fact, it’s remarkable that a player at any position winning back-to-back NFL MVP awards is available this late in drafts.

Round 10: Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Overall ADP 93.5)

It doesn’t matter what happens to me Ezekiel Elliott, Pollard will have a significant role in the Cowboys offense. In fact, one could argue that Pollard is the most dynamic playmaker on his team after averaging 5.5 yards per carry and 8.6 yards per reception last year.

The reason for Pollard splitting time with Elliott. the ceiling occupies the backfield.

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