Rookie Recap Weekly
Welcome fellow IDP fantasy owners, to volume 3 of my newest weekly article. For those of you just reading this for the first time, each week I recap the top performances of a handful of rookies. Not only will I look at how they did the past week, but also what it means going forward, and most importantly their impact in the fantasy world. I hope this helps your fantasy rosters. So let’s jump right into the third installment of this series.
LB, Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts If you have been following this article series, you know that last week I mentioned grabbing Leonard before it was too late. Well, that time is here, as it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to get him off waivers or for cheap, especially after this weeks performance versus the Eagles, where he had maybe his best game as a professional. He recorded thirteen tackles, nine solo, five tackles for a loss, two sacks and a pass deflection. Through three games, he now has forty total tackles, thirty solo’s, six tackles for a loss, three sacks, two pass deflections, one forced fumble, and a recovered fumble. He is now the frontrunner to win DROY honors. A must own and must start in all IDP leagues.
CB, Donte Jackson, Carolina Panthers Corners aren’t a must play in all leagues, but Jackson has been hot the last two weeks and should be at least considered. While playing the opposite corner spot of James Bradberry, Jackson has been targeted heavily. We all know how rookies get picked on and that they are generally the ones you want to own. Jackson fits that role but is good enough to make the big plays. This week against the Bengals he recorded seven tackles and two interceptions, which followed up his week 2 performance of six tackles, one interception, and a forced fumble. He’s one the top corner options right now and should be owned in all position specific leagues.
DT, Da’Ron Payne, Washington Redskins If your league is position specific and requires you to start a defensive tackle, then Payne should be on your radar. We all know how hard it is to find scoring at this position, but Payne is one of the better options out there. This week against the Packers, Payne had a big breakout game with five tackles, four solo, and a sack. I know those are not huge numbers, but for defensive tackles, they are noteworthy. I was one that had Payne graded higher than most before the draft and he looks to be proving me right. He’ll get plenty of opportunities for this Washington defense and should produce consistently. The Redskins are on a bye in week 4, which makes this a great time to acquire him.
LB, Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers Everyone was worried that the return of Reuben Foster would take away from Warner’s opportunities. I wasn’t one of the concerned and felt he’d be just fine and that Foster’s return would help him. In week 3 versus the Chiefs, he would record his third straight game of double-digit tackles. He would record eleven tackles, nine solo, two tackles for a loss and a pass deflection on the day and solidified his spot as a starter. On the year, he has recorded thirty-three tackles, twenty-eight solo’s, three for a loss, two pass deflections and a forced fumble. A must own in all IDP leagues and he’s becoming a must start. His arrow is pointing up and his opportunities may increase with the possible season-ending loss of QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Get him now, if he’s still available.
LB, Tremaine Edmunds, Buffalo Bills An early favorite by fantasy owners and it showed in how early he was being drafted in rookie drafts. He has been as consistent and productive as everyone expected. In week 3 versus the Vikings, he would compile ten tackles, one for a loss and a pass deflection. He was swallowing up everything that was funneled his way. On the year, he now has twenty-four tackles, eighteen solo’s, one for a loss, one sack, one fumble recovery, and three pass breakups. The best for this young stud is yet to come, as he will only get better. He’ll be tested next week, as he and the Bills travel to Green Bay, but it will be a good gauge of where his progression is. Another must own and start in IDP leagues.
SS, Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers My preseason favorite to win DROY hasn’t disappointed in the least. He continues to impress and make huge plays. This week versus the high powered Rams, he would tally nine total tackles, seven solo’s and an interception. Look for these type of numbers to continue, as the Chargers use him in a variety of ways and he has very favorable matchups in the rest of season. His ability to make plays as a blitzer and as a ballhawk make him extremely valuable. On the season, he now has twenty tackles, sixteen solo’s, two for a loss, four pass deflections, two sacks, and an interception. A must own and start in all IDP leagues.
CB, Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns I was one of the few, who just wasn’t very high on Ward, but he’s slowly changing my mind with his play. While I still feel that he’s a bit fragile and that his immaturity could be obstacles to overcome, his performance on the field is undeniable. I have watched him all the way back to college days and his play can be inconsistent, but so far this year he’s been reliable. This past Thursday versus the NY Jets, he posted four tackles, one for a loss, a forced fumble and a recovery. While his tackle numbers aren’t eye-popping, it’s his overall game that is highly desirable. Ward plays cornerback and that position isn’t as valuable in all IDP leagues, but if your league requires a corner(s) to be started then he should be owned.
LB, Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys There were some concerns with LVE coming into the season, like where he fit in the defense, when would he start, and could he repeat the one year of big production he had in college? I was higher on him than a lot were and I still am. His value for this season at least, is tied to Sean Lee’s health and we all know about that. This week versus Seattle (Lee left the game with an injury), Vander Esch had his best game to date with eleven total tackles and nine of those were solos. With Lee’s health issues and LVE’s impressive play, I see him getting more playing time and producing big numbers. So far this season, he has totaled twenty-one tackles, with eighteen being solos. If you’re looking for linebacker help, look and see if he’s available. Get him now while his stock is sort of under the radar. A must own in all IDP leagues.
LB, Josey Jewell, Denver Broncos If you have been following my work, then you know how high I am and have been on Josey Jewell. If not, then this may be your last chance to get him before he explodes. The Denver coaching staff and his teammates absolutely love him and now he’s forcing them to get him on the field. His football intelligence is of the charts and has the talent to match. This week versus the Ravens, he produced eight total tackles, one for a loss and a pass break up. I said it before the season and I’ll say it again, he’s too good to not be on the field and he’ll be starting at some point this year. Patience will be rewarded with Jewell.