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The Rookie Report: Playoff Worthy

Welcome, everyone, to the Week 15 installment to the 2008 Rookie Report. Each week during the regular season, the report will cover trends, news items and analyses 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 cover and analyze which rookies should be in your lineups this week and which ones should ride the pine in your fantasy playoff week. So let’s begin …

QB Matt Ryan,

Atlanta Falcons

In Week 15, Ryan draws a very tough matchup against

Tampa

Bay‘s pass defense. The Bucs are ranked fourth overall in terms of pass yardage allowed yielding only 183 yards per game. Last week, Jake Delhomme passed for only 173 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions against the Bucs. Drew Brees had a good game in Week 13 yardage- and touchdown-wise; however, he was intercepted three times in the game. While Ryan has been great all season long, this week I would show him the pine, especially in leagues that highly penalize interceptions.

RB Steve Slaton,

Houston Texans

Slaton has been a beast in recent weeks with a combined rushing and receiving total of 342 yards and two touchdowns in the past two weeks. However, in Week 15, Slaton draws a Titans defense that ranks seventh in the NFL in rushing yardage allowed. In Week 3 against the Titans, Slaton torched the Titans’$ front seven for 116 rushing yards, eight receiving yards, four receptions and a touchdown. With the exception of the Baltimore Ravens game in Week 10, Slaton has consistently put up solid numbers no matter the opponent, especially in point per reception leagues. Unless you have two other studs on your roster, now is not the time to show the red hot Slaton the bench this week.

RB Chris Johnson,

Tennessee Titans

After ripping apart the Lions and the Browns in the past two weeks, Johnson draws another good matchup against the Houston Texans, who are giving up 127 yards per game. Johnson should continue to produce another solid outing against the Titans in Week 15 and find the end zone at least once.

RB Matt Forte,

Chicago Bears

Forte has been a stud all year, and this week he should remain active in fantasy lineups. The Saints are giving up 112 rushing yards per game and the weather is expected to be perfect for the ground game in

Chicago. Start Forte with confidence and he should not disappoint you when it counts most.

RB Jonathan Stewart,

Carolina Panthers

Despite splitting carries with DeAngelo Williams, Stewart put up good numbers against a tough run defense. In Monday night’s game with the Bucs, Stewart piled up 115 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Stewart gets a much more favorable run matchup against the Broncos in Week 15, who are allowing a total of 140 rushing yards per game. With both D.J. Williams and Nate Webster still not 100% in the heart of the

Denver front seven, Stewart should be in for another solid game and is a borderline RB2/solid RB3 play this week.

WR Davone Bess,

Miami Dolphins

Fantasy owners have quickly snatched Bess off the waiver wire in point per receptions leagues as Bess quickly has turned into Chad Pennington‘s favorite possession receiver. Over the past three weeks, Bess has totaled 20 receptions and 245 receiving yards. He draws another good matchup against the 49ers secondary, which allows 231 passing yards per game. While he is unlikely to find the end zone, Bess should turn in another solid performance and is a sneaky play in PPR leagues this week.

WR Eddie Royal,

Denver Broncos

Royal has been a classic boom or bust fantasy start in recent weeks. This week the Broncos should air it out following the loss of their starting running back for the year; however, it is difficult to recommend Royal to owner’s with a faint heart. If you start Royal this week, remember you are playing Russian Roulette in your fantasy game as you are either go to live or die by the roll of the chamber.

TE John Carlson, Seattle Seahawks

Carlson has piled up the fantasy points over the past two weeks with a combined 14 receptions for 174 yards and a touchdown. With all of the uncertainty at the wide receiver position in

Seattle, Carlson has emerged into the only consistent option for

Seattle‘s quarterbacks. In Week 15, Carlson has another good matchup against a weak Rams secondary that gives up 225 yards per game through the air.

Well that wraps up this week’s edition of the Rookie Report. Good luck in your fantasy playoffs and if you have any comments on this week’s article, please see the Article Discussions forum in the Shark Tank.

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