Rookie Report: Reviewing All Rookie Performances In Week 1

Matthew Bruening reviews all rookie performances from Week 1.

(Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

This series will detail how the current NFL rookies do throughout the NFL season. I will have them separated out by position and continue to update you every week on their progress. I will also have them ranked in the order I think they are most relevant for Dynasty leagues. While every player won’t be addressed on here every week unless I feel they have some fantasy relevance, all it takes is one play to make the list.  This series will come out every Saturday afternoon and will detail the previous week and weeks production for the players. So without further ado let’s break down these rookies.


Sam Darnold- drafted 3rd overall by the New York Jets

Darnold got the start in week one against the Detriot Lions and he did not disappoint. After throwing a bad pick-six on his first play and first pass, an ill-advised pass across his body and across the field right to the waiting defender. After that, though Darnold showed a lot of poise and showed everyone why he was in talks to be the number one overall draft pick for most of the pre-draft process. While it helped Darnold that his defense and special teams added score and he was playing in front for most of the second half, he still surprised me, to be honest with his poise in the pocket, and his ability to maneuver around in the pocket to try and extend plays. I’m truly excited to see how he continues to grow and progress in this offense this year especially being the youngest player to ever start at the quarterback position. Here are his stats following week one.

Comp/Att Yards Percentage Average Td/Int QB Rate Rush Attempts Yards Fantasy Points
16/21 198 76.2 9.4 2/1 116.8 6 -1 14.8

Baker Mayfield- drafted 1st overall by the Cleveland Browns

Baker is still the number two quarterback of this class for me at the moment even though he hasn’t played yet for Cleveland. Baker has shown a lot of promise and with the way, Tyrod Taylor threw the ball against the Steelers we may see Mayfield sooner rather than later.

Lamar Jackson- drafted 32nd overall by the Baltimore Ravens

Jackson still has by far the most upside for me of all these quarterbacks. He has deadly speed and is an adept rusher of the ball. His biggest issue is still throwing the ball with accuracy, the more time he has to develop and can improve his accuracy he has a legitimate shot to be the closest thing to Michael Vick in his prime. Jackson will be used in certain packages this year for the Ravens and got some time this past week due to the Ravens blowing out the Buffalo Bills. He is however still the third-string quarterback and likely won’t start a game this year unless both Joe Flacco and Robert Griffin III both get injured. Here are Jackson’s current stats.

Comp/Att Yards Percentage Average Td/Int QB Rate Rush Attempts Yards Fantasy Points
1/4 24 4.o 6.0 0 52.1 9 45 4.9

Josh Allen- drafted 7th overall by the Buffalo Bills

While Allen didn’t start the game for the Bills he entered fairly quickly as Nathan Peterman struggled mightily against the Baltimore Ravens. While Allen didn’t fare much better he played good enough or maybe not quite as bad as Peterman to get the start against the Chargers in week 2. Of all the quarterbacks in this class, Allen was the rawest coming into the draft, and many believed he needed more time to study the game and especially improve on his accuracy. While he will be starting this week he is clearly the worst of this current group he does have the skills to be a top quarterback if he improves his accuracy.

Comp/Att Yards Percentage Average Td/Int QB Rate Rush Attempts Yards Fantasy Points
6/15 74 40.0 4.9 0/0 56.0 4 26 5.6

Players to watch out for: Kyle Lauletta NYG

Running backs:

Saquon Barkley- drafted 2nd overall by the New York Giants

Barkley has a ton of talent and showed it on his 68-yard touchdown run against the Jaguars. Barkley has shown us exactly what he was in college as well. While most of his runs were bottled up in the backfield due to poor blocking by the offensive line he had, his stat line didn’t look until that run. Which is exactly what happened at Penn State as well, once his offensive line can gel together and improve blocking, Barkley could be even more dangerous.  Here is his touchdown run.

