2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 12
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 22: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass during the first half against the New York Jets at SoFi Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 12

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 11

The leap from college football to the NFL is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. While some positions like running back have easier transitions, all rookies have to adjust to facing bigger, faster, and stronger opponents. On top of that, they also have to learn a new playbook and system that is likely different from the one they were used to in college.

The preseason is typically their chance to adapt and get used to the next level of play before the real season begins. Needless to say, an offseason with no field time until August, and no preseason, will cut significantly into the much needed experience these rookies will acquire. Expect the rookies, even the so called “can’t miss” guys, to start off slower than their fantasy managers are hoping for.

The 2020 Fantasy Rookie Tracker follows the fantasy production of the 2020 Rookie class and compares their results to the RotoHeat team’s consensus Dynasty Rookie Rankings. In the initial installment of this season long series, I took a look at the Top-20 ranked rookies, list their projections, and give you my thoughts on their match-up. As the season progresses, the rookies will be re-ranked based on their year-to-date performance. We then review their previous week and take a look at the week to come as we follow this draft class that comes with so much hype and promise.

Top 20 Rookies

Justin Herbert – QB Los Angeles Chargers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 18
Current Rank: 1
Week 11 Projection: 22.40
Week 11 Actual: 27.74
Season to Date Actual: 224.66
Weekly Average: 24.96
Week 12 Projection: 20.80

Eleven weeks into the season, and I am running out of ways to describe how good Justin Herbert has been. Herbert completed 37 of 49 passes for 366 yards and 3 touchdowns. He now has multiple touchdowns in seven straight games and has gone over 300 yards passing 5 times in 9 starts. Herbert’s 39-yard connection with Mike Williams in the second quarter made him only the fifth QB in league history to reach 20 TD passes in nine or fewer games. Justin Herbert is a must start QB week in and week out for the rest of the season.

Joe Burrow – QB Cincinnati Bengals
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 12
Current Rank: 2
Week 11 Projection: 16.70
Week 11 Actual: 11.32
Season to Date Actual: 178.72
Weekly Average: 17.87
Week 12 Projection: Out for season torn ACL

Joe Burrow completed 22 of his 34 attempts for 203 yards and a touchdown prior to leaving early with a knee injury. An MRI confirmed Joe Burrow tore his ACL on Sunday, but the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback also tore his MCL and suffered other structural damage to his left knee. The No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft was enjoying a fine rookie season. He threw for 2,688 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions over 10 starts and completed over 65% of his passes. Based on the timeline of this injury and the severity of it, Burrow would appear to be a candiate to start the 2021 season on the PUP list.

James Robinson – RB Jacksonville Jaguars
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 31
Current Rank: 3
Week 11 Projection: 14.70
Week 11 Actual: 11.40
Season to Date Actual: 174.10
Weekly Average: 17.41
Week 12 Projection: 15.40

When the Jacksonville Jaguars made the move to QB Jake Luton I expressed my concern for RB James Robinson. In Week 9-11 (with Luton) Robinson is averaging 13.50 PPR points a game. In Week 1-8 the Jags rookie was averaging 19.09 points a game. The Jags offense wasn’t great with Gardner Minshew at the helm, and it’s even worse with Luton under center. The good news for Robinson is there is no competition for touches. He has seen 100% of the team’s rushes in 6 contests this season. The only other back in the league with multiple games with 100% touches is Joe Mixon with two.

Justin Jefferson – WR Minnesota Vikings
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 6
Current Rank: 4
Week 11 Projection: 13.60
Week 11 Actual: 17.60
Season to Date Actual: 155.80
Weekly Average: 15.58
Week 12 Projection: 15.60

Justin Jefferson continues to produce. He caught 3 of his 5 targets for 86 yards and a score in the Vikings 31-28 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Jefferson’s season to date has 45 receptions on 59 targets for 848 yards and 4 scores. His 18.8 yards per touch also leads all rookie pass catchers this season. Despite the limited volume, Jefferson is a weekly flex play. With Adam Thielen being placed on the Covid IR list on Monday, Jefferson could be in line for an uptick in volume in Week 12 versus Carolina.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 12
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 22: Chase Claypool #11 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on November 22, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 12

