Rookie’s Watch Week Nine Fantasy Edition
Welcome back Rush Nation, another NFL week is over and once again we are looking at the 2019 Rookie’s.
At this stage of the season the majority of rookie’s roles are fully established and aside from an injury are unlikely to change. This week more than any we have seen a shift in rookie’s who have been standouts in previous weeks and now times appear to be changing for both good and bad.
So let’s dive in and check out who made headlines in week nine.
Rookies Who Popped
The Gore train may finally be coming into the station with the arrival of Singletary returning from his hamstring injury. Singletary now appears to be up to full speed with a significant grasp on both the playbook and the starting role. Week nine against the Redskins was Singletary’s best day so far with 95 yards and a touchdown on the ground and three receptions for 45 yards.
He has now out-snapped Gore in two consecutive weeks with 68% and 66% respectively and he has also scored double digit fantasy points in both weeks (12.9 Vs Pittsburgh and 21.5 against Washington). In fact Singletary has provided over 10 fantasy points in 4 of the 5 games he has appeared in this season with his only game under coming against the Dolphins on his return from injury.
The Buffalo Bills have not been shy about expressing their priority on the run game and Singletary’s involvement should continue to grow as the season grinds on, with Josh Allen also possesses rushing ability this should open the door for Singletary to rack up yards. The next two weeks in particular should be good outings against Cleveland and Miami.
Singletary has not quite become an RB1 in fantasy but is bordering as such in my opinion, for the next two weeks at least he can be viewed as such and should be in everyone’s line-ups.
Metcalf is continuing to prove his preseason doubters wrong and I am not afraid to say I was in that list and admit I may well be wrong. It is still early days in his career and he continues to make rookie errors which hopefully with coaching and time he can overcome these.
Metcalf followed up his two touchdown display at Atlanta in week eight with his best showing of the season against Tampa Bay. His stat-line on the day reads 6 receptions from 9 targets for 123 yards and a touchdown.
This performance could not have come at a better time for Metcalf with the arrival of Josh Gordon in Seattle breathing down his next for a starting spot on the field. Both Metcalf and Lockett have impressed throughout the season and will have a stronghold over Gordon, all share similar play-styles which Russell Wilson has been able to take advantage of in what is becoming an MVP season.
Metcalf continues to be a boom or bust play in terms of fantasy points this season, through nine games his stats are appealing (29 receptions for 525 yards and five TD’s) but looking further into his fantasy stats he has been up and down so far. Four out of Metcalf’s nine games have ended with him scoring under 10 fantasy points and outside of last week’s game against Atlanta (3/13/2) you are relying on a long boom catch or a touchdown for any fantasy significance.
I would take the chance on Metcalf in your line up as a WR3 or flex, he does not in my opinion possess the value and consistency to be considered as a weekly start at this point. Week ten against the 49ers may well be a week to avoid Metcalf if you can.
Moustache Mania Comes to an End (For Now)
It looks as though Moustache Mania has come to an end in Jacksonville as the Jaguars have reported that Nick Foles will be the starting quarterback after the bye. The change came following his showing against Houston in London week nine and harshly in my opinion.
Minshew has not been spectacular in the relief of Foles but has performed admirably considering he was a six round pick six months ago and would not expect to be playing this season. Many will argue Minshew has been the most impressive rookie quarterbacks so far in 2019 and looking at his stats that his hard to argue against. His nine game stint ends with a stat-line of 2285 yards off 188 completions with a 61.2% completion rate, twelve touchdowns and only four interceptions (two of which came this week against the Texans).
Despite the fact that I disagree with the decision to drop Minshew I do understand it. Foles was the big money QB signing in the off-season and the Jaguars need to see what they have in him before making a decision on if he will be their future.
Minshew now gets a chance to drop away slightly from the limelight and develop his skills further and learn from his experience at the NFL level.
For now Minshew is a stash in deeper redraft leagues in case the Foles experience fails early, he should be a drop in shallower leagues if you require a bench spot for another skill position. His dynasty value may remain high for the short term but watch owners who panic drop him for another starting QB and pick him up. I would also look to buy low in a few weeks time.
This is the second appearance for Fant in my rookie’s article and he has moved up from a fade to almost watch this space.
Week nine was a huge one for Fant, he ended the day against Cleveland with 125 yards and one touchdown from 3 receptions and was the standout on the day alongside debutant Brandon Allen. There was alot of fear going around Denver with Flacco on IR and Allen making his debut but this was put to bed with a competent performance from Allen exceeding much of what Flacco has shown in 2019. The old adage goes that inexperienced quarterbacks lean on the tight-end and Sunday was no different for Allen.
Where fantasy owners need to be careful is what Fant has shown before Sunday’s game. Before Sunday he had just 185 yards and one touchdown off 20 receptions despite averaging 72.6% of the snaps at tight end and Flacco’s previous reliance on tight ends. Rookie tight ends have had a tendency to start slow and aside from Evan Engram have not been spectacular in the debut season. Fant will continue to see snaps and may be more appealing if Allen continues to rely on him, however be mindful starting him and look to match-ups before making that decision.
Fant’s owned percentage is sure to increase week ten however he is worth a speculative add if he is available and in particular if you are struggling at tight end.
Players to Avoid
Dwayne Haskins first start was always going to be difficult considering his previous exposure to starting line up. Unfortunately he was not able to improve on what we have already seen and struggled greatly against Buffalo’s dominant defence.
Haskins on the day ended with 144 yards for zero touchdowns or interceptions. The performance was by no means disastrous but purely from a fantasy viewpoint the Redskin’s cannot be viewed as startable. He is still looking for his first touchdown in the NFL and his overall stats are not encouraging reading 61.4% completion rate with 284 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions.
He must continue to start for his development, head coach Callahan however has other ideas and will not make that decision until after the bye. Haskin’s had an encouraging preseason and there was calls for him to take the starting role even before Keenum’s injury. He may be the future for Washington and with the season essentially lost now is the time to find out what they have.
It pains me to say we should be avoiding McLaurin, he has had some stand out performances this season and arguably one of the top rookie’s at a time. With Haskins coming into the lineup and the Redskin’s offence stuttering along McLaurin cannot be relied on as a fantasy option (unless absolutely desperate). He has put up under 50 yards each game for the last three weeks and the Redskin’s have not scored a touchdown since week 6 against the Giants and outside of Peterson do not look close to scoring one.
McLaurin holds long term dynasty value and may be worth a buy low target from those less experienced owners who are panicking at his lack of production over the last few weeks. In redraft he should be a hold.
The Long and Short
And we come to the end of the latest article, i will say again times are changing for many teams and I am sure we will see some more ups and downs for our 2019 rookie’s.
Thanks once again for checking out my article and hope you enjoyed. See you all next week for Week 10 of the Rookie’s Watch. Fantasy Playoffs are just around the corner.
Until next time, Keep on Rushing.
-Ash Goddard @Addicted2_FF