Week 3 is here and gone. The rookies performed okay this week. There weren’t quite as many quality performances from rookies. We still had a few nice games like Newton, Daniel Thomas and how about Torrey Smith? Wow, he went off. The rookies have still been very productive through 3 weeks though. The rankings were a bit tough this week as some of the guys who were near the top last week didn’t do a whole lot. Anyway, on to the rankings.
Also, this week we are going to showcase some of the more affordable RCs from these players. And remember that these rankings are based on year-to-date performance and not just what the player did this week.
1. Cam Newton QB Carolina Panthers (Last week #1)
While Newton wasn’t as impressive as he has been, you still can’t complain too much. He had a 75.4 QB Rating which isn’t bad at all. Plus he won a game. In addition to all of this, the weather was absolutely TERRIBLE! It was a total monsoon and no QB in the NFL would have had a great game. Newton also ran for 27 yards. For the season, Newton is already over 1,000 passing yards and 4 TDs. Plus he didn’t throw a pick this week which was nice. He also has 98 rushing yards, good for 3rd among all QBs.
2. Daniel Thomas RB Miami Dolphins (Last week #4)
Thomas had a monster game. He finished with 95 rushing yards on 23 carries and also added 27 receiving yards with a TD. Thomas appears to be the real deal. And with Reggie Bush averaging 2.2 yards per carry and fumbling twice, Thomas should be the feature back going forward. Thomas is 1st in rushing for Rookies & 12th overall. He’s averaging almost 5 yards per carry and is even catching some balls. Very impressive so far.
3. Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons (Last week #10)
Well, we could only hold down Julio for so long. He had a monster game this week. He now leads all rookie WR in receiving yards and is 2nd in receptions to the next guy on the rankings. Julio did have one pretty bad drop, but showed some serious flashes of what potential he has. More to come from this guy, I promise.
4. A.J. Green WR Cincinnati Bengals (Last week #2)
Had a little bit of a down week. Still caught 4 balls for 29 yards. Still leads rookie receivers in receptions. Not bad at all. Only downside is game 1 and game 3 weren’t super strong. Game 2 was monster, but the consistency isn’t there yet. My guess is that this guy is going to be battling with Julio as the best WR from this draft for years to come.
5. Torrey Smith WR Baltimore Ravens (Last week not ranked)
Hard to put this guy too far down on the list with the game he had. Finished with 152 yards on 5 receptions with 3 TDs. Also had 1 carry for 10 yards. This was not only a great game for a rookie, it might have been the best game by a receiver not named Welker this year. He finally showed off his speed. Maybe this was a total random game, but maybe this was a sign of things to come. We can only hope it’s the latter.
6. Andy Dalton QB Cincinnati Bengals (Last week #3)
I can’t drop Dalton too much for 1 bad game. He did not play well for sure. However, he has still outplayed his expectations. He has given his team a chance to win all three games. And he’s doing this without a ton of help on offense. He needs to cut down on his mistakes, but I think he’ll get there in time.
7. Denarius Moore WR Oakland Raiders (Last week #6)
I almost moved him ahead of Dalton. He had another very solid week. 4 catches for 34 yards plus a 23-yard TD run. I definitely think he’s going to continue to be a solid contributor for the Raiders. His speed is for real and he seems to have a knack for finding the end zone. I do think he’ll have some games where he disappears, but what rookie WR doesn’t? The Raiders certainly seem to have found a gem.
8. Mark Ingram RB New Orleans Satins (Last week #9)
Ingram moves up more as a result of the players above him moving down. However, he did score a touchdown on a very nice run. The problem is that he only had 38 yards rushing and -3 yards receiving. He’s also only averaging 3.6 yards per carry on the year. It will get better, but the Saints are a pass heavy offense and that doesn’t bode well for Ingram. He’s their third best receiving back, so he’s not going to see the field much in passing situations. Still, he has a lot of talent.
