ROOKIE WATCH – WEEK 4
By Steve Uetz
The Week 4 headlines were surrounding how the NFL had to manage difficulties with COVID related circumstances. It was another sobering reminder of the issue that we are facing and how good it is to have football as a distraction. Fortunately, games were able to be played; but the tensions of start/sit and free agency were so uniquely high for reasons we have never faced before while playing this wonderful game. Let’s take a look specifically at how the rookies performed during one of the wildest NFL weeks in recent memory.
Big names that did not play this weekend…Chase Young, Michael Pittman, Bryan Edwards, Henry Ruggs, Cam Akers, Jalen Reagor, and Zack Moss did not suit up due to injuries and Chase Claypool did not suit up due to the emergency BYE week designation over necessary COVID related concerns. KJ Hamler didn’t have any catches or targets as he got hurt early in the game on Thursday night and never returned to the field; just another injury to monitor.
QB Joe Burrow: Burrow gets his 1st career win in week 4! His passing efficiency is improving as he completed 25/36 passes for 300 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT. He also tallied 11 yards on 4 rushing attempts. A win and improved efficiency are adding to positive momentum for Burrow, the key now is keeping that consistent week in and week out. He is start worthy in SF leagues and should serve nicely as a bye week/injury replacement in your standard leagues!
QB Justin Herbert: The Chargers had a really promising outing but ultimately fell short as Tom Brady led the Bucs to victory! At one point the Chargers were up 24-7, unfortunately they look like the West coast version of the Atlanta Falcons. Herbert played really well in this game; he completed 20 of 25 passes for 290 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT and surprisingly led the team in rushing for 14 yards on 5 carries. Lead RB Ekeler left the game early and rookie RB Josh Kelley struggled in this contest. Herbert put together a great game despite being outclassed by Brady – welcome to club Herbert, you are officially in good company!
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 19 touches for CEH in the week 4 victory. 16 carries for 64 yards and caught all 3 of his targets for 27 yards! No TDs for the 2nd straight week, but he continues to receive elite usage in an elite offense. CEH remains an RB1 moving forward!
RB Jonathon Taylor: Taylor has a bit of a down week in week 4, although still decently useful with 17 carries for 68 yards and catching his only target for 11 yards. If getting 18 touches is a down week, then things are pretty good! He is still an RB1 moving forward!
RB JK Dobbins: 2 Down weeks in a row for Dobbins, this Baltimore backfield is shaping up to be better for real life football but not ideal for fantasy. Dobbins takes a step back only handling 5 carries for 16 yards and catching 1 of 2 targets for 1 yard. The talent is obvious, the offense is elite, but the opportunity is certainly lacking as it relates to fantasy. Better days ahead for Dobbins!
RB James Robinson: The solidified RB2 for all leagues impresses AGAIN! 21 total touches for over 100 yards is wonderful! He gained 75 yards on 17 carries while catching all 4 of his targets for 32 yards! No TDs this week but the efficient and heavy usage is extremely encouraging. He stays trending up!
RB D’Andre Swift: What a difference a week makes! Swift handled 4 carries for 22 yards and caught all 4 of his targets for 30 yards and 1 TD! 8 touches is an improvement from last week but the Lions RB group continues to be an unideal situation for fantasy! Swift is a dynasty hold; Adrian Peterson will not be in Detroit forever and Detroit seems to prefer Swift to Kerryon Johnson.
RB Antonio Gibson: In Washington’s losing effort Gibson totaled 17 touches, 4 catches for 82 yards (including one for 40 yards!) on 5 targets and rushed 13 times for 46 yards and 1 TD! His usage is fantastic despite this game not being very competitive. This is the 3rd week in a row with a TD scored! He continues to be cemented as a weekly FLEX option; my cautions of the quality of the offense are lessening each week that we can see what he is capable of!
RB Joshua Kelley: Kelley unfortunately struggled mightily in this game. His development went backwards while gaining only 7 yards on 9 carries while losing a devastating fumble. However, he caught all 3 of his targets for 26 yards. His fumble came very late in the 1st half which resulted in a quick Tampa Bay TD cutting the Chargers 24-7 lead to 24-14. The 2nd half then completely belonged to Tampa Bay. Ekeler did leave this game early and based on early reports is likely to be out 4-6 weeks. Kelley has struggled as of late but now he is faced with a nice opportunity to redeem himself in Ekelers’ absence.
