Rookie Report 2021 – Week 11 and 12
By Steve Uetz
For the purposes of this season-long article series, I will take you through how all the fantasy-relevant rookies from the 2021 class are performing on a week-to-week basis. I will break down their weekly statistics and offensive role regarding their real-life development and fantasy football outlook.
Let’s look at how the most notable players from the 2021 rookie class fared in the 11th and 12th weeks of NFL action!
Breakout Performance of Week 11
WR Elijah Moore, New York Jets
Week 11: 1 rush 15 yards, caught 8 of 11 targets for 141 yards (including one for 62 yards!) and 1 TD!
Week 12: 1 rush 7 yards, caught 4 of 8 targets 46 yards
Elijah Moore’s monster week 11 came at the hands of a Zach Wilson-less Jets offense. With Zach Wilson returning to the field in week 12, Moore took a bit of a step back production-wise. Despite producing with 100 yards less from the previous week, Moore is finally getting consistent stout usage. My player comparison for Elijah Moore coming out of college was prime Antonio Brown. Moore is far from AB’s prowess, but what I want to be encouraged by for the remainder of the season is if Moore can keep his production up with Zach Wilson, so they can develop a long-term rapport. Moore should be considered a FLEX option for the rest of the season due to his production upside and offensive role.
Breakout Performances of Week 12
WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Week 11: 1 rush, 1 yard, 1 TD, caught 8 of 9 targets for 65 yards
Week 12: As the Dolphins dominated the Panthers, Waddle exploded as he caught 9 of 10 targets for 137 yards (including one for 57 yards!) with a TD! Waddle is delivering for fantasy GMs with a strong return on investment as a late first-round rookie pick. He is a must-start option for the rest of the season.
RB Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
After sitting out week 11 dealing with his finger injury, Mitchell returned to action with a massive 33-touch outing! Not only was the volume excellent but the production was phenomenal! He averaged 4.9 yards per carry as he totaled 133 yards on 27 carries and caught 5 of 6 targets for 35 yards. You can expect another big week in week 13 as Mitchell will be in line for another elite workload with teammate WR hybrid Deebo Samuel being inactive. This is significant because in week 12 Samuel rushed for over 60 yards and scored 2 rushing TDs. Mitchell and the 49ers will have an extremely friendly schedule for the fantasy football playoffs. I believe Mitchell will be on a lot of championship-winning rosters.
QB Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Week 11: Jones completed 22 of 26 passing attempts for 207 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and took 3 sacks. The Patriots shut out the Falcons for a 25-0 victory.
Week 12: Jones completed 23 of 32 pass attempts for 310 yards, 2 TDs, with 11 rushing yards. He took 2 sacks but caps off a four-week stretch but completely dominant wins. The Patriots’ defense is playing out of their minds and as long as Jones continues to prevent turnovers, the Patriots could be in a solid position to make a playoff run. Jones continues to demonstrate that he is a franchise QB for New England. He has produced to be more of a safe floor QB2 option, but what he certainly has going for him is career longevity with job security which is an extremely valuable trait in Super Flex dynasty leagues.
QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 11: Lawrence completed 16 of 25 pass attempts for 158 yards, gained 23 yards on 3 attempts, but took 3 sacks in the lob-sided 20 point loss to the 49ers.
Week 12: Lawrence completed 23 of 42 pass attempts for 228 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int, 1 sack, and gained 39 yards on 5 rushing attempts.
What is encouraging from this two-week sample is Lawrence’s rushing ability. I would not rely on his rushing production as a reason to start him but seeing it in action in a bright spot in an overall murky outlook. Lawrence has tremendous career potential but for fantasy purposes in this season, Lawrence would be best served as a desperation play in Super Flex leagues. I’m looking forward to seeing what Lawrence is capable of with a healthy DJ Chark and Travis Etienne next season.
