2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 13
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 29: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers releases the ball during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 13

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 13

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.

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Top 20 Rookies

Justin Herbert – QB Los Angeles Chargers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 18
Current Rank: 1
Week 12 Projection: 20.80
Week 12 Actual: 17.44
Season to Date Actual: 242.10
Weekly Average: 24.21
Week 13 Projection: 20.20

Justin Herbert completed 31-of-52 passes for 316 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in Los Angeles’ 27-17 Week 12 loss to Buffalo. This one was a little ugly as the Chargers tripped all over themselves and found yet another way to lose a football game. Herbert went over 300 passing yards for the 6th time in his 10 starts, but he needed a “Hail Mary” to get there. Herbert is a rookie and will have some of these types of games. The reality is he has blown away all expectations and when 17.44 points is a disappointment for your rookie QB, you are in a great spot. You are starting his as normal next week when they host the New England Patriots.

James Robinson – RB Jacksonville Jaguars
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 31
Current Rank: 2
Week 12 Projection: 15.40
Week 12 Actual: 26.90
Season to Date Actual: 201.00
Weekly Average: 18.23
Week 13 Projection: 17.60

When the Jacksonville Jaguars made the move to QB Jake Luton I expressed my concern for RB James Robinson. Then in Week 12 it was Mike Glennon’s turn under center for The Jaguars and my concern lowered to a manageable level. I am not a Mike Glennon truther, but let’s be real, he’s an upgrade on Luton. At the end of the day, James Robinson doesn’t care who his QB is. Robinson rushed 22 times for 128 yards and a touchdown in the Jaguars’ Week 12 loss to the Browns, adding five catches for 31 yards. Safe to say this UDFA RB is the real deal. He is RB4 overall and is a must start in a favorable matchup against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13.

Antonio Gibson – RB Washington Football Team
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 19
Current Rank: T3
Week 12 Projection: 14.90
Week 12 Actual: 36.60
Season to Date Total: 181.80
Weekly Average: 16.57
Week 13 Projection: 14.60

The last time the Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys hooked up, Antonio Gibson totaled 128 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. This time around he did even better. Gibson rushed 20 times for 115 yards and three touchdowns. He added 5 catches for 21 more yards in Washington’s 41-16 win. Gibson appears to have taken over this backfield. Already locked in as an RB1 due to his early-down dominance, Gibson will push for elite RB1 value if he begins to consistently catch 4-5 passes. The Steelers are a tough Week 13 matchup, if we ever get there.

Justin Jefferson – WR Minnesota Vikings
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 6
Current Rank: T3
Week 12 Projection: 15.60
Week 12 Actual: 26.00
Season to Date Actual: 181.80
Weekly Average: 16.527
Week 13 Projection: 16.50

Justin Jefferson stepped into the Vikings No.1 role this week and did not disappoint. With Adam Thielen on on sidelines due to Covid-19, Jefferson finished with 7 catches for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Despite the inconsistent volume, in this run heavy offense, Jefferson is a weekly flex play, with top 24 upside. Week 13 is another juicy match-up as the Vikings host the Jacksonville Jaguars.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 13
CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks downfield for a receiver in the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 17, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 13

Joe Burrow – QB Cincinnati Bengals
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 12
Current Rank: 5
Week 12 Projection: IR – Out for the season
Week 12 Actual: 0.00
Season to Date Actual: 178.72
Weekly Average: 17.87
Week 13 Projection: 0.00

Week 12 was Week 1 for the Cincinnati Bengals without rookie QB Joe Burrow. Burrow unfortunately was injured in week 11 tearing his ACL and his MCL. An abrupt and sad ending to an excellent rookie campaign. Hope to see Joe Burrow back under center for Cincinnati early in the 2021 season.

Chase Claypool – WR Pittsburgh Steelers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 20
Current Rank: 5
Week 12 Projection: 14.60
Week 12 Actual: 11.20
Season to Date Actual: 166.30
Weekly Average: 15.12
Week 13 Projection: 13.90

Chase Claypool caught 6-of-9 targets for 52 yards in the Steelers’ Week 12 win over the Ravens. Claypool, and the rest of the Steelers’ pass catching group, left numerous plays on the field. Baltimore’s defensive backs surprisingly kept the Ravens in this one. Despite the win, this was one of the worst overall performances for the Steelers’ offense, but Claypool remains a strong start in Week 13 against Washington.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB Kansas City Chiefs
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 2
Current Rank: 7
Week 12 Projection: 13.80
Week 12 Actual: 4.90
Season to Date Actual: 147.70
Weekly Average: 14.77
Week 13 Projection: 13.00

Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed 11 times for 37 yards in the Chiefs’ Week 12 win over the Tampa Bay. He added one catch for two yards on his only target of the day. CEH out-touched Le’Veon Bell 12-7, but this one was the Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill show. Edwards-Helaire has become an extremely TD-dependent back-end RB2 despite playing in the league’s most explosive offense. The Chiefs get the Broncos in Week 13, and CEH is likely in your starting lineup as he has been all season.

