2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 2

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 2
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – SEPTEMBER 10: Clyde Edwards-Helaire #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs scores a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the third quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on September 10, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 2

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 offseason 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 a slower than their fantasy mangers are hoping for.

The 2020 Fantasy Rookie Tracker follows the fantasy production of the RotoHeat team’s consensus Top-20 Dynasty Rookie Rankings. In the initial installment of this season long series, I take a look at the Top-20, list their week one projection 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 will 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

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB Kansas City Chiefs
Pre-Season Rank: 2
Current Rank: 1
Week 1 Projection: 17.1
Week 1 Actual: 19.8
Week 2 Projection: 18.0

Clyde Edwards-Helaire exceeded my expectations in Week 1.  He started somewhat slow and looked to be succumbing to initial contact early in his NFL debut.  CEH continued to get better and better as the game progress and finished the game with 25 carries for 138 yards, and a touchdown.  He was targeted twice without a catch.  The only area of his game that wasn’t successful were his goal line carries. CEH was stuffed on numerous attempts and may end up losing those opportunities going forward to Darrel Williams.

In week 2, CEH and the Chiefs travel to Sofi Stadium to meet the Los Angeles Chargers. The match-up will be more difficult than it was in week one. I would expect CEH to be targeted more in the passing game in Week two. If you own CEH you are starting him, his 18 point projection is TD dependent.

Joe Burrow – QB Cincinnati Bengals
Pre-Season Rank: 16
Current Rank: 2
Week 1 Projection: 15.3
Week 1 Actual: 17.32
Week 2 Projection: 14.4

Joe Burrow ran for 23 yards for a touchdown in his NFL debut and put the Bengals in range for a dramatic, last-minute win. Instead, he ended up like so many Cincinnati quarterbacks before him, wondering what the heck just happened. He finished 23/36 for 193 yards and no touchdowns. With the exception of his interception, Burrow looked pretty good against the Chargers tough pass rush and defense. In Week two, against the Browns dinged up defense things should be easier for the rookie. He should blow his projection out of the water.

Jonathan Taylor – RB Indianapolis Colts
Pre-Season Rank: 1
Current Rank: 3
Week 1 Projection: 10.3
Week 1 Actual: 14.9
Week 2 Projection: 14.7

The three-headed monster that the Colts backfield looked to be is a down to two . Marlon Mack reportedly suffered a torn achilles in the Jags week 1 loss. JT should now be considered the favorite to lead the team in rushing work, and get a little in the passing game as well. Facing a Vikings defense that allowed 158 yards on the ground to Green Bay, Taylor is a back I am starting in Week two. Start JT and expect him to surpass his week 2 projection.

J.K. Dobbins – RB Baltimore Ravens
Pre-Season Rank: 3
Current Rank: 4
Week 1 Projection: 7.1
Week 1 Actual: 14.2
Week 2 Projection: 10.7

I had J.K. Dobbins surpassing his 7.1 projected PR points. How her got there was not what I expected. Dobbins only saw 7 rushing attempts (22 yards), in a game where his Raves ran 30 times. The bonus for Dobbins and his Fantasy Managers is he scored twice. Dobbins scores came from 3 yards and 2 yards out. Dobbins is putting himself in line to be the Ravens’ goal line back. Mark Ingram only managing 29 yards on 10 carries in Week one, its likely Dobbins is more involved in week two vs. Houston. I would expect Dobbins to be right around 10 PPR points. If you are in tough this week he is a flex play with the upside for more, but also has a very low floor.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 2
JACKSONVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 13: Wide Receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. #10 of the Jacksonville Jaguars avoid being tackled by Safety Malik Hooker #29 of the Indianapolis Colts while scoring a touchdown during the game at TIAA Bank Field on September 13, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars defeated the Colts 27 to 20. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 2

Laviska Shenault Jr. – WR Jacksonville Jaguars
Pre-Season Rank: 17
Current Rank: 5
Week 1 Projection: 5.9
Week 1 Actual: 13.7
Week 2 Projection: 9.3

Laviska Shenault’s stat line won’t blow you away, but he made the most of his opportunities. He totaled 47 yards and a touchdown on 5 total touches. He lined up in the backfield three times, including once in a Wildcat formation. The Jaguars want to get the ball in his hands, and he showed why on his touchdown catch. The Jags face the Titans in Week two, which should be a much more challenging match-up for Lavish and the Jaguars. Laviska likely struggles to reach his projection.

Joshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Current Rank:6
Week 1 Projection: 6.6
Week 1 Actual: 12.0
Week 2 Projection: 9.1

Joshua Kelley rushed for 60 yards on 12 carries and had a goal-line rushing touchdown. His running mate Austin Ekeler ending up with 19 carries for 84 yards. Kelley failed to receive a target and Ekeler only saw one. Hopefully, the Chargers get the backs more involved in the passing game moving forward. The fact that Kelley had a dozen carries in his first career game is a great sign, and it would indicate that he has secured the #2 role in the offense leaping Justin Jackson.

Kelley and the Chargers welcome Kansas City to Sofi Stadium in Week two. The match-up would indicate that the Chargers will be forced to throw more than they desire. This one likely is more Austin Ekeler than Joshua Kelley. Kelley is a flex play at best this week.

Zach Moss – Buffalo Bills
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Current Rank: 7
Week 1 Projection: 8.6
Week 1 Actual: 11.7
Week 2 Projection: 10.9

Zach Moss, a third-round pick this year, was generating a lot of buzz in training camp while teammate Devin Singletary was struggling to hold onto the football. Its been reported that the two running backs to share the load, albeit in slightly different situations. One notable point here is that the rookie is likely to see more work at the goal line, where Singletary struggled mightily in his rookie season.

It is a good thing for Moss that he scored in Week 1. Moss had 9 carries for 11 yards, and added in 3 catches for 16 yards and a touchdown. In week two the Bills travel to Miami to meet up with the Dolphins. The Dolphins held multiple New England Patriot’s back to 119 yards on 26 carries, which isn’t great or terrible. The split in the workload between the backs makes them hard to trust. Moss is an extremely TD dependent flex play in Week two.

D’Andre Swift – RB Detroit Lions
Pre-Season Rank: 7
Current Rank: 8
Week 1 Projection: 7.7
Week 1 Actual: 11.3
Week 2 Projection: 6.7

D’Andre Swift has been battling a lower body injury since the beginning of camp. At some points last week it looked like the rookie was going to miss week 1. In the end he played and had a total of 6 targets, 3 rushes for 8 yards, and 3 catches for 15 yards and a TD.

The TD clearly saved his day. Without that score Swift would have finished with 5.3 PPR points. In reality he could have finished with even more. Swift dropped a sure fire TD pass that would have elevated his fantasy production and got his team the W. Detroit heads to Green Bay next. The Packers are fresh holing Dalvin Cook to 50 yards in Week 1. The Lions backfield is a mess and I am avoiding it all together in Week 2.

CeeDee Lamb – WR Dallas Cowboys
Pre-Season Rank: 4
Current Rank: 9
Week 1 Projection: 7.0
Week 1 Actual: 10.9
Week 2 Projection: 12.1

CeeDee Lamb has been a favorite of mine for quite some time now. Lamb finished with five receptions for 59 yards on six targets. His first-career catch went for 33 yards, the longest completion in the game for Prescott. Lamb also returned a punt for 20 yards, five yards longer than any punt return for Dallas in 2019. Lamb played 57 plays, tied for the most by a rookie in Week 1, according to Next Gen Stats.

Dallas hosts Atlanta in a match-up that should be good for all Dallas pass catchers. I would start Lamb vs. the Falcons with the expectation of 15 PPR points.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 2
JACKSONVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 13: Jacksonville Jaguars Running Back James Robinson (30) runs with the ball during the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 13, 2020 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 2

James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Current Rank: 10
Week 1 Projection: 6.7
Week 1 Actual: 10.00
Week 2 Projection: 7.6

James Robinson was a relative unknown until the release of RB Leonard Fournette. Since the release of Fournette, Ryquell Armstead was placed on the Covid-19 Ir and Devine Ozigbo on IR. Just like that Robinson the UDFA is the starting running back. He had a good debut totaling 90 yards and a TD on 17 touches in the Jags surprising week one victory. Robinson will once again be the lead back in week 2 vs Tennessee. It’s a tough test for Robinson and the rest of Jags, and I would expect to see more from Chris Thompson than Robinson in week two.

