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NFL Rookies To Watch In Week 16


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 Week 16 of the 2017 season.

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Rookies Worth Your Attention

The Stud Youngster

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

After logging in 63 yards through the ground as well as 73 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey made it five of his last six games where he had reached at least nine points in standard fantasy formats. This PPR gem has produced time and time again this season, and a matchup against a suspect Buccaneers defense should provide even more reasons to start him this late in the season. Although there is always the presence of fellow running back Jonathan Stewart to worry about, McCaffrey has shown that he has a very reliable floor through the air as well as consistent rushing volume to warrant weekly starter consideration in most formats. Keep McCaffrey in your lineups this week; he is almost sure to deliver and could be a week-winner for you.

 

The One-Week Wonder

Elijah McGuire, RB, New York Jets

New York Jets rookie running back Elijah McGuire burst back on to the fantasy season with 72 all purpose yards and a receiving touchdown in last week's loss to the New Orleans Saints. This came after McGuire failed to cross the 30 yard rushing threshold or score a touchdown since Week 4 of the regular season. While McGuire has shown that he has big-play ability this season, it has been difficult given the presence of Bilal Powell and Matt Forte in the backfield. Therefore, it has been rather difficult to trust McGuire in lineups for much of the season, and that should continue for the rest of the fantasy playoffs. Although McGuire is not the least intriguing flex option for those without depth, it is probably best if he is left on the bench or waivers this weekend.

 

The Locked-In Starter

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

In his return from injury, Kamara resumed his dominance on the fantasy gridiron with 85 all-purpose yards and a receiving touchdown, bringing his touchdown total up to 12 this season. Kamara has been an unstoppable force this season, forming a fantastic tandem with fellow running back Mark Ingram that has left the rest of the league behind. Kamara now has more than 1300 all-purpose yards this season and has a remarkably high weekly floor in all formats given his receiving totals every week. Keep Kamara in your lineups and don't let his matchup with the Falcons concern you. Kamara got injured last time he played the Falcons, but has shown that he is matchup proof this season and that he can split apart any defense. The upside is too great to ignore - start Alvin Kamara.

 

The Under-The-Radar Sleeper 

Keelan Cole, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Undraft rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole has seen his yardage almost double in each of the last three weeks, going from 49 to 99 to 186 yards in each contest. These yardage totals come with a touchdown in each of the last three games as Cole has consolidated himself as a big play threat for the Jaguars. While Cole showed his ceiling in last week's contest against Houston, he still remains an interesting upside play for fantasy owners who are desperate at the position. While it is likely that there will be some regression in Cole's play in Week 16, an intriguing Week 16 matchup against a suspect 49ers secondary could provide Cole with an opportunity to continue his solid performances. Cole is nothing more than a flex play for the rest of the season, but given how the Jaguars are playing, don't discount him if you are in a tight spot at the receiver position.

 

The One To Stash

Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants

Although Gallman has only scored one touchdown this season, his last two weeks have demonstrated his team's willingness to get him involved following the firing of Ben McAdoo and resignation of the Giants to play their younger players. Gallman has notched up at least 79 yards from scrimmage in the past two weeks and has an interesting matchups against the Cardinals next week where he could take advantage of his team's faith in him and continue his streak of solid performances. While it is difficult to start Gallman in most formats, look to trade for him in dynasty leagues as he will likely be available at a relatively low cost and could convince the Giants that he is the back of the future with some solid performances to close out the 2017 season.

 

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