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NFL Rookies to Watch in Week 11: Fantasy Football Dynasty and Redraft Leagues

Tank Dell - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

Week 10 was yet another productive week for this year's talented rookie class. Houston quarterback C.J. Stroud had his second big performance in a row, passing for 356 yards in a 30-27 victory over Cincinnati. Detroit's prized rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs, with 112 total yards and two rushing TDs, also continued his reign of terror, and Bijan Robinson picked up 106 yards and a touchdown for the Falcons.

It was not just first-round picks who went off, though. Second-rounder Jayden Reed scored 19.4 PPR points for Green Bay, and third-rounder Tank Dell was just behind with 18.9. New England receiver Demario Douglas also impressed; Douglas set new career highs with six receptions and 84 receiving yards. Clearly, this batch of first-year players is a deep one, and gems can be found all across the league and throughout the draft board.

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 have been breaking down which rookies you should be watching out for. This column is 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

C.J. Stroud (QB, HOU)

C.J. Stroud has been elite over the past two weeks. Last Sunday, Stroud connected on 23 of 39 passes for 356 yards and scored two total touchdowns. His performance made him the QB9 for Week 10. The week prior, though, Stroud completed 30 of 42 passes for an amazing 470 yards and five touchdowns, including a game-winner to fellow rookie Tank Dell. Stroud's past two games have given him his highest and second-highest weekly finishes of the season.

The Ohio State product has not just been impressive lately, though. Between Week 2 and Week 4, Stroud scored at least 20 fantasy points in each game. His interception last week was also only his second of the season. Stroud is second in the league in passing yards, second in adjusted yards per attempt, and fourth in money throws. He has been quite the asset for not only the Texans but shrewd fantasy managers as well.

Stroud and the Texans will be up against the Cardinals on Sunday. Arizona has yielded the eighth-most fantasy points per game and seventh-most total touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks this season, so Stroud should be able to extend his string of quality performances. He can be fired up as a QB1 this week, and another great showing would boost him further up within that group in the rest-of-season rankings.

Sam LaPorta (TE, DET)

Sam LaPorta has looked like a second-round steal for the Lions so far this year. He has been incredibly consistent; LaPorta has caught at least four passes in eight of his nine games, and in the one exception he scored two touchdowns. LaPorta has been a top-10 tight end on six occasions, has the sixth-highest target share at his position, and has the seventh-best snap share. LaPorta has been a very reliable target for quarterback Jared Goff.

LaPorta has impressed efficiency-wise as well. He is seventh among tight ends in yards per route run and in yards per team pass attempt. LaPorta is also 10th in fantasy points per target and third in QB rating per target. He is only 12th in yards after the catch despite being fifth in total receiving yards, however, with just 3.0 YAC per target. Still, this certainly does not seem to be inhibiting his performance for fantasy managers.

Coming off of one of his worst games of the season with only 8.0 PPR points, LaPorta will be looking to return to his dominant ways against the Chicago Bears. He should be able to do just that; Chicago has surrendered the fifth-most receptions per game to tight ends this season. With Baltimore's Mark Andrews now out for the year, LaPorta will be able to maintain his status in the shrinking group of elite options at tight end.

Dalton Kincaid (TE, BUF)

The highest-drafted tight end this year, Dalton Kincaid got off to an unremarkable start. He and teammate Dawson Knox were vying for usage; in the six games the two have played together, Knox saw 22 targets and Kincaid saw 27. However, Knox has not played since Week 7 due to a wrist injury that landed him on injured reserve. That exact week marks the start of Kincaid's recent stellar stretch of performances.

In Week 7, Kincaid caught all eight of his targets for 75 yards. The following Thursday, Kincaid made five receptions for 65 yards and scored his first career touchdown. Against the Bengals, he set career highs with 10 grabs, 11 targets, and 81 yards, and last week Kincaid scored another 16.1 PPR points. The rookie from Utah has gone four straight weeks of being at least the TE7, and he was the TE5 in points per game during that span.

