2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 14
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 06: Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to make a pass play in the first quarter of the game against the New England Patriots at SoFi Stadium on December 06, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 14

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 14

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.

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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 13 Projection: 20.80
Week 13 Actual: 6.36
Season to Date Actual: 248.46
Weekly Average: 22.57
Week 14 Projection: 21.00

Justin Herbert completed 15-of-31 passes for 136 yards and two interceptions in the Chargers’ Week 13 blowout loss to the Patriots. Turns out that Herbert is a rookie QB after all. Bill Belichick has been the best coach in league history against rookie quarterbacks, and today was another masterpiece. Belichick improved his career record versus rookie QBs to 20-5 with this beatdown. Herbert has upside and will be a bounceback QB1 against the Falcons in Week 12.

James Robinson – RB Jacksonville Jaguars
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 30
Current Rank: 2
Week 13 Projection: 15.40
Week 13 Actual: 22.80
Season to Date Actual: 223.80
Weekly Average: 18.65
Week 14 Projection: 18.40

James Robinson rushed 18 times for 78 yards and one touchdown in the Jaguars’ Week 13 loss to the Vikings, adding six catches for 30 yards on six targets as a receiver. Robinson has 90-plus yards in six straight games and is averaging 24.3 touches per contest in that span. Robinson has crept within 25 points of the overall rookie fantasy scoring lead, impressive for a UDFA many of us didn’t have on our radar prior to Week 1. Robinson gets a juicy Week 14 date with a Titans defense that couldn’t stop anyone on the Browns in Week 13.

Justin Jefferson – WR Minnesota Vikings
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 6
Current Rank: 3
Week 13 Projection: 15.60
Week 13 Actual: 27.30
Season to Date Actual: 209.10
Weekly Average: 17.43
Week 14 Projection: 16.00

Justin Jefferson caught 9-of-12 targets for 121 yards and one touchdown in the Vikings’ Week 13 win over the Jaguars. Adam Thielen was back, yet Jefferson led the Vikings in targets, catches, and yards. It was Jefferson’s fifth 100-yard game of the year, and he became just the fifth wideout in the Super Bowl era to accrue 1,000 yards in his first 12 games, joining Odell Beckham, Randy Moss, Marques Colston, and Anquan Boldin. Truly an elite route-runner, Jefferson is a weekly WR1 and draws the Bucs in Week 14.

Antonio Gibson – RB Washington Football Team
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 17
Current Rank: 4
Week 13 Projection: 14.60
Week 13 Actual: 1.40
Season to Date Total: 183.20
Weekly Average: 15.27
Week 14 Projection: 3.80

Antonio Gibson started this one with his fantasy managers holding high hope for the rookie after his three-score game on Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately for Gibson, Washington and his fantasy managers, Gibson’s day ended with two carries for 14 yards. Gibson was injured early on Monday and was spotted on the sidelines getting his left big toe taped and appeared in a serious deal of pain. These types of injuries can tend to linger and it is possible that Gibson misses some significant time as a result.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 14
LANDOVER, MARYLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals is injured during the third quarter against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on November 22, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 14

Joe Burrow – QB Cincinnati Bengals
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 11
Current Rank: 5
Week 13 Projection: IR – Out for the season
Week 13 Actual: 0.00
Season to Date Actual: 178.72
Weekly Average: 17.87
Week 14 Projection: 0.00

Joe Burrow remains on IR and will miss the remainder of the 2020 season after tearing his ACL and MCL in Week 11.

Chase Claypool – WR Pittsburgh Steelers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 19
Current Rank: 6
Week 13 Projection: 13.90
Week 13 Actual: 5.80
Season to Date Actual: 172.10
Weekly Average: 14.34
Week 14 Projection: 14.20

Chase Claypool caught 2-of-4 targets for 38 yards in the Steelers’ Week 13 loss to Washington. He has been splitting time with James Washington and that has hurt his fantasy production in recent weeks. Claypool has big play ability and that makes him an intriguing fantasy option heading into the fantasy playoffs. The reality is without a touchdown Claypool is a risky start. The 10 scores that he has this season represent 35% of his total production. His playmaking ability keeps him in the WR2 conversation but his boom/bust play, makes him risky in Week 14 against the Bills. It is a risk I would prefer not to take.

CeeDee Lamb – WR Dallas Cowboys
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 2
Current Rank: 7
Week 13 Projection: 12.40
Week 13 Actual: 10.60
Season to Date Actual: 157.10
Weekly Average: 13.09
Week 14 Projection: 12.20

CeeDee Lamb caught 6-of-9 targets for 46 yards in the Cowboys’ Week 13 loss to the Ravens. Lamb did all of his damage in the first half and was shut out in the second half. Lamb was used as an underneath threat for Andy Dalton in this one. Michael Gallup (11 targets) and Amari Cooper (9 targets) were the primary reads in the red zone and down the field. Lamb offers a ceiling as the Cowboys’ slot receiver due to his skill set with the ball in his hands. The Cowboys have a fairly good matchup versus the Bengals in Week 14. CeeDee Lamb has become a fairly safe flex play with Andy Dalton operating as the Cowboys QB.

