On the NFL Network the other day Kurt Warner rated the top rookie Quarterbacks two weeks into the season. Robert Griffin was the obvious choice for the first spot, but the former Rams legend shocked many when he rated Ryan Tannehill ahead of Andrew Luck and Russ Wilson. Insert horrendously offside concussion joke here.
In terms of fantasy football, drafting rookies will always be an inexact science. RG3′s preseason projections have found the garbage bin while owners around the world are furiously googling Greg Zuerlein with reckless abandon. Every Wednesday we’ll take a look at the favorable and unfavorable match ups for rookies around the league.
Robert Griffin III – Initially drafted by many as a second option, the Baylor grad is already a top five fantasy QB. In week three Washington welcomes the Bengals to FedEx Field. Griffin owners should salivate. Cincinnati’s defense has been the epitome of suck thus far, allowing over 430 total yards in their first two games. Once again RG3 is a must start.
Andrew Luck – The comeback kid – hyperbole alert – hasn’t received the accolades of Griffin yet, but his performance against Minnesota last week should be a sign of things to come. Luck’s rapport with Reggie Wayne is already at mid-season form and Donnie Avery is quickly becoming a viable second option. Luck faces a Jaguars D that can’t stop the run – at all. Look for the Colts to keep it on the ground often, rendering Luck a QB2 at best this week.
Ryan Tannehill – After notching his first career win in impressive fashion, RT faces his first AFC opponent in the Jets. Reggie Bush should have another field day but Tannehill isn’t a solid option this week.
Russell Wilson – A rookie QB under the lights at home is a tantalizing play. Wilson and the Seahawks take on Green Bay on Monday in game that’s hard to predict. After a dominant performance from the Packers D against Chicago, I would refrain from sending Wilson to the proverbial wolves.
Brandon Weeden – 114.9. Brandon Weeden can respond with that number to all the haters who ridiculed his miniscule quarterback rating in week one. Mark Sanchez showed the Bills defense is susceptible to the deep ball. In deeper leagues Weeden is worth a look at QB2.
Alfred Morris – He was the pick up of week one, but Morris’ future as a fantasy stud remains in doubt. With Griffin’s ability to run – and run, and run – it’s hard to see Morris picking up the slack near the goal line. As mentioned earlier the Bengals run D is shambolic, thus Morris is a viable play as a flex option this week. Between the 20s the Florida Atlantic product has shown he’s worthy.
Doug Martin – 66 yards and a touchdown isn’t a bad day at all, but coming into the season it was assumed Martin would be a multifaceted threat. Against the Giants Martin was targeted just three times in the passing game and failed to record a catch. All is not lost, however, as Martin’s main rival for touches – LaGarette Blount – didn’t get any looks against the Giants. Couple that with a favorable match up against the Cowboys defense and Martin is a must start.
Trent Richardson – A breakout performance last week should have Richardson owners hopeful for the rest of the season. 145 total yards – 36 through the air – coincided with Brandon Weeden’s excellent day. The Bills defense had a bounce back performance against the Chiefs, but I see another big day for the Browns offense against Buffalo at home.
David Wilson – “It’s my first day” is longer an acceptable excuse for a horrible mistake. After his early fumble against the Cowboys, Wilson never saw the field again. Last week, the Va. Tech alum received only three carries. With Ahmad Bradshaw out, the rookie is bound to see more of the ball. Though not a play yet, he’s worth tracking tomorrow night.
Justin Blackmon – It hasn’t been an up and down two weeks for the Jaguars first round pick. Mike Mularkey says the WR needs to be more decisive in his route running. More troubling: Blaine Gabbert is his quarterback. For as long as that remains true I would stay away from starting Blackmon.
Alshon Jeffery – The victim of a terrible game from both Jay Cutler and the Bears offensive line, Jeffery was targeted just twice and caught one ball for seven yards. The Rams secondary struggled mightily against Washington last week, and this screams bounce back for the Bears offense. Start Jeffery if you have him.
Kendall Wright – Like Blackmon, Wright’s problem is that his quarterback continues to struggle. Though he caught his first career touchdown pass against the Chargers last week, the Titans passing game remains shaky at best. He’s not worth a play.
Stephen Hill – The Jets offense imploded against the Steelers last week. After putting up excellent numbers against Buffalo in his first career start, Hill was invisible in Pittsburgh. Hill’s production will depend on which Mark Sanchez shows up – a theme is emerging. The Dolphins pass defense struggled at times against Carson Palmer last week but I remain skeptical on Hill. He’s not an option at WR3 this week.
Coby Fleener – This is the problem when you have two young tight ends in an inexperienced offense – it’s hard to detect patterns. In week one Fleener was targeted six times compared to four against the Vikings. Fellow rookie Dwayne Allen stole – not the right word – a touchdown for his only catch, something to watch out for going forward as Allen is a better red zone target. At this point neither is worth a start in one tight end leagues.