Rookie Report 2021 – Week 14 and 15
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.
As I took a look back on the 14th and 15th weeks of NFL action, I gave each of the most notable rookies a report card grade for their efforts.
Trevor Lawrence: D
Lawrence led the Jaguars to two more losses over week 14 and 15. During that span he averaged 215.5 passing yards, didn’t score a single touchdown, threw for 4 INTs (all in week 14), and averaged taking 3 sacks per game.
The only positive aspect of Lawrence’s rookie season outlook is the firing of head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer’s coaching tenure with the Jaguars was one of the worst, if not the worst, in NFL history. I am still confident that Lawrences’ future is bright, but the head coach vacancy will make for an extremely intriguing NFL off-season story line.
Zach Wilson: D
Wilson led the Jets to two more losses over weeks 14 and 15. During that span he had an equal amount of TDs scored and turnovers committed (1 each) with 9 sacks taken. His rushing ability has been the lone bright spot as he had 4 rushing attempts in both weeks: week 14 – 4 attempts/33 yards, week 15 – 4 attempts/12 yards/1 TD.
While the rushing is encouraging it still isn’t enough to lift his fantasy points floor much as his passing game continues to be abysmal. Week 14 he totaled 202 passing yards and in week 15 he totaled 170 yards.
Justin Fields: B+
Fields led the Bears to two more losses over week 14 and 15. Why does Fields earn a B+? He earns it because of his passing and rushing production despite the losses. In Week 14 he threw for 224 passing yards, with 2 TD and 2 INTs, he unfortunately lost a fumble and took 2 sacks, BUT gained 74 rushing yards on 9 carries, In Week 15 he threw for 285 passing yards, 1 TD, he gained 35 rushing yards on 7 carries, but unfortunately lost a fumble and took 3 sacks.
He averaged 20 fantasy points per game over those two weeks; he is becoming a weekly floor play because of his rushing ability. He is looking to be the next cheat code fantasy quarterback asset in the mold of Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray.
Mac Jones: B
Jones and the Patriots got some well-deserved rest with the late week 14 bye week but returned to action with a loss in week 15. Jones earned a grade of a B here as he continues to have good but not great outings. Jones threw for 299 yards completing 26 of 45 pass attempts with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. He gained 12 rushing yards and took 1 sack in the loss to the Colts. The Patriots remain in prime position to earn a spot in the postseason which will cement Jones as the franchise QB for the Patriots which is very valuable for his future fantasy prospects.
Davis Mills: C+
In week 13 Mills took over for veteran Tyrod Taylor as he was benched for performing poorly. Mills was declared the starter for the remainder of the season by Texans head coach David Culley. Over the last 2 weeks Mills tallied one win and one loss.
In the loss against the Seahawks threw for 331 passing yards with 1 TD which was good enough for a 20-point fantasy performance. In week 15 he led the Texans to their second win of the season against the lowly Jaguars as he threw for 209 passing yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT.
Mills is essentially playing for the opportunity to continue as the Texans starter in 2022. The question remains if his performances will be good enough to convince the team to avoid drafting a QB with their prime draft position in the 2022 draft.
Najee Harris: B+
Harris is having a phenomenal rookie season as expected but faced a bit of a rollercoaster of fantasy output over the last two weeks. In week 14 he boasted his best fantasy performance of the season followed by his worst in week 15.
He remains involved in the Steelers’ passing game as he averaged 4 targets per game and continues to handle an elite rushing workload except for week 15 where he only handled 12 carries. That 12 carry 18-yard week 15 performance was painful to endure but it is obvious that was an outlier in a negative sense.
You should have full confidence in Harris for the rest of the season!
Javonte Williams: A
Williams continued his hot streak as the Broncos had a dominant victory over the lowly Lions in week 14. He handled 16 total touches; he gained 73 yards with a TD on 15 carries and caught 1 of 2 targets for a 10-yard TD.
His workload was maintained in week 15 as the Broncos fell to the Bengals. In Week 15 he handled 19 total touches gaining 72 yards on 15 carries (4.8 yards per carry) and caught all four of his targets for 9 yards.
Williams is a must start RB option for the rest of the season and is becoming everything we had hoped for as a rising star!
Michael Carter: F
Michael Carter was designated to return from IR in week 15, so I considered him a full-go for your starting lineup if he was officially declared active. Carter was active for gameday and veteran RB teammate Ty Johnson was a surprise inactive, so I had high hopes for Carter.
