As the NFL season is winding down and the fantasy playoffs are heating up, it’s time for another rookie review! You have lineup decisions to agonize over, so let’s get right into the Week 14 Rookie Review!
Kareem Hunt – 68% snap share (down from 87%), 138 yards, touchdown on 28 touches
If you had the cojones to start Kareem Hunt in a playoff matchup you were rewarded. After not scoring since week three, and not surpassing 100 scrimmage yards since week seven, the Toledo Rocket came through hitting both benchmarks.
Leonard Fournette – 76% (down from 79%), 119 yards, touchdown on 28 touches
In what looked like an intimidating matchup on paper, LF rumbled his way through the Seattle defense on their way to a huge win. Despite missing nearly a month earlier in the season, Fournette is closing in on a 1,000 yard rushing season.
Jamaal Williams – 66% (down from 87%), 118 yards, two touchdowns on 22 touches
I’ll discuss his counterpart further down the list, but Williams seems to have a grasp on the job, for now anyway. J-Will has dominated snaps and touches the past two weeks, and has looked really solid doing so. He’s not doing anything on a spectacular level, but he’s getting the job done.
Samaje Perine – 80% (up from 57%), 52 yards on 21 touches
On a day where nothing was working for Washington and they trailed all game long, Perine still had 17 carries somehow. With the offensive line falling apart, I think this is the kind of box score we’ll see from the OU product, not weeks eleven and twelve.
Wayne Gallman – 46% (up from 23%), 99 yards on 19 touches
After Orleans Darkwa was leading the backfield the past several weeks, Gallman took over in terms of snaps and production. I have no idea what this means going forward, but if for some reason Gallman is hanging around on your waivers, snag him up.
Tarik Cohen – 49% (up from 43%), 85 yards on 14 touches
I wish you could trust in this. The Human Joystick is one of the most electric players in the NFL, and he’s been grossly misused.
Matt Breida – 44% (up from 32%), 27 yards on 12 touches
At this point of the season, he’s nothing more than a Carlos Hyde handcuff.
Christian McCaffrey – 67% (down from 70%), 53 yards on 11 touches
The Vikings defense was athletic enough to limit CMC, but not Jonathan Stewart. Go figure.
Marlon Mack – 24% (down from 43%), 44 yards on 9 touches
If you’re a team that is completely out of playoff contention, you gotta ride a thirty-four-year old into the ground with 36 carries, right? I don’t understand football.
Corey Clement – 30% (down from 37%), 52 yards on 7 touches
With Wentz going down with a torn ACL, it’ll be interesting to see how the Eagles offense will adjust. Clement could see an uptick in usage, but still won’t be enough to warrant starting him.
Tion Green – 19% (down from 33%), 15 yards on 5 carries
Back-to-back Rookie Review appearances for Tion! That’s the extent of the analysis here.
Austin Ekeler – 25% (down from 29%), 49 yards on 4 touches
After looking like a real threat to Melvin Gordon’s usage a couple weeks ago, Ekeler has slid back into a change-of-pace role.
Alvin Kamara – 12% (left game injured), 27 yards on 4 touches
Kamara suffered a concussion in week fourteen and wasn’t able to return. He looks likely to play this coming week, but these situations always need to be monitored closely.
Aaron Jones – 11% (up from 4%), -2 yards on 4 carries
Compared to what we’ve seen from a healthy Aaron Jones, I’d suspect he’s still not 100% healthy. Jones needs to stay on your bench during your playoff run.
Brian Hill – 13% (up from 0%), 10 yards on 3 touches
Hill has been active in four games (one with Atlanta, three with Cincinnati), and these were his first NFL touches. I’d expect him to return to the sidelines with the return of Joe Mixon.
LeShun Daniels – 20% (up from 0%), 12 yards on 2 carries
Welcome to the Week 14 Rookie Review, LeShun! Similar to Hill, Daniels has been active for three games, and these two carries represent his first of his pro career. With Perine the only other healthy back, the UDFA out of Iowa could be a name to monitor these next few weeks.
James Conner – 8% (up from 5), 6 yards on 2 carries
The only way to make this more fun is to say “handcuff” in your favorite accent. Go ahead and give it a try, then move on.
Elijah McGuire – 2% (down from 21%), -3 yards on 1 carry
McGuire played one snap, and this is what he accomplished with it.
Cooper Kupp – 94% (up from 88%), 118 yards, touchdown on 5 catches (7 targets)
Last week I said Kupp gave his owners a “floor” game. Well, he followed that up with a ceiling game. As long as he doesn’t deliver these kinds of performances the rest of the season, I’ll be sending out offers for him after the fantasy playoffs.
Dede Westbrook – 76% (down from 82%), 81 yards, touchdown on 5 catches (8 targets)
Raise your hand if you saw this one coming. Now if you raised your hand, leave, because you’re lying. I know this isn’t “THE” Seattle defense, but it’s still Bortles versus the Seahawks. It’s obviously a limited sample, but Westbrook is looking like the real deal early on.
