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The Rookie Report: Week 14

Welcome, everyone, to the Week 14 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.

This week we will monitor the news, notes and happenings of the rookie class headed into Week 14. So sit back and let’s begin …

RB Steve Slaton,

Houston Texans

In the first Monday Night Football game in Houston since the 1980’s, Steve Slaton shined on the national stage. Against the Jags’ front 7, Slaton broke out several long runs including two fourth quarter touchdowns to seal the victory for the Texans. To go with these two touchdowns, Slaton finished the game with 182 total rushing and receiving yards. His burst and vision on the field has allowed Slaton to continue to make plays throughout the season, and now with Ahman Green out of the picture, it is his time to shine. In most standard PPR leagues, Slaton is within the Top 10 of scoring at the running back position. Not too shabby for a running back most thought would be only a career third-down back.

RB Chris Johnson,

Tennessee Titans

Johnson continues to be a strong force on the ground for the Titans’ rushing attack. If only he could play the Lions every week as he finished the game with 18 touches for 134 total yards. He continues to split carries with LenDale White; however, there is plenty to go around in the Titans run-first offensive scheme. Owners who keep him active over the next two weeks will be rewarded with matchups against the Browns and Texans.

TE John Carlson, Seattle Seahawks

Carlson continues to be a pleasant surprise for

Seattle and fantasy owners in his rookie year. He turned in another solid performance against the Dallas Cowboys with six catches for 105 yards.

Seattle will continue to play from behind for the remainder of the season, and Carlson is a solid spot start for the rest of the season.

TE Martellus Bennett, Dallas Cowboys

If you are a Jason Witten owner, you are well aware of the presence of “You Stole My Touchdown” Bennett. In each of the past three weeks, Bennett has caught a touchdown as Romo continues to look for the athletic big man in the end zone. As Bennett’s skill set continues to grow, the Cowboys will likely get him more involved in the offense; however, for the rest of 2008 don’t expect him to be anything more than a risky TE2 play.

RB Tashard Choice,

Dallas Cowboys

With Felix Jones out of the remainder of 2008, Choice becomes Marion Barber‘s backup and handcuff. Choice finished the

Seattle game with a solid performance with 12 touches for 63 yards. He will continue to see spot duty unless Barber goes down with an injury.

WR DeSean Jackson,

Philadelphia Eagles

Jackson continues to be Donovan McNabb‘s main target in the Eagles offense despite the return of Kevin Curtis from injury.

Jackson finished the game against the Cardinals in Week 13 with six catches for 76 yards and a score. While

Jackson has not found the end zone consistently in 2008, he continues to be a solid play in PPR leagues.

TE Dustin Keller,

New York Jets

Keller continues to light up opposing secondaries in recent weeks as Brett Favre has relied on him heavility in the Jets attack. Keller finished this week’s game with another seven catches for 77 yards. Over the past four weeks, Keller has turned into a reliable fantasy option with a total of 27 catches for 313 yards and a touchdown. He looks like a solid option for the fantasy playoffs for owners in a pinch.

S Chris Horton,

Washington Redskins

Horton is a play-maker and a tackling machine. He finished with another solid tackle performance in Week 13 against the Giants with eight solo tackles and three assists. The rookie out of UCLA has locked down the strong safety position for the Redskins and should continue to be a strong IDP play in deeper leagues.

TE Martin Rucker,

Cleveland Browns

With the high ankle sprain to Kellen Winslow in Week 13, Martin Rucker should see increased playing time in Winslow’s absence. Rucker is an athletic pass-catching TE with good hands. He is someone to keep an eye on over the next few weeks to see how he reacts to an increase in playing time.

WR Davone Bess,

Miami Dolphins

With the season ending injury to Greg Camarillo, Bess has risen to fill the possession receiver role over the past two weeks. In the past two games that Bess has started, he finished with a total of 11 catches for 191 yards. With the fantasy playoffs coming upon everyone, Bess is an intriguing sleeper candidate in PPR leagues and should be gobbled up off the waiver wire.

WR Peyton Hillis,

Denver Broncos

With all of the injuries to the Broncos backfield in 2008, rookie Hillis has transitioned well to the tailback position in recent weeks. Over the past three games, Hill has totaled 295 total yards and four touchdowns as the Broncos main back. With a matchup against

Kansas City‘s awful run defense in Week 14, he is a solid start for owners in their playoff games.

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.

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