Tee Higgins – WR Cincinnati Bengals
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 9
Current Rank: 8
Week 13 Projection: 11.50
Week 13 Actual: 10.60
Season to Date Actual: 156.70
Weekly Average: 13.06
Week 14 Projection: 12.00

Tee Higgins caught 5-of-7 targets for 56 yards in the Bengals Week 12 loss to the Dolphins. Tyler Boyd was ejected from this game in the first half leaving Higgins as the top pass-catching option for Brandon Allen and eventually Ryan Finley. Higgins attempted to hurdle a defender on the Bengals’ final drive and came down hard. His health will be important to monitor throughout the week. The Bengals get the Cowboys next week but with Ryan Finely under center healthy or not Higgins is tough to trust even in this soft matchup with Dallas.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB Kansas City Chiefs
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 3
Current Rank: 9
Week 13 Projection: 13.80
Week 13 Actual: 0.00
Season to Date Actual: 147.70
Weekly Average: 13.87
Week 14 Projection: 12.10

Clyde Edwards-Helaire was listed as questionable all week with a non Covid-19 related illness. Hours before the game it was announced that CEH would be active. As a result Fantasy managers inserted him into to their starting lineups only to watch in horror when he didn’t see the field. It turns out that CEH was only available on an emergency basis. We should see him back in Week 14, and Edwards-Helaire will be a low-end RB2 in a matchup with Miami. Fantasy Managers are not going to get the expected return on their draft capital this season from CEH.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 14
HOUSTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 06: Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a 39-yard touchdown reception against the Houston Texans during the first half at NRG Stadium on December 06, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 14

Jonathan Taylor – RB Indianapolis Colt
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 1
Current Rank: 10
Week 13 Projection: 12.70
Week 13 Actual: 22.50
Season to Date Actual: 145.00
Weekly Average: 13.18
Week 14 Projection: 13.90

Jonathan Taylor rushed 13 times for 91 yards in the Colts’ Week 13 win over the Texans, adding three receptions for 44 additional yards and a touchdown. Taylor posted a new career high in yards from scrimmage Sunday. He was moving the pile as a runner and contributed the Colts’ biggest play of the day as a receiver. With Taylor playing his best two games of the season back-to-back, the breakout that fantasy managers have been waiting for all season seems imminent. Coming on at the right time for the Colts, Taylor is back in the RB2 picture in fantasy. The Week 14 matchup with the Raiders is one to exploit.

Brandon Aiyuk – WR San Francisco 49ers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 13
Current Rank: 11
Week 13 Projection: 11.10
Week 13 Actual: 20.50
Season to Date Actual: 136.20
Weekly Average: 15.13
Week 14 Projection: 12.70

Brandon Aiyuk caught 5-of-9 targets for 95 yards and one touchdown in the 49ers’ Week 13 loss to the Bills. Aiyuk was making his first appearance since Week 10 after spending one game and the bye week on the COVID list. The rookie led the team in yards and tied Deebo Samuel with nine targets. Over his last four games, Aiyuk has a combined 26-376-3 line on 40 targets. He’s an every-week WR2 ahead of a tougher Week 14 date with Washington.

D’Andre Swift – RB Detroit Lions
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 5
Current Rank: 12
Week 13 Projection: In Active
Week 13 Actual: 0.00
Season to Date Actual: 127.60
Weekly Average: 14.18
Week 14 Projection: 9.10

D’Andre Swift missed his third straight game this Sunday. Last time we saw Swift on the field he had 21 touches, 149 yards, and a touchdown. He appeared to finally be taking the top role in the Lions offense. Hopefully he returns to join a reborn Lions offense in Week 14 in a great matchup versus the Green Bay Packers. Should Swift be back in the Lions lineup in week 14, he will be in the RB2 conversation with RB1 upside.

Jerry Jeudy – WR Denver Broncos
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 7
Current Rank: 13
Week 13 Projection: 12.00
Week 13 Actual: 1.50
Season to Date: 109.40
Weekly Average: 9.12
Week 14 Projection: 11.10

Jerry Jeudy caught 1-of-4 targets for five yards in Week 13 against the Chiefs. Jeudy was invisible, with his four targets behind Noah Fant and KJ Hamler. He entered this one less than 100 percent with ankle and achilles injuries. Jeudy’s injury has limited him to four catches for 42 yards over the last three games. Fantasy managers should leave Jeudy on the bench when his fantasy playoffs kick off in a matchup with the Panthers in Week 14.