Chase Claypool – WR Pittsburgh Steelers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 20
Current Rank: 5
Week 11 Projection: 14.80
Week 11 Actual: 15.90
Season to Date Actual: 155.10
Weekly Average: 15.51
Week 12 Projection: 14.60

Chase Claypool caught 4-of-8 targets for 59 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers’ Week 11 win over the Jaguars. Claypool is up to 10 touchdowns on the season. The NFL record for touchdowns by a receiver in their rookie season is 17, set by Randy Moss. Claypool isn’t catching Randy Moss, but that should not take away from what he has accomplished this season. He’s on pace for one of the greatest scoring seasons by a first-year receiver ever. Chase Claypool needs to be locked into your starting lineups weekly as a WR2.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB Kansas City Chiefs
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 2
Current Rank: 6
Week 11 Projection: 13.40
Week 11 Actual: 20.70
Season to Date Actual: 147.70
Weekly Average: 14.77
Week 12 Projection: 13.80

Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed 14 times for 69 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ Week 11 win over the Raiders. He caught one of his two targets for eight yards and out-touched Le’Veon Bell 15-8. CEH’s volume is way down since Bell’s arrival, but he’s now scoring touchdowns at a higher clip with four TDs over his last four games. The 14 carries were his most since Bell’s arrival. In the four games with Bell, CEH is averaging 10.25 touches. CEH and Bell have a tough Week 12 against a stout Bucs defense.

Antonio Gibson – RB Washington Football Team
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 19
Current Rank: 7
Week 11 Projection: 15.20
Week 11 Actual: 17.40
Season to Date Total: 145.20
Weekly Average: 14.50
Week 12 Projection: 14.90

Antonio Gibson rushed 16 times for 94 yards and a touchdown in Washington’s Week 11 win over the Bengals, adding one catch for ten yards.
With a lock on Washington’s early down and goal line duties, Gibson has a solid weekly floor. The Football Team milked the clock with Gibson after securing a lead on the Bengals, and Gibson responded with patient, strong running. He averaged 16.33 touches in Washington’s 3 wins. Fantasy managers should consider Gibson a high-end RB2 play for Week 12 at Dallas. The last time these two met in Week 7, Gibson totaled 128 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.

CeeDee Lamb – WR Dallas Cowboys
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 3
Current Rank: 8
Week 11 Projection: 12.20
Week 11 Actual: 16.60
Season to Date Actual: 139.40
Weekly Average: 13.90
Week 12 Projection: 12.60

Andy Dalton being back as the Dallas Cowboys’ QB is a good thing for CeeDee Lamb. In the Cowboys’ Week 11 win over Minnesota, Lamb totaled 46 yards on 6 touches and scored one of the nicest touchdowns you’ll see all season. Lamb’s 6 targets were second best on the day behind the 7 Amari Cooper saw. Lamb is relevant again, and the Week 12 match-up on Thanksgiving is a decent one. Lamb is a flex play in Week 12.

Tee Higgins – WR Cincinnati Bengals
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 10
Current Rank: 9
Week 11 Projection: 14.20
Week 11 Actual: 5.60
Season to Date Actual: 130.70
Weekly Average: 13.07
Week 12 Projection: 12.30

Tee Higgins finished the Bengals Week 11 loss to the Washington Football Team with 3 catches for 26 yards on 10 targets. Week 11 was Higgins’ first game below 10.20 PPR points since his 6.50 Week 2 performance. Losing QB Joe Burrow for the season sucks, and it will have a dramatic impact on the Bengals offense. Ryan Finley was 3 of 10 for 30 yards and a pick in relief of the top overall pick. Higgins will be very hard to trust going forward, and as a result I am fading him where possible in Week 12 versus the New York Giants.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 12
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 13: D’Andre Swift #32 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a second quarter touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on September 13, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 12

D’Andre Swift – RB Detroit Lions
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 5
Current Rank: 10
Week 11 Projection: In Active
Week 11 Actual: 0.00
Season to Date Actual: 127.60
Weekly Average: 14.18
Week 12 Projection: 5.10

A week ago in this very article I wrote that D’Andre Swift is the best running back on the Lions’ roster. It appeared that the Lions had finally seen the light and turned to the rookie back to lead their attack. In his previous two weeks, Swift had 18.5 touches, 123 yards, and he has scored once. Unfortunately, mid week he entered the concussion protocol, with no word on when he would have sustained this injury. He missed Week 11, and enters Week 12 questionable versus Houston. He is a must start if active against the weak Texans run defense.

