Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

Fantasy Football Rookies to Watch in Week 11: Najee Harris, Michael Carter, and more

Najee Harris - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Every week, this column will spotlight the first-year players who are ripe for a breakout performance. Oftentimes, rookies can provide some of the most value as under-the-radar options.

Through 10 weeks, Bengals receiver Ja'Marr Chase has been the most impressive rookie in fantasy. The LSU product has 44 receptions, 835 yards, and seven touchdowns in nine games, making him the WR4 on the season in standard leagues. However, while Chase may be following in the footsteps of former teammate Justin Jefferson by dominating from the get-go, other rookies deserve attention as well. This week's edition of this article will focus on these non-Chase options.

For dynasty leagues, this column should help identify ideal trade targets and prized stashes. For redraft managers, this column could provide the edge necessary for a championship run. Most of the players in this week's article are well-known, but a few are sneaky sleepers.

Featured Promo: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off and win big in 2023. Exclusive access to our Premium articles, 15 lineup tools, new Team Sync platform, Lineup Optimizer, Premium DFS tools and cheat sheets, and much more! Sign Up Now!


The Blooming Passer

Justin Fields (QB, CHI)

The last time I wrote about Justin Fields, I emphasized that he would need to improve as a passer before fantasy managers could trust him. Well, that week he put up his best passing yardage total as a pro, accumulating 291 yards on just 29 pass attempts in a valiant comeback effort. While he did throw an interception and take three sacks, this development was encouraging to see; his previous high-water mark for yards was just 209. His 10.0 yards per attempt was also the second-highest average he has reached and the highest out of games where he threw at least 20 passes.

Additionally, the first-round rookie out of Ohio State ran for 45 yards in that game versus Pittsburgh, the second-best rushing total of his young career. His stat line was good enough for him to finish as a top-10 QB for the second consecutive week. Now coming off of his bye week, Fields will take on the Baltimore Ravens. Make sure to tune in on Sunday to see if Fields can continue his momentum and further establish his fantasy value.


The Reliable Workhorse

Najee Harris (RB, PIT)

The Pittsburgh Steelers are using their new toy at running back at an astronomical rate. A first-round rookie from Alabama, Najee Harris has toted the ball 176 times on the ground, behind only a now-injured Derrick Henry. Harris also has the second-most receptions among running backs with 44 catches, trailing just D'Andre Swift with 50. In total, Harris has the most weighted opportunities, highest opportunity share, highest route participation, most routes run, and highest snap share at his position. The first-year runner is clearly the focal point of the offense.

Harris has parlayed his massive workload into remarkably consistent production. He has finished as a top-14 RB in PPR every week except for Week 1. Harris is as reliable as they come, and he should be considered a top-5 RB for both the remainder of the season and dynasty. Harris and the Steelers take on the Los Angeles Chargers this week, a team with a particularly porous defense when it comes to stopping running backs. The Chargers have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to opposing RBs in 2021.


The First-Year Veteran

Michael Carter (RB, NYJ)

Despite being a fourth-round pick in this year's draft, Jets running back Michael Carter was quoted this week saying that he has "never really felt like a rookie. Ever." As of late, he hasn't been producing like one either. Since his Week 6 bye week, Carter has gained at least 80 scrimmage yards in each game, including a 172-yard eruption against Cincinnati. The first-year player from North Carolina has been the RB3 over the last four weeks, behind just Jonathan Taylor and James Conner.

An intriguing aspect of Carter's profile is that he has been putting up points despite the Jets running the second-least frequently in the league with just 21.3 run plays per game. Carter has been overcoming this because of his increased usage in the passing game. In his first five games, he ran 54 total routes. In his last four, that number was 100. Carter is facing a Miami defense this week that has yielded the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs this year. Look for him to put up another top-20 RB finish.


The Promising Pass-Catcher

Rashod Bateman (WR, BAL)

Baltimore's first-round pick this year, receiver Rashod Bateman, didn't see the field until Week 6, but since then he has been playing quite well. Last week he set a new career-high with six receptions, and he matched his best yardage total with 80. Bateman has seen at least six targets in all four games that he has played; he has been targeted on 27.7 percent of his routes run, 17th among all wideouts. The rookie from Minnesota also has gained 2.39 yards per route run, the 18th highest average at his position.

The problem is that Bateman just isn't running enough routes. His route participation rate of 66 percent is just 77th among receivers. Until the Ravens get him more involved, Bateman's fantasy value will be capped. Still, his efficiency is solid, and a favorable matchup this week against the Chicago Bears makes Bateman worthy of consideration as a flex play in many leagues. The key to watch for is if he plays more snaps or runs more routes than in previous weeks; if so, his fantasy value will continue to rise.