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Rush Attempts Yards Average TD Receptions Yards Average TD
18 106 5.9 1 2 22 11.0 0

Phillip Lindsay- undrafted free agent signed by the Denver Broncos

This is my guy and my ride or die all year. I have been touting him since before his combine snub and so far he has proven me right. While Lindsay is a smaller back he makes up for it with speed and skill. He runs angry but avoids the big hits. While rushing the ball he did just as good as Royce Freeman, his catch and work after that is what brought him his first NFL touchdown. He likely was picked up in all leagues but if he wasn’t he needs to be owned now, as I said in the rookie review article he could be a more explosive Darren Sproles. Here is his touchdown catch.

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Rush Attempts Yards Average TD Receptions Yards Average TD
15 71 4.7 0 2 31 15.5 1

Royce Freeman- drafted 71st overall by the Denver Broncos

While Freeman had himself a decent day rushing the ball as well, he was overshadowed by Lindsay mostly because not many knew about him. Freeman ended the day with good numbers and will likely just continue to get an increased workload. However, as long as Devontae Booker is in the rotation his upside will be limited some. Freeman is still the main back here and will get a bulk of the work likely only losing out a handful of carries to Lindsay.

Rush Attempts Yards Average TD Receptions Yards Average TD
15 71 4.7 0 0 0 0 0

Nyheim Hines- drafted 104th overall by the Indianapolis Colts

While Hines finished behind Wilkins this week in touches. Hines was used heavily in screens for the Colts dink and dunk offense. While he isn’t exactly a big back he could quickly carve out a suitable role in the passing game and could be a PPR stud if used correctly. He has a better chance to last in this offense than Wilkins based purely on his skill set. While I think he is extremely underrated as a runner and could surprise if given carries his offensive skill set suits how he is currently being used.

Rush Attempts Yards Average TD Receptions Yards Average TD
5 19 3.8 0 7 33 4.7 0

Jordan Wilkins- drafted 169th overall by the Indianapolis Colts

I loved Wilkins coming out of college and think he could easily become the starter here but his week one performance didn’t exactly secure the job for him. While some of the struggles can be placed on the poor blocking by the offensive line for the Colts, if Wilkins wants to steal the starting role away from Marlon Mack he will need to perform better when given the opportunities.

Rush Attempts Yards Average TD Receptions Yards Average TD
14 40 2.9 0 3 21 7.0 0

Rashaad Penny- drafted 27th overall by the Seattle Seahawks

Penny did little to make a name for himself in week one. He split the same amount of carries with Chris Carson, and Carson was much better. While his draft value matters here some, if he continues to underperform he likely won’t beat out Carson any time soon. However, he will continue to be involved in the offense so he will continue to get his chances, though I don’t think Penny is overly talented.

Rush Attempts Yards Average TD Receptions Yards Average TD
7 8 1.1 0 4 35 8.8 0

Chase Edmonds- drafted 134 overall by the Arizona Cardinals

Edmonds was an intriguing prospect coming out of a small college Fordham. He had himself a very productive college career, but many were worried about his size and lack of competition coming into the NFL. He has looked good so far in the NFL. While he got some work last week chances are being stuck behind David Johnson he really only has value as his backup. While it would be interesting to see what he could do as a lead back, for now, if you own Johnson you need to own Edmonds as he looks like he could hold his own his Johnson is out.

Rush Attempts Yards Average TD Receptions Yards Average TD
4 24 6.0 0 4 24 6.0 0

Kerryon Johnson- drafted 43rd overall by the Detriot Lions

Things looked bleak for Johnson at the start of this season. He was the third back in the rotation behind lead back LeGarrette Blount and pass catching back Theo Riddick. While Johnson only had five carries against the New York Jets in week one, Blount injured his knee. If Blount is going to miss significant time Johnson could quickly start rising up the board, especially because of how good he looked in the small sample size against the Jets.

