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NFL Rookies to Watch in Week 3: Fantasy Football Dynasty and Redraft Leagues

Treylon Burks - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

Plenty of first-year players have begun making their marks across the NFL. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London has been the most impressive so far. The USC product put up eight catches, 86 yards, and his first professional touchdown last week. Jets receiver Garrett Wilson had a great game last week as well, totaling eight grabs for 102 yards and two scores.

The party has already continued in Week 3. Pittsburgh's newest wideout, George Pickens, had an insane catch that made plenty of highlight reels. This came just days after the former Georgia Bulldog expressed his displeasure with his lack of targets, claiming he was open "99 percent of the time."

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.


NFL Rookies to Watch in Fantasy Football Redraft Leagues

Tyler Allgeier (RB, ATL)

Tyler Allgeier was drafted in the fifth round out of BYU this April. The former Cougar had a productive college career, but he really stood out in his final season in 2021. With 1,800 scrimmage yards and 23 total touchdowns, Allgeier stood among the top running backs in the country. He doesn't possess elite speed (4.60-second 40-yard dash) or great agility (37th-percentile agility score), but he was still able to put up an 85th-percentile college dominator and 10% college target share.

Allgeier is now with the Falcons and was a healthy scratch in Week 1. However, fellow tailback Damien Williams suffered a rib injury in the opener and was placed on IR last weekend. That opened the door for Allgeier to play against the Rams. He finished his professional debut with 10 carries for 30 yards. These numbers are unimpressive, but starter Cordarrelle Patterson also toted the ball just 10 times. Allgeier's respectable workload in his first game is certainly notable.

Allgeier and the Falcons will take on Seattle this week. Something to keep an eye on is, again, the balance in carries between Patterson and Allgeier. If the two backs see similar volume again, Allgeier would be a great waiver wire addition. He should improve as the season goes on, so if he's already being utilized, he would have a chance to surpass Patterson by the end of the season. A one-game sample size is difficult to draw conclusions from though, so watching the rookie this week is important to ensure his Week 2 workload was no fluke.

Isiah Pacheco (RB, KC)

Seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco received a lot of hype this offseason. With a 4.37-second 40-yard dash time, the Rutgers product boasts elite speed at the running back position. Moreover, by posting 27 bench press reps of 225 pounds at the Scouting Combine, Pacheco displayed that he possesses a lot of strength as well. His promising showings in his preseason appearances, as well as the glowing reports that came out about him from training camp, further contributed to the massive amount of buzz surrounding him in August.

His Week 1 performance seemed to confirm what his proponents were claiming. With 12 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown, Pacheco finished as the RB22 for the week in PPR leagues and the RB16 in standard formats. His Week 2 outing was much less impressive, though. He had just two carries for six yards in the game against the Chargers. At this point, it's difficult to tell which type of showing is more likely out of Pacheco, but the game script was much less favorable for him last week than in the opener.

The rookie has had two breakaway runs on his 14 carries on the year, which is fairly impressive for the small workload. However, to establish that he can keep that up, we will need to check out his game against the Colts on Sunday. Another thing to watch is if his volume goes counter to the game script at all. If the matchup is close and he still gets 10+ touches, that would be a promising sign. If it's a blowout and the team keeps using Clyde Edwards-Helaire, that would be concerning. There is a lot of intrigue surrounding Pacheco's performance this weekend.

Treylon Burks (WR, TEN)

Treylon Burks was a standout receiver for the Arkansas Razorbacks for three seasons. The best year of his college career was last season when he had 66 catches for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also added 14 rushing attempts for 112 yards and a score, displaying his versatility within the Arkansas offense. His 45.9 percent college dominator and 31.3 percent target share both ranked at the 93rd percentile.

Burks's impressive college output contributed to the Tennessee Titans selecting him 18th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. At 6'2" and 224 pounds, Burks has a large body to use against defenders. He caught three passes for 55 yards in his professional debut, and last week he made four grabs for 47 yards. His 37.9 percent target rate is eighth among wideouts on the year, and 3.52 yards per route run ranks seventh at the position. With this efficiency, his involvement in the offense will only increase.

