Each week I will take a look at how some of the rookies performed and what impact that makes on their dynasty stock. I will look at the snap counts and if the player is being productive with the opportunity. What is the cost to acquire the player? Do I think the player will be productive going forward or just had a good week?
Let’s look at the Week 5 rookies.
Kenny Pickett, QB Pittsburgh Steelers
“Here you kid, good luck.” What else can you say about a rookie quarterback getting his first start against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Growing Pains plan is activated.
Pickett continued to show good chemistry with fellow rookie George Pickens. Dionte Johnson had an inefficient 13/5/60/0 stat line and Chase Claypool had nine targets. With Tampa, Miami, and Philadelphia the next three up it will be a long month. I’m expecting more of the unbalanced offense (52 passes/17 runs) as the Steelers try to keep up.
The ceiling isn’t real high for Pickett. For fantasy purposes he has all the makings of a mid-low QB2 and a guy you acquire when you head into a rebuild.
Bailey Zappe, QB New England Patriots
Zappe did a nice job holding down the fort in the absence of Mac Jones. Fortunately Zappe was going against the hapless Detroit Lions defense. If you drafted or picked up Zappe off of waivers I hope you didn’t have to activate him from the taxi squad. He looks to be destined for a career back up role.
Breece Hall, RB New York Jets
18/97/1 ru / 2/2/100/0 rec; 41 (69%)
The ascension continues Hall sits as the RB3 on Week 5 and RB7 on the season. Hall out snapped (41-69%/24-42%), out touched (20/12) Michael Carter in Week 5. Carter did vulture 2 touchdowns from Hall. Especially painful was the vulture after Hall’s 79-yard reception. Expect a similar split moving forward.
Ken Walker, RB Seattle Seahawks
8/88/1 ru; 30 (58%)
Last week I suggested trying to get Walker at a discount as Penny was looking pretty good and Pete Carroll loves him some Rashad Penny. As a long-time Penny truther it pains me that he suffered a severe ankle injury in Week 5. Ken Walker III came in and proceeded to bust off a 69-yard touchdown run. Walker will be the primary runner and will split passing down work with Travis Homer and Deejay Dallas. He should push for RB2 status the rest of the season.
Dameon Pierce, RB Houston Texans
26/99/1 ru / 5/3/14/0 rec; 46 (79%)
It took until Week 5, but Dameon Pierce work horse week is here. Pierce checks in at RB10 on the week. It was an inefficient week as far as production is concerned, but you have to be happy with 31 opportunities. If you roster Pierce you are starting him as an RB1/2 with the understanding that he could get out touched by Burkhead in blowouts with the team playing catch up.
Tyler Allgeier, RB Atlanta Falcons
13/45/0 ru; 39 (59% )
Allgeier had as many touches as the other two Falcons combined. Going against a tough Tampa defense he was not very efficient. Playing as the clear lead back, Allgeier, (30/59%) out snapped Avery Williams (17/26%) and Caleb Huntley (16/24%), but Williams got the touchdown. I would expect the split to continue until Patterson returns.
Rachaad White, RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5/14/0 ru / 4/3/25/0 rec; 31 (39%)
In a game that wasn’t expected to be close the Falcons played with hearts. I was expecting more opportunity for White based in games script, however, with the Falcons playing tough, the Buccaneers leaned hard on Leonard Fournette (14/56/1ru/11/10/83/1re). White is a handcuff who looks to be the successor to Fournette.
Drake London, WR Atlanta Falcons
7/4/35/0; 44 (67%)
London led the Falcons in targets in Week 5. The Falcons rookie wide receiver has 7, 6, 12, 7, 7 targets in his first five games. The Falcons view him as their WR1. Once they get a better quarterback London will have weekly WR1 upside.
Garrett Wilson, WR New York Jets
4/3/27/0 rec; 33 (56%)
The Jets attempted just 21 passes in Week 5. Wilson tied for the team lead in targets, but Week 5 was all about the running game with 33 rushes to 21 pass attempts. Wilson is a very talented wide receiver but there will be weeks where he lacks production, so you will need to be ready for that.
Chris Olave, WR New Orleans Saints
6/4/54/1; 31 (40%)
Olave was knocked out of the game catching a touchdown pass with about 12 minutes left in the third quarter. He still tied for the team lead in targets. It was a very run-heavy day for the Saints with 48 rushing attempts and just 24 pass attempts. I expect Olave to continue his ascension as the Saints WR1. I’m not sure what the quarterback situation will be moving into 2023, but for 2022, Winston and Dalton have eyes for Olave.
Alec Pierce, WR, Indianapolis Colts
9/8/81/0; 47 (59%)
Pierce continues to establish himself as the second receiving option to Michael Pittman. Parris Campbell once again out snapped Pierce, but Pierce is getting targets. Indianapolis needs to find a quarterback that can last more than one year, but Pierce has planted his flag and is in flex consideration every week.
George Pickens, WR Pittsburgh Steelers
8/6/83/0; 57 (76%)
Pickens was a bright spot in a but whoopin’. There were questions about Pickens attitude off the field, but on the field he is turning into a beast. Just ask any defensive back that has been on the receiving end of a Pickens run block. The Steelers can get out of Chase Claypool’s contract for under $600k after the 2022 season. Pickens stock is climbing and you are looking at a late first round pick to acquire.
Romeo Doubs, WR Green Bay Packers
5/3/29/0; 54 (86%)
Romeo Doubs continues to work his way up the Aaron Rodgers trust chart. The timing between Rodgers and Doubs is just a bit off. Rodgers missed Doubs on two deep passes that would have significantly upped Doubs yardage and possibly provided a touchdown. He has been working as the WR2 for the Packers the past three weeks and I expect that to continue.
Khalil Shakir, WR Buffalo Bills
5/3/75/1; 39 (70%)
After injuries to Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie moved Shakir up the depth chart, the rookie made the mot of his opportunity. Shakir played a season high 70% of the snaps, getting five targets, reeling on three of them, including a touchdown. When McKenzie returns from the concussion protocol he and Shakir will battle for the slot receiver role.
Cade Otton, TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7/6/43/0; 74 (94%)
Otton turned in a workman-like performance in his first NFL start. In a game where Tom Brady threw the ball against the lowly Falcons, Otton played the both the protector and the safety valve. Otton ran 24 routes on 74 snaps. When Cameron Brate returns Otton will go back to being the back up. The Buccaneers can get out of Brate’s contract without much dead cap, so, if Otton keeps playing well, he could be looking at a starting spot in 2023.
Daniel Bellinger, TE New York Giants
3/2/22/0; 45 (74%)
Bellinger has led the Giants tight ends in snaps in 4/5 game and targets in 3/5 games. He has been the most consistent rookie tight end this season, and the only rookie tight end I am comfortable playing right now. The Giants offense is not a high scoring affair, in large part due to lack of a wide receiver corps. When the team get more balanced it will open up more opportunities for the rookie tight end.
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