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Fantasy Football Rookies To Watch In Week 4

Each week in this column, we'll highlight a few first-year players who are worth keeping your eye on. Not all of the players listed below are must-starts, but all of them are in a position to be viable fantasy options. If any of these names are sitting out on your waiver wire, you should keep a close watch on them.

Ideally, some of these names will help fantasy players get some roster depth which can minimize the negative impact of injuries and bye weeks.

Initially, some of these names will seem fairly obvious. As the season progresses, expect this column to pay more attention to under-the-radar options.

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The Re-Breakout Candidate

T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET)

Hockenson announced himself as the next big thing at the tight end position in Week 1, amassing six receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. He instantly drew comparisons to Rob Gronkowski while simultaneously putting to bed the notion that Matthew Stafford can't support a top tier tight end. And then Hockenson went quiet. He nabbed just a pair of receptions for eight yards and no score across the next two games combined.

Things aren't as bad as they look on paper, though. Hockenson nearly scored three separate touchdowns against the Eagles in Week 3, but all were either called back due to penalty or dropped. He's averaging a 71% snap share and 7.1 yards after the catch, fifth-best at the position. Now Hockenson gets to take on a Kansas City defense that's allowed at least seven receptions and the fourth-most yards to tight ends. This should be a re-breakout game for the Iowa product.


The Big Man Making Big Plays

D.K. Metcalf (WR, SEA)

Despite all the worries about Metcalf's route-running come into the season, the rookie from Ole Miss has been seeing a nice chunk of targets from his quarterback. Better yet, he's been producing monster plays with them. Metcalf has seen no fewer than six targets in each game so far and has averaged the second-most yards per reception in the league behind fellow rookie Mecole Hardman.

He's also seeing more of Seattle's total air yards than Tyler Lockett and is averaging more yards after the catch than any of his teammates. Metcalf could be in for another gaggle of big plays against a Cardinals Defense whose only intimidation would be Patrick Peterson, except that he's currently suspended for PEDs.


The Captain Obvious

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

Because I have to put him here, that's why. In his first start, Jones wiped the smugness off the faces of everyone who mocked the Giants' decision to draft him sixth overall. Daniel Boom rattled off 336 passing yards and four total touchdowns, two of which came on the ground. And that was against a Tampa Bay offense that had looked solid over the first two weeks.

Now he gets to play a Washington defense that just made Mitchell Trubisky look like a golden god. Without Saquon Barkley by his side, Jones may have to throw the ball even more this week. Expect fireworks.


The Quiet Supplanter

Keesean Johnson (WR, ARI)

The Cardinals' sixth-round rookie pick has been quietly rising above his competition in Arizona. After beating out Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler on the depth chart over the offseason, he'll now have a much clearer path to production with Damiere Byrd sidelined and Michael Crabtree cut from the team. Johnson saw double-digit targets in his first week of NFL action but has just six combined targets since.

He's been targeted on average 11.3 yards downfield, which is higher per target than the rest of his teammates. That number's just barely below John Ross, who happened to torch the Seahawks for 158 yards and a couple of scores in Week 1. We may see a few big plays from Johnson against Seattle this week.


The Matchup To Trust

Josh Jacobs (RB, OAK)

After breaking records in Week 1 and shutting down doubters in Week 2, Josh Jacobs fell back to earth last week against Minnesota. But two things about that: 1) Minnesota is pretty stout against the run, and 2) Jacobs was both sick and dealing with a hip injury. So give the kid a break.

He'll get a great bounceback matchup against a middling Indianapolis run defense. The Colts also look to be down their best pass-catcher, as T.Y. Hilton is doubtful to suit up on Sunday. That means a much more favorable game script for Jacobs, who unfortunately has been a ghost in the receiving game as of late.


The Chance To Strut

Parris Campbell (WR, IND)

Speaking of Hilton's absence, the Colts are now officially without a pecking order in the receiving game. Campbell saw the highest snap share of his young career last week, which translated to more targets than he received in his first two games combined. Granted, three receptions for 24 yards isn't going to get many fantasy managers all revved up.

Still, the young receiver has caught literally everything that's come his way and now walks into a huge opportunity against the Raiders, who have allowed the eight-most passing yards on the year. With his security blanket sidelined, Jacoby Brissett will want to throw it to someone he can trust. Campbell has done plenty to earn that trust so far.

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