1. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
In 2021, Taylor was every fantasy owner's ideal. The 23-year-old ran 42 times inside the 10-yard line, which is a record. Damien Harris of the New England Patriots had 30, which was the next-highest total in the NFL, to put that number into context. With a league-best 1,811 running yards (5.5 yards per carry) and 18 touchdowns, Taylor eventually gained MVP consideration. Additionally, he grabbed 40 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor should be a no-brainer with the first overall pick in your draft, regardless of the format, because he has guaranteed volume to go with his great talent.
2. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
At this point, you are aware of what to expect from Christian McCaffrey. Spending a top-three choice on a player who could win the league also increases the likelihood that they will injure themselves and ruin your season. Even though we still believe he is worthwhile, make sure you add Chuba Hubbard later in your pick as a backup plan.
3. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
In PPR formats, Ekeler is about as safe as it gets for a top-five draft pick if he stays healthy. Out of the backfield, he hauled in 70 passes for 647 yards and eight touchdowns. He also showed he wasn't a slouch in the running game, racking up 911 yards and another 12 touchdowns. Ekeler will have plenty of chances to impress in an offense that is anticipated to be at its peak in 2022.
4. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
Henry played in only eight games last season due to injuries, yet he still finished as the RB20. Through those eight weeks, he had the highest PPR points per game (23.4) among all running backs. Given his heavy workload and the apparent injury risk leading into 2022, Henry should, at least temporarily, be regarded as one of the finest running back alternatives available.
5. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Owners of Cooks might be entering this year's draft with a sour taste in their mouths. The three-time Pro Bowler missed four games and his number of touchdowns dropped from 17 in 2021 to 6 in 2022. That is an unusual occurrence. When healthy in the previous season, Cook averaged 15.2 fantasy points per game and 22 touches per game. Those stats merit being selected in the first round early.