When it comes to rookies in Fantasy football, you have to be patient. You know that going into the draft, because we remind you every season, but it's hard to keep that in mind when you start to see holes in your rosters. Staying patient on a player who hasn't quite lived up to their potential yet can be hard to do.
It's been especially hard to do this season with Elijah Moore and Rashod Bateman of the early-round guys, though for different reasons. In Bateman's case, it's because he had surgery in the preseason, which cost him the first five weeks of the season. Moore has dealt with his own injury issues, of course, but the main issue has mostly been that he just hasn't played well. But both are trending up heading into Week 10.
Bateman has been showing reasons to be optimistic since being activated, with six targets in each of his first two games while playing 63% of the snaps or more in each game. And he built on that nicely Sunday, earning eight targets, though we're still waiting for that true breakout performance -- he's got 12 catches for 161 yards through his first three games. However, having this kind of role in this offense despite missing so much time is a very good sign for his chances moving forward. I want him on my team.
But I might want Moore even … more. Moore was the talk of the offseason for the Jets, starting in rookie camp and going all the way through training camp, but then the games started and he flopped -- he had just 79 yards on 26 targets in his first five games, while missing some time with injuries. However, he showed signs of life in Week 8, catching all six passes thrown his way for 67 yards and then had his breakout performance in Thursday's game against the Colts, going for 84 yards on seven catches with two touchdowns. Sure, it was a blowout, but he caught his first touchdown to tie the game at seven, so don't write it off entirely.
The Jets don't have a bad receiving corps, but Moore is the most talented guy they have, and he's starting to show it. Does this mean he'll be a star in the second half? Of course not; this is still a pretty bad offense, all things considered. But it would make sense for the Jets to make him a focal point moving forward, and he's got a ton of upside if they do.
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As of Sunday evening, Week 10 isn't shaping up to be the best week for immediate contributors on waivers, though, as we learned last week, big news can come that will shake up the Fantasy landscape at any time. Maybe that'll happen this week, but for now, those two rookie wide receivers look like some of the most interesting players on the wire to me.
Here's who else we'll be looking for in Week 10:
SF San Francisco • #11
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Aiyuk saw his role increase in Week 9, as he led the team in snaps, targets, and carries among wide receivers, but his roster rate didn't really budge -- Fantasy players were unsurprisingly skeptical. That'll change this week, as Aiyuk looked like the potential superstar we were hoping he could be in the loss to the Cardinals. Aiyuk caught six of eight passes for 89 yards and a touchdown, by far his best game of the season. Hopefully, this is the start of Aiyuk figuring things out, and it's especially impressive coming with George Kittle and Deebo Samuel healthy and active and combining for 17 targets. Aiyuk has a ton of potential, but he recently told The Athletic, "I didn't know how to practice." Which probably explains his disappointing start to the season. However, with his role increasing of late, it's a good time to bet on Aiyuk. You don't find upside like this on waivers often.
PHI Philadelphia • #24
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
The Eagles made a point of getting the running game going the last two weeks, and Howard has been one of the biggest beneficiaries. Signed from the practice squad when Miles Sanders went on IR last week, Howard followed up his two-touchdown Week 9 with just one touchdown Sunday, however he also led the team with 71 yards on 17 carries in this one. Boston Scott still saw 10 carries, while Kenneth Gainwell had just two -- though one was a goal-line touchdown. Scott still seems like the best RB here as long as Sanders is out, but Howard is clearly worth adding, and could be worth starting in Week 10 with David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, Joe Mixon, Saquon Barkley, and Devontae Booker on bye.
NE New England • #38
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Stevenson managed to lead the Patriots in both rushing and receiving, as he continues to show seriously impressive upside. He rushed for 62 yards on 10 carries and added 44 on two catches in the win over the Panthers, and could be in line for an expanded role in Week 10 against the Browns with Damien Harris exiting this game with a head injury. Of course, Stevenson also left shortly after that with a head injury of his own, so that's no guarantee, and we'll have to keep an eye on both players' status throughout the week. However, Stevenson continues to show that he might be the only running back on the Patriots with the potential for three-down work, and I'm willing to make him a priority on waivers if I'm looking for upside, even if he may not provide it in Week 10.
Russell Gage WR
ATL Atlanta • #14
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Gage did nothing in Week 8's game against the Panthers, earning zero targets despite playing 68% of the snaps. Sunday, however, he was a big part of the game plan against the Saints, leading the team with eight targets, catching seven of them for 64 yards. Gage never really has a ton of upside, but with Calvin Ridley out for at least the next two games, he could be a useful PPR option moving forward.
Eno Benjamin RB
ARI Arizona • #26
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
With Chase Edmonds exiting Sunday's game with an injury, Benjamin saw an increased role behind James Conner, and while he wasn't a direct replacement for Edmonds, he did end up with 49 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Conner actually took on Edmonds' passing game role, which limits the upside Benjamin could have if Edmonds misses time, but we know the Cardinals like to use multiple back, so Benjamin could be in line for a Fantasy relevant role in Week 10.
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