As we enter Week 13 of the NFL season, we are starting to see which rookies have truly had breakout campaigns. First Round picks such as Josh Jacobs and Kyler Murray have made immediate impacts and been bets in fantasy from relatively early on.
There are plenty of impact rookies who weren’t drafted in the first round as well. DK Metcalf and David Montgomery are two more names who have shown flashes of immense NFL potential. Montgomery was an early mid-round target in most leagues and despite a slow start to his rookie year, he’s enjoyed plenty of success as the primary horse in Chicago. Marquise Brown, Terry McLaurin and Mecole Hardman have also shown that they have exciting futures, and by extension some fantasy relevance as of 2019.
All told, 2019 has some expected breakouts and some less expected ones. In order to take a closer look, I decided to generate a mid-season list of impact rookies so we can see how it stacks up against my pre-season picks.
Kyler Murray, QB: Arizona Cardinals
Murray was easily a consensus break-out candidate due to the expectations that come with the first overall selection. Despite having below average height for a quarterback, Murray has been solid and at the moment is the #5 QB in default scoring ESPN leagues.
Murray has been on a tear this month, averaging 26 points a game over the past 3 games. The Heisman Trophy winner has some favorable match-ups coming up as well against the LA Rams and Cleveland, which could mean he finishes the season as a top 10 fantasy asset in his rookie campaign. Not bad at all.
Kyler Murray is unreal. pic.twitter.com/5lEQBJlxiM
— Zona (@ZonaHoops_) November 17, 2019
Josh Jacobs, RB: Oakland Raiders
Jacobs was a bit of a disappointment for a few weeks after a strong Week 1 outing (fantasy wise at least) but has since turned that around. The power back out of Alabama is averaging 19 points per game since Week 5 and there’s no indication that this won’t continue. Jacobs was easily the top rookie drafted across the board. He has surpassed his expectations and has proven to be a borderline RB1.
PFF currently grades Jacobs #1.
Josh Jacobs has earned the TOP rushing grade through Week 11! 📈 pic.twitter.com/oQR1t7UYXZ
— PFF (@PFF) November 23, 2019
David Montgomery, RB: Chicago Bears
Montgomery was an instant breakout candidate the moment the Bears traded away Jordan Howard. The run-heavy back out of Iowa State had strong sophomore and junior seasons in which he totaled a combined 2,800 yards from scrimmage and 24 touchdowns. He flashed potential with back to back 20 point games in weeks 8 and 9.
Chicago is becoming more and more dependent on Montgomery due to the struggles of Mitch Trubisky, so look for his touches to only increase from here. The team also moved on from alternate back Mike Davis a few weeks ago so it’s clear they are moving forward with Montgomery as the work horse and Tarik Cohen as a 3rd Down back.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) August 9, 2019
DK Metcalf, WR: Seattle Seahawks
Metcalf was someone who was virtually unknown out of Ole Miss to even the most die-hard football and draft junkies until the NFL Combine. With a unique and freakish athletic ability, he ran a 4.3 40 while also completing the bench press 27 times. All this while matching the same 40″ vertical of LeBron James.
Despite all of the media attention, his draft stock didn’t jump much and he fell into the 3rd Round to Seattle. The rookie has stepped up this year for Russell Wilson to dominate opposing secondaries. In the 3 games before the team’s Week 11 bye, Metcalf averaged 19 points a game. With Seattle on a roll at 8-2, there’s no doubt he’ll continue to produce.
DK Metcalf is too fast. 53-yard touchdown.pic.twitter.com/TKhxxIEodx
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 4, 2019
Daniel Jones, QB: New York Giants
After an embarrassing start to the season, the Giants decided that the Daniel Jones era would come a lot quicker. Though he’s had to lead such a young and inexperienced team, Jones has shown promise and had several strong performances. In the Week 10 Battle of New York, Jones dominated an underrated Jets defense throwing for 308 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Still, the Duke product has had a lot of rookie problems with fumbling being the chief issue. In 9 starts this year, Jones has 10 fumbles to go along with 8 interceptions. One can argue that the New York O-Line has been injured and just simply isn’t good, but Jones deserves some blame for his two turnovers per game average this season. With match-ups against the Eagles twice and the Dolphins, the 22 year-old certainly has an opportunity to make up for those results.
Marquise Brown, WR: Baltimore Ravens
“Hollywood” Brown surprised many in Week 1 with a dominant performance in his NFL debut. Since then, he’s only had three games with over 15 fantasy points, but Brown is still a sleeper.
With the speed and big-play ability he has, Hollywood has become a boom or bust type player where he is one play away from scoring over 20 or under 10 points. An ankle injury kept him out for several weeks but it appears that he is now fully healthy. Brown has emerged as Baltimore’s top wide-out and if he is still available in your league, it’s definitely worth it to scoop him up. Few rookies have the offensive role that Brown has on his team.
TD No. 2 for Marquise Brown, and the Ravens look dominant to start 👀 pic.twitter.com/7oICSG6cNH
— NFL on ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsNFL) November 26, 2019
Terry McLaurin, WR: Washington Redskins
The Redskins used their third-round pick on McLaurin who was a teammate of Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State. McLaurin came into the league with a bang when he took a touchdown 69 yard (nice) TD the house against the Eagles in Week 1. After a stellar start to the year, McLaurin has cooled down while Washington is in a slump. McLaurin is currently still hanging around the top 30 in WR fantasy scoring has borderline flex potential depending on match-ups. It will be interesting to see if McLaurin gets a much needed boost in targets with Haskins taking over under center for Washington for the remainder of the year.
The 2019 class of NFL rookies certainly has some speed.
📽️ by @CoachPaintCH pic.twitter.com/8Sjv7F1x6s
— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) September 20, 2019