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NFL Rookies to Watch for Fantasy Football Week 10 Including Jaylen Warren, Rachaad White, Treylon Burks, Isiah Pacheco

Jaylen Warren - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

The 2022 rookie class has been huge for fantasy football. Texans rookie running back Dameon Pierce has been among the top performers. With 139 rushing yards last Thursday, Pierce had his second 100-yard rushing game of the season. Kenneth Walker III, a fellow rookie on the Seahawks, matched that feat by surpassing 100 yards against Arizona on Sunday.

It's important not to only give love to the running backs, though. Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Drake London, George Pickens, Alec Pierce, and Romeo Doubs have all also found early-career success, albeit to varying extents. Managers who did their research on these players, both in the preseason and in-season, gained a large edge over their competition.

Whether you're a redraft manager or a dynasty manager, being ahead of the curve with rookie players is vital to your team's success. For that reason, each week I will be breaking down which rookies you should be watching out for. This column will be split into two parts: one pertaining to players most relevant in redraft leagues, and the other for rookies particularly worth watching in dynasty formats.

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NFL Rookies to Watch in Fantasy Football Redraft Leagues

Jaylen Warren (RB, PIT)

Steelers rookie RB Jaylen Warren has had an efficient start to his NFL career. He is averaging 5.2 true yards per carry this season, which is the 10th-highest mark in the league among running backs. Moreover, he has produced +8.2 expected points added, also 10th-most at his position. He hasn't been a great fantasy option, though, because teammate Najee Harris has dominated the Pittsburgh backfield. Warren has just a 24.0 percent opportunity share on the season.

This situation may change dramatically sooner rather than later, however. Warren set career highs in carries, total yards, and fantasy points in Week 8, his most recent appearance. Additionally, head coach Mike Tomlin this week was asked if Warren could eventually overtake Harris as the team's lead tailback, and he did not shut the door on the idea.

Warren could end up being a major factor in your league's fantasy playoffs if such a scenario comes to fruition. Although he is merely an undrafted rookie, Warren has impressed both fans and coaches with his play so far this season. It will be key to watch if he has an expanded role coming out of the team's bye week on Sunday versus the Saints. Continuing to build on the momentum that he currently has would suggest that big things are in store for him by the end of the season.

Wan'Dale Robinson (WR, NYG)

Wan'Dale Robinson may not have broken out yet, but he still has a strong opportunity to do so. The Giants have lacked any consistent production at the wide receiver position this season; indeed, the most-productive wideout on the team, Darius Slayton, is just the WR75 on the season in PPR formats. The receiving room also lost a preseason darling when Kadarius Toney was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs at the trade deadline. Quarterback Daniel Jones is still searching for a top target in the Big Apple, and Robinson has the best chance to be that guy.

Robinson, a second-round pick this season out of Kentucky, got injured in Week 1 and did not play again until Week 6. Since then, though, his snap share has increased each week; he went from playing 22.6 percent of the team's offensive snaps in his return to 67.1 percent the following week and 68.8 percent the week after that. His route totals have also risen accordingly. At 5'8" with a 4.44-second 40-yard dash time, Robinson is a small, shifty playmaker who can fill a needed void in the Giants' offense.

Robinson was a target fiend in college, getting an incredible 39.3 percent target share. Like Robinson's Wildcats, the Giants may need to lean on his services due to the team's lack of weapons besides star running back Saquon Barkley. Robinson's effort to raise his numbers will begin this week versus Houston. The Texans present a challenge, having yielded the fifth-fewest half-PPR points to opposing WRs in 2022. Nonetheless, Robinson is a prime pickup option for the remainder of the season.

Cade Otton (TE, TB)

Cade Otton was not on many fantasy managers' radars entering the 2022 season, yet he has been a surprisingly solid tight end option in recent weeks. In his last five outings, Otton has had four games with an 80+ percent snap share, 60+ percent route participation rate, and 5+ targets. This usage led to him scoring his first career touchdown last week, sealing a 16-13 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. He also made four other catches and gained a total of 68 receiving yards, finishing as the week's TE4.