Carter disappointed with an 8 carry 18-yard performance. What was even worse was that the Jets scored two rushing TDs from inside the 5-yard line; one was scored by QB Zach Wilson and the other was scored by veteran wide receiver Braxton Berrios.
What made matters worse was that Carter typically makes his fantasy day through the passing game, but he only caught 1 of 2 targets for 2 yards. Week 15 was a brutal week of injuries, covid outbreaks and abysmal statistical performances; Carter was unfortunately in good company for week 15.
Rhamondre Stevenson: D
Stevenson and the Patriots were finally on Bye in week 14 but returned to action in week 15 with a loss against the Colts. Stevenson earned the grade of a D for week 15 since his game from a fantasy perspective was a massive let down. Fellow Patriot RB Damien Harris was ruled Out for the contest which gave Stevenson the opportunity to be the lead back. In this game the Patriots were playing from behind for most of the game and Stevenson unfortunately only gained 40 yards on 11 total touches.
Chuba Hubbard: C
In week 13 the Panthers were on Bye but leading up to the Bye week RB stud Christian McCaffrey was placed on season-ending IR giving rookie Chuba Hubbard the presumed lead back responsibilities. In week 14, Hubbard score a TD to save his fantasy day but overall inefficient as he gained 33 yards on 10 carries (including one rushing attempt that resulted in a 17-yard gain) without any receiving targets. Hubbard disappointed in a good matchup but then was expectedly bad in week 15 against the Buffalo Bills. He totaled 9 touched with improved rushing efficiency as he gained 40 yards on 8 carries and caught his only target for 1 yard.
Ja’Marr Chase: B
Similar to Najee Harris, weeks 14 to 15 was rollercoaster of output. In week 14 Chase has another strong outing as he caught 5 of 7 targets for 77 yards and 2 TDs and gained 6 yards on his lone rushing attempt. In week 15, Chase only caught 1 of his 4 targets for a pathetic 3 yards.
Despite the week 15 let down, it is beyond clear that Chase is rising superstar and the number pass-catching target for the Bengals. Chase should be cemented as a WR1-high WR2 option for the rest of the season and beyond!
DeVonta Smith: C
In week 14 Smith and the Eagles finally enjoyed some rest while on the bye week but returned to action in week 15 against the Washington Football. In the Eagles victory, Smith underwhelmed with a 3 catch (on 5 targets) 40-yard performance with an impressive toe-tapping sideline reception. Smith is the clear WR1 in Philadelphia, and should be considered a strong Flex option for the rest of season despite the inconsistent fantasy output.
Rashod Bateman: C
Bateman must’ve found himself on the same rollercoaster ride as Ja’Marr Chase as he had a strong week 14 outing followed by a disappointing week 15 outing. In week 14, Bateman caught 7 of 8 targets for 103-yard effort.
Unfortunately, in week 15 with Lamar Jackson unable to suit up, backup QB Tyler Huntley only targeted Bateman twice as he only had one 5-yard catch. Bateman is tricky to trust for your fantasy playoff matchups, but you should be encouraged by the big picture.
Amon-Ra St. Brown: A+
St. Brown stays hot from his week 13 breakout performance with two consecutive 8-catch games in which he earned 10+ targets.
In Week 14 he totaled 8 catches on 12 targets for 73 yards in the tough loss to the Broncos which was followed by a Detroit upset victory against the Cardinals where he totaled 8 catches on 11 targets for 90 yards and 1 TD with 5 rushing yards!
I suggest you ride the wave and enjoy what the production coming from St. Brown while you can!
Kyle Pitts: B+
Pitts displayed consistent and solid (for Tight Ends) production in consecutive weeks. In week 14 he caught 5 of 6 targets for 61 yards and in week 15 caught 4 of 7 targets for 77 yards! With the current state of the Tight End position, Pitts was already locked in as a starter, but confidence is on the rise after his continued display of consistent production.
Pat Freiermuth: B
Freiermuth continues to be a delight given the state of the Tight End position across the league. In week 14 he caught 2 of 3 targets for 32 yards and 1 TD. Freiermuth was very close to having a second TD in that wild comeback effort against the Vikings in Thursday Night football showdown! He was in position to catch a TD as the 4th quarter clock was winding down but was understandably unable to haul in the pass through the heavy defensive traffic and contact in the end-zone.
In week 15 he caught all 4 of his targets for 37 yards but unfortunately left the contest early due to suffering a concussion. This will leave him questionable for week 16; it would be best to seek out a backup plan in anticipation of his absence. However, if he is active on gameday I would feel confident with him as a borderline TE1 option.
Bring on week 16!
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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.