J.K. Dobbins – RB Baltimore Ravens
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 4
Current Rank: 14
Week 13 Projection: 11.60
Week 13 Actual: 13.10
Season to Date Actual: 98.40
Weekly Average: 8.95
Week 14 Projection: 12.50

J.K. Dobbins rushed 11 times for 94 yards and one touchdown in the Ravens’ Week 13 win over the Cowboys. The Ravens as a team ran all over the Cowboys on Tuesday night. Dobbins looked explosive between the tackles and found the end zone in the fourth quarter to top off his fantasy stat line. Prior to missing time on the Covid-IR list it appeared that he had taken control in Baltimore. It’s remains unclear heading into the fantasy playoffs how the Ravens want to deploy all of their running backs. Dobbins has an RB2 ceiling if Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards take more of a backseat.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 14
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 07: Wide receiver Gabriel Davis #13 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball after a catch against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of the NFL football game at State Farm Stadium on December 07, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 14

Gabriel Davis – WR Buffalo Bills
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 38
Current Rank: 15
Week 13 Projection: 8.90
Week 13 Actual: 15.80
Season to Date Actual: 97.20
Weekly Average: 8.10
Week 14 Projection: 10.00

Gabriel Davis caught 3-of-4 targets for 68 yards and one touchdown in the Bills’ Week 13 win over the 49ers. An every-down player now with John Brown on I.R., Davis has turned eight targets into 6-147-2 over the last two weeks. Gabriel Davis offers WR4 with upside value against Pittsburgh as the Bills third option in the passing attack behind Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley.

Darnell Mooney – WR Chicago Bears
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 51
Current Rank: 16
Week 13 Projection: 10.70
Week 13 Actual: 8.30
Season to Date Actual: 96.50
Weekly Average: 8.04
Week 14 Projection: 10.40

Darnell Mooney caught 4-of-6 targets for 43 yards in Week 13 against the Lions. Mooney played through a questionable tag after being a late addition to the injury report. His six targets finished behind only Allen Robinson, while his 43 yards were third on the team. Regardless of the Quarterback under center for the Bears, this inept offense can’t support more than one receiver. Mooney is a stash on your dynasty rosters and nothing else.

Laviska Shenault Jr. – WR Jacksonville Jaguars
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 15
Current Rank: 17
Week 13 Projection: 9.20
Week 13 Actual: 15.80
Season to Date Actual: 96.20
Weekly Average: 9.62
Week 14 Projection: 8.10

Laviska Shenault rushed three times for 30 yards and caught all three of his targets for 38 yards and one touchdown in the Jaguars’ Week 13 loss to the Vikings. Shenault’s 28-yard, touchdown was total luck as QB Mike Glennon skipped a pass off a defender and into Shenault’s hands the end zone. He has 44 receiving yards or fewer in all but two games this season, and this was his first touchdown since a two-score Week 1. Shenault is not a recommended fantasy option heading into the fantasy playoffs, despite a nice Week 14 match-up versus Tennessee.

Joshua Kelley – RB Los Angeles Chargers
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 27
Current Rank: 18
Week 13 Projection: 4.70
Week 13 Actual: 2.30
Season to Date Actual: 80.40
Weekly Average: 6.70
Week 14 Projection: 3.80

Joshua Kelly didn’t get a single carry in Week 13. Kalen Ballage, who missed Week 12, returned and rushed seven times for 34 yards in the Chargers’ Week 13 loss to the Patriots, adding three catches for five yards. Ballage has emerged as the alterative to Austin Ekeler for the Chargers, thus rendering Kelley fantasy worthless. After starting the season with back to back double digit fantasy performances, Kelley has reached double figures just once and has averaged 5.51 PPR points/game. Joshua Kelley should be put away on your dynasty bench with the hopes of bringing him back to relevance in 2021.

Michael Pittman Jr. – WR Indianapolis Colts
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 13
Current Rank: 19
Week 12 Projection: 12.30
Week 12 Actual: 4.80
Season to Date Actual: 67.10
Weekly Average: 8.39
Week 13 Projection: 12.00

Michael Pittman caught 5-of-5 targets for 46 yards in the Colts’ Week 13 win over the Texans. Pittman’s quiet day came as T.Y. Hilton continued to revive for Philip Rivers. Pittman is looking like a WR4 for the fantasy playoffs, though the Colts have back-to-back soft matchups in the Raiders and a Texans rematch. Pittman is seeing enough work to at least be a reasonable floor play. If you are stuck in Week 14, Pittman offers you a chnace at 40-50 yards and a touchdown.

Henry Ruggs – WR Las Vegas Raiders
RotoHeat Rookie Ranking: 12
Current Rank: 20
Week 12 Projection:
Week 12 Actual: 15.40
Season to Date Actual: 73.80
Weekly Average: 7.38
Week 13 Projection: 9.30

Henry Ruggs makes his second appearance in the top-20 and first since Week 5 after finishing with 3 catches on 4 targets for 84 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders’ Week 13 win over the Jets. Ruggs’ day was much like his rookie season to date, up and down. He had a costly fumble while working for yards after the catch in the second half, but ended up coming down with the game-winning touchdown. Only 21 years old, Ruggs has long-touchdown upside every week even when he’s not very involved in the offense. He’s not an option in the fantasy playoffs, but his upside entering 2021 can not be denied.

Thank you for reading 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 14. Good luck in Fantasy Playoffs everyone!

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