Rush Attempts Yards Average TD Receptions Yards Average TD
5 17 3.4 0 3 20 6.7 0

Nick Chubb- drafted 35th overall by the Cleveland Browns

Chubb has all the talent in the world and while I love him (some Cleveland Browns open bias) he hasn’t looked completely back after a horrific knee injury in college. He got some work Sunday and looked decent, but likely won’t be the lead back in Cleveland unless Carlos Hyde gets hurt or is let go.

Rush Attempts Yards Average TD Receptions Yards Average TD
3 21 7.0 0 0 0 0 0

Ronald Jones III- drafted 38th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While Jones was inactive week one I feel he is by the far the most talented back in Tampa. He seems to be struggling to pick up the offense I expect him to make a breakthrough. He is only 21 years old and I expect him to be relevant sooner rather than later.

Players to watch for: Chris Warren III OAK, Mark Walton CIN, Trenton Cannon NYJ, Ito Smith ATL

Wide receivers: 

Dante Pettis- drafted 44th overall by the San Fransisco 49er

Pettis had a lot of hype coming out of college and he showed all of us why in week one. He made a beautiful catch in the back of the end zone for his first touchdown and for the foreseeable future will be the number two, at least while Marquise Goodwin is out. Pettis played 72% of the snaps once Goodwin went out and caught two passes on five targets. Once Goodwin comes back Pettis, for now, will likely move to the wide receiver three role but he is a very interesting prospect.

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Receptions Yards Average TD Rush Attempts Yards Average TD
2 61 30.5 1 0 0 0 0

Courtland Sutton- drafted 40th overall by the Denver Broncos

Sutton has a lot of talent and was drafted to be the future star of this offense and he was able to show off some of his potential in week one with two twenty-plus yard catches. He is currently the third wide receiver on the depth chart and will likely struggle to see consistent looks, but he looks primed to be the guy next year with the chances that the Broncos let either Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders go.

Receptions Yards Average TD Rush Attempts Yards Average TD
2 45 22.5 0 0 0 0 0

Anthony Miller- drafted 51st overall by the Chicago Bears

Miller came into the season with a lot of hype at least coming out of Bears training camp he did. As of right now, he is still the third wide receiver on the depth chart behind Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. While we haven’t seen much out of him he has talent and could surprise this year if he can move up the depth chart.

Receptions Yards Average TD Rush Attempts Yards Average TD
2 14 7.0 0 0 0 0 0

Michael Gallup- drafted 81st overall by the Dallas Cowboys

Gallup almost seemed like a lock for not just the first team of the Cowboys offense but their number one option, especially the connection he had with Dak Prescott during the preseason. However, in week one even finished behind Deonte Thompson in routes run and snaps. Gallup has limited upside until this offense can feature a wide receiver.

Receptions Yards Average TD Rush Attempts Yards Average TD
1 9 9.0 0 0 0 0 0


Christian Kirk- drafted 47th overall by the Arizona Cardinals

Kirk is likely the future slot wide receiver for this team however right now they have a Hall of Famer playing that position in Larry Fitzgerald. Kirk is currently stuck behind Chad Williams and Larry Fitzgerald. While Kirk had a lot of hype in camp, Williams beat him out and it should be interesting to see how this wide receiver corp shakes out.

Receptions Yards Average TD Rush Attempts Yards Average TD
1 4 4.0 0 0 0 0 0

D.J. Moore- drafted 24th overall by the Carolina Panthers

Moore looked to be the best or at least in the discussion for the best wide receiver of this class. Head coach Ron Rivera has come out and said they are not going to rush his development. Greg Olsen will be sidelined with his foot injury for at least 3-6 weeks, this could be Moores chance to make a name for himself.

Receptions Yards Average TD Rush Attempts Yards Average TD
0 0 0 0 1 3 3.0 0

Players to watch for: Antonio Callaway CLE, Calvin Ridley ATL, DaeSean Hamilton DEN, Tre’Quan Smith NO, Equanimeous St. Brown GB.

