This piece is going to be used to highlight what rookies have (or have not) been doing with their opportunities on the field. For this week, I’ll be selecting a handful of players whose situation changed from the week before, for better or worse, to try and give an idea of what to expect going forward. After this week, I’m planning on expanding this piece to include more players. I wanted to give you guys a taste of what to look forward to! Here’s the look into the week two window. So let’s get right into Rookie Review: Week 2!
Samaje Perine – 37% snap share (up from 0% week 1), 67 total yards on 22 touches
Samaje benefited from his counterpart Fat Rob exiting the game early with a rib injury. The rookie from OU failed to do much with his opportunity, however, running into plugged holes for a measly 3.2 YPC. If Rob Kelley misses Sunday’s game, we’ll have another chance to see if Perine can do more with his opportunity. The issue with Samaje is that the owner who drafted him during your rookie draft more than likely believes in his talent, so buying low probably not an option. Personally, I’d give it another week, because I don’t see him having a breakout game. His first impression was not impressive.
Chris Carson – 61% (up from 53%), 100 yards on 21 touches
Carson may have only accounted for 61% of the offensive snaps, splitting time with C.J. Prosise and Thomas Rawls, he had over 95% of the running back yards (Russel Wilson had 34 rushing yards). I hear what you’re saying: “But the majority of Carson’s yards came on just a handful of runs!” Yes, internet, I hear you. The fact he was able to do anything behind the offensive line that might end up being charged with the murder of Russell Wilson is encouraging. If you missed out on grabbing the seventh-round rookie on waivers last week, it might be too late. I’d make one last attempt to buy him from the current owner before Carson completely takes over that backfield.
D’Onta Foreman – 26% (up from 3%), 40 yards on 12 touches
We always complain about when coaches say something that ends up being not true, so let’s give a golf clap for Bill O’Brien. After week one, he stated that he needed to get Foreman more snaps (which wasn’t hard, considering he had 2 offensive snaps), and B.O.B. came through. Foreman looked good on his first four carries, gaining 28 yards, but it was tough sledding after that. It was reassuring that his snap count did indeed increase, as well as the fact he received 12 touches on his 17 snaps. Foreman is worth rostering/trading for in case Lamar Miller misses time, but he will be tough to start on a weekly basis.
Matt Breida – 18% (down from 21%), 38 yards on 5 touches
Breida’s overall snap percentage decreased from week one (12 snaps down to 9), but his production was much better week two. Week one he only mustered 11 yards on 4 carries against Carolina but was able to rattle off three runs of 10+ yards in week two. Carlos Hyde has surprised me thus far, but his injury history says that there’s a decent chance he won’t be playing all 16 games this year. Because of this, Breida should absolutely be on your radar, if for no other reason than flipping him once he sees his opportunity share increase.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 51% (up from 42%), 16 yards on 3 touches
Although JuJu’s production is nothing to write home about, his increases in snaps are definitely worth noting. In week one, he was clearly behind Eli Rogers as the fourth receiver, only seeing the field for 25 snaps to Eli’s 39 (65%). In week two, JuJu had the edge with one more snap. This is a development that I’ll be paying close attention to in the following weeks. If he’s able to consistently out-snap Eli, he can be a matchup-dependent starter.
Mack Hollins – 24% (up from 7%), 32 yards on 3 touches
Ever since seeing his grown-man touchdown in the preseason, Mack Hollins has been a name I’ve been keeping an eye on. Week one he only saw 5 offensive snaps, which increased to 17 week two. Also, he was the only other receiver to see snaps other than Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor, and Alshon Jeffery. Mack’s first catch came against Marcus Peters, where he ate up the 10-yard cushion quickly for a nice comeback route. If any of the three receivers ahead of Hollins go down to injury, he will be a hot name on the waiver wire. If you have a deep dynasty roster, I would stash him now.
Taywan Taylor – 18% (up from 9%), 58 yards on 3 touches
Yes, Taywan’s snaps probably doubled due to the injury to fellow-rookie Corey Davis, but Taylor took advantage of his limited touches to flash his potential in this offense. In week two, he had two carries where he was lined up in the backfield with DeMarco Murray, gaining 16 yards. He also beat one of the best corners in the league, A.J. Bouye, down the left sideline for a diving 42-yard grab. Davis is probably going to miss a couple games with his hamstring injury, and Taylor will be more involved going forward regardless.
Jonnu Smith – 54% (up from 38%), 30 yards on 2 touches
And a tuddy! Another promising Titans rookie, Jonnu turned a tight end screen into a 32-yard score. Make no mistake, he’s clearly behind veteran Delanie Walker, but it’s a great sign that the team is scheming touches for the youngster.
George Kittle – 88% (down from 95%), 13 yards on 2 touches
Kittle’s snaps and production decreased from week one to week two, but it’s nothing to worry about. Kittle is getting the overwhelming majority of tight end snaps, and the 49ers felt comfortable enough riding with the Iowa rookie when they traded Vance McDonald to the Steelers before the season started.
Thanks for checking out the first installment of the Rookie Review, and be sure to be on the lookout for the week three review early next week!