Redraft Leagues: Way Too Early Top-Five Picks

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A handful of fresh faces will be first-round picks this upcoming redraft season. Which players should be taken in the top five this year?

Shifting your strategy from dynasty football to redraft leagues is important, as they are totally opposite. In dynasty leagues, quarterbacks go first and go quick most of the time. In redraft leagues, most of the time, running backs go first — so the strategy has to be different.

Here are my way too early top-five picks for redraft leagues in the 2022 season. These should change as the regular season gets closer, but for now, here they are.

5. Leonard Fournette

For starters, this would not be happening if Tom Brady was still retired. With that being said, Brady is back in Tampa Bay and Fournette came back as well.

With Brady playing quarterback, Fournette had the best season of his entire NFL career, posting his best receiving season since 2019. Although Fournette rushed for just 811 yards, he posted his highest YPC in his career.

Leonard Fournette also posted 10 total touchdowns, which are the most he has had since his rookie season. What makes him a top-five pick is the fact that he posted the third-highest PPG amongst running backs in 2021.

This all happened with Tom Brady playing quarterback and he will be doing it again in 2022. Fournette signed a three-year deal with Tampa Bay while his only competition, Ronald Jones, left via free agency to Kansas City.

Fournette looks to completely take over the Tampa Bay backfield in 2022 and post another top-five season in redraft leagues across the fantasy community.

4. Joe Mixon

Joe Mixon finally proved the entire world wrong in 2021. He is young and healthy, and finally has a great supporting cast around him.

In 2021, Mixon finished as the RB4 in PPR and the RB5 in PPG. During the 2020 season, injury stopped him from producing and limited his play to just six games. In 2018 and 2019, Mixon finished as RB10 and RB13, but still was not giving the public what they wanted.

Now, in 2021, he was unleashed and gave the world what they were all waiting for — a true, dominant RB1 season. Mixon had seven games with over 20 fantasy points and six games with 25 or more fantasy points.

Touchdowns are key in fantasy football and Mixon had plenty of those in 2021. A total of 16 touchdowns ranked him fifth in the NFL last year.

Being with Joe MONEY Burrow and that Bengal's high-powered offense, Mixon should be a lock to have another RB1 season with plenty of touchdowns to come in 2022.

3. Christian McCaffrey

It was not that long ago that Christian McCaffrey was the fantasy king. He was the undisputed top player to have in dynasty and redraft leagues. Since then, a lot has changed for the young star — injuries have gotten the best of him.

In 2017, his rookie season, CMC finished as the RB10. After a great season, he went on a two-year stretch that is looked at with some of the best fantasy players' stretches such as Jamaal Charles and LaDainian Tomlinson.

In 2018, CMC finished as the RB2 in total points and PPG. He posted over 1000 yards rushing and an impressive 867 receiving yards.

CMC became the undisputed RB1 in fantasy football in 2019 when he finished as the RB1 in total points and ppg with a destructive 29.3 ppg. He made history that year as just the third player ever to eclipse 1,000 rushing and receiving yards. If someone had CMC, chances are they won their matchup that season.

In 2020 and 2021, CMC dealt with injuries that plagued his entire season. He has not had a full season since 2019, and that was a historic one. McCaffrey still deserves to be a top-five pick because it is pretty simple. If CMC is healthy, he will win matchups almost every week for whichever fantasy manager drafts him.

Christina McCaffrey is just as powerful a fantasy weapon that, in the three games he played in 2020, he averaged over 30 ppg. In the seven games he appeared in 2021, he averaged 18.2 ppg.

2. Austin Ekeler

Austin Ekeler is every fantasy manager's dream player. He is someone who cares about fantasy and wants managers across the world to win their matchup. Austin Ekeler is for the people. In his first three seasons, he had to deal with splitting time with Melvin Gordon. Ekeler finished as the RB45 his rookie season and then RB25 in year two. That all changed in year three.

Even though Ekeler and Gordon were still paired, Gordon only appeared in 12 games. Ekeler took full advantage of that and had the best season of his career. He had just 557 rushing yards but 993 receiving yards as a running back! He finished as the RB4.

Austin Ekeler was RB6 through three games in 2020, then suffered a serious hamstring injury that derailed his season. He came back and, from weeks 12-17, was the RB6 and averaged 17.2 points.

This past season, Ekeler appeared in all but one game and was the RB2 in PPR and PPG. Being with Justin Herbert and one of the best offenses in the entire NFL makes Ekeler a top pick for redraft leagues in 2022.

Most people play in PPR leagues and there are not much better running backs to take than Austin Ekeler if that is how the league is set up.

1. Jonathan Taylor

Taylor has been my pick to be the RB1 since September of 2021. He lived up to the hype and more. Taylor finished as the overall RB1 and was dominant across all aspects.

In 2021, he had the most red-zone carries, the most total touchdowns, the third most yards per touch, the most yards created, and most evaded tackles. Those are all things a first-round pick should be doing for their league manager, especially the number one overall pick in redraft leagues.

The Colts have one of, if not the best, offensive line in football, and they upgraded the quarterback position with Matt Ryan who is overall just better than Carson Wentz. Now, with Ryan — someone who pushes the ball downfield — under center, teams will need to choose what they want to focus on. The answer is Jonathan Taylor, but he is still just too good at the sport.

Last season, Taylor had the best game of his young career so far vs the Buffalo Bills who, at the time, were a top-five run defense. Jonathan Taylor shredded them for four total touchdowns, 32 carries, and 204 total yards.

In 2022, Taylor should be the undisputed number one pick in all redraft leagues, with no regret. Another big season is in store for the new king of running backs.

Thank you for checking out my way too early top five picks article for the 2022 season! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys' author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @NBF_Clo and @IDPGuys (we have offense too) and please check out our website at

Brandon Blanco

Fantasy footballer for over 10 years now. Writing is my passion along with enjoying Star Wars and anything with heroes and villains. In my spare time, I am creating crazy parlays, playing video games or reading. I hope for my writing to help people win their leagues but most importantly something that entertains them and brings them joy when reading my articles.
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