Dameon Pierce or Rachaad White: Who’s the better fantasy draft pick in 2022?

Rookie running backs are among the top sleepers in fantasy football drafts every year, and 2022 is no different. Even rookies are set to start the season as handcuffs spark interest. Two of those RBs who are fairly close in their overall rankings and ADPs are Houston’s Dameon Pierce and Tampa’s Rachaad White, both of whom have great breakout potential if touched regularly.

But which back has the better draw value? Breece Hall, Kenneth Walker and James Cook will likely be the first three RBs included in Fantasy drafts, but after that Pierce and White are among the next best picks. Let’s break down who is the better choice for fantasy owners.

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2022 Fantasy Cheat Sheet

Dameon Pierce Fantasy Outlook, Projection 2022

Pierce was drafted by Houston with the 107th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft from the University of Florida. In his final season with the Gators, Pierce rushed for 574 yards (100 carries) and 13 TDs. He also caught 19 passes for 216 yards and three TDs.

Pierce is a bloody, hard-nosed RB who thrived in the red zone in Florida. He won’t blow anyone away with his speed, but he still has big play skills. He was never a feature in college, but that could certainly change in the NFL. He has three-down potential as he’s a skilled pass blocker, increasing his chances of seeing a fair amount of snaps in the first year.

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The Texans’ RB depth chart poses no threat to limit Pierce’s options, as it can be argued that he’s the tallest head in an RB space that includes veterans Rex Burkhead and Marlon Mack. Burkhead is 32 years old while Mack struggles with injuries. The Texans could look to the fresh-legged rookie to shoulder a heavy workload in ’22.

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Pierce showed his skills in Week 1 preseason averaging 9.8 yards per rush (five carries, 49 yards). He’s received rave reviews in training camp, and there’s a real chance he’ll become the Texans’ key early-down RB this season. It’s unfortunate that he’s morphed into a Texas offense that’s considered one of the weaker offenses in the league, but opportunity is everything in fantasy football. With his ADP at #120 per FantasyPros, he’s a must-draft bench RB with RB2/3 on top. There’s a real chance he’ll lead all rookies in rushing yards by the end of the season, making him a real sleeper RB.

QB’s | RB’s | WRs | TEs | D/STs | One from each team

Rachaad White Fantasy Outlook, Projection 2022

White was selected by Arizona State University with the 91st pick in this year’s draft. In his senior season at ASU, White was effective in both the rushing and passing games as he logged nearly 1,500 total yards (1,006 rushing, 456 received). White’s ability to help with the passing game is a big plus in his hopes for a successful NFL career, but he’s still a question mark over his likely first-year impact.

Unlike Houston’s backfield, Tampa Bay’s RB space is much deeper with players who have established roles. Leonard Fournette is coming off his best fantasy season in terms of average fantasy points per game (18.3) and is the undisputed #1 RB. After Fournette, Giovanni Bernard is a capable pass catcher who will still play an important role as third-place finisher.

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White could very well be Fournette’s primary backup, but barring an injury, he’s unlikely to oust Fournette as the Buccaneers’ RB in 2022. He could skip Bernard as the team’s primary pass catcher, which could help him during the bye weeks due to a PPR flex.

AUCTION VALUES 2022 (Standard & PPR):
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Although White is on a much better offense, Pierce has a better opportunity for consistent touches, resulting in a higher overall power of imagination. While that could certainly change with an injury or two, Pierce has the edge at the moment.

The choice is… Pierce

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