Another week gone on the NFL schedule and we are in full swing. We have bye weeks, injuries, surprises and disappointments. In many of those, rookies are given a chance to show what they can do on the field. Let’s review last week.
Dak Prescott, Dallas – Now owner Jerry Jones is taking back the comment that Tony Romo will take back the starting quarterback position once he is healthy. Prescott is performing too well to put him on the bench. Once again, Prescott played extremely well in a hostile environment (Green Bay) in leading Dallas to the upset win. Prescott has now set the all-time record for pass attempts by a rookie before his first interception (the previous record was held by Tom Brady). Prescott showed poise and confidence once again without Dez Bryant and completed 18-of-27 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns with two fumbles and an interception.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia – It sure appears that the loss of tackle Lane Johnson could have many effects. The offensive line did not play well and Wentz suffered five sacks. Wentz ended the day completing 11-of-22 passes for 179 yards, and Philadelphia suffered its second straight loss. This was the first game that he did not throw a touchdown this season. I am afraid that the outlook does not look good this week going up against the last unbeaten team in the NFL, Minnesota. Minnesota’s defense is league-leading, allowing just 63 points against through five games. If you have other options, use them.
Cody Kessler, Cleveland – Kessler played well against Tennessee last Sunday, he just doesn’t have a lot of help for better results. The offensive line played poorly and Kessler was under pressure all day and had to deal with getting sacked six times. He passed 41 times and completed 26 of them for 336 yards and two touchdowns. Cleveland has announced that Kessler will be the starting quarterback going forward. Here’s hoping Corey Coleman gets healthy soon!
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas – Here is your clubhouse leader for Rookie of the Year, fantasy or otherwise. He seems to be improving with each week. Much was made of the No. 1 rushing offense against the No. 1 rushing defense (Green Bay) before the game last Sunday. Elliott was unstoppable and ran 28 times for 157 yards, a 5.6 yard per carry average, and also caught two passes for 17 yards. Elliott is the first rookie ever to top 130 rushing yards in four straight games. Remember to take him out of your lineups, as Dallas has a bye this week.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee – The continuing trend for Tennessee is prevailing with DeMarco Murray being hot. Henry only had two rushes for 7 yards and had two catches for 20 yards in spot duty. He is a must handcuff, but not much else right now.
Tyler Ervin, Houston – Had one catch for 4 yards. Used primarily on special teams.
Jalen Richard, Oakland – Latavius Murray is still out, but Oakland is not running the ball much, leaving any running back hard to trust in Oakland. Richard had four carries for 8 yards and had two catches for 5 yards. Stay away from this situation.
DeAndre Washington, Oakland – See above. Washington had 10 carries for 49 yards.
Josh Ferguson, Indianapolis – Nothing to report.
Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia – Smallwood once again got little play in the backfield with only four carries for 6 yards and catching a 14-yard pass. Smallwood did have an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Could he be used more this week in the passing game against the tough Minnesota defense?
C.J. Prosise, Seattle – Inactive with a hand injury.
Andy Janovich, Denver – Nothing to report.
Daniel Lasco, New Orleans – Lasco saw limited work with two carries for 5 yards and catching a 4-yard pass.
Jonathan Williams, Buffalo – Let’s say this, LeSean McCoy had himself a game last week. McCoy went nuts and had three touchdowns and helped Buffalo to a big lead. With that big lead, Buffalo gave some carries to Williams. He had five carries for 21 yards.
Devontae Booker, Denver – Denver keeps saying that it intends to use Booker more after his performance against San Diego last Thursday. Booker out-rushed C.J. Anderson on only five carries for 46 yards. He will get more play going forward and if he is available, pick him up. The starting running back job could be his real soon.
Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore – Baltimore is bringing him along slowly with only two carries for 11 yards. The question is when, not if, he gets his chance for a bigger role.
Kenyan Drake, Miami – Nothing to report.
Paul Perkins, New York Giants – The Giants are not getting much out of their backfield and may lean on Perkins to see if he can carry the load. He only had two carries for 10 yards and added two catches for 16 yards. Mark my words – his day is coming.
Alex Collins, Seattle – Christine Michael is playing well right now, not leaving many chances for the other backs. Collins had one carry for a 2-yard touchdown and also added a 9-yard reception. Watch at a distance for now.
Rob Kelley, Washington – Both of Washington’s running backs looked good against a tough Philadelphia defense. Matt Jones is the unquestioned starter, but Kelley played well with 59 yards on five rushes. He should be a handcuff for now.
Jordan Howard, Chicago – Chicago decided on a committee approach last week against Jacksonville, killing a lot of upside for Howard. He did score, but only had 34 yards on 15 carries. Why did Chicago do this? Stay tuned.
Dwayne Washington, Detroit– Inactive.
Kenneth Farrow, San Diego – Used sparingly against a tough Denver defense, Farrow had two carries for 5 yards. Deep on the bench for now.