Burks will face the Las Vegas Raiders this week. The Raiders have allowed the 14th-most half-PPR points to WRs this year, so it is essentially an average matchup from what we've seen. The Tennessee offense had relied on Derrick Henry in recent seasons, but he has averaged a lackluster 3.2 true yards per carry in 2022. With the Titans being forced to pass more often, Burks will be the main beneficiary. The rookie is worth an add if he is still on your league's waiver wire, and may even be worth a start this Sunday depending on your league's size and starting lineup depth.


NFL Rookies to Watch in Fantasy Football Dynasty Leagues

James Cook (RB, BUF)

Second-round rookie James Cook had a season opener to forget. On his lone touch in the contest, the Georgia product fumbled. Cook finished the game with one carry, two yards, and -1.8 fantasy points. However, he had a great bounce-back performance this past Monday against Tennessee. With 11 carries for 53 yards, Cook flashed the potential that made him a sought-after commodity in rookie drafts. While his increased workload was due in large part to the blowout nature of Buffalo's victory, it was still good to see what he can do.

Cook, the younger brother of Vikings star running back Dalvin Cook, is an electric athlete. His 4.42-second 40-yard dash time at the combine was quite strong, and he also averaged 6.4 yards per carry as a senior last year at Georgia. The downsides to his profile are that he never had much usage in college and that his frame is slight for the position. Cook never averaged more than 10 touches per game as a Bulldog, and his 27.8 BMI is at just the 10th percentile among RBs.

The Buffalo offense is inarguably among the best in the league. That should remain the case for as long as Josh Allen is quarterbacking there, which ideally will be a long time. If Cook can show the coaching staff enough to surpass Devin Singletary on the depth chart, he would step right into a lucrative role for fantasy managers. The fruits of that shift would last for quite some time, making Cook a strong dynasty asset. Keep an eye on his performance this week versus Miami.

Hassan Haskins (RB, TEN)

Like James Cook, Hassan Haskins followed up a weak showing in Week 1 with a much-improved effort in Week 2. In his debut, Haskins played just 10 percent of the Titans' offensive snaps and had zero touches. Last week, though, Haskins played 49.1 percent of the team's snaps and totaled 10 touches for 37 scrimmage yards. Dontrell Hilliard's absence from the lineup contributed to Haskins's higher volume, but nonetheless, it was enlightening to get a glimpse of the rookie.

Haskins is a strong player. His 27 bench press reps of 225 pounds at the Scouting Combine was a 93rd-percentile performance for a running back, and his power translates onto the playing field as well. As a senior at Michigan, Haskins broke out with 1,458 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns.

Hilliard is returning to the field this weekend after being removed from the team's injury report. It will be interesting to see if Haskins's snap share against Las Vegas is closer to his Week 1 or Week 2 involvement. With starter Derrick Henry showing signs of slowing down this season, dynasty managers would be wise to be proactive and investigate Haskins as an option for the future. The results of that investigation will be influenced by how Haskins looks this Sunday.

Khalil Shakir (WR, BUF)

Unlike both Cook and Haskins, fifth-round rookie receiver Khalil Shakir didn't have a quiet game in Week 1. That's only technically true, though, because Shakir didn't play at all; he was a healthy scratch. With rising talent Gabe Davis injured for last week's bout with Tennessee, Shakir was able to get some playing time. It wasn't a whole lot, however. Shakir ran just six routes, had merely two targets, and made no catches.

Shakir's profile looks fairly strong as a prospect. With a 4.43-second 40-yard dash time, Shakir possesses 85th-percentile speed at the receiver position. His 82nd-percentile burst score is also impressive. He was also very productive at Boise State. His 32.2 percent target share last year was massive, amounting to 77 catches for 1,117 yards and seven scores. He also showed his versatility throughout his four-year college career with 71 attempts for 414 yards and four scores on the ground.

With Davis questionable for this week's contest versus Miami, we may get a longer look at Shakir. Miami's suddenly explosive offense could help produce a shootout, in which case Shakir could have an unexpected breakout showing. With Stefon Diggs, Jamison Crowder, Isaiah McKenzie, and Dawson Knox all getting targets, Shakir has a lot of competition within the offense. However, as mentioned in Cook's outlook, Josh Allen isn't going anywhere, and for dynasty managers, all that matters is seeing that Shakir has the talent to be productive in the future.

UPDATE: Gabriel Davis is expected to play versus Miami.

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