The Bright Spot

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)

The fact that the Lions tied the Steelers last week wasn't the only aspect of that game taken from the 1940s. Detroit's quarterback Jared Goff mustered a measly 114 passing yards despite playing the full game and overtime; the Lions simply let their rushing attack take the reins. Even with the lack of passing production, one receiver on Detroit managed to stand out: fourth-round rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown. On a day where tight end T.J. Hockenson was invisible, St. Brown gained 61 receiving yards, or 54 percent of Goff's passing, on four catches.

St. Brown has three games where he played at least 70 percent of his team's snaps, and all three came in the last five weeks. Unfortunately, the Lions will be breaking in a new quarterback this week due to a Goff injury. Tim Boyle will be at the helm, and that could disrupt the progress St. Brown has been making. Or, by contrast, Boyle could favor him over Hockenson like Goff did last week. The uncertainty with this situation, as well as his solid showing despite adverse circumstances last week, makes St. Brown a rookie to watch this Sunday.


The Boise Baller

John Bates (TE, WAS)

With tight ends Logan Thomas and Ricky Seals-Jones both injured last week, Washington turned to fourth-round rookie John Bates to fill in. Bates, who played his college ball at Boise State, is generally more known for his blocking abilities than his receiving prowess, but he did make three catches for 25 yards last week. Both figures were career-highs.

Now with Seals-Jones ruled out for Week 11 and Thomas listed as doubtful, the franchise will again need Bates to step into the vacancy left behind. Considering Thomas and Seals-Jones have both achieved fantasy relevance in this Washington offense, we can't rule out the possibility that Bates does the same. He does have an 88th percentile agility score to his credit, and his 64.8 percent snap share last week was higher than those of Kyle Pitts and Dallas Goedert. Under the right set of circumstances, Bates could be productive this week against Carolina.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!

Win Big With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts


Karl-Anthony Towns2 hours ago

Remains Without A Return Date
Giannis Antetokounmpo2 hours ago

Probable Versus New Orleans
Donovan Mitchell2 hours ago

Questionable Versus The Clippers
OG Anunoby2 hours ago

Dealing With A Sprained Wrist
Desmond Bane2 hours ago

Expected To Miss Another Game On Sunday
De'Andre Hunter9 hours ago

To Return On Saturday
Romeo Langford9 hours ago

Won't Play On Saturday
Myles Turner9 hours ago

Signs Extension With Pacers
Jonathan Isaac9 hours ago

To Remain Restricted
Robert Williams9 hours ago

III Won't Play On Saturday
Marcus Morris9 hours ago

Sr. Ruled Out On Saturday
Alperen Sengun9 hours ago

Won't Suit Up On Saturday
Tom Wilson10 hours ago

Won't Return Until After The All-Star Game
Tyler Motte10 hours ago

Returns For Ottawa Saturday
Kevin Shattenkirk11 hours ago

Remains Out On Saturday
Jonathan Toews11 hours ago

On Track To Return
Dylan Cozens11 hours ago

A Game-Time Call Saturday
Gustav Forsling11 hours ago

Good To Go Saturday
Marc-Edouard Vlasic11 hours ago

Battling An Illness
Marc-Andre Fleury12 hours ago

Protects The Crease Versus Sabres
Kaapo Kahkonen13 hours ago

Tending Twine against Pittsburgh
Casey DeSmith13 hours ago

Named Starter Saturday
Sam Montembeault13 hours ago

Get The Nod Saturday Against Ottawa
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope13 hours ago

Bruce Brown Good To Go
Michael Porter13 hours ago

Jr. Returns From A Three-Game Absence
Jamal Murray13 hours ago

Back In Action Against Philadelphia
Anton Forsberg13 hours ago

In Goal Saturday Against Montreal
Nikola Jokic13 hours ago

Officially In On Saturday
Devin Booker14 hours ago

Misses A 17th Consecutive Game
Kelly Olynyk14 hours ago

Available Again On Saturday
Goran Dragic14 hours ago

On Track To Return Saturday
T.J. Warren14 hours ago

Out Saturday
Ben Simmons14 hours ago

Set To Miss Saturday's Game
Brock Burke15 hours ago

Could Be In The Closing Mix
Hirokazu Sawamura16 hours ago

Returns To Japan
Nick Senzel16 hours ago

Expected To Be Starting Center Fielder
Alex Colomé16 hours ago

Nationals Sign Alexander Colome To Minor-League Deal
Yandy Díaz16 hours ago

Yandy Diaz Closing In On Extension With Rays
Bo Horvat19 hours ago

Dishes Out Four Assists
Elias Lindholm19 hours ago

Tallies Three Points In Friday's Win
Ilya Sorokin19 hours ago

Gets Islanders Back To Winning Ways
Jack Hughes19 hours ago

Adds Two More Goals To His Tally
Martin Necas19 hours ago

Ends Two-Goal Night With Another Game-Winner
Brady Tkachuk19 hours ago

Scores Twice Against Toronto
Ilya Mikheyev20 hours ago

Set For Season-Ending Surgery
Joonas Korpisalo1 day ago

In Goal Friday
Martin Jones1 day ago

Starts Friday Against Calgary
Tyler Stephenson1 day ago

Reds Planning On Full Season For Tyler Stephenson
Danny Duffy1 day ago

Rangers Sign Clint Frazier, Danny Duffy To Minor-League Deals
Jesús Aguilar1 day ago

