Rookies Watch Fantasy Playoff Picture

The season is quickly coming to a close and we head into Week 12 with many owners discovering if they will make the playoffs and others battling to grab that number five and six slots to squeeze in. Certain rookies may prove pivotal in these clashes and give you the edge over your opponent.

Rather than focus on week 11, we jump ahead to the upcoming fantasy playoffs. Finding players that you should be targeting for each week. If you are one of the lucky few who make it that far.

Rookies for Week 14 Wildcard Round

Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bill – Versus Baltimore Ravens

Typically the first round of the playoffs starts week 14. The three to four seed battle it out in the first knockout phase. One rookie who could be the difference in your wildcard matchup is Devin Singletary.

Week 14 sees Singletary matchup against the Baltimore Ravens who on the face of it appear a tough ask for Singletary (seventh against the run). The reason for my selection is Singletary’s usage has continued to improve since his return from injury and his involvement in the passing game will give him value in PPR leagues. The Ravens are a middle of the road team in the passing game (#18 238.6 yards per game).

The Ravens run defence will not only have to monitor Singletary on the ground but also his quarterback Josh Allen. Who is himself a threat which should open up opportunities for Singletary.

One aspect Singletary is currently lacking against other rookies is touchdowns. He currently sits on two rushing touchdowns on the year. Against the Ravens Singletary will arguably need a touchdown to have a sound fantasy day. But despite only allowing 94.3 rushing yards per game they are giving up one touchdown per game also.

Singletary is not a must start in week 14, is unavailable in the majority of leagues and easily an RB2/flex option in a year where running backs are slim pickings.

Rookies Week 15 Semi-Finals

Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants – Versus Miami Dolphins

It is always difficult to recommend a New York Giants player in 2019. With much of the offence leaving a lot to be desired. One man who has slowly become an integral part of the offence is Darius Slayton. Slayton finally exploded last week in the loss to the Jets, with 10 receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

Week 15 the Miami Dolphins visit MetLife Stadium and bring a defence who have given up 246.0 yards per game in 2019. Daniel Jones has built up a good relationship with Slayton following the pairs involvement together in the second string before their respective call ups.

Slayton is the leading touchdown receiver for the Giants with five Td’s. Despite his late start in the offence and Tate’s return from suspension. He is also averaging 14.6 yards per catch and could easily top another 100+ yard game against a subpar Dolphins defence.

Slayton’s five touchdowns are all the more impressive when you consider the fellow rookies he shares the TD lead with were all drafted in the first three rounds (Metcalf, Hardman and McLaurin).

Slayton should be viewed as a WR2 in week 15. He is a comfortable start for any owners who have him sat of the bench or on the off chance he is still on the wavier wires. Daniel Jones is also a worthy stream against the Dolphins although it is a risky stack to rely on in the fantasy wildcard week.

Rookies Week 16 Championship Round

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears – Versus Kansas City Chiefs

The big title week needs a big time player. Despite a slow start to his NFL career David Montgomery could be that man.

Montgomery has appeared in this series multiple times this season and mostly in a negative capacity. However, he appears to be on the up and has strung together some good performances. He is still far away from justifying the price tag many owners put the investment in drafts. But most of that may be forgiven if he can guide you to a fantasy title.

Montgomery remains a risky selection especially in the title game. But he will be coming up against the 30th ranked run defence in the Kansas City Chiefs. KC are giving up an average 143.1 rushing yards per game. Only two weeks ago they gave up 188 yards on the ground to Derrick Henry.

Montgomery has averaged a poultry 3.5 yards per attempt on the ground so far in 2019. He needs to improve this to have an fantasy value. The Chiefs D are a good opportunity to put up numbers like his week eight against the LA Chargers. Where he was given 27 attempts and went for 135 yards and two touchdowns.

As previously stated Montgomery is a risky play in your title game. However the opportunity presents itself to potentially be a difference maker against your opponent. Owners should viewing Montgomery as a RB2 in both standard and PPR leagues.

Potentially Match-Up Proof

Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders

Jacobs has proven himself to be pretty much matchup proof in the fantasy circles in 2019. His playoff stretch may not look the most appealing on the face of it (Week 14 – Titans, Week 15 – Jaguars and Week 16 – Chargers) however so far this year Jacobs has shown productivity in 80% of his games. In 10 games Jacobs is averaging 15.5 fantasy points per game.

I have discussed Jacobs a couple of times so far this season and he continues to be integral in the Raiders’ offence even with minimal involvement in the passing game. So let’s take a look ahead at Jacobs’s three playoff matchups.

Week 14 the Tennessee Titans come to town who so far in 2019 have averaged 102.5 yards against the rushing game. Their home/road split is pretty even and recent weeks have seen a dip in performance which should allow Jacobs to thrive.

Week 15 the Raiders visit the Jacksonville Jaguars defence have taken a step back in 2019 against the run and currently sit 29th overall whilst averaging 134.6 yards so far. They are strong at home but have suffered drastically against the run away averaging 165.3 rushing yards per game which is currently the worst against in the NFL away from home. Jacobs could easily have his best game at one of the most important stages of the fantasy season.

Championship week Jacobs heads to the Chargers and despite Joey Bosa having a great season the Chargers have averaged 112.3 rushing yards per game given up.

As per my previous comment Jacobs have proven himself to be pretty much match-up proof and should be viewed as an RB1 in the playoff run.

The Long and Short

And there we have it, four players who should be looked at if you are able to make it into the fantasy playoffs.

Make sure to check back in next week for the week 12 Rookies watch breakdown and also a look at some rookies who should be targeted in Dynasty leagues for 2020 and beyond.

-Ash Goddard (@Addicted2_FF)