NFL Rookie Tracker Week Ten

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Here we go with the NFL Rookie Tracker Week Ten edition. A slightly more brief effort this week as life has gotten in the way, but let’s see what rookie goodness we can mine from last week’s NFL action,

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

Alvin Kamara – RB – Saints

The Saints absolutely bludgeoned the Bills with their punishing run game, in a beat down on the road. They had six rushing TD’s, and Alvin Kamara was again front and centre with 132 all purpose yards and a score. Kamara is perhaps my favourite rookie to watch this season, so far. He’s much more than a scat back, or third down option and the Saints are slowly realising that. Kamara has the ability to create his own yards with his quick cuts and vision, and he sheds tackles like a true workhorse. I’ve said in this column over the past couple of weeks that i think Kamara can take hold of this run game in the next couple of seasons, and has David Johnson like Fantasy upside. Nothing i saw in week ten changed my mind on that. Locked in RB1 and his second consecutive rookie of the week.

NOTABLE PERFORMERS

J.D. McKissic – RB – Seahawks

Look, the Hawks running game is dirt right now, but McKissic has a chance to lock down that passing game role with C.J Procise again landing on injured reserve. McKissic had nine total touches for 46 yards in this Thursday night tilt against the Cardinals, nothing spectacular, but as we always say on the rookie tracker…he’s free, and he’s involved, so he’s definitely worth rostering. This is a backfield desperate for a spark, and McKissic could be the one to provide it.

Joe Mixon – RB – Bengals

Another trip to the endzone for Mixon, but another underwhelming day rushing wise, Mixon is locked in as the Bengals top back with Jeremy Hill finding his way on I.R. I’m not excited about starting Mixon at this point, but the break out will come this season and the hype train will kick back in again when it does. Just be patient here.

Nathan Peterman – QB – Bills

Peterman came on in relief of Tyrod Taylor at the end of the Bills crushing defeat at the hands of the Saints. He completed seven of ten passes for 79 yards and a score, and was surprisingly anointed the Bills starter for this weeks tilt against the Chargers. I suspect Peterman is a back up level player, and the benching of Taylor wont last long. That being said, Peterman is worth grabbing, as he’s currently an NFL starter and in deep dynasty leagues, those are very scarce.

Jamaal Williams – RB – Packers

I actually liked Williams as a late round pick up in summer rookie drafts. I never thought the Ty Montgomery experiment would fully work and there was a chance for either Williams or fellow rookie Aaron Jones to carve out a meaningful role in a top NFL offense. Williams was thrust into action as both Montgomery and Jones went down in this win over the Bears. He turned 20 touches into 67 yards and help the Packers grind out a crucial win. The stat line wasn’t spectacular, but with both Jones and Montgomery expected to miss this weeks game against the Ravens, Williams has a real chance to lay claim to the job.

DeShone Kizer – QB – Browns

The Browns week ten loss against the Lions was the best game of DeShone Kizer’s young career. The second rounder out of Notre Dame, gave you a nice little Fantasy line, and had the Browns in this game until the inevitable collapse late on. Kizer has an NFL future in my opinion, he just needs the Browns to get out of his way. If he’s allowed to take his lumps and make mistakes without being benched for inferior players like Kevin Hogan, they could have a nice player on their hands. For us as dynasty owners, check the waiver wire as Kizer is a nice little pick up if a fellow owner got impatient during his early season benchings. He has a fantasy friendly skill set, and that is what we love. A live arm, and a little bit of rushing ability equals a high floor.

JuJu Smith Schuster – WR – Steelers

Another impressive showing from the USC product, Schuster is established as a top target in a high powered offense that plays five of its last seven games at home. Schuster is turning into one of the best value picks of this draft class, and has certainly been its best wide receiver at this stage. In this win over the Colts, he grabbed five balls for 97 yards and a score to back up his near 200 yard effort in week nine. I sold high on JuJu this week, i traded him away for two late first rounders in a ten team league, as my team isn’t in contention. That was the right move for that team, but it doesn’t mean i don’t think he will remain a solid dynasty asset down the line.

Austin Ekeler – RB – Chargers

This running back class has been ridiculously good in it’s first season. Austin Ekeler is the fouth guy this season, after Matt Breida, Elijah McGuire and Corey Clement, to come from just about making a roster, to being a dynasty waiver pick up that turned into an asset. As well as being top heavy, the running back class has been littered with gems that cost you very little to grab, and gave you solid flex starts and a desirable piece at the end of your bench. Ekeler turned 15 touches into 119 yards and a pair of scores in this loss to the Jaguars, and though he did have a back breaking fumble as the Chargers tried to salt this game away, he ate into Melvin Gordon’s workload and looked the better running back. Monitor Ekeler closely, there is some Danny Woodhead type appeal in this offense.

Matt Breida – RB – Niners

Breida flashed again in week ten, with 9 carries for 55 yards and a score as the Niners grabbed their first win of the season against the hapless Giants. Breida is slowly becoming a nice flex play in a young offense that he is very much involved in. He fits the rookie tracker formula, that we discuss every week, as well as anyone. Talented, cheap, involved in an offense.

Evan Engram – TE – Giants

A chink of light shining through on a dour season for the G men, Evan Engram is already one of the best tight ends in Football. Not only did he score his fifth touchdown on his sixth career redzone target in this loss to the Niners, but there were signs that he is transitioning into an every down role as a blocker also. If Engram stays on the field for every snap, then look out. Engram is one of the hottest assets in Dynasty right now.

Christian McCaffrey – RB – Panthers

McCaffrey again showed well in the Panthers MNF beat down of the Dolphins. He scored two touchdowns, one on the ground and one receiving, and was at the centre of most good things the Panthers did. What is abundantly clear though, is that this run game runs through Cam Newton, and McCaffrey will be more of a Swiss army knife in this offense than the every down runner he was billed as coming out. I like McCaffrey as a player, and he has elite PPR upside, but i tend to think he was a little over drafted in rookie drafts this past off season.

CAUSE FOR CONCERN

We’ll wrap this up with some quick hitters about players that raised eyebrows in week ten…

-Leonard Fournette’s usage went way down after his team enforced suspension in week nine. Maybe he his still in the dog house, but he did almost nothing with his 17 carries against the Chargers.

-Corey Davis chemistry with Marcus Mariota looks a little off, and he has made some mental errors also, running wrong routes and not finishing. Maybe we need to be little more patient.

-Mike Williams is barely involved in the Chargers offense, and i have no idea why. I suspect it’s because their offense is inconsistent and he’s not yet fully healthy, but they don’t even go to him in the red zone, which is kind of his calling card. Strange.

-Taywan Taylor must have said something about Mike Mularkey’s wife. He’s barely involved in an offense so devoid of speed, the Titans are using a cornerback on offense.

-John Ross is still in the dog house with Marvin Lewis, and i’m slightly worried that he cant outwork Brandon LaFell and Alex Eriksen, at this point.

That’s it for week ten, check back next week for more Rookie Dynasty goodness, and follow me on twitter @NEILDONOHOE

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