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The Rookie Report

Welcome everyone to the Week 12 installment to the 2008 Rookie Report. Each week during the regular season, the report will cover trends, news items and analysis of notable performances by the NFL’s 2008 Rookie Class to assist in your pursuit of dynasty championship gold.

In this week’s edition we will analyze the happenings and news of the past week. So sit back, relax and let’s begin …

TE Dustin Keller,

New York Jets

In Week 11, Keller put together another strong performance with eight catches for 87 yards, and is quickly emerging as a favorite target for Brett Favre in recent weeks. Over the past four weeks, Keller has totaled 20 catches for 251 yards and a touchdown. The rookie TE continues to gain Favre’s trust and should continue to receive targets as Favre’s main weapon over the middle.

LB Jerod Mayo,

New England Patriots

Fantasy owners who started Mayo in Week 11 against the Jets are dancing a jig after his 20-tackle performance. With Adalius Thomas out, Mayo has picked up the slack and gone on a tear racking up 37 tackles and three passes defended over his last three games. Mayo has been by far the best rookie linebacker of the 2008 class and should be in your fantasy lineups until further notice.

RB Kevin Smith,

Detroit Lions

For the second week in a row, Smith topped the 100+ yard combined rushing and receiving mark. Against the Panthers, Smith totaled 135 yards. With Daunte Culpepper at quarterback, the

Detroit running game seems to be operating more efficiently over the past few weeks. With Smith finding the end zone in two of the past three weeks and posting solid yardage numbers in the past couple weeks, he appears to be finally putting it together on the field.

RB Jonathan Stewart,

Carolina Panthers

After taking a backseat to DeAngelo Williams over the past few weeks, Stewart looked healthy as he ran over the

Detroit defensive line and linebacker core on route to 115 rushing yards on 15 carries and also managed to find the end zone. This performance is what most expected out of Stewart this preseason. Unfortunately for fantasy owners and Stewart, he won’t have the benefit of playing the Lions every week and Williams’ recent strong play does not look ready to relinquish his role as the starter for the Panthers.

RB Steve Slaton,

Houston Texans

If Slaton hit the rookie wall against

Baltimore, he sure did not show any after effects with his solid performance against the Colts in Week 11. Slaton totaled 156 yards rushing yards on 15 carries including a 71-yard touchdown run. He continues to split carries with Ahman Green; however, week in and week out, Slaton has put up solid fantasy numbers against both favorable and unfavorable matchups. He should remain a solid RB2 option for the rest of the 2008 season, especially in PPR leagues.

LB Xavier Adibi, Houston Texans

After receiving limited playing time until Week 11, Adibi broke lose filling in for an ailing Marlon Greenwood. Adibi racked up 14 solo tackles and one assist against the Colts. With Greenwood potentially to miss Houston’s Week 12 game against the Browns, Adibi could be in line for another start, and if Zach Diles or Greenwood’s tackle numbers have shown fantasy owners anything, he could be in for another big game for his IDP owners.

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie,

Arizona Cardinals

Rodgers-Cromartie wreaked havoc on

Seattle‘s offense with four tackles and two interceptions. While he is unlikely to be fantasy relevant in 2008, it is nice to see the athletic young corner show his potential for the future.

Well that wraps up this week’s edition of the Rookie Report. If you have any comments on this week’s article, please see the Article Discussions forum in the Shark Tank. Next week I will be on the road, so the Rookie Report will be on its bye week. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday …

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