9. Blaine Gabbert QB Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week #7)
He was #7 last week based on what we thought he would do. He had a pretty solid week considering the weather. By the way, if you haven’t seen highlights of this game you need to. The weather was truly remarkable. Gabbert did throw a pick. But, he also threw a TD and had a solid 73.3 QB Rating. The good news is that Jone-Drew looks healthy so far and Mike Thomas had a nice week. Gabbert’s numbers should get better.
10. Titus Young WR Detroit Lions (Last week #11)
Moves up one spot with another solid performance. He seems to be developing a good relationship with Stafford. He’s a great compliment to Calvin. This team is going to score and they look like they’re going to win. Two good things for a rookie to be a part of, especially as a WR. He had 4 catches for 51 yards. Like Denarius Moore, he’ll have some dud games. But, I think he’s a solid slot receiver with good potential.
11. Roy Helu RB Washington Redskins (Last week #5)
The bad news is that he had a bad week. The good news is that he still had 7 touches. He looks to be permanent fixture of this offense. And, while this offense isn’t super explosive, it’s good to be playing as a rookie. As long as he continues to get playing time, he will have a chance to show up his skills.
12. Stevan Ridley RB New England Patriots (Last week not ranked)
He had a solid game for New England. Rushed 7 times for 44 yards giving him a 6.3 average. Also caught 1 ball for 8 yards. Not heavily involved yet, but he is getting more touches each week. If this trend continues, his cards are bound to rise. Playing for the Patriots certainly doesn’t hurt his hobby chances either.
13. Kendall Hunter RB San Francisco 49ers (Last week not ranked)
Wasn’t phenomenal, but did show some flashes. Frank Gore looks old, slow and beat up. If Hunter gets more chances, he could be the real deal. He did score a TD and totaled about 40 yards on the day. Not bad for a back-up running back. I like his chances going forward because Gore will never hold up all year long.
14. Doug Baldwin WR Seattle Seahawks (Last week #13)
His stock definitely took a hit with the return of Sidney Rice. However, he’s still a part of this offense and has 110 receiving yards through 3 games. Not a terrible number for an un-drafted rookie. He has already appears to have jumped Golden Tate (last year’s second round pick) on the depth chart. And he has the ability to be a solid #2 WR on this team. Sidney Rice coming back may end up helping him as he shouldn’t see much coverage rolled his way now.
15. Clyde Gates WR Miami Dolphins (Last week #16)
Probably shouldn’t have moved up after going catch-less. However, he did return 3 kicks for 60 yards. I still think he has potential as a deep threat. He just needs to get his feet wet and catch a fee thrown his way. The good news is that the Dolphins are going to be behind in a lot of games which will lead to a lot of passing.
16. Greg Little WR Cleveland Browns (Last week #17)
He had another okay week with 3 catches for 24 yards. He’s slowing become more involved in the offense. Fortunately, there aren’t a ton of options for the Browns on offense. So, he’s going to get his chances as long as he doesn’t royally screw up.
17. Kyle Rudolph TE Minnesota Vikings (Last week not ranked)
He caught 3 balls for 39 yards. His last catch was a very nice grab that was thrown behind him. I think his roll is going to continue to grow as this team tries to figure itself out after an 0-3 start. He seems to be gelling with McNabb fairly well, so that’s always good. If Ponder gets thrown into the mix, I could see Rudolph becoming a huge part of this offense. Usually young QBs like to dump it off to their TEs as a nice safety net.
Strange as this is I’m starting to like the idea of listing 17 players each week. It’s more unique to me than ending on a round number like 20 or 25. I also think it is important to try and keep the number the same each week. This way we can take a look and examine certain players who dropped out of the rankings. Speaking of that, Delone Carter, Jesse Holley and DeMarco Murray all dropped out this week. Carter did next to nothing with Joseph Addai looking very strong. Holley had no impact on the game at all. And DeMarco Murray took a big time back seat to Felix.
All-in-all a good week for rookies. Hopefully they will all continue to build on their performances each week. Until next week…
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