As we enter week 14, NFL teams are suddenly finding themselves out of the playoff hunt. Since it has become a lost year for these teams, they are turning to their rookies to see what they got. Or perhaps teams are still in the hunt and have been beset by injuries, forcing them to turn so some of their rookies. Or perhaps both. Either way, it has many fantasy owners asking “Who is this guy?”.
Of course in my mind, it sounds a lot more like this NSFW clip.
Let’s try to answer that question a little bit.
Week 14 Rookie Report
Who is this Rookie RB?
Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals
After vulturing two touchdowns this past weekend, a lot of owners want to know who is this guy?
So the thing about Edmonds is that he is a purely a handcuff right now. What Edmonds does have going for him is his burst. He is far better at running around linebackers than he is running through them or even juking them. His junior season at Fordham was his best season when he galloped for 1,799 yards (led FCS with 163.5 yards per game) and ranked third with 19 touchdowns on 257 carries. He was selected as a consensus first-team FCS All-American. However, he was injured his senior year.
Additionally, his blocking is also sub-par which is not going to help his case to supplant David Johnson anytime soon. Should the Cardinals decide to preserve Johnson and shut him down for the year, Edmonds might be a worthwhile player. But even his long-range value is fairly limited.
Justin Jackson, RB, Chargers
Jackson’s long-range value is better than Edmonds, but he too is not going to get 25 carries a game. And supposedly Melvin Gordon is coming back in a week or two, so Jackson’s value is absolutely limited to weeks 14 and 15.
Jackson did face much tougher competition than Edmonds did, but like Edmonds, some question his frame. His thin waist and spindly legs don’t provide his lower body power to resist arm tackles. He does have a strong stiff arm, but those same arms are not great at catching passes below his waist. However, Jackson’s speed, elusiveness, and workhorse mentality are all assets that helped him become Northwestern’s leading rusher. Jackson definitely has some lightning, but unfortunately lacks thunder.
Jaylen Samuels, RB, Steelers
Samuels suddenly finds himself in a cushy match-up against the Raiders. Samuels has a decent floor, both this week and long term given his versatility. The Steelers will be able to disguise their plays and use Samuels in various personnel groupings. I think this video shows all you need to know about who is Jaylen Samuels
Jeff Wilson, RB, 49ers
Wilson is an undrafted rookie out of North Texas and there are reasons he was not invited to the Combine. Like the rest of the rookies featured here, there are definitely some questions as to his overall talent. However, with San Francisco riddled by injuries, Wilson should continue to get looks and touches. And it’s worth mentioning he has produced so far. He has 22 carries this year for a solid 94 yards. But I love his upside in the passing game this week. He secured eight passes last week and should be a valuable PPR asset this week.
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