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Rookies to Invest in Now
Rookies to Invest in Now

Associated Press

Published
12/1/2022
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Updated
December 1, 2022

Betting on young players, especially rookies, is fun. Being ahead of the market is also fun. But most fun of all is having the opportunity to turn those bets and that knowledge into real money. You can do just that on Mojo, a sports stock market that allows you to bet on a player’s future. 

This particular article takes a look at three ascending rookie pass-catchers you should be Going Long on before Week 13.  

Skyy Moore $5.94 (3x Long Multiplier)

It’s taken some time for Moore to break into the Chiefs’ rotation of pass-catchers. In fact, prior to Week 11, he had never played on more than 33% of the snaps in any one game. From Weeks 1 through 10, he averaged just 1.6 targets per game. In his last two games, he’s up to six targets per game. 

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Watson, and even Kadarius Toney (for a couple games) have all been ahead of him on the depth chart at times, so it’s been an uphill battle for Moore to see regular playing time. That has shifted a bit in the last two games. 

In Weeks 11 and 12, Moore played 42% of the snaps and has participated in 38% of routes. That means he ran a route on 38% of Patrick Mahomes’ dropbacks. Through Week 10, Moore had a route participation percentage of just 22%. And he produced with that increased playing time. In fact, he had a target rate of 38.7% in his last two games

And now, with Toney, Smith-Schuster, and Jerick McKinnon (the Chiefs’ pass-catching running back) all sidelined to start the practice week, it looks like Moore could be headed for his most work yet in Week 13.

Moore has a share price of just $5.94 on Mojo. That’s down 27.7% since the beginning of this season. 

His lofty expectations as a second round pick just haven’t paid dividends, yet! But that’s the perfect buying opportunity! Especially since we’ve seen his opportunities and production increase the last two weeks with Hardman out, Toney on the shelf, and Smith-Schuster battling both a concussion and illness. 

Smith-Schuster is currently on a one-year “prove it” deal, so there’s no guarantee he’s in Kansas City next season after an up-and-down 2022. Hardman is also an unrestricted free agent after this season and Toney hasn’t been able to stay healthy early in his career. 

That leaves the door wide open for Moore to solidify himself as a mainstay in the Chiefs’ offense. Being tied to the best quarterback in the NFL doesn’t hurt his stock either. 

With a Future Value of just $5.74, the market currently believes rookies Alec Pierce (Future Value = $6.58) and Wan’Dale Robinson (Future Value = $5.88) will earn more than Moore before they all retire. Bet on Moore ahead of Week 13 and use the 3x Multiplier to increase your return. 

Chigoziem Okonkwo $1.90 (2x Long Multiplier)

This one might seem a little biased as I am a Maryland Terrapin, just like Titans rookie tight end Chigoziem “Chig” Okonkwo. However, he’s made enough strides this season to give us real hope that he could stick in the NFL for a long time. Just look at this catch on a deep ball by Ryan Tannehill.

Check this out, through Week 11, Okonkwo was the highest rated rookie tight end, per PFF.

His athletic profile is off the charts as well. Per PlayerProfiler, Okonkwo’s 4.52 40-yard dash is in the 96th percentile of all tight ends ever charted. He also has an above average burst score (69th percentile) and catch radius (60th percentile) for the position. 

Before the Titans’ Bye in Week 6, Okonkwo hardly played behind Austin Hooper and Geoff Swaim. His snap share was sub-20% and his route participation rate was sub-10%. 

However, since Week 7, Okonkwo has played on 40% of the snaps with a route participation rate of 33%. He’s run double-digit routes the last two weeks, the first two times he’s done so all season, and saw a season-high five targets and 47 air yards in Week 12. 

So, why does this matter if Hooper is still there running most of the tight end routes and seeing a majority of the targets? Well, he’s set to become a free agent after the 2022 season. That opens the door for Okonkwo to become the TE1 in Tennessee as early as his sophomore campaign. With the improvements he’s already made thus far in his rookie season, this looks more and more likely. Bet on Chig now and use that 2x Multiplier to double your return before Hooper walks in free agency after the season. 

His future value of just $1.55 suggests the market doesn’t think he can maintain a job as a TE1 for multiple years in the future. I believe he can.

Daniel Bellinger $2.50 (2x Long Multiplier)

This rookie hasn’t been talked about in quite a while as he’s been out since Week 7 after suffering a fractured eye against the Jaguars. But he’s back at practice this week and head coach Brian Daboll is optimistic about his return in Week 13

It’s a shame Bellinger suffered a fractured eye in Week 7 because in Week 6 he played a full-time role for the first time all season. He saw a 97% snap share and ran a route on 77.4% of Daniel Jones’ dropbacks. 

Prior to Week 6, Bellinger never played more than 69% of the snaps or had a route participation rate greater than 41.2%. His full-time role in Week 6 led to a season-high five targets on 24 routes run. He caught all five of those targets for 38 yards and a touchdown. Two of those targets came in the red zone. 

This Giants team is currently starving for guys to throw the ball to. Wan’Dale Robinson is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL. Kadarius Toney is now a Kansas City Chief. Jones is throwing to Darius Slayton, Richie James, Lawrence Cager, and Isaiah Hodgins. That’s not sustainable. Bellinger’s presence, as both a blocker and a pass-catcher, is very much needed in an offense that offers next-to-nothing outside Saquon Barkley. 

Bellinger’s share price sits at just $2.50. That’s down 42% since just before the start of the season. If he can get back to that full-time role he had in Week 6, Bellinger is going to a genuine opportunity to produce down the stretch. The 4th-round pick out of San Diego State can very much solidify his role as the Giants’ tight end of the future by doing just that. 

If you bet on him now at $2.50 and his stock price rises back to $3.54, his pre-season price, you could make 84.3% on your investment by using his 2x Multiplier. Putting $1000 down now means you could make $843.00. Now is the perfect time to invest in a player returning from a freak facial injury that shouldn’t affect his future performance. 

Prices are current as of 12/1/22 at 1:00 PM
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