Josh Jacobs ripped through a hole nearly untouched for a game-winning, 18-yard touchdown with a minute left in the Oakland Raiders’ 26-24 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night, kicking off NFL Week 10 by continuing his surge into the elite running backs of fantasy football.
The electric, first-round rookie from Alabama and new featured back of the Raiders surpassed 100 yards from scrimmage for the fourth time in his last five games, a span that includes five touchdowns and three performances of 120-plus rushing yards.
Jacobs entered Week 10 averaging 92.5 rush yards per outing, the fourth-best mark in the NFL, and his yards-per-carry average of 4.8 ranks sixth among players with at least 100 rushing attempts. Jacobs’ advanced stats also paint the picture of a high-end fantasy asset as he ranks third in the NFL in both red-zone touches and big runs, and eighth in juke rate and evaded tackles, according to Player Profiler.
Jacobs is now in the midst of a 10-day rest period entering a mouth-watering schedule for fantasy managers down the stretch. Three of his next six games are against teams in the top 10 for most favorable RB matchups — allowing the most fantasy points per game to the position — and all but one (Tennessee, No. 14) rate within the bottom half of NFL rushing defenses.
While Jacobs is primed for a strong finish to his debut campaign and has the looks of a superstar moving forward for managers in rookie-based dynasty leagues, easily living up to his billing as the top first-year player selected in most formats, he isn’t the only NFL newcomer making a fantasy splash.
Here’s a look at the rest of the top 10 rookies entering NFL Week 10 for keeper and dynasty-league purposes, most of which are capable of becoming a difference-maker for seasonal managers approaching the critical stages of their 2019 schedules.
2. David Montgomery (RB, Chicago): Being utilized to a frustratingly low degree for fantasy managers throughout the first half of the season, the shifty Iowa State product has seemingly been unleashed by the Bears over the last two games, posting consecutive 20-point fantasy outings after failing to reach that mark during the previous seven weeks.
Montgomery has received 48 of 62 touches by Bears RBs over the last two and scored three of his four TDs during that period, while leading the league in goal-line carries entering Week 10. Two of Montgomery’s next four games are against the Detroit Lions, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing RBs, and he has several plus matchups down the stretch to provide weekly RB2 production with upside if his newfound workload remains consistent.
3. D.K. Metcalf (WR, Seattle): The polarizing Ole Miss prospect that was famously measured with a record 1.6 body-fat percentage at the 2019 NFL Draft Combine has already started delivering on his immense upside as a rookie. Coming off a career-best 123-yard outing in Week 9, Metcalf leads all first-year WRs with 525 yards, and only 10 players have out-produced his five receiving TDs.
The 6-foot-4 and 229-pound Metcalf has displayed his unmatched physical prowess each time he has taken the field, routinely gliding past defenders in the open field while winning with strength in contested situations, and he is getting prime looks (16th in deep targets, 10th in red zone targets) from MVP candidate Russell Wilson. The arrival of Josh Gordon to the Seahawks is a slight concern to his immediate target-share outlook, but Metcalf is a bona fide stud for dynasty managers that should continue to make a strong impact through his rookie campaign.
4. Devin Singletary (RB, Buffalo): The third-round rookie from Florida Atlantic is another dynamic RB with three-down potential that may have finally been let loose by his coaching staff. Singletary has shown the ability to cut and juke around defenders, drawing comparisons to his Bills predecessor LeSean McCoy, but also flashes his powerful frame while finishing off runs.
He leads the NFL with 6.7 yards per carry and coming off a career-best performance of 140 yards and a TD on 24 touches — his previous high was just 10 opportunities — the first-year RB should see plenty of work down the stretch trying to control the clock to complement one of the NFL’s best defenses. Singletary should deliver steady RB2 production while sharing a backfield with 34-year-old mentor Frank Gore for the duration of this season, and is in prime position for a bell-cow role beginning in 2020.
5. Marquise Brown (WR, Baltimore): The cousin of Antonio Brown nicknamed “Hollywood,” has battled injuries throughout much of his rookie season but has flashed his elite speed and play-making potential that could help managers through the final byes of crucial weeks chasing a postseason spot, or benefit dynasty managers for 2020 and beyond. In six games, the first-round Oklahoma product ranks eighth in the NFL in yards gained per route (2.83) and third in yards after catch average (7.1), slowly building a rapport with budding second-year star QB Lamar Jackson.
6. Miles Sanders (RB, Philadelphia): The second-round Penn State product and highest RB ever drafted by Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has yet to take flight while sharing a backfield with Jordan Howard. Sanders has garnered 13 touches or less in all but one game with a career-high of 15 back in Week 3, but has solidified a pass-catching role with at least three targets in each game while ranking seventh among RBs in receiving yards (35.3 avg). He has flashed his home-run ability as the only NFL player with both a catch and run exceeding 45 yards, and plays in the league’s sixth-heaviest rushing offense behind a bruising offensive line. The patience of Sanders’ managers should pay off soon.
7. Kyler Murray (QB, Arizona): The top overall pick of the NFL draft hasn’t yet reached the lofty expectations that some fantasy analysts had predicted, but the unique talent is slowly progressing into a regular fantasy QB1. Murray has displayed pinpoint accuracy and improved poise working behind the league’s worst offensive line, and ranks among the top three in all significant QB rushing stats.
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma will be operating an offense that aims to be among the fastest paced in the NFL for the foreseeable future — he already ranks fifth in the league in pass attempts (35.1 per game) and 12th in passing yards (247.7 per game) as a rookie — and his rushing prowess as a true dual threat make Murray of the few QBs worthy of a long-term investment for keeper leagues. Murray has the potential to be a perennial top-five fantasy QB and should be a capable starter at minimum for the rest of 2019.
8. A.J. Brown (WR, Tennessee): The former Ole Miss running mate of Metcalf has tallied at least 64 yards or a touchdown in each of his last three games with Ryan Tannehill as the Titans QB, after sporadic production but occasional flashes with the recently benched Marcus Mariota under center. The future is bright for Brown, who at 6-foot-1 and 226 pounds, ranked in the 90th percentile for speed score at the NFL Draft Combine, especially if the Titans solve their QB issues in the offseason.
9. Terry McLaurin (WR, Washington): The third-round pass catcher from Ohio State is on pace for 64 receptions, 994 yards and 10 TDs, and has shown his play-making potential despite under-whelming QB play in Washington.
10. N’Keal Harry (WR, New England); T.J. Hockenson (TE, Detroit); Parris Campbell (WR, Indianapolis): Three players will share the final spot in the rankings as each has yet to shine due to various injuries and/or other rookie struggles. Each player possesses a high ceiling and needs to be on dynasty rosters regardless of whether they are in position to help managers down the stretch. Harry and Hockenson are each intriguing bench stashes in the short term for seasonal managers.