Fantasy Football: Rookie Watch
Looking for the next big gem but not into digging for it yourself? That’s all gravy.
Take a look at the 10 safest rookie bets after two weeks (by position), along with some analysis toward their future, as well as a good look at their present.
And no, Matthew Stafford doesn’t make the list. Why? Because all he’s good for is interceptions; that’s why.
Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets
Last Week: 14-22, 167 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
Sanchez has looked like a seasoned veteran in his first two games, throwing for three touchdowns, 435 yards, and only one interception.
However, the drop from 31 attempts and 272 yards in Week One to 22 attempts and only 167 yards in Week Two is exactly the kind of inconsistency you need to prepare for when dealing with a rookie.
Regardless, Sanchez is doing his best Matt Ryan impression and is easily the better play between him and Matthew Stafford going forward.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 4 att, 26 yds, 1 TD, 1 rec, 24 yds, 0 TD
We already knew the guy had good speed and the shiftiness of a receiver. What we didn’t know is that he’s also clutch as hell.
Brown burst up the middle for the Colts’ 15-yard winning touchdown run in front of the nation despite only touching the ball four times earlier in the game.
His four carries were quite a drop from his solid 11 totes in Week One, making Brown’s touches and role in the offense a bit unpredictable.
It’s quite clear that Brown is going to stay a part of the Colts ground game, though, and has already contributed 40 yards receiving in two games, offering promise as a potential screen demon.
Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 7 att, 44 yds, 0 TD
Wells has had a solid seven touches in both games this season and probably would have seen more action in Week Two if it hadn’t been for his two fumbles.
It’s clear that Arizona is more comfortable with Tim Hightower, especially in the passing game, where Wells has a very disappointing zero catches.
Look for his overall touches to climb to 10-12 in the next few weeks as Wells rises to an average flex play.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 5 att, 18 yds, 0 TD, 4 rec, 37 yds, 0 TD
McCoy will only go as far as Brian Westbrook’s health allows him to, which actually makes him a guy to watch heading into Week Three, as Westbrook missed Wednesday’s practice.
With 19 touches for 102 yards, McCoy is averaging 50 yards per game and is a strong candidate to heat up as the season wears on.
With Westbrook’s age (30) and injury concerns, McCoy’s already decent numbers are very promising.
Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 5 rec, 41 yds, 1 TD, 2 att, 14 yds, 0 TD
All the assumptions of how Harvin could be used in the Minnesota offense are coming true. He’s proving to be a solid slot receiver, and he has also taken two handoffs in both games while introducing some Wildcat plays heading into Week Three.
Harvin has already developed a nice connection with Brett Favre, as Harvin has totaled eight receptions for 77 yards and two scores through the first two weeks.
Johnny Knox, WR, Chicago Bears
Last Week: 6 rec, 70 yds, 1 TD
Word on the street is that Knox could soon be pushing for Earl Bennett’s starting job. And why not?
All Knox has does thus far as a rookie is notch at least 70 yards receiving in both of his games, providing the Bears with their second deadly deep threat in the passing game.
Knox has a ton of upside and already is showing good route-running ability through just his second NFL game.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
Last Week: 8 rec, 98 yds, 0 TD
Edelman filled in quite nicely for the game-day scratch of Wes Welker, and he even confused many people by playing a lot like the standout receiver.
However, Edelman’s inexperience was fairly evident on several drops, including a sure touchdown near the goal line.
Still, Edelman proved worthy of 16 Tom Brady targets and, with almost 100 yards in his first start, should be a valuable asset to an offense that still has the tools to be quite explosive.
Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 2 rec, 22 yds, 0 TD
Britt delivered quite a rookie-esque performance after showing his big-play ability in his debut against the Steelers.
Britt is still capable of making plays for Tennessee but will be somewhat limited as the third receiver in a run-first offense.
Louis Murphy, WR, Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 2 rec, 26 yds, 0 TD
Murphy came crashing down to earth a bit after his stellar rookie debut on Monday night in Week One.
Hs two catches for 26 yards make for a far cry from his “waiver-wire wonder” numbers of four catches, 87 yards, and a touchdown in front of the nation in Week One.
The rookie even had another touchdown grab, but it was called back due to a penalty.
Murphy is outperforming first-round draft pick Darrius Heyward-Bey by leaps and bounds, performing well enough to make Oakland think twice about benching him in favor of Chaz Schilens.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit Lions
Last Week: 4 rec, 40 yds, 0 TD
After not being targeted at all in Week One, Pettigrew was fairly active against the Vikings with four catches.
This makes Pettigrew a decent TE2 play going forward, though he’s probably going to get some stiff rookie competition from Buffalo’s Shawn Nelson (three catches, one touchdown).