CeeDee Lamb – WR Dallas Cowboys
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 3
Current Rank: 8
Week 12 Projection: 12.60
Week 12 Actual: 7.10
Season to Date Actual: 146.50
Weekly Average: 13.32
Week 13 Projection: 12.40

CeeDee Lamb caught 5-of-7 targets for 21 yards in the Cowboys’ Week 12 loss to Washington. A week after hauling in one of the best catches of the year, Lamb dropped a gimmie touchdown pass from QB Andy Dalton. Lamb has star potential long term, but he needs more stability than what Dallas currently offers to be a must-start in fantasy. The Cowboys are likely in trouble next week against the Ravens in Baltimore, playing without both of their starting offensive tackles. It would be wise to avoid all Cowboys in this rare Tuesday night matchup.

Tee Higgins – WR Cincinnati Bengals
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 10
Current Rank: 9
Week 12 Projection: 14.20
Week 12 Actual: 15.40
Season to Date Actual: 146.10
Weekly Average: 13.28
Week 13 Projection: 11.50

Tee Higgins caught all 5 of his targets for 44 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals’ Week 12 loss to the Giants. In his first game without Joe Burrow, Higgins still managed to deliver for his fantasy managers. If there is good news for Higgins’ fantasy managers, it’s that he led the Bengals’ offense in receiving production, but there is just no way to have any faith here with either Brandon Allen or Ryan Finley at quarterback. The Dolphins next up for the Bengals, and as a result I am fading that entire offense unless I have no other options.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 13
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 20: D’Andre Swift #32 of the Detroit Lions runs with the ball in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 20, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 13

D’Andre Swift – RB Detroit Lions
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 5
Current Rank: 10
Week 12 Projection: In Active
Week 12 Actual: 0.00
Season to Date Actual: 127.60
Weekly Average: 14.18
Week 13 Projection: 13.70

Two weeks ago D’Andre Swift had 21 touches, 149 yards, and a touchdown. He appeared to finally be taking the top role in the Lions offense. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen him since. He has missed the last two contests as a result of a concussion. Swift will return in likelihood in Week 13 without his Head Coach, and that my friends is a good thing. I would expect to see Swift receive Week 11 volume when he returns to the lineup. If it is indeed Week 13, Swift and the Lions get the Chicago Bears. If Akiem Hicks is active for Chicago, Swift’s production will be tough to trust, and he’s a top-20 back if Hicks sits.

Jonathan Taylor – RB Indianapolis Colt
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 1
Current Rank: 11
Week 12 Projection: In Active – Covid IR
Week 12 Actual: 0.00
Season to Date Actual: 122.50
Weekly Average: 12.25
Week 13 Projection: 8.90

Jonathan Taylor was placed on the Covid-IR list late in the week and as a result missed the Colts Week 12 loss to Tennessee. In his absence, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins were a one-two punch for Indianapolis. Wilkins and Hines combined for 51 yards on 16 carries, and 11 catches for another 101 yards. Johnathan Taylor should be back in a two back timeshare with Hines upon his return. Should that be in Week 13 Taylor gets a very accommodating Houston Texans defense that teams run all over.

Brandon Aiyuk – WR San Francisco 49ers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 14
Current Rank: 12
Week 12 Projection: In Active – Covid IR
Week 12 Actual: 0.00
Season to Date Actual: 115.70
Weekly Average: 14.46
Week 13 Projection: 11.10

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. He remained on Covid-IR thru week 12. Aiyuk has been activated but the presence of Deebo Samuel and Raheem Mostert in the Niners offense will impact his fantasy value. Entering Week 13 I would take a wait and see approach with Aiyuk. He will be in the flex conversation Monday night game versus Buffalo, and I would prefer to fade him.

Jerry Jeudy – WR Denver Broncos
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 6
Current Rank: 13
Week 12 Projection: 12.00
Week 12 Actual: 0.00
Season to Date: 107.90
Weekly Average: 9.81
Week 13 Projection: 11.90

Jerry Jeudy did not catch his only target in the Broncos’ Week 12 loss to the Saints. Noah Fant was the only Denver player to catch a pass with practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton impersonating a quarterback for Denver in Week 12. Throw this week out when it comes to evaluation Jeudy and the rest of the Broncos. Jeudy, who has struggled through Achilles and ankle injuries, should return to WR3 status in Week 13 against KC.

