Rookie Report 2021 – Week 16
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 16th week of NFL action, I gave each of the most notable rookies a report card grade for their efforts.
Trevor Lawrence: C
Lawrence earned a C in week 16 because not only the Jaguars lose, but he failed to register a touchdown for the fourth consecutive week. Lawrence completed 26 of 39 passing attempts for 280 yards, took 1 sack and lost 1 fumble. However, he did gain 37 rushing yards on 6 attempts. Not a good game, but not a terrible one either. We are still looking forward to next season and the new head coach search.
Zach Wilson: B+
Wilson led the Jets to a victory over the Jaguars as the top two picks of the 2021 NFL draft squared off. Wilson really shined in the rushing game as he gained 91 yards on rushing attempts; including a 52-yard touchdown run! You love to see the rushing potential come to fruition like this! In the passing game Wilson played it mostly safe but didn’t commit any turnovers as he completed 14 of 22 passing attempts for 102 yards, 1 TD, and took 1 sack.
Mac Jones: D
Jones earned a D in week 16 since he was unable to secure a victory at home against a division rival with what was arguably his worst performance of the season. Jones completed 14 of 32 passing attempts for 145 yards, 2 INTs, and took 1 sack. Despite the tough opponent in the Buffalo Bills successfully seeking revenge from the matchup from three weeks prior, Jones had his best rushing game of the season as he gained 33 yards on 6 attempts. Jones and the Patriots are still in good position for playoff berth, but this was an untimely step back for the young franchise QB.
Davis Mills: A
Mills had a fantastic game as he continues to try to convince the Texans to build around him in the 2022 draft. In the upset victory over the Chargers, Mills (without his top pass-catching weapon in Brandin Cooks) completed 21 of 27 passing attempts for 254 yards, 2 TDs, and took 1 sack. He was able to get fellow rookies WR Nico Collins and TE Brevin Jordan involved as Collins hauled in 3 of 4 targets for 33 yards and 1 TD and Jordan caught all 4 targets for 56 yards.
Najee Harris: B+
Harris once again handled a studly workload as he totaled 24 touches in the lobsided loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Harris gained 93 yards on 19 rushing attempts and caught 5 of 7 targets for 17 yards. Harris is now only 16 rushing yards shy of a 1000-yard season; follow the volume with Harris!
Javonte Williams: C
Williams disappointed in the losing effort against the Raiders as he totaled only 20 yards on 9 touches. He gained 12 yards and a TD on 7 carries and caught both of his targets for 8 yards. The TD saved his day for fantasy, but confidence in him is now a bit shaken for your fantasy football championship as the Broncos offense has struggled mightily with replacement starting QB Drew Lock under center.
Michael Carter: B+
Michael Carter returned to old form in this winning effort against the lowly Jaguars. The only problem is that it came off an abysmal week 15 performance, so coming into this week it would have been hard to trust him in your starting lineup. Carter totaled 18 touches; he gained 118 yards on 16 rushing attempts and caught 2 of 3 targets for 6 yards.
Ja’Marr Chase: A
Joe Burrow was prolific as he exposed the already banged up Ravens secondary to further their quest for not only the playoffs but winning the AFC North. Ja’Marr Chase played a major role in Burrow’s big day as he had another impressively productive game to his glorious rookie season. Chase finished second on the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. Chase caught 7 of 10 targets for 125 yards!
Jaylen Waddle: A+
Waddle dominated in the Monday Night Football victory over the New Orleans Saints. Waddle boasted a 46% (!!) target share as he caught 10 of 12 targets for 92 yards and 1 TD! The Dolphins have now won 7 straight games after a brutal straight to the season, and are now surprisingly competing for a playoff spot.
DeVonta Smith: A
In week 16 Smith bounced back as he led the Eagles in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. He caught 5 of 7 targets for 80 yards and a TD! It would be prudent of the Eagles to keep Smith involved as they make their push to be Wild Card playoff team.
Rashod Bateman: B
Bateman had a solid outing as he played more of an ancillary role in the Ravens passing attack. Veteran and new to the Ravens, 3rd string QB Josh Johnson made the start and connected with Bateman for an early TD. Bateman caught 4 of 5 targets for 26 yards and a TD! His targets, receptions, and yards were all good enough for 4th on the team.
Amon-Ra St. Brown: A+
Another A+ for Amon-Ra; say that 5 times fast! St. Brown dominated in the passing game and was implemented as rusher twice as he gained 19 yards. St. Brown caught 9 of 11 targets for 91 yards and a TD! Even with Jared Goff ruled Out and Tim Boyle as the starting quarterback, St. Brown still had an impressive game!
Joshua Palmer: A
Palmer found the endzone again as he had an uptick in opportunity with veteran Mike Williams being ruled Out. Palmer caught 5 of 6 targets for 43 yards and 1 TD. This was a similar stat line compared to when veteran Keenan Allen missed the week 14 contest as Palmar caught 5 of 7 targets for 66 yards and a TD. Palmer should be stashed in every dynasty league as Mike Williams could be playing for a new contract potentially on a new team.
Kyle Pitts: A
Pitts had a strong outing in the winning effort against the Detroit Lions as he led the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. Pitts caught all 6 of his targets for 102 yards, including one catch for 35 yards!
Bring on week 17!
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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.