Todd Latzke
Rookie Review - Week 11

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Week 10 saw the worst three teams in football win. Did a rookie also surprise you with his play? Let’s find out.

Quarterbacks

EJ Manuel – Manuel’s first game back from injury did not go that great. He was missing one starting wide receiver, and his other got injured in the game. He ended up going 22-of-39 for only 155 yards with one touchdown, one interception and three sacks. Manuel missed his receivers high and wide often and seemed very tentative and unsure of what to do. Hopefully he will get his receivers back and warm back up to them with more practice.

Mike Glennon – I would have thought that Glennon would have had a great game in order for Tampa Bay to get its first win, but that was not the case. He looked awful in this game, going 11-of-21 for 139 yards with one touchdown, one interception and two sacks. Glennon missed his targets most of the game and the Buccaneers resulted to running the ball to move the offense.

Running Backs

Giovani Bernard – The early favorite for Fantasy Rookie of the Year, Bernard added to his chances again this week with a nice game against the tough Baltimore Ravens defense. Bernard had 14 carries for 58 yards and added eight catches for 37 yards and a nice catch and run for a touchdown. It seems like every week he makes plays that make you open up your eyes and go “wow.”

Eddie Lacy – The string of 20-plus carries and 94-plus yards had to end sometime. With Aaron Rodgers getting hurt, the Philadelphia Eagles could change the defense and load up the box to make it hard to run. Lacy ended up with 24 carries for 73 yards and added two catches for 11 yards. The Green Bay Packers were able to move the ball, but they couldn’t punch it across the goal line. I would expect that with a full week of practice, the quarterback and offense will be better this weekend.

Zac Stacy – In a shocking turn of events, the St. Louis Rams did not have to rely on Stacy to move the offense. He was often used to keep the ball secure and not have any turnovers. With St. Louis building such a big early lead, Stacy just sat back and ran the ball up the middle most of the game with 26 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown to go along two catches for six yards. Even in clock-killing mode, Stacy still offered up decent points for fantasy players.

Le’Veon Bell – It seems like the Pittsburgh Steelers might be resorting back to the ground-and-pound offense that we are all so familiar with. Bell had 22 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown and he also had three catches for 39 yards. What makes Bell different from other Pittsburgh running backs is that he is a true three-down back. He will continue to see the field and the ball often.

Mike James – Can anybody stay healthy in Tampa Bay? James was off to a terrific start to the game on Monday night with five carries for 41 yards, but then he went down with an ankle injury while stretching for the end zone. He has been diagnosed with a broken ankle and is done for the year.

Christine Michael – With the Seattle Seahawks being able to do whatever they wanted on Sunday, they thought “Why not get our rookie backup running back some carries?” Michael is the one to own if you have Marshawn Lynch and he carried eight times for 33 yards. Can you say insurance people?

Andre Ellington – Many of the experts have been saying that Ellington should get the ball more. He is far more explosive and elusive than Rashard Mendenhall . Ellington once again performed well with 11 carries for 55 yards and two catches for 18 yards. He only got 13 touches. The coaches still retain the idea that this is enough of a workload for him. I still think he deserves more.

Benny Cunningham – The way Tavon Austin and the defense performed, most of the offense was given some time off on Sunday. Cunningham saw his most action to date with seven carries for 72 yards and one catch for 18 yards. Unless an injury to Zac Stacy happens, he won't see the field this often.

Dennis Johnson – Injuries to the quarterback and top-two running backs have created a change in Houston. Dennis Johnson is now that backup to Ben Tate and had four runs for seven yards and one catch for 14 yards. Arian Foster has just been placed on Injured Reserve, so Johnson should see more playing time going forward. Remember that Tate is also playing with hurt ribs, so it may not be long before Johnson is the lead back.

Montee Ball – Ball is now the No. 2 back in Denver and rumor has it he may see more playing time during the second half of the season. Ball had five carries for 20 yards. He may be a very nice stash on your bench for the playoffs.

Stepfan Taylor – I had hoped that the Arizona Cardinals might go with the two young running backs the rest of the season, but they decided to keep Rashard Mendenhall in the mix. That leaves very little for Taylor and he only had two runs for six yards. It sounds like Arizona is insisting that Mendenhall will remain the starter, leaving Taylor with the short end of the stick.

Denard Robinson – In his first game as the new No. 2 running back, Robinson disappointed greatly. He only had four carries for three yards and a fumble. That kind of play won’t let you see the field very often.



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