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The Rookie Report: Week 1 Recap

Welcome everyone to the first regular season 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.

We will start with RB Ray Rice’s first start against a weak Bengals defense. Rice had a disappointing start filling in for Willis McGahee. He rushed for only 2.9 yards per carry, although Rice showed his ability to catch the ball with three grabs for 19 yards. With McGahee expected back from his knee injury, and opposing defenses stacking the line daring Joe Flacco to beat them, Rice’s value is limited early in his rookie season without another injury to McGahee.

Speaking of the Bengals, in case you missed it, LB Keith Rivers is a stud who flew around the field this past Sunday. Rivers finished the game with nine solo tackles and one assist in this first game as a professional. If you were lucky enough to draft him in your IDP leagues this year, there is a good chance you just round yourself a Top 15 linebacker as a rookie. The Bengals offense looked atrocious in Week 1, and with the limited talent on their defense, you can expect them to be on the field for the majority of every game this season.

After a solid training camp, QB Matt Ryan led the Falcons to an opening day victory as he tossed his first pass for a 62-yard touchdown to Michael Jenkins. Ryan finished the day with an efficient passing day due to the amazing display by Michael Turner; however, he showed a lot of poise in the pocket on Sunday, and looks like he is ready to contribute.

TE John Carlson was sleepless in

Seattle no more as QB Matt Hasselbeck targeted him four times and converted all four into catches for 52 yards. With Nate Burleson out for the year, Deion Branch not ready to come back, and Bobby Engram out for several more weeks, Carlson could emerge into a solid receiving threat for a Seahawks team with limited playmakers on offense as Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent continue to be unimpressive.

Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers started off his rookie campaign strong with five solo tackles and one assist against the Brady-less Patriots. Given Flowers’ physical style in the

Tampa 2 defense the Chiefs run, he should put up consistent numbers given the Chiefs inability to get their defense off the field.

On the other side of the ball, Patriots LB Jarod Mayo started the season strong with six solo tackles. Despite the Pats’ system, Mayo continues to put up the solid tackle numbers in Week 1 as well as the preseason. As far as for IDP fantasy purposes this season, the loss of QB Tom Brady should actually help Mayo’s tackle numbers. In 2007, the Patriots built up early leads behind the arm of Tom Brady. The Pats offense should take a hit and result in some closer games. With opposing offenses less likely to play from behind, they should run more on the Patriots and give Mayo more tackling opportunities than he would have seen playing in coverage.

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