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Rookie Review – Week 14

Welcome to the fantasy playoffs. Hopefully your team is still in the running. What moves can you make at this point to help your team? Well, read below, because the answer may just be a rookie (or two).


Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay – All along, I thought Winston was a sleeper this year. He may have started off a little shaky, but he has shown improvement throughout the year and is performing nicely at this point. Winston was 18-for-27 with 227 yards and a touchdown and also added 15 yards and another touchdown on five carries. He did also suffer three sacks and an interception on Sunday. With New Orleans and its terrible pass defense on the schedule, I would not be afraid to start Winston. I would also start any receiver for Tampa Bay this week.

Marcus Mariota – Tennessee – It really is a shame that Tennessee has had so many injuries this year at the receiver position. Mariota again played very well with 20 completions in 29 attempts for 268 yards with three touchdowns while adding nine rushes for 112 yards and another touchdown going for 87 yards (the longest run of the day). He did have a fumble and suffered four sacks and an interception. Mariota finally used his legs like he should and it payed off in a big way. Hopefully this will be the start of more running for him.

Garrett Grayson – New Orleans – Inactive

Sean Mannion – St. Louis – Inactive

Bryce Petty – New York Jets – Inactive

Brett Hundley – Green Bay – Inactive

Trevor Siemian – Denver – Inactive


Running Back

Todd Gurley – St. Louis – After a hot stretch in the middle of the season, Gurley has really cooled off. It doesn’t help matters much with a poor offensive line and inconsistent quarterback play. Gurley just couldn’t get much going and had only eight carries for 41 yards. St. Louis needs to get some help for him next year to hopefully see his full potential.

Melvin Gordon – San Diego – The struggles in San Diego continue. Will this be the last year in that city? The injuries have depleted this team in a major way and all in the offense feel it. Gordon had high expectations going into the season and has failed to live up to them. In the loss to Denver on Sunday, Gordon had 12 carries for 55 yards with yet another fumble. He really needs to fix his ball security issues. There might be a lot of “cleaning house” for this team before next year.

T.J. Yeldon – Jacksonville

Jacksonville RB T.J. Yeldon.

Did you see it? Jacksonville actually left Yeldon in at the goal line! It’s about time! Yeldon came through with a touchdown on 15 carries for 57 yards and he also added 79 yards on four passes thrown to him. It is a nice game for Yeldon and something I have been waiting for. Will Jacksonville finally realize his potential and give him more looks at the goal line? All signs indicate this could be the start of something. Thank goodness I have him on a few playoff teams as his schedule looks pretty tasty.

Ameer Abdullah – Detroit – Abdullah had a nice game Thursday night against Green Bay with 13 carries for 67 yards including a 36-yard run. He wasn’t very lucky in the second half, however, because he was stuffed often because his offensive line couldn’t get any lanes open to run through.

Tevin Coleman – Atlanta – I thought he might get more work than he did with the return of Devonta Freeman. Coleman only had three carries for 13 yards and had one reception for 4 yards. Better not need him during your playoffs because it doesn’t look like he will be on the field much.

Duke Johnson – Cleveland – Johnson only managed 2 yards on five carries and added 30 yards on four pass receptions against Cincinnati on Sunday. I figured Cleveland to go down big early and resort to more passing. I would like to see Johnson get more chances to be the lead ball carrier to see what he can do. What would it hurt Cleveland?

David Johnson – Arizona – Ride him as long as you can! Johnson is now the starter in Arizona and delivered a game with 20 carries for 99 yards and added two catches for 21 yards on three targets. Look for Johnson to be a RB1 in Week 14 against Minnesota. Minnesota is playing a short week after being humiliated by Seattle and will be on the road and without four starters, including three potential Pro Bowlers. Get him in your lineup already!

Matt Jones – Washington – Jones dominated the touches this week between himself and Alfred Morris, but neither could do much against Dallas. Jones had 18 carries for 49 yards and had a 5-yard reception. It does appear that Washington trusts Jones more than Morris. Is that the case?

Jeremy Langford – Chicago – Chicago went with the run a lot, and both Matt Forte and Langford had their chances. Both performed well with Forte scoring and Langford having a better yards per carry. Langford had 12 carries for 59 yards and also caught two passes for 9 yards, but he also missed a few blocks on blitzes and also suffered a drop. I believe Chicago will still give Langford some work, but as the second to Matt Forte.

Jalston Fowler – Tennessee – Did Not Play/No Stat Line

Javorius “Buck” Allen – Baltimore – I was much higher than most experts on Allen at the beginning of the season. I figured at some point Justin Forsett would get injured (and he did) and Allen would make some noise. Well after the game on Sunday, I am so sold on Allen that I dropped Forsett in a keeper league. Allen had a monster against Miami with 17 carries for 63 yards and 12 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. The back looked really good on his 41-yard touchdown showing good power. Matt Schaub is looking his way often, so he may catch many passes in the next few weeks.

Mike Davis – San Francisco – Did Not Play/No Stat Line

David Cobb – Tennessee – Sure is good to see him get some work in. Cobb had 13 carries for 40 yards on Sunday. Hopefully this is a stepping stone to the future.

Jay Ajayi – Miami – I was hoping for more work from Ajayi with the struggles of late for Lamar Miller. Ajayi only had four carries for 12 yards and a two-point conversion. It sounds like Miami will give the bulk of the work to Miller for now.

Karlos Williams – Buffalo – Inactive

Michael Burton – Detroit – Did Not Play/No Stat Line

Cameron Artis–Payne – Carolina – Inactive

Josh Robinson – Indianapolis. – On Practice Squad

Aaron Ripkowski – Green Bay – Did Not Play/No Stat Line

Marcus Murphy – New Orleans – Did Not Play/No Stat Line

Zach Zenner – Detroit – Sent to Injured Reserve

Jarryd Hayne – San Francisco – On Practice Squad

Thomas Rawls – Seattle – The more I see him, the more I like him. Rawls was a beast again this past week against Minnesota with 19 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown while adding three catches for 22 yards. He did fumble though, so it isn’t all golden. Rawls runs really tough and fits the Seattle offense like a glove. If Marshawn Lynch doesn’t return to Seattle, Rawls will be a very early pick in drafts next season.

Terron Ward – Atlanta –Inactive

John Crockett – Green Bay – Where did this come from? Reports out of Green Bay suggested Eddie Lacy was in some heat with the brass and hardly played in the game against Detroit. In his absence, John Crockett backed up James Starks and seemed to ignite Green Bay. Crockett ran very hard and had 22 yards on five carries. I am guessing that this is short-lived, but keep your eyes open.

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