Rookie Report 2021 – Week 6
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 6th week of NFL action!
Breakout Performance of the Week
WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Waddle had a glorious breakout performance with fellow veteran WRs DeVante Parker and Will Fuller ruled out. Waddle led the Dolphins in targets and receptions as he caught 10 of his 13 targets for 70 and 2 TDs! Waddle should be considered a FLEX play in all league formats!
Heartbreaking Performance of the Week
WR Kadarius Toney, New York Giants
After having a breakout game in week 5, Toney was widely used as a FLEX option in week 6 but he unfortunately left the game early on due to an ankle injury. He was off to a strong start as he caught all 3 of his early game targets for 36 yards. His status for week 7 is in doubt. Hate to see it.
Welcome to the Series
WR Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens
Welcomes to the series Rashod Bateman! After his core injury that took place during training camp, the anticipation of seeing Bateman in NFL action was growing with each week that his injury status continued to be monitored. In his NFL debut, Bateman tied for the team lead in targets with TE Mark Andrews as he caught 4 of 6 targets for 29 yards. He is a bench stash for now, but his target share from his debut is very encouraging!
WR Nico Collins, Houston Texans
Welcome to the series Nico Collins! After spending some time on IR Collins returned to the field and caught 4 of 6 targets for 44 yards! If Davis Mills can show to be somewhat competent as a passer, Collins will have statistical upside as the Texans will often be playing from behind. Collins is only a bench stash in the deepest of leagues, but a close eye will be kept on his involvement in the offense moving forward!
RB Chris Evans, Cincinnati Bengals
Welcome to the series Chris Evans! Cincinnati’s primary backup RB Samaje Perine was inactive in week 6. In Perine’s absence Evans finished with 7 total touches in the Bengals dominate win over the struggling Detroit Lions. Evans gained 18 yards on 4 rushing attempts and caught all 3 of his targets for 49 yards and a TD! He remains a taxi squad or bench stash for now.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots
Welcome to the series Rhamondre Stevenson! Stevenson played as the backup RB in the wild loss against the Dallas Cowboys. In the backup role, he gained 23 yards and scored a TD on 5 rushing attempts and caught all 3 of his targets for 39 yards! He remains a taxi squad or bench stash but if his passing game involvement remains or increases, he could have sneaky Flex play upside.
QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lawrence led the Jaguars to their first win of the season against the Miami Dolphins. Lawrence had a solid day both professionally and in the fantasy realm. Lawrence didn’t commit any turnovers and completed 25 of 41 pass attempts for 319 yards and 1 TD. He gained 11 yards on 2 rushing attempts and took 2 sacks. Lawrence and the Jags have their bye week in Week 7.
QB Mac Jones, New England Patriots
In the wild OT contest against the Cowboys, Jones played pretty despite committing 2 turnovers. He completed 15 of 21 passing attempts for 229 yards, with 2 TDs, 1 INT, took 2 sacks and had a lost fumble. Jones has been a steady and mostly efficient, but not a statistically prolific Quarterback. Jones is hard to get into starting lineups outside of deep Super Flex leagues but is absolutely worth holding or acquiring since he is showing the upside and capacity of a franchise QB.
QB Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Fields and the Bears lost to their division rival Green Bay Packers. Fields had his rushing upside on display as he gained 43 yards on 6 rushing attempts but continues to underwhelm in fantasy realm as a thrower. Fields completed 16 of 27 pass attempts for 174 yards, with 1 TD and 1 INT, and took 4 sacks. Expectations will need to continue to be managed for Fields as the Bears face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 7.
QB Davis Mills, Houston Texans
Following the competitive outing in week 6, the Texans relapsed and fell back into their old habits of being a putrid offense. Mills struggled and failed to lead the Texans to a TD scoring drive as they lost to the Colts 31-3. Mills completed 29 of 43 pass attempts for 243 yards, with 2 INTs, and took 2 sacks. Mills is not a starting option for fantasy even with the bye week apocalypse of week 7.
RB Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
Harris has become everything that we hoped for and more! He totaled 30 touches (!) in the OT victory over the Seahawks. He gained 81 yards on 24 rushing attempts and caught 6 of 7 targets for 46 yards and a TD! Harris remains a locked and loaded RB1 after the Steelers return from the bye in week 7!
RB Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos
Williams totaled 14 touches in the losing effort against the Raiders. He was an efficient runner as he gained 53 yards on 11 rushing attempts and caught all 3 of his targets for 15 yards. Due to the 50-50 Denver backfield workload split with Melvin Gordon, Williams looks to be a touchdown dependent Flex option.
RB Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
Herbert had a strong showing as he had the backfield all to himself against the Packers. Herbert handled 100% rushing share among Chicago RBs as he gained 97 yards with a TD on 19 attempts! He also caught 2 of 3 targets for 15 yards. The 21 total touches Herbert handled may decrease in week 7 as the Bears face the Buccaneers. Herbert will remain a Flex option since veteran RB Damien Williams’ week 7 status remains uncertain.
RB Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers
Despite being Questionable for the majority of the week, Christian McCaffrey was eventually placed on IR. Hubbard handled the primary workload amongst Carolina RBs but his total touches were down from 29 in week 5 to 17 in week 6. He gained 61 yards and 1 TD on 16 rushing attempts and caught 1 of 3 targets for 4 yards. Hubbard is a must-start option for the remainder of McCaffrey hamstring injury rehab.
WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
Chase continues to impress as he caught 4 of 6 targets for 97 yards, including a game-long 53-yard reception! His targets were limited to 6 since the Bengals were in such control of this game against the Lions they did not need to throw the ball. He is a stud and he is a weekly must start!
WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Smith and the Eagles as whole, disappointed in the Thursday night football contest against the tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Smith only caught 2 of 4 targets for 31 yards. The Eagles offense has some soul-searching to overcome but better days are certainly ahead for Smith!
WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
Moore continues to be involved in the Arizona offense but not quite enough for fantasy usage. Moore 6 total touches, he gained 10 yards on 3 rushing attempts and caught 3 of 4 targets for 16 yards. The Arizona Cardinals are the last remaining undefeated team with a crowded house of offensive weapons. This is fantastic for the Cardinals real life success but is certainly inconvenient for the fantasy realm. Moore is a good and fun player but at this point is a strong bench stash.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
St. Brown was a bit disappointing for fantasy purposes in the losing effort against the Bengals. St. Brown caught 5 of 7 targets for 26 yards. St. Brown remains a bench stash and faces tough competition in week 7 as the Lions face the Los Angeles Rams.
WR Dyami Brown, Washington Football Team
In the projected game script friendly contest against the Chiefs, Brown caught 3 of 6 targets for 30 yards. He remains a taxi squad or bench stash, I will be looking closely at Brown target share in the Washington offense as veteran Curtis Samuel continues to miss time.
TE Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
In the OT victory over the Seahawks, Freiermuth finished 2nd on the team in receptions as he caught all 7 of his targets for 58 yards! Freiermuth comfortably enters starter consideration in the murky TE waters of the fantasy realm. We will have to wait a week to see him again, as the Steelers are one of the 6 team on bye in week 7.
Bring on Week 7 and good luck navigating the Bye week apocalypse!
Follow me on Twitter @FantasyLadder for any further fantasy football discussion, questions, or advice!
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.