Unfortunately, there is no end-all, be-all statistic, grade or metric that can pinpoint the NFL's next great rookie wide receiver. Every college star doesn't make the jump to the next level, and a player's landing spot plays a huge part in how a player develops in the NFL.
Even so, dynasty gamers must try to project which 2022 NFL Draft rookie WRs will break out in 2022 fantasy football leagues. And when it comes down to finding the next Ja’Marr Chase or Amon-Ra St.Brown of the 2022 NFL Draft class, fantasy football managers can lean on two specific metrics when considering which rookie wide receivers to target in drafts: dominator rating and breakout age.
Dominator rating considers the number of touchdowns and receiving yards a particular player commands within his own offense. Breakout age is the age in which a receiver reaches a 20% dominator rating for the first time. Producing at a young age is a solid indication that a player will continue his stretch of production into the pros. After all, when a kid balls out at 19 years old against a bunch of 21- and 22-year-old defensive backs, how can you not be entertained?
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I’ve collected the dominator ratings and breakout ages of 22 rookie wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft class hoping to identify some lesser-known WRs to target and others to fade in upcoming rookie drafts.
COLLEGE-CAREER DOMINATOR RATING
|Rank||Player||Class||School||Career Dominator Rating||PFF Receiving Grade|
|3||Jalen Tolbert||Senior||South Alabama||31%||85.9|
|5||Skyy Moore||Junior||Western Michigan||28%||91.5|
|7||Jahan Dotson||Senior||Penn State||26%||83.1|
|8||Khalil Shakir||Senior||Boise State||25%||92.9|
|11||Christian Watson||Senior||North Dakota State||21%||83.1|
|13||Garrett Wilson||Junior||Ohio State||20%||89.1|
|14||Chris Olave||Senior||Ohio State||20%||90.5|
|15||Makai Polk||Junior||Mississippi State||19%||68.4|
|16||John Metchie III||Junior||Alabama||18%||77.6|
|18||Calvin Austin III||Senior||Memphis||18%||87.7|
|19||Erik Ezukanma||Senior||Texas Tech||18%||75.5|
|21||Jalen Nailor||Senior||Michigan State||17%||70.5|
Treylon Burks is the consensus No. 1-ranked rookie wide receiver across dynasty platforms, largely because of his exquisite college production profile. His 32% dominator rating is the second-highest among the 22 wide receivers sampled and falls just short of 2020’s dominator rating king Rashod Bateman (35%).
I agreed with football analytics Twitter — and the numbers-driven Baltimore Ravens — that Bateman would be the next superstar wide receiver because of his elite collegiate output. And although Bateman’s rookie season didn’t confirm his path to stardom, he did show enough for fantasy managers to be excited about him going into his second season.
That same production-based enthusiasm is driving Burks’ rookie ADP. Can’t say I blame the market — Burks finished first in yards per route run (3.57) while also leading all receivers in yards per route run when lined up outside (6.08).
But despite Burks’ college triumphs, there was one small-school receiver who actually finished with a higher college dominator rating: Dai'Jean Dixon. The Nicholls State wide receiver spent the last four seasons bullying Southland Conference defenses to the tune of a 39% dominator rating (1st) and 93.0 PFF receiving grade (2nd).
Dixon finished as a top-six graded wide receiver in the nation twice over the last three years. He achieved a whopping 49% dominator rating in 2019.
Obviously, Dixon’s eye-popping numbers do come with a grain of salt because of the lackluster competition he faced. But anytime the 6-foot-2, 203-pound wide receiver has been tasked to go out and ball, he has delivered. His playmaking ability was on full display in the most recent 2022 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Dixon caught six of seven passes for 131 receiving yards and a touchdown in the all-star game.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 29, 2022
Consider Dixon my favorite deep sleeper of the 2022 wide receiver draft class.