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Welcome to the Week 1 Rookie Report. What a great first week of football! I really enjoyed following all the scores and watching stats roll in … on my phone. Yes, you heard me right I, the Fantasy Football writer didn’t watch any of the day games on TV. I was at a wedding. Poorly timed I’ll admit, but the wedding was a lot of fun.

I did show up at the wrong wedding first, though. No TVs at that wedding either, so I hung out trying to be Vince Vaughn from Wedding Crashers making small talk and be charming until I realized what was going on.

Once I arrived at the correct wedding, I made a lot of trips out to the patio or the bathroom to check scores and answer a lot of panicked questions and complaints from my friends about how poorly their big name guys were doing. Obviously they didn’t know about Pete Noel and his #SCFEWaterCooler. And the first week of the season is always wacky.

Anyway, in between answering questions I had to check in on my favorite part of the first week of the NFL Season, seeing how the rookies were adjusting to the NFL!

Would you like to know how they did? I thought so!



Week 1 Rookie Report


Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans

The obvious place to start is with Marcus Mariota. Four passing touchdowns in your NFL debut will do that sort of thing. He was incredibly efficient on Sunday going 13-of-16 for 209 yards and four touchdowns. I’m sure anyone who has Mariota on their Fantasy Football team hopes this is they type of thing they’ll see every week.

I’m sure there are some comparisons to the debut of Robert Griffin III back in 2012. He was 19-of-26 for 302 yards and two touchdowns, so the effieciency was there for both debuts. But don’t get too excited yet Mariota owners. He threw 13 passes and four of them went for touchdowns, which is completely unsustainable. Mariota definitely looked poised and in command of the offense, but some of these numbers came from Tampa Bay’s defense playing horribly.

Either way, it was a great debut for Mr. Mariota.

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

How did the quarterback on the other side of the field do? Not great. Jameis Winston’s first regular season pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, which is a great metaphor for how his day went. He did throw for two touchdowns but he was up and down all game, completing less that 50% of his passes.

I said the offensive line might be a problem last week and things didn’t improve much this week as Winston was sacked four times. His team was down early and with a running game that was okay but not great, a lot was on Winston’s shoulders. As it turned out, he tried to do too much which might explain his two INTs.

Good thing there’s another game next week for Jameis Winston to turn it around.

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions

The Ameer Abdullah bandwagon is off and you may want to book your seat now because they are going to fill up fast. In his debut against the San Diego Chargers, he looked like the multi-purpose threat he had been touted throughout the preseason. I wouldn’t say he is Barry Sanders-like just yet, but he’s definitely shifty.

Those moves were on display when he scored on a 24 yard run in the 1st quarter. He showed burst through the line and made a few guys miss. He got 11 touches for 94 all-purpose yards and a TD. He is still behind Joique Bell on the depth chart but with game breaking ability every time he touches the ball, Detroit is guaranteed to work him in.

On top of that, Bell got banged up in Week 1 and if that injury lingers, the “Ameer for ROY” campaign will gain steam.


Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers

Melvin Gordon-Steve-Schar

Photo Credit: Steve Schar

Now Melvin Gordon was playing against Abdullah on Sunday but his day wasn’t as noteworthy. San Diego got two touchdowns from their running backs, unfortunately the two touchdowns were from Gordon’s backfield mate Danny Woodhead. That’s not great for Gordon’s value. I’m sure this is coming as a surprise but touchdowns are pretty important for Fantasy Football.

Gordon also lost a fumble, which is one of the few things you absolutely don’t want your rookie running back to do. Nothing gets rookies into the doghouse faster than fumbles. Gordon did get more carries than Woodhead, which is a positive sign. He also caught three passes which is encouraging since there was a time in college when catching wasn’t his forte.

Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

Finally we get a receiver to talk about! Amari Cooper was the top drafted receiver and all through camp he looked NFL ready. And I’m willing to go out on a limb and say he IS NFL ready. Did his debut live up to his pedigree? Can I say sort of?

He had a solid stat line for a rookie with a five receptions for 47 yards. If I were grading him, and I DO have that type of power, he’d get an incomplete. Oakland’s starting quarterback Derek Carr hurt his hand and only threw 12 passes. Before we pass any judgement on how valuable or playable Cooper is on a Fantasy Football roster, I’d like to see him play a full game with Carr as they seemed to be building chemistry in the preseason.


Fight Another Day

Phillip Dorsett, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Phillip didn’t have a great debut, putting the ball on the ground twice with one ending up in the opponents hands. If there is a silver lining they were both on punts. He caught two passes for 45 yards, showing he has big play ability but those fumbles hurt. The Colts were getting beat up all over the field by Rex Ryan and the Bills so it’s tough to judge any performance. Hopefully Dorsett’s fumbles don’t keep him off the field.


Travis’ ROY Standings

1) Marcus Mariota

2) Ameer Abdullah

There were numerous rookies that were left off the Week 1 Rookie Report, so check back next week to see if they made the cut.

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