Tight ends:

Mark Andrews- drafted selected 86th overall by the Baltimore Ravens

Andrews is a converted wide receiver and a standout, offensive weapon while he was at Oklahoma. Now in the NFL he is stuck in a timeshare in a crowded tight end room. His receiving ability and playmaking skills should separate him from most of the others in this room. With Hayden Hurst out for a couple more weeks, Andrews has a chance to solidify a starting role in this offense.

Receptions Yards Average TD
3 31 10.3 0

Jordan Thomas- drafted 211th overall by the Houston Texans

Thomas is more improved in the blocking game than most tight ends and is showing some good offensive skills. If he can’t continue to improve he has a legitimate shot to be a starting tight end in a high powered offense, though he will likely be battling with Jordan Akins as well.

Receptions Yards Average TD
1 27 27.0 0

Jordan Akins- drafted 98th overall by the Houston Texans

After flashing in the preseason the former minor league baseball player he has the athletic skill set to be an offensive force. He lacks some in blocking. He is also much older than most tight ends which could help him develop his game even quicker. Akins is the guy I think will be the lead tight end for the Texans which could be deadly in a high powered offense.

Receptions Yards Average TD
2 11 5.5 0

Ian Thomas- drafted 101st overall by the Carolina Panthers

Thomas was drafted to be the guy to replace Greg Olsen in two years when he is expected to retire. No one expected Olsen to go out with a foot fracture and Thomas to be forced into action in week two. Yet he looks good and I think he can handle it. He still has to learn some more of this offense but he will be an immediate threat for this offense.

Receptions Yards Average TD
2 4 2.0 0

Tyler Conklin- drafted 157th overall by the Minnesota Vikings

Conklin joins the Vikings after a successful college career. While he likely won’t push Kyle Rudolph out of his starting position, he could push him for some snaps. Conklin likely won’t be on many peoples radars but could be a deep sleeper here especially if Rudolph goes down.

Receptions Yards Average TD
1 6 6.0 0

Dallas Goedert- drafted 49th overall by the Philidelphia Eagles

Goedert has the chance to be the next Rob Gronkowski or at least the fantasy equivalent of him. He has good size and speed and showed a range of offensive and blocking skills in college. He is technically stuck behind one of the most reliable tight ends in fantasy though in Zach Ertz. Goedert played fewer than 20 snaps in his NFL debut however he did get a touchdown chance. Nick Foles threw him a nice ball toward the sideline in the end zone and had Goedert been able to get both his feet down he would have had a touchdown. For me, Goedert will be the best tight end of this class but likely won’t get much work the first year.

Receptions Yards Average TD
1 4 4.0 0

Mike Gesicki- drafted 42nd overall by the Miami Dolphins

Gesicki will likely get the most snaps early on out of this group as he has no real competition on the roster for snaps at tight end. In week one he got a majority of the snaps with the first team offense yet he likely won’t put up fantasy numbers until he can get a connection with Ryan Tannehill.

Receptions Yards Average TD
1 11 11.0 0

Will Dissly- drafted 120th overall by the Seattle Seahawks

Dissly clearly had the best week of any of the rookie tight ends in week one and came into the season with relatively no fanfare. He was expected to be a blocker in the NFL but he opened the scoring for the Seahawks with a 15-yard touchdown, then added a 66-yard catch and run while shaking off multiple tackles. It will be hard to trust Dissly as Russell Wilson has struggled to make any tight end fantasy relevant. If he can continue even half of this workload though he will quickly shoot up the ranks.

Receptions Yards Average TD
3 105 35.0 1

Players to watch for: Hayden Hurst BAL, Chris Herndon NYJ, Dalton Schultz DAL

Thank you guys for checking out the week one rookie report. As the season goes on we will be able to take deeper dives into these guys who are the future of our fantasy teams and NFL teams. Check back every week for more in-depth analysis on these rookies and who moves up or down to become the top rookies at each position. If you have any fantasy related questions always check out QB and you can hit me up on twitter @SportsfanaticMB





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