Week 15 of the 2018 season – aka “Someone Sank My Fantasy Team” week – is in the books. With that comes another week of rookie data that is tracked on the Rookie Review Datasheet along with this article here! Hopefully, you’re agonizing over lineup decisions for Championship Week and you’re using this as a break. Let’s get into the 2018 Week 15 Rookie Review!
Sunday against the Patriots, Jaylen Samuels did something he hadn’t even accomplished at NC State; he rushed for over 100 yards. Samuels collegiate high mark was just 75 yards and his 19 rush attempts also surpassed his collegiate record (12 carries). As of my typing this (Wednesday), James Conner did not practice, so Samuels may find his way into championship rosters.
On the contrary, Justin Jackson is headed straight back to your fantasy benches with the news of Melvin Gordon practicing without restrictions on Tuesday. With backfield-mate Austin Ekeler proving that he’s better with limited touches, Jackson’s flashes have been enough to keep as an end-of-bench roster stash in deeper leagues.
Kalen Ballage had more carries and yards in Week 15 than he did the rest of the season combined – 12/123 vs 8/11. It only took Frank Gore leaving the game injured (now on IR) for Ballage to get more than four touches in a game. Kenyan Drake is slated to hit free agency in 2020, Ballage will be a dynasty stock to monitor these last two weeks and throughout the offseason.
With both LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory inactive, and Marcus Murphy leaving with an injury, Keith Ford jumped into the lead role for the Buffalo Josh Allens. With the lack of anything on Buffalo’s roster, I don’t think their 2019 starting running back is currently on the team.
There has been one surprising bright spot for the Bills in UDFA Robert Foster. Coming out of Alabama with no production to really speak of, Foster did post 4.41 speed at 6’2″ and nearly 200lbs. Over his past five games, he’s posted at least 94 yards in four of them. With the Bills having so many other issues on their roster, I’ll be adding Foster to my offseason buy list.
After being a healthy scratch two weeks ago, James Washington posted his highest snap share (69%) since Week 10. More importantly, he flashed the potential that the entire team was buzzing about throughout their offseason programs. Washington has yet to post a breakout-type game yet and unless he does so, his dynasty price will stay reasonable.
Another rookie wideout I’m selfishly hoping doesn’t finish out the year strong is D.J. Moore. Through the past three games, his highest yardage was 67 in Week 14, and Cam Newton sitting out the final two games doesn’t help that either. With rookie hype right around the corner, you should be able to acquire Moore in 2019 for less than his 2018 cost.
Every time I have to write this section of the article, I let out an audible groan of disgust. Tyler Conklin’s 53 receiving yards in Week 15 were 42 more than his next best game. Mike Gesicki posted 23 yards against the Vikings, and that nearly matched his total yardage since Week 8 (24 yards)!! This position group is like a turd wrapped in burnt hair.
Chris Herndon still leads this group and is my favorite rookie TE target going into next year.
That’ll do it for the 2018 Week 15 Rookie Review! Be sure to check out the Datasheet to spot trends and identify buy-low candidates heading into the offseason. Thanks as always to Football Outsiders, Pro Football Reference, AirYards.com and FantasyADHD.com for their databases. Good luck in your championship games!