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Rookie Report Week 16

Rookies are making a big impact in your fantasy playoffs - here is who made the most of their Week 16 opporuntunity!


Bryce Young puts up numbers like a developing rookie quarterback. Aidan O’Connell gets a win with just 62 yards passing, and Tommy Devito gets replaced.

Bryce Young, Panthers

Week 16: 23-35, 312 yards, 2 TDs | 17 yards

2023: 285-479, 2,671 yards, 11 TDs, 9 INTs | 226 yards

Young had his best game in a shootout with the Packers. It’s a good way to end the season. He will be the starter for what I assume is a young offensive mind. As the number one overall pick, he will have a long leash.

The Rest of Week 16

  • Aidan O’Connell, Raiders – 23-35, 62 | -4 yards
  • Tommy Devito, Giants – 9-16, 55 yards
  • Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Browns – 1-2, 6 yards | -5 yards


Week 16 was a reminder about how long the NFL season is. It seemed like each position was locked away with a set leader. CJ Stroud, Bijan Robinson, Puka Nacu, and Sam LaPorta were all the best in their class at their positions. Since then, while the others are running away with their position, Jahmyr Gibbs has caught up to Bijan.

Jahmyr Gibbs, Lions

Week 16: 15 carries, 80 yards, 2 TDs | 4 catches, 20 yards

2023: 154 carries, 872 yards, 9 TDs | 51 catches, 316 yards, 1 TD

Gibbs and Robinson have such different skill sets that I never considered that we would see a legitimate rushing race between them their rookie year or that we might be comparing them their entire careers. Gibbs sits one yard back from Robinson in rushing yards and 57 back in the air. It will be fun to see if he can break 1,000 yards and who ends up on top.

Bijan Robinson, Falcons

Week 16: 12 carries, 72 yards | 7 catches, 50 yards

2023: 185 carries, 873 yards, 4 TDs | 48 catches, 373 yards, 3 TDs

Atlanta has a curious system where sometimes Robinson gets the backfield to himself, and other times he splits with Tyler Allgeier. This week was a split, but Robinson still put up good numbers. If he takes more control of the backfield, the sky’s the limit for him.

Chris Rodriguez Jr., Commanders

Week 16:  10 carries, 58 yards, 2 TDs | 1 catch, 7 yards

2023: 51 carries, 247 yards, 2 TDs | 2 catches, 12 yards

Rodriguez seems more than the plodding back that I stayed away from in rookie drafts. With Antonio Gibson set to hit free agency next year, he’s working his way toward a rotational role in 2024.

Tyjae Spears, Titans

Week 16: 9 carries, 40 yards | 5 catches, 27 yards

2023: 90 carries, 408 yards, 1 TD | 45 catches, 315 yards

As Spears inches closer to 800 total yards, I am reminded about how wrong I was on him. He might have a lead role in a runcentric offense next year, and he is already putting up good numbers. If I am being honest with myself, he is probably my clear RB4 in this class.

The Rest of Week 16

  • Jaleel McLaughlin, Broncos – 6 carries, 37 yards | 4 catches, 30 yards
  • Emari DeMercado, Cardinals – 2 carries, 10 yards | 7 catches, 40 yards
  • Roschon Johnson, Bears – 9 carries, 37 yards | 3 catches, 16 yards
  • Israel Abanikanda, Jets – 9 carries, 43 yards
  • De’Von Achane, Dolphins – 7 carries, 24 yards | 1 catch, 7 yards
  • Chase Brown, Bengals – 4 carries, 16 yards | 2 catches, 8 yards
  • Zach Charbonnet, Seahawks – 2 carries, 0 yards | 1 catch, -4 yards


Nacua has run away with the position this year in what appears to be a very good class. By my count, there were at least fifteen starters drafted this year. The top five this week is completely different from last week’s group.

