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2020 Rookie Rundown: Week 5

A look at the top-10 rookie performers from Week 5 of the NFL.

Rookie WR1 is also the WR1 in fantasy football this week and the #1 overall skill position player in half-point ppr for Week 5. This is a great week. Unfortunately, while we can be excited about what Chase Claypool did, the rest of the rookie class has fallen off a little from their fast start.

The information provided below is provided from FantasyData.com using their half-point ppr filter.

For this post, quarterbacks are not mentioned.

Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Stats Rushing: 3-6-1
Stats Receiving: 7-110-3 (11 targets)
Snap Share: 69.3%
Weekly Finish: 1 overall (WR1)

Not only was Claypool’s Week 5 performance impressive on the stat sheet, but his performance was also equally creative. The Steelers used him on end around, quick comebacks, and deep down the field. Claypool attacked all areas of the field and was close to a bigger day after the reception was overturned. Even with the emergence of Claypool, we are watching for now is the status of Diontae Johnson and seeing if this target dominance can continue.

Henry Ruggs, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

Stats Receiving: 2-118-1 (3 targets)
Snap Share: 64.3%
Weekly Finish: 16 overall (WR9)

The targets weren’t there, but the speed was. On Ruggs’ touchdown, Derek Carr lofted a ball 30-yards down the field and almost underthrew him. This is the type of explosion Ruggs can provide, similar to Tyreek Hill. Even when the volume isn’t there, he can blow up for a monster game and win weeks.

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Credit: USA Today

Stats Receiving: 8-124-0 (11 targets)
Snap Share: 54.5%
Weekly Finish: 29 overall (WR17)

There isn’t much not to like about Lamb. He plays plenty of snaps, 14.6% of the Cowboys’ targets, and is a reliable target. The tape is just as impressive as the stats. Lamb is lining up primarily in the slot, working both short and deep, and making tough contested catches. In Week 5, Lamb twisted his body and made an amazing catch while taking a crushing hit. On the season, Lamb is currently WR11.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Stats Rushing: 12-57-1
Stats Receiving: 2-17-0 (3 targets)
Snap Share: 55.4%
Weekly Finish: 37 overall (RB16)

Nothing too exciting here. Taylor had a workman performance for the Colts in a game where they were behind and trying to catch up throughout the game.

Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Stats Receiving: 7-79-0 (8 targets)
Snap Share: 69.3%
Weekly Finish: 53 overall (WR25)

With DJ Chark injured in the fourth quarter, Shenault could be the man in Jacksonville for a while. On the tape, this is what we have come to expect from Shenault each week. He was lined up in the backfield and different alignments on the field. As I mentioned before, the ceiling is capped with Shenault even if his target share does begin to creep towards 20%. Gardner Minshew is a limited passer and does not have the arm talent to unlock what Shenault brings to the table.

Collin Johnson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Stats Rushing: 1-23-0
Stats Receiving: 3-30-1 (4 targets)
Snap Share: 30.7%
Weekly Finish: 60 overall (WR29)

Three of the rookie Jacksonville Jaguars are being mentioned in this post, and that should tell you how young and developing this squad is. Stacking three wide receivers to his left, Minshew breaks the pocket, and while the linebacker breaks his coverage, Johnson sneaks behind him to uncover as an easy target for a touchdown. Johnson will be someone to watch since DJ Chark might miss some time, and he provides a big presence in the red zone.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB Kansas City Chiefs

Stats Rushing: 10-40-0
Stats Receiving: 3-40-0 (8 targets)
Snap Share: 59.7%
Weekly Finish: 67 overall (RB24)

There should be a lot of questions around CEH as we move through the season. Specifically, what is the upside for CEH long-term? He does not have elite physical traits, but he should continue to see a decent target share and work on one of the NFL’s best offenses. I find myself asking, what is the cash-out point? Can I leverage CEH into a top rookie pick plus someone who can be a similar contributor on my dynasty team right now? I think the answer is “yes,” and if you can turn CEH into Travis Etienne and a starter, I think we can all agree that is a win.

Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Stats Receiving: 4-62-0 (8 targets)
Snap Share: 80.6%
Weekly Finish: 78 overall (WR42)

Things are opening up nicely for Higgins. John Ross is not a competition for him, and AJ Green injured his hamstring. On film, the connection is strong between Burrow and Higgins, but I wonder what the ceiling is. Higgins is not an exceptional athlete, 101.3 speed score and 114.2 burst score via playerprofiler.com, and, at the moment, has plenty of target competition. I would begin shopping Higgins to someone to see if they would buy on an alpha wide receiver’s potential.

Tyler Johnson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stats Receiving: 4-61-0 (6 targets)
Snap Share: 78.9%
Weekly Finish: 80 overall (WR43)

Many folks are taking victory laps on Tyler Johnson after Week 5, and I would still recommend cautious expectations. Chris Godwin was out, OJ Howard is now on IR, the snap share has been low, and Tom Brady had 41 pass attempts. The tape was also underwhelming on Johnson. He worked mostly in the short and intermediate parts of the field, and most of his yardage was gained from a missed tackle. Johnson is only a name to monitor if injuries continue to pile up in Tampa Bay.

James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Stats Rushing: 13-48-0
Stats Receiving: 5-22-0 (7 targets)
Snap Share: 57.3%
Weekly Finish: 84 overall (RB27)

Building off last week’s post, I am concerned about James Robinson’s long-term value. Right now, he is getting most of the work, but it is empty yardage with little opportunity for touchdowns. Moreover, Robinson doesn’t have the profile I like to buy into high. Robinson will likely end the season with bigger games and better opportunities to cash out. I recommend shopping for him now and set my expectations at a 2021 first-round rookie draft pick.

The Breakdown

RB – 3 (21 total)
– 7 (28 total)
TE – 0 (1 total)

At this point in the season, it is time to start thinking about what all of these performances mean and how we can take advantage of a player’s perceived value now and flip it into something of higher value. Mining market inefficiencies and using recency bias is one of the most valuable tools in our tool kit.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you found any of the information in this article useful, give me a follow on Twitter @TimNFL. More great pieces can be found on the Dynasty Nerds website, and don’t forget to subscribe to the DynastyGM. For the price of a cup of coffee, you can see how your team measures up against your league, find a trade partner, and more. Enjoy seamless integration with MFL, Fleaflicker, Sleeper, as well as manual input for other platforms.

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