NFL Rookie Tracker Week Two

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NFL ROOKIE TRACKER WEEK TWO

Welcome to week two of the rookie tracker – THE DUMPSTER FIRE EDITION!

This was not a stellar week for the 2017 NFL Rookie class! Many of last weeks studs took a step back from their performance in week one, and there were very few high end Fantasy performances. So without further ado, lets take a journey inside the box scores and the game film and analyse what happened.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

Kareem Hunt – Running Back – Kansas City Chiefs

The third rounder out of Toledo put the Chiefs on his back and carried them past his coach Andy Reid’s old squad, the Philadelphia Eagles. This one wasn’t without it’s bumps in the road though. Hunt only had seven rushing yards at the half,and he only had 13 carries in total as the Chiefs seemingly went away from their own script. Hunt only caught three passes for 28 yards on three targets this week after being a bigger part of the pass game in week one. The positives were that he broke free for a sensational 57 yard score in the third quarter, and helped to seal the game with a leg churning second effort score. If however you want to temper expectations, there are reasons to be negative. 13 carries is not what you want to see from someone you are locking in as an RB1 going forward, nor are the three passing game targets. This wasn’t an all you can eat performance like his week one break out against the Patriots, this was more a talented player making good on the 18 total touches he received. From a pure tape watching stand point, Hunt looks solid across the board. Strong,decisive runner, adequate in pass protection and a sure handed receiver, but I’m still not ready to put him up there with premium talents like Todd Gurley, David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliott just yet.

NOTABLE PERFORMERS

Evan Engram – Tight End – New York Giants

I put Engram in this section last week when he basically did nothing, so you had to know he was going in here after hauling in his first career touchdown. In week one against Dallas I felt that Eli left production for Engram on the field. Engram stood wide open on three or four occasions and the ball never came his way as the Dallas defense hurried and hit Manning on almost every snap. This week however, Engram was able to bring in four of seven targets for 49 yards and a touchdown. Engram has 12 targets through his first two career games, which is pleasing volume for a rookie as tight ends are traditionally slow starters. I’m extremely optimistic that this kind of volume can continue for a few reasons, but the main one being that Brandon Marshall looks washed up! Even when Odell Beckham Jr returns to full go, I’m confident that the rookie out of Ole Miss can stay involved in an offense which surely has better days ahead and outplay the veteran, Marshall. Another big reason I like Engram in year one is the fact that he has very little blocking responsibility and can go out there and play as basically an orthodox wide receiver….The Giants just can’t run the Football, and I see this as a high volume passing offense going forward. They are in an 0-2 hole and they need to let the ball fly.

Taywan Taylor – Wide Receiver – Tennessee Titans

I told you this week was rough! That is not meant as a slight on Taywan Taylor in any way, for the record, but he caught one pass for a 48 yard gain and made the list of notable performers. It was notable because he beat A.J Bouye handily down the sideline and laid out for a spectacular grab of a slightly overthrown deep ball from Marcus Mariota, in a play that basically broke open a game that was utterly dire in the first half. Taylor was also notable for the fact that he had a few carries out of the backfield as the Titans mixed up the gameplan, and he was also notable because veteran free agent Eric Decker looked bad, and fifth overall pick Corey Davis left the game with another hamstring injury. Keep an eye on Taylor in the next few weeks, he’s a talented player with an opportunity to be a big part of an ascending offense.

Chris Carson – Running Back – Seattle Seahawks

Carson was a seventh round pick in last April’s draft and was expected to have a tough task making the 52 man roster at the end of training camp. Pre season came and as the games went by Carson looked more and more like the most effective back on the Hawks roster. Thomas Rawls seems to be constantly ailing, Eddie Lacy is Eddie Lacy and guys like Mike Davis and Alex Collins fell away, leaving the OK State product with a clear shot at some carries. If you were smart and grabbed him in the pre season, he was basically free, if you picked him up on waivers this week he probably cost you a large chunk of your waiver budget. Carson took over the job in week two, parlaying 20 carries into 93 rushing yards and out snapping Thomas Rawls 51 to 16. Carson won’t do much in the passing game, but he is a decisive, one cut runner with a no nonsense, head down style that is a perfect fit for this offense. Should the offense get on track (and I believe it will), Carson has 8/10 touchdown upside in my opinion should he continue to get the same amount of work. Eddie Lacy was a healthy scratch against the Niners and Rawls continues to be a liability health wise, at this moment everything is pointing upwards for Carson, the 249th overall pick in the draft.

DeShaun Watson – Quarterback – Houston Texans

Let’s not sugar coat this, Watson was awful in week two, but this is a Fantasy Sports website and we are most interested in what the players fantasy score is at the end of the game. From a passing stand point, Watson made one read all game, and basically force fed DeAndre Hopkins no matter the coverage (smart), where he made his Fantasy bones though was as a runner! His weaving, video game-esque 48 yard score was the difference between the Bengals and Texans in this Thursday night tilt and that score alone netted you 10 fantasy points in standard scoring. Where Watson’s value lies is his high floor in Fantasy, if he can get it together as a passer he will be a very good Fantasy QB. How long that will sustain him in reality is another debate altogether, but the first time he has a multiple passing touchdown game, I’d be testing the trade waters with everyone in my dynasty that is QB needy. Watson has a high Fantasy floor and potentially high ceiling, his skill set is Fantasy friendly, but so was Tim Tebow’s.

WEEK TWO DUDS

John Ross – Wide Receiver – Cincinnati Bengals

This is very harsh on Ross, as he was barely involved in the game on his pro debut. He fumbled on a twelve yard end around in the first quarter and was benched for the rest of the game in favour of second year UDFA Alex Erickson. The Bengals spent a luxury first round pick on a Ferrari and put it back in the garage after one bump in the road. The sooner this offense gets out from under the old school approach of Marvin Lewis, the better. I still feel good about owning Ross in Dynasty, but he is a risky play on a team that has zero offensive momentum, yet they are still willing to bench him after one indiscretion. Monitor how the Bengals go under their new OC Bill Lazor before you put him in a lineup again.

Leonard Fournette – Running Back – Jacksonville Jaguars

From the notable performers to the duds in the space of a week, Fournette was not good in week two. The Jaguars got absolutely boat raced by the Titans, and game script dictated that they went away from the run in the second half. The Jags defense also did not show up in this game,and their offense (Blake Bortles) is not built to play from behind. None of these negatives reflect on Fournette as a player, but the way in which they were handled in this game has soured me on him as an every week stud, though he did save his fantasy day with a goal line score. When I watched this game, I kept hearing the Comms say that they just loved how Fournette “looked for contact”, in my opinion he ran into defensive linemen and picked up shorter gains after that contract, rather than being patient and decisive and waiting for holes to develop. It may be that the Jags offensive line isn’t good and the holes aren’t there, but if Fournette continues to play with the abandon that he did on Sunday he won’t hold up over the season and his Fantasy days will be tough sledding. I still feel good about owning the player, and I still feel good about firing him up in my lineups from week to week, but my expectations of him being a match up proof stud took a hit this week. I’d be sorely tempted to take a crack at one of the elite backs in a trade scenario, but you have plenty of time to think about that as it would take a monumental fall from grace to knock Fournette’s trade value.

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