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Rookie Risers and Fallers: Week 17


Rookie Risers and Fallers
HOUSTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 27: Wide receiver Tee Higgins #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals completes a pass for a touchdown over cornerback John Reid #34 of the Houston Texans during the third quarter of the game at NRG Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Rookie Risers and Fallers

CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee had himself quite a game as he caught 3 of 5 targets for 65 yards and a TD while adding another TD on his lone 19 yard carry. He’s produced back to back big games finding himself as a riser on my Rookie Risers and Fallers list both times. He’s one of the most talented rookies in this draft class without question and should have a long, successful career in this league. He’ll look to keep this production going against the Giants in Week 17 as they hope to sneak into the playoffs.

Tee Higgins

Higgins finished just 1 yard short of the century mark catching 6 of 9 targets for 99 yards and a beautiful toe tapping TD. He was a hit or miss guy by many this offseason but has proven that he can be a top dog in the NFL. When Joe Burrow comes back next year, Higgins will see his value skyrocket. As he continues to grow as a player this offseason, look for him to become QB proof and a weekly starter in 2021. He’s got a tough challenge against the Raven’s defense to end his rookie year, but I expect to see him put up modest numbers.

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Ja’Marcus Bradley

With all the starting Browns WRs heading to the COVID list, Bradley makes his debut on my Rookie Risers and Fallers list as he stood out as the main WR against the Jets. He racked up 11 targets and caught 5 of them for 60 yards. He’s not going to be someone who’ll be a sleeper heading into next season, but it’s important to note the productivity of a guy who hadn’t seen a target all year.

Jonathan Taylor

JT has a nose for the endzone recently scoring 5 times in the past 3 weeks. I warned in my past few Rookie Risers and Fallers articles to stay clear of him against the tough Steelers defense, but he came through posting 19.4 fantasy points. He finished with 74 yards on 18 carries and 2 TDs while failing to catch his only target. Look for him to score a few more against the Jags next week as he finishes the season off with a bang.

A.J. Dillon

Aaron Jones was dealing with a toe injury heading into Week 16 and banged his hip up early in the game. With Jamaal Williams out, Dillon was the next man up, and he delivered. He led all rookies in scoring this week as he finished with 25.9 points. He received 21 carries that he took for 124 yards and 2 TDs while catching his only target for 5 more yards. This Green Bay backfield may be even better than we thought. He probably won’t be a factor much against the Bears next week, but he’s got a bright future ahead of him.


Rookie Risers and Fallers
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 26: Cornerback Xavien Howard #25 of the Miami Dolphins tries to intercept a pass intended for wide receiver Henry Ruggs III #11 of the Las Vegas Raiders in the second half of their game at Allegiant Stadium on December 26, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Dolphins defeated the Raiders 26-25. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) Rookie Risers and Fallers

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua played very conservative in their primetime Saturday matchup, which lead to just 94 yards on 17 of 22 passes and a TD. This also led to him getting benched for Fitzmagic who came in and led the Dolphins in a come-from-behind victory over the Raiders. It’s obvious that Tua is the future, but Fitzpatrick is the man now. I expect him to watch Ryan from the bench in Week 17 and in the playoffs, assuming they make it.

D’Andre Swift

I warned you against starting Swift this week against the Buccaneers in last week’s 2020 Rookie Risers and Fallers: Week 16 article. He lost his 2nd fumble of the year and ran for 45 yards on 10 attempts while catching 4 of 5 targets for another 25 yards. He’s the future for Detroit in the RB room, and I expect a bounce back week for him in Week 17 against the Vikings.

Brandon Aiyuk

With C.J. Beathard under center, Aiyuk flopped and understandably so. Beathard only completed 13 passes and only 1 of them was to Aiyuk. He drew 2 targets but just managed 15 yards on his lone reception. Hopefully, you weren’t banking on him too much for your championship. Jimmy G should be back next week, so if that’s true, expect a strong finish for him against the worst pass defense in the Seahawks.

Henry Ruggs III

The 1st WR off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft had a career worst game against the Dolphins on Saturday night. He saw 2 targets but failed to catch either of them. He managed to escape the goose-egg by rushing for 7 yards on his only attempt. It’s not surprising to see the boom or bust player as a faller in my Rookie Risers and Fallers article, but I didn’t imagine a game this bad. Thankfully there’s nowhere but up for the rookie.

Other Notable Observations

Rookie Risers and Fallers
DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 26: Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn (30) runs with the ball during a regular season game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Detroit Lions on December 26, 2020 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Rookie Risers and Fallers

Ke’Shawn Vaughn

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Vaughn on my Rookie Risers and Fallers list, but Saturday’s blowout win over the Lions helped him rack up some rushing career-highs. He was on the field for 44% of offensive snaps and carried the ball 15 times for 62 yards. He’s seen better days catching the football, but did manage 1 reception on 2 targets for an additional 7 yards. While Vaughn fell down to the Buccaneer’s RB4 after Fournette came to town, it’s not to see that he’s capable of handling some work in the future. He’s a guy I’d stash at the end of my bench in dynasty formats.

Jerry Jeudy

Jeudy finally found the way out his slump, but he had more targets than he did points in Week 16. He finished with 12.1 fantasy points, his most since Week 9, but saw a career-high 15 targets. It’s disappointing to see him catch only 40% of that huge target share, but you can’t be mad at that many targets going forward. We know the talent, so let’s hope that we see the 2021 season as a breakout for him.

Artavis Pierce

With the Bears blowing out the Jags, Pierce who’d only seen 3 carries all season, saw 2 more carries in this one. He made the most out of playing 7% of offensive snaps by running for 26 yards and his first career TD. He’s not a guy that’ll be on your fantasy radar this year or next, but I wanted to note his first TD. The end of the year is a good time for him to find himself in my Rookie Risers and Fallers article.

Thank you for reading 2020 Rookie Risers and Fallers: Week 17. If you have any additional questions about someone I didn’t touch on, make sure to let me know in the comments below! For more articles like this visit RotoHeat. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!