Knox will be absent once again this Sunday versus the Jets. That means Kincaid will give fantasy managers TE1 production for a fifth consecutive game. It is unclear when Knox will return from his injury, but Kincaid has done more than enough to be the team's top option moving forward regardless. Watch him prove it again on Sunday. The Jets are tied for the most touchdowns given up to tight ends this year, but they have been above average when it comes to yards and receptions allowed to the position.


NFL Rookies to Watch in Fantasy Football Dynasty Leagues

Tank Dell (WR, HOU)

C.J. Stroud and Tank Dell have emerged as a promising young QB-WR duo in Houston. Dell has already compiled three outings with at least 20 PPR points, including a 29.6-point explosion in Week 9 to finish as the week's WR1. With teammate Nico Collins out with an injury last Sunday, Dell set new personal bests with a 97.3 percent snap share, 100-percent route participation, and 14 targets, but he caught just six of his looks for 56 yards. Dell did score his fifth touchdown of the season, however.


Over the past two weeks, Dell has had an astounding 404 air yards, including 182 last weekend. His season aDOT of 13.8 yards ranks 12th among wideouts, and in his two most recent performances, it was 16.2. Dell is also averaging quality figures of 15.0 yards per reception and 0.52 fantasy points per route run. While the rookie may be slight at 5'8" and 165 pounds, his size has clearly not prevented him from being effective.

Dell's past two games were a departure from the theme of his previous three outings. Between Week 4 and Week 8, Dell averaged a mere 6.1 PPR points per game, although he did get injured in Week 5. Look to see if he can put together another strong showing to establish some more consistency. The Texans will take on the Cardinals on Sunday as Collins returns without an injury designation.

Rashee Rice (WR, KC)

Rashee Rice has largely been on an upward trajectory as of late. The second-round receiver from SMU averaged 8.2 PPR points per game in the first four weeks of the season, but since then, he has averaged 12.2 points per game. Moreover, in his first five games, Rice surpassed a 50 percent snap share just once; he has done so in each of his past four appearances. He has scored three touchdowns in his last five games, and Weeks 6 through 8 marked Rice's top three outings in terms of routes run.

Not every stat has risen for Rice, though. His average of 4.4 targets in his last five games is right in line with his season figure, and his air yards have been at or below his season average in five of his past six games. Additionally, his fantasy output in Week 9 before the team's bye was entirely salvaged by his touchdown; he had just two catches on two targets for 17 yards despite his season-high snap share of 68.4 percent.

Therefore, while Rice has been getting gradually more time on the field, that has not always translated to more volume. The uptick in fantasy points may be somewhat of a mirage resulting from his increased touchdown numbers. Dynasty managers will be watching to see Rice convert his additional snaps into more targets on Monday versus Philadelphia. The Eagles have allowed 17.1 receptions and 200.9 yards per game to wideouts this year, both the highest such marks in the league.

Jayden Reed (WR, GB)

Green Bay receiver Jayden Reed put forth a strong stat line for fantasy managers last week. Reed caught all of his five targets, earning 84 yards and a score in the process. The former Michigan State Spartan's WR11 finish was his best to date. The performance came just two weeks after Reed set career highs in usage, including a 77.9 percent snap share and a 95.6 percent route participation rate. These recent games have certainly encouraged dynasty managers.

Unfortunately, games of this nature need to become more frequent for Reed. His usage has been erratic this year; his Week 9 outing actually featured his lowest snap share and route volume of the season. Reed's two highest target totals came in Week 2 (eight) and Week 3 (seven). He also saw nine red zone targets in the first four weeks of the season but has gotten just two since. Reed has been successful with the opportunities he's had nonetheless, currently ranking 16th among WRs in fantasy points per target and 17th in production premium.

The Packers will host the Chargers on Sunday, giving Green Bay wideouts a favorable matchup. The Chargers have conceded 196.1 receiving yards per game to WRs this year, the third-most in the NFL. Reed should be able to find success on the snaps he gets, the routes he runs, and the targets he receives. How high each of those stats will be, though, is the burning question. Make sure to watch to see if Reed can make progress toward a more reliable role in the Green Bay offense.

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