Well that escalated quickly!
Hopefully you’ve seen Anchorman and are familiar with the line. It is definitely an enjoyable movie. Equally enjoyable however might be some of the rookie performances we saw this past week. Because yes, the overall production from this year’s rookie class escalated quickly! And as Ron Burgundy himself might say, they are kind of a big deal. Baker Mayfield started if off early on Thursday night, Calvin Ridley brought it to a new height on Sunday afternoon, and Kerryon Johnson then accomplished something no Detroit back has done in nearly five years.
I’ll look at two rookie performances at each major skill position that caught my eye and what those players might do going forward.
Week 3 Review and Week 4 Rookie Report
We start with the Anchorman narrator’s “god amongst mortals” that is Calvin Ridley.
Rookie Wide Receivers
So in week 1, Ridley did zippo. In week he caught four balls for 64 yards and a touchdown. In week 3? All he did was easily shatter the 30 point barrier with 146 yards on seven catches with three of those for touchdowns. In one game, Ridley matched Julie Jones TD output from all of last year.
Ridley is not scoring three times again. But the Falcons are taking on the Bengals in a game likely to be one of the high scoring ones. With the Bengals giving up the 11th most receiving yards so far this year, expect Ridley’s current Rookie of the Year campaign to continue to gain steam.
Kirk had a very serviceable game, catching seven passes for 90 yards. What is noteworthy however is that Kirk seemed to be new Arizona starting quarterback Josh Rosen’s favorite target. I wouldn’t expect Kirk to overtake Fitzgerald as the Cards #1 receiver. However Seattle’s Legion of Boom has lost a few soldiers and is not the defense it once was. Kirk makes for a great speculative add. And we will stay in Arizona for our next position.
Rosen was the last of his fellow first round quarterbacks to see action this year, but might end up being the most valuable. While Bradford looked inept the whole game, Rosen was able to move the offense on quick throws. For now, he is worth a grab in 2-QB leagues only. However, as mentioned earlier, the Seattle defense is not what it once was and I think Rosen has his statement game this week.
Let’s go from one Josh to the other.
You know what else likely escalated quickly? The amount of people eliminated in survivor pools around the country jumped tremendously as Allen made the vaunted Vikings D not-so-vaunted throughout the day.
One might even say, Allen is improving by leaps and bounds….
Don’t be surprised if Allen keeps it going against the Packers who are in the bottom third in preventing fantasy points to quarterback.
I apologize if I’m being “Sex Panther” offensive, but I’d like to stay in the NFC North for our next rookie who has escalated quickly.
Rookie Running Backs
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Like Ridley, Johnson has improved each week. Like Ridley who opened some eyes, Johnson broke a mind-blowing mark of being the first Detroit running back to rush for more than 100 yards in over 70 games. With Dallas having just given up 102 yards to Chris Carson, don’t be surprised if Johnson notches two in a row.
The Denver RB Situation
Sorry, no clarity here.
But I’m watching this situation very closely. Phillip Lindsay seems to be the lead dog, but he was ejected late in the first half this past Sunday. Royce Freeman rose to the challenge in the second half with 37 yards on eight carries. However, it is quite foreseeable that both have great games against the Chiefs this week who are allowing more fantasy points to RBs than any other team in the league.
Rookie Tight Ends
With Alshon Jeffrey out, Goedert is making a name for himself despite being in the same offense as Zach Ertz. But as Ron Burgundy said to Baxter, “I’m not even mad, I’m impressed”. Goedert had seven catches for 73 yards and a touchdown last week. The Titans are actually the stingiest in giving up fantasy points to TE. So like Brian Fontana, you might be asking Champ to sit this one out. But something tells me that after this week that rank drops for the Titans.
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This one has been a little under the radar but very quietly Mark Andrews is averaging over 8 fantasy points a week. I promise you that his touchdowns against the Bengals will not be his last.
And lest we forget, Flacco loves to use his Tight Ends. Remember Dennis Pitta leading all tight ends in receptions just two years ago? Don’t let this one slip under your radar. Andrews is the kind of player whose value can escalate quickly.
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