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We’ve made it over the hump into the second half of the season and are racing, very quickly I might add, towards the end of the year. It’s November already for crying out loud.

Remember when it was the summer? Neither do I.

But with all these games in the books, many of these rookies are finding their groove. It also means that some of them are having the usual rookie stumbles. This week was a perfect example with some of our usual rookies having down weeks.

We also had two guys come back from injuries and light things up! So that was a positive.

So let’s take a look inside the Week 10 Rookie Report.

Week 10 Rookie Report

 

Quarterback

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

So it looks like Mariota is healthy, huh? After missing two games with a knee injury, he returned to the field to face a Saints defense that was fresh off allowing Eli Manning to throw for six touchdowns. For his first game back, instead of playing a real NFL defense, he got to ease himself back into action with the JV team.

Facing such a porous defense, Mariota did not disappoint. He completed 28-of-39 passes for 371 yards and four touchdowns. In past games it looked like Mariota might start running a little more. However, with a recent knee injury he only ran the ball once, but it’s not like his rushing stats kept him from a great day.

Any Fantasy manager who started Mariota this week was probably in heaven, but the challenge is to take this performance with a grain of salt. The Saints secondary has given up 10 passing touchdowns in two weeks and as we’ve already established, they just aren’t good. The real test is next week when Mariota faces the Panthers.

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last week, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Giants and Saints combined to score 101 points. This week, the Buccaneers faced off against the Giants who gave up seven passing TDs to Drew Brees in Week 8. Things were looking good for Winston, right? Wrong! Winston threw for a total of zero TDs. ZERO! Did that go the way you thought it was going to go? I bet not.

I’ve said it before, Winston is at his best when he’s got a strong running game and you can keep him under 30 pass attempts. Unfortunately, the resurgent season of Doug martin didn’t continue against the Giants and a lot was put on Jameis’ arm. He threw the ball 36 times and only completed 19 of them for 249 yards. On one hand, he didn’t throw an INT for the 4th game in a row, but on the other hand, he didn’t throw for a TD, either. It was not his best day, but it also wasn’t his worst day. He did add a rushing TD for the second week in a row which was nice but against a Giants secondary that is very banged up, I would have liked to see a little more out of him.

Running Back

Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams

This is the part of our weekly talk about rookies when we talk about how dominant Todd Gurley is. The only problem is he didn’t dominate in his usual Todd Gurley like fashion. The good news is he put up some very good numbers. He rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown and added three receptions for 20 yards, rounding out a very good day.

You’re telling me that after watching Gurley shred through the last four defenses, expecting him to rush for 150 yards each week is unrealistic? Now that I think about it for a second, you’re right. Thank you for the perspective readers, I knew I liked you guys for a reason.

Gurley still put up a really good day and he’s obviously the focal point of the Rams offense. With the Vikings stacking the line, it was going to be a tough day. If you have Gurley on your team, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Karlos Williams, Buffalo Bills

After filling in for an injured LeSean McCoy to start the season and playing well, he got a concussion knocking him out of service for three weeks. Williams returned to action in Week 9 just in time to see McCoy get banged up again and Williams didn’t miss a beat. For the second time this season, Williams put up exactly 110 rush yards against the Miami Dolphins. Someone famous once said something about history repeating itself, right?

Williams obviously didn’t want it to be an exact replica game so, just to be different, he scored two touchdowns. For not playing in a month, he didn’t look to have any rust, averaging 12.2 yards a carry. He’s also shown a knack for finding the end zone, scoring at least one touchdown in every game he’s played. At 6’1 and 230 pounds, he represents Buffalo’s best goal line threat on the ground, so he should continue to rack up those TDs. The only thing keeping him from being a must start every week is the injury prone McCoy.

 

Wide Receiver

Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders

Stefon Diggs was making a push to be this year’s top rookie receiver with some huge receptions numbers. It seems like Amari took it personally and went out and took the crown back. He caught seven passes (13 targets) for 88 yards and a touchdown. He and Derek Carr have created chemistry that take other duos years to develop. Cooper continues to run corners into the ground and find the end zone. Really there isn’t much I haven’t said about him yet. He’s fast, strong, runs great routes and has great hands. What else would you want in a receiver?

This week was just another day at the office for Amari Cooper and you should be starting him with confidence every week from here on out.

 

New Receivers in the Mix

This is usually where I talk about the last stand out receiver of the week. But after deliberating, I couldn’t pick between Devin Funchess or Dorial Green-Beckham. While neither had huge days stat wise, they both had days that point to better things to come.

Now you all remember Funchess right? When Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL, everyone rushed out to add or draft Funchess as it looked like he’d become the Panthers’ primary target. Funny thing happened, he didn’t become the No. 1 receiver we all hoped for. This week, Funchess did haul in a long touchdown and had his best day by 50 yards. If he can get on the same page with Cam Newton, he might be in for a second-half surge.

Dorial Green-Beckham came to the Titans as a physical freak, but had trouble finding his way onto the field. When Kendall Wright went down with an injury, DGB finally got his chance and Mariota wasted no time getting him involved. They targeted him 10 times, the most on the team, and he caught five balls for 77 yards. The Titans obviously know he’s physically able to play in the NFL and if they can integrate him into the offense, he also could be a late season pick up who could go on a run.

I’ll see you back in next week for another installment of the Rookie Report.

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