Jerry Jeudy – WR Denver Broncos
Pre-Season Rank: 5
Current Rank: 11
Week 1 Projection: 10.3
Week 1 Actual: 9.6
Week 2 Projection: 11.2

With Courtland Sutton and KJ Hamler out, Jeudy led the Broncos in targets as the #1 WR. He just wasn’t overly efficient and had a few bad third-down drops over the middle on perfect throws from Drew Lock. The targets were a plus, but Sutton shouldn’t be out very long and is Denver’s unquestioned No. 1 receiver. Noah Fant caught Lock’s lone touchdown on a nine-yarder. Jeudy is more of a WR4/5 headed into a Week 2 date with the Steelers.

Henry Ruggs III – WR Las Vegas Raiders
Pre-Season Rank: 10
Current Rank: 12
Week 1 Projection: 7.1
Week 1 Actual: 9.6
Week 2 Projection: 10.7

Henry Ruggs the first WR selected in the 2020 NFL draft started his career with a 3 catch, 55 yard outing on 5 targets. He added 2 carries for an additional 11 yards. This game was dominated by Josh Jacobs and his 29 touch performance. The Raiders are not likely to have many games that this is the norm. Ruggs will continue to be involved and will get better as the season progresses. The Raiders host the Saints on Monday night and I expect the Raiders to attempt more the 30 passes they did in week one. Ruggs will benefit. Simply put if he scores he will exceed his projection, if he doesn’t he will fall short.

Quintez Cephus – Detroit Lions
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Current Rank: 13
Week 1 Projection: 1.7
Week 1 Actual: 7.3
Week 2 Projection: 0

Quintez Cephus caught three of 10 targets for 43 yards during Sunday’s 27-23 loss to the Bears. Without Kenny Golladay (hamstring), Quintez Cephus stepped into a huge role and finished second among all rookie receivers in Week 1 by logging 79 percent of his team’s offensive snaps (62 out of 78). 

Cephus wasn’t the most efficient with his opportunities, but an encouraging sign was a couple of them came in the end zone. Its good to see that the rookie can command this kind of workload when given the opportunity. If Golladay remains sidelined in Week 2, Cephus could be a sneaky play against Green Bay. At this time he is not projected to play.

Darnell Mooney – Chicago Bears
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Current Rank: 14
Week 1 Projection: 1.2
Week 1 Actual: 6.8
Week 2 Projection: 0

Darnell Mooney caught all three of his targets for 38 yards in Chicago’s 27-23 victory over the Lions Sunday. With Chicago trailing by multiple scores throughout the second half, Mooney saw regular work in three-receiver sets, and he ended the day as the team’s third leading receiver. Based on this solid performance, he’s a player fantasy managers may consider adding to their benches with the hopes of streaming him in games in which the Bears are likely to throw the ball often.

Chicago hosts the Giants in week two. Mooney is a player to grab off the wire, but he is not a player that should be in your lineup.

2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 2
LANDOVER, MD – SEPTEMBER 13: Jalen Reagor #18 of the Philadelphia Eagles makes a catch against Ronald Darby #23 of the Washington Football Team in the first quarter at FedExField on September 13, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 2

Jalen Reagor – WR Philadelphia Eagles
Pre-Season Rank: 9
Current Rank: 15
Week 1 Projection: 2.9
Week 1 Actual: 6.5
Week 2 Projection: 8.9

Jalen Reagor, somewhat surprisingly made it into the Eagles lineup in week one. Reagor, suffered an injury to his left arm during practice and was listed as week to week, prior to getting in some limited practices. Reagor was targeted 4 times in his debut and his lone reception was good for 55 yards.

If any doubt still lingers about Jalen Reagor’s top-line speed, it was answered Sunday. On his 55-yard reception, he hit a top speed of 20.27 mph, which ranked 15th among all ball carriers during Week 1, according to Next Gen Stats. The Eagles get the Rams and their tough secondary combined with their pass rush doesn’t bode well for Reagor and his mates on Sunday. If at all possible leave him on your bench.