Jonathan Taylor – RB Indianapolis Colts
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 1
Current Rank: 11
Week 11 Projection: 10.10
Week 11 Actual: 15.40
Season to Date Actual: 122.50
Weekly Average: 12.25
Week 12 Projection: 12.70

Jonathan Taylor getting touches is a beautiful thing for fantasy football, specifically for his Fantasy managers. Taylor had 22 carries for 90 yards and added 4 receptions on 4 targets for an additional 24. Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins combined for 10 carries and 5 targets. Wilkins only appeared on 10% of the Colts snaps Sunday, hopefully this is a sign that this backfield is a two-headed monster now instead of three. JT remains in the flex conversation with RB2 upside in Week 12 when the Colts host the Tennessee Titans.

Brandon Aiyuk – WR San Francisco 49ers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 14
Current Rank: 12
Week 11 Projection: Bye Week
Week 11 Actual: Bye Week
Season to Date Actual: 115.70
Weekly Average: 14.46
Week 12 Projection: 10.60

Brandon Aiyuk and the San Francisco 49ers were on bye in Week 11, and Aiyuk spent the bye on the Covid IR list for the second time this season. His status for Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams is unknown at this time. The Niners hope to have WR Deebo Samuel and RB Raheem Mostert back in time for Sunday. If Aiyuk is active, I will do my best to leave him on the bench in this extremely tough match-up.

Jerry Jeudy – WR Denver Broncos
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 6
Current Rank: 13
Week 11 Projection: 12.50
Week 11 Actual: 6.70
Season to Date: 107.90
Weekly Average: 10.70
Week 12 Projection: 12.0

Jerry Jeudy caught 3-of-8 targets for 37 yards in the Broncos’ Week 11 win over the Dolphins. Jeudy has 40 targets over the last four weeks but has just one touchdown and one 100-yard game to show for it with Drew Lock’s inefficient arm throwing him the ball. Jeudy’s sheer volume keeps him a weekly flex ahead of a Week 12 date with the Saints. Hopefully Lock can improve on his season long 55.6% completion percentage.

J.K. Dobbins – RB Baltimore Ravens
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 4
Current Rank: 14
Week 11 Projection: 10.50
Week 11 Actual: 18.50
Season to Date Actual: 85.30
Weekly Average: 8.53
Week 12 Projection: 0 – Covid IR

J.K. Dobbins rushed 15 times for 70 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens’ Week 11 loss to the Titans, adding two receptions for 15 additional yards. The Ravens finally committed to a running back and Dobbins rewarded them with his second best overall game of the season. Dobbins’ 17 touches were 12 more than Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram had combined. Patience has finally paid off for Dobbins’ Fantasy Managers, or has it? Ravens placed J.K. Dobbins on the COVID list on Monday after a Sunday night positive test. He is out for Week 12.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 12
INGLEWOOD, CA – OCTOBER 26: Wide receiver Darnell Mooney #11 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by cornerback Troy Hill #22 of the Los Angeles Rams after making a catch and gaining yardage during the first half at SoFi Stadium on October 26, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 12

Darnell Mooney – WR Chicago Bears
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: NR
Current Rank: 15
Week 11 Projection: Bye Week
Week 11 Actual: Bye Week
Season to Date Actual: 79.80
Weekly Average: 7.98
Week 12 Projection: 8.50

Darnell Mooney was on bye week in Week 11 and returns along with his Bears’ teammates for a Week 12 match-up versus the Green Bay Packers. The Bears QB this week is currently unknown as both Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky are banged up. It is possible that Sunday will be the Tyler Bray show. Regardless of the QB here, Mooney is a must sit. All you can do with Mooney is stash him on your Dynasty bench and hope that one day the Bears upgrade at the QB position. He should not be owned in any Redraft leagues.

