Rookies Watch Week Seven Fantasy Edition
What is up Rush Nation, welcome back to Rookies Watch.
We are one week away from the halfway stage of the fantasy season and injuries are once again dominating the talking points around the NFL.
This week we take a look at another rookie battling for DROY and the first offensive rookie for the OROY.
Rookies take the starting role
The moment Lions announced Kerryon Johnson was to go on IR fantasy owners were scrambling to pick up his back up and namesake Ty Johnson. With the injury to Kerryon the door has opened to the sixth round pick to make his mark. What is evident is Ty will split the backfield with McKissic, however McKissic is the passing down back whilst Johnson will be given the early down work.
Johnson has yet to truly shine in his limited opportunity rushing for just 83 yards from 23 carries but he now has the chance to prove his worth. He has shown his prowess in college as a to the house RB, in four years at Maryland he amassed 2635 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. What makes Johnson all the more appealing is his upcoming schedule, Week 8 he faces the Giants and then follows up with a match-up against the raiders.
Competition is not an issue at this stage for Johnson with only McKissic and the recent practice squad member Paul Perkins to speak of. One thing for certain is options are available if Johnson does not take advantage quickly, We could easily see CJ Anderson return or the signing of Jay Ajayi on the radar if things do not come together.
Johnson should be a top priority of the waiver wires for any owners in a bind or the Kerryon owner. His value in dynasty will be dictated based on how he performs in the absence of Johnson and the workload he can create once he returns.
It was all rosy for Jones on his week three debut against the Buccaneers, Since then he has been inconsistent and the Giants fans have been left wanting. Talks of a Manning return have been circulating in recent weeks however these have already been put to bed by Shurmur and Jones will remain the starer, but for how long.
It was always going to be a tough ask in this offence for Jones and some would say too soon. Jones has struggled with his ball security in particular his fumbles, he has fumbled the ball six times so far and lost five of those an NFL high. Jones at times attempts to be too aggressive with his throws which has lead to him throwing seven interceptions to go along with his seven touchdowns, he must improve this going forward.
One thing Jones does possess is his footwork and rush ability, once again evident in week three producing two rushing touchdowns. Jones so far has 121 rushing yards with 6.4 yards per carry, this makes him somewhat of a dual threat but behind this Oline it is more out of necessity than game plan.
Jones has limited upside whilst the turnovers remain and the offence continues to falter. You should look to avoid Jones in 1QB leagues unless absolutely desperate and he is no more than a low QB2. Jones may have been the second rookie off the draft board but other rookies such as Gardner Minshew continue to overshadow him. He does of course possess long term potential if the Giants can improve his options around him specifically the offensive line.
I will keep this one short as Montgomery has appeared in this article multiple weeks on my below expectations section.
Montgomery needs to realistically be viewed as a fade at this stage of the season. This is largely due to the lacklustre offence and the questionable coaching of Matt Nagy, coupled with his inefficient and somewhat sloppy running.
The Week seven outing versus the Saints was particularly poor for Montgomery; he finished the day with only two touches for six yards & 2 receptions for 13 yards. This was his lowest outing since his NFL debut in week one, even with the Bears playing from behind for the majority of the game the lack of workload was incredibly surprising. Montgomery has been ineffective for weeks now, so much so Tarik Cohen has moved ahead in the snap count (55%-46% week seven) and Mike Davis once again knocking on the door.
At this stage of the fantasy season Montgomery is no more than a bench player until we see an improvement from the Bears offence and the player himself. Montgomery is bordering on the droppable spectrum for owners who need wins now and are looking for production from the waivers. With the likes of Chase Edmunds and TY Johnson available many owners will have a tough decision to make.
Montgomery still has the long term potential to be productive in dynasty if Bears can turn the offence around. His value is at an all-time low and I would recommend approaching frustrated owners and look to obtain Montgomery on the cheap.
Offensives Rookies stating their claim for OROY
It may not be a surprise but Jacobs is one of the clear standout rookies through seven weeks. Seven weeks in and Jacobs rushing stats read 109 attempts, 554 yards and 4 touchdowns and 5.1 yards per attempt. Jacobs is not only the top rookie RB so far in 2019 but he is also competing with the established RB’s at the top. He ranks first in rushing grade (90.4) and second in YAC per attempt (3.90) and missed tackles forced (31).
Jacobs is quickly becoming the go to weapon alongside Waller for the Carr and the Raiders and is already repaying back the first round pick invested in him. His early season standout game came week five against the bears were Jacobs ripped off 123 yards and two touchdowns from 26 attempts, the raiders trust him with the ball in his hands.
The one negative in Jacobs’s game so far is his lack of involvement in the passing game, something he was touted for coming out of Alabama. Through seven weeks Jacobs has 9 receptions and 87 yards, this appears to be by design and how Gruden wants to run his offence but is surprising none the less given Jacobs pass catching talent.
It is very hard to argue against Jacobs’s as Offensive Rookie of The Year at this stage of the season.
Defensive Rookies stating their claim for DROY
The Carolina Panthers front office must be laughing to themselves looking back at the drafting of Burns which many saw as a gamble of a pick so high. Burns was the 16th overall whilst seven other Edge Rushers went ahead of him yet he stands atop the pile ahead of them all. Through seven weeks Burns is the second overall 2019 rookie among many of the industry, behind only Josh Jacobs.
The Panthers D have been dominant and one of the top in the NFL so far this season, Brian Burns has been a standout figure in this unit. September was an extraordinary month, nine quarterback hits and 2.5 sacks was enough to earn him the Defensive Rookie of the Month award. Burns has an impressive 15 tackles, 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble and defensive TD through 6 games.
Burns is coming off bye week surgery on his wrist, hitting the ground in frustrating following a blocked punt which he did not fully connect with; sometimes you can have too much passion. As per the reports the injury is minor and he has come out to say he will be full go against the 49ers. After such a dominating start let’s hope this does not slow him down.
Everything is shaping up for Burns to be the DROY but faces stiff opposition for the title.
The Long and Short
And just like that we are at the end of another week. Be sure to check out next weeks article for the Mid season review of the 2019 rookies and one more name to add to the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation.
Until Next time Rush Nation, Keep on Rushing.