Puka Nacua, Rams

Week 16: 9 catches, 164 yards, 1 TD

2023: 96 catches, 1327 yards, 5 TDs

Nacua leads all other rookie wide receivers by 500 yards. Overall, he is fifth in yards and tied for seventh in catches. An unbelievable season for a fifth-round pick.

Demario Douglas, Patriots

Week 16: 5 catches, 74 yards

2023: 44 catches, 508 yards

Douglas led Patriots wideouts in targets in Week 16. He has built a very strong season and has been a focal point of the Patriots offense when healthy. This offseason will be full of unknowns for the team, but Douglas should be back as a starting wideout next year.  

Zay Flowers, Ravens

Week 16: 5 catches, 74 yards

2023: 74 catches, 752 yards, 4 TDs

Flowers has been up and down this season. However, overall, his numbers are very solid for a rookie. If Todd Monken stays as offensive coordinator, I expect everyone to be even more comfortable next year.

Marvin Mims, Broncos

Week 16: 3 catches, 63 yards

2023: 19 catches, 350 yards, 1 TD

Mims has had four good games this season and has been nonexistent in the rest. The promise is there for a big career/season, but the consistency isn’t. Mims will end the year with decent numbers for a rookie but didn’t stand out in this class. A new QB takes over in Denver for the last two weeks and then likely next year. It’s unknown what this could mean.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seahawks

Week 16: 6 catches, 61 yards

2023: 59 catches, 602 yards, 3 TDs

The Fantasy community expected big things from Smith-Njigba. While he has had a very good season the big things will have to wait until he can wrestle more target share from DJ Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. His ceiling is exceptionally high.

The Rest of Week 16

  • Rashee Rice, Chiefs – 6 catches, 57 yards
  • Josh Palmer, Bucs – 4 catches, 42 yards
  • Josh Downs, Colts – 6 catches, 39 yards
  • Elijah Cooks, Jaguars – 3 catches, 38 yards
  • Andre Iosivas, Bengals – 4 catches, 36 yards
  • AT Perry, Saints – 1 catch, 35 yards, 1 TD
  • Dontayvion Wicks, Packers – 2 catches, 29 yards, 1 TD
  • Quentin Johnston, Chargers – 2 catches, 29 yards
  • Parker Washington, Jaguars – 2 catches, 19 yards
  • Xavier Hutchinson, Texans – 1 catch, 18 yards
  • Cedric Tillman, Browns – 2 catches, 13 yards
  • Ronnie Bell, 49ers – 1 catch, 12 yards, 1 TD
  • Jonathan Mingo, Panthers – 1 catch, 9 yards
  • Jake Bobo, Seahawks – 1 catch, 8 yards
  • Jason Brownlee, Jets – 1 catch, 8 yards, 1 TD
  • Darius Davis, Chargers – 1 catch, 6 yards


Tucker Kraft is battling to join the top group of tight ends. His landing spot is devastating after seeing his play over the last month. Will Mallory is fighting through a deep tight end group in Indianapolis.

Will Mallory, Colts

Week 16: 4 catches, 47 yards

2023: 16 catches, 188 yards

Mallory must deal with Kylen Granson, Jelanie Woods, Mo Alie-Cox, and Drew Ogletree, but he is still putting up numbers. He is a tough investment long-term because of the Colts’ depth at the position.

Tucker Kraft, Packers

Week 16: 4 catches, 44 yards

2023: 20 catches, 255 yards, 2 TDs

Kraft is closing in on Luke Musgrave’s numbers in far fewer games. It’s tough to imagine what he could be on a team without a clear starting tight end. He could be buried for years in Green Bay.

The Rest of Week 16

  • Payne Durham-Bucs – 1 catch, 25 yards
  • Sam LaPorta-Lions – 3 catches, 18 yards
  • Elijah Higgins, Cards – 2 catches, 17 yards
  • Darnell Washington, Steelers – 1 catch, 8 yards
  • Dalton Kincaid, Bills – 1 catch, 7 yards
  • Luke Schoonmaker, Cowboys – 1 catch, 4 yards

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