The Rookie Report: Week 12

Nov 30, 2021
The Rookie Report: Week 12

In Fantasy Football, rookies are often the most confusing players to evaluate. Due to their inexperience and lack of sample size in the NFL, they are susceptible to inconsistency and volatility, creating chaos for your fantasy team. To help get a better understanding of how to deal with rookies, each week, I’ll be writing a column breaking down some of the most important rookies for fantasy and helping you decide how to value these players moving forward. Welcome to the Rookie Report.

Notes: Touches for running backs are calculated by adding carries and targets. An asterisk (*) next to a player indicates that they were on bye in Week 12.

Quarterbacks

Rookie QB Week 12 Stats (Season AVG in Parentheses)
Player Attempts Pass Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Fantasy Points Rank
Trevor Lawrence 42 (36.18) 228 (215.36) 1 (1) 1 (0.91) 17.02 (12.9) QB9
Mac Jones 32 (31.75) 310 (237.5) 2 (1.33) 0 (0.67) 21.5 (14.09) QB5
Zach Wilson 24 (29.29) 145 (187.57) 1 (0.71) 1 (1.43) 10.1 (8.72) QB22

Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars

Lawrence was solid for fantasy in the Jaguars’ loss on Sunday, throwing for 228 yards and adding 39 on the ground in an easy matchup against the Falcons. Despite the top-10 performance, I’d be wary of starting Lawrence in fantasy because of the Jags’ struggles. He’s a matchup-dependent streaming option moving forward at best.

Zach Wilson, Jets

Wilson made his return from a knee injury this week, leading the Jets to a victory over the lowly Texans. However, he was still a subpar fantasy option, and isn’t worth rostering in any formats.

Trey Lance, 49ers

Lance continues to be the backup quarterback for the 49ers, and will not be fantasy-relevant as long as that remains.

Justin Fields, Bears

Fields missed the Bears clash with the Lions on Thanksgiving with injury, as Andy Dalton led the Bears to a last-second win. With the home stretch of the fantasy football season coming up, I wouldn’t be rostering Fields. If you were holding on to him, consider dropping him and picking up a handcuff running back or someone that could be more valuable for your team come playoff time.

Mac Jones, Patriots

Mac had the best fantasy performance of his career versus the Titans this week, throwing for a career-high 310 yards and two touchdonws. However, with a couple of tough matchups (Bills and Colts) and a bye week coming up, Jones isn’t much more than a desperation play at quarterback for fantasy.

Running Backs

Rookie RB Week 12 Stats (Season AVG in Parentheses)
Player Touches Rush. Yards Touchdowns Fantasy Points Rank
Najee Harris 13 (17.81) 23 (64.36) 0 (0.64) 5.2 (15.8) RB37
Javonte Williams 18 (10.64) 54 (51.64) 1 (0.27) 18.6 (9.6) RB6
Rhamondre Stevenson 10 (9.5) 46 (43.88) 0 (0.38) 4.6 (8.6) RB41
Elijah Mitchell 33 (17.88) 133 (86.62) 1 (0.5) 25.3 (13.9) RB4

Najee Harris, Steelers

Najee had the first real dud game of his career this week as the Steelers were curb-stomped by the Bengals. Despite the down performance, I wouldn’t be too worried—Najee continues to see elite volume (1st in the NFL in touches) and can be treated as a top-12 RB each week.

Javonte Williams, Broncos

With Melvin Gordon a little banged up, Javonte was able to do serious damage, gashing the Chargers for over 100 scrimmage yards en route to a top-10 finish at the position. It’s unfortunate that Gordon still saw 17 touches in the game, but Williams finally flashed his ceiling this week. He’s a dependable FLEX for the rest of the season, and would be a top-15 option if Gordon is forced to miss any time.

Michael Carter, Jets

Carter was placed on IR by the Jets on Saturday, meaning he’ll be out for at least the next two weeks. If you have an IR spot, stash him there, but it’s fine to cut him given he will not be back until Week 15 at the earliest.

Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots

Stevenson wasn’t great for fantasy, running for just 46 yards on nine carries. He continued to see a near even split of the backfield touches for New England (Damien Harris had 11 carries), but it’s clear that Harris is the goal-line running back. Without these high-value touches, Stevenson is a FLEX-able player but nothing more.

Elijah Mitchell, 49ers

Mitchell continued to assert his dominance in the San Francisco backfield this week, getting a whopping 27 carries for the second straight week. His volume makes him a very safe RB2 each week that has top-10 upside if he gets into the end zone more.

Wide Receivers

Rookie WR Week 12 Stats (Season AVG in Parentheses)
Player Targets Rec. Yards Touchdowns Fantasy Points Rank Target Share
Ja'Marr Chase 3 (7.45) 39 (82.36) 0 (0.73) 5.4 (14.8) WR49 12.5%
DeVonta Smith 4 (6.5) 22 (57.17) 0 (0.33) 3.2 (9.7) WR71 13.8%
Jaylen Waddle 10 (8.58) 137 (63.25) 1 (0.42) 24.2 (11.9) WR1 32.2%
Rashod Bateman 4 (6.33) 31 (50.17) 0 (0) 5.1 (7.1) WR50 12.5%
Elijah Moore 8 (6.5) 46 (46.1) 0 (0.5) 7.3 (9.9) WR36 34.8%

Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals

Chase had a stinker for fantasy, as the Bengals were up by so much against the Steelers that they barely needed to throw the ball. Even though he’s been a bit disappointing lately (four straight games with under 50 receiving yards), I’d continue to trust the Bengals offense and fire Chase up as a top-15 option.

DeVonta Smith, Eagles

It was a bad day for almost everything Eagles related and Smith was no exception. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner had just 22 receiving yards, finishing well outside the top-36 at the position. The struggles of the Eagles’ offense highlight Smith’s lack of upside, but I’d still be comfortable starting him as a FLEX, especially in PPR.

Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins

Waddle went nuclear on Sunday, carving up the Panthers defense to the tune of 137 yards and a touchdown. He is the clear top option in the Miami offense and has a clear connection with Tua Tagovailoa. Since Week 6 (when Tua returned to the starting lineup for the Dolphins), Waddle is the overall WR4, and can be treated as a dependable top-24 fantasy option moving forward.

Rashod Bateman, Ravens

Bateman wasn’t great in the Browns-Ravens slugfest on Sunday Night, getting just four targets. I’d be keeping Bateman on my bench for fantasy until he proves to be a more reliable option.

Kadarius Toney, Giants

Toney missed Week 12 as he continues to deal with a quad issue. Keep him rostered in fantasy, but there are likely too many mouths to feed on the Giants offense for Toney to be a consistent option down the stretch.

Elijah Moore, Jets

With Zach Wilson back under center, Moore wasn’t great for fantasy, but he still saw an encouraging eight targets. He’s FLEX-able moving forward but likely won’t be very consistent given the struggles of the Jets offense.

Tight End(s)

Rookie TE Week 12 Stats (Season AVG in Parentheses)
Player Targets Rec. Yards Touchdowns Fantasy Points Rank Target Share
Kyle Pitts 6 (6.81) 26 (60.09) 0 (0.09) 3.6 (8.6) TE24 21.4%
Pat Freiermuth 4 (4.81) 40 (29.73) 1 (0.55) 12.0 (7.9) TE6 10.3%

Kyle Pitts, Falcons

Pitts had the worst fantasy performance of his career this week, amassing just two catches for 26 yards. Aside from two big weeks, he’s been quite disappointing. The tight end wasteland means he can still be started, but certainly restrict your expectations for him.

Pat Freiermuth, Steelers

Freiermuth had a garbage time touchdown to save his fantasy day and finished as a top-10 option. The overall TE4 since Week 6, Freiermuth can be reliably started each week in fantasy, even if he’s a bit touchdown-or-bust.

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