Antonio Gibson – RB Washington Football Team
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Current Rank: 16
Week 1 Projection: 7.8
Week 1 Actual: 6.4
Week 2 Projection: 12.6

After the release of both Darrius Guice and Adrian Peterson, the Antonio Gibson hype train was full-steam ahead. In Week one, Gibson totaled 10 touches which he turned into 44 yards. Game script led to Peyton barber leading the way for the Football Team with 17 carries. Gibson will get better, but it will take time. In week two against the Arizona Cardinals I would do my best to find a better option to flex.

Justin Jefferson – WR Minnesota Vikings
Pre-Season Rank: 8
Current Rank: 17
Week 1 Projection: 4.7
Week 1 Actual: 4.6
Week 2 Projection: 7.6

Justin Jefferson secured two of three targets for 26 yards in the Vikings’ 43-34 loss to the Packers on Sunday. The rookie first-round pick had a quiet first half, but he managed to get on the stat sheet with the Vikings focusing heavily on the pass in garbage time. Jefferson figures to up his role progressively in the offense as he builds more chemistry with quarterback Kirk Cousins and improves his grasp of the scheme. On the road in week two versus the Colts, I would prefer to leave Jefferson on my bench.

Cam Akers – RB Los Angeles Rams
Pre-Season Rank: 6
Current Rank: 18
Week 1 Projection: 8.4
Week 1 Actual: 5.3
Week 2 Projection: 6.7

Cam Akers rushed 14 times for 39 yards and had a four-yard reception during Sunday’s 20-17 win over Dallas. He played 24 of 73 offensive snaps. He never got it going against Dallas and quickly played second fiddle to veteran Malcolm Brown. It’s a bit discouraging that Akers struggled while Brown made it look relatively easy against a mediocre Cowboys’ defense. Looking ahead to a Week 2 match-up against Philadelphia, Akers is a risky start. Brown has earned the lead dog role and I would anticipate Darrell Henderson is more involved in week two as well.

J.J. Taylor – RB New England Patriots
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Current Rank: 19
Week 1 Projection: 0.3
Week 1 Actual: 4.2
Week 2 Projection: 0

A day after signing with the New England Patriots practice squad, former Arizona Wildcats running back J.J. Taylor was promoted to the active 53-man roster assuming the spot held by Damien Harris who was placed on IR.

On Sunday versus the Dolphins, Taylor was on the filed for 9 offensive snaps. He ended the day with 5 touches (4 carries, and one catch) for 32 yards. Harris will be out a minimum two more games and Taylor should continue to dress. He is a player that should be added to your roster if he is available, but to stash, not to start in week two.

Gabriel Davis – WR Buffalo Bills
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Current Rank: 20
Week 1 Projection: 0.9
Week 1 Actual: 3.6
Week 2 Projection: 0

Gabriel Davis was on the field for 43 offensives snaps in his debut. He targeted twice and secured them both for 16 yards. Davis is a player to own in Dynasty but in redraft he should remain on your league’s waiver wire.

Previous Ranked

Tee Higgins WR Cincinnati Bengals – Previously ranked at 11. No points scored in Week 1.
Michael Pittman Jr. – WR Indianapolis Colts – Previously ranked at 12. Pittman had two catches for ten yards.
Ke’Shawn Vaughan – RB Tampa Bay Buccanners – Previously ranked at 13. No points scored in Week 1.
Brandon Aiyuk – WR San Francisco 49ers – Previously ranked at 14. Aiyuk missed Week one with injury.
Denzel Mims – WR New York Jets – Previously ranked at 15. Mims suffered a late week setback and was ruled out in week 1.
Tua Tagovailoa – QB Miami Dolphins – Previously ranked 18th. Tua did not play, he backed up Ryan Fitzpatrick in week 1.
Bryan Edwards- WR Las Vegas Raiders – Previously ranked 19th. Edwards put up 1.9 PPR points in the Raiders week 1 win.
Anthony McFarland Jr. – RB Pittsburgh Steelers – Previously ranked 20th. McFarland was a healthy scratch in week 1.

Thank you for reading 2020 Rookie Fantasy Tracker Week 2. Good luck in Week 2 everyone!

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