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Some waiver wonder wonders are falling out of relevancy as we approach Week 10. And our "Three Up" section is composed of a familiar name at wide receiver, a Year 2 pass-catching back, and an undrafted rookie free agent with a similar profile to De'Von Achane.
RB Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As a pure rusher, Rachaad White has been a liability this year. His -0.76 rushing yards over expectation per attempt rank second-worst in the league behind only Cam Akers. The Buccaneers were, in a sense, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by feeding White carries. Through Week 4, White averaged 15.8 carries and 3.3 targets per game. Over that stretch, he amassed just 8.3 PPR points per game. Out of the Week 5 bye, White saw a change in usage. His carries dropped to just 12.3, but he saw an uptick in targets to 5.3. That caused his fantasy points per game to jump up to 12.1. The team realized that White wasn't cut to be a between-the-tackles rusher and started implementing screens as an extension of the run game. It's allowed him to see a significant boost in yards per game. This is a promising trend, and White should provide high-end RB2 production as long as it remains.
RB Keaton Mitchell, Baltimore Ravens
Many a Ravens' running back has graced the “Three Up, Three Down” column over the years. Injuries, free agency signings, and trades keep this backfield in what appears to be a constant churn. Rookie Keaton Mitchell may be next up for a role. Mitchell is an undrafted free agent with a spark no other back in Baltimore possesses. We talked about Mitchell on the Footballguys Fantasy Football Show before Week 8. He ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. And while there are some concerns about his size (just 5-foot-8 and 179 pounds), he put those to rest with an electric showing in Week 10. Mitchell drew a lot of buzz in the preseason with his play-making abilities. An IR stint halted the hype train. But now, Mitchell could quickly carve out a role in a backfield that severely needs a home-run hitter.
WR Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
When healthy, few wide receivers draw targets at the rate Diontae Johnson does. Johnson is 15th in the league in targets per route run. While some may view George Pickens' emergence this year as a barrier for Johnson to perform, the splits tell a different story. When Johnson didn't play, Pickens drew a respectable 24% target share. With Johnson on the field, the target share dips to 16%, similar to the likes of Darius Slayton and Jayden Reed. Johnson is the clear top dog in this passing offense. But what's especially exciting this year is his change in usage. Not only is he drawing more targets, but he's drawing them deeper downfield, and he's picking up more yards after the catch. Over the last two weeks with a full snap share, Johnson has racked up 15 receptions on 23 targets for 175 yards and a touchdown. If he can keep this pace up, he'll be a must-start player over the second half of the fantasy season.
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