Welcome everyone to the first
post-season installment to the Rookie Report.
In case you missed the report earlier this season, the report will cover
topics, trends and a game by game analysis of notable performances by the NFL’s
2007 Rookie Class to assist in your pursuit of dynasty championship gold.
In Week 17’s edition of
the Rookie Report, we highlighted several rookie standout performances. In this week’s report, we will highlight
several players who have the potential to emerge into contributory roles on
dynasty teams in the not too distant future.
So sit back, but don’t get
too comfortable because here we go with our first post-season week’s installment
of this report.…
QB JaMarcus Russell – Oakland Raiders
Due to Russell missing
training and mini camps, he only received limited playing time in 2007 despite
the Oakland Raiders being out of playoff contention for weeks. At the close of the season, Coach Lane Kiffin
came out and said Russell would be his starter in 2008. Russell showcased in arm and mobility in his
first start in Week 17, and we will see more of the same with better decision
making after being in the Raiders program for the entire offseason.
QB Troy Smith – Baltimore Ravens
Troy Smith looked good in
limited action late in the 2007 season.
He is an obvious upgrade over Kyle Boller, and Steve McNair’s play over
the past season shows that he is close to hanging up the cleats. With the firing of the Ravens long-time coach
this week, it is uncertain who will start at quarterback in 2008; however, Troy
Smith appears to be in the mix to get consideration to be the Week 1 signal
caller for the 2008 Ravens.
RB Darius Walker – Houston Texans
Texans running back Darius
Walker looked impressive in the final weeks as a compliment to Ron Dayne. He is probably best suited to be a third
down/change of pace back for the Texans; however, it is still unclear what Houston is going to do at
running back for 2008 this offseason.
For now, Darius Walker deserves a roster spot on dynasty squads until
running back situation becomes clearer this offseason.
RB Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders
After finishing the 2007
season on the PUP list with his leg injury, Bush appears to be in line to get
carries at running back with Fargas as free agent and Lamont Jordan on his way
out of Oakland. He will likely split carries to some degree
with Dominic Rhodes in 2008, but he is likely to help your team in 2008 in some
WR Steve Smith – New York Giants
Steve Smith was riddled
with injuries in his rookie season; however, he showed potential in his playing
time in 2007. Amani Toomer isn’t getting
any younger and will be 34 in the 2008 season, and Steve Smith is likely the
guy who will replace Toomer in the starting lineup. If Smith can stay healthy, he should be in
line for a bounce back season in 2008 with increased playing time.
WR Laurent Robinson – Atlanta Falcons
Robinson showed he was
talented in 2007’s rookie campaign and was rewarded with 6 starts. Robinson is a small school product that has
good speed, athleticism, leaping ability, size and ball skills. With Joe
Horn showing obvious age, Robinson appears to be in line to start in 2008
alongside Roddy White.
WR Sidney Rice – Minnesota Vikings
Sidney Rice was
inconsistent in 2007 partially due to the usual rookie learning curve, however,
mostly due to the pitiful quarterback play from Tarvaris Jackson and crew. As the offense matures in Minnesota, Rice should emerge as a quality
receiving threat and a fantasy WR option for your dynasty team.
TE Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles
L.J. Smith appears to be
on his way out of Philadelphia
as it is unlikely for them to re-sign him.
This leaves the door open for Brent Celek to establish himself as the
starting tight-end for the Eagles. Celek
will likely emerge as the starter in 2008, and should present a reliable option
for Donovan McNabb (or whoever the starting QB is in Philly) to throw to. If he is available in your dynasty league, he
is worthy of a roster spot on your team.
The following section of
the Rookie Report summarizes notable rookie performances in this week’s playoff
Redskins S Laron Landry
had 4 solo tackles and 2 interceptions in the loss to the Seahawks.
Steelers RB Gary Russell
rushed 3 times for 2 yards. TE Matt
Spaeth caught 1 pass for 7 yards. LB
Lamarr Woodley had 3 solo tackles and 2 sacks.
Jaguars LB Justin Durant
recorded 12 total tackles. FS Reggie
Nelson had 3 solo tackles.
York Giants vs. Tampa Bay
Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw
rushed 17 times for 66 yards and caught 1 pass for 9 yards. WR Steve Smith caught 3 passes for 29
yards. TE Kevin Boss caught 2 passes for
14 yards. CB Aaron Ross had 4 solo
Bucs DE Gaines Adams had 5
total tackles and 1 sack.
vs. San Diego
Titans RB Chris Henry
rushed 1 time for no gain. WR Chris
Davis caught 2 passes for 11 yards and had 1 rush for 11 yards. FS Michael Griffin had 7 solo tackles.
Chargers WR Craig Davis
caught 1 pass for 5 yards.