QB Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Week 11: Inactive against the Dolphins
Week 12: Zach Wilson returned to action after spending several weeks out with a knee injury and was able to lead the Jets to a victory against the Houston Texans despite playing poorly. Wilson completed 14 of 24 pass attempts for 145 yards and 1 INT. He also took 4 sacks but was able to score a rushing TD with a total 3 rushing yards. Wilson remains impossible to start right now in Super Flex leagues but what I am focusing on is his professional development. Getting wins like he did in week 12 is fantastic, but now I want him to limit turnovers and aim to have a positive TD to turnover ratio for the remainder of the season.
QB Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Week 11: Fields, unfortunately, left the contest early due to injury. He was unable to play in the 2nd half with a ribs injury but certainly struggled to produce in the first half. He finished his day completing 4 of 11 pass attempts for 79 yards and gained 23 yards on 4 rushing attempts.
Week 12: Inactive for the Thanksgiving Day game due to the ribs injury sustained in week 12
Fields has held the Questionable tag all week leading up to week 13; even though he is likely to play, he is a difficult player to put into starting lineups with the mostly mediocre fantasy production he has amassed.
RB Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 11: Harris struggled with rushing efficiency but found the end-zone as he gained 39 yards on 12 rushing attempts. He continues to be well-involved in the passing game as he caught 5 of 6 targets for 20 yards.
Week 12: The Steelers’ offense struggled mightily against the Bengals as Najee Harris saw a season-low in touches and overall production. Harris gained 23 yards on 8 rushing attempts and caught 3 of his 5 targets for 14 yards. Better days ahead for the young stud.
There is certainly some cause for concern but ultimately, I believe that Harris will continue to receive elite opportunity share in the Pittsburgh offense; don’t let the recent down week shake your confidence in Harris.
RB Michael Carter, New York Jets
Week 11: Carter was on his way to another strong outing but left the contest early due to an injury that will sideline him for several weeks. He had gained 63 yards on 9 rushing attempts and caught his only target for 2 yards. Carter’s promising rookie campaign will have to be put on hold as he was inactive for week 12 and will likely be out until hopefully the start of the fantasy playoffs. He, unfortunately, may not hold starter consideration until week 15 or 16. He is clearly the guy for the Jets; his future outlook appears quite promising as a low RB2/strong Flex option.
RB Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos
Week 11: BYE WEEK
Week 12: Williams gained 54 yards on 14 attempts with 1 TD and surprisingly led the Broncos in receiving as he caught 3 of 4 targets for 57 yards!
Williams is limited by only his teammate Melvin Gordon; who is having a great season in his own right. Both Gordan and Williams are averaging nearly 15 touches per game, which puts them both into weekly touchdown-dependent Flex options. I don’t foresee this dynamic changing outside of an injury to Melvin Gordon. Thinking beyond this season, Williams has RB1 upside but may realistically be held to RB2 type of production as he splits the rushing workload. He is still only 21 years old!
RB Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots
After his monster breakout performance in week 10 with teammate Damien Harris inactive, Stevenson has returned back down to earth with good but not great fantasy performances. In week 11 he gained 69 yards on 12 carries (5.8 yards per carry!) and caught his only target for 6 yards. In week 12 he gained 46 yards on 9 carries (5.1 yards per carry!) and was unable to haul in his lone target. That makes for straight dominant wins for the Patriots which is a great recipe for success in the running game. The only problem is that Stevenson is splitting time with the talented Damien Harris which will limit Stevenson’s weekly ceiling. Stevenson should be viewed as a league and roster-specific Flex option for the rest of the season.
RB Trey Sermon, San Francisco 49ers
Week 11: With fellow rookie teammate RB Elijah Mitchell being ruled out with a finger injury, Sermon returned to action as the 49ers comfortably beat the Jaguars. Sermon totaled 11 touches; he gained 32 yards on 10 rushing attempts and caught his only target for 23 yards.
WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
Week 11 and Week 12: Two weeks in a row Chase was held to only 3 catches. The Bengals offense has become occupied by a strong rushing attack led by stud Joe Mixon. In the week 11 dominant victory over the Raiders, Chase caught 3 of 6 targets for 32 yards with a TD and gained 8 yards on 2 rushing attempts. In the week 12 blowout victory against the Steelers, Chase caught all 3 of his targets for 39 yards. Chase remains an automatic start in all league formats.
WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Week 11: caught 4 of 6 targets for 61 yards in the big win over the Saints
Week 12: caught 2 of 4 targets for 22 yards in the dreadful offensive effort against the Giants
DeVonta Smith is everything the Eagles have hoped for at this point. Despite two down weeks in a row, he remains a strong starting option for the rest of the season with big-time prospects for your dynasty roster.
WR Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens
Week 11: caught 3 of 6 targets for 29 yards
Week 12: caught 4 of 4 targets for 31 yards
Bateman and the Ravens offense, are coming off two disappointing weeks in a row of poor offensive production. During that span of time Lamar Jackson has thrown 1 TD and 5 INTs, yet somehow managed to win both contests while scoring a total of only 16 points in each matchup. Bateman shouldn’t be considered a starting option outside of the deepest of PPR leagues. His long-term outlook remains optimistic, despite the recent Baltimore offensive struggles.
WR Kadarius Toney, New York Giants
Week 11: After returning from the Bye Week in week 10, Toney was active and churned out a decent PPR performance. He was hard to trust him as a starting option since he held the Questionable tag all week leading up the Monday Night Football contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Toney ended up catching 7 of 12 (!!) targets for 40 yards! He, unfortunately, get banged up during the contest which led to him missing the week 12 contest against Philadelphia. Toney status for week 13 against the Dolphins is still up in the air.
WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
Week 11: In the victory over the Seahawks, Moore led the Cardinals in targets and receptions. Moore caught all 11 (!) targets for 51 yards! The Arizona offense continues to be an annoying situation for the pass-catchers from a fantasy football perspective. A performance like this brings a lot of encouragement for Moore despite having uncertain confidence of when to put him into a starting lineup.
Week 12: BYE WEEK
Moore and the Cardinals return to action as they face the Chicago Bears in week 13.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
Week 11: caught 4 of 4 targets for 18 yards as the abysmal Tim Boyle filled in for Jared Goff
Week 12: caught 4 of 4 targets for 23 yards with Jared Goff back in action for the Thanksgiving Day contest. Only in the deepest of PPR leagues should he be considered a desperation Flex option; St. Brown and the Lions passing attack have a long way to go to achieve fantasy relevance.
TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
Week 11: caught 3 of 5 targets for 29 yards
Week 12: caught 2 of 6 targets for 26 yards
Certainly a disappointing pair of weeks for the promising talent but this is just the way the TE position has shaped up this season. It has been a season of up and down production across the position, but specifically with Pitts; the Falcons have been wildly inconsistent and mediocre at best. Pitts should still be considered a TE1 option for the rest of the season as it will be difficult to fade him considering the scope of the TE position.
TE Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 11: Freiermuth found the end zone which saved his fantasy day despite only totaling 11 receiving yards. He caught 4 of 7 targets in the high scoring loss to the Chargers. The 7 targets are what you should be focused on and encouraged by.
Week 12: Freiermuth found the end-zone again as he caught all four of his targets for 40 yards. Freiermuth has become a light in the darkness of the TE landscape that had been riddled with injuries and inconsistent fantasy output.
Since week 6 Freiermuth is averaging 6.5 targets per game which keeps him as a TE1 option for the rest of the season.
Bring on Week 13!
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Steve Uetz has over 15 years of experience in fantasy football. He enjoys writing fantasy football content and articles. He is very passionate about Auction Leagues. Other than his own fantasy football teams, Steve is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles & Penn State! Steve (@FantasyLadder on Twitter) is very accessible and involved in the Fantasy Football Twitter community! Reach out to him anytime for questions or advice! His primary goal is to help you win your leagues.