Rookie Report 2021 – Week 5
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 performed in the 5th week of NFL action!
QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lawrence had a solid fantasy performance in the losing effort against the Titans. His fantasy day was made due to his rushing ability as he was able to gain 28 yards with a TD on 7 rushing attempts. Through the air, he completed 23 of 33 passing attempts for 273 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT while taking 2 sacks. In Week 6, Lawrence and Jags will face the Dolphins in London!
QB Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Wilson and the Jets struggled offensively once again in the loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Wilson completed 19 of 32 pass attempts for 192 yards, 1 INT, and took 2 sacks. Wilson is a purely wait-and-see type of player while only holding value in Super Flex leagues as an injury/Bye week fill-in. He should be considered a hold as he is a tricky player to trade. I wouldn’t feel comfortable aggressively targeting him via trade and wouldn’t feel comfortable selling low on him either.
QB Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Jones led the Patriots to a surprising come from behind victory against the lowly Texans. Jones completed 23 of 30 pass attempts for 231 yards with 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack, and gained 3 yards on 1 rushing attempt. Jones remains a QB3 option for Super Flex leagues but won’t be particularly appealing to get into starting lineups unless you are desperate with injuries or bye week trouble.
QB Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Fields and the Bears got their 2nd win in a row but were able to do so without a sexy stat line. Fields completed 12 of 20 pass attempts for 111 yards, 1 TD, 2 sacks, and gained 4 yards on 3 rushing attempts. You can’t put Fields into your lineups yet but he is starting and he is winning which are extremely encouraging steps in the early stage of his career.
QB Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
Lance’s first career start resulted in a loss against the undefeated Arizona Cardinals. He underwhelmed as a passer as he completed 15 of 29 pass attempts for 192 yards, 1 INT, and 2 sacks. However, what really stood out was that he 89 yards on 16 rushing attempts! The 49ers are on bye in week 6, so it is unclear who will be the starting QB in week 7, but if Lance gets the start he will have the rare and coveted rushing floor baked into his weekly upside.
QB Davis Mills, Houston Texans
Mills bounced back with a really strong performance in the tough loss to the Patriots. Mills completed 21 of 29 pass attempts for 312 yards, 3 TDs, 3 sacks, but no turnovers! Mills doesn’t present much use for fantasy purposes at this time, but that will change if he can string a couple of performances like this together!
RB Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
Harris totaled 25 touches in the winning effort against the Broncos! The volume continues to be remarkable, but what is even better is that his efficiency has improved for the 2nd week in a row. He gained 122 yards on 23 rushing attempts and caught 2 of his 5 targets for 20 yards! Harris is locked and loaded as an easy RB1 rest of season.
RB Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos
The split backfield in Denver remains, but in this contest, Javonte Williams was the more productive and efficient runner. Williams and Gordon both handled 11 total touches. Williams gained 61 yards on 8 rushing attempts and caught all 3 of his targets for 25 yards. Williams will remain a Flex option for all league types!
RB Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
Mitchell returned to action as he resumed his role as the primary running back of the 49ers offense. In his return, Mitchell gained 43 yards on 9 carries and caught both of his targets for 19 yards. Fellow rookie Trey Sermon was a complete afterthought as he only handled 1 rushing attempt for 7 yards. 11 touches for Mitchell suggests that he won’t be any more than a Flex option when the 49ers return from the bye week in week 7.
RB Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
In David Montgomery’s absence, all eyes were on Damien Williams to fill in but questions lingering regarding Herbert’s role in the offense. In the win against the Raiders, the Bears ran the ball 37 times! A major surprise was that Khalil Herbert led the team in rushing attempts as he gained 75 yards on 18 carries! Veteran Damien Williams will miss week 6 as he was placed on the Covid/Reserve list. A potential big workload is in store for Herbert; he gets immediate Flex appeal against the Packers.
RB Michael Carter, New York Jets
Carter scored his second touchdown of the season as he continues to lead the Jets in running back opportunities. His rushing efficiency improved from previous weeks as he gained 38 yards on 10 rushing attempts and caught all 3 of his targets for 20 yards. Carter has low-end FLEX appeal in deeper leagues but will ultimately have a capped ceiling as he is part of an overall struggling offense. Carter and the Jets will be on Bye in week 6.
RB Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers
In Christian McCaffrey’s extended absence, Hubbard was given an elite workload as he handled 29 touches! He gained 101 yards on 24 rushing attempts and caught 5 of 6 targets for 33 yards. Hubbard remains in starter consideration if McCaffrey continues to be inactive for gameday.
RB Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles
Gainwell took a step back in his usage in the winning effort against the Panthers. He only handled 2 carries gaining 16 yards and caught 1 of his 3 targets for 8 yards. He still holds low-end FLEX appeal in deep leagues despite the down statistical and usage performance in week 5.
WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
Chase bounced back as he led the Bengals in targets, receptions, and yards! He caught 6 of 10 targets for 159 yards and scored another TD! He scored his 5th TD of the season with on a beautiful 70-yard gain! Chase is a certified stud!
WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Waddle had a 2nd down week in a row as he was only able to haul in 2 of his 6 targets for 31 yards and gained 2 yards on his lone rushing attempt. What is encouraging is that Waddle is still commanding a healthy dose of targets, but it is becoming difficult to get Waddle into starting lineups. It’s a shame he has not been able to make the most of his opportunities with Will Fuller being inactive.
WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Another week, another game that Smith led the Eagles in targets, receptions, and receiving yards! Smith caught 7 of 9 targets for 77 yards. He remains in starter consideration in all league formats!
WR Kadarius Toney, New York Giants
Welcome to Kadarius Toney breakout week! In a dream of a game script for Toney, he totaled an insane 10 catches on 13 targets for 189 yards! Toney made the most of his opportunity with the absence of veterans Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. Now with Kenny Golladay banged up, Toney could repeat as the primary pass-catching weapon in the Giants’ offense. Expectations should be limited as Daniel Jones has a chance to miss week 6, although he was out for most of the week 5 contest. Toney could be slotted in as a Flex option in deep leagues!
WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
Moore totaled 8 touches in the winning effort against the 49ers. Moore caught 5 of 6 targets for 59 yards and led the team in rushing as he gained 38 yards on 3 rushing attempts. Moore had one of the best catches of the week with an incredible toe-tap catch of the sideline; check it out if you haven’t yet! Moore has deep league Flex appeal but expectations should be managers as the Cardinal offense has a lot of mouths to feed.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
In another devastating Detroit Lions loss, St. Brown lead the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. He totaled 7 catches on 8 targets for 65 yards! Fellow WR teammate Quintez Cephus broke his collarbone in this game; this unfortunate news will give St. Brown an immediate path to increased target share which will give some deep league FLEX appeal in order to navigate through injuries and bye weeks.
TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
The breakout game finally happened! Pitts made the most of his opportunity to shine as veteran teammate pass-catchers Calvin Ridley and Russel Gage did not make the trip to London. Pitts had a glorious performance as he led the Falcons in targets, receptions, and receiving yards! He caught 9 of 10 targets for 119 yards and 1 TD! The Falcons are on Bye in week 6 but Pitts should continue to be considered a weekly must-start TE!
Bring on Week 6!
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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.