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Rookie Report Week 15

The Class of 2023 continues to make noise - here are the top performing rookies in Week 15!

Sam LaPorta has a grip on TE1 in this rookie class, if not the league. Jahmyr Gibbs is battling for RB1, and Jordan Addison is leading the way for WR2 behind Puka Nacua.  It’s the time of year when rookies start popping up out of nowhere, and you can stash them for upside next year.

QUARTERBACKS

With CJ Stroud out, Aidan O’Connell shines. The QB position will be far more interesting this offseason when we see if O’Connell, Will Levis, or Tommy Devito can turn their successes this year into playing time next year.

Aidan O’Connell, Raiders

Week 15: 20-34, 248 yards, 4 TDs

2023: 154-239, 1792 yards, 8 TDs, 7 INTs | 11 yards, 1 TD

The Raiders’ domination of the Chargers got one coach fired and may have put another on a path to losing his interim tag. O’Connell was a huge part of that as he battles to maintain the starting role. Pierce has ties to Jayden Daniels, clouding the picture for 2024.

The Rest of Week 15

  • Will Levis-Titans – 17-26, 199 yards, 1 INT | 25 yards, 1 TD
  • Tommy Devito-Giants – 20-34, 177 yards | 36 yards
  • Bryce Young-Panthers – 18-24, 167 yards | 9 yards

RUNNING BACKS

Gibbs is closing in on Bijan Robinson for the top rookie back this season. Keaton Mitchell had a solid game before an injury ended his season. Emari Demercado bounced back after disappearing since week eight.

Jahmyr Gibbs, Lions

Week 15: 11 carries, 100 yards, 1 TD | 2 catches, 8 yards, 1 TD

2023: 139 carries, 792 yards, 7 TDs | 47 catches, 296 yards, 1 TD

Gibbs is nine yards behind Robinson in rushing and 27 yards behind in receiving. The final three weeks should be a battle for the top rookie back. Gibbs caught his first touchdown of his career, but it won’t be his last.

Keaton Mitchell, Ravens

Week 15: 9 carries, 73 yards | 2 catches, 15 yards

2023: 47 carries, 396 yards, 2 TDs | 9 catches, 93 yards

Mitchell is the biggest surprise at RB for the year. He went from undrafted to barely playing to potential starter and now to injured reserve.

Emari Demercado, Cardinals

Week 15: 4 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD | 1 catch, 6 yards

2023: 56 carries, 274 yards, 2 TDs | 13 catches, 70 yards

Another undrafted free agent. Demercado disappeared from weeks nine to fourteen with a stint on IR. Then he bounced back with a 49-yard TD run. It’s tough to predict what he will be next year in a backfield with James Conner and Michael Carter.

De’Von Achane, Dolphins

Week 15: 9 carries, 32 yards | 3 catches, 30 yards

2023: 71 carries, 612 yards, 7 TDs | 20 catches, 160 yards, 2 TDs

Achane was solid but didn’t have a breakout play in week 15. It’s encouraging that he can still get his points when Mostert is the focus. He is my biggest miss in this class. If he can stay healthy.

The Rest of Week 15

  • Roschon Johnson-Bears – 5 carries, 36 yards | 4 catches, 24 yards
  • Chase Brown-Bengals – 7 carries, 23 yards | 3 catches, 28 yards
  • Tyjae Spears-Titans – 9 carries, 30 yards | 1 catch, 7 yards
  • Chris Rodriguez-Commanders – 10 carries, 35 yards
  • Zach Charbonnet-Seahawks – 4 carries, 16 yards
  • Bijan Robinson-Falcons – 7 carries, 11 yards | 1 catch, 3 yards
  • Israel Abanikanda-Jets – 4 carries, 8 yards | 2 catches, 11 yards
  • Jaleel McLaughlin-Broncos – 2 carries, 2 yards | 2 catches, 16 yards
  • Eric Gray-Giants – 3 catches, 6 yards
  • Tank Bigsby-Jaguars – 1 catch, -2 yards

WIDE RECEIVERS

The Packers’ rookie WR group continues to be solid but confusing. Addison makes his bid for second-best WR in this class, and Rashee Rice gains even more traction as the best WR in Kansas City.

