Yahoo Fantasy analysts Andy Behrens, Matt Harmon and Liz Loza look at the first round of 2022 fantasy drafts
LIZ LOZA: All right, thanks Tank I think we can all look to the future at this point, because every year we speculate on who will be next year's top pick in fantasy drafts. But I think we can all agree it's going to be Jonathan Taylor. So I thought it might make more sense to discuss what we think will be the number two pick. Andy, what are your thoughts here?
ANDY BEHRENS: Listen, when Cooper Kupp has 184 yards at halftime in week 17, I may reconsider this. But for now, I think I'm still going to go with Derrick Henry. And Tank gave you some of the case earlier. Like Henry, right now, is still sixth in the NFL in rushing, and he's fifth in rushing touchdowns with 10. He hasn't played since Halloween, Halloween. He was the absolute right answer in fantasy football for eight weeks, no question about it. Averaged over 135 scrimmage yards per game, was on pace for 20 touchdowns, and remember, he was also going to double up his single season high in receptions as well. They were throwing it to him a little bit.
Guy's going to be 28 next season, so it's not as if he's going to be completely cooked. I think he has a chance to re-establish sort of that vintage Derrick Henry style in the NFL playoffs. And we're going to view him as a sure thing, top two, top three fantasy pick next year.
LIZ LOZA: All right, Matt, are you agreeing with Andy here on the number two pick next year?
MATT HARMON: I agree with just about everything that Andy just said, number one in that I almost kind of considered Cooper Kupp here as well. I thought about it for a second. And he's right to mention that my good pal, my buddy, this handsome and excellent Tank Williams made a great point earlier in the show, which was nice to see that happen. Like you mentioned, everything can happen once. It was a great point, like Derrick Henry basically carried you for the first part of the year. There's so many good vibes with Derrick Henry.
And like you pointed, it took Jonathan Taylor forever for him to supplant Derrick Henry as the leading rusher this year. That's how much of an advantage he gave you when he was playing. I see no reason, especially because of how like identity-free the Titans have been since losing Derrick Henry, they've just tried-- like, let's just keep the seat warm. We'll just do the same offense, but we'll just try to make D'Onta Foreman like a discount, light beer version of Derrick Henry. That's been whatever, hit or miss. They haven't changed their stripes at all.
I doubt that they change anything when Derrick Henry gets back in there. So Yeah, I think he will be the number two pick, especially, as Andy mentioned, again, I agree with everything he said. If we get a couple of good Derrick Henry moments in the playoffs, set it and forget it. He'll be the number two pick next year.
LIZ LOZA: Yeah, then that's all fine and nice. And while I'm not contractually obligated to mention Austin Ekeler here, and I might be a little bit biased, can we please give the man some respect? His name is Pound for Pound for a reason. He's the RB3 overall in fantasy. And despite all of the concerns about his stature, oh, he's not a workhorse back, he has not missed a single game due to an injury. Second to Jonathan Taylor, he has the most touchdowns total, 17 on the season. He leads the position in receiving yards.
I mean, you want a consistent player at this position in Austin Ekeler, again, second to Jonathan Taylor, which is why he should be number two in 2022. Is that guy, it's time we give him a little respect, and also applaud his self awareness. He's not CMCing it out there, being like, give the ball 30 times a week so I can break down. Also, did Derrick Henry finish the season? Nah. Did Joe Mixon miss time with an injury? Yeah. How about, oh, Nick Chubb? Him too. Austin Ekeler is self-aware, he's excellent, he's a dual threat, he's attached to a lit offense. He's my number two.