Chris Godwin – 56% (up from 22%), 68 yards on 5 catches (6 targets)
Godwin finally puts up a respectable line without the absence of Mike Evans. Like Kupp, Godwin is somebody I’ll be sending out offers for in a few weeks.
Kenny Golladay – 85% (up from 76%), 26 yards on 4 catches (4 targets)
“Kenny G” has been running as the clear WR3 for the Lions, but he’s big play, boom-or-bust. There’s simply not enough looks to go around to keep him as a consistent option.
Keelan Cole – 61% (down from 74%), 99 yards, touchdown on 3 catches (3 targets)
Before I start, I want you to re-read the first three sentences under Dede Westbrook’s name. Cole has been a solid depth piece thrust into a starting role due to injuries and his performance. It’s going to be a very interesting free agency period this NFL offseason.
Corey Davis – 75% (down from 80%), 29 yards on 3 catches (6 targets)
What a disappointing year thus far from the number five overall pick. My apologies to Titans fans, but I hope this team falls apart and misses the playoffs. This would hopefully force some coaching/staff changes and we can see Davis and Mariota unleashed.
Kendrick Bourne – 42% (up from 33%), 29 yards on 2 catches (2 targets)
This will be another interesting WR corps to keep an eye on throughout free agency and the NFL draft this offseason. I don’t foresee Bourne being a massive contributor, but somebody that’s on your bench for 15 out of 16 weeks.
Josh Reynolds – 54% (down from 72%), 17 yards on 2 catches (2 targets)
After looking like he’d be a key part of the Rams offense in Robert Woods’ absence, Reynolds had a quiet past two weeks. Once Woods returns, Reynolds goes back to the bench. Where he could make a return to their starting lineup is if Sammy Watkins is wearing a different uniform in 2018.
Trent Taylor – 42% (up from 41%), 11 yards on 2 catches (3 targets)
Taylor will never have a high ceiling but hopefully can have a Cooper Kupp-lite type of impact. With more games under the Savior aka Jimmy G, I could see this being the case.
Chad Williams – 22% (down from 36%), 33 yards on 1 rush (0 targets)
Stash and wait.
Mike Williams – 52% (injured last week), 3 yards on 1 catch (3 targets)
If you drafted him at number five or six in your rookie drafts, you have to hold unless you’re getting equal value back. His rookie year has been marked by injury, and he hasn’t been able to overcome that just yet.
O.J. Howard – 79% (up from 72%), 54 yards, touchdown on 4 catches (6 targets)
After last week, it seemed as though things were back to normal with the Winston-Brate connection. Against the Lions, however, Howard took over. Per PlayerProfiler.com, Howard ran eight routes to Brate’s three and out-snapped him by a count of 56-25. Howard is obviously the future of their tight end position and will be someone I’ll send slightly-below-value offers for at the end of the season.
Evan Engram – 79% (down from 85%), 54 yards on 4 catches (7 targets)
Engram continues to produce despite the uncertainty (read: dumpster fire) going on around him. No matter what the quarterback situation is next year, Engram should be able to produce as a top 8 fantasy tight end.
Adam Shaheen – 42% (up from 24%), 44 yards, touchdown on 4 catches (5 targets)
With Cohen and Shaheen being part of the Bears’ game plan in week fourteen, it’s almost as if they had a competent signal caller. With the Ashland product having a quiet season, he may still be available on some waivers. Pick up and stash.
George Kittle – 27% (down from 36%), 10 yards on 2 catches (2 targets)
With Garoppolo’s proclivity toward Marquise Goodwin, it doesn’t make sense to me that the SPARQ lord George Kittle hasn’t been more involved. I’m still holding him, but you can’t think about using him unless you’re in a 10-point TE premium league.
Michael Roberts – 13% (down from 32%), 8 yards on 2 catches (2 targets)
You can leave Roberts on your waivers, but he’ll be a name to monitor as the Lions decide what to do with Eric Ebron.
Ricky Seals-Jones – 28% (up from 23%), 20 yards on 1 catch (3 targets)
Could we be witnessing the fizzling-out of the greatest backup quarterback to backup tight end connection?
Gerald Everett – 25% (down from 31%), 6 yards on 1 catch (1 target)
As I’ve been saying, there are too many weapons in this offense to count on Everett.
David Njoku – 59% (up from 54%), 3 yards on 1 catch (2 targets)
Although this game was a letdown after last week, there were some positive takeaways. Njoku’s snap share stayed above 50% in back-to-back weeks for the first time, and he led Browns tight ends in routes run. Hopefully, we’ll see this trend continue for the rest of the season.
That’ll do it for the Week 14 Rookie Review! As always, I have to give a big thanks to Football Outsiders and Pro Football Reference for their services. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me (@CKutzer) and give me feedback on this series. I’m always looking for ways to improve this for all of you.