Week 3 NFL Rookie News and Info
What a start it has been to the NFL season! In terms of fantasy, we have all overreacted and overthought simple decisions about our teams. Which breakouts will last? Which busts will recover? Unequivocally, there are a plethora of questions that everyone has. The Rookie Roundup is back to answer your fantasy questions that pertain to rookies. To recap, the “starters” are rookies that should be acquired immediately by any means necessary. “Bench players” are those that have upside, but I would like to see more out of before I make a move. “Practice Squad players” are the rookies that you should ignore for fantasy purposes, as their upside is extremely limited.
5. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Marlon Mack was a late round pick, but that did not halt the expectations. He was expected to dethrone Frank Gore or at least begin the process, which he has. Though his numbers have not been great thus far, the increasing snap count and the wear and tear of a 34-year-old running back makes Mack a reliable option as a waiver pickup or stash. Mack will show an increasing amount of value as the year goes on, making him one of my targets.
4. Samaje Perine, RB, Washington Redskins
Another running back who has been shaky so far has been Samaje Perine. He has the talent to succeed, he just needs to break out. Chris Thompson has a limited role in that offense, even if he has broken out in the first three weeks. With Kelley hurt and Thompson not possessing the power that Perine has, expect the Oklahoma back to perform well in the coming weeks. He can be a touchdown machine, especially if he becomes the lead back.
3. Adam Shaheen, TE, Chicago Bears
A sleeper from the very beginning, I do not blame you if Adam Shaheen was not on your radar. Mike Glennon loves the small school tight end, as seen through his significant red zone presence. Shaheen has a chance to take the job from Zach Miller, or at the very least grab some more touchdowns. If you need a backup tight end or a spot starter at tight end, Shaheen’s red zone upside is up there with some of the best fantasy names.
2. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
Boy, was I wrong. On the inaugural edition of the Rookie Roundup, I ranked Alvin Kamara as a Practice Squad Player based off of his situation. We now know that Adrian Peterson is being used less and less, and the Saints are attempting to cement Kamara as the back of their future. His versatility is key as well. A pass catcher, Kamara offers PPR upside that some other backs do not, and he has run the ball effectively, making him a great addition to your team. Buy low before he starts scoring more touchdowns.
1. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon has one thing that almost everyone agrees upon… talent. Both his situation and his horrible offensive line were things to worry about, and things started out poorly. This budding star was rarely targeted, but the Bengals then fired their offensive coordinator. They replaced him with Bill Lazor, a coordinator who pledges to get his stars the football. The sheer workload is now not an issue behind Hill and Bernard, and his playing time will only go up. The offensive line is still awful, but Mixon has shown the ability to evade conflicts in the trenches. For these reasons, Joe Mixon is a stud pickup for your fantasy team.
5. Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Undrafted rookie Matt Breida was a name no one expected to hear, especially this early in the season. With Carlos Hyde banged up once again, Breida may see a massive increase in snaps. He is already the clear cut back up and if Hyde’s injury struggles continue, Breida will receive some snaps. Until then, Breida is just a backup running back waiting for his chance.
4. Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans
Another rookie behind an injury prone stud, Jonnu Smith is certainly the backup in Nashville. The intriguing thing about Smith is that the Titans have run a massive amount of two tight end sets, leaving Smith on the field. When he has been playing, he has played well, exceeding expectations, to say the least. We still have yet to see whether the two tight end sets are part of a scheme or not, or if it is just game planning. I feel that Smith’s value rides directly off of what formations Tennessee runs.
3. Donnel Pumphrey, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Yes, Donnel Pumphrey is on the Injured Reserve. How can he play this season? Well, now that Sproles, the veteran holding Pumphrey back, is also on the Injured Reserve, one player can be taken off of it. Howie Roseman may decide to add Sproles’s carbon copy to the roster. If so, Pumphrey will handle most, if not all, of the passes thrown to the backs, and even some rushing attempts. This makes him a solid option in fantasy, but only if Roseman decides to activate him.
2. David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
So far, the Browns have not been very good at all. One bright spot though is at tight end, where David Njoku has impressed. He is still not technically the starter, but he is receiving a ton of targets when he is on the field. If Kizer continues to develop and Njoku matches him stride for stride, the Miami product could become an awesome fantasy option. I am still hesitant with him as poor quarterback play and being the backup tight end both hurt his stock.
1. John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Basically, John Ross was selected inside of the top ten for one main reason. He is faster than everyone else. Cinci found themselves a playmaker. To start the season, Ross was criminally underused and underwhelming his stockholders. Now that Lazor is in the building with significant power, Ross will most definitely get the ball more. If the offensive line can hold up and Dalton does not tank his value, Ross could be an excellent player to add.
Practice Squad Players
5. Travis Rudolph, WR, New York Giants
An actual practice squad player, Travis Rudolph does not provide much fantasy value. The Giants offense has been non-existent, but the wide receivers have been the lone bright spot. I don’t see Rudolph getting the call anytime soon, and even is he did, he would just be depth at this point. I would just ignore him as an option right now.
4. Josh Dobbs, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Dobbs currently sits behind one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. The one chance he will get is if Big Ben goes down, which has happened more than Pittsburgh has liked over the last few years. If he gets a chance to play, he will likely succeed (I mean, look at what he has around him). Unless that happens, Dobbs is a complete no-go for your fantasy football purposes.
3. Jordan Leggett, TE, New York Jets
A pick I personally liked, Legget still probably won’t do much this year. He is behind Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, an athletic freak who has no intentions of losing his starting job. If you add this to the fact that Josh McCown is throwing to him, then one can come to the conclusion that you probably shouldn’t pick him up.
2. Joe Williams, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Joe Williams could have been a bigger factor in fantasy this year, but a different rookie beat him out. Breida, the prior mentioned backup, has looked far and beyond better than Williams. Shannahan and co. certainly knows this, and Breida should keep the backup role. There really isn’t a situation present where Williams outshines his 49ers running back counterparts.
1. Carlos Henderson, WR, Denver Broncos
Henderson was placed on the IR with a thumb injury that turned out to be worse than expected. His fate seems sealed there, and I would not expect any roster contribution from him this season. Though talented, the Broncos feel comfortable with their offensive depth and already have a jam-packed roster.
Hopefully, this article helps your fantasy team out, whether it be through the waiver wire or trading. Rookies are an essential part of fantasy football, and without them, your team can be left in the dust. With this week’s advice, you should be in a situation where certain prior mentioned rookeis are available. Depending on what category they were listed in should decide whtehr you go after them or not.