It’s hard to believe that we’ve already had seven weeks of NFL action this season, but here we are. Which rookies are trending up, or down, at this point? Let’s dig into the 2018 Week 7 Rookie Review and find out!
IT’S FINALLY #ChubbSZN! Following the trade of Carlos Hyde, Nick Chubb slid right into that workhorse role, seeing 18 carries on 45 snaps. Prior to Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, Chubb’s season highs were 3 and 11, respectively. The next step is to hopefully see the rookie from Georgia become more involved in the passing game. For now, I’ll just enjoy seeing my second-ranked rookie on the field.
Speaking of finally, Kerryon Johnson finally got the bulk of the backfield work for the Lions. Johnson had 19 carries to LeGarrette Blount’s 10, and outrushed him by 108 yards. Rational coaching would say this continues for the rest of the season, but we’ll see about that.
Looking at the Rookie Review Sheet, one running back’s snap data sticks out like a sore thumb – Nyheim Hines. Following Marlon Mack’s return, the dynamic rookie has seen his time on the field drop two weeks in a row. He’s now gone from 67% of the snaps in Week 5 (where he had 22 touches), to 43% last week, to 26% in Week 7. His touches have dropped dramatically during that same time period, pushing him outside of FLEX consideration in your lineups.
I would trade for Ronald Jones on the cheap if possible, pick up and stash Trenton Cannon, and if you own Kalen Ballage…sorry?
Rookie wide receivers were relatively quiet overall in Week 7, with just two going over 50 reception yards. Michael Gallup was one of them, as he had his best game going up against Washington. The timing sucks for Gallup enthusiasts with the Cowboys acquiring Amari Cooper via trade, but the fact that Gallup led all Dallas receivers in snaps should provide a glimmer of hope. The Cooper trade could also open a buying window for those looking to double down.
Anthony Miller led rookie receivers in air yards with 124, which also led his own team. That didn’t equate to noteworthy production, but is a promising sign nonetheless, especially if Allen Robinson is forced to miss any games with his groin injury.
Buy Tre’Quan Smith! There’s still time after his meh boxscore last week, but everything we want to see when looking for a trade target is there. First and foremost, he has Drew Brees. Beyond that, he was the clear number two receiver in snaps, leading Cameron Meredith and Austin Carr by 34 and 37 snaps, respectively. Smith was also second in targets (tied with Benjamin Watson) and second in receiving yards. #TreQuanDay is coming.
Guys, this rookie tight end class leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, Chris Herndon has been a lone bright spot. His targets and production have increased the past three weeks and has scored in back-to-back weeks. His 75 air yards ranks second amongst all rookie tight ends since Will-friggin-Dissly in Week 1. It’s pretty bare out here.
The Baltimore Ravens are still rolling out four tight ends every week, so Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews are nothing more than stashes at this point.
For Houston, Jordan Thomas saw 55 snaps to Jordan Akins‘ 30. Thomas’ 55 were a season-high for Texans tight ends, so maybe that’s something to monitor going forward.
That’ll do it for Week 7! You can get every rookie’s snap counts, opportunity, and production here. As always, a huge thanks goes out to Football Outsiders and Pro Football Reference. Drop a comment below or hit me up on Twitter if you have any suggestions for the Rookie Review! After all, I do this for you, the people!