Oh what a day, what a lovely day! There’s no other way to say this besides the rookies flat out dominated on Sunday. East coast, west coast, running back or receiver it didn’t matter. The new guys in the league put up points all over the place.
And it really came at a great time for me. Week 6 was not the week for this year’s rookie highlight reel. We had one good performance, one solid performance and a lot of bad performances.
In Week 7, the rookies took my criticism personally. Getting studs like Todd Gurley and Amari Cooper back from their bye week definitely helped. Marcus Mariota sat out his team’s game and even his absence couldn’t put a dent in the waterfall of production from the young guns.
What a time to be alive! That’s what the kids are saying these days right? Once you turn 25 you start to lose touch with the the hip, new lingo. I can only imagine how terribly out of touch I will feel when I turn 26 in six months. My life is so hard.
And what will make me feel better? Talking about how awesome my rookies were this week in the Week 8 Rookie Report!
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Now this stat line is exactly what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were hoping to get when they made Winston the first pick in the NFL Draft. He completed 21 of 29 passes and threw for two touchdowns. His line gave him plenty of protection, he was only sacked once, and once again Doug Martin dominated on the ground.
With the bulk of the offensive load not on Winston’s shoulders, he was efficient with his throws and avoided some of the mistake throws that have got him into trouble. He didn’t turn the ball over and led the Buccaneers to 30 points on a stout Washington defense. If Winston keeps playing like this, he’s going to push for a starting Fantasy role on your team if you’ve got him.
Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams
Now this is what a first round running back is supposed to look like. Over the past couple years the workhorse back has been dying out. Todd Gurley is here to remind you what domination from the running back position looks like. After a slow first quarter, Gurley powered his way to a fantastic day. He had 19 carries for 128 yards and, more importantly to Fantasy managers, he scored his first two touchdowns of the season.
That puts his three week total at 433 rush yards. That is music to my ears. And after hitting 30 carries two weeks ago, it was great to see him put up the same level of production with 11 less carries. He is coming back from an ACL injury so too much of a load could wear him out. And just for good measure he added in four catches for 35 yards.
T.J. Yeldon, San Diego Chargers
Todd Gurley wasn’t the only running back who put up great numbers. Yeldon had a solid day last week with 115 yards on 20 carries and added a touchdown. The Jacksonville offense has been dynamic but with Blake Bortles struggling, Yeldon carried the load. What makes his day so impressive is that he was going against a defense that has two 100 million dollar men on the defensive line.
As the weeks have gone on Yeldon has really started to find his footing. And the more teams start to fear the trio of Bortles and the Allen twins, the more holes Yeldon will find at the line of scrimmage. If he continues to trend upward, he’ll be a great flex or RB2 option going forward.
Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns
There wasn’t one, or two, but three rookies who put up some big numbers. Once again Duke Johnson didn’t do most of his damage on the ground, he did it through the air. He lead the team in targets and in receptions with seven. And turned those seven receptions into 73 yards. He also out gained the presumed starter Isaiah Crowell by eight yards on the ground, which is great news.
What isn’t great is that Robert Turbin outgained him. The Browns have obviously found the best way to utilize him is in the passing game, so if he can just make some more out of his carries, he could become the Browns featured back.
Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
It feels like it’s been so long since we’ve seen Amari Cooper do amazing things. After a bye week it didn’t take long for Cooper to get into the action, hauling in a 52 yard touchdown in the first half. He blew right down the middle of the field and per usual, created space by twisting the safety around with his precise route running.
The Raiders jumped out to a big lead and Cooper was a big part of it. He dominated the Chargers secondary and put up 133 yards on only five catches. Really, what more is there to say about him? He’s definitely a WR2 at this point and will continue to be that week in and week out.
Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
Last but not least, we have my newest football crush, Stefon Diggs. Just like last week, he was once again the only Viking who was able to get open on a consistent basis. He put up 108 yards and the next closest receiver had 49 yards.
He ended the day with six catches for 108 yards and a great diving grab for a touchdown, the first of the season. Some people worried that the return of Charles Johnson might impact Diggs’ production, but he only got two targets. Now Johnson may still be a little banged up, but after three weeks of steady production I think the Teddy Bridgewater/Stefon Diggs connection is pretty well established. Start Diggs with confidence going forward as right now he’s the only passing threat the Vikings have.
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- Rookie Report: Rookie of the Year Awards Edition! - December 31, 2015
- Week 13 Rookie Report: The Amari Cooper Experience - December 1, 2015
- Week 12 Rookie Report: Jameis To The Rescue - November 24, 2015