What is up Rush Nation, We are back with the latest instalment of Rookies Watch and on time this week.
I don’t know about you but this seasons rookies continue to float between impressive displays and lacklustre performances. One thing for certain is the talent for many is there for all too see. Hopefully as the season goes on they continue and are more consistent.
That being said it is time to dive into week five and identify the rookies who impressed and those that did not. I found it difficult to identify a true fade this week so instead provided you with a stash who you should be sure to take notice of.
Rookies Who Popped
There is not a great deal to shout about in New York so far this season, No Odell, Barkley out injured and a front office leaving a lot to be desired. In a world with little to be thankful for one thing that has been a bright spark is the rookie Darius Slayton.
Drafted in the fifth round out of Auburn life started slowly for Slayton. Inactive for the first two games of 2019 and on the outside looking in. This may have been more beneficial then first viewed as this gave him ample time to practice alongside Daniel Jones. Week three against the Buccaneers brought about the first start for Jones and Slayton, a move which instantly bore fruit. Slayton finished his first NFL start with 82 yards off three receptions and averaging 27.3 yards.
Surprisingly Slayton was ineffective in the blow out against Washington in week four taking in only two receptions for 13 yards. This was more to do with the game plan due Giants running away with the game early and relying on the run.
This week brought about arguably Slayton’s best game. Ending the day against the Vikings with four receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. In three weeks Slayton has nine catches,157 yards and one TD, an impressive showing for the rookie in this offence.
Many fantasy owners will be down on Slayton with the return of Golden Tate however Sterling, Engram and Barkley are all suffering with injuries you should not be so quick to write him off. Daniel Jones has so far consistently thrown over 30 attempts, if this is to continue Slayton will surely thrive.
Be sure to pick up Slayton in every league he is available, Redraft and dynasty. you will not regret it.
Rookies Below Expectations
It pains me having to write Montgomery into the below expectations column this week. However considering the investment many owners made he is leaving much to be desired. This is more of a reflection on the Bears as a whole who have massively under-performed against expectations than on Montgomery.
Montgomery has slowly increased in usage over the weeks yet he has struggled to turn this into performances. Especially compared to his rookie counterpart Josh Jacobs. Montgomery has only managed over 10 points in two showings this season, with one of those only being 10.1 this week against the Raiders. His performance was only salvaged week five against the Raiders via a touchdown and only put up 25 rushing yards and 2.0 yards per carry.
The potential is there for all to see. Monty needs to start performing or could see his touches go back to a split backfield. Nagy is leaving much to be desired in his running of the offence and the offensive line has been poor. The Bears season is quickly spiralling out of control and something must be done to save it.
At this stage Montgomery is no more than a match up dependant player and a RB2/3 at best. Following the week 6 bye the Bears face a stout defence in the New Orleans. A match up Montgomery should be avoided in. Be sure to monitor his snap count and involvement for the coming weeks.
Monty is a solid buy low candidate across both redraft and dynasty and whilst he has underwhelmed is still worth the investment.
The Time is Now
Johnson has once again found his way into the rookies watch article. This time for a slightly different reason. The situation may not be ideal with Steelers down to their third string QB but Johnson has more than ample opportunity.
Johnson has already earned his spot in the starting lineup, mainly due to Moncrief’s incompetence. However with James Washington now facing a period of time on the sidelines Johnson will be the WR2 in town. As expected Johnson’s role increased in week four catching six for 44 yards and a touchdown. Week five was not favourable for Johnson with Rudolph falling victim to injury and ended the day with 5 receptions and 27 yards.
The Steelers turn to undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges and it is unknown how this will affect them. A bright spot is Johnson has led the way in terms of targets among the Steelers receivers. If Hodges can be a half competent quarterback you can expect Johnson to be a favoured target with Juju facing the top coverage. He has quietly gone about his business so far is only averaging 0.1 points less the Juju.
Johnson should be viewed as a buy low candidate in the wake of the Rudolph injury and is sure to return investment. He has shown upside in limited showings and is now a top option in this offence. Up next is the Chargers who have themselves are under-performing in much of 2019. Expect Johnson to show further cement his place in the lineup and prove his value to the Steeler’s.
Must Stash Rookie
It is surely tough to stash a rookie for multiple weeks on your roster, especially for those leagues that do not have IR slots. N’Keal Harry is a different talent and this was evident in the Patriots investment in him with the first round pick.
The first round pick out of Arizona State was highly touted and is in for a long career with the Patriots. Hopefully Harry has been able to grasp an understanding of the complex playbook that Belichick installs. He is not one to allow for under-performance on the field, the practice field or in the position rooms.
Harry is close to return off IR for the Patriots and will be a welcome sight for Brady. The Patriots are not lacking in weapons but Harry will bring a different flare to the lineup. Harry was fighting the WR1 slot before the unfortunate injury and come his return he should see significant snaps.
Now is the time to target Harry. He is surely unavailable on many waivers but certain owners will be desperate. Many owners invested highly in Harry and will have grown frustrated watching him sit and may be looking to jump shit for a proven commodity.
The Long And Short
As i have already stated rookies continue to have their moment in the sun. My hope is it continues long into the season and beyond. Hopefully the above helps some of you in your fantasy leagues and make those tough decisions.
We are at the end of another week of NFL, it is going too quick in my opinion. Be sure to join me again next week for the week six rookies watch.
Until next time Rush Nation, Keep on Rushing.
-Ash Goddard Addicted2_FF