Two weeks into the NFL season and the 2018 rookies have been relatively quiet. There’s still valuable information to be gleaned, however, that could help us in future weeks. Let’s breakdown the snaps and production and get to the 2018 Week 2 Rookie Review.
What a time to be alive. Per BetOnline.Ag, Phillip Lindsay currently has the third-best odds to win offensive rookie of the year. Yes. Undrafted free agent Phillip Lindsay. Sunday against the Raiders, Lindsay was the clear leader in the backfield. He had more carries than Devontae Booker (3) and Royce Freeman (8) combined and out-paced Booker by six snaps. Vance Joseph and the Broncos are claiming to ride the “hot hand” going forward, and that’s clearly Lindsay at this point.
Kerryon Johnson could be making his move to be Detroit’s lead back earlier than expected. Johnson saw 20 more snaps compared to week one, seeing 36 compared to 28 for Riddick and 17 for Blount. If the Lions can maintain positive game scripts, Johnson should be on the field for 65%+ of the snaps, as he also saw six targets.
Looking ahead to week three, the rookie running back I’m most interested in seeing is Sony Michel. Before the game got out of hand for the Patriots, Michel saw three straight touches (one target, two rushes). Facing off against the aforementioned Lions, Sony should have a more favorable game flow to see more playing time.
If for some reason Ito Smith is still available in your league, grab him and stash him this week! With Devonta Freeman on the pine, Smith went from 0 to 19 offensive snaps, totaling 54 yards. Tevin Coleman has one foot outside of the Falcons’ door already, so Smith should be looking at a committee role at least in 2019.
Two rookie wideouts scored their first career touchdowns during the same game in Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore (check out Brandon Nickel’s breakdown of their TDs here). Prior to the game, Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn said he wanted Ridley more involved (no catches on two targets week one) and Ridley obliged. D.J. Moore’s involvement didn’t increase as he saw the same amount of snaps, but he did see two targets (zero last week) and made them count, catching one pass for a 51-yard tuddy. Afterward, Panthers HC Ron Rivera expressed the desire to “put more on D.J. Moore’s plate“. I mean, Christian McCaffrey can’t get every target, can he?
Dante Pettis seemed to be in a great spot heading into week two, as Marquise Goodwin was sidelined and the Lions were coming to town. He disappointed owners with one catch for 35 yards but could bounce back this coming week with a potential shootout on the horizon with Kansas City.
Two rookies whose outlook appears to be looking up: Antonio Callaway and James Washington. For Callaway, Josh Gordon has headed for greener pastures to New England, and James Washington was responsible for Justin Hunter’s healthy scratch. Callaway’s ceiling will be limited with Tyrod Taylor at the helm, but he immediately passed Rashard Higgins after only seeing 15 snaps week one. James Washington was in a similar boat, going from 11 snaps to 66 in one week. Washington saw 127 air yards for an aDot of 25.4. With Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster on the field with him, Washington could see a big day in the near future.
Pro tip: Go out and get Christian Kirk before the Cardinals make their quarterback switch. There’s no way they let Sam Bradford continue with what he’s doing. He doesn’t have 250 TOTAL passing yards on the season and is averaging less than four yards per pass attempt. I didn’t even know that was possible.
Welp. If you thought Will Dissly’s week one game was a fluke (might have been me), he shut you up for at least one more week. He followed up his week one 3-105-1 performance with a solid 3-42-1 week two. Two weeks into the season and your top three fantasy tight ends are Jared Cook, Jesse James, and Will friggin Dissly. Just like we drew it up.
With Jets tight end Neal Sterling already ruled out for week three because of a concussion, Christopher Herndon is worth a speculative add ahead of Thursday’s game against Cleveland. There was some hype surrounding the fourth-round rookie out of “the U” this offseason.
The tight end position is gross, so that’s all I have.
That’ll do it for the 2018 Week 2 Rookie Review! Make sure to check out the Google doc that accompanies the article to spot any trends I may not have touched on. The TFA team is pumping out quality content throughout the week, so keep us bookmarked! Lastly, a huge thanks go out to Football Outsiders, Josh Hersmeyer’s Air Yards site, and PlayerProfiler for their data. Good luck in your week three matchups and keep your eyes peeled for next week’s rookie review.