The Dirty Dozen: NFL Rookie Rankings after Week 7
Before we get going, let us first issue an apology. In our rookie rankings last week, we made not a single mention of the outstanding rookie kickers. So sue us. We’re like Peyton Manning; we know they are not “real” players. But we will address the leggy rookies this week. We still aren’t ranking ‘em, but we’ll monitor them for you, since we all have to have kickers on our fantasy teams.
No great surprises in Week 7, but we did see a couple of movers on the chart. So let’s get to it. Here are your dirty dozen:
1. Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS – (Last week #1)
He may never leave the top spot on the list. 20 of 28, 2 TDs and a 108.9 passer rating. Oh, and the 89 yards rushing. He did throw a pick and lost a fumble which should be a concern inside the Beltway.
2. Alfred Morris, RB, WAS – (2)
Another 120 yards on 22 rushes for a 5.5 yard average. Yawn…..
3. Josh Gordon, WR, CLE – (5)
He swaps places with his teammate on this week’s list, up from number 5. Clearly he is Brandon Weeden’s favorite target, and the first Browns rookie to catch TD passes in 3 consecutive games in 10 seasons. He must control the dropsies – his hands may have cost his team a win. Targeted 10 times, with only 2 receptions (including a long TD), he will have to improve that ratio.
4. Andrew Luck, QB, IND – (4)
An ordinary 186 yards on 16-of-29, but he rushed for two TDs. His rating may slip if his numbers don’t improve, but he’s a surefire star in the making.
5. Trent Richardson, RB, CLE – (3)
His second straight early exit for sore ribs forces a drop in the rankings. We think he’s a top 3 talent, but you have to be on the field to have an impact
6. Chris Givens, WR, STL – (11)
Go to your fantasy league’s waiver wire immediately and claim (or overbid on) Chris Givens if you can. We’ll wait……. Three catches (on 5 targets) for 73 yards (24.3 average); third in rookie receiving yards at 270 on just 10 catches. He’s the real deal.
7. Ryan Tannehill, QB, MIA — (6)
He was on his bye week and takes on the Jets in Week 8. Expect a good game (he’s averaging over 240 yards in the air), but watch out for interceptions against a good Jets secondary. We’d like to see more TDs from Tannehill (just 4, on 6 INTs)
8. Kendall Wright, WR, TEN – (8)
Despite a quiet day (19 yards on 3 catches), he had no drops. But he leads rookies, by a wide margin, with 36 receptions (the next WR has 14 catches) despite changing faces at QB in TEN. We don’t expect many days this ordinary for Wright.
9. Doug Martin, RB, TB – (9)
85 yards on the ground, for a 5.3 average and his second TD on the season caught our attention. 3-for-3 in receptions at a 12 yard average. Proving to be a reliable back but again we need more scores and possibly more catches before we vault him up the rankings.
10. Brandon Weeden, QB, CLE (12)
The cougar of this year’s rookies had a nice day (25-for-41 for 264 yards and 2 TD) to move up a couple of slots. We do feel a bit silly ranking him among the rookies. At age 27, he’s more like the Japanese baseball player who debuts in the majors with a few grey hairs already.
11. Coby Fleener, TE, IND (10)
We apologize for calling him Colby last week. Two receptions for 17 yards indicated he was upset by it. Our bad, bro. Won’t happen again.
12. Russell Wilson, QB, SEA (7)
We told you we didn’t love him last week, but 122 yards on an 11-for-23 and interception and a 38.7 passer rating, he’s lucky he’s still on the list. If Stephen Hill didn’t drop a critical pass for the Jets, Wilson would be the list of also-rans.
Also receiving votes: Stephen Hill, WR, Jets; Daryl Richardson, RB, STL; Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI; T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND; Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC; Dwayne Allen TE, IND; Vick Ballard, RB, IND; Brandon Bolden, RB, NE.
Because kickers are (barely) people too: Greg Zuerlein (STL), Blair Walsh (MIN) and Justin Tucker (BAL) have each missed only one FG under 50 yards. Zuerlein has booted 5 of 7 from beyond 50, including a 61 yarder. He is a big talent with a big leg. Zuerlein might just be Midwestern for “Janikowski.” Walsh and Tucker are perfect on 7 combined attempts over 50 yards.
Your trio of defenders:
- Luke Kuechly, LB, CAR – The Boston College product had a big day against the Cowboys; his 15 tackles give him the rookie lead. He’s also tallied an interception and fumble recovery this season.
- Vontaze Burfict, LB, CIN – He also tallied 15 tackles this week, but we picked him because we love his name. We think it’s …… don’t make us say it……
- Casey Hayward, CB, GB – He leads NFL rookies with 4 interceptions, double that of Tavon Wilson of the Patriots (who is the only rookie with 2 picks).