Rookie Report 2021 – Week 4
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 4th week of NFL action!
QB Trevor Lawrence
Lawrence had a very solid outing in the close loss to the Bengals during the Thursday Night Football primetime contest. He completed 17 of 24 passing attempts for 204 yards, gained 36 yards on 8 rushing attempts, and took only one sack. He scored a rushing TD and didn’t commit any turnovers! I hope this good personal progress isn’t hindered by the off the field distractions from head coach Urban Meyer.
QB Zach Wilson
Wilson got his first career win as the Jets stunned the Titans. Wilson completed 21 of 34 passes for 297 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, while taking 1 sack. Wilson will have another opportunity to earn a win against the defensively challenged Atlanta Falcons as the NFL kicks off the series of games played in London!
QB Mac Jones
In the most anticipated game of the week, and perhaps the season at this point, Jones played well in the close loss against Tampa Bay as Tom Brady made his return to Gillette stadium. Jones completed 31 of 40 pass attempts for 275 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, and took 4 sacks. Jones may have some QB2 appeal in Super Flex leagues once the bye weeks begin but for now, if he is on your dynasty roster(s), you have to feel good about his progress overall at this point.
QB Justin Fields
Fields got his first career win in a mostly unimpressive statistical performance. He completed 11 of 17 pass attempts for 209 yards, 1 Int, 1 sack taken, and gained 9 yards on 3 rushing attempts. Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy announced that Fields would be the starter moving forward which is an expected decision, but still an exciting one!
QB Trey Lance
Lance entered the game for the injured veteran starter Jimmy Garoppolo and certainly made the most of his opportunity! In limited game action, Lance completed 9 of 18 pass attempts for 157 yards and 2 TDs. He only took 1 sack and gained 41 yards on 7 rushing attempts. Lance will take over as starter as Garoppolo rehabs his injury; his first career start will be on the road against the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
QB Davis Mills
Mills and the Texans had a game to forget as they got demolished by the Buffalo Bills. In the 40-0 loss on the road, Mills only completed 11 of 21 pass attempts for 87 yards with 4 INTs and 3 sacks. Woof. This was a tough matchup for sure, but a massive step back after looking serviceable in the loss to the Panthers the week before. It is just going to be a long season for Mills and the Texans.
RB Najee Harris
Harris had another game with the desired and expected volume of a true RB1 with 21 total touches. He improved with efficiency as he gained 62 yards on 15 carries and caught 6 of 7 targets for 29 yards! Harris remains an RB1 in all formats especially with his involvement in the passing game!
RB Javonte Williams
In the tough loss to the Ravens, Williams performed well in his near equal share of the workload with veteran Melvin Gordon. Williams totaled 10 touches to Gordon’s 11; he gained 48 yards on 7 carries and caught all 3 of his passes for 11 yards. Williams remains in FLEX appeal in deep leagues but will have increased appeal as the bye weeks approach.
RB Trey Sermon
Sermon played the role of the workhorse back as he totaled 89 yards on 19 attempts. He was not targeted in the passing game but was mostly efficient as a runner. The running back carousel continues in San Francisco, but Sermon did well with his opportunity. It would be best to monitor Elijah Mitchell’s injury situation as that gave Sermon the big role, but Sermon remains at least a hold on your bench in redraft leagues.
RB Michael Carter
Carter was inefficient again but did score a TD as he gained 38 yards on 13 rushing attempts. He is the clear lead running back in the offense, which is good, but the Jets remain a struggling team as a whole which will limit the upside at the running back position.
RB Chuba Hubbard
Hubbard performed decently well in place of superstar teammate Christian McCaffrey. He totaled 15 touches; he caught both of his targets for 14 yards and gained 57 yards on 13 rushing attempts. For the second week in a row, Hubbard averaged over 4 yards per carry15 touches is enough to be considered a FLEX play for week 5 lineups if McCaffrey remains out.
RB Kenneth Gainwell
Gainwell has been an incredibly pleasant surprise in terms of his overall involvement and consistent role in the Philadelphia offense. He totaled 9 touches and gained 89 total yards and a rushing TD! Gainwell amassed 31 yards on 3 carries and caught 6 of his 8 targets for 58 yards. His role as a pass-catcher and runner while in the red zone has made him an appealing bench stash with weekly FLEX appeal in deep leagues.
WR Ja’Marr Chase
Chase’s TD streak ended but still had a solid game. His 9 targets were good enough to be 2nd on the team, he caught 6 of them and gained 77 yards; including one for 44 yards! Chase continues to be a stud and should be locked in as a starter in all league formats!
WR Jaylen Waddle
Waddle took a step back in his production as he caught 3 of 4 targets for 33 yards. Waddle will certainly benefit from the development of veteran teammate WR Will Fuller being placed on IR following a broken finger. In the short-term, the Dolphins offense may struggle to be consistent enough for fantasy relevance, but Waddle remains an exciting prospect!
WR DeVonta Smith
In the fantasy friendly contest against the Kansas City Chiefs, Smith led the Eagles in targets, receptions, and yards. He finished with a strong performance catching 7 of 10 targets for 122 yards. He even had a long TD pass called back as he stepped out of bounds running down the field. He remains a strong starting option as the Eagles will often find themselves playing catch-up, which we love for our wide receivers such as Smith!
WR Kadarius Toney
Toney showed up in a big way with the absence of veteran teammates Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. Toney led the Giants in targets; he caught 6 of 9 targets for 78 yards! Toney is a raw prospect with unique athleticism, and it is very encouraging to see a performance like when opportunity knocks.
WR Rondale Moore
Moore finds himself in an offense with a lot of mouths to feed. The Cardinals are winning, which is what matters the most, but it is leaving Rondale Moore in an untrustworthy situation for fantasy purposes. Moore caught all 3 of his targets for 28 yards and gained 9 yards on 2 rushing attempts. He is still a bench stash for redraft leagues but may not get FLEX consideration until the bye weeks begin in week 6.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
Welcome to the series Amon-Ra St. Brown! St. Brown finished tied with TJ Hockenson for the Lions leader in targets with 8! He gained 70 yards with a team high 6 catches! The Lions will likely be playing in come from behind situations often, so this performance was encouraging!
TE Kyle Pitts
Pitts finished 2nd on the team in targets with 9! He only caught 4 of them gaining 50 yards! Pitts remains a starter and is progressing steadily but has been consistently involved in the Atlanta offense as expected. In week 5 he will have a unique Boom opportunity as star WR teammate Calvin Ridley will not travel with the team to London.
TE Pat Freiermuth
Freiermuth caught his only target for 11 yards as the Steelers offense continued to struggle.
Bring on Week 5!
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