Laviska Shenault Jr. – WR Jacksonville Jaguars
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 16
Current Rank: 15
Week 11 Projection: 0 – Inactive
Week 11 Actual: 0 – Inactive
Season to Date Actual: 73.70
Weekly Average: 9.21
Week 12 Projection: 5.60

Laviska Shenault laid an egg in Week 9, and then missed Week 10 and 11 with a hamstring injury. Health is the number one concern for every Laviska Shenault fantasy manager, as talent is not. He missed significant time in college with a long list of injuries. He has a chance to return in Week 12 to face the Browns. Laviska can not be trusted this week as QB Jake Luton does not have what it takes to lead a NFL offense. Shenault is behind D.J. Chark and Keelan Cole on the Jags depth chart and is quickly being passed by Chris Conley as well. Laviska is another player to stash on your bench in Dynasty and drop in Redraft.

Joshua Kelley – RB Los Angeles Chargers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 27
Current Rank: 17
Week 11 Projection: 7.20
Week 11 Actual: 2.20
Season to Date Actual: 68.60
Weekly Average: 6.86
Week 12 Projection:

Joshua Kelley rushed four times for -2 yards in the Chargers’ Week 11 win over the Jets, adding two receptions for four additional yards.
Kelley stood around as recent practice squad ember Kalen Ballage once again reached 23 touches. Justin Jackson (knee) has to miss at least one more game, but Austin Ekeler (knee) could return at any time. There is zero reason to hold onto Kelley in Redraft leagues, but stash him on your Dynasty Bench. Hopefully 2021 will pick up where 2020 started–not ended.

Gabriel Davis – WR Buffalo Bills
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 38
Current Rank: 18
Week 11 Projection: Bye Week
Week 11 Actual: Bye Week
Season to Date Actual: 64.50
Weekly Average: 6.45
Week 12 Projection: 6.70

Gabriel Davis was on bye last week. Davis had a nice Week 9 when he put up 17 PPR points, but there is no reason whatsoever to have Davis on your Redraft roster unless you play in a Bills only fantasy league. Stash the man on your Dynasty roster, as the talent and upside Davis possesses is worth it.

Michael Pittman Jr. – WR Indianapolis Colts
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking:
Current Rank: 19
Week 11 Projection: 10.70
Week 11 Actual: 15.60
Season to Date Actual: 62.30
Weekly Average: 8.90
Week 12 Projection: 12.30

Michael Pittman caught 3-of-3 targets for 66 yards and a touchdown in the Colts’ Week 11 win over the Packers. Philip Rivers’ 36 pass attempts were distributed evenly, leaving Pittman with just three targets on the evening. Fortunately, he made the most out of them. The second-round rookie broke off a 45-yard catch-and-run touchdown over the middle, setting up Indy for an overtime win. Pittman’s target totals could be volatile down the stretch, but he’s a rookie worth eyeing as an upside WR3. The Titans’ injured secondary is on the schedule next.

Zack Moss – RB Buffalo Bills
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 24
Current Rank: 20
Week 11 Projection: Bye Week
Week 11 Actual: Bye Week
Season to Date Actual: 62.20
Weekly Average: 8.89
Week 12 Projection: 11.00

Zack Moss was on bye with the Bills last week and in previous weeks looks to be taking over the Bills’ backfield. Moss hasn’t found the end zone in two straight games, but has quietly out-carried (16-6) and out-touched (19-10) teammate Devin Singletary in that stint. This backfield’s lack of production can be attributed to OC Brian Daboll’s play-calling during that stretch as he’s leaned on Josh Allen for 87 attempts to 22 running back carries in that time. Moss is still the player to roster for re-draft leagues over Singletary for the rest of the year.

Thank you for reading 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 12. Good luck in Week 12 everyone!

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