NFL Rookies To Watch In The Wild Card Round

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Each week, we will look at rookies who have either performed well the previous few weeks or who have a favorable matchup in the upcoming week. These may be high-profile names or under-the-radar depth players; the only thing that matters is that they are first-year pros ready to make a name for themselves.

Hopefully, by the time the season ends, many of them will be household fantasy names and be remembered for their performances in the 2017 season.

Without further ado, here are some NFL rookies to watch in the Wild Card Round of the 2017 season.

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Rookies Worth Your Attention

The Stud Youngsters

Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

This season's leading rusher, Kareem Hunt has been electrifying for almost every game he's been involved with. There was a stretch in the middle of the season where it looked as if Hunt had lost a step, but he rallied at the end and even had a 35 yard touchdown run on his only carry in Week 17. Hunt enters a favorable matchup against the Titans and should be able to capitalize on a potentially huge workload as the Chiefs are expected to have a favorable game script this Saturday. Hunt should continue how he left the regular season and deliver a strong performance; barring an injury, he is the Chiefs workhorse back and has proven to be electric for them when called on.

Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

In a season that had its fair share of injuries, Leonard Fournette was still able to break the 1,000 yard rushing barrier with one of the largest workloads at the position this season. Despite carrying a niggling injury for the majority of the second half of the season, Fournette was still able to be successful and find the end-zone ten times throughout. With a game against the Buffalo Bills that is expected to be focused on the run, Fournette should see a very large workload and power his way to a high yardage total as well as a good chance of scoring at least one touchdown. Fournette is a very solid option because he is propped up by such a large rushing volume and a reasonable receiving floor - he is a true stud at the position.

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

With 81 receptions in his rookie season to go along with over 120 carries, Alvin Kamara has been purely electrifying and has earned himself a spot in the Pro Bowl for his efforts. Kamara comes into the playoffs with over 1500 total yards as well as 13 touchdowns as the second option in a terrifying tandem with fellow running back Mark Ingram. Kamara has averaged over six yards a carry and over ten yards per reception, making him the ideal mismatch weapon and big-play threat for the Saints. With an interesting matchup at home against their divisional rivals the Carolina Panthers, Kamara should be used frequently in relief of Mark Ingram in what projects to be a high scoring game. It is likely that we will see fireworks from the young running back this weekend and as long as the Saints are in the playoffs.


The Locked-In Starters

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

With almost the same amount of rushing attempts and receptions as fellow rookie Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey was able to muster up over 1,000 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns on the season for an up-and-down Panthers offense. With fellow running back Jonathan Stewart taking the bulk of early down work and McCaffrey's own rushing attempts resulting in 3.7 yards per carry, it has been his receiving ability that has made him a weekly mismatch for opponents and a consistent fantasy weapon. The playoffs could be McCaffrey's chance for a breakout performance, and there is perhaps no bigger game in his career than the one he is about to play in this weekend. Keep McCaffrey on your radars this week, as he could be a big factor in a high-scoring game for his team.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

With respected wideouts Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods as well as running back Todd Gurley taking away the majority of receptions for the Los Angeles Rams, it is quite surprising that Cooper Kupp ended up leading the team in targets as well as receiving yards. Kupp ended up just shy of 900 yards but was able to score five touchdowns, making him the most reliable rookie wide receiver this season. With the Rams playing at a high level offensively, Kupp has the ability to be a safety blanket for quarterback Jared Goff against a Falcons unit that has some weaknesses but is a very solid defense. Every playoff game looks to be a high-scoring affair, and this is no different, making Kupp an ideal option as a difference-maker at the position.


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