RB La’Michal Perine: The Thursday night contest between the Broncos and Jets turned out to be much more entertaining than originally thought. Despite the increased entertainment value, La’Michal Perine still finds himself in a wasteland of fantasy irrelevance. He gained 15 yards on 5 carries and did not receive a target. I may end up sounding like a broken record all year long but for now I will state again that he is a hold for dynasty and we are all hoping for a coaching change to give the Jets offense some juice.
WR Tee Higgins: My oh my, Tee Higgins just keeps doing his thing! In the winning effort, he was second on the team in receiving with 77 yards with 4 catches on 7 targets. He also gained 13 yards on 1 rushing attempt, very nice! Higgins is trending upward in a wonderful way; he is entering FLEX consideration with bye weeks approaching!
WR Justin Jefferson: In Week 4 Jefferson hit the century mark for the 2nd straight week! He caught 4 of 5 targets for 103 yards! For the second straight week the Vikings offense has signs of life, perhaps in part of Jefferson’s involvement in the passing game! He is looking to be a great compliment to Adam Thielen! I consider him to be a deep league FLEX option but with potential to be more! Big time riser!
WR Brandon Aiyuk: Aiyuk continues to be used in unique ways in Kyle Shanahan’s offense! In the losing effort Aiyuk caught 2 of his 5 targets for 18 yards and wowed audiences with a highlight reel 38 yard TD rush! Aiyuk is a deep league FLEX option with potential to be more. An athletic player who is involved in a good offense is a recipe for fantasy success!
WR Jerry Jeudy: Shaky QB play continues for Broncos pass catchers. In the Thursday night contest Jeudy impressed with a 48 yard TD catch early in the game! It was a pretty epic TD for his career first! After the early highlight he only caught one more pass for a total of 2 catches on 4 targets for 61 yards and 1 TD! Jeudy continues to look impressive! Improved QB play has to be coming, right? RIGHT?!
WR CeeDee Lamb: The week 4 contest between the Cowboys and the Browns resulted in 87 points! In the losing effort CeeDee Lamb impressed (AGAIN) catching 5 of 7 targets for 79 yards for 2 TDS! He had accounted for the teams’ biggest reception with one totaling 43 yards! He remains a weekly FLEX in all leagues as the Cowboys continue to turn out massive fantasy friendly performances!
WR Lavishka Shenault: In Jacksonville’s losing effort, Shenault totaled 5 catches on 6 targets for 86 yards and 1 carry for 5 yards. What is encouraging is his role in this offense which he continues to be featured and used in unique ways. You love seeing highly athletic players like Shenault get implemented as such! Currently a deep league FLEX play is trending upward in a big way!
WR Devin Duvernay: The Ravens as a team were dominant against the Washington football team in this contest. Good for them but not so good specifically for Duvernay as he only caught 1 pass for 4 yards on 2 targets. Still a dynasty hold; Duvernay seems to have questionable usage in this elite offense that primarily benefits Lamar Jackson and the general running game. As of now it is hard to see a scenario where we can justify him being in our starting lineups any time soon.
Patrick Queen: Queen exploded for 12 tackles in the winning effort! 33 tackles on the year, Queen is looking like the real deal!
Kenneth Murray: With 10 tackles in this contest his total is now at 33 tackles for the season! Murray is continuing to look as advertised! Murray and Queen are now in a race to see who can out-tackle each other; they are currently tied after 4 weeks…
K’Lavon Chaisson: Only 1 tackle this week, it seems as if the hamstring issues continue to linger. Our eyes are set to the future with Chaisson.
Isaiah Simmons: Simmons tallied only 1 tackle for the 3rd week in row. Patience, patience, patience.
Krys Barnes: Barnes still makes his case that he belongs on the field; he tallied 6 tackles (4 solo) in the MNF dominant defeat of the Atlanta Falcons.
Antoine Winfield: Winfield takes a step back this week while only collecting 2 tackles. No need to panic: DO NOT DROP HIM!
Jeremy Chinn: Chinn ended week 4 with 8 tackles (5 solo) which was good enough to led the team! I told you last week to get him on your roster if you were able to. If you didn’t listen last week hopefully you will this week!
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.