Todd Latzke
Rookie Review - Week 9

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Week 8 saw some very good rookie performances and possibly some movement up the depth charts. Here are the results.

Quarterbacks

Geno Smith Mister one week good, one week bad was due for a bad week. He did not look horrible in the game: The New York Jets could not run at all on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals and Smith had to try and do it all. He was 20-of-30 for 159 yards with three sacks and two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns. The way he has played this year would seem to suggest he has a good week this week against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have a much better defense than what was expected. Will he continue his trend, or will the Saints continue with solid defense?

Mike Glennon Just like the New York Jets, Tampa Bay could not offer much in the running game against Carolina. The Panthers dominated the line of scrimmage and forced Glennon to throw the ball. Glennon went 30-of-51 for 275 yards with a touchdown and suffered three sacks. Of course, the injury to Doug Martin also contributed to the lack of a running game. Carolina has a really good defense, so this isn’t really a shock. It also hurts that Mike Williams was lost for the year to injury so now the Tampa Bay offense could really look bad. Don’t count on much here.

Matt Barkley Starting quarterback Michael Vick felt his hamstring pop in this game and had to be taken out, again. Barkley entered and once again did not look good. He was 17-of-26 for 158 yards with three sacks, three fumbles and one interception on a Hail Mary. Barkley to often tries to “float” the balls when he throws, and when he doesn’t throw he holds onto the ball too long. Barkley has a long way to go before he deserves your attention.

Running Backs

Giovani Bernard In a shocking turn of events, Bernard took a back seat to BenJarvus Green-Ellis for this game. Bernard only had five carries for 18 yards and one catch for nine yards on two targets. Of course, the Cincinnati Bengals had such a big lead that maybe they were just resting Bernard. That seems like the more plausible answer. Look for him to have a much bigger role this week in Miami on Thursday.

Eddie Lacy This is four straight games with 24 or more carries and 95 or more yards for Lacy. Lacy had 29 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown and had four catches for 18 yards on four targets. Lacy could have had a better game, but the Green Bay offense was just too tired. The Packers were on the field all the time. He is getting used a lot, and don’t forget he plays for Green Bay; it gets cold there. His workload could increase in the second half of the year. If you have the means to acquire him, do it!

Andre Ellington I’ve been telling you for weeks that Ellington has been looking better than Rashard Mendenhall . This week he had the chance to be the lead back with Mendenhall out with injury. Boom! Ellington looked fantastic. In his first game with double-digit carries, he had 15 carries for 154 yards and an 80-yard touchdown. He also caught both passes intended for him for eight yards. For the season he is averaging 7.7 yards per carry! Mendenhall is due back from injury, but does he maintain lead back duties? Ellington deserves another chance to start and should be on rosters in all leagues. If you have the means to get him, I would recommend it.

Zac Stacy In what looked to be a role reversal of the two starting running backs on Monday night, it sure looked like Stacy had the nickname of “Beast” and not Marshawn Lynch . Stacy was outstanding on Monday against maybe the best defense in football. He had 26 carries for 134 yards in the game and is now averaging 4.6 yards per carry for the season. With the injury to quarterback Sam Bradford , it looks like the St. Louis Rams will change offensive philosophy and run the ball more. Add Stacy to the list of players to target.

Joseph Randle The experts in Vegas (along with everybody else) predicted this would be a high-scoring game between Dallas and Detroit. We were all right. In a high-scoring affair, I would have thought Randle would have played better than he did. He had 14 carries for 26 yards and had three catches for 18 yards. He averaged less than 2.0 yards a carry. With DeMarco Murray coming back, you can safely look elsewhere.

Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh is trying to run the ball more, it is just that the offensive line can’t block anybody. Bell had 13 carries for 24 yards and a touchdown and also had five catches for 27 yards. The Oakland Raiders play better defense they you think they do. He should have better games ahead.

Mike James James did not look that bad against the stout front seven of the Carolina Panthers. He had 10 carries for 39 yards and also caught four balls for 25 yards on five targets. With all the injuries happening in Tampa Bay, it is really hard to trust anybody not named Vincent Jackson .

Michael Cox In what turned out to be a real yawner, the New York Giants (aka Josh Brown ) beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 15-7. Many thought this game would be high-scoring, also. It didn’t turn out that way. Cox had nine carries for 19 yards and one catch for 11 yards. I had hoped for better numbers from him in this game. With Andre Brown coming back after the bye, and then the other backs also getting healthy, you can stop looking at Cox.

Stepfan Taylor It was good to see Taylor get onto the field a little. Taylor had 14 carries for 38 yards as the backup to Andre Ellington while Rashard Mendenhall is out. Is it possible that they stay with the rookies and let go of Mendenhall?

Theo Riddick How many backs will Detroit use? Both Reggie Bush and Joique Bell did well against Dallas. The Lions have stated that they want to get Riddick on the field more and he had one run and one catch, both for seven yards. I don’t think they have enough use for another running back, but if one of them gets hurt he is the next in line.

Knile Davis As the backup to the top running back this year, Davis hasn’t had many chances. He had three carries for 13 yards and one catch for 12 yards. If the Kansas City Chiefs clinch early, will Davis see the field more?

C.J. Anderson Ronnie Hillman may have fumbled his way out of Denver. Anderson was the No. 3 back last week and had four carries for 22 yards. It seems like Montee Ball is the new No. 2, so is Anderson the new No. 3?

Khiry Robinson – Drew Brees was on fire in this game as he threw five touchdowns. Robinson just came in for mop-up duty to kill the clock with seven carries for nine yards. It looks like the Saints did not deal Mark Ingram , so what happens in the following weeks?

Montee Ball A change in the depth chart took place this week. The Denver Broncos deactivated Ronnie Hillman due to his ball security issues and promoted Ball to No. 2 behind Knowshon Moreno . Remember that Ball had problems fumbling the ball himself earlier this year. Has he found a cure? Ball scored his first touchdown and had 37 yards on 11 carries. Many still think that he could have a bigger slice of the pie later in the year. He might be worth a stash if you have room.



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