Darnell Mooney – WR Chicago Bears
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: NR
Current Rank: 14
Week 12 Projection: 8.50
Week 12 Actual: 8.40
Season to Date Actual: 88.20
Weekly Average: 8.02
Week 13 Projection: 10.70

Darnell Mooney caught 3-of-9 targets for 34 yards in Week 12 against the Packers. It’s a rebound after Mooney had a two-catch game before Chicago’s bye. Mooney finished with more targets and played ahead of Anthony Miller, but none of the Chicago receivers did anything outside of Allen Robinson. Mooney will take a 36/385/2 line into Week 13 against Detroit. Unless you are desperate for a pass catcher leave Mooney on your bench in Dynasty. Drop him in Redraft if you haven’t already.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 13
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – OCTOBER 11: J.K. Dobbins #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 13

J.K. Dobbins – RB Baltimore Ravens
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 4
Current Rank: 15
Week 12 Projection: 10.50
Week 12 Actual: 0.00
Season to Date Actual: 85.30
Weekly Average: 8.53
Week 13 Projection: 11.60

J.K. Dobbins landed on the Covid-IR list this week and was ruled out for the match-up versus the Steelers. Then the game kept moving back and 10 days later he was eligible to be activated. IN the end Dobbins and RB Mark Ingram joined a long list of Ravens starters who missed the rare Wednesday afternoon contest. Dobbins will return in Week 13 for a plus match-up against the Dallas Cowboys

Gabriel Davis – WR Buffalo Bills
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 38
Current Rank: 16
Week 12 Projection: 6.70
Week 12 Actual: 16.90
Season to Date Actual: 81.40
Weekly Average: 7.40
Week 13 Projection: 8.90

Gabriel Davis has some fantasy relevance as long as WR John Brown is out of the Bills lineup. Good news for Davis’ fantasy managers, John Brown is on IR. Gabriel Davis caught 3-of-4 targets for 79 yards and one score in Buffalo’s Week 12 win over the Chargers. Davis’ touchdown reception actually came from Cole Beasley. Davis has averaged three more targets per game (2.3 to 5.3) without John Brown this year but remains way behind Stefon Diggs (12) and Cole Beasley (7.3) in terms of volume in those starts. Davis is a desperation flex option in what should be an up tempo matchup against the 49ers on Monday night.

Laviska Shenault Jr. – WR Jacksonville Jaguars
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 17
Current Rank: 15
Week 12 Projection: 5.60
Week 12 Actual: 6.70
Season to Date Actual: 80.40
Weekly Average: 8.93
Week 13 Projection: 9.20

Laviska Shenault caught 3-of-4 targets for 31 yards in the Jaguars’ Week 12 loss to the Browns. Shenault also had a carry for six yards. The Jaguars were without Chris Conley and D.J. Chark in this game and Shenault still couldn’t get much going. Collin Johnson saw four more targets than him and Keelan Cole saw two more targets. Laviska can be stashed away on your Dynasty bench’s until 2021. Fantasy managers can part ways with Shenault in all Redraft leagues.

Joshua Kelley – RB Los Angeles Chargers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 27
Current Rank: 18
Week 12 Projection: 7.20
Week 12 Actual: 9.50
Season to Date Actual: 78.10
Weekly Average: 7.10
Week 13 Projection: 4.70

Joshua Kelley rushed seven times for 35 yards and a touchdown in Los Angeles’ Week 12 loss to the Bills. Kelley’s score was a vultured a one-yard touchdown after Ekeler was tackled at the goal line. The rookie was still out-touched 25-7 and clearly took a backseat with Ekeler in the mix. Kelley has been better with Ekeler in the lineup versus without. I am not starting him anytime soon, but I am also not dropping him in Redraft either.

Zack Moss – RB Buffalo Bills
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 24
Current Rank: 19
Week 12 Projection: 11.00
Week 12 Actual: 8.80
Season to Date Actual: 71.00
Weekly Average: 8.89
Week 13 Projection: 9.70

Zack Moss rushed nine times for 59 yards, chipping in another nine yards on two targets in Buffalo’s Week 12 win over the Chargers. A majority of Moss’ production came on his 32-yard run up the middle in the second half. It was also the first time in Buffalo’s last three games that Devin Singletary (11/82) out-touched Moss (14-11). Having said that, neither are trustworthy for re-draft leagues given the Bills propensity to put the game on Josh Allen’s shoulders both through the air and on the ground. Moss should only be considered an option for deeper leagues in Week 13.

Michael Pittman Jr. – WR Indianapolis Colts
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking:
Current Rank: 20
Week 12 Projection: 12.30
Week 12 Actual: 4.80
Season to Date Actual: 67.10
Weekly Average: 8.39
Week 13 Projection: 12.50

Michael Pittman caught 2-of-9 targets for 28 yards in the Colts’ Week 12 loss to the Titans. It was a disappointing outing for Pittman, who had looked to establish himself as the Colts No. 1 wideout in recent weeks. Instead, T.Y. Hilton led the team in receiving while Pittman led all Colts pass catchers in targets. The fact that Pittman and Rivers struggled to connect against Tennessee shouldn’t stop fantasy managers from starting Pittman as a low-end WR2 in beautiful Week 13 match-up against the Houston Texans.

Thank you for reading 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 13. Good luck in Week 13 everyone!

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