The fourth-round pick out of Washington has been benefiting from the absence of teammate Cameron Brate. Brate has played just five games this season due to several injuries, the most recent of which occurred in Week 6 against Pittsburgh. Brate is questionable with a neck injury for Sunday's contest versus Seattle in Germany, but he did manage to practice fully this week. It is undeniable that Otton has performed well during this recent stretch of games, though.

The possible return of Brate makes this roster battle interesting. Did Otton do enough to prevent Brate from taking his targets? The answer to that question will be revealed in Munich on Sunday. If Otton gets similar usage numbers as he has been getting, he will remain rosterable as a quality backup tight end in fantasy football. If not, then this Tampa Bay offense becomes even more frustrating for fantasy managers. Keep an eye on this situation.

 

NFL Rookies to Watch in Fantasy Football Dynasty Leagues

Rachaad White (RB, TB)

Speaking of the Buccaneers, Rachaad White is another intriguing rookie in Tampa Bay. A running back out of Arizona State, White has largely been unimpressive this season. He had his highest carry total of the year last week, yet that amounted to just eight attempts for 27 yards on the ground. The third-round pick is averaging just 3.1 true yards per carry on the season, 67th among running backs, and he's averaging only 4.3 yards per touch.

It has not been all bad news for White, though. Starter Leonard Fournette has also struggled this season, to the point where Tampa's coaching staff has been mixing things up in the backfield. This is why White saw a larger workload last week. Moreover, the team's rushing struggles have largely been due to poor offensive line play; this is most directly supported by the fact that White has had just the 60th-best run-blocking rating this season, but the rookie has also created the 24th-most yards per touch among RBs. His poor YPC is not all his fault.

With the reports of White continuing to become a bigger part of the offense circulating, he becomes a key player to watch this week versus Seattle. Being able to separate his ability from the success of his offensive line will be crucial in forming an accurate evaluation of his talent. Notably, White has also been a capable receiver, posting the 18th-most receptions for the 25th-most receiving yards among running backs this season. His work in the passing game will provide additional insight into his future in the league.

Isiah Pacheco (RB, KC)

It's not often that a seventh-round rookie is among the most-hyped players entering the fantasy football season, but that occurred with Isiah Pacheco this year. The Rutgers product delivered early returns with a 12-carry, 62-yard performance in Week 1 that also featured a touchdown, but he hasn't been able to match that stat line since. In fact, he's had just two other games with double-digit rushing yards and only one other with 10+ carries.

Pacheco has recently been rumored to be overtaking Clyde Edwards-Helaire as Kansas City's top running back, though. That has actually been true in the Chiefs' past two games, with Pacheco getting more carries than CEH by slight margins both times. The expectation is that Pacheco's role will continue to grow as he develops. His matchup with Jacksonville this week will provide a favorable matchup for him to improve his production.

Pacheco has the athletic tools to succeed long-term in the league. He is fast, having run a 4.37-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine this year. He is also strong, as his 27 bench press reps at the Combine marked a 93rd-percentile performance among RBs. A larger opportunity to work in Kansas City will be key in permitting dynasty managers to see what Pacheco can do with this impressive profile. That chance could come this week versus the Jaguars.

Treylon Burks (WR, TEN)

During this year's installment of the NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans dealt star wide receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles for a package that included the 18th-overall pick. The Titans then spent that draft choice on Treylon Burks, a receiver they were relying on to take over for Brown. Unfortunately, Burks was placed on injured reserve with a toe injury and has not played since Week 4. He returned from IR this week, though, and appears to be on track to play Sunday versus Denver.

Burks, at 6'2" and 224 pounds, has a large frame for a receiver.  He is capable of leveraging his build into making big leaping catches, a skill we saw him display at Arkansas on many occasions. He has good speed for his size too. Although his 4.55-second 40-yard dash time is nothing special compared to an average receiver, Burks is much larger than most at his position. His speed certainly didn't seem to limit him in college.

Dynasty managers haven't seen much out of Burks yet in the NFL, but there's a reason the Titans valued him enough to ship off Brown. Burks possesses quite a bit of potential, and this week's game versus Denver will provide a chance for him to demonstrate that. His return will give the Titans a key weapon to boost their sputtering offense. His current career high in targets is six, achieved during Week 2 against Buffalo. Look for him to exceed that this week in a tough matchup against the Broncos.



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