Jordan Addison, Vikings

Week 15: 6 catches, 111 yards, 2 TDs

2023: 62 catches, 824 yards, 9 TDs

Addison’s two-touchdown week happened with Justin Jefferson playing and receiving more targets. It’s unclear what his ceiling is, but his floor is incredibly high, with the ability to put up points with Nick Mullens throwing him the ball.

Dontayvion Wicks, Packers

Week 15: 6 catches, 97 yards

2023: 31 catches, 491 yards, 1 TD

What the Packers have built is equal parts fun and frustrating. Three rookie wide receivers and two sophomore wideouts mixed with two rookie tight ends. Wicks is perhaps the least well-known name in the rotation, but he’s nearing the quietest 500-yard total receiving of any rookie in memory. You can’t count on him because their receiving unit is so muddled, but he is putting up numbers.

Rashee Rice, Chiefs

Week 15: 9 catches, 91 yards

2023: 68 catches, 754 yards, 7 TDs

Rice has three games to get under 250 yards for a 1,000-yard rookie year. He has settled in as Patrick Mahomes number-one receiver, which is a great place to be.

Tre Tucker, Raiders

Week 15: 3 catches, 59 yards, 2 TDs

2023: 11 catches, 220 yards, 2 TDs

I had Tucker on my list of stashes for 2024, but he isn’t under the radar after two touchdowns in Week 15. The Raiders invested a third-round pick in him, but that GM is now gone. He can fall right into a slot role should Hunter Renfrow move on.

Jayden Reed, Packers

Week 15: 6 catches, 52 yards, 1 TD

2023: 54 catches, 592 yards, 6 TDs

The second Packers receiver on the list. Reed faces the same clouded position group as Wicks. Reed was a higher investment and likely a long-term starter in a receiver-friendly offense.

The Rest of Week 15

  • Cedric Tillman-Browns – 4 catches, 52 yards
  • Puka Nacua-Rams – 5 catches, 50 yards
  • Tyler Scott-Bears – 3 catches, 49 yards
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba-Seahawks – 4 catches, 48 yards, 1 TD
  • AT Perry-Saints – 2 catches, 34 yards
  • Quentin Johnston-Chargers – 2 catches, 33 yards, 1 TD
  • Demario Douglas-Patriots – 3 catches, 33 yards
  • Jonathan Mingo-Panthers – 4 catches, 32 yards
  • Malik Heath-Packers – 3 catches, 29 yards
  • Xavier Gipson-Jets – 2 catches, 29 yards
  • Josh Downs-Colts – 3 catches, 19 yards
  • Parker Washington-Jaguars – 4 catches, 12 yards
  • Charlie Jones-Bengals – 2 catches, 10 yards
  • Zay Flowers-Ravens – 1 catch, 7 yards

TIGHT ENDS

LaPorta is TE1, and with Luke Musgrave out, Tucker Kraft shows he could start if he had the position to himself. Elijah Higgins came out of nowhere. From what I can see, four tight ends had solid games, and they were the only ones to nab a catch.

Tucker Kraft, Packers

Week 15: 4 catches, 57 yards, 1 TD

2023: 16 catches, 211 yards, 2 TDs

The Packers’ tight end and wide receiver group is a mess to figure out. Kraft has shown well in Musgrave’s absence showing how important a landing spot can be. Kraft has been the tenth overall tight end in fantasy the past three weeks and the sixth the past two weeks.

Sam LaPorta, Lions

Week 15: 5 catches, 56 yards, 3 TDs

2023: 71 catches, 757 yards, 9 TDs

Anyone who didn’t draft LaPorta is regretting it. He fits so perfectly well into the Lions offense that he is immediately in the mix for TE1.

Elijah Higgins, Cardinals

Week 15: 4 catches, 44 yards, 1 TD

2023: 5 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD

I was high on Higgins when he appeared to have an easy route to snaps in Miami and never expected a day like this would happen in Arizona. He is raw but athletic. He’s probably buried behind Trey McBride, but the upside remains.

Michael Mayer, Raiders

Week 15: 4 catches, 39 yards, 1 TD

2023: 23 catches, 258 yards, 2 TDs

Mayer reached the end zone for the second time this year in the Raiders blowout win. He’s flashed a ton and should be a major weapon for whoever the Raiders play caller is next year.

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