Jesus Aguilar To Split Time At First Base, DH
Paul Blackburn1 day ago

James Kaprielian, Paul Blackburn Expected To Be Ready
Pete Fairbanks1 day ago

Agrees To Three-Year Extension With Rays
Atlanta Braves1 day ago

Braves Sign Brian Snitker Through 2025 Season
Cole Hamels1 day ago

Looks Great During Showcase
Jeff McNeil1 day ago

Mets Agree On Four-Year Extension
Tua Tagovailoa1 day ago

Still In Concussion Protocol
Christian McCaffrey1 day ago

A Full-Go For NFC Championship
Travis Kelce1 day ago

Listed As Questionable For AFC Title Game
Patrick Mahomes1 day ago

Off The Final Injury Report
Curtis Terry2 days ago

Orioles Sign Curtis Terry To Minor-League Deal
Tyler Duffey2 days ago

Cubs Add Tyler Duffey On Minor-League Deal
Andrew Suárez2 days ago

Cardinals Sign Andrew Suarez To Minor-League Deal
Matt Duffy2 days ago

Royals Sign Matt Duffy To Minor-League Deal
Michael Perez2 days ago

Mets Re-Sign Michael Perez
Ian Kennedy2 days ago

Agrees With Rangers
Fernando Tatis Jr.2 days ago

Takes Swings Thursday
Christian McCaffrey2 days ago

Says He's Playing Sunday
Sal Frelick2 days ago

Others Invited To Camp
Carolina Panthers2 days ago

Panthers Hire Frank Reich As Head Coach
Patrick Mahomes3 days ago

Logs Full Practice Wednesday
Patrick Mahomes4 days ago

Will Practice Wednesday
Emiliano Grillo4 days ago

Not An Option At Farmers
Will Zalatoris4 days ago

Loves Playing At Torrey Pines
Maverick McNealy4 days ago

May Struggle At Torrey Pines
Keegan Bradley4 days ago

A Decent Play At Farmers
Hideki Matsuyama4 days ago

Another Risky Play At Torrey Pines
Adam Svensson4 days ago

A Buy-Low Candidate At Torrey Pines
Adam Hadwin4 days ago

Looks Sharp In First Start Of 2023
Kurt Kitayama4 days ago

A Dark-Horse Fantasy Option At Farmers
Tony Pollard4 days ago

Should Be Full Strength Before Training Camp
Jon Rahm5 days ago

Heads To Farmers In Dominant Form
A.J. Brown5 days ago

Hip Injury Isn't Serious
Josh Allen5 days ago

Not Expected To Need Surgery
Christian McCaffrey5 days ago

Elijah Mitchell Expected To Play
Patrick Mahomes5 days ago

Andy Reid Says Patrick Mahomes Is "Gonna Play"
PGA5 days ago

Sungjae Im Could Continue Momentum At Farmers
Tony Finau5 days ago

Aims To Battle For Farmers Insurance Title
Hayden Buckley5 days ago

Creates Intrigue At Farmers This Week
Max Homa5 days ago

One Of Those Californians To Contend
Gary Woodland5 days ago

Seeks Rebound After Sony Open
Glover Teixeira6 days ago

Unable To Replicate His Magic
Jamahal Hill6 days ago

Earns UFC Gold At UFC 283
Deiveson Figueiredo6 days ago

Unable To Capture The Crown
Brandon Moreno6 days ago

Becomes Undisputed Champion
Neil Magny6 days ago

Suffers First-Round Defeat At UFC 283
Gilbert Burns6 days ago

Locks In Submission For Big Victory
Jessica Andrade6 days ago

Lauren Murphy Runs To Into Major Road Block
Jessica Andrade6 days ago

Dominates To Take Decision At UFC 283
Paul Craig6 days ago

Unable To Rebound In UFC 283 Main-Card Opener
Johnny Walker6 days ago

Earns Explosive Victory Saturday
Christian McCaffrey6 days ago

Dealing With Calf Injury
Tony Pollard6 days ago

Suffers Fractured Fibula