With two months of the regular season in the books, the 2020 NFL rookie class is making some serious noise. With no preseason games to get acclimated to the game speed of professional football, the first few weeks of the regular season served as a pseudo-preseason for the incoming class. Now, we’re cooking with gas and rookies are making a major impact across the NFL.
Each Wednesday, The Draft Network, in conjunction with Panini, will be taking a close look at three rookies whose stock is on the rise in fantasy football. After Week 8, the spotlight shines brightly on a pair of running backs making the list for the first time and a receiver who’s been here before.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
Assuming the role of WR1 for San Francisco in the absence of Deebo Samuel, Aiyuk did not disappoint. Following up on his first-ever 100-yard game, Aiyuk caught a career-high eight passes on a career-high 11 targets for 91 receiving yards and a touchdown in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks. Aiyuk has fully emerged as a go-to piece in the 49ers offense and he’ll be relied upon even more heavily in the coming weeks with star tight end George Kittle and starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo both out due to injury (in addition to Samuel). Aiyuk’s stock has risen to the point where he currently sits in WR3 territory with the ability to jump up a tier in the right matchup. Another successful outing is expected this week against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.
RB Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills
Moss finally looks healthy for the first time in weeks and he absolutely exploded against the New England Patriots on Sunday. He set career highs across the board with 14 carries for 81 yards and two rushing touchdowns, earning a near 50-50 split with starter Devin Singletary. The thought all season has been that the Bills want to feature two backs, and now that Moss is healthy he can truly be Singletary’s running mate. If Buffalo continues to give the rookie the goal-line work, he could become a sneaky strong fantasy asset for the stretch run. Moss is now firmly back on the fantasy radar after spending the last month on the waiver wire or bench.
RB DeeJay Dallas, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks asked Dallas to carry the load after injuries to their top three running backs left them with no other choice. In a bad matchup against San Francisco, Dallas finished with 22.8 fantasy points, scoring his first two career touchdowns—one on the ground and one as a receiver. He had only 58 total yards on 23 touches, but he was effective enough to prove his worth should Seattle’s backfield injury woes continue. He’s not a must-add at this stage, but he’s now in the fantasy conversation after being rostered in less than 1% of leagues a couple weeks ago.